The Childrens’ machine

21 March , 2009

A small one for the kids this weekend. My daughter has reached the age of two, and it’s impossible to keep her from hacking away at my keyboard. We have yet to buy one of those small kids’ computers for learning letters and stuff – but this weekend I am installing CrazyLittleFingers. Basically it allows you remap the keyboard and taylor it to your kiddo’s needs (and it’s fathers’ needs…).

You must provide the kid yourself and download CrazyLittleFingers here:


Reference software

14 March , 2009

This is so hard. I am talking about committing yourself to a database of some sort, and this time it’s the reference database I am worrying about.
If you collect a lot of music or movies and catalog them extensively, you know what a drag it is when you figure you have chosen the wrong database or cataloging software. (So far I have been pleased with Mediamonkey ( for the music and it seems XBMC ( will do the trick for flipping through your movies with style. But I digress.
Now I want to catalog, sort and search my references, so what software should I commit to? I used to be an EndNote user as long as I got it for free, but no more. I had to look for free options (I AM the cheap researcher). First to come along was zotero (, and believe me, it is still excellent. It is a Firefox add-on which allows you to add references from bookstores and article bases with ease. It then integrates with Word for easy use when referencing in your writing. The coming (now in beta) version includes sync to web, so that you have your references at hand at all times. Great. Converting from EndNote was a nightmare, but most of my thousands of references went along with the swap after some tinkering.
Then I got Word 2007, which had a built-in reference manager. This might have been the best option, but I found the managing capabilities a bit wanting.
Finally I have tried Mendeley (, a manager with a sync’ed software and web version, with capabilities to store and extract information from pdf-files.

But what to choose? This is almost a lifetime commitment (ok, it is not, but it would be nice if it was) so it’s important to chose right! Heeeelp….

Weekend before pi

13 March , 2009

Thanks, Ola, for this link.  Having endured a whole year of my mathematics teaching, you still seem rather obsessed with pi…! 😀 A fun video here, to round of the week before pi-day.

Fantastic presentation tools

9 March , 2009

Ah… now where are the limits!? Take a look at the video below, and see for yourself. Johnny Lee has hacked a wii remote in ways that makes him able to simulate a smartboard/interactive whiteboard. Even better – what some of us have felt lacking in the smartboards – he’s made it possible to use multitouch on the computer screen… Cool! Check this out.

Music That Makes You Dumb?

8 March , 2009

As research comes and goes, even at the cheap researcher what follow is remarkbly cheap…

This page claims (not too seriously) that good scores on the SAT are related to listening to Beethoven, shile Beyonce sits at the other end of the spectrum. A bit suprising that jazz followers score lower than hip hoppers…

Beer Geometry – CollegeHumor Video

7 March , 2009

Kind of funny – I guess this merges the need for weekend and the work with mathematics…

Find Out the Most Influential Users on Twitter with the ReTweetability Index

3 March , 2009

Find Out the Most Influential Users on Twitter with the ReTweetability Index.

Check out the “science of retweets” – the formula that ranks Twitter users based on the power of their tweets…

Happy Square Root Day

3 March , 2009

Have a look at the site with the clever name Geeks are sexy today!  They celebrate the Square Root day, which happens only nine times per century, when the day and month is the the square root of the year. So today, when we have the 3rd of March, we celebrate the fact that 3×3 = the 9 in 2009. A bit far fetched? Maybe…

Save your youtube favorites

1 March , 2009

Slik lagrer du Youtube-favorittene – VG Nett om Data og nett. (Norwegian)

I read this in Norway’s biggest (or second biggest (don’t know which)) newspaper some time ago. I have earlier saved youtube videos by using freeware like DVDvideoSoft to convert directly from youtube to iPod or other formats. But this seemed like a real easy solution. I don’t know how popular it is, but I had never heard of it before. The article is in *cough cough* Norwegian, but the synopsis is quite easy… 🙂

1. Find the URL / address for whatever youtube video you want to save

2. replace “youtube” in the address with “kickyoutube”.

3. Pick the format you want and save it.