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Coding with Livecode

I'm feeling a shade nostalgic today, because later I'm running a digital creativity session on coding with Livecode, which could be said to be an evolved descendent of my first geek love, HyperCard.

The ideas and values I originally fell for,  its ease of use, a "you can too" approach to coding, open sauciness and a community of edu-focussed sharing, and it being free (or cheap) still hold true today.

There are still enough of the things I remember in Livecode to make it worth sharing with the world, make Livecode worth learning even today. Like a cult movie, it's always a pleasure to return to.

Recent posts

SOLUTION: Blogger losing images when a user leaves


At the University of York we have had an issue with Blogger for years, in that, when a user leaves the university and their account is deleted, although a blog post's text remains, and the blog itself, every blog post's image is LOST because they are stored somewhere in that user's account.

I tried using command-line based scraping tools, like HTTrack to get a blog as static HTML files, but could never quite configure them to get all the content, the local images, the remote images but control the crawler enough not for them to wander off and try and download the entirety of YouTube.

I tried scraping tools.

I tried half a dozen aggregator tools.

I tried process-oriented tools like IFTT. No joy.

I tried writing my own scraper in python and failed. They moved the oAuth goalposts.

I tried using Google Picasa (which they then shut down).

I wanted to maybe use another service, like Flickr to re-host…

Coding Free Visualisation - WOW!

Today I stumbled across some similar tools that really help with visualisation. They take the approach that you start drawing and then attach attributes of your drawing to data (typically an uploaded .csv file).
To get an idea of the field, Adobe have Project Lincoln, which is fun to watch, but with Adobe products I often discount them because they aren't cheap and readily available as a teaching resource. The video has lots of whooping, but shows the concept well.

The tool that has blown my socks off is Charticulator because I was able to upload .csv of trees that contains lat/long information and make this. Not only can you "see" the line of trees along University Road, the trees are coloured according to species and the heights are mapped to the heights in the data.

Still a novice with the tool, I wondered how I might create a key, so I created a new visualisation that mapped the Y value to species and the X value to maturity of the tree and the height to height, and go…

My Recent Projects

Rather than blog about my recent work, I thought I'd try Google Sites. I'm not exactly sure why, but a Site does have the ability to break things down into pages, rather than creating ONE HUGE blog post, or an unconnected stream of related posts.

There's stuff about Google Apps to create web applications or improve processes,  Livecode multimedia authoring and a little visualisation stuff.

Anyway, here it is:

Reflections on Wuthering Bytes

A week or so ago I went to the Wuthering Bytes conference in Hebden Bridge. The event had a maker/hacker/thinker angle I was keen to snoop into, to find out what people were up to in this strange world that seems to have blossomed whilst I wasn't looking.

The presentations began with Prof. Danielle George, who I heard being interview on Radio 4 on the way in to work about her work with radio engineering... from looking deep into space, to controlling jet engines to monitoring field moisture levels for effective agriculture.

Next up Stephen Jagger, gave us an amusing history of an audio engineering company, making microphones and mixer desks for the BBC. My favourite part was about the white lie they told to get their biggest gig. 

Leila Johnston, in unbelievable shoes, shared her work with Hack Circus, a publication that tackles a "geek" subject, but strangley, before it is published always mutates into an art event, and focal point for "community outsiders". 

Apps Used in York's Archaeology Data Service

Following a short presentation about online apps we're looking at at York, Michael Charno got in touch and said..

The following are apps that we use at the Archaeology Data Service:

* Asana []: Its a really simple task management app
that enables task allocation, commenting, prioritising, creating
deadlines, etc. Its free for use amongst 10 colleagues, so we've
been fine with it so far.
* New Relic []: Systems analytics software for
understanding where problems exist in servers/web
applications/interfaces. Obviously more useful for people managing
servers or web applications, so might not be widely useful. However
if the university was going to get a license we'd happily join in!
* Slack []: We used the free version but quit after
we found ourselves moving to the 10,000 message limit quickly and
didn't want to purchase a license. We haven't replaced it, but would
certainly start using it again if the university was going to…

My Reflections on ALTC 2015

Photo credit : Chris Bull +44 (0)7968440920
Last week I spent three days at the Association for Learning Technology Conference (#altc) in Manchester. 

It’s been a good few years since I’ve done the conference thing but I was looking forward to totally immersing myself in ideas and learning from people's’ experiences.

The conference themes were:

Harnessing the power of the crowd – collaboration and connectivist learning Learners as agents of change Open educational practice Participatory approaches to the development of learning technologies Social media in learning and teaching The Emergent Themes - What It Really Was About

For me, the standout sessions and the ideas that seemed to permeate most of the conference were:

Learning Analytics Research and reports regarding User Centred Methodologies and Pedagogies Novel approaches and research to learning  i.e technologies, apps, MOOCs, IoT, wearables etc

… but this of course coul…