Linux/Chrome on Chromebook using Crouton

There are many articles about this on the web. This is just a reminder to me as to what I’ve been doing.

Change boot to developer mode

Doing the following deletes all local data on your system. You can always reinstall the Operating System (Chrome seems to do that remotely). But your data is wiped after you do this.

  • Hold down the ESC + ↻ (refresh) key (the refresh key is where F3 would be on a normal keyboard)
  • While holding them down push the ⏽ (power) key (top right corner).
  • Read the rest of this entry »

Installing Vidyo on Ubuntu 16.10

I need to use Vidyo conferencing software for some projects I’m on. Because I just reinstalled Ubuntu 16.04, I needed to reinstall the Vidyo desktop.

This is not easy, since the installation file Vidyo directs you to contains a dependency that is not available on Ubuntu 16.10 (libqt4-gui).

There are various solutions out there, though I was not able to get the one proposed by Vidyo itself to work.

The one that did work for me is on the CERN site. Read the rest of this entry »

Displaylink and Ubuntu 16.10 and 17.04

I have a new supercool three screen setup in my office.

To run this, I am using two cables: A old-style displayport cable to the middle screen, and HDMI cables, via a Dell USB3 Docking station, to the side screens.

Running screens via a USB docking station requires me to use DisplayLink. Fortunately, Displaylink have an Ubuntu driver. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to work with 17.04 and getting it to work well with 16.10 LTS requires a little fiddling. Read the rest of this entry »

Updating Textpattern and Solving a Rewrite Problem

Just updated my CMS (Textpattern) to the latest version (6.4.2). I had to because the University just updated the PHP on the server and this broke the old install.

Everything worked great except for one thing: I could get it to work if I put the full URL to the index page in (i.e. Read the rest of this entry »

How to write to text pattern

This document is a quick primer on using TextPattern, the Content Management System that controls my web pages. It covers the basics only.

Log in

After I have made you an account, you should receive login information in an email. Read the rest of this entry »

Phonetic spelling exercise

This exercise is an experiment in “phonetic” spelling, that is to say the use of orthography to capture sound.

In doing this, we are trying to get a sense for how people in previous eras might have used one spelling system to transcribe another language—e.g. use French spelling to write Middle English, or adapt Latin letters to spell Germanic languages.

This is not an exercise in the use of modern Phonetic Alphabets (e.g. IPA). If you know phonetic transcription, try to ignore that knowledge here. Read the rest of this entry »

Sweetcaptcha WordPress Plugin deliberately creates popups

For a little while, I’ve been surprised by popups on my blog site (tl;dr: they don’t happen any more because I removed the SweetCaptcha plugin).

I’m not quite sure the contexts in which I’d been seeing them, but for whatever reason I thought they were coming as an artefact of something else: a bottom banner on my cellphone that I was accidentally touching or something similar.

But today it became clear that there really was Something Amiss. When I checked on both Chrome and Firefox, it was happening the first time I clicked on any page link in my site. It took a little while googling for a solution (turns out a lot of people want popups to appear in their Wordpress sites and most things I found were about how to make them happen).

Read the rest of this entry »

How to backup an Ubuntu system using Dropbox

How you do this depends on whether you are setting it up for the first time or want to restore already-saved files from Dropbox to their correct place.

First time (i.e. you have never used dropbox to backup your files)

  1. Install dropbox
  2. In the terminal, navigate to the Dropbox folder (probably ~/Dropbox)
  3. Soft link to each directory you want to backup in dropbox (i.e. ln -s ~/Documents ., ln -s ~/Desktop . Read the rest of this entry »

Dual booting Windows 10 and Ubuntu 15.04

Some quick notes, from memory, about how I successfully setup Windows 10 and Ubuntu 15.04 to dual boot. The starting point was a new Windows 8.1 computer which I then updated to Windows 10.

Warning about this post

Before you do anything at all, realise that following the instructions here could completely destroy your computer’s software: you might end up bricking it (i.e. changing it so that nothing starts); you might end up wiping out your data, the original operation system, or something else. I don’t mind that kind of thing happening to me and I’ve never not been able to fix things back. But I also have support you may not: e. Read the rest of this entry »

How to grade quizzes anonymously in Moodle

For years I’ve wanted to grade quizzes anonymously, but I could never figure out how to do so. Finally I have, within the Uleth setup.

Problems with Cisco Anyconnect on Ubuntu 14.04 (Breaks Internet Connections)

This blog is about resolving an issue I had after installing Cisco Anyconnect, the U of L’s VPN client.

This is an aide memoire for me, but might be useful to others. The information comes from, with the first being most useful for this particular case:

Problems with Cisco Anyconnect on Ubuntu 14.04 (Breaks Internet Connections)

This blog is about resolving an issue I had after installing Cisco Anyconnect, the U of L’s VPN client.

This is an aide memoire for me, but might be useful to others. The information comes from, with the first being most useful for this particular case:

Code for table of contents in text pattern

Use the following to put in a table of contents in a text pattern page.

<div id="TOC">
   <txp:soo_toc label="Contents" labeltag="h3"/>

The code will build a TOC for every header that has an IDREF. An example would look like this: h3(#thisIsTheID).

tags: , , ,

Blogging in Moodle

In many of my classes, I ask students to blog within Moodle. Blogs within Moodle are visible to the whole community. It is also possible, using an RSS feed, to broadcast your blog outside Moodle.

There are two parts to using blogs in Moodle: composing blogs and reading the entries of others.

Dangerous bug in Moodle

Just discovered a dangerous bug in the Moodle essay question template.

About the essay question edit screen

When you write an essay question in Moodle, there are a couple of different boxes on the form:

The question goes in the top. Then you have the “General response” (something the student usually can see when the results are released). Then the “Response Template,” which can be used for including text you want to appear in the answer box as soon as the question loads for the student (e.g. text like “Type your essay here”). And finally a grader box, where you can include tips for the grader (this shows up on the grading screen right above the student’s answer. Read the rest of this entry »


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