Operating systems


“End of Life” seems a bit extreme. “End of Support” is the more accurate phrase. Microsoft has declared April 6 of 2014 as the date.

Is your district still using XP?

Is money the upgrade issue?

Have you considered a GNU/Linux alternative?

For that, is the difficulty of finding support staff an issue?

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Thank you to all who have made any kind of contribution, so matter how small, to the success of GNU/Linux.

This article says it very well.
http://fossforce.com/2013/12/linux-la-casa-nostra/

It is OUR Cause.

gnurms

There is a celebration going on this weekend in Cambridge.  There are satellite celebrations around the globe.

My thanks go out to Richard Stallman (RMS) and to all the others at the Free Software Foundation who have carried the effort forward. I’m looking forward to the next 30 years.

Maybe education will soon see the value of Software Freedom.

What Free Software is in regular use in your school?

openshot2

This post is really a quick reach out to Macintosh and PC users.

I’m learning about video, and am mainly using a non-linear editor called OpenShot. It is a GNU/Linux tool.

BUT…

There’s big news. You can contribute to the OpenShot Kickstarter project to get the video editor out to everyone, not just the Linux folks, but Mac and PC users, too.

Kickstarter is a crowdsourcing method. You pledge to support a project, and your money gets to the project if it reaches its goal by the end of a set period of time.

The exciting thing is that students will have the chance to do video editing with the same tool, no matter which kind of operating system they have on their computer. That’s a tool for learning!

Support if you can.

Here’s good news.

A parent has a school where experiments are invited, even if they are from outside.

Parent introduced Gimp photo editing to a couple of middle school classes.

Darth V. Stark

http://kearneyville.com/2013/03/01/introducing-open-source-to-middle-schoolers/

Anybody else have or know of a good story like this one?

I love my GUI interface on Kubuntu. I love to listen to music with Audacity as I plunk around making clipart or writing or learning to code in Python. A computer is a big part of my life.

Sonar Project Logo

Jonathan Nadeau is blind. He’s also the guy behind Northeast LinuxFest. He  is also working to develop a FOSS distribution specifically directed to making it easier to use a computer for people with impaired vision and any other impairment, actually. Computers are a big part of his life, but the GUI that is fun for me doesn’t help him much. He needs accessibility software like a screen reader that really works.  Jonathan writes:

It’s true that there is proprietary accessible software to help blind and low vision people access a computer, but the average cost of this software is around $900. Since 90% of blind and low vision people live in developing countries, how are they supposed to afford this?

One answer is using the power of the community. There are great coders out there. They love contributing their skill and they are doing so. Jonathan is trying to put together a really great distribution targeting the needs of those with any disability that limits their access to computer power. The Sonar Project is that distribution.

There is a lot of work needed to organize, build, expand and deliver a FOSS distribution. FOSS may be based on Free Software, but the work takes away from other jobs that pay. Burning CDs, printing manuals, all that sort of thing takes more than dedication, too.

Jonathan has started an Indigogo campaign to raise $20,000. Please consider supporting the effort. http://www.indiegogo.com/sonar

sonar

You may have students in your school, or even children of your own who would benefit from a FOSS distribution that serves them.

FOSS projects depend on a strong, dedicated, vibrant and supporting community. Even if you are not a coder, you can be involved, and you can make a difference.

By the way, if you are going to the Northeast LinuxFest this spring, stop by to say hello. I’ll be at the KDE table.

 

If you were around for the beginning of the personal computer, this is a site for you. You’ve noticed the illustration, right? Yes that’s a screen shot from the IBM of around the early 1980s…Well, actually it’s an emulation, and what’s more, the emulation is done in JavaScript!

http://jsmachines.net/

Try it yourself.

Once the ancient machine boots, emulated in the speed of the day on a 4.77MHz processor, just tap the Enter Key twice to accept the default date of January 1, 1980 (You want the whole retro experience, no?)

There it is. BASIC and the flashing cursor just waiting for you to type a command.

Try this: (USING CAPS LOCK ISN’T NECESSARY, BUT IT’S REALISTIC.)

ENTER EACH LINE, FINISHING WITH THE ENTER KEY.

10 FOR X = 1 TO 10
20 PRINT X
30 NEXT

RUN

Wow, right?

Have we made progress? Maybe.

Now pat yourself on the back. You are a novice BASIC (Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code)  programmer.

If you are even more “adventurous” work on figuring out how to load Adventure and play that. I’m told you can try the original VisiCalc, too.

Update: This thing could take off. Old software running in emulation might make it possible to actually get access to that ancient data that nobody converted. Dave Winer of RSS fame has an old outliner program, ThinkTank, that is now available on the emulator.

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