March 2012

Sunlight , Vitamin D and Cancers

Health Ranger says that sunlight and vitamin D prevent many cancers. Dark skinned people need lots more exposure to the sun to build up their vitamin D. Intuitively this makes sense. I should definitely be getting my light rays for the sun rather than a computer screen

System Image Restore Problems

Was trying to repair my main computer which is considerably better than the replacement I’ve been using. Specifically I was installing a new hard drive to replace the corrupt one that keeps crashing. This involves restoring a system image that I had created earlier; I tried to do this but the system did not recognise my backup. I looked for a solution on the web but haven’t been able to find one so far. I however did find a good description of the problem:

I am trying to restore a backup system image to my repaired PC. It is wiped clean. I have the “Repair Disc Windows 7 64 Bit” that I created in Windows 7. Using Windows 7 Backup I have a system image backup on an external WD Essentiasl 1TB USB Hard Drive.
I insert the Repair Disc and start the system. Get to System Recoevery Options. I have the external Hard Disk with the system backup image connected. Select System Image Recovery option. Says “Windows cannot find a system image on this computer. Attach the backup hard disk or insert the final DVD from a bckup set and click retry. Alternatively, close this dialog for more options. Retry gives me the same message. Tried starting with drive attached, not attached, same result. Click cancel.
Next option selected is “Select a system image.” No system image listed. Hit refresh, still nothing. Top of screen says “Click Advanced to add a network location or install a driver for a backup device if it does not show up in the list below.” I click on the Advanced tab. Option to “Search for a system image on the network” or “Install a driver.” I select install a driver. Find the right driver for the WD Essential hard drive (disk.sys and partmgr.sys) and when I click on them I get “The specified location does not contain information about your hardware.” Click OK. Can’t find how to load these drivers I am being asked for.
Funny thing is that on the screen where I search for driver I can see the WD Essential Hard Drive connected to the system. I can also see the system image files but when I click on them I get the same error message, “The specified location does not contain information about your hardware.”
Please HELP. This is very frustrating!!!

Sea of Distraction

I got the map from dailyinfographic.com via a scoop.it post to Facebook from Adelina Silva’s scoop.it page. I like fantasy maps and concept maps so this is great. Picturing networks of online communities as a world is entirely appropriate. The prominence of Facebook is not surprising.

Interestingly or ironically my chancing on this was through my following Adelina’s link to an article from eduweek.org which re-asks the old question as to whether new technology helps or hinders learning:

When the Internet burst onto the scene, some thought it would change education by allowing students to access information far beyond classrooms and school libraries. But this access came with a challenge—students were faced with hyperlinked text that sent them into distracting territory.

The problem of being distracted while learning is personally relevant. It’s what I do. Following one learning path I’m led down several others that are tangential to my original intention. This personal habit long pre-dates the advent of hyperlinks, going back to college days when I would browse through the library making connections that were more interesting that the reading necessary to get the essays answered quickly and effectively. This is a habit that I’ve taken into the rest of my life and that has been intensified by the Internet.

The Internet is both a sea of knowledge and a sea of distraction. It is possible to be lost for hours and days to no productive purpose. There are treasures found but also lots of dross and even the treasure will be too much to carry. What we need to practice is not so much the art of navigating to the objects of original purpose, but the art of limiting the time spent on journeys or side trips of serendipitous discovery.

Why am I on Twitter?

According to this chart from flowtown.com I shouldn’t be using Twitter. I rarely post and rarely check Twitter for posts for people/organisations I’m supposedly ‘following’.

Admittedly there’s usually something of interest to click on when I do look but is this enough? In itself no but perhaps there is another potential to Twitter inherent in it being part of an ‘information stream’. Using Twitter is or can be stepping into that stream becoming part of an instant zeitgeist.

Whether anyone sees my post is irrelevant. It takes no time to post. I will post a link to this reflection on Twitter and Facebook by just clicking a couple of icons. Most people who ‘follow’ me of Twitter or are friend on Facebook will not see this, fewer will read it. Never mind it’s just being thrown out there into the Stream (note the capitalisation).

Maybe there’s an insight of sorts here. Twitter, Facebook and our other many-to-many communication media have become a communications Stream and we can choose to contribute to that.

According to the diagram most of us should get off Twitter and I would right now if I took myself or Twitter more seriously. I don’t. What I possibly take seriously is the notion that all this is part of a social evolution and that Twitter, Facebook, blogs and the rest form a collectively authored whole that has value because of its inclusiveness as much as for any creative worth that can be found in individual contributions. Whereas once the majority were denied the opportunity to contribute to art and literature because of our mediocrity we are now contributing to, not just a magnum opus but to THE Magnum Opus.