I had to finally migrate to a bigger Hard Drive yesterday due to my Lord of the Rings Online Install growing to over 11GB. I was currently on a 40GB PATA HD and was approaching my limit after the install of LOTR Online. I had an 80GB PATA HD on hand that I was using to image my Windows XP 40GB HD.

I imaged my 40GB HD with Acronis True Image 8.0(older version) onto a networked folder on my other system(Mercury), which took about 2 hours(cheap router). I then Used Acronis True Image 8.0 to restore the image onto the 80GB Hard Drive.

It installed in about 2 hours or so and was I left with a 40GB active, bootable partition and a 40GB unallocated partition. I then created a new NTFS partition on the unallocated portion and expanded the active partition to merge with the new, blank one.

In the end I was left with a bigger 80GB NTFS, active and bootable Windows XP partition.

I realize there are probably much easier ways of doing this with various applications....but this is what I had available.

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Wow! It's been a busy time for the Social Networking team, with the first phase of data gathering and analysis now complete. Tjhien, Anne-Sophie and I began by researching undergraduates, looking at the role that other people around them can play in their learning, and in particular identifying the points at which they feel other people could potentially help them, but for some reason currently are unable to. After a diary study and interviews with 8 students carefully chosen to reflect the spread of people at the University, we feel we have a much deeper understanding of their needs. There have of course been some surprises, and so points at which this research appears to be conflicting with previous research projects carried out here in CARET. In particular, we're feeling intrigued by students' use of Facebook: a previous project had concluded that self-representation and self-fashioning played a huge role of students' Facebook use, whereas this current research suggests that Facebook is seen by our students largely as an events management and communication system.

Meanwhile, we seem to have used up almost every post-it note in the office during the analysis phase - with the expert help of consultancy Flow Interactive, we seem to have developed a very post-it note intensive process!

Over the next couple of months, we'll be moving into phases II and III of our research , working with post-grads and senior academics. Once again, we'll be looking at the role that the people around them play in their learning, and the role that they feel they can and should play in helping others learn.

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YouTube recently launched an exclusive High Definition section for the US users. Users who have access to this section can watch the videos in 720p HD quality.

How YouTube has this working is when you happen to upload a video onto YouTube in HD quality - YouTube will automatically have a new buton called "Watch it in HD" just below the player's lower right hand corner. Currently you have a button called "watch it in high quality" in that space for a few videos. On clicking the "Watch it in HD" button, it expands the standard viewing window to 16 x 9 with a 1280 x 720 resolution for HD viewing.

Also, YouTube already says that users who would like to have their videos available in HD quality need to look at the videos' aspect ratio. Also, the new YouTube widescreen player will automatically add "pillarbox" bars to 4:3 videos, so if a video was already letterboxed to fit the 4:3 window, it will be doubly resized (that's a concern since it will surely create an unpleasant viewing experience).

Currently we are seeing that the HD resolution of 720p is fast becoming a standard among the online video sharing sites. Professional video content syndication web sites such as Hulu already offer HD as an option. Soon we'll have Netflix and Amazon video on-demand services to offer high definition through the browser as well. So this area is gonna be competitive!!

So that's what has kept me away from updating this blog for quite sometime now. Most of the regulars here already know about this (Since most of them mailed / pinged me). For those who weren't aware - Yes I did tie the nuptial knot to Pari. Incidentally my wife too loves blogging and has a very informative and entertaining blog over at www.JasPari.info

Here's a collage of a few pics from the wedding.


I've recently been using Sun Vm Virtual Box to run various smaller Linux distrobutions on top of my Windows XP Pro install. I realize that there are other similar programs out there with many more features available, but I've been impressed with Virtual Boxes' simplicity and functionality. So far, no problems and it does what it was developed to do! Oh yeah it's also free!


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A brief introduction to our project from Harriet Truscott.

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