Wednesday, December 12, 2007

In the fast lane

Castellana hi-speed, originally uploaded by edans.

I gather there are many of us out there feeling confused and overwhelmed at times, wondering how to prioritize on the truly important things … So I'm posting here Stephen Downes' words of wisdom here, fresh from my inbox.

Everybody faces from time to time demands to make whatever they're doing more efficient. I am no supporter of wasted time and effort. But I always caution the people demanding greater efficiency. Imagine, I say to them, that you are at the top of a 20-story building. Standing by the window. You know the most efficient way to get back down to the bottom. Right? And sometimes, I conclude, some inefficiencies - some resistance and some friction - are exactly what are needed. The principle of efficiency, ruthlessly applied, inevitably leads to a fall.

Just what I needed to read. Thank you, Stephen. Thought it might be useful for some of you folks as well. ;-)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

New Year season coming

Light strings lining our streets remind of the approaching New Year season. The 3 good men will soon bring presents to Slovene children; St. Nicholas on December 6th, Santa Claus on December 25th, and Grandpa Frost aka dedek Mraz on December 31st/January 1st. I asked Kay if they have 'dedek Mraz' in the US – she said there is a character called Father New Year or Father Times but that he does not bring presents. Only Santa Claus. We are luckier, aren't we? ;-)
My personal favorite of the 3 has always been dedek Mraz. Imported from Russia (ded Moroz), he is a remnant from the times of Yugoslavia when Christmas and St. Nicholas Day weren't too loudly celebrated due to communist regime. They had been widely celebrated before that and they are today, here and there also during Yugoslavia, but much more quietly. Being a child from this socialist era, dedek Mraz continues to be my hero. Who is yours?
Photo source:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Manipulating images

We had a look at this video last week in class.

It shows how a 3D model of a human face can be created on the basis of a 2D photograph and how this 3D model can then be further animated and manipulated… Fascinating but also kind of scary…
Here are two more amazing face morphs of famous women in film and in art. An interesting voyage through time.

Andrej also came up with an interesting site dealing with celebrities and face morphs - check it out, it's fun. :-)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Flickr basics

Photographers, originally uploaded by tanakawho.

I just thought this might be useful for those of you who started exploring Flickr to share your photos with the world. It's a really nice 20 min presentation about the basics by Jeff Utech. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy St. Martin's Day!

Wine tasting, originally uploaded by Mihies.

Must started turning into wine today. There are numerous feasts all over Slovenia, especially in the wine producing regions of our country. Andrej writes about this here. Our town is a meeting point of two major wine growing areas; the Goriška brda area and the Vipava valley area. Many people produce wine at home and Martinovo, as St. Martin's day is called in Slovene, is therefore an important feast. Typical traditional dishes are being served and new wine is being tasted. 'Martinova gos' is one of such typical dishes; a roasted goose accompanied by boiled flatbread ('mlinci') and red cabbage. The roots of this feast can be traced to the preChristian era, when our ancestors celebrated it as thanksgiving day for good harvest.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Street performer, originally uploaded by Saša Sirk.

I feel Slovenia is the latest slogan launched to represent us and our country abroad. Unfortunately I couldn't find the new logo which accompanies it. It is a green and blue combination symbolizing green spaces and clean water… I saw it on the news earlier this week, placed above a photo of a young couple kissing in the street. I’m just curious now how you see our country.
Numerous slogans have been used for promoting it so far; Slovenia invigorates', 'Slovenia : your perfect getaway', 'Slovenia a diversity to discover' … My all times favorites are still the ancient 'On the sunny side of the Alps' and 'Slovenia, my country' with its linden leaf logo.
Erik found a very nice ad on YouTube. I like it. It looks good. Like a story from a fancy in flight magazine, like a National Geographic excerpt…
The Slovelnia I feel though is something else. It's my grandma’s fairy tales and a backyard garden full of strawberries, it's the smell of freshly baked bread and a pot of hot herb tea, it's roads to be explored and meadows full of mushrooms. It's old friends and neighbors I know.
When talking to non-Slovenes, the first thing I tend to point out about our country is its smallness. And then its diversity, greenness. But that’s ok I guess; small is beautiful.
Thinking of our national character, on the other hand, I come up with the following: we generally don't think much of ourselves, like staying close to our families and don't tend to move around much. We feel safe at home, kind of as if the big problems here were less dramatic than those beyond our borders. Kind of like Tolkien's hobits.
Also it seems to me that we prefer sticking to things familiar to us, that we don't like big changes. I see us as moderate, not used to expressing our emotions too openly. For expressing these, we like using foreign languages, e.g. we hardly ever swear in Slovene, but do this without blinking an eye in Italian, German, Serbian, Croatian, or English…
What is the Slovenia you feel? And what is your view of our national character?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Slovenian students (and teachers) enjoying autumn holidays this week :-)

candle one, originally uploaded by francesca.sara.

Doris wandered about the Halloween in different parts of the world here and I'm writing this in response to her post.
In Slovenia we don't make a big deal about Halloween; we carve out pumpkins and people attend Halloween parties and concerts (especially young) but we generally don't make much fuss about it.
October 31st is a work-free day in Slovenia and so is the following day, November 1st. The reason however is not Halloween but another religious holiday celebrated on this day, called Reformation Day.
The Reformation was a Protestant movement in the 16th century attempting to reform the Catholic Church. The first Slovene book and the first mention of the name 'Slovene' is associated with the Reformation and Slovenia has therefore appointed Reformation Day as a national holiday. There is usually an 'official' celebration but it is not really people's holiday.
The following day, November 1, on the other hand, is a firmly rooted national holiday called All Saints Day or simply the Day of the Dead. As the name itself tells, it's the day when we remember our dead. Families gather together, we remember our dear ones, visit their graves, bring flowers, light candles, stop for awhile by their graves, and also meet friends there. People take this holiday very seriously. It therefore suprised me very much when I happened to end up in the Mexican part of Los Angeles years ago on Dia De Los Muertos and witnessed a joyous and lively celebration of November 1st. I liked it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Mums will be mums :-)

This morning I came across this sweet song and wished I could hug and kiss my mum again. Play it for your mums and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The internet meme and trackback

Time for my homework as well - Doris passed the meme to me. :-)
When did I start using the Internet? I first learned about its existance in 1996. My husband, then a student at the Faculty of Computer Science and Informatics in Ljubljana, took me to a computer room at the faculty and showed me what the Internet is. I still remember how fascinated I was seeing how easily you can find whatever you are looking for. Few people had access to it back then.
I began to use it a few years later when I got access to it from home. In 1998 I think. We had an extremely slow dial-up connection at first, then moved on to ISDN in 2000, ADSL a bit later, and now fiber optics. :-)
In the beginning I mostly used it to search for useful materials for my study and work, for email and IMing (MSN messenger). Then I got my job at our school 3 years ago so I had to learn how to put together online materials for my course. Surfing the web I stumbled upon Webheads in Action, a wonderful online community of practice bringing together educators from different parts of the world. There I met many inspiring teachers and from then on things have been developing with the speed of light for me. We experiment, fool around, and have F.U.N.. We share our experience and visit each other's classes. And we learn new things every day. :-)

What follows is my response to Nelba's invitation to test the trackback option in our meme posts. How do we do this?
Trackback is ability to keep track of other pages on the web that link to your posts. I think it should work if we first turn on the backlinks setting, which can be found under the Settings Comments tab and then post a link in our post to Nelba's blog post at .
Does it work? We'll see.
Matias and Vance tried this awhile ago and wrote about it here and here and Bili mentiones having problems with this here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mechatronics students opened blogs

Some already made their first posts. :-) Way to go!

Jan O.
Borut S.
Davorin M.
Boštjan K.
Uroš K.
Barbara B.
Anže K.
Jani G.
Jaka V.
Gregor K.
Damir H.
Nejc L.
Robert N.
Emanuel K.
Slavko K.
Tomaž J.
Erik B.
Janoš V.
Alan P.
Jan U.
Erik O.
Danijel R.
Damjan V.
Klemen I.
Darjan L.
Darjan T.
Boštjan B.
Goran G.

Wish you lots of fun exploring your blogs and connecting to the world!

A Vision of Students Today

We've been talking about education recently - Prof. M. Wesch and his students (from Kansas University) shared their vision of higher education. Is this your vision as well?
Prof Wesch is also the author of the widely viewed and discussed The Machine is Us/ing Us.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Students from Venezuela introducing themselves at Chinswing

Here they are at ...and some of us as well ;-). Join us and reply to their thread. Have a warm, sunny weekend.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The informatics group opened blogs

Here we are :-). We opened our blogs in Blogger and kept the default settings. We mostly made our first introductory posts and tagged them 'writingmatrix'. Our posts should now be visible in Technorati (how) but unfortunately are not :-(. We'll have to figure out why.

Andrej B.
Gregor B.
Aljaž Č.
Valentina F.
Biljana J.
Goran J.
Borut K.
Patrik K.
Kristjan K.
Dajana K.
Tomaž M.
Rok M.
Špela O.
Aljaž O.
Uroš O.
Matej P.
Jaka P.
Andraž P.
Andrej R.
Andrej Š.
Vanja T.
Tomi U.
Borut V.
Teja Č.
Tjaša V.
Barbara K.
Matjaž K.
Vito S.
Saša G.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Another school year begins

Welcome new students! And hello again old ones, if you're still around! I wish you all a good start and good luck.

A little about this blog for those new to our English course - and a little about the writingmatrix project it's been part of from the start.

Our last year adult informatics group experimentally created this blog in April simply to reach out into the cyberworld beyond our classroom and meet new friends online. We soon learned about the writingmatrix project, where international students and teachers collaboratively explore tools such as blogs, RSS technology and social bookmarking sites, and we decided to join it. We started blogging, tagging and connecting and it's been fun! Check out the Technorati feed and our last year students' blogs - the links are on the right side of this blog.
I hope to see you join as well. It's very simple! Once you have your blog, label your post 'writingmatrix' and you are in. The more, the merrier. See you online.:-)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Social Bookmarking in Plain English

Another great video from Common Craft explaining 'in plain English'

Monday, July 30, 2007

A chat with students from Venezuela

Today I had a YM chat with Diego, David, and Irving - 3 writingmatrix students from Venezuela. We talked a bit about weather, travelling and what we do. It's hot here these days, isn't it? So is there - about 39 degrees C and up. They have 2 seasons there - a dry and a rainy one. Needless to say, both hot.

Back from holidays

I spent a long time away from computer on two beautiful Croatian islands, Hvar and Pag. Hvar is covered in lush greenery while Pag is a stony desert.

It took me a while to get used to life without the Internet. I kept wondering about the online events I was missing, tons of email, things to do... But fooling around with my 3 boys time flew and I pretty much soon stopped thinking about anything; we were swimming, fishing, playing in the sand, watching beautiful sunsets and starry nights, and eating and sleeping a lot. It's been some time since I was last disconnected for such a long time and although it seemed challenging to endure at first, proved a very relaxing experience. Now that I'm back home, I have problems turning off my vacation mode :-).

This was our beach on Hvar.

I hope you are all fully enjoying these summer days. What are your holidays like? Post some pics, tell us where you have been or where you plan to go.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hi, I have made my first blog today. You can find it on this link:

PS. Saša, can you add me to students blogs list. Thanks.

Have a nice summer... Bye

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Global warming

Monkey, originally uploaded by Saša Sirk.

It's getting hot, isn't it? Air conditioners hum all around and we linger by our firmly shut windows observing the world outside like tropical fish from a fish tank. Progress, huh?
Taiwanese students created very interesting propaganda materials to promote fight against global warming . Check it out at .

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

How to follow writingmatrix posts even more easily

We've mostly been using Bloglines now, right? We've subscribed to individual blogs of interest, explored various widgets, played around with templates and page elements, etc.
To pull all the writingmatrix posts together, we had a look at Technorati awhile ago (if we enter 'writingmatrix' in the search box, Technorati generates a page with a chronological list of blog posts tagged writingmatrix ).
Vance discovered it is also possible to subscribe to the RSS feed of this Technorati page. Following writingmatrix posts 'globally' is much simpler and more effective this way because everything tagged 'writingmatrix' is simply pooled to our Bloglines account and regularly updated.
How do we subscribe to the Technorati 'writingmatrix' page?
Go to Technorati homepage - enter 'writingmatrix' in the search box - click 'Search' - click 'View all' below the hit list - an orange RSS 'Subscribe' button should appear on top of the newly generated page - right-click the button - copy shortcut - and create a new Bloglines feed for the Technorati writingmatrix page.
I did it and now feel much more comfortable following what's going on in the writingmatrix world. Thank you Vance.
I decided to share the most recent writingmatrix posts from this feed in the side bar of our Roštilj. I did this in Blogger Dashboard - Manage Layout - Add a page element - Feed. I know many of you figured this out before I have - I'm catching up slowly and documenting my progress ;-).

Chinese Translation

I'm still humming this tune... I came across it in Garr Reynolds' Presentation Zen. The depth of this simple song by M. Ward is amazing.

A man sailed a wild, wild sea and climbed a tall, tall mountain and met an old, old man beneath a weeping willow tree. The old man said: "If you got some questions go and lay them at my feet but my time here is brief so you'll have to pick just 3."
The young man asked:“What do you do with the pieces of a broken heart? How can a man like me remain in the light? If life is really as short as they say, then why is the night so long?”
And then the sun went down and the old man sang this song: "See I once was a young fool like you afraid to do the things that I knew I had to do so I played an escapade just like you, I played an escapade just like you. I sailed a wild, wild sea, climbed up a tall, tall mountain, I met an old, old man, he sat beneath a sapling tree. He said now if you got some questions, go and lay them at my feet but my time here is brief so you’ll have to pick just three. And I said: What do you do with the pieces of a broken heart? And how can a man like me remain in the light? And, if life is really as short as they say, then why is the night so long? And then the sun went down and he played for me this song"

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

RSS in Plain English

I could not resist posting this video here - it talks about RSS readers and why we should use them - something we've been exploring recently...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tag Clouds

What do you think of these tag clouds? I find them cute. They visualize word frequency in chosen texts. You simply enter the text to be visualized and hit the 'visualize' button.
I read about these clouds in the blog of the Slovene Association of LSP Teachers some time ago... One of the teachers commented that her students had a lot of fun analysing speeches by G.W. Bush. Here's visualization of my writingmatrix wiki page. Try it out yourselves - it's fun!

created at

Monday, May 7, 2007

Technorati puzzle

I was at Blostreams Salon at Tapped In yesterday. Blogstreams Salon is a monthly event where people meet to discuss and explore blogs. We talked a bit about Technorati and the writingmatrix project. The idea behind writingmatrix is to get in touch with people with similar interests across the world by tagging posts writingmatrix and then searching for blogs of interest using Technorati (you simply enter 'writingmatrix' in the search box, click on the arrow next to the text box and choose 'in tags' to find all blog posts with writingmatrix tags). Technorati generates a list from the most recent posts on. You'll find many students from Venezuela there.
When checking the list yesterday, we found out that it doesn't include some of the writingmatrix blogs despite tagging - we wondered whether the reason for this could be that the missing blogs aren't configured at sending pings (under settings/publishing). 5 Roštilj student blogs are on the Technorati writingmatrix (in tags) hit list (Suzana, Igor, Robert, Dušan, Aleš) and 4 of them are left out (Matej, Bogdan, Aleksander, Robert Č - Robert hasn't really posted anything yet, Matej misspelled the tag (his pin configuration is set at yes, has already corrected his tags but is not yet on the list), Aleksander and Bogdan tagged their posts correctly but are not included – I hope we'll soon understand why.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Funny turist on Malta...

Hi everyone!

I found this funny mp3 file... You should listen it.

It is on this link


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Part-time informatics class 06/07

Our class: Matej aka 'Catman',

the lucky father of sweet Aša Aleš and our two Roberts,

Mavricij and Igor (the diver) in the front and Aleksander and Peter in the back row.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Tomorrow's teaching is today

Tomorrow's teaching is today, originally uploaded by sasasirk.

I have been 'silent' for awhile because I was busy attending E-twinning conference for language teachers, which took place this weekend at our school(from Thursday to Saturday). There were about 65 participants from different European countries (UK, Ireland, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Poland, France, ...). We enjoyed wonderful workshops and had a lot of FUN. Ewan Macintosh, a cool Scottish presenter, wrote some nice words about our school here.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The world of bears

My last movie is two days old...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Too Busy to Stop and Hear the Music

Today I read about an interesting experiment which took place in January - a world-class violinist played for hours in a subway station and almost no one stopped to listen. I learned about the story in Seth's blog.
We are always short of time, always in a hurry... Had you been there, would you have done the same thing? I'm afraid I would.
Seth says most of us probably would and it bothers us. »If your worldview is that music in the subway isn't worth your time, you're not going to notice when the music is better than usual (or when a famous violinist is playing). It doesn't match the story you tell yourself, so you ignore it. We're so overwhelmed by the din of our lives that we've created a worldview that requires us to ignore the outside world, most of the time, even when we suffer because of it.«
Let's not forget to take a deep breath every now and then and simply enjoy the moment. Have a warm, sunny weekend.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Anti-Phishing Working Group

The total number of unique phishing reports submitted to Anti-Phishing Working Group in January 2007 was 29,930 – the highest recorded number by the APWG. This is a count of unique phishing email reports received by the APWG from the public, its member organizations and its research partners.

More on this web site:

Where are we heading?

My husband asked me if I ever imagined when I was a student that 95% of my work would involve the use of computer. I didn't. Where are these fast technology developments taking us? Here's a video speculating about it. What are the most surprising facts for you? Or did you know? ;-) Thanks for the link, Jennifer.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Phishing Demo

We had converssation about phishing last monday. This is another example of phishing.

I'll be more careful

You all told me in class that a scam was done through the Mercur. Do you think the scam in the video is the way they got the customer's information? I don't think I have ever really noticed if an ATM looks different than I expect, I am afraid that I would be one of those customers who would get caught unaware. Now I will be more cautious.

Scamming the ATM machine

On Monday we talked about different crimes people commit using computers (phishing, spamming, creating viruses, etc.). Somebody mentioned ATM scamming and Kay came up with a nice video about it. THANK YOU, Kay. Check it out. Did you know your magnetic cards can be cloned so easily?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Last month my father was ordered on magazine IRT3000. It is a kind of magazine for informatics and mechatronics. Here are some very interesting articles.


Monday, April 2, 2007

SMT production line

Hello everyone!

I decided to present our SMT production line at Iskra Avtoelektrika. I work in Electronic BME department. We make DC and AC controllers for various types of forklifts, electrical vehicles, boats and other car industry. We also make electronics controllers for brushless motor. (SMT – surface mount technology)

Our production line is in EPA area. This is Electrostatic discharge Protected Area. In our production line we work with ESDS – ElectroStatic Discharge Sensitive elements (processor, chip, mos-fet and others). So we have specially prepared production area for work. We have also white overall frock with tiny conductor wire in it. When we work with small and very sensitive elements, we have also electrostatic discharge wrist strap which is conected into EBP – Earth Bonding Point.

At the entrance we have test instrument. It is wrist strap and footwear tester, which performs a quick test to assure whether wrist straps and footwear are conductive within acceptable limits.

Before this tester is “material preparing” department. Here we open all non electrostatic discharge packages and separate them. Material with ESDS packages we later import to EPA area where is placed automatic storage.

We work with SMD and discrete electronic components. SMD components we place on the circuits with automatic machines, but discrete components we place manually. I decided to present only automatic part of our production line.

Our production line start with material preparing and after that we have first machine which grease circuit surface with soldering paste. We have a template for each type of controller. Then we have two pick and place SMT machines.

We bought new machine last week which would be used for making VIMEC controllers. This is controller in electrical vehicle for invalids that they can go up stairs. Watch the video presentation of this P&P machine.

After this two pick and place (P&P) machines we have reflow oven. Here soldering paste melts and solder elements with pads on PCB board. After this we have optical control machine calls “AOI”. This machine visually controls whole board and checks if elements are in right position or orientation. It also checks value of elements. If everything is ok, here is another operation. Discrete elements. We put it on the PCB board manually. After this operation we have automatic soldering with wave.

This machine solder all discrete elements. After that operation, we have eye control of controllers. At this operation we soldering wires and other stuff.
Finally here is electrical control. We have simulators of forklifts and we control each controller. At the end we lacquering good controllers with another and the last one automatic machine.

After those operations we have also assembly line where we compose controllers. Finally we have 100% control place where we have forklift and we control if controller work properly. With AC controllers we make also burn test. We charge controllers with current of 300A and wait until controller has 80°C. We watch eventual changes and errors with thermal camera.

At the end we pack controllers into ESD package. That`s all folks!!!

Playing Computer Games

Whenever I ask my full-time students how they use their computers their No. 1 answer is to play computer games. And many of those whose English is very impressive say they owe this to playing online computer games where they interact with real players and learn English in real context.
Here's a short video of a really passionate young player – I'm not sure how real it is but looks funny. What do you think of it?

Our Blog

Dear students, this is our blog - a brand new empty cyber space calling for action. How shall we name it?