Welcome! I am Jason Nguyen, a graduate student in ethnomusicology at Indiana University, Bloomington, and this blog is where I make observations about music, culture, and academic life.

“You can text in class…if it’s going to ME!” – Student Texts –> Google Spreadsheet. (Semi-)LIVE in the Classroom!



So in C122 Interpersonal Communication this week, I wanted everyone to submit a greeting of some sort to me, and then we could look at the student responses in aggregate. Basically, this is what I wanted to happen:

Me: Everybody pretend that I’m the friend you want to talk to after class, and text me how you’ll greet them.
Students: [ dutifully texting their messages ]
*magic magic magic*
The Board: [ magically shows all the text messages ]

The solution I came up with wasn’t perfect (it takes a few minutes to update and grab all the texts), but it went pretty damn well. Instructions after the jump. Continue reading “You can text in class…if it’s going to ME!” – Student Texts –> Google Spreadsheet. (Semi-)LIVE in the Classroom!

LOLculture is famous! Ish.


Harmonic Dissidents, an online magazine, recently re-published one of Charles Keil’s old articles, and they asked me if they could spruce it up with one of the pictures from my other site, LOLculture:

This particular image was created by my good friend Kurt Baer.

Original Post: http://www.lolculture.com/charles-keil-wants-you-to-know-about-his-groo

[ […]

Daily Accountability with help from Google

Google Docs Logo

This semester, I have a lot of work, but it’s all going to have to be self-structured.  So I took a strategy from a Noah Kagan blog post, “Daily Accountability Marketing Metrics“, in which he asks those working for him to fill out a daily form that asks them what specific work they’ve done as part of their duties for that day.  What I like about the forms he uses is that they are both metric and reminder.

Continue reading Daily Accountability with help from Google

Schedule Gmail delivery with Boomerang (feat. my MCAT students)

Boomerang Gmail LogoSo I’m trying to be more proactive with some of my MCAT students, getting them to make realistic, tangible goals that will drive them to succeed on the test and into their medical careers.  (Folks who recognize my abilities of procrastination will find the fact that I am giving this advice greatly ironic and you are welcome to laugh at me.)

Anyway, I want them to (1) email me one tangible goal at the beginning of the week, and (2) reflect on that goal at the end of the week.  However, if you know college students, that’s actually FOUR emails from me.  The first one to tell them to send me the goal, the second to remind them about it, the third to tell them to send the reflection, and the fourth to remind them to send the reflection.  I’m envisioning this as a weekly thing, so I don’t want to take out 4 times a week to remember to do that.  But I can do it all at once by scheduling emails for the future!

Continue reading Schedule Gmail delivery with Boomerang (feat. my MCAT students)

Clipperz and Other Password Management Options

Clipperz LogoIf you’ve kept up with web news, then you might have heard about the hack of the Gawker website, which exposed a ton of user’s password information to unsavory elements.  Such an isolated incident wouldn’t be a big deal–except people tend to use the same password everywhere.  We’ve all done it.  You might be using the same password for your sensitive email as your Facebook.  It’s convenient, and with so many web services and applications to work with, it is impractical to have a unique one for each site.  On top of that, those folks working on corporate or otherwise sensitive sites might be used to changing your password every month or so.  How to be secure while not creating a hassle?

Continue reading Clipperz and Other Password Management Options

Ultra-Thin laptop comparisons

Asus UL30A

Asus UL30A

Update 2010-12-27: Added optical drive comparison.  Also listed a few other laptops that might be worth looking at, the Toshiba Portege line and the HP DM3T (neither added to the table though).

I’ve been thinking about buying a new ultra-thin laptop to replace my netbook (if I see a good deal I might do it soon, but I’m not in a rush).  I love my Asus 1201HA netbook — for $400, I got a solid, lightweight machine that runs for 8 hours at a time — but ultimately, it’s still a netbook.  Netbooks run on energy-efficient but slower processors (like the Intel Atom) and sometimes can’t handle the multi-tasking workload of the modern scholar (or the modern anything).

New netbooks (like Asus’ dual-Atom 1215 netbook) are doing way better, and straddle the line between netbooks and notebooks even more, but they are starting to converge with “ultrathin” laptops, so I’ve been looking in that direction instead.  Why not go for a full Intel Dual Core or equivalent for a similar price?

Continue reading Ultra-Thin laptop comparisons

A Twitter experiment

My usual Twitter account is linked to the right on this site, but I’ve been playing with another account @twobars, where I randomly create two random bars of rhyming verse in 140 characters or less!  It’s a throwback to when I was seriously into freestyling…  Check it out!

Some samples:

one-forty is the count, […]

Advanced Googling AKA “How I found UNESCO ICH meeting notes”

For the past two weeks, I’ve been digging deeply into Vietnam’s various forays into UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage policies, particularly from the perspective of (1) Vietnamese media reports and (2) documents produced by UNESCO.  I used two different techniques for keeping up with both of these fields…

Continue reading Advanced Googling AKA “How I found UNESCO ICH meeting notes”

Windows File Associations in Wine UPDATE

So, my previous post showed how to manually update the registry to get Wine applications that launch other files to open them in Linux (so you don’t have to install Foxit for Windows to open a PDF that Evernote launches, for example).  Well, that was really clunky, so I made the following package that […]

Windows File Associations in Linux WINE

UPDATE: Easier version available here.

Normal readers can ignore the following tech geek asplosion…

I recently transitioned to Ubuntu from Windows and it’s been a pretty awesome journey.  For the most part, the native apps are great–OpenOffice.org (word processor), Firefox for Linux, Pidgin (instant messaging), etc.–but I’ve had to use one Windows application, Evernote, which I am running through the WINE abstraction layer.

Evernote 3.1 works great in Evernote (the new Evernote 3.5 beta will not work because it uses the .NET 3.5 Framework) save for some graphical glitches and the following technical issues:

  • no easy way to open attachments (.doc ; .pdf ; etc)
  • no file drag and drop for attachments

Today I’m going to deal with the first problem…

Continue reading Windows File Associations in Linux WINE