November 2008

Len Huart sent an email following up the MassCUE conference and asked about compilations of open source software (CD/DVD).

I am going to paraphrase my reply to his email here because it might fit a more general need.

If Linux, the package installer is the best source of all the available programs suitable for your distribution (Ubuntu, Fedora, etc.)

You should also look at the “top OSS” list:

If it is Windows, then you should look at the CD compilation called OpenDisc and its education specific version OpenEducationDisc.

Beyond the compilation for Windows, there are lists to help guide you to individual programs of value.

You should also look at the “Free Software List” from PC Magazine:,2817,2260070,00.asp

Also, do check the MOSSSIG links page:

Macintosh? Have not been a Mac user for too many years to claim much knowledge.
Try these links:

If you are aware of CD open source software compilations for Macintosh, leave a comment.
If you are a user of oss on Mac, leave a comment. Enrich the discussion.

What a wonderful, energetic, enthusiastic crowd attended the MassCUE conference this year. At times it was really hectic at the CUE Central booth where MOSSSIG shared the booth with the Door Prize Drawings. Thanks to the many volunteers who took part in planning, organizing and executing the conference this year. Many people had glowing comments to make about it.

Bumper Sticker for Open Source Software

Bumper Sticker for Open Source Software

MOSSSIG gave away bumper stickers, Ubuntu 8.10 CDs, and attracted a crowd. 25 people took the time to leave their names and email contact information. I have sent out a confirmation email to each of them, and look forward to keeping in touch, especially to answer individual questions you left on the sign-up sheet. NOTE! If your email didn’t get to you, leave a comment here, or send me an email to correct my transcription of your information.

If you didn’t get a bumper sticker, I have extras. Send me an email.

Remember, if you leave a comment, it makes the blog much richer for others who visit. If you share what you know, you are taking an active role in the open source movement, and if you leave a question to be answered, it will make the blog a better place, too. Always remember the teaching adage, “If you don’t ask a question, you won’t get an answer.”

I look forward to keeping in touch with you in the coming days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries (we all expect to live forever, don’t we?)

Special thanks to Martin Owens of the Massachusetts Ubuntu Team for providing the Ubuntu CDs and other support materials.


MOSSSIG is part of the Massachusetts Computer Using Educators (MassCUE). To be exact, it is a special interest group (SIG). MOSSSIG is about moving your mind, getting you to think about open source software, open education and open culture.

The annual conference of MassCUE is a great opportunity to meet and share your enthusiasm for technology in education. MassCUE is in its 26th year of providing information, opportunities for professional growth, and above all sharing.

If you get the opportunity to be at the conference, I hope you will stop to say hello. Algot Runeman will be splitting time between the CUE Central booth and the joyful task of promoting open source and MOSSSIG.

On line registration is over this close to the event, BUT you can register as a walk-in at the conference. Hope I’ll see you there.


If you like humor, and you are familiar with the film “The Matrix”, you might like this remake.

What if Windows were the underlying OS?

Wait for it…the Open Source connection is there.

Open source software that meets a need is going to succeed. Take for example. The community released version 3 just a month ago. Since then, there have been ten million downloads from the main site. That does not count downloads through Linux distribution updates or mirror sites or peer sharing (Bit Torrent, etc.).

If you were one of the ten million, you are a successful open source user. Become an advocate, too. Tell everyone you know to connect to download open source tools that work. Tell them to visit here, too, while you are at it.

If you have not tried OpenOffice, go to the download page and get started.

I find that I am something of a magazine junkie. Well, actually, I am a book junkie, too. I enjoy reading what other people think I should know.

You might, therefore, not be surprised to know I am happy to report finding a new magazine for my reading pleasure. It gets even better, too. Full Circle Magazine is a user-written PDF format magazine you can download from the magazine’s Web site:

The articles are published with a Creative Commons license, too, so you can use them as you need, as long as you provide the approprate attribution back to the author and magazine…no fees or other restrictions.

There have been 18 issues so far. I just finished going through the most recent issue (18). There’s some information there that will require a more careful reading for the detail (unless I decide to skip the article on programming in C). I was particularly interested in their exploration of five mind mapping applications since mind mapping is a great educator’s tool.

The content is linked to Ubuntu (version agnostic), but will mostly be applicable to any Linux distribution.

In addition, you have another opportunity to share. Full Circle Magazine is created from contributions from the Ubuntu user community. You are a writer, aren’t you? You use Ubuntu, don’t you? At least you have tried it, haven’t you?