Technology at Geneseo Community School District 228
E-books come in all shapes and sizes especially when it comes to the world of education. Sometimes I find many publishers simply save a textbook as an PDF (or HTML) and say that it is now digital. This is correct but if this is all they are doing this can be done with existing textbooks that a school has already purchased. Yes it is perfectly legal to make a copy of a textbook if you own the book, and in most cases own many many copies if you are a school. The key is you must only distribute to your students and not exceed distributing over the number of copies you own. In my process below I create an E-Book from a textbook and enable it to be read aloud using Text to Speech software which is built into most modern Operating Systems. Perhaps you have a student who has reading difficulties, can convert the book to an E-book and have a computer read it.
In a nutshell. Take one copy of a text book and saw off the binding. I headed down to the wood shop room and use a large DeWalt track saw. Next I used a library page cutter to clean up the edges chapter by chapter so that they will go through the scanner nicely. Then I used a scanner/copier and fed a chapter at a time to the machine. Had the scanner email me the PDF (200×200 or higher resolution recommended) in 1 chapter increments. Here The process is almost done but first need to open each chapters PDF in Adobe Pro (used Adobe Pro 9) and then OCR the PDF so that it recognizes all the text on each page. Thats it you can leave the ebook in Chapter by Chapter increments or you can use Adobe Pro and combine into one big pdf, really up to preference here.
1. Saw Binding (I used a Track Saw
2. Clean up paper edges with cutter
3. Separate by Chapter
4. Use a high speed scanner (I used Kyocera TASKalfa 5501i) – email PDF
5. Use Adobe Acrobat Pro and use Optical Character Recognition
Apple comes with Quicktime that has a great screen capture feature. This is perfect for creating a screencast or podcast. Screen Capture is also very useful for grabbing a video segment off of a tricky website where it is hard find the video source.
You can use the Screen Recording in Quicktime to grab just about any video on the web but to grab the audio you will need to first reroute the sound. The best way to do this is to use SoundFlower, https://code.google.com/p/soundflower/downloads/list
After downloading and installing soundflower your computer will reboot but you will now get a new audio option. To use soundflower to grab a video and audio together off the web first go to System Preferences. Now click on Sound. change the OUTPUT to SoundFlower 2 ch.
Now you will no longer here sound playing as you have routed the output to soundflower.
Now you are ready to play the video and screen capture and record it.
Just go to QUICKTIME,
Go to Screen Recording
Now click on the little triangle on the right and set the sound input to soundflower 2ch.
Now just hit record and drag the box over the video and play the video. You will be capture both the video and audio content. You will not hear the sound while you are recording because you have rerouted it using soundflower. This is normal, when you are done recording simply go back to System Preferences and set your sound output back to internal speakers.
Although it is easy to grab a video off youtube and many video streams some you will find it is just not possible. Using Quicktime, Screen Recording and Soundflower work great in this scenario.
Doing some work in my basement and decided to put in 3 doors. The only issue is that my house is 100 years old and the entry ways are not standard size. Most doors are 80 inches tall and 36 inches wide, where as I needed a door 77 inches tall a door 76 inches tall and a door only 70 inch tall. Doing some quick Google searches I found many fixit sites recommended using a solid door which can easily be cut or simply order a custom sized door. Problem with these solutions is simply cost, a solid door is nice but expensive 150$ + per door, a custom ordered sized door is also expensive 200$ + per door.
Lowes and Home Depot sell pre-made hollow doors that are perfect for indoor scenarios at 35$ a piece. The trick is since the door is hollow can you cut the door to size (height) but still maintain structural integrity? I found that you can do this pretty easily by simply cutting the door at the bottom to the correct height. In the case of the 70 inch door I took some cut both the top and the bottom. Inside the hollow door the structure is supported by form that is glued inside and different points. Using a screwdriver I removed the foam from the cut end of the door and then cut a piece of wood to size to go back in the hold.
Cut Bottom of Door
Using a 3/4 inch board I cut to fill in the hole. Since the opening was actually 1 inch, I also cut a 1/4 inch plywood piece to make the fit tight.
3/4 Board Cut.
Using small finishing nails about 3 on each side attached this insert to the door. These nails are small and would be undetectable if you wanted to paint the door.
I ran across an annoying issue when updating an machine to Server 2008 (Vista based). After the upgrade on login I continously got a message about a driver Sonic Solutions DLA driver being blocked because it is not compatible. Apparently this driver is responsible for the drag to disk feature of Roxio 9 Easy Medica Creator Center. The problem is that if you uninstalled this program the uninstaller fails to remove this driver and to find in registry will likely leave you frustrated.
Roxio released a patch to fix this Driver but if you have already uninstalled the program this patch does not work. After searching through forums I have found the installer itself for just the Drag to Disc feature which will update the driver to Vista/Win 7 compatibility and can also be used to then uninstall if you choose.
This is a direct link to Roxio’s site. This installer will install a newer version of Drag to Disk and does not require any version of Roxio to be installed. This installer can also then be used to do an uninstall.
If you have trouble with the link above here is the file in zip format.
d2d3290 (zip version) (Roxio Drag to Disk Installer / Uninstaller)
Roxio had released this link http://www.roxio.com/enu/support/vista/d2d_update.html previously but this patch only works if you have Easy Media Creator currently installed. In my case this was worthless as the Driver was left over from a previous uninstaller that did not fully remove it.
I have been converting my older servers into Virtual Images with the Disk2VHD utility but ran across a problem with one that was utilizing a PERC 3/Di controller. In the process of updating this Server 2003 R2 unit to Server 2008 an error is generated stating that you need to use the addfilter.exe tool from dell and remove the afamgt.sys from the computer before you can upgrade.
Interestingly the links given for this addfilter.exe tool no longer work on dell.
After some google searches and bit of hunting through forums I have found that the addfilter.exe tool is no longer used and instead the proper way to remove the offending driver afamgt.sys is to use the Filter_Driver_Removal_Tool.msi from Dell that automates the process removing the registry entries and the afamgt.sys file.
Here is the installer from Dell if you are looking for a direct link. Filter_Driver_Removal_Tool.msi(Zipped)
Or Here is the Dell link where I found the utility – http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverid=G23XC
This utility will generate a message letting you know your system is safe to upgrade to Server 2008.
This utility also will make your system save to create a VHD or VHDX file without getting a BSOD.
—- Screenshot of Upgrade Message and KB Article referring to addfilter.exe tool.
I have a couple of Server 2003 32 bit machines that I wanted to upgrade to Server 2008 (last 32 bit edition of Server 0S). Problem is I did not have enough space on the system drive c:. Since these machines are VHD files running on HYPER-V you can extend the size. Here is how.
Step 1. Shut down the Virtual Machine
Step 2. Using Hyper-V Increase the Disk size for the System Disk in my case (Disk 0)
Step 3. Turn on the Virtual Machine
Step 4. Download this file DISKPART_WITH_FSEXTEND (This files can be hard to find so included a direct link)
This file contains a fixed version of Diskpart.exe and another unitlity fsextend.exe. Unzip this downloaded file and go the command prompt. Run this version of Diskpart.exe you just downloaded (not the version that comes with Server 2003).
Step 5. In Disk part type List Volume
Step 6. Find the Volume you want to extend. Type Select Volume 2 (or whichever volume you are extending)
Step 7. Type extend
Step 8. This command will appear to hang, let it fun for a few minutes then hit CTRL-C.
Step 9. Now if you type List Disk it will show the increased size of the disk but your file system still will report the old size.
Step 10. Exit Diskpart and now type fsextend.exe c (or whatever drive letter you are extending). That is it, fsextend.exe will correct the file system and now you will see the expanded size.
I noticed with Mavericks and running Bootcamp that the drivers download automatically from the Bootcamp installer are not quite complete for Windows 7 64 Bit edition. You can still manually install most of the drivers from the USB disk that Bootcamp creates but you will run into a couple that it will refuse to find.
After searching on the internet I have these drives which are for the NVIDIA chipset which adds the SMS Bus and Coprocessor / which makes the machine function properly / sleep properly / perform better :).
NVIDIA – CHIPSET – COPROCESSOR_SMU64BIT DRIVERS-(NVIDIA FORCEWARE)
These drivers do not contain the NVIDIA graphic chipset. this driver can be installed and downloaded directly from NVIDIA. The Late 2008 model MacBook Pro shipped with the NVIDIA 9400M chipset, the latest drivers on NVIDIA site is best.
In a nutshell the 2008 MacBook Pro’s shipped with NVIDIA graphic chipsets and with NVIDIA System Management Controller, neither seems to install with the bootcamp installer from Mavericks but can easily be added after the Windows Install.
NVIDIA SMC Installed
NVIDIA GRAPHICS Chipset on MacBook Pro Late 2008
With the move towards maintenance free, user friendly devices in education I have updated my image of OS X 10.9.4 in this spirit. The new image boots up quicker and logs in automatically as a student account with latest browsers, java, flash, Office, all updates, etc. This creates a lab atmosphere where the Mac labs are simply easy and effective as learning tools, no down time looking for account info, no messy word group or apple configuration device to setup individual profiles etc. Instead the machine is simplified like a Chromebook, but is capable of running much more software and is easier to deploy in large numbers. Here if there is any problem simply shut off the machine or hit restart and the machine will set itself to default state. My method is different then simply enabling “guest” mode on a mac since this mode has a few limitations and is actually a bit of a pain to configure with Mac OS X Server.
In a nutshell the process works very similar to what I wrote about in the past here Create a Mac Kiosk with using DeepFreeze
except I have streamlined and find tuned the process and login hooks a bit more. Here using Disk Inventory X http://www.derlien.com/downloads/index.html I examined the files copied back to create the cleaned student account and have reduced it from 700 megs (way to big) to under 80. The effect is the machine now boots significantly faster (does not have to wait and copy so much info) and there is no longer a side effect sometimes the copying not finishing in time for the login process to continue.
Disk Inventory X gives you a nice easy visual of where space is being used. Here I was able to find in the default student profile directory some cache folders that were not needed and a variety of other information that was not necessary to get the entire user profile directory under 80 megs. With this perfect Kiosk Mac image of 10.9.4 it will be deployed to all iMac labs k-5 and a similar MacBook Pro image will be deployed to all mobile labs K-12. (Deploy all Mac Images with Deploy Studio)
If you or anyone is interested shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be glad to share the scripts and process of creating this machine. This leaves the machine with a simplified feel like a chromebook but capaple of running lots more software and larger variety of web resources.
Here is a screenshot of cache data under the /Users/user/Library/caches/ directory. Everything in this entire directory can be deleted and is unnecessary for the kiosk setup.
(Example shows 2.6 gigs of data in cache, my older kiosk image had about 700 megs of useless data here I had missed on first go around)
Gone are the days of Firefox 3.x, where the release schedule was slow and stable. Firefox is on pace to change version about every 6-8 weeks and with this I find that sometimes things get a bit jumbled up. Mainly the cache seems to get corrupted and can cause some funny behavior and slow the browser down.
If your Firefox on your Apple computer is running slow or acting strange, here is a small Apple Program I wrote that simple cleans the cache, removes your browser history and resets a few minor preferences. Running the program will close firefox then do a quick cleanup and that is it, quick and easy.
Download it here Fix-Firefox-Mac
Time Machine is a great backup tool and usually works pretty flawlessly. One area that could be improved is in recovering iCal Calendars. To recover your iCal Calendars from a specific time you have to jump through a few hoops and do a few steps that may not seem very intuitive. Here is how:
1. Make Sure iCal is closed and not running.
2. First Connect your backup Time Machine Device and Turn off your WIFI (and disconnect Ethernet if hard wired)
3. Next Click on Finder and click on the word GO | Go to Folder
4. Type in ~/Library
5. Now Click on Time Machine and Enter Time Machine
6. Using Time Machine go back in time to the date where your Calendars were good. Now in the Finder windows find the folder Calendars and click to restore this entire folder. You can Restore it to your Desktop.
7. Exit Time Machine and Drag / Copy this folder Calendars on your desktop to your Library Folder. You can click again on Finder | Go to Folder | ~/Library if you missing the windows. (Step 2 Again).
A message will appear letting you know there is already a Calendar folder, click on REPLACE or Replace All.
7. Now Restart the Computer. Do Not Open iCal yet. You must first restart the computer or logout first and then after you are logged back in, then start iCal. Your Calendars will be back (you may need to wait a minute or it to and you may see a message saying restoring calendar events.
After Restoring the Calendar Folder and copying it to ~/Library (Replacing the Folder) Make sure to reboot the computer before starting iCal.
Thats it Calendars are restored. A bit of hassle but can be done.