Search Results: "jello"

9 January 2022

Louis-Philippe V ronneau: Grading using the Wacom Intuos S

I've been teaching economics for a few semesters already and, slowly but surely, I'm starting to get the hang of it. Having to deal with teaching remotely hasn't been easy though and I'm really hoping the winter semester will be in-person again. Although I worked way too much last semester1, I somehow managed to transition to using a graphics tablet. I bought a Wacom Intuos S tablet (model CTL-4100) in late August 2021 and overall, I have been very happy with it. Wacom Canada offers a small discount for teachers and I ended up paying 115 CAD (~90 USD) for the tablet, an overall very reasonable price. Unsurprisingly, the Wacom support on Linux is very good and my tablet worked out of the box. The only real problem I had was by default, the tablet sometimes boots up in Android mode, making it unusable. This is easily solved by pressing down on the pad's first and last buttons for a few seconds, until the LED turns white. The included stylus came with hard plastic nibs, but I find them too slippery. I eventually purchased hard felt nibs, which increase the friction and makes for a more paper-like experience. They are a little less durable, but I wrote quite a fair bit and still haven't gone through a single one yet. Learning curve Learning how to use a graphical tablet took me at least a few weeks! When writing on a sheet of paper, the eyes see what the hand writes directly. This is not the case when using a graphical tablet: you are writing on a surface and see the result on your screen, a completely different surface. This dissociation takes a bit of practise to master, but after going through more than 300 pages of notes, it now feels perfectly normal. Here is a side-by-side comparison of my very average hand-writing2:
  1. on paper
  2. using the tablet, the first week
  3. using the tablet, after a couple of months
Comparison of my writing, on paper, using the tablet and using the tablet after a few weeks I still prefer the result of writing on paper, but I think this is mostly due to me not using the pressure sensitivity feature. The support in xournal wasn't great, but now that I've tried it in xournalpp (more on this below), I think I will be enabling it in the future. The result on paper is also more consistent, but I trust my skills will improve over time. Pressure sensitivity on vs off Use case The first use case I have for the tablet is grading papers. I've been asking my students to submit their papers via Moodle for a few semesters already, but until now, I was grading them using PDF comments. The experience wasn't great3 and was rather slow compared to grading physical copies. I'm also a somewhat old-school teacher: I refuse to teach using slides. Death by PowerPoint is real. I write on the blackboard a lot4 and I find it much easier to prepare my notes by hand than by typing them, as the end result is closer to what I actually end up writing down on the board. Writing notes by hand on sheets of paper is a chore too, especially when you revisit the same materiel regularly. Being able to handwrite digital notes gives me a lot more flexibility and it's been great. So far, I have been using xournal to write notes and grade papers, and although it is OK, it has a bunch of quirks I dislike. I was waiting for xournalpp to be packaged in Debian, and it now is5! I'm looking forward to using it next semester. Towards a better computer monitor I have also been feeling the age of my current computer monitor. I am currently using an old 32" 1080p TV from LG and up until now, I had been able to deal with the drawbacks. The colors are pretty bad and 1080p for such a large display isn't great, but I got used to it. What I really noticed when I started using my graphics tablet was the input lag. It's bad enough that there's a clear jello effect when writing and it eventually gives me a headache. It's so bad I usually prefer to work on my laptop, which has a nicer but noticeably smaller panel. I'm currently looking to replace this aging TV6 by something more modern. I have been waiting out since I would like to buy something that will last me another 10 years if possible. Sadly, 32" high refresh rate 4K monitors aren't exactly there yet and I haven't found anything matching my criteria. I would probably also need a new GPU, something that is not easy to come by these days.

  1. I worked at two colleges at the same time, teaching 2 different classes (one of which I was giving for the first time...) to 6 groups in total. I averaged more than 60h per week for sure.
  2. Yes, I only write in small caps. Students love it, as it's much easier to read on the blackboard.
  3. Although most PDF readers support displaying comments, some of my more clueless students still had trouble seeing them and I had to play tech support more than I wanted.
  4. Unsurprisingly, my students also love it. One of the most common feedback I get at the end of the semester is they hate slides too and are very happy I'm one of the few teachers who writes on the board.
  5. Many thanks to Barak A. Pearlmutter for maintaining this package.
  6. It dates back from 2010, when my mom replaced our old CRT by a flat screen. FullHD TVs were getting affordable and I wasn't sad to see our tiny 20-something inches TV go. I eventually ended up with the LG flatscreen a few years later when I moved out in my first apartment and my mom got something better.

16 November 2020

Bits from Debian: New Debian Developers and Maintainers (September and October 2020)

The following contributors got their Debian Developer accounts in the last two months: The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months: Congratulations!

9 November 2010

John Goerzen: A Scary Day, and A Walking Miracle

I had been planning to write today about my great uncle Milt Goerzen. Milt passed away last Thursday after a long struggle with dementia, and his funeral was this morning. I was there, and was inspired by a few things I heard. But that will have to wait, because today brought one of those few moments in life that s a sense of an impending possible great loss. I can remember two others: one was when Terah passed out, and the other was when we heard that our place was on fire and our house had burned down (it turned out the house hadn t, but much of the rest had). I got a call during Milt s funeral. I didn t answer because I was, well, at a funeral, and the phone was on vibrate. When I had the chance to check the voicemail, it went something like this: I think we have an emergency with Jacob. He got run over by a tractor. He says he s OK, but I m taking him to the doctor right now. I tried to return the call, but cell phone reception wasn t cooperating. The most I got was he s OK . It s hard to describe how a moment like that feels. My mind jumped to telling Jacob I love you , and how lately when he hears that, he will snuggle in for a big hug, and say, Dad, I love you toooooooooo! On the one hand, I heard the he s OK part, and on the other hand I couldn t forget the tractor running over him part, and my mind leapt at the worst. It turns out that, while I was at the funeral, Jacob had been standing on his usual spot on the tractor, sort of to the side of the driver. He was enjoying himself like usual. The tractor hit a large hole that wasn t really visible. The combination of the jolt and the dip the tractor took towards Jacob s side knocked him off and he went directly under the big rear wheel before the tractor could be brought to a stop. I caught up with him and his grandpa after he had seen the doctor and just as he was being admitted to the hospital. He saw me and crawled over, making his sort of sad and scared sound he sometimes doesn t want to verbalize things when he s in that mood. I held him close and he seemed to appreciate it. He had to have blood drawn, and he was scared of that. I remembered his inquisitive mind, and reminded him how much he liked watching the tube fill up with blood last time he had a blood test (which he calls a blood shot ). That wasn t helping, until the actual blood test started. He cried when the needle went in, but then calmed down as the nurse, getting into the act, pointed out that there was blood filling up the tube. Hmmm! said Jacob. Then she gave him a band-aid. It has an airplane, said the nurse. Um-hmm! said Jacob. I pointed out that it looked like the airplane we were on when we flew home from New York. Jacob got a big smile and said, Yes, it IS that one! He got a sticker there too. Then it was off for an x-ray to check for broken bones and a CT scan to check for internal injuries the tractor had gone right over his abdomen. He had to get an IV at the CT scan, which he certainly didn t like. After it happened, however, he found it very interesting especially when the nurses explained that they would give him a drink through the hose attached to his hand. After that, we went to his room, with orders for him not to eat or drink anything until it was clear he didn t have digestive problems. While we waited at various steps along the way, Jacob wanted to sit on my lap and watch train videos on YouTube on my phone. He loves train videos, and brought my phone s battery nearly to depletion through the course of the afternoon. Jacob eventually seemed to get back to a bit of his usual self. At one point, while Terah had made a run home to pack an overnight bag and grandpa ran some errands of his own, Jacob wanted to leave the room. He had gone exploring in the hospital with me before: when Oliver was born, and when Terah had her thyroid surgery. So this was something he just associated with the hospital. That and lemonade, which is free any time of the day or night in the cafeteria. So we went exploring, even ventured outside into a courtyard for a bit. He was walking fast and seemed good. We had several visitors: grandparents and his aunt and uncle. Jacob got a stuffed rabbit and a colorful bug box with windows (for putting bugs inside for observation). Eventually the doctor came by and gave us the results: the x-rays showed no problems. The labs showed some elevated liver enzymes, which he expected, but no serious trouble. The CT showed contusions on his lung and bruising on his heart which would heal completely in time. He allowed Jacob to have a liquid supper (so I quickly got him the lemonade he had been wanting while the nurses got him some Jello). The doctor examined Jacob, pushing at various places, asking Does it hurt here? No. Does it hurt here? No. Here? No. Are you hungry? Yes. Does it hurt here? No. He gave me a look that said: really? It doesn t hurt ANYWHERE? What could I do but shrug my shoulders? Jacob has some abrasions on his face, arms, and back, which will probably eventually hurt (and sure enough, about 10 minutes later he started getting a little pain when he tried to move, which the doctor checked out) Then the doctor said, I hope you know you have a walking miracle today. This is just amazing. You have some thanking to whatever guardian angels you like tonight all I can say about this is that the Lord must have had some other plan for him. There s no way he could have survived that. Jacob s doctor is one that we really respect: he s scientific in his analysis, cites studies as a matter of routine, doesn t prescribe antibiotics for things that he knows they have a small chance of helping, is common-sense about not over-treating things and yet always engaged in an emergency. That little speech from him was something I d never expected to hear from him. He went on to add that I always visit my sickest patients first. You were my last visit this evening, so that should tell you something. Any other kid as healthy as he is, I might discharge already but I m just not justified doing that with a boy that s, well, been driven over by a tractor this morning. He also wanted to monitor Jacob s progress throughout the coming day, especially his digestive system. They wanted to measure his urine output, which he, predictably, found to be very interesting. Terah said I think it is about 150 ml. Jacob said, No mom, it is closer to the two hundred line. Me: Since when does Jacob know about the number 200? Terah: I don t know . he s 4, where would he have gotten it? Between that, and using every opportunity to tell people that there were not one but TWO red light switches in the x-ray room, Jacob s definitely himself in some ways already. So, that feeling of some impeding great loss is gone, replaced by being more than a bit overwhelmed by how fortunate we were today. We also appreciate all the help we ve had with Jacob and Oliver today.

5 September 2008

Steve Kemp: What you've got to do is eat this entire bowl of jello

Xen-Hosting
Two years ago I started running the xen-hosting.org setup, offering Xen hosting for 7 people for a reasonable price. (Basically to subsidise my own desire to have a big guest and not pay too much for it) At that time I was charging £11.50 for a Xen guest with 256Mb of memory and 10Gb of disk space. Each year since then we've managed to increase the spec. For the same price. Two years on this means I'm now hosting 7 Xen guests with 1Gb of memory, and 40Gb of disk space, for that same price of £11.50 a month. Nice to see how things can improve as time goes on :) In other news - It is just past our two year anniversary.
DNS Blacklist
Thanks to the people who said nice things about the DNS blacklist I setup the other day. I suffered a couple of DNS-problems earlier in the day, but things should be back up and running for good now. I hope. The ultimate cause was using ":" not "&" records with tinydns. Sigh.
ObFilm: Teenwolf

29 March 2008

Joey Hess: ego++

Gah, I have a Wikipedia entry about me now. Not sure how I feel about that. I have never edited a page on Wikipedia, except discussion pages -- somehow it seemed best to not get sucked in -- and somehow that turned into a personal policy of never editing pages there. So I can't fix errors/omissions on the page. (No "going to DebConf" badge here because my plans are still at the consistency of un-set jello.)

3 April 2007

Clint Adams: In the rain or in the snow, got the got the funky flow

In the sack: An orangeishness, more unnatural than Tang. Wet: A plasticness of sorts. The touch: Neutral. The feel: Limoncello, lemon jello, the tropical stuff the gigolette put in her radiator, I'm sailing away, set an open course for the virgin sea I've got to be free, free to face the life that's ahead of me, zug-zug, you're the captain. The magic of our lives: , the skunk over here will bring you luck, the pump over here comes with a truck. Final verdict: Needs more enervation.

9 June 2006

Clint Adams: David Blaine's Getaway Car

Then he turned into a hippo and ate clowns while basking in a jello mold.