Sunday, August 26, 2007

Content Management

Just put out a plea from Techtwaddle - but wonder if the readers here would also like to participate?
All summer I have been studying the different Content Management Systems for a change to some of my sites. I have decided on Joomla - wondering what opensource systems you are using and how you feel about them.

I now use Metadot (school) and do not like its sluggish load time - also not a big fan of Perl (probably because I just don't understand it well enough).
Also use Wiki's and Blogs - and am now into Ning. All of these are great for personal and social sites, but I still think CMS is the way to go for a district. Anyway - any comments here or at Techtwaddle are appreciated.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Lady of Lourdes College goes Open Source

Our Lady of Lourdes College Foundation has followed the footsteps of Royal Roads University, Durham Academy, and Handsworth Grammar School by using Free and Open Source Software in their classroom. But this time, the school's administrators decided to take it one step further: eliminate all proprietary software from their computers and their courses and use FOSS exclusively. This move was seen as the most cost-effective solution for the Foundation while at the same time providing quality education that the students need.

Open Source is a set of principles and practices that promote access to the
design and production of goods and knowledge. The term was initially and is
most commonly applied to the source code of software that is available to the
general public with relaxed or non-existent intellectual property
restrictions. This allows users to create software content through
incremental individual effort or through collaboration.

By using Open Source Software, the Foundation managed to cut down the Total
Cost of Ownership dramatically. The school's IT budget was used to purchase
additional computers for students instead of paying software licenses for
Microsoft Windows Vista Basic and Office Basic which costs as high PhP 14,000
per PC (based on's pricelist). Xubuntu was the Operating System
of choice and OpenOffice for Office applications, both of which are free,
stable and secure. Xubuntu is a derivative of Ubuntu, a Linux distribution,
but is designed for old and low-end computers which will extend the life
cycle of computers from 5 to 8 years. Security and Stability are also
guaranteed by Xubuntu. Due to its impeccable design, viruses fail to thrive
in a Linux environment and its strict permission-based method made sure that
no system files can easily be modified or deleted rendering the system prone
to crashes. Software and security updates will always be free and a new, also
free, version available to the public every six months. Because of it's
faster release cycle, active development, and community participation,
Xubuntu has become very appealing even to first-time computer users
disproving the myth that Linux is for programmers and experts only.
OpenOffice has gone a long way and has evolved into a direct competitor of MS
Office. It has Word Processing, Spreadsheet, Database, Presentation,
Mathematics, and Vector Graphics applications which can also open, edit, and
save MS Office files which made sure there won't be file incompatibilities.

But the foundation won't stop there, they'll also adopt Drupal for their
content, Moodle for eLearning, and SchoolTool for their school administration
needs. The Department of Computer Studies would replace Visual Basic and
Visual C++ with Gambas and Anjuta/KDevelop respectively. Eclipse would be
utilized for Java subjects and MonoDevelop for C# and .NET. Plans are also
underway to offer courses on 2D and 3D Animation using Blender and GIMP. The
Contact Center Course would use Asterisk and SugarCRM. And all of these would be implemented next semester.

Two of the many workstations with Xubuntu Feisty Fawn

The teachers/participants during the Seminar

Our Lady of Lourdes College Foundation is located at Vinzons Ave, Daet, Camarines Norte
For inquiries, you may contact Dr. Joaquin Palencia at jgp88 at yahoo dot com.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Portable Apps revisited!

I recently stumbled upon (literally I was using StumbleUpon) I've been there before, but this time I noticed they have the Portable Apps Suite!  Sweet!  You can download and install all the apps at once to your USB drive and truly have a "portable" suite of apps! - Portable software for USB drives | Your Digital Life, Anywhere™

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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Unix/Linux Command Cheat Sheet

The good folks at FOSSwire have created a really cool Unix/Linux Command Cheat Sheet! I'm by no means a command line newbie, but there are often commands that escape me and thus I have to turn to Google for my answers....this cheat sheet may just save the day! Check it out...and while you're there...check out the FOSSwire site! I'm adding it to my Google Reader! Great job!

FOSSwire » Unix/Linux Command Cheat Sheet

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Saturday, August 4, 2007

Getting ready for the roll-out of Edubuntu

Well, the summer is beginning to wear on and I have to get back to work at getting things ready for the upcoming school year. I've been in to school a couple times, but for the most part I've stayed away. No longer. I must return and begin another adventure. I'm actually looking forward to it. This year I am rolling out Edubuntu (click here for more info) throughout the entire school. I'm also taking a major step at breaking our dependence on Windows (even more). Up until now each classroom has had a Windows machine (or a Mac in some cases) in addition to a "mini-lab" of Linux thin-clients". This year I'm replacing them with Edubuntu machines. Now...before you gasp too loudly...Windows will still be available in two forms. One is via our Windows Terminal Server and the other is quite unique if you ask me (go ahead...ask me) Ok I'll tell ya'. I'm installing the free VMWare Player on the Edubuntu desktops and creating a Windows XP Pro virtual machine to push out to these desktops. So...if the users MUST use Windows, they can. My hope is that by having the base operating system as Edubuntu...they will see that they can do more than 90% of their tasks right there without having to go to Windows. I will also be using Edubuntu on all of the the transition around school will be effortless for the users. I also will be using Samba/LDAP as my central point of authentication regardless of platform. Matt Oquist has created a fantastic installer for Samba/LDAP called "smbldap-installer" (click here for more info) which makes it a snap to install and configure a Samba/LDAP server in minutes. I'll be running mine on an Ubuntu server so it'll be nice and stable...and lightweight. My mind is racing with new ideas and that's kind of exciting. I'll keep ya'll posted on my progress!

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FOSSED 2008 Conference Schedule!

The 2008 FOSSED Conference schedule is now posted...get it here CLICK HERE

Conference Sessions listed here

Great sessions! Great presenters! ALL driven by YOU! Check the session descriptions (always a document in progress) here:

Click here to view the Session descriptions

NOTE: This session list is currently in development...some sessions may be added and a couple may disappear, but for the most part things will give you a very good idea of what is being offered at FOSSED 2008