Archive for February, 2010


OMG-WTF continuum

February 28, 2010

Interesting infographic…

Seen here:

[Link last checked February 2010; tweeted by Karen M from Denmark]


Need to write a mission statement?

February 27, 2010

If you have to write a mission statement and are having trouble coming up with enough waffly goobledegook words, then head over to the Mission Statement Generator web page ( and click the Create Mission Statement button to get your own randomly generated mission statement!

Here’s the one I got:

If you want a bit more control over the words, then try the manual version ( where you can pick your own phrases and adjectives to come up with something truly incomprehensible!:

[Links last checked February 2010]


Adobe Captivate videos

February 26, 2010

If you use Adobe Captivate, you might be interested in viewing some of the Captivate 4 training videos from Adobe, available from here:

[Link last checked February 2010; thanks to RJ Jacquez for tweeting about this resource]


Personality test using colors

February 25, 2010

Most of us have done some sort of personality test at some time. Perhaps you were asked to do a formal test (like Myers-Briggs) for a career assessment, or maybe you’ve just done some fun tests on the internet.

Well, here’s something a little different — a free personality test using colors, available online here:

You choose the colors you like the most and the least and at the end you’re given an assessment of your two strongest characteristics based on your color choices, along with suggested careers for each personality type.

BTW, my strongest characteristics on my first attempt were Organizer and Researcher — no surprises there! I did the test again a few days later and this time my results were Creator and Social Manager. Obviously I must’ve chosen different colors the second time round. Interestingly, the two careers I’ve had in my working life — librarian and technical writer — are both listed in the Creator classification, and ‘proofreader’ is listed under the Organizer occupational category (I do a lot of editing, too).

[Link last checked February 2010]


Usability/accessibility of web conferencing tools

February 24, 2010

Hadi Rangin and Marc Thompson, from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, tested the usability and accessibility of four web conferencing applications — Adobe Connect, Elluminate, Saba Central, and Talking Communities — against several criteria. They presented their findings at the Accessing Higher Ground conference in Colorado (November 2009):

Their accessibility testing and evaluation of web conferencing applications was geared only toward keyboard and screen reader accessibility, and only for the most essential, common features of these applications. Their tests focused on functional aspects, specifically users’ ability to deploy and operate the application:

  1. Setup and Configuration
  2. Navigation
  3. Styling
  4. Operation.

[Links last checked December 2009]


Word: Text butting up against page numbers in a TOC

February 23, 2010

Sometimes, the last word of a heading butts up against the right-aligned page number and doesn’t wrap to the next line, as shown in the screen shot below:

Text butts up against the page number

Text butts up against the page number

It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. The problem is that this situation makes it hard to read both the last word and the page number.

One ‘solution’ is to force it to wrap by doing a forced line break in the heading, but this is not ideal.

Well, I discovered another way to solve the problem that involves a slight change to the TOC1, TOC2, and TOC3 styles in the template (or document). Just set the right indent for the paragraph setting for each of these styles to 0.5 cm (1/4″). The word butting up against the page number now wraps correctly to the next line and is much more readable:

Adding a right indent adds a little more white space

Adding a right indent adds a little more white space

Problem solved!


Moving on…

February 22, 2010

My business, CyberText Consulting Pty Ltd, is moving!

Actually, by the time you read this, we should have moved and with luck — and the help of the wonderful staff at PC Guru and iinet — all our computer systems and internet connections should be up and running. Cross fingers, toes, and everything else.

We’ve moved from a small town in the heart of the south-west corner of Western Australia to a location just north of a major regional centre (but still in the south-west). We’re now closer to Perth, our capital city — instead of being some 2.5 to 3 hours drive from Perth, we’re now about 75 to 90 minutes drive away. We’re also about a 15 min drive — not 75 mins — from the facilities and services of a city of some 80,000 people. And much closer to the ocean.

Why move? Well, the town we were in was very hilly and surrounded by some of the most forested areas of Western Australia. It was absolutely beautiful and pleasantly mild for much of the year, but in the hot Western Australian summers the area is an extreme fire hazard. In about 2004, some very large bushfires came close to the town, and in 2009, a massive out-of-control bushfire came within 3 km (2 miles) of the town before a fortuitous wind shift turned it in another direction. I discovered that I didn’t deal well with living in a fire-prone area, so we’ve moved to a less hazardous area. Nowhere in Australia is truly safe from bushfires in summer, but there are places where the risk is less — and where I hope to feel much safer.

For those who need to update their address books, the new postal address and phone numbers will be on the CyberText website very soon… Mobile phone, email address, Skype contact details, etc. remain the same.

[Links last checked February 2010]


Security levels by country

February 21, 2010

Source: unknown; sent to me via email; not politically correct!

Current Security Levels

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorised from “Tiresome” to a “Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was during the great fire of 1666.

The Scots raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line in the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide”. The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France’s white flag factory, effectively paralysing the country’s military capability.

It’s not only the French who are on a heightened level of alert. Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”

The Germans also increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbour” and “Lose”.

The Dutch, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual, and the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of The Hague.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Americans meanwhile are carrying out pre-emptive strikes on all of their allies, just in case.

New Zealand has also raised its security levels – from “baaa” to “BAAAA!”. Due to continuing defence cutbacks (the air force being a squadron of spotty teenagers flying paper aeroplanes and the navy some toy boats in the Prime Minister’s bath), New Zealand only has one more level of escalation, which is “Shit, I hope Australia will come and rescue us”.

Australia , meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be alright, mate”. Three more escalation levels remain, “Crikey!’, “I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend” and “The barbie is cancelled”. So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.


No, I don’t know anything about computers!

February 20, 2010

Another great cartoon from Matthew Inman, over at The Oatmeal comics site, this time on the reasons why you should never say you know anything about computers. I’ve been there, done that — and am still asked by my husband and parents to sort out computer issues of theirs. Not so much, these days, but nevertheless…

Here’s a taste:

(Click the image to go to the full cartoon, or click this link:

[Links last checked January 2010]


Online sketching tool

February 19, 2010

Cool tool alert! Sue H tweeted about Sketchpad the other day:

Sketchpad is an online drawing and sketching application that lets you save your masterpieces as a PNG file (Hint: After you click the Save icon, the image opens in a new tab — just right-click on your image and save it to your local computer).

Sketchpad has all the basic drawing functions, without the high price (it’s free as far as I could see).

On my first attempts, the only thing I would’ve liked was an Undo function. However, if you want to blow away your drawing entirely, just click the Refresh button in your browser and you can start over.

My first attempt using Sketchpad

[Link last checked February 2010]