Communities that Value Freedom

A few weeks ago I told some edu folks about the Web browsing and Web Feeds for windows Users guide and one of them pointed out that I wasn’t making it clear to people that they are free to distribute the cover image. When you read the Copyright page, I think it makes it clear.

The thing was the cover image was using a Creative commons license and I wasn’t displaying the mark or any info about it. So he was right to point this out. Apart from one cover image all of the content in the guides are licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License which means they are free as in freedom.

The thing I dont like about CC licenses is that they don’t require your work to be distributed in a form which is transparent. I like to support the Free Software Foundation and their values so I decided to contact Joe Crawford to ask him about his thoughts on this and whether he would dual license the image.

I found the image on the Wikimedia Commons while I was searching for an image of a library, originally I wanted the name of the guide to have something to do with knowledge management. I only knew Joe as artlung but he provided a link to to his flickr album so I was able to contact him.

He gave me permission to use the photo in my work under the GNU Free Documentation License. It turned out that he is a big believer in the GPL and related licenses (and CC as well, for different reasons) and he’s delighted to have me use the photo. That was wonderful news to me, after looking at more of Joes work and chatting I added this message to the guide.

“Thanks to Joe Crawford for the image. He is a web designer and developer who co-founded and he lives in Simi Valley, California. You can find out more about him at

Joe is cool and a really good guy. Joes a Frank Zappa fan, I’ve been listening to some of his music lately, its pretty wild, I wouldn’t mind checking out the Absolutely Free Album. Wikipedia entry for Simi Valley

Well perhaps I just spend the new found spare time browsing even more web feeds and meeting more people with similar interests. I hope you get time to checkout the guide and find it useful and thanks again Joe.

Educational Podcast Networks

The feedback I’ve received from sharing the podcast guide online has been really good. Thanks to Adam Maxwell a member of the Casting the Net LearnScope Project EdNA Group the guide includes the essential information about the legal requirements for teachers in regards to disadvantaged people.

I’ve been listening to quite a few of the podcasts from the Education Podcast Network and told David Warlick about the guide. People involved in education should check out his wiki, it covers podcasting, blogs, wiki’s and a lot more about digital technology for education. He added the guide to his list of guides for producing podcasts and a nice thank you.

Also John Pearce blogged about the guide and you see some of his work with grade 3-4’s at the Middle J wiki.

Some teachers have written thank you emails and commented about the guide being concise, well laid out and easy to follow, one wrote that the guide opened their eyes and another wrote that I must be reading their mind.

Happy Learning

Podcasting for fun and profit

I put together a guide called Podcasting for windows Users.
I’m going to store my educational documents at something I’ve called the Libre Learning Object Repository.

A general description of a podcast is that it’s a radio show on the internet and what’s special is how it’s delivered to the user. An Ipod isn’t required.

My main motivation was that podcasting is being used in education quite a bit and I wasn’t satisfied with any of the guides I found online. All the software used in my guide is free/Libre and open source and gives all teachers/users an easy way to use this technology.

Podcasting is a bit like independent radio and anyone can do it. If you have a special interest, it’s likely that someone is podcasting about it, it’s just a matter of subscribing to the shows that you want to listen to, or create your own. If you prefer the mainstream, there’s also podcasts like the JJJ podcast etc. There’s some interesting formats like multiple hosts recording an interview with someone on the other side of the world and all kinds of creative people that feel they have something other people should hear.

There’s also the business podcasts that are a bit like a monthly newsletter announcing their latest products with their jingles and commercials inbetween.

Its well worth checking out. I hope you find the guide useful.
Take care of yourselves….. and each other.
Happy Learning.

Running GNU/Linux inside windows with Qemu

This is a great way to introduce windows users to GNU/Linux.
I put together a tutorial for newbies and some screenshots using a few other distributions for teachers/trainers thinking about using Qemu.

Here’s a screenshot of Slax showing off KDE Desktop. Click for fullsize.

Update: its much easier to run GNU/Linux inside windows theses days multiple ways.


I’ve been playing the online version of a game called Go on IGS Pandanet.

Go Board

Go, Weiqi, or Baduk1 is a strategic, two-player board game originating in ancient China between 2000 BC and 200 BC.

You can download the client here. Here’s the screenshots.

A 3D and 2D Goban, SGF editor, client for IGS-PandaNet and interface for GNU Go.

You can also play vs GNU Go.
Its easy to learn but I’m still struglling to get my first cap.
Reading Sensei’s Library improved the way I play so you may want to check it out. It reminds me of chess how you really have to concentrate and at times think ahead. Register at IGS Pandanet and take me on, my username is Chrismo.

What you can’t say

I like Paul Grahams site, he has some really cool essays, books on lisp and a story on how they sold Viaweb to yahoo for $45 million.

He also wrote an essay on what you can’t say that I think most people would enjoy reading.

Nerds are always getting in trouble. They say improper things for the same reason they dress unfashionably and have good ideas: convention has less hold over them.

– Paul Graham

He gave an awesome talk about hackers that you can download here or listen to below.

Share your most dangerous idea

Originally from slashdot but this article is well worth a read.
What is your most dangerous idea.

ROGER C. SCHANK makes some interesting comments about education.

My dangerous idea is one that most people immediately reject without giving it serious thought: school is bad for kids it makes them unhappy and as tests show they don’t learn much.

Read more on this page, he’s forth from the top.