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Picture of Steven Wilkinson
by Steven Wilkinson - Monday, 19 May 2014, 6:43 PM
Anyone in the world

well time is certainly going by rather fast.....its been a while since my last entry...but a lot has happened, big storm, lots of damage at school, boiler breaking down at school ....bob and tom adding HEAPS of new assignments.

But all good , working my way through....Time Management will help reduce the Stress.

I have to say that i do enjoy reading Lances daily blog entries..I dont think he has missed one !!....well done lance, always very informative entries

Head down people.............not long to go !


    Picture of Bob Gilmore
    by Bob Gilmore - Monday, 14 April 2014, 6:21 PM
    Anyone in the world

    2014 is well and truly under way. We're starting to see the trends in enrolments as well as employment opportunities across the sector.

    ICT Job Advertisements (Seek and Trademe)

    Diploma enrolments and completions (2005 - 2012)

    Take a moment to reflect on that. 3.2k students in 2012 and at least 2.3k jobs advertised this year, probably more. That's good news for people leaving education and looking for an IT jobs.

    So, what is this blog actually about? That there aren't enough women in the industry or in ICT education.

    Some studies suggest a ratio of 10 - 1, male - female. In New Zealand, visiting conferences, it's obvious that this isn't far off the mark. There are women there and often in senior positions, but significantly outnumbered by the males. In education there is some difference. I notice in the CITRENZ conference a larger number of females to males, which is good to see, but typical of education in general. In recent years, TPP has had a good ratio of males to females in class, with it being between 25 and 50%, but this year, the ratio is 8% in semester 1 and likely to drop with a second intake in semester 2.

    There is evidence that many young girls do not even consider a career in ICT at school and I think this is something that needs investigating to work out why and how to fix it. There are tonnes of articles on the issue.

    The stereotype of "computer nerds" and socially awkward males doesn't help, nor does the image of the ditzy woman office person from shows like the IT Crowd (as much fun as that show is!)

    From my own experiences teaching, programming puts girls off. All too often its a case of "I can't do that" and then not even trying. Ironically, design work, such as Web Design, if they can be convinced isn't programming, is an area to which females tend to gravitate and enjoy and then program successfully anyway, in spite of their reservations.

    I think one of the biggest challenges for women in IT is finding suitable role models to aspire to be like. Someone interesting, remarkable and potentially world changing. It's easy for boys: there are dozens we can all name. We can even name an LGBT role model in the industry quickly and easily with Alan Turing. But if I asked you to name a female role model, who could you name?

    Here's some interesting ones:

    • Ada Lovelace. Daughter of Lord Byron, the famous poet, widely considered to be the first computer programmer.
    • Sheryl Sandberg. Facebook COO and author. Very famous for "Leaning in", an attempt to get more women into the corporate world in general.
    • Grace Hopper. Mother of COBOL and writer of the first complier. Especially important for popularising the term "debugging" after the finding of a moth inside the US Navy Harvard Mark II computer.
    • Erna Schneider Hoover. Inventor of the computerised telephone switching that revolutionised modern communications.
    • Mary Lou Jespen. Founder of the organisation One Laptop Per Child.

    Oh, and who can forget Anne Westfall, who programmed my favourite computer game as a kid: Archon! (which I just discovered you can get on Steam - there goes my free time!)

    It's not widely known today that computer programming in the 40's, 50's and into the 60's was a female dominated field. Partly as an offshoot of it being considered "clerical" work I suspect. They were good at it and it wasn't until a big change in hiring practices in the 60's and 70's that saw the job become male dominated.


    Ruth Engleback, one of NZ's first programmers, working on an ICT1201 computer in the early 60's. (Source)

    There are some initiatives here in New Zealand to combat the dearth of females in the ICT industry. One that specifically interests me is the Programming Challenge for Girls and the NZ ICT Organisation has a women's group, but it seems too few to make a real difference.

    So what do we as an industry do? I think some key areas are to find out why girls are not taking ICT in school first of all. Once we know why, then we have some direction to make it more attractive. Another area would be to celebrate all our role models, not just the male ones.

    Ultimately, a more balanced industry is better for everyone.

    [ Modified: Monday, 14 April 2014, 7:35 PM ]


      Picture of Steven Wilkinson
      by Steven Wilkinson - Saturday, 12 April 2014, 1:12 PM
      Anyone in the world

      Test results are coming through, very pleased with them. Areas showing that I need to work on, Punctuation, by not paying attention to this cost me a couple of marks. Hopefully not Proof reading submissions really needs to be high on the agenda for us all. Well its Saturday afternoon, been at it since early morning, working on the 420 assessment, hopefully get that finished today. Sunday is a day of revision before the 400 test on Monday. Might fit a bike ride in there somewhere as well. Enjoy your weekend.



        Picture of Bob Gilmore
        by Bob Gilmore - Friday, 11 April 2014, 9:12 AM
        Anyone in the world

        As my students and colleagues will know, I am a huge user of Microsoft OneNote.

        • I use it as a tool on the smart board for putting notes and diagrams.
        • For Inking those notes and diagrams to point out important parts.
        • For organising and sorting all my class notes, videos, articles, attached files, etc

        Example of OneNote inking a receipt example for the level 2 unit 327 - Business Documents.

        Because I'm such a prolific user of the tool, and because almost all my classes are taught in a computer lab, I've recommended my students take notes in OneNote too.

        Learning from lectures and labs

        I have always been concerned that making course material more available via on-line tools ironically makes a student less likely to actually make use of it. Exercises can be ignored (and often, in my experience, are), reading often isn't even looked at. Learners often need clearly defined tasks and goals.

        As such I make students take notes in class and mix it with exercises, reading, videos, etc. However often these notes are duplicated electronically on this Moodle site, which is the Virtual Learning Environment for Tai Poutini.I worry over students just deciding not to bother taking notes as they are on-line and then not absorbing the material.

        I have two conflicting desires for my on-line content:

        1. All my course content is available on-line. This is especially important as we have several distance and part-time learners.
        2. My students need to take their own notes so as to help them learn and so I often throw titbits out in the lectures which are not on Moodle to encourage them to take notes.

        These two things do not go together!

        We're also in the habit now of videoing each lesson, usually via Google+ hangouts so students who are away can join in. This makes all of the content that doesn't make it to Moodle directly available via the video.

        Handwriting and learning

        There have been interesting studies published about how handwriting vs typing affects the brain and how this might be a huge impactor on students learning.

        Long story short: Handwriting uses more of the brain than typing.

        Now correlation is not causation and so using more of the brain doesn't necessarily mean better learning. It could be that, for example, more motor functions are triggered by writing. However several ancillary studies do suggest exactly that: handwriting is better for learning for kids.

        Technology is coming along quickly. Inking in applications is much more of a thing that it was even last year. Devices like the Galaxy Note with its S-Pen, the Wacom pens available, etc. make it possible to write directly onto your devices. Windows 7 and 8's handwriting recognition is superb. This blog post is entirely handwritten, for example. Blame any mistakes on the software!

        So maybe in the future, we can combine the best of both words. The ease of organisation, edit, storage and recovery of a software application with the cogitative benefits these studies find in handwriting.

        Additional article:

        Nice summary from Lifehacker here:

        [ Modified: Friday, 11 April 2014, 9:37 AM ]


        • Picture of clinicspa QUANGclinicspa QUANG - Wed, 30 May 2018, 1:18 AM

          Bất ngờ với các cách dưỡng trắng da thần kì từ sữa tươi

          Làn da trắng mịn, không tì vết có lẽ là một trong những điều chị em phụ nữ luôn mong ước để tôn lên vẻ đẹp của mình. Nhưng không phải ai cũng có may mắn sở hữu một làn da hoàn hảo tự nhiên, chính vì vậy bạn cần phải biết cách áp dụng những biện pháp chăm sóc, dưỡng da phù hợp. Có rất nhiều phương pháp để dưỡng trắng da như tắm trắng, sử dụng các biện pháp thẩm mỹ chất lượng, dưỡng da bằng các liệu pháp thiên nhiên,… Trong bài viết dưới đây, chúng tôi sẽ giới thiệu đến bạn một cách dưỡng trắng da vô cùng hiệu quả với sữa tươi, một nguyên liệu rất tốt cho các liệu trình làm đẹp của chị em.
          Công dụng làm đẹp của sữa tươi


          Sở hữu làn da trắng sáng rạng ngời cùng sữa tươi

          Lâu này bạn luôn nghĩ sữa tươi là một thức uống dinh dưỡng hàng ngày tốt cho sức khỏe, bổ sung nhiều dưỡng chất cho cơ thể. Nhưng không chỉ dừng lại ở đó, sữa tươi còn là một trong những “thần dược” giúp duy trì vẻ đẹp cho làn da được nhiều chị em phụ nữ tin dùng đấy. Với hàm lượng vitamin A,D,E cao, sữa tươi với công dụng giúp nuôi dưỡng làn da, bên cạnh đó acid lactic trong sữa giúp làm sạch da tự nhiên, hỗ trợ loại bỏ các tế bào chết, các chất bụi bẩn có trên bề mặt da, giúp duy trì một làn da trắng sáng, mịn màng.

          Bật mí các cách dưỡng trắng da với sữa tươi

          Tẩy da chết với sữa tươi

          Tẩy da chết là một trong những công đoạn quan trọng trong quy trình chăm sóc da, giúp da tránh bị khô ráp cũng như ngăn ngừa nguy cơ nổi mụn trên da. Theo các chuyên gia khuyên, bạn nên thực hiện các bước tẩy da chết 1 lần 1 tuần để đảm bảo độ thông thoáng cho làn da. Sữa tươi được xem là một trong những nguyên liệu rất tốt để tẩy da chết, là nguyên liệu vô cùng dịu nhẹ, an toàn và rất hiệu quả. Cách thực hiện rất đơn giản, bạn chỉ cần dùng một thìa sữa tươi cùng với 1 thìa dầu dừa, nửa thìa muối tinh trộn đều để được một hỗn hợp. Sau đó tiến hành thoa hỗn hợp trên lên da và nhẹ nhàng massage da từ 5 đến 10 phút và rửa mặt lại thật sạch với nước ấm là được.

          Rửa mặt với sữa tươi

          Sữa tươi còn có công dụng rất tốt để rửa mặt, giúp làn da sáng ngời, rạng rỡ. Bạn chỉ cần đổ sữa tươi vào một cái thau nhỏ, sau đó dùng tay hoặc khăn mặt thấm đều sữa rồi thoa lên mặt, từ các bộ phận như má, trán, khóe mắt, mũi, cằm,… Kết hợp với các động tác massage da nhẹ nhàng để da được thư giãn cũng như hấp thu được các dưỡng chất cần thiết. Sau đó, bạn tiến hành rửa lại thật sạch với nước, thực hiện phương pháp này đều đặn hằng ngày chắc chắn bạn sẽ nhanh chóng sở hữu một làn da tuyệt đẹp đấy.

          Mặt nạ sữa tươi khoai tây

          Sữa tươi kết hợp với khoai tây được xem là một loại mặt nạ rất tốt cho quá trình dưỡng trắng da, cũng như xóa tan các nếp nhăn, ngăn ngừa hiện tượng lão hóa. Cách thực hiện như sau, bạn chuẩn bị một củ khoai tây đã được luộc chín sau đó nghiền nát và trộn cùng với 2 thìa sữa tươi không đường để tạo thành một hỗn hợp sền sệt. Sau đó bạn tiến hành đắp hỗn hợp này lên da, thư giãn trong vòng 15-20 phút rồi rửa mặt lại thật sạch với nước là được. Tham khảo thêm các kinh nghiệm làm đẹp khác tại đây:

          Mặt nạ sữa tươi, chanh trị mụn


          Làm đẹp cùng sữa tươi

          Ngoài ra sữa tươi còn có thể kết hợp với một loại nguyên liệu khác đó chính là chanh để tạo nên một loại mặt nạ trị mụn hiệu quả cho da, xóa mờ các vết thâm. Trong chanh có tính axit, giúp nhanh chóng làm sạch da, ngăn ngừa vi khuẩn gây mụn và các vitamin có trong sữa tươi sẽ giúp nuôi dưỡng làn da khỏe mạnh từ sâu bên trong.
          Cách làm mặt nạ như sau, bạn tiến hành trộn đều 100nl sữa tươi không đường cùng với nước cốt chanh tạo thành một hỗn hợp sau đó thoa lên mặt, kết hợp massage nhẹ nhàng cho da trong khoảng 10-15 phút rồi rửa mặt sạch với nước. Bạn nên đều đặn đắp mặt nạ này từ 2-3 lần/tuần để nhanh chóng có được một làn da trắng sáng rạng rỡ nhé!

          Tắm trắng bằng sữa tươi không đường và trứng gà

          Nếu bạn muốn sở hữu một làn da trắng sáng toàn thân thì có thể tham khảo phương pháp tắm trắng cùng với sữa tươi và lòng trắng trứng gà hiệu quả sau đây. Nguyên liệu thực hiện bao gồm sữa tươi không đường cùng với 3 quả trứng gà. Bạn đập trứng gà, cho sữa tươi vào và tiến hành đánh đều. Trong quá trình tắm, bạn tiến hành đắp hỗn hợp lên toàn thân của mình rồi thư giãn trong tầm 20 phút để dưỡng chất có thể thẩm thấu sâu vào da sau đó tắm lại thật sạch bằng nước để đảm bảo các lỗ chân lông đã được thông thoáng trở lại nhé!

          Một vài lưu ý trước khi dưỡng da mặt bằng sữa tươi

          Để có thể áp dụng thật thành công các phương pháp làm đẹp cùng với sữa tươi, bạn nên lưu ý một vài điều sau đây:
          Bạn nên sử dụng sữa tươi không đường khi dưỡng da bơi đây là thành phần nguyên chất và tự nhiên nhất.
          Khi sử dụng các biện pháp làm đẹp cùng sữa tươi, bạn nên hạn chế tiếp xúc trực tiếp với ánh nắng mặt trời vì làn da lúc này rất dễ bắt nắng. Nên sử dụng kem chống nắng và che chắn cẩn thận cho làn da của mình khi ra ngoài.
          Bên cạnh đó, bạn có thể tham khảo phương pháp Dr Huệ Clinic & Spa tiem tre hoa da mat trang da an toan tot nhat để có thêm nhiều lựa chọn cho mình trong quá trình làm trắng da của mình nhé!

        • Picture of Falcon HymanFalcon Hyman - Fri, 27 Jul 2018, 4:26 AM
          Mendapat agen sbobet sebagai salah satunya penyedia service judi memang diwajibkan buat pesepakbola judi yang ingin nikmati permainannya. Karena cuma suatu agen terpercaya saja yang sampai kini memberi agunan permainan sengit, aman serta nyaman disepanjang permainan judi on-line. Tiap-tiap pesepakbola mesti selekasnya lakukan penelusuran dengan beberapa langkah untuk mendapatkannya.

          Diperlukan langkah yang pas serta cepat di dalam menggerakkan penelusuran. Serta untuk mempermudah pesepakbola mendapatkan alamat agen sbobet terpercaya serta terunggul ada yang perlu dikerjakan pesepakbola. Berikut ini ada sekian banyak langkah yang dapat dicoba di dalam lakukan penelusuran.

          Langkah Temukan Agen Sbobet Terpercaya

          – Masuk Ke Agen-Agen Ternama
          Langkah temukan agen sbobet terpercaya lewat cara masuk satu-satu alamat website yang telah pesepakbola dapatkan. Silakan coba jadi anggota dari komunitas itu dengan masuk jadi anggota anyar. Pesepakbola semakin lebih leluasa memilih dan tahu service layanan yang ada di dalamnya. Hingga pesepakbola akan dipermudah serta dapat memperbandingkan dengan cara langsung agen mana yang dapat jadi pilihan terunggul buat permainan judi pesepakbola ketika ini. Kerjakan analisis serta seleksi dari semasing website yang telah Anda datangi. Yakinkan juga service serta sarana yang ada di dalamnya. Dengan mendapatkan beberapa info tentang hal tersebut jadi Anda semakin lebih cepat mendapat bandar terpecaya yang dapat Anda pilih
          – Jadi Anggota Komunitas Judi
          Pesepakbola dapat temukan alamat agen bola sbobet terpercaya dari beberapa komunitas spesial judi on-line yang telah pesepakbola datangi. Umumnya dalam komunitas ada beberapa pemain-pemain situs judi bola profesional yang tergabung di dalamnya. Beberapa pesepakbola itu umumnya akan mereferensikan beberapa website terpercaya yang dapat pesepakbola datangi. Saat pesepakbola mendapatkan info pesepakbola harus juga memilih alamat-alamat itu dengan masuk satu-satu. Langkah ini tentulah akan mempermudah pesepakbola pilih satu agen terunggul diantara jumlahnya pemainr yang sudah direferensikan itu.
          – Referensi Rekanan Dekat
          Agen sbobet terpercaya dapat juga diketemukan dari pendapat sahabat yang sudah bertanding lama dari sana serta sudah rasakan keuntungan yang besar. Bila pesepakbola terasa pas dengan website yang telah digunakan sahabat pesepakbola itu silakan pesepakbola ikut-ikutan bergabung bersama agen sbobet resmi itu serta bertanding dengannya. Dengan tahu semuanya tentang website referensi itu tentunya pesepakbola akan makin yakin bila website punya rekanan itu merupakan website tereprcaya serta bisa menjadi salah satunya website yang nanti dapat membawa kekayaan besar di permainan judi.

          Dari selangkah di atas, tentulah pesepakbola akan makin cepat mendapatkan agen sbobet dengan kualitas terunggul serta terpercaya di dalam menyiapkan service dan fasilitasnya. Mudah-mudahan beberapa cara barusan bisa memberi jalan terunggul di dalam permainan judi Anda semua. Selamat mencobanya!
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          Treat Your Erection Problems Effectively - Know More

          Why do erection problems arise?
          Most men have experienced a difficulty in achieving an erection at some time in their lives. It's also not uncommon for a man to achieve an erection, but be able to maintain it long enough for sexual intercourse to take place.
          Surveys have suggested that:
          • 50% of men will experience erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives
          • Around 7% of men will experience persistent difficulties with erection during the course of their lives
          It's though that almost 70% of erectile dysfunction cases have a physical cause while psychological causes are responsible for the other 30% of cases.
          What are the various causes of erectile problems?
          Circulation problems: In order to achieve an erection, it is essential that blood flows to the penis and stays there. Blockage of the blood vessels to the penis is a common cause of erectile dysfunction. Heavy smokers are particularly at risk from poor circulation and problems with impotence. New research also suggests that up to 11% of distance cyclists are prone to erectile dysfunction.
          Diabetes: Many diabetics experience erectile dysfunction at some stage in their lives. Diabetes can affect blood vessels and nerves in various parts of the body and is a major cause of impotence. It impacts both the blood supply to the penis as well as the autonomous nerve control needed to maintain an erection.
          Excessive drinking: Excess alcohol consumption causes about one in six cases of erectile dysfunction. Alcohol is a depressant drug and although it does lessen sexual inhibitions it also reduces sexual arousal.
          Drugs & Medications: Certain drugs and medications may cause erection problems as a side effect. These include drugs for treating high blood pressure, depression or some ulcer healing drugs and anticonvulsants. Drugs containing the female hormone estrogen or medications that counteract testosterone may also result in impotence. Illegal drugs like cocaine may also interfere with a man's ability to maintain an erection.
          Conditions relating to the penis: A number of conditions affecting the tissues in the penis, if left untreated, have a direct impact on an individual's ability to maintain an erection. These include Peyronie's Disease (bent penis) balanitis (inflamed glands or head of the penis) and untreated priapism (where erection lasts for hours, becoming very painful). Infections, including sexually transmitted diseases may also lead to impotence.
          Neurological conditions: Any spinal injury, multiple sclerosis or tumors directly impact the nerve supply to the penis, causing erection problems.
          Surgery: Sometimes surgery to the prostate or pelvic area for nerve or tissue damage may also cause erection problems.
          Serious illness: A range of serious illnesses like liver or kidney disease, heart attack, heart failure, chest problems, injury or major surgery can cause erection problems. Some people may be so weakened by their condition that they simply lack the stamina for intercourse. Psychological causes: There are a number of possible psychological causes. Fear and anxiety can cause a lack of confidence and result in impotence. Stress over work, relationships and pressure to perform are becoming increasingly common in men. Depression and bereavement are also potential causes.
          Should you go for any impotence treatment pill for erection problems?
          There are some easy ways to combat erectile dysfunction:
          • Cut down on smoking, alcohol and give up illegal drugs
          • Get plenty of rest and take time to relax
          • Exercise and eat a healthy diet to maintain good circulation
          • Use safe sex practices so that the risk of HIV and STDs are reduced
          • Talk openly with your partner about your sexual relationship
          If lifestyle changes make no difference to your erection problem, then you may benefit from an impotence treatment pill. Consult your doctor who will be able to determine whether you are suitable for an oral impotence treatment and they will make you aware of any side effects that can be caused by them.
          Can you avoid an embarrassing chat with your doctor and buy Viagra online?
          While a face to face consultation is always advisable, you can buy Viagra safely online to avoid any embarrassment. If you choose a safe licensed online pharmacy, you will need to fill out a comprehensive online consultation. You'll be asked to detail your medical history, including any current illnesses you may be suffering from and any medications you are taking. This information will be passed on to a doctor who will determine your suitability for a Viagra or any another erectile dysfunction treatment.
          In the life span of men, they will experience erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives. There are various causes of erectile problems. Read this article to find out some easy ways to treat impotence.
        Anyone in the world

        Since the news broke of the vulnerability in OpenSSLs implementation of the Heartbeat protocols, dubbed Heart Bleed, a lot of websites have been scrambling to get patches installed.For the most part, this is proceeding quickly and successfully, at least for the big sites.

        OpenSSL is the open source SSL/TSL implementation used by, basically, everybody to secure communications between server and client computers; Websites, Instant Messaging, VPNs, wait staff in restaurants, you name it. The bug appears to have been introduced in 2011 and has been known about since 2012, at least in the wild, which means a lot of people could potentially have been affected.

        The bug which exposes a small 64KB chunk of memory in the client or server which can, if the attacker is lucky, expose just about any secured information; passwords, credit cards, security keys, etc.

        Here is the official announcement: Laughably, that the page is secured by a certificate that is not issued by a major security provider, so the page generates a certificate error when visited. 

        Slashdot, as usual, provides a good summary and lots of link:

        However, this blog post is not about all the official news. It's about how it can affect a regular consumer:

        • Almost all home (A)DSL routers are based on one version or another of the Linux kernel.
        • They almost all implement some form of remote administration so support staff can access your router if there are any problems.
        • This remote administration is often enabled by default if your router was supplied by your Internet Service Provider.
        • The remote administration almost certainly uses OpenSSL for security, although you can't easily find out.
        • If your router was manufactured after mid 2011, or has had a firmware update since then, it is very likely it will have this bug.
        • If you have ever used the Internet to enter a password, credit card number or other detail, it is possible that you could be at risk.

        Disable your ADSL routers remote access.

        Without wanting to stir up any more concern, this is a potentially serious risk and one that is going to be with us for a very long time because the manufacturers of these devices are notoriously slow to provide software updates to them, especially if they are no longer sold.

        So, my advice to any user of broadband internet: find the remote administration of your ADSL router and disable it.

        [ Modified: Friday, 11 April 2014, 8:08 AM ]


          Picture of Bob Gilmore
          by Bob Gilmore - Friday, 11 April 2014, 6:29 AM
          Anyone in the world

          Incoming long post about Windows 8.1 and specifically the touch interface. I originally wrote and posted this on Facebook and have decided to cross post here with another weeks heavy use.

          I’ve been using Windows 8.1 for a while now, but primarily on a big desktop and so I’ve not spent much time with Metro or ModernUI or MUI of whatever it’s called. I actually like 8.1 on the desktop with a few exceptions (auto-sorting files in the explorer and no ctrl-click on taskbar tabs springs to mind) but this is not about that.

          Since I got the Surface Pro, which is a fantastic piece of kit, I thought I should give MUI a run, get used to it and then write down some thoughts.

          My Start Screen. Social media live tiles disabled to protect the guilty.
          Note the new Power and Search Icons top right copied form the right hand charms menu.

          I am going to ignore some of the common major complaints here, especially the switch from Modern to Desktop UI's when moving from one app to another. On Touchscreen, it actually feels fine, but on a mouse system, its maddening. Windows 8.1 Update 1 (MS naming conventions at their finest) goes some way to alleviate this by being smarter about which apps to default to.

          First up, typing this on the Windows software keyboard, I have to say it’s the best standard software keyboard out there. Having left and right navigation keys and a backspace button make a huge difference over the horrible Android and iOS built in ones and mean I don’t have to pay for a replacement.

          The touch enabled experience is pretty solid, but feels immature. In general, the apps look good if they follow the design guides and the live tiles are actually quite nice when they work. Not having software home and menu buttons on the device is a godsend. No more accidental home screen when I meant to hit space in Facebook!

          The swipe in from the side gestures are not especially intuitive, but easy enough to learn. The alt-tab swipe from the left is way too easy to do accidentally when scrolling through an app, which are laid out horizontally rather than vertically on the mostly horizontal tablet.

          Split screen view is still useful and works well, especially split desktop / app.

          ModernUI split screen, showing the Reader app and Internet Explorer.

          There are some weird inconsistencies, even within MS’s own apps. For example, swiping from the bottom brings up an apps menu. The menus should therefore be at the bottom to match this and mostly are. However the Windows Store has its menu appear at the top.

          The Windows store is pretty empty. It feels like Android did about 2 years ago, which is understandable. I sometimes wonder if I shouldn’t be teaching Windows App development rather than Android; there is a huge potential to make money in the Windows Store right now that possibly doesn’t exist in the other two big stores. My thoughts on developing for Windows probably deserve another blog post all of their own.

          Regarding the built in apps, especially the Bing apps, their quality varies wildly. Bing weather is the best weather app I’ve ever used, hands down. Bing Sports has Cricket and Rugby Union, but not League or any National Rugby teams. Bing News is terrible; live tiles that do not work unless you use one of the featured sources, of which there are none for NZ, and RSS feeds to make up for that don’t get remembered.

          One thing I have noticed over extensive use is the built in MS apps break regularly. The message "This app can't open. Visit the store for details" is becoming a common place occurrence and the app needs to be repaired before it will work again. Additionally, the live tiles seem to break. As noted above, news doesn't work, but since I originally wrote this, the Sports app live tile is now broken and (almost certainly related) the news feed in that app has stopped working.

          SkyOneDrive support built in is good, but the OS can’t decide what to call it yet as it’s often referred to both within the same task flow. I find OneDrive syncing much slower than 8 or 7, unusual considering it is native now, and the feature to open files on the PC from anywhere being dropped out of the native client is disappointing. This was OneDrive’s best feature over the opposition.

          OneNote for ModernUI is the stand out hit feature for me. The touch specific version is simply stunning. The team who designed this will go far. Also worth a mention is FreshPaint. A really cool painting app that works so well with the Surface pen I find myself actually using it rather than dabbling and then ignoring it like so many others of these apps in the past. I feel like I could actually create some art with this thing.

          Fresh Paint for Windows 8.1 with one of my masterpieces showing!

          There is one huge thing missing from the ModernUI experience whose oversight boggles me; a persistent clock and battery indicator across all the apps in the UI. Swiping in from the right doesn’t cut it because I keep interrupting my task to check the time if I have appointments. On that note, a persistent alert indicator for appointments, messages, etc, wouldn’t go astray either although that I don’t miss quite so much as the alerts on other OS’s do interrupt my workflow more often than not.

          Since the Update 1 release, they've put a shutdown and search button on the start screen. I can't figure out why. Sure shutdown was well hidden before, but the logical place would have been to click the user icon already on the start screen and shutdown/restart from there where logout already is. Do we even need a software shutdown anymore? Physical power buttons are there for a reason after all.

          So there you go. My thoughts on MetrodenUI. Would be interested to hear other thoughts on it.

          [ Modified: Friday, 11 April 2014, 8:55 AM ]


            Picture of Bob Gilmore
            by Bob Gilmore - Friday, 11 April 2014, 6:12 AM
            Anyone in the world

            This is something I've been meaning to do for a while now. There is a lot of interesting ICT news and developments I want a forum to jot down along with my opinions on them, links, etc. I've tried to post these in many places as part of the ICT courses but nowhere really seems to fit. I do this a lot on Facebook, but that is a closed forum for me and I want this to be more widely available, especially to students.

            I don't plan this to be a daily thing. Detailed daily blogs take more time than I have or want to commit to this project, but hopefully this will be regular enough to be a good reference to myself and anyone who is interested.

            Having said that, there are several topics I'm going to address in quick succession on here, usually ones I've discussed in class or with fellow faculty at TPP but don't specifically belong in any of my course notes.


            [ Modified: Friday, 11 April 2014, 7:16 AM ]