15.3.16

#Let'sDoMore

Since I was young, I think, I've changed my ambitions around 4 to 5 times, give or take. I have lots of dreams and were (still am) easily excited by new things. My first ambition was to be a fashion designer. Well, we can see how that worked out since I championed getting dressed with my eyes close. Then it was air-stewardess, scientist, astronomer, scientist (again) and doctor. The last career choice I made after I lost the opportunity to jump into medical field was to just get married or sit at home and become the cat-lady.

When I was 22....I might as well just be 77.

There was no dreams to run after. It was a point of mid-life crisis.

But now...I am choking myself with endless reading and writing, and rewriting scientific ideas in hope that people would understand me.

At the same time, I'm learning some of the things I wanted so much to learn but didn't get to;

Master the violin, toggling with computer programming, having fun with algebra  and calculus....the list goes on.

I loved numbers and technical works and I remember how little things hinder me from enjoying them when I was waaaaay younger. Now, I can learn them at my own time with my own schedule and at my expense. Learning new things is way too easy these days that I think it's a waste how people just linger jobless. Isn't this the time we can learn what we've always wanted to learn and be so good at it, no one can say no anymore. The Internet is full of possibilities and I would like to urge young people in Malaysia to explore more into the depths of knowledge and stop settling for things that will undoubtedly distract you from being productive.

Singing is wonderful....but following/auditioning for endless reality shows and just singing in the bathroom isn't enough. If you really love it, practice to widen your vocal range and hit notes with precision.

Playing guitar is great, but strumming isn't enough. How about learning scales and arpeggios and broken chords to up the skills you have? How about trying out guitar-slapping?

Knowing to program is great but can you take on programming to create forecasts of flood or to detect cancerous cells? With so many open source programming language online, we have so many possibilities and chances for this.

Reading Al-Quran is not enough, we should know the meaning....and knowing the meaning isn't enough, we should apply and learn the language of the Holy Quran to understand better and to experience the beauty more.

May we have all the strength take on a new world with competency that rivals global scale. Because in the end, the only enemy we have to go against is our own self. 

#Let'sDoMore

P/S: Some of the resources online for young adults who are eager to go back to learning are as follows
        * http://www.khanacademy.org
        * http://www.p2pu.org

4.3.16

SERIOUS STUFFS: Mendeley

I love it when I found new things or 'understand' how to use something. It makes me all giddy and so eager to tell somebody or someone how to use it. It's a syndrome suffered by slow-brained kids like me who aren't afraid to admit I am, in fact, slow. SO...grad students out there...here's the one thing I find useful and I thank the Higher Power for it. And of course, the developers. It's Mendeley.

MENDELEY: The Reference Manager and PDF Organizer




I haven't had any good luck with using EndNote and I won't blame the software for it. I honestly won't cause I am always the type to not even bother learning anything by reading if the steps go beyond 3. But Mendeley is pretty sleek, cute and user-friendly. I love it and truly recommend it for grad studs (see there?! I just used a pun! Hah!). I find the instructions easier to understand and its online support very helpful.

But of course, I would look at the reviews done by people who've used it before me. There were few critical ones and some are just too happy with the interface to complain. Well, I am one of those who loved the look. It's red and it's soooo preeetty!

Some of the functionalities essential for the 'paper nations' are

* The citation function that are synced by [Alt + M] key. 
      I think this is nothing new to citation management software users. But to me, it is, because it's the first
      I am able to use it and see it work out in my Microsoft Word! It is a little tedious when you want to
      change the color of the font or the style manually, but the point is....it works. beautifully.
      How do you get it to work? Well, each Mendeley Desktop has already had the MS plugin in the  
      software. So:


1)  Make sure you've saved and closed all the Microsoft Word windows.
2)  Go to Tools > Install MS Word Plugin > Click OK 




3)  To use the the plug-in in MS Word is by clicking Referrence > Insert a citation OR Alt + M. It may 
      also be available for other word processor such as Libre Office and Open Office. 
   
 *  The availability of the styling format by journals
     I think this is the super-awesome feature for me. I am writing a paper for a certain journal. What actually
     made me want to download Mendeley is the fact that the journal I am eyeing offers to the reference style 
     template setting. It's so fun isn't it?!


   
*  Manual reference editor
    Some people may not like this feature at all. Cause, let's admit, what's the point of the software asking us 
    to edit every single details of the journal, books etc? It should be doing it's job to automatically generate 
    them right? I find this to be a two-edged sword. Not all the automatically-generated details such as 
    author's name are generated properly. So, it's no harm in editing it for a lil bit. But of course, it is a little
    tedious if Mendeley doesn't recognize your reference material. But if you can edit it in, why not? Cuts the
    work in half....sort of.


The only cons that I hate is the impossibly long time it takes for this software to sync over the Internet cloud. That's all. But all in all....it's quite good. And FREE, of course. That's why I'm featuring it here in the first place. Hahaha! If Mendeley improve the syncing time, I am happy to say, I am satisfied with you care: Baymax style.  

Anything you would like to share on citation and reference management software? Any tricks that I don't know? Do share!