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- Upcoming Training
- The Blackboard Feature of the
- Teaching with Technology:
Tech Talk Topic:
"Using Charts in PowerPoint 2007"
- For more, see
podcast notes page for Episode
Technology & Download News Briefs
PeopleSoft is about to be updated to version 9.
According to Don Sullins of Information Services,
"On May 30th, eServices will be shutdown at 1pm and
PeopleSoft Student/HR will be shutdown at 4:30pm.
Both systems scheduled to be back up at 7am on June
6." eServices will not be available during
this period, meaning that no enrollment or payment
transactions will be processed during this time.
Students who forget their passwords and need to
reset them to get logged in to Blackboard, should
call the IS helpdesk at (760) 891-7140 for
assistance. Other campus systems will not be
We will be updating Blackboard to version 8 on June
21-22. The biggest change will be the
replacement of the current gradebook with the Grade
Center. For more on the upgrade,
click here; for more on the Grade Center,
click here (PDF) and
here (video); for more on the new critical
click here (video). To see version 8 in
person, login to the
Blackboard sandbox (use your normal Palomar
faculty login credentials). If you have
email@example.com or call ext. 2862.
For Office 2008 for Mac users, Service Pack 1
(12.1.0) has been released. Start an Office
2008 component, click Apple > Software Update to get
it, if you do not have updates configured to run
automatically. It's big, taking 540 MB of disk
space when installed. It "contains several
changes that improve security, stability, and
performance. This includes fixes for vulnerabilities
that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents
of a computer's memory by using malicious code" (MS
CNet, fans of
Zoho, a provider of free, online applications,
will be glad to know that Zoho now accepts Google
and Yahoo logins, even though Zoho is a direct
competitor with Google Apps. "For Google and
Yahoo users who are curious about Zoho but don't
want to set up another account, we've removed that
hurdle," Zoho 'evangelist' Raju Vegsna said in a
release Wednesday. "Users don't have to create a
Zoho account to use Zoho applications. We want to
make it as easy as possible for everyone to try our
online apps." It works, but is a little
more complicated than it sounds. What actually
happens is that you must click the "Sign in using
Google" (or Yahoo) button below the Zoho signin, and
then your Google or Yahoo account credentials get
associated with a new Zoho account, but it works.
For those of you using Opera to browse on your PDAs
or phones (yes, I know, its a small number), version
4.1 was released this week.
Click here for the Opera download site.
far, city-wide metro wifi networks have failed
everywhere they have been tried. It's not the
technology, its the cost of supporting them.
Last week Earthlink pulled the plug on the one
city of Philadelphia, proving that America wants
to solve the problem of the digital divide, but
doesn't want to pay for the solution.
Microsoft Office Labs have released a new, free
Office 2007 add-in this week called "Search
Commands." It seems a few people (!) are
having trouble with the new ribbon, mainly those who
invested years in learning the old interface and are
unwilling to throw it all away to adapt to the new.
In any event, if you have not become fluent with the
new Office 2007 yet, you can install this addin to
help you find where the old commands have moved on
the new ribbon. This add-in creates a tab of
its own in Word, Excel and PowerPoint called the
"Search Commands" tab. Using it you can type
the name of a command and Office will tell you where
it has moved and, even better, brings it front and
Click here to find out more and download.
Microsoft Research this week opened the web users
WorldWide Telescope, "...a powerful tool for
science and education that makes it possible for
everyone to explore the universe..." (USA
WorldWide Telescope "...knits together images from
the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray
Observatory Center, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and
Click here for a description of the very
impressive Microsoft technology that makes it work.
"Choose from a growing number of guided tours of the
sky by astronomers and educators from some of the
most famous observatories and planetariums in the
country. Feel free at any time to pause the tour,
explore on your own (with multiple information
sources for objects at your fingertips), and rejoin
the tour where you left off." (WWT web site).
Unfortunately, the free, downloadable program is for
PC only. Truth in advertising compels me to
report that when I used the program on my Palomar
College Dell Optiplex 280 with ATI graphics drivers,
it crashed with a blue screen of death and a report
from Microsoft saying that the problem was with the
ATI graphics drivers and there was no currently
known solution, though I should contact ATI to find
out more. The ATI web site did, in fact, have
new drivers for my Radeon X300 graphics card, and
after installation the problem was fixed. This
is a remarkable educational tool, but be prepared
for some rough weather with graphics drivers because
of the graphically instense nature of the program.
Not recommended for Palomar College production
computers, and install at your own risk on your home
for the TED talk by Roy Gould and Curtis Wong on the
If you are an Audacity user (free, open source audio
editing software) you will want to know that version
1.3.5 beta for Windows, Mac and GNU/Linux has been
Click here for the download site.
speaking of new releases, if you are a Linux type,
you will know that ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) has
been released. The next major version
(Intrepid Ibex) is expected in October.
Click here for the ubuntu download site.
If this sounds strange to you, don't do it.
Do you think "minuscule
strands of energy vibrating in 11 dimensions create
every particle and force in the universe" might be a
little hard to explain? See how Brian Greene
explains these concepts of superstring theory in
TED presentation of under 20 minutes.
- There is a fake media file masquerading as a music,
porn or full-length movie file making the rounds on
the Internet, and "McAfee said the fake media file
outbreak was the largest it had seen for about three
The file claims to require you to install a codec to
play the movie. If you click on the install
link, a bundle of adware with numerous popups is
installed. "McAfee said seeing such a large
outbreak was rare because hi-tech criminals
typically prefer to target their malicious creations
to keep numbers manageable and to avoid detection. "
that blu-ray has won the DVD format war, blu-ray
players are selling like hotcakes, right?
Wrong. Blu-ray player sales dropped 40% after
the resolution of the format war, and have not
recovered yet (ars
technica). Not counting Playstation 3
sales (which includes a blu-ray player) blu-ray
sales are struggling. Why? We're all
waiting for the price to drop at Costco, of course,
along with the fact that we want some compelling
features added to the disks as an incentive to
upgrade--and it doesn't help that there are
several blu-ray profiles, 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0 which
will be released this fall.
- In addition to the many fine research databases
Palomar College subscribes too, the library has
announced new subscriptions to
Vocational Studies Premier, and
Click here for the listing of all Palomar
College electronic research databases. Login
with Palomar credentials required from off campus.
- Most people would agree that physicists are,
well, unusual . Except physicists themselves, of course. Not
so rock star physicist Brian Cox who, in this
TED talk explains the quest for the Higgs boson
at the soon-to-be-online Large Hadron Collider.
Not, however, if Luis Sancho, a former nuclear
safety officer, and Walter Wagner succeed in court.
Sancho and Wagner claim the LHC will be conducting
unreasonably dangerous experiments that will rip
massive holes in the space-time continuum
thereby destroying the earth and, perhaps, the
universe as we know it. Pshaw, say the same
physicists. We'll find out when the LHC comes
online later this year.
Safari Tech Book Online:
Easy Microsoft® Windows Vista®, Second Edition,
by Shelley O'Hara. "See it done. Do it
yourself. It’s that Easy! Easy Microsoft Windows
Vista teaches you the fundamentals of working with
the newest Windows operating system—Windows Vista.
Fully illustrated steps will show you how to burn
CDs, manage your photos and other files, send and
receive email messages, and browse the Internet. In
addition, learn to use the built-in security
features to ensure safe access to email, the
Internet, and your programs, as well as protect
against viruses, junk email, and privacy invasion.
No need to feel intimidated; we’ll hold your hand
every step of the way."
Palomar maintains a subscription to Tech Books
Online, and the books can be accessed from any
computer on the campus network without as login, or
with your Palomar login and password from anywhere
in the world.
Click here for more information about off-campus
- Academic Technology Workshops
- Academic Technology training has
concluded for the spring semester.
- Elluminate is our new econferencing system.
There are many excellent training resources
available through the
Elluminate training center. Live,
instructor led training seminars--conducted through
the Elluminate interface--occur regularly and
may be scheduled through their web site.
Feature of the Week - David Gray.
This feature has bullets everywhere!
Several important dates are coming up regarding Blackboard,
and there are a few things you can do to get ready for
these. First off, what should you be aware of?
- Fall 2008 courses will be created on
Friday, May 23rd.
- Spring 2007 courses will be removed
on Tuesday, May 27th.
- PeopleSoft and eServices will be down
for the PeopleSoft 9 upgrade from Friday, May 30th until
Friday, June 6th.
- Student access to regular Spring 2008
courses will end after Friday, June 6th.
- Blackboard will be down for upgrades
on Saturday, June 21st and Sunday, June 22nd.
So new courses will appear, old ones will
vanish, and student access to just completed courses will
shut off, all in accordance with the normal
Blackboard Course Life Cycle. Plus, there’s the new
Blackboard 8 upgrade coming just prior to the start of
the 6 and 8-week Summer classes.
I also mentioned the PeopleSoft 9 upgrade,
but some folks may be wondering exactly why. The PeopleSoft
system being off-line has some implications for Blackboard
you should be aware of:
- Students use PeopleSoft to change
their Blackboard account password.
- Students and faculty set their email
addresses for Blackboard in PeopleSoft.
- Most importantly, all the student
registration takes place in PeopleSoft, and Blackboard
gets all its enrollment information out of PeopleSoft.
Basically, during that week that
PeopleSoft is down, no changes will be made to enrollment of
students, assignment of faculty to courses, or account
information in Blackboard.
What can you do to get ready for all this?
To Do List:
And, as always, if you have questions or
need help, contact Blackboard Technical Support at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 760-744-1150
Teaching with Technology -
Dr. Haydn Davis
Tech-Talk-Topic - Terry
Using Charts in PowerPoint 2007
The easiest way to get a chart into PowerPoint,
if you have already made one in Excel, is to copy
and paste it. By default, it will be pasted in
with its data linked to the Excel spreadsheet (and
if you change the spreadsheet the PowerPoint chart
will change) and configured to use the theme you
have already chosen for your PowerPoint
presentation. If you wish to change these
defaults (and you well may not want your chart to
adopt the PowerPoint theme's colors and styles if
you have already spent time formatting it in Excel)
click the clipboard drop-down that appears after the
paste operation and change the behaviors.
If, on the other hand, you are building the chart
from scratch within PowerPoint, you have two ways to
initiate the action: 1) Click a chart
placeholder on a slide (the new default content
slide has both bulleted items and various
placeholders on it); or 2) click the Chart command
in the Illustrations group of the Insert tab:
I recommend the latter technique. It does
not require any special sort of slide layout.
PowerPoint will respond with the Insert Chart
dialog which will let you pick from 11 types of
charts, each with 2D and 3D variations.
Once you have picked the type of chart you wish
to use (and this is an important decision, since the
type of chart can emphasize or mask features of your
data) a chart based on default data will be placed
in the center of your PowerPoint slide. Change
the data to change the chart's data markers,
catagory groupings and values.
Once your data is defined, the fun starts.
Select the chart and the Chart Tools tab will
automatically appear (the design concept behind
Microsoft's "fluent user interface" is to put the
tools immediately before you when and only when you
need them). The Chart Tools tab has three
sub-tabs, one for Design, Layout and Format.
These tabs contain all the groupings of commands
and galleries, as they are now called, you need to
create very sophisticated looking charts.
Where the old Tools > Options > Whatever approach of
menus within menus made it extremely difficult to
remember where the formatting options for charts
were located, the new interface makes it easy.
To change your layout options, click the more
layouts gallery, where you will see the most common
To customize any of the details of the layout,
Labels and Axes command groupings are at your
Where in PowerPoint 2003 it used to be nearly
impossible to remember how to add gridlines, modify
aspects of the legend, or format the plot area, it
is now simple with the commands you need to perform
these tasks on the drop-downs beneath the commands.
Dramatic, wholesale changes can be made to your
chart by simply selecting a new presentation design
theme from the Design tab. Modification of the
WordArt text styles can also have a major impact on
the look of your chart. You can see these
changes in live preview by simply hovering over the
various styles represented in the WordArt styles
gallery. Finally, you can select any part of a
chart, right-click it, and have the option to format
just that part. Selecting the plot area, for
example, and choosing to format it brings up a very
specific dialog with many customization choices.
The same is true for each chart element.
The new PowerPoint is light years ahead of the
old when it comes to ease of use and user
empowerment. Give it a try. You'll like
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