Interesting Tidbits (interesting to me, anyways)
2007/3/11: Fascinating statistics on Canadian Universities can be found at the Re$earch Infosource site
(http://www.researchinfosource.com/). These are data compiled in a similar manner as the MacLean's Annual
ratings. Also, there is data on publication intensity by University.
2007/1/15: The mainboard battery in my Thinkpad 600X died. The boot message was Error 161
163 and which refer to dead CMOS battery and date/time not updated. The replacement part on the
web costs about $25, but the battery is a simple CR2025 lithium battery which is available
at the local dollar store (2 for $1). However, the CMOS battery is encased in a plastic shrinkwrap
with black & red wires leading to a special plug. Other people have said that they've replaced
it and so I tried. The red and black wires lead to small flat metal plates which are soldered
or heat joined (there are small pinkprick bumps on the flat plates) onto the battery. I cut open the shrinkwrap
and then carefully yanked off the small plate from the battery. I reattached the plates to the
new battery, with the red lead to the + side (flatter). I taped it together with duct tape
and replaced it with the black cable toward the center of the laptop and the positive red cable
toward the side of the laptop. It worked after 2 reboots.
2006/9/6: For those interested in a very basic student microscope, details
can be found
here at the Carolina Biological Supplies website. This company also offers some
very basic microscopes starting at $100 US.
2006/6/16: The University of Guelph has greatly increased student tuition for
the coming year, particularly for foreign graduate students. For example,
the tuition & other necessary student fees for a full year (3 semesters)
starting fall 2005 were $6,643 for domestic full-time graduate students and
$11,150 for foreign full time graduate students. For these continuing students,
the tuition increases this fall (2006) to $7,000 and $12,100 respectively.
However, the largest increase is for new foreign graduate students at almost $16,000
for a year, an increase of $4,000. A link to tutition fees at the University
of Guelph can be found here.
2006/4/23: At a recent Teaching Workshop at the University of Guelph,
some information was presented on the relationship between research and teaching:
"There is little evidence of a direct correlation between research productivity
and teaching excellence" (Hattie & Marsh 1996; Marsh
& Hattie 2002, Hattie
& Marsh 2004).
2006/3/21: The Canadian Association of University Teachers released their
"Almanac of Post-Secondary
Education, 2006". It contains an amazing array of statistics on
everything from average University Professor salaries, age, ethnicity, citizenship
to statistics on students such as age, debt load, average tuitions, etc.
2006/2/26: Average Salaries for Ontario University Professors. For
those of you contemplating a career as an University Professor, here are
some statistics regarding average salaries by age.
What it doesn't show is that in the pre-30's age groups, the pre-faculty
personnel (grad students or post-docs) generally earn between $17,000 and
$35,000 per year, so there are quite a few years of lost earnings compared
to contemporaries who might have begun their earning career right after an
undergraduate degree. In comparison, here are some statistics from the U.S.
showing that the average salaries in U.S. dollars:
Professor ($108,404), Assoc prof ($73,562), and Asst prof ($62,730).
chronicle.com/weekly/almanac/2006/nation/0102601. For a good explanation of
the academic ranks in North American Universities, see:
2005/4/17: Dual boot Win2k and Linux RH9 when Lilo won't work.
Win2k installed on primary master (hda), and RH9 installed on secondary
master (hdb) but not in the first 2 Gb. Couldn't get Lilo to work,
even though I got it working on another Win2k/Linux dual boot. Resorted
to using Loadlin which requires DOS to run. Created a dual boot with
Win2k and DOS7 (part of Win98SE), by booting with a Win98SE boot disk, and
using A:SYS C: to transfer the bootup files. Command.com wouldn't copy
over and had to be copied over to C: manually later. However the big
hitch was that the computer now booted up to C: while looking for the command
interpreter (command.com, but not the Win2K c:\winnt\system32\command.com).
Used the Win2K setup CD #1 to "repair" the Win2k installation. The
boot.ini was altered in the process to now provide selections for Win2k and
for Windows (the DOS7 Win98SE portion) upon bootup. Booted into Win2k
and then copied over the command.com manually from the Win98SE boot diskette
(floppy). Note that command.com is a hidden file. Then altered
the autoexec file so that it contained
c:\linux\loadlin.exe c:\linux\vmlinuz root=/dev/hdb6 ro
Then edited boot.ini so that the other boot item was C:\ = "Linux
RH9 via DOS 7"
2004/1/15: How do you find ATM machines in China that will accept your
Bank Card? In general, the Bank of China branches all over China have
machines that will take Foreign Bank Cards (not just credit cards, but also
ones you use to withdraw cash from Instabank Machines). And there
are options to view the transactions in English. However, in some provinces,
the Bank of China machines don't seem to accept foreign ATM cards (e.g. in
Hubei province, in the cities of Wuhan and Yichang where the largest dam
in the world is situated). In Wuhan, the machines at China Merchants
Bank accepted the Foreign ATM cards. Another way to attempt to track down
which banks might accept your card is to use the Worldwide Visa ATM locator
If searching with your city does not provide any hits, then try searching
using larger cities nearby and it may identify some banks that accept Foreign
Cards, and then you can try to find those banks in the city that you're in.
These machines that take Foreign ATM Bank Cards seem to accept cards
from both PLUS and CIRRUS systems plus others perhaps. The fees for using
foreign ATM machines depends on your bank. For example, PC Financial
charged $3.00 for each withdrawl, while the Royal Bank and the Bank of
Montreal charged $5.00 per withdrawl (in addition to other service fees
depending on your account type). The maximum single withdrawl was 3,000
Chinese Yuan which was around $500 Canadian. The Exchange rate that
you obtain with withdrawls from ATM machines is better than what you can
get with Cash or Travellers' Checks (around 1.5% higher than the official
exchange rate I think). You can get Cash Advances using your credit cards,
but the local banks in China which deal with foreign credit cards (Bank of
China only?) charge 3% on the transaction.
2003/6/27: How do you get Netscape 7 to open email attachments in Webmail
without having to individually select the application every time? See:
for details. Essentially, you click on Advanced in theDownloading
box and then set it for the proper application. This problem here is
that Netscape 7 does not use the Windows Explorer file associations, so each
file type has to be set. Also, webmail sticks PHP on the end of each
attached file, so it's difficult to program this yourself by using Helper
Applications in Netscape/Edit/Preferences.
2000/5/7: Just bought an Intel Play QX3 microscope (cost CDN $120
+ tax at Toys R Us). Just tried it out a bit. It is not useful for slide
mounts, even though it says magnification is up to 200X, but it can show
certain things such as disease symptoms and is more similar to dissecting
scope. See a metric ruler with 1 mm divisions at 10x,
60x, and 200x. There is also
an image of a Papyrus leaf showing a lesion. Although
the optics aren't that clear, I think that it can be using for live demonstrations
in class or for workshops. I'm trying to figure out how to use it in a class.
More information on this unit can be found here.
C-388, an act to prohibit the use of chemical pesticides for non-essential
purposes (including home lawns gardens, parks and golf courses) received
first reading in the house of commons on December 1, 1999. The full
text of the bill can be found here.
To refresh yourself on the Parliamentary process in Canada, see this site.
In brief, this bill was introduced by a backbencher, and has gone through
first reading, but third reading is the important one when the MP's vote
2000/4/10: Purchased a Fujitsu MPE3102AT hard drive (~$200 CDN)
which is suppose to give 10.2 Gb. Three older pentium systems were
unable to recognize it as 10.2Gb and only gave 8.5Gb. A newer pentium
and a pentium-II were able to recognize it as a 10.2Gb drive.
2000/4/5: The Government of Ontario requires that the names of
public employees (in the broad sense) who earn over $100,000 per year be
published. Here are the PDF file listings
for the current year and past years, and one list is for Ontario University
2000/11/10: If you have two hard drives and the first one has a partition
(e.g. C and D drives), then the second hard drive can put its first partition
between the two so that D become E. To get around this, make the partition
on the second drive a logical partion, not a primary DOS partition (in FDISK)
and then it will be recognized as E in the setup above
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