Friday, January 30, 2015

How To... Embed a YouTube Video into a Word 2013 Document @YouTube #HowTo

I have created a new YouTube video today to do something that until recently I did not know was possible. I knew that you could embed a video in PowerPoint, but I didn't know that you could embed a YouTube video into Microsoft Word 2013. I wondered why Microsoft added this feature to Word - but then I thought that not everybody prints out documents to read them. So many documents are now being read on-line, or on tablets and mobile devices - so there is an opportunity for content creators to make their document more interactive. So here's my latest video...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Always go to @YouTube First! #LessonLearned

Recently I have been having problems charging my iPhone, I found myself holding the charger in different positions to try to get a connection. The problem was getting worse. I thought - no option but to go to a phone repair shop and shell out a small fortune for a new part in the phone. 

But what about going to YouTube first - in case there was a simple explanation? Thanks to Rudy's Productions I had the perfect fix with a toothbrush in two minutes. My iPhone is charging very successfully as I type without having to hold the charger in. It turns out that the problem is caused by dust and dirt - Rudy shows us how to get the job done. Here's his excellent  video!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

7,000,000 @YouTube Views!

This morning the number of views for my Learn with Dr Eugene O'Loughlin YouTube Channel passed the 7,000,000 mark! This is a very big number - it would take 81 days to count this far non-stop (counting one number per second/24 hours a day). The estimated Watch Minutes is 34 years and 155 days - this is just counted from 1st September 2012.

Image Source: Get Set Games.
When I set the channel up on 7th April 2006 I had no idea that it would hit anything like these numbers. I guess in those days that numbers of things like "views" and "likes" were not part of how this type of on-line media presence was measured. To each and every one of the viewers I thank you all most sincerely - I am both astonished and humbled that so many people still find these videos useful. 

It has taken just over four months since 19th September 2014, when I reported hitting the 6,000,000 figure, to add the 7th million. One of the things that I have noticed at the end of last year is that for the first time the growth in views did not increase in the same way as previous years. Looking carefully at the last big growth at the end of 2014 below you can see that it is very similar to the growth pattern in 2013. Over the years the growth rate has been approximately double the previous year - but in 2014 it was the same as in 2013. Despite adding more videos I've no explanation for this other than a levelling off of demand. 

On to 8,000,000!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Exploring Northern Ireland's Causeway and Mourne Coastal Routes - book nearly there. #CausewayCoastalRoute

I am still working on my second travel book which is in two parts: the Causeway Coastal Route, and the Mourne Coastal Route. I have just finished the first part from Derry to Belfast and am about to start the Belfast to Newry section. At the rate I'm going to will be at least March before this is ready for publication though Amazon. The plan is to release it as an eBook via Kindle Direct Publishing, with the possibility of creating printed versions too via CreateSpace.

I certainly had a blast on the Causeway Coastal Route. It is east to do with lots to stop and see on the way - and it is an ideal motorcycle ride. This is part two if my trilogy following the Exploring Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way book. These two books combined cover the coast of Ireland in a clockwise direction from Kinsale to Newry. I have done the rest from Newry to Kinsale, and much of this is already written up - I will most likely publish this as an eBook too later this year.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Why Great Presenters are Boring People! via @ethos3_scott

It's official! According to Scott Schwertly in a Slideshare article "Why you Need to be Boring", some of the best presenters are "boring people with predictable schedules and habit". Check out Schwertly's slides below:

The lessons from Schwertly are based on his personal experience and have a meaning for the rest of us. His three key ways to become a better presenter are:

  1. Say “No” More Often
  2. There is Beauty in Compounding
  3. Embrace the Pain
In particular I like item "2" above where Schwertly adds "Good habits compounded over a long, predictable, boring cycle produce magnificent results. Routine always wins. So, if you want to be a better presenter by next month or next year, let those good habits start to work for you right now. The longer you can let them compound, the greater the end result". The message is practice-practice-practice, even if it is a boring thing to do.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Motorbikes (1977-2015)

Below is a blog post first published on 24th December 2007. It was just my 14th blog post at a time when I was figuring out what blogging was all about. I have been messing with old photos on Facebook this morning and decided to re-publish this old post in honour of the 38 years since I first rode a motorcycle...

Honda 50
My brother Joe bought a Honda 50 from Damian Doyle of Carnew in 1977 so that he could use it to go to school in Bunclody. In one of those "small world" coincidences, Joe's son Niall goes to school with Damian's son Harry in Bunclody!

Of course, I got to ride the Honda 50 as well - I didn't know at the time how uncool this was, or that it would be the first of several bikes that I would ride. I remember feeling particularly cool once when riding home in the dark smoking a cigarette. The tobacco burned down inside the cigarette paper as the wind blew in my face. I was only 18 or 19 at the time, so to me this was cool!

The picture here was taken during a family summer holiday in Cork on which Joe took the bike. As well as the Honda 50, the picture features my Mum, Joe, our dog Pheobe, and me in very fetching flares!

Honda CD175

After the above Honda 50 Joe bought a new Honda CD175 - the picture shows Joe and me with the bike on the day he bought the bike (note plastic still on seat). Look at that hair! The bike is not yet registered - it was later to get the number 8923 NI. I still have the registration book. In the background is a Renault 4 van in which I learned to drive.

Joe bought a car within a few years - I think in 1980 and this bike "became" mine. I loved it and took it to Dublin while I was in Trinity. My landlady, Mary Dillon-Kelly, used to allow me to park it in her front hall! I used the bike to commute from Drumcondra to Trinity, and also going up and down home to Ballingate.

Sadly, this bike was stolen on 8th December, 1981. At the time I was staying in Rooms in Botany Bay at Trinity and used to park the bike in the shed beside the tennis courts. The previous evening I had returned from Ballingate and I remember the weather was really bad. To this day I am not certain that I locked the bike properly - so it was possibly easy to steal. I reported the theft to Pearse St Gardaí, but no trace was ever found. My motorbiking days were over for 18 years.

Honda 250N Nighthawk

In September 1999, the QBC on the Stillorgan Road was opened. The significance of this is that my morning commute from Blackrock to Clonskeagh was doubled in time as I used to use the inside lane to drive to work in my car. I didn't have the patience for this. One day I said to Roma "I should get a motorbike again" and guess what - she said "Why not!". In October 1999 I turned 40 years of age - some people think that there is a link here!

I went to a bike shop on Pearse St and after looking at several bikes I settled on a Honda 250N Nighthawk. It was blue and was the same as the one pictured here. I had it for a few weeks before I got a licence and insurance. My first trip on it (to Deansgrange) was very strange and wobbly! It took a lot of getting used to - soon however, I was riding like a natural and started the work commute soon after. One problem with this bike was that it was very light and used to fall over in strong winds when parked. Happy days - I loved the "freedom" that a motorbike provides and was delighted to be back on two wheels again.

Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 Hugger
In January 2000 I was on a SmartForce trip to Scottsdale in Arizona. Now that I was a biker again I decided to visit a bike dealer near the Hotel - Harley-Davidson naturally. I was mesmerised by the colour and style of the Harleys - beautiful machines. I didn't have the courage to hire one. I did buy a denim jacket in the shop and I do remember joking with the Shop Assistant "I suppose I'll have to buy a Harley in order to wear this". I never had a denim jacket before and this was my reason for buying one. I also promised myself that I would investigate Harleys on my return to Dublin.

I visited Harley-Davidson Dublin soon afterwards and was interested in two second-hand Sportsters. However, they were expensive - one was almost £5,000, while the other was over £5,500. A new one was about £8,000 - so I decided to go for it. I bought a white 883 Hugger like the one pictured here. I was warned that everyone who buys a Sportster sooner or later wants one of the big Harleys.

My longest trip on this bike was to London for the "Last Ever CBT Systems Party!" in October 2002. This was just after SmartForce was taken over by Skillsoft and I had already applied for voluntary redundancy. It took me most of the day to get there and I had a severe hangover for the return trip.

I customized this bike a lot. But on my last trip to Scottsdale in Arizona I hired a Fat Boy and was bitten by the Big-Twin bug. With 2003 - the centenary year for Harley-Davidson - around the corner I decided that I would buy a centenary model Heritage Softail Classic.

Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic

This bike is the King of Bikes and is my most favourite thing that I possess. I ordered it in 2002 for January 2003 delivery so that I would have a special centenary edition. I spent a big chunk of my SmartForce redundancy money on this bike - but it was worth every penny. It looks just like the stock photo here. My number plate is 03 D 1903. You'll see elsewhere in this blog that I have travelled quite a bit on it.

I have added quite a bit of custom material to it. I have changed the pipes, added light covers, and lots of pieces of chrome. It has cost a hell of a lot to maintain - tyres are expensive, I have also torn the drive belt, and once destroyed a new tyre with less than 500 miles on it by riding over a metal peg in Booterstown. I would still like to customize it some more - I'd like higher handlebars that would help me to sit straighter on it. A new saddle would also help.

I don't think I'll ever change this bike for another - it's my dream bike! I don't know what will happen to it when I stop riding. I have promised it to Kate, or maybe I'll have some Grandsons who might be interested in it.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

An Introduction to Business Systems Analysis new book cover #excited

My first book is going to reprint this week! So glad it did not end up being pulped. 1,000 copies have been sold and it is out of stock. I decided the cover needed a new image to replace the old one that had floppy disks and CD-ROMs on it. I like the idea of a maze and we found the image below on to freshen up the book a bit. I also had a few typos spotted over the years corrected, so it is not a new edition.

I'm as excited as a terribly excited person who has a really good reason for being terribly excited (George - Blackadder series 4).

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Book Review: "Hidden Streams" by Brian Mac Aongusa

Image source: Amazon.
Recently I was given a lend of Brian Mac Aongusa's history of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (DLR), "Hidden Streams", published in 2007. Mac Aonghusa links local history with the geography of this part of South Dublin. Though I'm not a native of DLR, I have lived here since 1990. Neither have I any family ties here - I come from south Co Wicklow, my Mum's parents were from Galway and Wexford, while both my Dad's parents were from North Cork. I have no roots in this area, so it was time to find out a little bit more about where I live.

"Hidden Streams" is an interesting account of how the streams influence the locations of places such as Dún Laoghaire, Rathfarnham, and Stillorgan. I was particularly fascinated to learn the there actually was a brewery on Brewery Road, where the Glaslower flowed. A pity a lot of locations like mills and breweries are long gone, but nevertheless the history is fascinating. A few more larger scale maps, with perhaps modern roads overlaid, would have added a bit more value - some areas mentioned I did not know where they are. While the history and geography of the region is fascinating, there are not many central characters who had an serious impact on the development of the county. Surprising also that the likes of Frascati House and the Fitzgeralds were not mentioned, but this is part of Blackrock history, and not of "Hidden Streams". 

Overall - an interesting read for anyone interested in the history of south Co Dublin.

Friday, January 09, 2015

The Best Big Data Quotes Of All Times via @BernardMarr on @LinkedIn #Analytics #HDSDA

Quotes are always interesting and some of them stand the test of time even though the persons making the quote are long gone to the big quote in the sky. Recently I read about The Best Big Data Quotes Of All Times - my favourite two are:

Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all.
Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871), inventor and mathematician.

To call in the statistician after the experiment is done may be no more than asking him to perform a post-mortem – he may be able to say what the experiment died of.”
Ronald A. Fisher (1890 - 1962), biologist, geneticist, and statistician.

See the other quotes at Bernard Marr's Slideshare below:

The 10 Best Big Data Quotes Of All Times from Bernard Marr

I bet some of these quotes will makes it into my lectures notes for Statistics classes! 

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Great review of "Exploring Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way" via @LJReviews & @LibraryJournal

Out of the blue I have received news of a great review of my book by Victor Or for the Library Journal - it's on-line here. (it's the last book reviewed near the bottom of the page) This is the first major review and I'm thrilled that it is so positive!

Here's the review in full:

O’Loughlin, Eugene. Exploring Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way: A Motorcycle Odyssey. Liffey. 2014. 228p. photos. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781908308559. pap. $31.TRAV
Desiring to seek out his ancestry, appreciating the fact that medieval castles and abbeys are reminders of bygone glorious eras, and aware that truly hidden gems can be found in the most unexpected places, O’Loughlin, a college lecturer with a fondness for Harley-Davidsons, sets out on a motorcycle journey along Ireland’s “Wild Atlantic Way,” considered the longest coastal driving route in the world. At various discovery points, the author introduces the reader to renowned and historical figures, as well as Celtic mythology and legends. While his musings about the contrast between ancient archaeological sites and modern-day structures and conveniences are intriguing—for example, being able to view the Bronze Age Drombeg Stone Circle only after having to use a satellite map on his iPad to locate it—particularly fascinating are the snippets of history he imparts about many of the points of discovery he comes upon. The prose reflects a fascination with the scenery¸ complete with commentary, much like an expanded version of TripAdvisor. O’Loughlin’s straightforward style, devoid of any profound revelations, focuses strictly on dispassionate observations. VERDICT This guide, with maps and color photography, will satisfy those who seek an immersive drive around Ireland.—Victor Or, Surrey Libs., BC

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Happy 4th Birthday "How To...Create a Basic Gantt Chart in Excel 2010" @YouTube #analytics

This time four years ago I uploaded a video that has gone on to become my biggest "hit" on my YouTube channel. Four years later it has reached just over 826,000 views and it accounts for a significant amount of my total views (6,852,665 as I write this post). During this time it has received 8,708 "likes" and 90 "dislikes". It has also received 783 comments (mostly favourable), and made me a nice four figure sum in revenue. Try as I might to get another "hit", four years later it is still my most popular video. Here are the view trends over the last four years:

The USA and the UK account for almost half (49%) of total views though I am surprised to see countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines in the top ten below. Within the USA, the states of California (13%) and Texas (9%) top the table:

253,426 (31%)
902,035 (33%)
150,937 (18%)
525,035 (19%)
58,725 (7.1%)
198,774 (7.2%)
45,279 (5.5%)
153,913 (5.6%)
26,939 (3.3%)
92,472 (3.3%)
26,676 (3.2%)
91,159 (3.3%)
15,983 (1.9%)
56,295 (2.0%)
15,192 (1.8%)
46,973 (1.7%)
14,682 (1.8%)
48,853 (1.8%)
13,248 (1.6%)
38,558 (1.4%)

Here's the video:

Saturday, January 03, 2015

If the Cap Fits

I got my first ever cap as a Christmas present - it was more than welcome given that my new short hair style means that I feel the cold a bit more. Unfortunately the cap did not fit, so I bought myself one that does fit in Kevin & Howlin, and gave the other one to my Dad. I couldn't resist a selfie, so here's the result!

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Looking Back at 2014

It's the 1st of January 2015 and time to take a quick look back at the events of 2014. In no particular order, here are the highs and lows of 2014 for me:

Exploring Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way
Undoubtedly the highlight of the year for me was the publication of my second book: "Exploring Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way" which was launched in June. The original print run is almost sold out and I had a great time in the early summer promoting the book on radio and at Bikefest. I'm working on a new book "Exploring Northern Ireland's Causeway and Mourne Coastal Routes" which will be out in 2015.

It's two years and four months since my eldest daughter Claire left home to go to America. In January of this year we visited her in New York for just a few days - this is the only time I have seen her since she left. I miss her. With a bit of luck I'll get to see her in 2015!

Social Media
The number of times I have posted to this blog continues to decline - in 2014 I posted 161 times which is my lowest number of posts per year since 2009, and 101 posts less than my highest year in 2011 (262 posts). I used Twitter a lot more in 2014 - especially from January to July when I tweeted 3-4 times a day photos of the Wild Atlantic Way. One resolution for 2015 will be to blog a bit more - especially about education matters.

My YouTube channel continues to perform well. I added several new videos in 2014 and had 2.75 million viewers for the year (made some money too!). For the first time the rate of increase in views has slowed. My most popular video remains "How To...Create a Basic Gantt Chart in Excel 2010" - it is almost four years old. I feel a bit like a fading rock star who hasn't had a hit for a long time. One disappointment was that a paper on YouTube analytics that I wrote and submitted to a conference was not accepted - one review was particularly savage! I may try again in the coming year.

Riding my Harley-Davidson around Northern Ireland
Back in July I took three days to tour the Causeway Coastal Route and the Mourne Coastal Route. A lot of the road (the A2) runs right along the seashore and it was a great ride that I enjoyed so much. I started at the border in Donegal and finished in Newry. I learned a great deal about these routes and the places of interest along the way. I am currently writing up this trip along the similar style of the Wild Atlantic Way book. I plan to publish it myself through Amazon Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing. 

2014 was a year where I got more involved with Data Analytics at work. I am now really enjoying my Statistics classes having revamped my notes and course resources to work better for the successful Higher Diploma in Data Analytics course at NCI. Each time I prepare and teach a new class I discover something new that I did not know before. I will continue to develop this some more as well as keep up-to-date with my Project Management and Business Analysis classes.

2014 was the year that my Dad Joe was operated on for cancer which he has now beaten. Even though Dad is 28 years older than me it is still a reminder of our mortality. I even had a medical check up this year and resolve to keep this up. I am now suffering quite a bit from sore heels and put this down to my weight. I'll have to find a way to do something about this. Also on a health note I passed the 100 blood/platelet donations mark just before Christmas.