Prevent Word from putting page breaks in table rows

If you’re using large tables in Word, you may sometimes find that they run across more than one page. Quite often, the page break occurs inside a row, which means the row gets split across two pages. To the person reading it, this can potentially make it look like two separate rows, which is frustrating.

The usual “Keep lines together” paragraph options don’t prevent this. You need to set the table properties instead.
Read more Prevent Word from putting page breaks in table rows

Running chapter headers in Microsoft Word

I’m in the process of writing up my doctoral thesis, and have had to wrestle with a lot of Word formatting. The biggest difficulty I had was separating the whole document into chapters. I wanted each chapter to start with a big heading like “Chapter 1 Introduction”, and to have that title repeated in the header of each subsequent page; i.e. running chapter headers throughout the document. It’s quite fiddly to do, but very useful once you’ve got it setup.
Read more Running chapter headers in Microsoft Word

moodledata location affects Moodle performance

I’ve been working with Moodle for several years now, primarily as part of the SLOODLE project. However, one thing that has always been a source of frustration is how slow Moodle often seems on my local Windows Vista PC in work (sadly, I don’t have the option of upgrading to Win7). As it turns out, the performance problem was entirely caused by where I had placed my “moodledata” folder, and there is any easy solution.
Read more moodledata location affects Moodle performance

DNS misconfiguration in Plesk

I run a VPS (Virtual Private Server) through the 1&1 webhost, and was trying to create a new subdomain today using the Plesk 9.5.2 admin interface. This is an easy task which I have done many times before, but this time it failed, and gave me the following error message:

Service is not available now, probably your Plesk is misconfigured.
Contact Your provider for details.
Internal Plesk error occurred: dnsmng::update() failed: dnsmng failed: dnsmng: Empty fields 'host' or 'opt' in PTR record

Panic! I had no idea what to do, and web-searches provided very little information. However, I was able to find enough information to figure out the solution.
Read more DNS misconfiguration in Plesk

Zotero premium service

Get ZoteroThe team behind the open source Zotero citation management software has been actively developing “sync” functionality for quite some time now. It allows you to work with your references collection from multiple computers by storing the latest copy of your collection on the Zotero servers.

An optional part of the sync system allows you to store PDF files and such like in your collection (full-text copies of papers etc.). Zotero provides 100MB of storage free to everyone, but towards the end of 2009 they introduced an optional premium service, in conjuction with Digital Scholar. Read more Zotero premium service

Epidemic security flaws

Automatic updating is becoming very widespread on the Windows platform at the moment, particularly with security software such as firewalls and antivirus. I will wholeheartedly agree that many users simply don’t have the time and/or inclination to learn how or why to initiate updates manually, so they are at risk without automatic updates. Additionally, the average user probably wouldn’t know or care that an update is going on. Even if a popup appears saying “update complete”, many users have tunnel vision or myopia, so they just won’t notice it.

Unfortunately, painting all users with the same brush leads to a big security flaw… Read more Epidemic security flaws

Computing for Everyone!

Budgetting for computing facilities is an odd area sometimes. As many will point out, the cost of the outlay can be quite high (although it is reducing), and the ongoing cost of maintenance can be very difficult to meet (schools in Australia are seeing the negative consequence of bad planning in this area). However, it is also noted that computers can help to save money too, whether by reducing the need for printed material, or allowing colleagues to meet ‘virtually’ instead of having to travel great distances. Read more Computing for Everyone!