Colin Sheppard's IT Blog
My personal notes and comments about HTML DB, and the IT Industry in general.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Article Mention: "Fall in IT zeal softens criteria for uni entry"
I saw this article called "Fall in IT zeal softens criteria for uni entry"
in the Brisbane newspaper "The Courier Mail".
(Note: 'OP' means overall position: "Overall Positions, or OPs, provide a statewide rank order of students (on a 1 to 25 scale, 1 being the highest) based on students’ achievement in Authority subjects studied for the Queensland Senior Certificate.")
I have made my own comments in the comments section.
I have only included the IT relevant part of the article, the first half.
Fall in IT zeal softens criteria for uni entry
By Chris Griffith
A DECLINE in applications for information technology study has caused a softening in course entry requirements at universities.
In a trend defying the accelerating interest in the Internet and communications technology, the past two years have seen a drop in school leavers applying to study IT as a first choice – the biggest drop in any area of study in Queensland this year.
In just two years, applicants statewide opting for IT courses as their first choice has dropped from 2181 (4 per cent of applicants), to 1763 last year (3.4 per cent), and this year to 2.9 per cent. This represents a drop of 31 per cent in two years.
IT covers computer science and information systems.
The decline in interest is in line with industry concern about a drop in local IT employment opportunities caused by a flood of overseas-trained IT workers – prompting the Australian Computer Society to arrange talks with Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone to press for government cuts in quotas of these workers.
The drop has caused a slight softening in requirements to enter IT courses, with entry to the University of Queensland's Bachelor of Information Technology course requiring an OP of 12 instead of 10. QUT's OP requirement is 13, Griffith University 16, and Central Queensland University 19.
The big winner for this year's applicants to the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre is creative arts: dance, drama, film and television, graphic design, communication and media. In a year the proportion of first-choice applications rose from 10.8 to 12.1 per cent.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Open Office Main Links
These are a list of OpenOffice quick links:
Official Website: http://www.openoffice.org/
Official Forums: http://www.oooforum.org/
Writer Forum: http://www.oooforum.org/forum/viewforum.phtml?f=2
Macros on SourceForge: http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=87718
Some Good Topics:
HowTo: Check if OO 2.0.0 or 2.0.1 is installed:
OOo 3.0 Wishlist
Submitting suggestions for future development??
(I'll update this occasionally, to make it quick reference of links.)
Remembering Oracle Text
I got into a discussion today with someone about Oracle Text. After some searching, I found (or redisovered rather) this top links about Oracle Text. I posted them here for reference:
"Exploring Oracle Text Basics"
"The Official Oracle Text Product Page"
Article Mention: "DBA Call to Action: Get up and GO"
This was an interesting article by James Koopmann, on 10th September, 2004, about career pitfalls he experienced in the past year (relative to the article, published in 2004).
He starts with "If you aren't moving you will never go anywhere. It is time to dust off your DBA shoes, and start thinking about your future." He goes on to say: "This article does not attempt to give you a laundry list of what to do but merely introduce you to some of the pitfalls I have encountered over the last year and possible ways to avoid them for yourself."
His article goes on to these areas:
- My last year in a nutshell
- Lessons Learned:
1. Be happy
2. Diversify your skills
3. Contracts are meant to be broken
4. Get it in writing
5. Friends can be hard to come by
6. Do Something
Its full of good wisdom!
I love the concluding sentence: "Also, remember my personal golden rule, if you are not going somewhere, you will end up nowhere."
"C Style: Standards and Guidelines" Now a Website
I first bought this book "C Style: Standards and Guidelines", by David Straker, many years ago in the 1990's namely for its ideas on Programming Commenting and Naming Conventions. It probably has some of the best ideas about the topic I have ever seen, and with some imagination easily have its principles adapted to other languages.
Now its on the web, meaning I do not have to carry it around physically anymore!
My pet topics are:
Commenting - http://syque.com/cstyle/ch4.htm
Naming - http://syque.com/cstyle/ch5.htm
Also Implementing Standards is a good read too, particular for the sceptics:
Thanks to David for putting it online!
Saturday, January 14, 2006
FreePDF has a new version: 3.05
When I generate a PDF file from an application (like Microsoft Word or OpenOffice Writer), I use a 'print' out capability offered by FreePDF: in English or German.
I know there are others that are similar, but this one has these benefits, in order of importance to me: Free and Flexible. Flexible in the sense that you can make different PDF output configurations. In particular, I use it for assembling multiple images into one single document, where most significantly, I can control the resolution/image detail of all the images going in. This allows me to make a small PDF document of multiple images. Good for if you want to convert many pages into one document file. in conjunction with IrfanView (the thumbnail utility), it works brillantly with a scanner, particularly with ADF (Automatic Document Feeder). (In fact the author of that recommended this PDF Generating application.)
The latest version can be directly downloaded from this page. Don't forget to FIRST download and install one of the recommended Ghostscript utilities recommend on that page.
Friday, January 13, 2006
David Staker's Blog and Website
David Staker is a author I encountered when I bought is book: "C Style: Standards and Guidelines : Defining Programming Standards for Professional C Programmers". Recently I contacted him and found out to my delight he has a blog:
and that he has a company website:
This links into specialist topic websites like:
Some good pages to look at are:
I've made a link to his blog under the section in the right hand sid of this page "Quality Links". (Quality in a open ended sense of the meaning!)
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Image Style Verification in HTML DB
I saw this posting by John Scott this morning about Image Style Verification in HTML DB:
Its meant to be used to stop those automated spam bots submitting any form you may have. (Just like the image you get when posting a comment here.)
Nice bit of work, although it has a dependency on SVG in the browser, and is not a real image. Hopefully soon SVG will be standard in browsers. (I made a posting previously about SVG in Firefox 1.5.)
Monday, December 12, 2005
Sharing Thunderbird Address Books
I have been trying to figure out how to shard address books. So far I have gone through some links, based on a forum seach of "'address book' share". The best recommendation was:
I'll try it later on.
Awaiting New Version of Spellbound for Firefox 1.5
I was checking today to see if there is a new version of Spellbound for Firefox version 1.5.
Its still under development as stated in Robert's Post (The Developer) on Dec Thu 1st 2005 2:41am:
I have been close to a release for the last month but have not been able to finish up the polishing to the level where I would be comfortable with a release. At this point it could be a day or it could be a week.http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?p=1912609#1912609
Friday, December 09, 2005
HTML DB Wiki is lauched!
There is a new website for those seeking information on Oracle's HTML DB Product, in the format of a wiki:
I and others have spent some time in the past few days since the Twiki software was installed to facilitate it.
Later, it is hoped that a HTML DB application will be made, in the same spirit as Wiki, to take over the functionality and showcase HTML DB as the same time. More to come on that in future, as I will endevour to make that application such that it can become a defacto standard of a Content Management System Framework for any HTML DB Application.