Category Archives: Software

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Start Doing Things on the Command Line with Script Ahoy

cut up strips of paper

Getting comfortable with the command line is one of those little things that can open up a world of functionality on your computer. Lincoln Mullen started an occasional series, The ProfHacker Guide to the Command Line, which included posts on “Getting Comfortable on the Command Line”, and many more.

But sometimes you’re just getting started with the command line, and you’re pretty sure there’s probably a way to do a particular task, but you’re now sure how to go about it. To address this proble…

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Digital Distractions: Pokemon Go

Last week, Niantic Labs released a new mobile version of Pokemon, Pokemon Go. If you haven’t played one of the many previous Pokemon games on Nintendo consoles, the basic premise is exploring a world to capture and train adorable little monsters for a life of battles. Pokemon Go puts a twist on the model, inviting players to step outside and explore their own world while capturing monsters imposed over camera imagery. This makes for some awesome pictures (and selfies with Pokemon pre-capture) a…

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Two Great Tools for the Timezone-Challenged from World Time Buddy

clock distorted

Others on Prof Hacker have written on how to easily schedule meetings across timezones, including use of Google calendar for scheduling. but for someone like me who is constantly scheduling things with people on different timezones and also wanting to share livestreams with others, there are two tools I rely on pretty heavily.

1. World Time Buddy mobile app

The link to downloading the app is: https://www.worldtimebuddy.com/mobile-app. According to their website, the app helps you “visually conv…

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Like Evernote? Be Aware of Pricing Changes

hanging folders

Evernote is a fairly widely-used tool for corralling and then exploring information. There have been numerous posts about Evernote here at ProfHacker, such as Shawn Miller’s introduction to the tool, Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s testimonial as an Evernote convert, Amy’s account of teaching with it, and a variety of posts about using Evernote on your phone, with Markdown, or in web browsers.

There is a long tradition of speculating on Evernote’s business model–although it has a lot of users, most of …

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How to Quickly Extract Media from Slide Decks

piles and piles of paper

If you’ve ever wanted to quickly extract the media (images, etc.) from a presentation such as PowerPoint or Keynote, there turns out to a pretty simple way to do it. This may well be common knowledge, but, as my friend Merlin Mann likes to say, every day somone’s born who’s never seen The Flintstones. That is, it’s always new to someone–and this was new to me.

The key is to recognize that PowerPoint and Keynote files are basically just bundles of other files–that is, they’re fancy ZIP files:

S…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Digital Life After Death

Stairs to Heaven

Although this is a post about digital death, it is not meant to be morose or anything. I just occasionally think of this problem, and while discussing it privately with Jim Groom (co-founder of Reclaim Hosting) recently, I thought it might be worth asking other academics what they are thinking of doing about this. My two questions are:

  1. What happens to a person’s website on their own domain when they die? (currently – it basically dies)

  2. What happens to a person’s digital purchases (Kindle, A…

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New WordPress Plugin for Hypothes.is

Back in January, Maha wrote about her use of Hypothes.is, a collaborative web annotation tool that works within your web browser. As Maha explains, this tool gives readers who are all assigned the same readings a choice: they can “do these readings in isolation, or they can read them in asynchronous collaboration with others who had read and annotated them beforehand; they can learn from what others have been saying about those reading.” Hypothes.is has a great many potential uses for education…

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Software that Supports Multilingual Dialogue

If you are reading this, chances are, you understand English. Do we realize how much of our online interactions are in English, and how much we are missing of who and what lives on the internet that is not speaking/writing English?

I had a recent interaction on Twitter with Juan Domingo Farnos (@Juandoming) and a few other people, in which Juan responded to all of our English tweets in Spanish, and Twitter on my phone had a quick translate link (this uses Bing). This conversation was a little s…

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Why You Just Lost 20 Minutes to the Internet

red clock

When was the last time you checked email, Facebook, or Twitter? (Are you checking those feeds right now, while you’ve got a tab open for this blog post?)

Does your time on the internet distract you from your priority projects and tasks? If so, you’re not alone.  Almost everyone I talk to about productivity complains about losing time online because it’s so easy to find yourself following a trail of links you didn’t deliberately set out to read.

In fact, most apps and online sites are intentiona…

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Leaving the LMS to Make Course Remixing Possible

peanut butter truffle

A recurring favorite topic for ProfHacker writers over the years has been alternatives to, or ways to dispense altogether with, learning management systems. No one likes them, no one likes the idea of “managing” learning, and the whole affair feels like a Skinner box designed to teach us the truth of Audrey Watters’s claim that ed tech is basically here to destroy education from within.

A few of us have recently taken a shine to Jekyll, a still-newish way to generate static websites. (In additi…