Learning Lab Podcast Launches

The [learning lab](http://learninglab.swan.ac.uk) at my University launched its first podcast today. I feel obliged to blog about it as Chris Hall interviewed me about the *Blackboard Quest* that I developed as a Blackboard training exercise for first year engineers. The podcast is [here](http://learninglab.swan.ac.uk/podcasts.html). The interview itself is quite quiet compared to the rest of the podcast, but then people have always said that I mumble!

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New Literate Program Published

I have published another literate program on literateprograms.org. This one shows how the Rot13 encoding system can be implemented in Java. However, that is trivial! The real point is to document the basic use of JUnit testing and Apache Ant which are standard tools in the professional Java developer’s toolbox (in fact they make Java just about usable :-)

Within 24 hours of the first mention of my program, another literate programmer had documented the altogether more elegant implementation as a sed script. My guess is that a Groovy implementation would, if not quite as elegant, be much simpler than the Java version.

Trialling Enso

I am grateful to [Dion Almaer](http://www.almaer.com/blog/archives/001379.html) for pointing me to a new add on for Windows called Enso Launcher which allows you to launch applications right from the keyboard. For example you just hold the Caps Lock key and type Op[tab]Ex release caps lock to open explorer. Not quite as quick as [windows]+E but not far off!. It also does stuff like spell checking any text anywhere. It also has the function I use a lot: changing upper case text to lower case text in any program or text field in programs other than Word! Cost is $20 dollars and I can see myself paying that when the 30 day trial is over.

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New DokuWiki for Homepage

I have installed an instance of [DokuWiki](http://wiki.splitbrain.org/wiki:dokuwiki) which I am intending to use as a home page. Its current location is [eehope.swan.ac.uk/~eechris/dokuwiki/index.php](http://eehope.swan.ac.uk/%7Eeechris/dokuwiki/index.php) but eventually I hope to move it to [eehope.swan.ac.uk/~eechris](http://eehope.swan.ac.uk/%7Eeechris).

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Moving to Google Reader

I’m in the process of moving my Bloglines aggregation settings to Google Reader. The features that I like abou Google Reader that prompted this move are:

  • I can add multiple tags to RSS feeds

  • Reader shows you what’s new (and also what’s old) in all feeds or across tagged items: no more navigating complex folder structures

  • the list display is easier to scan when you’re busy

  • it’s easy to share feeds or individual articles

  • you can replace the traditional static blogroll with a dynamic list of hot topics (see What’s tickling my fancy at left).

If only gmail had folders too!