Archive for February, 2009

How to work with screenshots in Windows XP or MAC OS X

On your keyboard, press  key “Print Screen” to put a picture of the entire screen into the clipboard (for the active window, hold the ALT-key while pressing “Print Screen”).

You can paste this clipboard in any windows application, for example MS-Word or MS-Paint.

In order to use the built-in windows picture editor, click “Start”, click “Run”, type “mspaint” (w/o inverted commas).

In ms-paint, you can edit the picture, using a variety of tools in a menu on the left.

E.g. click on the eraser button to activate this tool, then use the mouse pointer to erase sensitive parts of the picture.

Or select the selection tool and with the mouse pointer, draw a selection frame inside the picture. Then you cut the selection to the clipboard and paste it to a new picture.

Finally, save the result (normally as JPEG, since this results in much smaller file size).

Here is a screencast that shows the entire screenshot cycle.

Using a MAC?



Capture entire screen and copy to the clipboard


Capture a window and copy to the clipboard

Command+Control+Shift+4 then Space bar, click on the target

Shared Calendar for Interpreting Suite Bookings on Windows Live: How to get started

1.    We have set up a *shared online calendar*:


3.    Where do I find this calendar?

a.    It is on Windows Live.

b. will email you an invitation to share this calendar on line.

4.    What do I do when I receive the email?

a.    In the email, click ‘accept’.

                                                 i.      If the link does not work, copy /paste the text link from the bottom of the email, but first remove line breaks (paste the link into notepad and make sure that the entire link is on single line).

b.    If you do not have a Windows Live account, you will be given the option to sign up‘.

                                                 i.      If you are not asked to sign up, you may be logged in as somebody else: make sure to create your own account with your own password.

c.     For best results, open the calendar with a recent Web browser: Firefox 3 or Internet Explorer 7  (if you cannot upgrade, version 6 works also, with some limitations) or better.

5.    MGB36 is the coded room number for the interpreting suite. It is also the name of the online calendar.

6.    What do I do next?

a.    Simply add an appointment to the calendar by hovering over the time slot required and clicking on “ADD

                                                 i.      Under “Calendar”, select “MGB36” (if you add to your personal Calendar, other users won’t be able to see).

                                              ii.      Under “what”, include your e mail address so we can contact you in case of changes, as well as Module number

                                            iii.      Under “where” include if you do not need all booths (others may want to share)

                                            iv.      for additional options, like recurrence (= enter 1 appointment – recurring weekly, until end of it…, no wait: teaching period! – to book your weekly class meeting for the entire teaching period), click on “Add more details”.

b.    Don’t forget to update the calendar if you need to cancel a booking.

c.     If you want to see a demonstration, watch the live_calendar_shared_mgb36.wmv using Windows media player

7.    Who can view the information on line?

a.    Interpreting lecturers only.

b.    Students can currently not access the data. We may decide later to let them view it (i.e. make the calendar public).

Did you run into problems with the calendar not explained here? View the FAQ.


Shared Calendar for Interpreting Suite Bookings on Windows Live: Frequently asked questions

  1. Problem: How do I return to “Windows live”?
    1. Solution: AFTER you followed the “accept” button in the invitation e
      mail, you can return to the calendar by simply going to Or for easy access to other windows live services like groups, go through and the top menu “more”/ “calendar”.
  2. Problem: I seem to have lost access to the calendar?
    1. Solution: if you go to, make sure you are logged in with the windows live account that you gave us for calendar access (if you are logged in under a different name, log out from that account first) . Then go to you should have access now.
  3. Problem: My calendar time seems off?
    1. Solution: adjust your time zone: after going to, in the upper right hand side, click on options / more options / time zone: change this to “Greenwich mean time [….] LONDON” (do NOT choose GMT UNIVERSAL time”, this has no daylight savings time adjustment!). Then click “save”at the bottom Please let me know of any other issues (please provide OS and browser version and error message).
  4. Problem: Other users cannot see my calendar appointments.
    1. Solution: Make sure you added them to the right calendar, called “MGB-36” (an option when you add an appointment). There are now several calendars for other purposes, but booking of the suite is done in “MGB-36”. You can see something went wrong if your appointment stands out in a different colour (see legend), like here:
  5. Problem: I would like to book some space (booths) in the suite, but the entire suite seems already booked – what should I do?
    1. Solution: The original calendar instructions mentioned to start a booking with your email address under “what” and qualify under “where” if you require only parts of the interpreting suite for your class. If only the latter has been omitted, you can still email the colleague to inquire. If the former has been omitted also, we will have to try tracking down which the information which will take time.
  6. Problem: There is a (recurring) event which I can not delete (I get the error: “there’s a problem connecting to windows live calendar”).
    1. Solution: The error message is misleading. This seems a bug in the software. You can try to work around it like this

      : Move one occurrence of the event (drag it with your mouse to a different time). This breaks the recurrence. Now left-click on the moved event to edit it. From the popup, choose to “Edit every occurrence” instead of “Edit this one occurrence”. This should get you to the “Event details” page, where you can delete the entire event from the top menu.

How to use language services digital videos

  • Language Services produced digital videos
    • Are MPEG4-compressed to a size and format and stored in a location to be the most versatile answer to your playing needs
      • Play over the  network shares not only in the interpreting suite (mgb-36) or the moorgate library language centre (mg4-11)
      • But from any computer on the campus network, student or staff computer
      • Provided access to network shares, see network shares.
    • attempt to ensure widest possible compatibility
      • by using widely-used audio and video codecs (Windows Media Video 9, Windows Media Audio3, Windows Media Video Screen , MP3) which MS also supports on the Mac-Platform (free download of wmv/wma support for the Mac OS X version 10.3.9 or later, QuickTime version 7.0 or later) from ).
      • Have been tested to work in the HALE interpreting suite (mgb-36) and the moorgate library language centre (mg4-11)
      • For playing videos on your PC, staff can get necessary upgrades from x4444.
      • For playing videos on your home PC, students can contact the student helpdesk.

Live a little: Get standard software

You make not only your own, but everybody’s life easier if you upgrade to standardized software. The University is now on Win XP Service-Pack 2, with Office 2003 and Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 3. At work, call x4444 to get upgraded. At home, you can download Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox 3 (also available for MAC OS-X)  for free. Plus, as University employee, you can get other Microsoft software “for cheap”, as I explained here.

Whisper interpreting with radio transmitter/receiver (“bidule” by

We have:

    • 3 transmitters (larger antenna), with headset (with microphone) or collar microphone: 
    • 10 receivers with regular 3.5 mm headphones (without microphones):


    • Speaker speaks
    • Interpreter
      • listens to speaker in room
      • wearing one of the  transmitters, whisper interprets into target language channel 1,2or 3
    • delegates
      • wearing receiver and headphones, listens to one of the interpreter channels


  • If you cannot send/receive audio at all, check
  • Channel selector on top of unit: make sure you are on the right channel
  • Power indicator light is on? If not , adjust batteries in compartment at rear of unit
  • If you cannot send/receive audio well, check
  • Transmitter:
        • microphone adjustment wheel under rear panel door
        • position yourself and the microphone so that there is no ambient noise going into your (sensitive) microphone, especially not from the speaker
  • Receiver: Volume wheel on top of unit

Language Lab Techniques for (Self-)Evaluation and Grading of Student Recordings with Audacity

This quick and dirty (not narrated and uncut: time is money, and storage cheap…) video demonstrates a technique in (the free audio editor) Audacity with which instructors and students can more easily (self-)evaluate parallel recordings from (be it model imitation, question-response, or consecutive interpreting exercises in) the language lab (in this case the output of a Sanako Study1200, which automatically gets stored in a folder on network share):




how to load 10 student files à 5mb = 2:30min (but as a batch, allowing you do something else in the foreground instead of waiting)


how to select a part of the timeline to play


how to move tracks up to more easily work with them and the menu


how to play all tracks simultaneously (choir, normally not very useful for evaluation)


how to play only one track (solo): evaluate & compare