August 30, 2004

The tides are changing for scientific publishing

USATODAY.com - Scientists want research papers freely available. Having this issue voiced in USA Today hopefully means that lay individuals will begin to see the importance of open access. I particularly like this line in the article referring to the current publishing business model:

"It's the biggest scam ever," says letter-signer and 1993 Nobel Prize winner Richard Roberts.

Posted by johnvu at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2004

Open-source eNotebook?

The EMSL Collaboratory Homepage. I've been toying with the idea of improving upon the eNotebook that was developed here -- SQL backend (for searching, storing, etc.), XML/XHTML compliant interface with user editable CSS (for multi-browser compatibility), wxwindows/Python clients capable of accessing the database (for users who don't like the web-based interface), CVS-like server for collaborative writing, and a highly important feature: generation of PDFs for each experiment and the results, dated, to file away a hardcopy. Wishful thinking? Already been done? If so please let me know where I can find it and how much it is.

Posted by johnvu at 12:03 AM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2004

Playing DVDs to show off my son with a FREE DVD player

VLC media player for Windows. I wanted to show my home videos on my laptop to some friends -- all on DVD. But after upgrading my laptop (Sotec brand 3120X) to Windows XP Pro, I lost the ability of playing DVDs for a while and had no way to re-install Intervideo's software for DVD playing since the system's CDs were just ghost CDs for a clean re-install. I was in the dark for quite sometime, until I found this awesome player. VLC is actually a very awesome media player -- plays all the other compressed formats such as DiVX, etc. And it has the ability to stream over the network. How is this important? Well, I can stream video to my family over the internet! I had problems with playing video at first. Only the audio was working and I just had a blank black screen. That was easily remedied by going into the Preferences menu item, Modules->Video Output->vout_directx, then check "Advanced Options" and for the output device, choose "Refresh List" and then choose "display." For whatever reason, if you chose just "Default" it doesn't work. I also checked every other item in that menu listing under vout_directx.

Now that I have this working, all I have to do is find an active audience willing to watch my home videos.

Posted by johnvu at 11:36 PM | Comments (0)