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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Xournal



Teachers and students would sometimes miss writing with their own bare hands in the computer era. Well unfortunately sometimes people have interpreted the coming of the computer as the destruction of the old ways. There is no truth in this as there is no single formula, in teaching, which would solve all problems! The new ways should compliment the old ones and not bury them at the cemetery.

How about writing with your hands on your computer?! Well the program Xournal uses a pen which might be moved with your hands as if you are writing on paper!! Imagine working on a pdf file using your own handwriting and then saving it as a pdf too! It's possible in Xournal. One can use it when working with past papers for example.

It's not just for writing in your own unique way, but there are many more advantages. One can use a highlighter; text tool; ruler; rectangle or lasso selection etc. One can add layers, pages or backgrounds. For more information just check the manual pages

 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Saving all your files....!


How many times a virus gets into your computer and you discover that you need to format everything?! It's a nightmare as you have hundreds of files which you need for your school! Your technician tells you that all your files have been infected….so practically you have to throw them away. How are you going to write all those files again? It's plenty of time...plus you don't remember what you have written days, weeks or months ago in all the files.

Sometimes it's about programs that you have installed but have unfortunately stopped working. How about having them running again? In a computer there are so many things that you need to record that an external disk won't record everything. Sometimes everything is working ok, you do an update and all sorts of problems pop up. You wish to go back one day, so that your pc will be healthy again.

Is there an easy way? Yes there is. It's open source and available for various operating systems. It's Areca. It copies everything (including hidden files which normally are not copied when copying to an external Hard Disk).

Here is a tutorial of how to set it up for the first time. Just follow the screenshots step by step and you're there. The beauty of it is when you need to recover just a file or two (so there is no need to install again programs or files), you'll just find it in the recovery part. It has saved people a lot of time. I think it would win a prize for the best program which saves the most time (and frustrations!!) to busy people.

Another big plus is that the next time you'll do a backup, there is no need to start from scratch! You only need to increment (update) your first backup! It's so fast. If you wish, in Linux OS, you can set a time and date to do the backup automatically! Now you have another program which sets your mind at rest when something happens to your pc or laptop. 

For safety and privacy concerns, one can encrypt the copied files as the external Hard Disk might get stolen or lost. 

For a more detailed information about the program, you might visit this link.
 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

PeaZip.....File compressor and Free Archiver


How about sending a large number of photos to your friends/students/teachers etc.? Most of the time, people have problems in sending photos over the internet. On the other hand, sometimes we receive packets, from others, which cannot be seen unless they are unpacked! In other technical words, they are compressed (or zipped). How can one unzip it?

One good open source program is PeaZip. Besides the usual advantages of using open source, there is the added advantage that this program is capable of understanding several file formats. So forget about the problem of receiving a file and cannot open it just because it is not compatible with your system.

Another added advantage is that one of them is that one can encrypt files with PeaZip too! So again, one can forget about security problems when sending an exam paper or other sensitive school material (such as assignments by students) across the internet.

It can optimize the compression of photos (some other programs make a mess of your photos!!). Another asset would be that of splitting and joining your large files (we blogged about JSplit in a previous publication).

If that is not enough, well it can backup your files too!! Many worry when formatting the hard disk because of losing all the important material. How can one recover those infinite number of hours preparing lessons or doing assignments or papers? Well, PeaZip can be used for that purpose too. It's a super program! If you need any FAQ (frequently asked questions), well the link is here. Extra help may be found here.