Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Google Chrome offers new Search

I happen to notice today as I searched some info, that a new menu item has been added to the Chrome Browser, that will show what you have in your private collection that matches the search. Its limited to photos and gmail, but its a start, and I like it. I have a lot in Drive, and now a start of a good structured collection in Google Keep.

OK so Evernote has something like it, but its never quite worked for me, even in this version the new Google addition has useful heads up.

So make a search and in the result, took at the title bar above for more, drop this down and click on Private, and a window opens with the additional links.

Monday, 29 May 2017


Some people call this Ift, as one spoken word, not if but ift, some spell it out IFTTT, i"f this then that", for me, call it what you will its a great free service, I use to allow my blogs to get posted onto both Twitter and my Facebook konstrukshon CPD page.

After another forced absence, mostly due to pressure of work and other projects, I'm making a specific move to do more blogs, and open up articles and posts thoughts on some of my project.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Tech Junky at Sea

On the 4th Jan 2017, I left Southampton, on the P & O ship Oceana, for a 35 night cruise to the Caribbean and the USA on what promised to be a really great start to my 65 year.
I will turn 65 in October so by my calculations I should have, by now, been created, and will be forming, I would liked to have talked to my mom, and asked her, when she knew she was pregnant, but unfortunately she has dementia and that memory is lost.

I had brought with me most of my travelling computing equipment, my MacBook Pro, iPhone, and my Kindle, with the first 6 days after out initial stop in Spain, at sea, I have planned to complete a little work, and start writing a little. The ships WiFi showed up on my Mac, and I logged in, it has been some time since our last cruise, but it looked the same, £12 for 24 hours, fine by me I thought, I will dib into this and let my system catch up, 15 min should be enough to send stored emails, pick up waiting mail, and let Apple save the photos on line and I will log out as before,  24 hours should last a long while.

Little did I realise, and the opening screen made no reference, but once the 24 hours has started, there is no logging out, I can’t stop it, I can stop my machines use, but the 24 hour clock kept ticking.

So my plans to dib into the time like all the other cruises was scuppered, to use a nautical phrase. So after complaining to reception I got no where, but referred to the cyber librarian, who understood my pain, but was unable to help, except give me a credit for the last 24 hour period I had lost because I thought I was able to use it as before. At this point the word maritime was used saying anything connected to satellites is expensive and slow, I intend to come back to this point later.

So for the best part of my trip, what I planned as a technology fuelled holiday, fully connected turned out to be anything but, OK the trip was otherwise as planned, great ship, good food, plenty of onboard entertainment, and far to much to drink. But I am a tech junky, I want full connection to the net, I wanted to talk to my family and friends. Google and the like, and I am on the cusp here, I use gmail, as well as Apple,   They both promote the life style of connection,yet the moment I leave land I am stuffed,

So here it is P & O, I like your ships, yet for such a simple thing you take such a ridiculous stance, the ship is full of wifi, the walls in the bar are promoting the latest game of English football, live yet for accessing email a paltry insignificant portion of your ships download I am penalised.

Let's just review what the ship is using in terms of wifi connection, and satellite connection, general navigation, engineering, communication back to p& o base, a lot more than the passenger use, I once did some research in passenger flights and realised that each engine on an airplane say just four engines, has 2500 sensors,, per engine communicating with its base, live.

It does not take too much imagination to establish to general communication campsite of and ocean going liner the size of Oceana, to realise that the ships use is far in excess of the passengers, yet we are treated like morons and charges inexcusable as a profit margin. Over dinner, one of the table mentioned that several of the screens in one of the bars was playing live football, and that is coming into the ship by satellite

Friday, 26 May 2017

Lesson Plan - My Way

Most lecturers and Teachers will know of Lesson Plans, I have mine it may not conform to some standard or other official way, but it works for me and helps me plan the lesson.

I have all the information I need to plan the lesson, from the subject I am covering, the equipment I might need, to the slide set I will use.

My slides are in subject on Google, and so often I go back to teach a lesson I did last year, and can't remember which set I used, the lesson plan sorts this.

I also have a reading list, I expect my students to have at least read before attending, often as not its a free download, I give links to the source, and point to any specific section I want them to read. There are many reasons I do this, but most its to save time, and get the most out of my limited lesson, by asking them to say read a section of the building regulations.

I also give a bibliography of source books, web sites and article I have used in generating my slides.

This lesson plan have been refined from a simple spread sheet to this A4 google Doc format, which I may well have published some time back on this blog.

Each time I use it, I have made notes in my Moleskin, problems, good points, additions I felt might have helped, links I might have added, so over the summer I will update this current version. I'll post once its done, but till then the two sheets I have used as jpg's should be enough for you to copy and make your own, if not leave a message and will send.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Sensor Update

For so long, I have always thought that to track how a building is running, what machines or devices are running, I had to install sensors into the element and or object. That seems to have been turned on its head with a new single sensor board, that seems to use sound, and a smart algorithm, to analyse each sound to determine what is creating the sound, ir opening a microwave door, a window, or just entering the room.

The video below outlines the product. as yet I can't get one, but as soon as it becomes available I will purchase a few and trial them out.

Follow this link to the official site for more info, and the Academic paper describing this unit.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Browser or downloadable program

On Thursday of this week, I attended the Google Next cloud event in London, ausum, not just good but totally, aussum, and I say that not because of the free lunch, but the presentations, and information the way I was received, and the help I got from all the Google Staff.

So first, the reason I attended, was to learn about data, the way Google Handles it and how I can tap into this, using the wide breadth of storage they offer, but also to tools. It's here you suddenly understand the breadth of the capacity Google has, its in a world of it's own, they talk in numbers that only a few can really comprehend, and at speeds, I just look at and wonder.

For some, the type and format of the products offered by Google is an easy choice, but for me, it's not so easy, this video has some answers:

But for my sort of work I think it's spreadsheets, this video on Google Cloud give me more info

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Lesson Plan

In the early days of my slight change in career, from simply running my small practice, to being a Professor, I would be asked to run a lecture, so I made the slides and loaded them up, ran the lesson and was mightly pleased at the result, but come the next year, I found that I have added similar slides to the set, for other years and slightly different classes, that I could not remember which slides I used last time, and the over all format I used.

So I went in search of a lesson plan, and whoooo, there are so many, and so many reason, layouts, formats and styles. So I sat back and played about with different ideas, this was over a few weeks. I left it dfor a while, and tried again, this time fixing a style I likes, see todays photo.

My lesson plan works for me, I tweek it every now and then, but for the past year its worked well, I use it not only to itemise the slides I want to use, but why. My most recent addition is the pre lesson reading list, articles or books I want the students to read, prior to my lesson.

In my slides I so often add a post lesson reading bibliography, but if I am using several slides, this get a little mixed up, so I have also added a specific post lesson list to the Lesson Plan.

I tried to use the slides themselves to organise my lessons, but this failed, I got so mixed up, so now I keep them is generic folders, and use the lesson plans to list my slides, its so much cleaner.
My next question is do I issue it to my students, so far my lesson plan has been my own aid, but having shown it to a few past students, I got great feedback, so for my next lecture I will add a link to Moodle.
I am a massive fan of Google Slides and Docs, the way it works and how I can share docs without actually sending pdf copies is great. I can update add items and know the next time they look at it, its the latest version.

This latest lesson plan is written in a spreadsheet, I like the way I can organise, but it adds its own problems to formatting, specifically bullet point lists, so I have added a link at the bottom to a way to fix this. But I have plans to revise it, make it better, and currently I am looking at a new format, thats simpler and more specific.

If you want a copy let me know, but the photo today is of a complete day