Tar Heel Reader is a web site designed to help teachers make easy-to-read books for children with disabilities. It has a growing selection of books to read and a simple process for creating new books using pictures found on Flickr .
Posts with tag: programming
For the Tar Heel Reader project I needed to convert very simple multi-page WordPress posts into PowerPoint slide shows. I chose the circuitous route of making an OpenOffice Impress show by bashing XML and then converting it to PowerPoint. I manually created a prototype slide show with a title page and a single book page in Impress and saved it in their native
format. These files are simply zip archives containing
several XML documents
and the images. Why they didn't include the sounds, I don't understand. The important file is
. Examining it in Firefox revealed the bits I'd have to change on the title page and for each page of the book. I found several useful hints in a
Linux Journal article by Collin Park
. I used the
PHP DOM module
to read in the prototype, update it for the current book (retrieved with the WordPress
function), and write it out along with the images. Zipping this result up produces a new Impress presentation for the book.
I really like using Wordpress for my website and blog but I hadn't thought until recently about using it as an application framework. Karen and I talked about a site to enable teachers to quickly build topical beginning readers for people with varied interests and abilities. I began thinking about the features such a site would have and found lots of overlap with what Wordpress already provides. A blog post by Steve Winton over at NixonMcInnes encouraged me to examine the possibilities further.
Links I found related to classification.
Emacs python mode supports running scripts in an inferior python process that is running in an emacs buffer. I really like this idea but have never been able to reliably use it because so much of my work depends on external libraries that may not do a complete job of cleaning up their state. Attempting to reuse them in the same process is, in my experience, a recipe for confusion. Also, emacs seems to be hung waiting on the python subprocess while my GUI app is running. As a result, I always edit in emacs and then switch to a command prompt to run.
What I tried, so I can reconstruct it later.
Meg pointed out the Raw Input API for Windows. This would allow us to distinguish among multiple mice and keyboards. It might be interesting to use multiple numeric keyboards as specialized input devices, or multiple mice to provide 2 or 3 switches per hand.
I'm writing this down because I don't see complete working (for me at least) directions anywhere else.
I regularly get requests from teachers at schools that are Mac based for versions of our software that will work for them. I want every kid to have access to our stuff so I bought a Mac mini for development. I'd rather be running OS X in a virtual machine but Apple won't let me do that. So I've got the mini sitting here with its video out connected to one of the inputs on my right projector and I hacked a python wrapper for synergy server to switch the projector source when I move the mouse off my Ubuntu desktop onto the mini. It works great. Combine that with MacFusion for file sharing and routing the mini's audio output into the line-in on my Ubuntu machine and it is just about as good as a VM would be.
I downloaded a book from netlibrary.com via our campus library. When I tried to play it Windows Media Player (on VMware) would complain that it couldn't play it with the only explanation being C00D11B1 (real useful). The error apparently means something went wrong. I tried several fixes none of which helped. I finally found the suggestion to delete the content of the DRM folder (c:\Document and Settings\All Users\DRM). I had to use regedit to find it. After deleting the content of that folder, opening the book produced the login response I expected and now the file plays fine. It is incredible to me that WMP was broken in this way. I created this VM and installed Windows XP SP2 fresh on it recently. This was the very first occasion that WMP has ever been used on this machine!
« Previous Page -- Next Page »