Web Resources for Dissertation Students (CZ/BD)

Contents (hotlinks)

Wiki for placement students

Google Notes: (search for Google Notebook)

Social Bookmarking – del.icio.us


Free backups and retrieval


Wiki for placement students


All placement students are required to enter two entries onto the Wiki.

 Quotation from the front page of the Wiki:  “You now have 30 or more years’ collective experience under your belts and it seems to be a good idea to capture some of that, especially as your experience is right up-to-date: this is the ‘wiki’ set up for that purpose. A wiki is a type of website that allows anyone visiting the site to add, to remove, or otherwise to edit all content, very quickly and easily, sometimes without the need for registration. This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for collaborative writing. The term wiki is a shortened form of wiki wiki which is from the native language of Hawaii (Hawaiian), where it is commonly used as an adjective to denote something “quick” or “fast” (Hawaiian dictionary). Source: Wikipedia – the online encyclopaedia, is an ambitious example of how wikis are can be used).

Everyone registered on U33585 (the placement module) and U33599 (dissertation – includes all due to graduate this year) has access rights to the wiki. This means that you have the right to add text, illustrations (gif’s & jpg’s – up to about 100k each – use Irfanview (a compact and quick freeware program) for that purpose), and documents such as pdf’s. The sorts of things I hope you’ll contribute are:

  • technical and trade terms with what you understand them to mean and possibly photographs illustrating what is meant.
  • procedures which you came across where you had to learn what was expected e.g. ‘change orders’
  • acronyms (the initial letters of a phrase, such as ‘CVI’ – confirmation of verbal instruction, JCT, IStructE, …) which you have come across
  • problems which you encountered and advice on how to tackle similar problems in the future.
  • quality issues e.g. what to look for when inspecting work done
  • personality problems, such as difficult people, and how to deal with them.
  • what to do to enhance your prospects of being given responsibility and promotion (in due course)
  • anything else which you think could be useful for future students or things which staff might not know or should ensure that future students covered before doing the placement year.

Apart from adding new material to the website (because that’s what the wiki becomes), you can comment on, or even edit, other people’s edits (changes are trackable and I will have controlling rights). You are also able to start separate ‘pages’ so that there is some kind of classification.”

Google Notes: (search for Google Notebook)

This allows you to enter your own notes or text and, if you’ve installed it onto your computer(s) you can highlight anything on a website, right-click, and ‘Note to Google Notebook’. You can open the notebook from any computer and everything noted from websites includes the link to the website, saving you from recording it in your list of references at that moment.

More information (from Google Notebook welcome page)

  • Clip useful information.
    You can add clippings of text, images and links from web pages to your Google Notebook without ever leaving your browser window.
  • Organize your notes.
    You can create multiple notebooks, divide them into sections, and drag-and-drop your notes to stay organized.
  • Get access from anywhere.
    You can access your Google Notebooks from any computer by using your Google Accounts login.
  • Publish your notebook.
    You can share your Google Notebook with the world by making it public.
  • New! Get access from your phone.
    You can now access Google Notebook from your mobile phone by going to http://www.google.com/notebook/m.

Take a tour of Google Notebook »

Social Bookmarking – del.icio.us

http://del.icio.us e.g. http://del.icio.us/spencertree (explore the ‘tags’ or keywords for information and ideas about potential research topics – view them in ‘cloud format’ which is more compact and where the font size indicates the relative number of websites with that particular ‘tag’)

What is del.icio.us?

del.icio.us is a collection of favorites – yours and everyone else’s. You can use del.icio.us to:

  • Keep links to your favorite articles, blogs, music, reviews, recipes, and more, and access them from any computer on the web.
  • Share favorites with friends, family, coworkers, and the del.icio.us community.
  • Discover new things. Everything on del.icio.us is someone’s favorite — they’ve already done the work of finding it. So del.icio.us is full of bookmarks about technology, entertainment, useful information, and more. Explore and enjoy.

del.icio.us is a social bookmarking website — the primary use of del.icio.us is to store your bookmarks online, which allows you to access the same bookmarks from any computer and add bookmarks from anywhere, too. On del.icio.us, you can use tags to organize and remember your bookmarks, which is a much more flexible system than folders.

You can also use del.icio.us to see the interesting links that your friends and other people bookmark, and share links with them in return. You can even browse and search del.icio.us to discover the cool and useful bookmarks that everyone else has saved — which is made easy with tags.

All you need is a browser and an internet connection. Sound good? Here’s how to get started. If you’d like to find out more, keep reading.

What can I use del.icio.us for?

del.icio.us is an open-ended system, so you decide how you want to use it. Here are examples of things you can do with saving bookmarks on del.icio.us:

  • Research – Writing an article? Researching an industry? Slaving away on your dissertation? Use del.icio.us to keep track of all the source materials and commentary that you find online.
  • Wishlist – Go to any commerce site, find what you like, save it to del.icio.us and tag it as wishlist. Then you can tell people to check out your wishlist bookmarks by giving them a link to http://del.icio.us/spencertree/wishlist .
  • Podcast – Want to hear some great podcasts? Visit the mp3+podcast tag combination and start listening. Are you a podcaster? Start posting your mp3 files to del.icio.us and we will create an RSS feed for you.
  • Vacation – Planning a trip? Save links to hotels, activities, and transportation and use tags like “travel”, “vacation”, and “to-visit”. Collaborate with friends and family by using the “for:username” tag.
  • Linklog – Save bookmarks to interesting websites and add a bit of commentary to create a lightweight linklog. Then, use linkrolls or the daily blog posting feature to include your del.icio.us bookmarks on your blog or website.
  • Cookbook – Whenever you find a great recipe on a website, save it to del.icio.us. Tag it with the recipe’s ingredients or style of cooking, and then when you’re wondering what to make for dinner, you can use your saved bookmarks to help you remember the perfect recipe.
  • Collaboration – Friends, coworkers, and other groups can use a shared account, special tag, or their del.icio.us networks to collect and organize bookmarks that are relevant — and useful — to the entire group.


See the video on the power of mindmapping on http://www.imindmap.com/videos/

Two links to mindmapping websites, including free mindmapping software at: http://del.icio.us/spencertree/mindmap

Free backups and retrieval

See http://mozy.com/home

Try to protect yourself against computer disasters during your final yearYou can have up to 2 GB of backup free. Backups are easy to set up (you select the folders you want to backup) and are normally automated (e.g. every 6 hours). Everything is encrypted for data security.

Secure password generation and storage

Don’t use the same insecure password for every online registration. Try the opensource (and free) Password Safe: http://passwordsafe.sourceforge.net/

You can store other information, such as software registration keys, and you can install the program and encrypted data file onto memory sticks (so that it’ll run on any computer). You can use ‘autotype’ to avoid having to type complicated passwords onto websites. If you use this make sure you have several backups, in different places e.g. Mozy, amongst others.

Nick SC March 2008


About nickzsc

I'm a civil engineer and a lecturer in the Department of Real Estate and Construction at Oxford Brookes. Amongst others I have interests in problem-based learning (PBL) and improving the learning experience through the use of various technologies including 'Virtual Learning Enviroments', wikis and blogs. To be continued
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