# Linux Mint 17.2 booting problem seemingly solved by installing gdm.

I installed R and R-studio onto my Linux Mint 17.2 installation last night – I have no idea if this related to my present problem. All seemed to go fine with the installation of the packages, but when I turned the computer on this morning it would not boot up. Stubborn as I am I have sought a solution high and low. Whenever I turned on the computer the boot-up sequence would freeze at the Mint logo.

I initially thought I had some sort of graphics driver problem but the solutions mentioned did not work for me. I inadvertently found a solution on an Ubuntu forum (Mint is actually a fork of Ubuntu), by installing gdm (Gnome desktop manager) on Mint.

While the computer was booting I got into the command line. Exact procedures for reaching the command line on boot-up may vary by in my case.

1. Pressed Esc repeatedly on start up
2. Selected Mint recovery mode.
3. Selected reboot to get into the command line:
4. Hold down CTRL+F1

Probably a good idea to make sure everything is up to date

	sudo apt-get update


To install and configure Gnome Desktop: In the terminal type

	sudo agt-get install gdm
sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm


Then reboot

E.g.

sudo reboot


The Computer then booted up the Gnome rather than the Mint desktop. You should see a list of the users for the Mint installation.

If you login with the default the desktop appears for a micro-second then goes back to the login screen. Instead you need to click the settings icon (it looks like a cog) and select 'Mate'. (I'm using Mate rather than Cinnamon).

Go make to the command terminal to install mdm (Mate Desktop Manager).

Probably a good idea to make sure everything is up to date

sudo apt-get update


To install mdm


sudo agt-get install mdm
sudo dpkg-reconfigure mdm


At this point mdm was installed and there was no complaint from the computer that it was not installed.
I'm starting to suspect that mdm got installed for some reason I don't understand. (If this is the case I suspect I could have installed and configure mdm directly in the boot-up command line stage without having to install gdm!)

At this point a message comes up to say that you cannot have two desktop managers. Selected the mdm rather than gdm.

I've rebooted a few times and everything seems fine (so far). Disclaimer: I'm not a Linux expert and my job is not in software or IT! don't know why it worked or if it will continue to work.

Just thought I'd share it here anyway.

# New publication: Teaching in twenty-first-century higher education: reading Chekhov’s ‘A boring story’ to stimulate reflective practice

'Teaching in twenty-first-century higher education: reading Chekhov’s ‘A boring story’ to stimulate reflective practice' has been published online in Reflective Practice.

# Questionnaires in LaTeX using the paperandpencil package

I've been using the paperandpencil (.pdf document) package for creating questionnaires in LaTeX. 1 I thought the package worked very well, but just a couple of notes to myself which others may find useful. I've found it works well, but a couple of things were unclear. The .pdf version of the manual displays but the homepage linked from other sites no longer appears to work. However I have just found a download page on the QDDS website.

1. The file paperandpencil.sty needs to place in the same directory as the .tex file. I had trouble finding it, but found the code over on Github. I pasted this into a text editor, saved it as paperandpencil.sty, and put it in the same directory as my .tex file.
2. The document class needs to be {scrreprt}. This is in the first page documentation, but I managed to miss it.
3. To set page numbers \pagestyle{plain} is required and the \pagenumbering and \setcounter options need to be set.

A minimal code example here:

\documentclass[a4paper, 11pt]{scrreprt}
\usepackage{paperandpencil}
\usepackage[top=2.5cm,bottom=2.5cm,left=2cm,right=2cm]{geometry}
\pagestyle{plain}
\begin{document}
\pagenumbering{arabic}
\setcounter{page}{1}
\section*{Title goes here}
\end{document}


Notes:

1. Produced by the Questionnaire Development Documentation System, based at the University of Duisburg-Essen

# New Lib Dems leader Tim Farron will face tougher attacks from other evangelical Christians than he will from his political opponents.

I don't write about politics except when it pertains to the world outside UK education policy, but I read this morning on twitter that the new leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron is 'openly' an evangelical Christian, the first major party leader since Gladstone according to Gillan Scott writing on the Premier Christian website.

If being the leader of the Liberal Democrats at the present time isn't thankless enough, the people who will hurt him most will be other evangelical Christians. For the first time ever I actually felt moved to put God and politics into one post.

I admit I had to search the internet to check I'd spelt time Farron's name correctly and to see what what he actually looks like; this itself is a pretty miserable incitement of how disengaged from current politics I have become. I'm not sure if Tim Farron identifies himself as evangelical or that is a label given to him by others and I don't know the ins and outs of his voting record and theology. In fact I've written this blog post in deliberate ignorance of these things to keep my point as clear as possible.

As someone who identifies as an evangelical Christian ( details of what this might or might not mean are far beyond the scope of this article) I thought this post might provide an 'outsider guide' to the sorts of opposition he'll face from evangelical Christians and a warning to 'insiders' to think carefully about what they say. Those outside evangelical 'community' (community is far too strong a word) might not know what I'm taking about, but having been labelled an 'evangelical Christian', Tim Farron will face as many attacks from other evangelical Christians than he will from his political opponents. Emotionally, I suspect these attacks will hurt him a lot more than anything his political foes (or friends) in Parliament might say or do to him.

Here are some of accusations and scrutiny other evangelical Christians will level at him from pulpits, Christian websites, and newspapers: I'm not naming names, but to save time I'll write all this stuff down now. I've put evangelical in square brackets as the goal of many evangelical Christians is to ensure the label applies to as few people as possible. I've put Christian in square brackets as if he doesn't qualify as an evangelical Christian many Christians would say there is no other kind.

1. He can't be an [evangelical] [Christian] because he voted for or against this or that bill.
2. He can't be an [evangelical] [Christian] because he is a member of the Liberal Democrats who put, X, Y and Z in their manifesto.
3. He can't be an [evangelical] [Christian] because he doesn't accept this, that or some other doctrine. Perhaps he's only a four point as opposed to five point Calvinist. Perhaps his theology is Arminien rather than Calvinist. Perhaps he agrees with infant baptism, female clergy, open theism or conditional mortality. Or not.
4. He can't be an [evangelical] [Christian] because he didn't say X when asked about Y on Question Time.
5. He can't be an [evangelical] [Christian] because he does or doesn't subscribe in full to the Westminster Confession, the Thirty-Nine articles, the doctrinal basis of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches etc.
6. He can't be an [evangelical] [Christian] because he says nice things about Catholics, Muslims, gay people he's met.
7. He can't be an [evangelical] [Christian] because he accepts evolution, believes the world's is more than 6000 years old etc. If he turns out to be a Young Earth Creationist just go back the top of the list and start again.

No doubt many of those giving him a hard time will say it is their responsibility to hold him to an exceptionally high standard or warn others about a wolf in sheep's clothing. Whether Farron makes his mark on history or lives on only in obscure footnotes, I suspect much ink and bandwidth will be spent in bad grace. Now I've written this post I've must make sure I heed my own warnings.

# Evaluating universities for teaching will likely lead to a data driven culture where academics make decisions on the basis of whether it’s ‘good for the Tef’

My article on metrics and the proposed Teaching Excellence Framework now appears on the Guardian Higher Education Network website.