All entries for Tuesday 20 July 2004

July 20, 2004

University provided iPods

Writing about web page,1412,64282,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_3

Some people have just too much money!

Duke University are going to be providing 1650 iPods to freshmen when they arrive in August. The project is to see if having easy access to digital information, especially audio on the go is useful in an academic context.

The school will preload the 20-GB iPods (retail price, $300) with freshman-orientation information, an academic calendar and even the Duke fight songs before handing them out to the incoming class Aug. 19.

Fight songs?

Students also will be able to use the devices to download course content, recorded lectures, foreign language lessons, audio books and music from a special Duke website modeled after iTunes. The school will supply voice recorders for some classes, enabling students to record notes while working in the field.

Recording lectures for playback anytime and anywhere…nice

With the iPods, students will be able to pause, rewind and play audio lessons as often as they like.

Good for us slow learners :)

As you can see, quite a project they've got cooking. Sounds very similar to the PDAs that Dartmouth College provided to hundreds of students for free a couple of years ago.

No doubt Duke are getting help from Apple on this, but it is still estimated that the project will cost around $500,000. Dartmouth got help from HP for their PDAs. Can any UK universities compete with this kind of spending and corporate sponsorship? How good is our relationship with IBM now-a-days? I know they helped out with equipment for CompSci. Perhaps they might be interested in more sponsorship/donations in the future. Fingers crossed.

New blog design

Paul has done a great job of converting one of Hannah's designs into reality.

I couldn't work out how to do this one initially but Paul realised it could easily enough be done with tiling together background images in the right places and aligned correctly to get the nice jagged edges.

The advantages of blog builders all CSS layouts is that it only takes one CSS file to completely change the look and feel of someones blog. There is no custom HTML done at all for the different designs.

It might be nice further down the line to let people edit their own CSS if they are feeling brave enough, but in the shorter term we might let people tinker with a few designs features of their blog such as which parts of the left-hand column to show, font sizes/styles

Might also be nice to see how it would work if we put the current left-hand column over onto the right for some designs.

Surprise…more decorating

Surprise, surprise. Not loads of work done this weekend because of distracting (if fun) nights out on Friday and Saturday. However, got the 3rd bedroom finished at last (Well, almost)

It's a bit bright I know, but it needed it as it is the darkest room in the house otherwise. Should be getting our carpets in this week so we can finally properly unpack. I can't believe we've been moved in for 4 weeks already!

Steph tried to make up a little list of things that we've still got to do, it goes something like this:

  1. Fix/replace some floorboards in bedroom 2, bedroom 3, landing and bathroom (people who put in central heating before didn't put back floorboards properly…losers)
  2. Hang final new door
  3. Paint all doors :(
  4. Enlarge openning to loft (it is tiny)
  5. Put boards down in loft
  6. Move lights in the 3 bedrooms into the middle of the rooms (Paul informed me that a lot of old houses are like this where the lights are next to the windows so as not to cast a shadow whilst you get undressed. Very annoying as they look really silly)
  7. Possibly fit larger water tank in loft following newly enlarged hatch, current one it tiny, possibly the cause of our occasional lack of hot water…need to look into this one further

They are most of the little jobs. There are of course the big 3!

  1. Kitchen extension into garage and new fitted kitchen
  2. New bathroom
  3. Complete renovation of the garden

God what as summer I'm going to have.

July 2004

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