Words referencing system

No doubt by now anyone in further education has come across the latest version of Microsoft’s word processor. The new ribbon layout has managed to confuse students to the point of reverting to previous versions. It isn’t however a step back. The new ribbon (after a little practice and adjustment to thinking) is actually easier to use, although it requires you to relearn where all the tools and buttons are.
One of the nice features of the ribbon is the easy access to the citing tool. It allows you to add sources and add citations to text easily, and can even produce a nice little bibliography at the end for you, taking away much of the work needed balancing references.
One of the down sides to this update is that there is only so many formats included with word, and my university uses a style that isn’t included. I quickly found the folder where word stores it’s reference styles, and used a little Google-fu to find a nice little site. This site has a nice selection of extra styles which include quite a few Harvard referencing styles. Although one problem is that word doesn’t fully support all the features of this style and a little ‘hack’ is needed (running a tool over the document after its finished). Other styles have been achieved with just the xml.

For people with a bit more XML know-how they could try creating their own with one of the tools on the site above or just editing an existing style in [Program Files]/Microsoft Office/Office12/BibliographyStyle/

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Living conditions

If you’ve been paying attention in #kh (on swiftirc) or other channels you might share with me, you’re probably aware that for the most part of the year I live in student accommodation. While I’m living at university all of my belongings in the family home get put inside a cupboard in what was my old room. The room now is occupied by my brother, and as such when I return although most the time we arrange to have him sleep in the old bedroom, the fact it no longer is my room is something of a hindrance. There is a smaller box room where my brother used to sleep but its not big enough to accommodate a computer or even the belongings I bring back with me.

A few people I’ve discussed this with offered suggestions and a few didn’t believe what I said about the box room so I took a few images.

Another thing I mentioned lately was my ‘suitcase’ of books, and since the topic of books came up a bit lately I decided to find my copies of Artemis Fowl. Since I had the suitcase unpacked I thought I might as well snap a few images off at the same time. I’m chucking in a freebie of my desk in the other room.
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Mozy Back

There is a post on lifehacker at the moment about different online backup services, and the leader in the polls seems to be mozy back. I’ve been using mozy back for a few years now, and for the most part there have been no problems what-so-ever. Having a look at the write ups on mozy and the lack of a mention on the referral codes seemed begging for me to leave a post.

Firstly why would anyone need to backup online? that should be the first question. There are a few reasons, first if you loose the data in the first place chances are something has gone badly wrong, that could include things like natural disasters, fires and theft. If the data is gone from your computer the hard copies you made on CD could also be gone. The next reason is someone similar, apart from being used as a backup, you can also access backed up data elsewhere. If you don’t have access to your computer for an extended period and need some data you can use the online service to download the data. Finally I’d say its easy. There is no burning CD’s or manually checking which files need backed up, the software will manage it for you.

The free version of mozy will let you backup up to 2gb of data (2.2 if you use a referral). The software scans your computer for files to backup, and using a quite simple interface you can select what you want using default file types and locations like “backup office documents”. You can also mark full folders/files/extensions to backup including future files. It is pretty much a setup and forget ordeal, might take half an hour, but you might never need to touch the software again.

I currently use it to back up two PC’s (under one account) and it does so with very little maintenance, a few times I’ve edited the rules to include/exclude files and folders but it was mainly out of choice.

Oh one final note, it uses an incremental backup system, it only backs up that which has changed since the last backup, so there’s no need to upload over a gb of data a couple of days a week, you instead will find it backing up odd mb when you’ve gone off and left your pc idle for a while.

If you want to get started I’d suggest visiting https://mozy.com/?ref… If you struggle to find the free sign up, at the time of writing it’s centre bottom of the page linked. There is no need to sign up for the larger account unless your a business or intend to use it to back up a decent chunk of data.

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Host switch

Any frequent users of any of the services run on the khobbits.co.uk domain might have noticed that a lot of things have begun to forward to khobbits.net. At the beginning of the month I got an email from the people who currently host khobbits.co.uk who have decided to go bust. Basically by the start of April it wont be long before khobbits.co.uk stops being hosted, khobbits.net I have hosted with Dreamhost, as part of the signup deal I got two domains for free, but they refuse to host khobbits.co.uk due to it having been previously hosted with them for a period of a few weeks back when I was scratting around for hosting after I just bought the domain.

I do have a few ideas about how I can keep the khobbits.co.uk domain active but I don’t see any reason not to move everything to khobbits.net which no matter which way I deal with khobbits.co.uk, will be better hosted.

If anyone can find an issue with any of the domains I manage don’t hesitate to drop me an email. I’ve yet to set up khobbits.net for email, so use the old domain for now.

Edit: Oh no I moved host again, but forgot to make a post about it. This time I got sick of Dreamhost and moved to my self managed Linode VPS. This was useful as i was able to merge all my hosts onto one box. Although I’m not sure if it saves me any money, at least I get experience managing a *nix (Ubuntu) server.

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Sinking Currency, Sinking Country

It’s been a while since I blogged about any post I found on digg, but I read this article (rant?) today about the diving dollar, and why it’s not going to get much better and thought I’d stash it somewhere, and here seemed as good as any. The falling dollar has been on my mind for a while, and I’ve been tracking the exchange rate carefully, mainly to try and get the most from my GBP as possible.

read more | digg story

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BNC Accounts

Well some people have been pestering me on IRC lately for BNC accounts, so I thought i’d make a bit of information available.

You probably wont be able to get a BNC if you are looking here, the path of least resistance is to bug Allegra in #kh, but unless she knows you, you’ll probably get nothing out of it. If you for some reason think I’d accept you where the Allegra path failed, you could drop me a pm.

The chat channel for KHBNC is #kh, although users don’t have to idle here, although on occasion you may find yourself there after a BNC outage or large update.

Rules: Apart from not using the BNC to spam, the only other guideline is don’t do something that spoils the experience for other users, ie, getting banned from a channel, and switching BNC host, just gets BNC hosts banned from channels, and I wont put up with that sort of thing.

This BNC is ran with the money donated to the service, it currently costs around £2.50 a month, so 60p or $2 donations from members that can pay every now and again are welcome.

GBP:

USD:

Edit: updated a little of the information.

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