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Showing posts from March, 2016

A chance to develop your skills with Google Summer of Code

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Google Summer of Code offers you an opportunity to hone your software development skills - and get paid for it. Gavin Atkinson explains more...




Google Summer of Code is an innovative program dedicated to getting university students from around the world involved with open source software development.

Google offer a $5,500 stipend to students in exchange for them working on open source software over the Summer. Running every year since 2005, nearly 11,000 projects have been accepted from students in over 100 countries by over 500 organisations, and several students from the University of York have participated in the past. This year 180 organisations are involved, in such diverse areas as compilers to operating systems, web applications to virtual reality, FPGAs to games, databases to genetic research. There are projects written with Python, Ruby, Java, C, assembly, JavaScript, and everything in between. Whatever your areas of interest, experience and knowledge, there is likely to be a …

Meat lozenges and custard: advertising during World War One

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Ilka Heale pores over advertisements found in the Library's Special Collections.


We've all seen this advert on the side of a building near Monk Bar in York:

Purporting to keep you "healthy, bright eyed and slim", Bile Beans was a laxative and tonic first marketed in the 1890s. Amongst other cure-all claims, Bile Beans promised to "disperse unwanted fat" and "purify and enrich the blood". Something after a winter of comfort eating, we could probably all do with!

Although the manufacturer claimed that the formula for Bile Beans was based on a vegetable source, its actual ingredients were commonly found in pharmacies. In 1905, a court case in Scotland found that the Bile Bean Manufacturing Company's business was based on a fraud and had been conducted fraudulently. Nevertheless, Bile Beans continued to be sold until the 1980s.

The following photographs of advertisements have been taken by our own University photographer, Paul Shields, from the Li…

That sinking feeling...

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The horror of losing your work can give you nightmares. Tamsyn Quormby and Pritpal Rehal tell you how to save safely and avoid that sinking feeling...


One of the most common problems that the IT Support team come across is people losing their work, or finding that their files have become corrupted.

Recently, a student came to us when she was unable to access the work stored on her USB stick. She'd been working for hours, and saving her files regularly, but when the thin client she was using was accidentally rebooted, the USB stick became corrupted. We used every trick in our armoury, but we weren't able to restore the files for her. She showed remarkable forbearance at receiving this news; a single tear, and a muttered curse. But it was desperately frustrating to know that if she'd been using the virtual desktop to save to her central filestore instead, the sudden reboot would have caused her no problems.

Not everyone is able to be so sanguine in the face of lost work. Eve…