Monday, July 16, 2007

Vast List of Government Websites

Lifehacker has put together a huge list of useful government sites. More after the jump
Lifehacker link here

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Teachers! Sign up for a myspace account today

Why should you get a myspace page from this much villified website? Here are my reasons:

1) To learn what it takes to "create" a myspace page and see what type of content a member can broadcast to the world.

2) To become aware of the security settings offered by myspace that may offer some privacy protection for members.

3) To secure your own myspace web address (like mine at one of your clever students grabs the address in your name and creates a teacher "parody" page. Think this doesn't happen? Myspace has a help section titled: How do we remove a teacher/faculty member's false profile?

4) To endure some of the tragic color combinations, design and information overload that is a hallmark of many myspace pages.

5) To experience one of the web's strongest social networking communities with a population larger than the combined population of CA, NY and TX combined.

Anything else? Add it to the comments for all to enjoy. Or go to and get to work.

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Copyright friendly videos online

The Prelinger Archive of Moving images is a treasure trove of (mostly) downloadable video. Over 2000 films cover many genre, decades and subjects providing you, eager teacher, with fresh video for your next class or assignment.

I found this site a few years ago when searching for the classic "Duck and Cover" cartoon. Since then it has provided a wealth of useful and entertaining videos and served as a quality resource for my students.

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Monday, July 31, 2006

Back up your data now

I thought about making a back to school pun but I will take a pass for now.

Today someone near and dear to me lost a significant amount of work due to human error. While she had backed up about thirty percent of her files the rest is gone from her computer. Legitimate concerns about the performance of her school's network led her to save everything on the hard drive of her computer.

You aren't always protected even if you save to the network/shared drive. A year ago I lost some good stuff when construction dust killed our server and a chunk of backup tapes.

Bottom line: before the school year starts backup all the files that you care about. If you have been saving to your hard drive My Documents is the most likely place to look for your work.

Here are your options:

1) Buy a flash drive and copy your files to the drive. Flash drives have come down in price and are worth every penny.

2) Burn your files to a CD or DVD.

3) IF you have more than two or three gigabytes of data, or plane to backup often, consider buying an external hard drive. These usually connect to either the USB or Firewire port on your computer. You can simply copy the files over or use (sometimes) included software to automate the backup.

What about tape backups?
With the advent of the low-cost options listed above, tape backups are generally used for network backups.

Now that you have backed up your data what should you do with it?
At the very least, get it away from the computer. One my clients came to me after his computer was stolen with the backup tape still inside. Theft, fire, earthquake, etc. can finish off your computer in an instant. Some people take their backup home, stash it in the safe deposit box or even mail it someone out of state for safe keeping.

After you have found a safe place to store your backup don't forget to do it again. How often you backup is a personal decision but at least once a month is well worth it once disaster strikes.

On that happy note, keep enjoying your summer or start getting ready for 06/07. I'm doing a little of both.

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