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Thuvack's Wikiversity blog
Feel free to add comments.
(13) - Wikiversity summer Plan
(12) - A year later
(11) - While I was away
(10) - In real life
(9) - Customising my Wikiversity User account
(8) - Personal Organisation
(7) - Templates
(6) - Code Re-use
(5) - Any Thing Called "Wiki-Over Commitment"?
(4) - Mail days Gone forever?
(3) - ISO 9001 & Engineering Consultants
(2) - Wikiversity Edits Using OOo-2.3
(1) - I might as well start this
edit this list

Thank you for visiting my blog page, I am known as Thuvack here at Wikiversity.This is an "Open Blog". Feel free to add your own comments. Please sign anything you add: everything that is not signed is by this user.UserIconContributions.png

This Page/sub-page and all other pages related to me are part of Wikiversity and are released under GNU Licence.

Why I keep this Blog:

I generally spend a lot of time here at wikiversity. I use wikiversity as my study companion site. like everything wiki can be daunting at the begining, but you master it as time goes on. I use this blog as a learning journal. Anything i think I need to remember in here I jot down somewhere in my user page. If it is really meaningful I log it here in my blog. maybe it will be meaningful to others who may read this blog. I also keep a blog for momento of time spent here. Isn't it time you kept a blog as well? I would like to know what you are thinking every now and then.

Copy this link and paste it into your aggregator (e.g. Juice Receiver, Bloglines) to stay up to date with Thuvack's Blog at Wikiversity.

December-05-2010:Wikiversity Summer[edit]

I've been in contact with a new user here at wikiversity. Our conversation built on my mute intentions to resume editing in the school of electrical engineering this summer (December is summer for us in South Africa). Any ways I realised how rusted my wiki editing techniques have become after such a long time. Baby steps for me all over again.

My day was made when I logged on to the wikiversity main page, only to be gret by Circuit Analysis as a featured page. Awesome!

Anyways this is my last week at work before the break. After that I intend to do more than lurking arround here. Thuvack | talk | Blog

observations from Thuvack for 2009 August

Please Feel free to comment here, I may not share your point of view - please sign anything you add (howto Wikiversity:Signature).

August-12-2009:A year later[edit]

I have been a stranger to wikiversity for a long time now. Work has been very busy. I ocassionaly browse wikiversity to check on the progress made. I get a sense of disappointment to see that most of the pages I started or helped in have not changed a year later! I had hoped that someone somewhere would take the projects and run with them. It is a calling that gets harder to ignore each day. I hope that all those veterans who have now left wikiversity share this sentiments.

Maybe Thuvack might come back to Wikiversity if time allows. I hope it will be soon. Watch this space :-) --Thuvack | talk | Blog

observations from Thuvack for 2008 November

Please Feel free to comment here, I may not share your point of view - please sign anything you add (howto Wikiversity:Signature).

November-07-2008: While I was away[edit]


I have just completed the 9 weeks of primary site work & Related inspections for a major shopping centre that My employing company was involved in. To be honest I quite enjoyed my self out there doing field work. I had ample opportunities to explore the barrier between Theory and Practical application of Electrical Reticulation. The insight gained by working with veterans of the field has been both inspiring and eye opening.

While I was away, I've been popping in every now and again to check on my watch list and other areas of interest around this virtual campus. Needless to say that a lot has happened. Some unbelievable, and some down right unforgivable.

Yet through all that I dare say this community emerged out of it ( obviously not in one piece ), and we continue to work towards a common goal despite any differences we may have. To me conflict is not so important as the methods employed to resolve it. I dare say we have learned our lesson when it comes to conflict resolution and following protocol in achieving it. We obviously need to improve on policy of conflict resolution.

What i yearn for is a way to get back those skilled editors we have lost as a result of the recent events. I don’t think it is at all possible to replace a skilled editor, and we have to face the truth that they were very good at what they did.

I have also started preparing my self for activities I would to get involved or start here in 2009. I am also planning to attend the Wikimania 2009, depending on funding I will get to supplement what i will have saved up that point. For now though, I want to concentrate on those courses I started during the course of the year.

Happy wikiediting -- Thuvack | talk | Blog 12:50, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

observations from Thuvack for 2008 August

Please Feel free to comment here, I may not share your point of view - please sign anything you add (howto Wikiversity:Signature).

August-12-2008:Real life[edit]

I found myself writting this little phrase repeatedly here and at wikipedia without even thinking about what it means.

I am doing … In real life

Have you ever used the phrase to refer to your activities outside of wikiversity as real life activities? I have and am not sure if that is correct anymore. what is real? that I think is relative to the refference point of view. If I spend atleast 3 hours or more a day here at wikiversity can that be called real time and if time is a mere measure of our days is that not real life?

I am going to think twice before I use that expression next time! --Thuvack | talk | Blog 15:26, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I also use(d) the term - I'd say: real is what you think, until someone/something comes along which proves you otherwise. Also the group photo helped that people are not anonym writers for me only - they have now a "real" face :-) I would like to extend the thoughts to after life. What happens when you die ? You are not real anymore ? In WV you stay - as we can see with Mirwin he is still being remembered - besides his family and friends in "real life". Is wiki the way to get immortal ? The marketing department of the foundation could need some new slogans :-) e.g. "No need for cosmetics - stay young forever - with wikis" or "It is the opium of the people to stay alive - wikis" ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 21:02, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

August-06-2008:Customising my Wikiversity User account[edit]

I am always looking for ways to optimise my edits; views and browwsing here at wikiversity. This is due to daily Time constraints I need to manage( I am work after-all ). I just cant open each page to view changes on my watchlist or other pages I am interested in. This is where the little Gadget called:Navigation popups comes in.

There is a list of special gadgets you can enable for your account by going to your preferences page, then click on Gadgets. These gadgets are mostly based on JavaScript, so JavaScript has to be enabled in your browser for them to work. Note that these gadgets will have no effect on this preferences page.

These special gadgets are not part of the MediaWiki software, and are usually developed and maintained by users on local wiki. Local administrators can edit available gadgets using definitions and descriptions. There are currently three gadgets you can enable.

Navigation popups
Enhanced Talk: Color codes discussions to make easier to follow, much like some forums 
or bulletin board do. See for an example screen here.
Round Corners: Provides more rounded corners for anyone who uses mozilla-based browsers, 
like firefox. 

I have just enabled the Navigational popups gadget. This has made life much easier, and has once more optimised the time I spend here. I am trying to cutdown on time spent browsing and yet maintain my contribution momentum (Tricky isn't it?).

I should then take this time to thank those who create and mantain these gadgets. It is making a difference and is much appreciated.--Thuvack | talk | Blog 15:45, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

August-04-2008:Personal Organisation[edit]

Agitate educate organise.svg
Get Organised... Not Agitated

Having been in the Most active participants list for two months I have come to realise that I could actually half the time I take to do Edits and yet mantain the amount of my contributions. It is all about personal organisation. I have started planning my daily activities on my linux box. I have it open the whole day at work anyway, so I can actually tick-off completed tasks as I finish them. I dont have a PDA but I am planning to get one very soon. I use To-do extension of Kontact and I must say I am happy with its performance. For longer projects I use the VYM (View your Mind ) for creating mind maps.

I think If I were to advise anyone starting on Wikiversity, concerning Personal Organisation it would be. "Plan what you want to edit or contribute before hand. Thinking on your feet isn't the same as Editing on your feet". You will have a better chance to see your progress if you plan your edits well before hand. This will save a lot of precious time (Especially if you Edit during your lunch time at work! ;-)… ).

This information age is getting faster and faster. it becomes even more impossible to get through the day without some kind of planning. I wonder what other wikivesitarians use for personal organisation tools or software.Happy wiki editing.-- Thuvack | talk | Blog 15:26, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

I stick to the traditional paper + pen. Losing these is not so risky than a PDA :-( ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 23:13, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Please Feel free to comment here, I may not share your point of view - please sign anything you add (howto Wikiversity:Signature).


Template Method UML.png
What Template did you use today?

I have done a considerable amount of work towards developing the Xitsonga Wikipedia,lately. Because the community/project is still in it's infancy, I have had to apply for sysop priveledges(Out of necesity). I was granted temporary Adminship since there is not a big enough community for the voting process. During my first few cleaning-up tasks, I found my-self writting up a lot of my favorite templates like Robelbox. I got a lot of red-links instead of what I expected.

That is when I realised just how tedious this wikipedia thing is going to be. I need to start everything from scratch!. So for the next weeks (As and when I get time ) I will be transferring(See my previous blog on Code and translating) a lot of Templates that have made editing wikiversity almost automated, to the Xitsonga Wikipedia.

This made me realise that every Template used here at wikiversity, is not an embedded functionality of the wiki enviroment. Someone had to spend some time to write and test these templates. As we make these great strides into the future, we must take time to reflect on what has been achieved sofar.

My salute of the week goes to the Fathers of wikiversity (You know who who you are) for their efforts in setting up this enviroment that we have come to take as a matter of fact. The next time you use a template, how about visiting its page and having a look at it's code? It is worthwhile-- Thuvack 15:16, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

22-July-2008:Code re-use[edit]

2007 Subaru Liberty (BLE MY07) 3.0R Spec.B sedan (2007-04-01).jpg
Do not re-invent the wheel

While going through some edits and polishing currently going on for Electric Circuit Analysis in preparation of it's entrance to the featured content page, I was reminded of the day I joined Wikiversity. I had good intentions and desire to improve the School of Electrical Engineering. There was one problem However, I had no exposure to the Wiki markup. I had done a bit of Html Mark up for my second year in Programming and Java. My first edit was very ambitious and almost disasterous! I tried to code a half day's worth for a page in 30 minutes! the result was very disheartening, needless to say.

Then on my way home I remembered one principle of Object Oriented Principle for Class creation. "Code re-use". A simple yet very useful principle, there is no need to re-invent the wheel. Before you waste a considerable amount of time coding, you need to find out if there is no existing Code to help you achieve what you're trying to achieve. For big projects this may actually save you a lot of precious time.

So I came back the next day determined to learn about the wiki mark-up. I looked at the mainhelp section which had a good basic explanation of most used wiki mark-up. I spent a few weeks experimenting with the mark-up I found in the help section. That unfortunately does not show the power of those simple mark-ups. So a month or two later, I tried to discipher the code used in Portal:Engineering. I clicked on the Edit this page link and I selected the whole code copied it to a text file then printed it. I went through it when I got home, I could see where it was going, but I could not understand the concerpt of Box headers and footers and the sub-page thing.

One day I decide to go back to the main help page and I went through the intermediate and advanced editing page. There I found the tutorial like resource prepared by Robert Elliott. I liked the layouts used and the presentation style. I decide to use these to make up my user page, and the more I used it, the faster I got, And I did not have to do the whole code from scratch!. I looked at the Courses in Filmmaking and I got some Ideas on lesson layout and basic navigation. This you will notice has become standard format for all my recent lessons and courses I am currently incolved with.

I feel that this principle is the whole idea behind wiki,Code re-usability. You shouldn't have to be an expert for you to be able to do descent looking Lesson pages in a wiki enviroment.So think before spending hours coding (there is probably an existing Code for what you are trying to do). And if there isn't Then after coding it, do tell the rest of us about it ;-). Happy wiki editing... Thuvack 09:40, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

18-July-2008:Any Thing Called "Wiki-Over Commitment"?[edit]

Ambox scales.svg
Weighing the scales

Yesteday I created my user account at a Xitsonga Wikipedia and at Betawiki, I am really interested in helping out there. It is My home language and close to my heart. I am just abit worried of burning myself up by being over commited. I have done a resoable amount of work Here at wikiversity and that will remain my major contribution to Open learning for some time as it deals with my day to day job and career. I am afraid I might get carried away with the Wikipedia thing ( I have done some mind-maps onit already! ). I have also sensed that there is some sort of Tension between Wikipedians and Wikiversitarians. I guess I will just have to exercise some level of self restraint. Such is life... :-)Thuvack 06:20, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Tension ? What happened ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 15:58, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Maybe my view is outdated, but that is the feeling I got after going through the comments of most users about the closure of Betawiki. Wikipedians seem for the Idea and Wikiveritarians against the Idea. I am against the idea being a contributor to Betawiki myself.Thuvack 07:13, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, I don't know where the supporters of the proposal are working mostly (that would cost me now more time to research), but probably if they would understand why we want to keep beta alive they might see the world different. Often times it is just because people try not to understand others motives :-( Theoretically we all work for the same goal in the end. We could start/extend a learning resource for this topic - I am sure. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 16:19, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

17-July-2008:Mail days Gone forever?[edit]


This topic makes me feel older than I actually am. Remember back in the days when letters/mail was everybody's most reliable form of communication. My last letter was addressed to my Pen friend on the other side of the world- Japan! some 8 years ago. Unfortunately we've since lost contact of each other. She at the time had no e-mail and neither did I.

It was suggested during the early nineties, that e-mail would completely supercede conventional mail, but that has not been realized. Latest statistics from South African Post office shows an increase in volume. This is attributed to increase in the Retail market. I was also suppriced at the latest statistics from from Statistics SA the growth per capita has increased to 4%. More people have better buying power and hence increased retail accounts increase.

Back to the matter of letters, interestingly SA Post office Annual Report records that personal mail is still significantly higher than expected. It looks like there is still the retro crowd who enjoy sending and receiving letters. I suppose They have a point, e-mail just isn't as personal and sentimental as letters were. I remember that during the pen pal exchanges, I would include something distinctly South African (eg, Paper pressed leaf or something scented ) and likewise would receive something similar.

This is a good example of just how less human technology has made us become thus far. We must never elude ourselves, Technology can not and must never replace basic human interactions, We must never replace physical interactions by video call. I think it will be a long time before the practice of sending and receiving letters is completely archived. I'm thinking about writting one... Thuvack 09:11, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

I must say, in my life I used real letters for personal communication very few times, mostly letters are for official documents and stuff. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 16:20, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

16-July-2008: ISO 9001 & Engineering Consultants[edit]

ISO 9001.jpg
ISO 9001 Certification

A lot of Engineering Consultants & their companies have been forced to look at the issue of standardisation in their business in order to be legible for most Governmental Civils Projects. This is the time of construction Boom in most parts of the world, yet more so for South Africa.

With the 2010 FIFA World Cup coming to South Africa a lot of other projects had to start. The likes of Gautrain marks the begining of first world traits for African countries. This construction boom means a lot of work for Engineering consulting companies, and inevitably a lot of necessary collaboration and sharing of skills.

This necessary Collaboration would be impossible if there are no defined set of standards to govern companies work flow. This is where the drive towards ISO 9000 certification comes in. Since I work for an Electrical Engineering company, I was bound to come across this beast. So I had to do some sort of adhoc research on the ISO thing, and I soon found out that it is not at all so different to the methodology of organisations that I have been applying for the past 2 years.

I wonder how many people have had to change their much loved working method to conform to the ISO standard. I don't suppose it was an easy experience, but I guess it is worth the effort! Thuvack 16:09, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

13-July-2008: Wikiversity Edits Using 2.3[edit]

Crystal openoffice.png

Last Friday when I creted my wikiblog, I checked arround wikiversity Blog category to have an idea of what other wikiveriterians blog about. I came across Whiteknight External blog. The article about Exports wiki mark-up.

This had my eye brows shoot-up. I have been using for 4 moths now. It worked wonders for me when I did my Experiential training report ( I must include View-Your-Mind, such a nifty Mind map program). I had no idea that this Beast I have just tamed and have come to enjoy using most dependedly, could do that.

So I tried it on a simple task list I was planning to write sometime tomorow morning (Monday). After typing it out nicely and formating it by bullet and indeting, I saved it, then exported it as MediaWiki (.txt). and Vouala! it worked. The exported text file had the wiki mark-up I had expected.

So I tried something more complicated, I added frames into the document and unfortunately that did not workout. I guess we will always have to do some sort of manual editing. Never the less this presented me with a real efficient way to do my edits. Since I have no internet access at home I have never anticipated doing any text edits since those would be very daunting and limited since there would be no mark-up reference. This little gadget still needs some polishing but I feel it is very useful, I can now plan my weekly edits over the weekend and even do basic markup. All the other fancy graphical part I can do during the week.

That for me is my is a very good find!Thuvack 14:20, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

10 July 2008: I might as well start this[edit]

I have been reflecting on my contributions and activity in the Department of Electrical Engineering here at Wikiversity, and I thought I might as well start a blog.

I am relatively new to Wikiversity, but I have learned so much already! I enjoy contributing to this Open Learning initiative, I guess it all started with Linux and Open Source.

I hope to spend some time each week to log my thoughts, maybe someone will read and maybe we will fortify this wave of Open Learning Revolution.

I am reading it now :-) - hope to see more interesting thoughts from you also in the future, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 18:50, 16 July 2008 (UTC)