Office 2010 Pro on Kubuntu 15.04 through wine

07 Jul 2015 / Leonardo Barichello

I just managed to install Office 2010 Pro 32 bits (legal copy) on my PC running Kubuntu 15.04 (64 bits) through wine. As the process demanded a few improvements on a couple of online tutorials, I decided to describe it here:

1) Add the repository for wine in order to be able to use version 1.7:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa

2) Install wine1.7, winbind and mono:

sudo apt-get install wine1.7 wine-mono4.5.6 winbind

3) Create a 32-bits profile on wine (necessary because some of the libraries are not available for 64-bits):

WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/.wine32 winecfg

4) Change for Windows XP in the config window that will open after the previous command (I am not sure if this is necessary, but I did it because most of tutorials I read recommended).

5) Install dotnet20, msxml6, corefonts:

env WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/.wine32 winetricks dotnet20
env WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/.wine32 winetricks msxml6
env WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/.wine32 winetricks corefonts

6) Go to the folder where the installer is and run it using the 32-bits profile:

env WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/.wine32 wine MicrosoftOffice.exe

Finally, we have to override the library riched20. To do so, use the command below and add the library, then click on Edit and choose the option Native (Windows).

env WINEPREFIX="/home/leo/.wine32" winecfg

At least for me, this procedure worked twice, in two different PCs running Kubuntu 15.04.

Visual resources and low prior knowledge

25 Jun 2015 / Leonardo Barichello

The paper Multimedia Learning: Are We Asking the Right Questions? by Richard E. Mayer (1997) is a review of the results obtained in a series of experiments conducted by the author and collaborators. The experiments refer to the effects in learning of visual resources based on the dual coding approach to mental representations proposed by Alan Paivio.

In the paper, the author comments results that confirmed predictions from the dual coding theory. The prediction that mostly interest to my research refers to the learning effects of visual resources on students with low prior knowledge. The authors expected that:

Students who possess high levels of prior knowledge will be more likely than low prior knowledge learners to create their own mental images as the verbal explanation is presented and thus to build connections between verbal and visual representations. In contrast, students who lack prior knowledge will be less likely than high prior knowledge learners to independently create useful mental images solely from the verbal materials. Thus, low prior knowledge learners are more likely than high prior knowledge learners to benefit from the contiguous presentation of verbal and visual explanations.

One of the experiments conducted to test this prediction goes like this: a group of students receives instruction using a single representation (only text) and another receives with multiple representations (text accompanied by images), then they solve a problem solving test. Before the experiment, all students responded a survey about prior knowledge regarding the topic covered by the experiment. The data showed that low prior knowledge students benefited more from the multiple representation instruction, as expected by the prediction.

This result is fundamental for my research, because I want to utilize tasks with a strong visual component with low achieving students in order to verify how they interact with the task, with the mathematics in the task and with the visual representations.

A arrecadação de impostos no Brasil

03 Jun 2015 / Leonardo Barichello

Esses dias vi um post no Facebook da Socialista Morena sobre uma notícia do ano passado que mostrava que as pessoas nas faixas de salário mais baixas arrecadavam mais imposto. O resumo dos dados está na tabela abaixo.


Acontece que a análise tem um furo (e vários comentaristas de Facebook descartaram as conclusões ao notarem isso), pois se baseia em montantes absoluto. O argumento seria mais ou menos o seguinte: é óbvio que a faixa mais baixa arrecada mais, ela é muito maior (em número de pessoas) do que as demais. De fato, o argumento está correto.

Porém, com um pouquinho de Matemática a gente deixa essa tabela mais completa.

Primeiro, adicionei uma coluna com um salário médio de cada faixa (considerei o valor intermediário com base no salário mínimo da época). Depois, adicionei o número total de pessoas em cada faixa (considerando uma pouplação total igual a 200 milhões). Em seguida, dividindo o total de impostos arrecadados por cada faixa pelo total de pessoas, criei a coluna "Média de impostos pagos por uma pessoa". O resultado é a tabela abaixo.

tabela 2
(desculpem pela troca de ponto por vírgula, culpa da notação inglesa)

Agora vem o passo importante. Como esses números foram calculados com base na arrecadação até o dia 12 de Agosto de 2014 (deste o começo do ano), calculei o salário médio de cada faixa multiplicando a segunda coluna por 7,3 (referente ao número de meses que tinha passado) e calculei qual a porcentagem desse salário foi pago em impostos. Eis os valores na tabela abaixo.

tabela 3
(a última linha está sem valor na última coluna porque não me parece coerente estimar o salário médio dela, por se trata de um valor ilimitado superiormente na primeira coluna da tabela)

Note que a porcentagem diminui a medida que a faixa salarial aumenta. Como interpretar isso? As pessoas que recebem salários menores pagam proposcionalmente mais impostos do que as que recebem salários maiores. A diferença percentual pode parecer pequena, mas essa inversão lhe parece razoável?

Brownie (small portion)

24 May 2015 / Leonardo Barichello

This recipe is based on this other recipe by Jamie Oliver. I needed a few trials to adjust to a smaller scale, so I can do it only for me and my girlfriend and we eat it all in the weekend.

I would say it serves 3 to 4 people.

50 unsalted butter
50 g Lindt sea salt dark chocolate (after lots of tests, this is the best option in my opinion)
15 g chopped nuts (optional)
25 g cocoa powder
35 g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
100 g caster sugar
1 medium free-range egg

Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a small baking tin with greaseproof paper.

In a bowl over some simmering water, melt the butter and the chocolate and mix until smooth. Add the nuts, if you're using them, and stir together.

In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and sugar, then add this to the chocolate and nut mixture. Stir together well. Beat the egg and mix in until homogeneous (the mixture will look a little bit greasy).

Pour your brownie mix into the baking tray, and place in the oven for 20 minutes. This is the tricky part, because for me the quality of a brownie depends on the consistency: almost crunchy outside and a bit gooey inside. In my oven, after some trials, the perfect timing is: 20 minutes with fan.

Remove immediately from the oven when finished and allow it to cool in the tray before serving. I like to serve them at room temperature (so, prepare it about 1 hour before serving) with home-made chantilly and port wine.

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