Sunday, February 24, 2008

The ultimate collection of Linux/Unix cheat sheets!

For those of you who know him, Trey Bachner actually sent me this link the other day. He figured I'd seen them already and he was right to a degree....I have seen some of them, but not all of them and not all in one place! This is an awesome resource! Linux newbie, OS X command-line junkie, guru, geek, or whatever....these cheat sheets can be VERY handy. Expect to see copies of them at FOSSED this year! Check them out! (also...looking around this site will yield other cheat sheets for networking and so forth)

Linux-Unix cheat sheets - The ultimate collection >> Scott Klarr

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The Top 50 Proprietary Programs that Drive You Crazy — and Their Open Source Alternatives

While browsing around this evening I stumbled upon a fantastic article about those pesky proprietary programs that drive you nuts either due to feature overload, clumsy interfaces, or price and lock-in....and their Open Source alternatives that you can use to replace them! Jimmy Atkinson does a pretty good job of picking out some that really drive me nuts! These programs are not just for Linux, but rather they run the gamut of Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. Number 35 is pretty interesting. It mentions replacing iTunes with Songbird. Just so happens that at this very moment I am listening to U2's Joshua Tree album on my noise reducing headphones...using Songbird! Also...number 39 is pretty cool too! If you've never used Miro, then you owe it to yourself to check it's pretty awesome! For #42...I personally recommend Clonezilla. Clonezilla has proven to be a godsend for us at VCS and Union 52. Be sure to check the comment section as many folks have suggested even more alternatives!

The Top 50 Proprietary Programs that Drive You Crazy — and Their Open Source Alternatives | WHDb

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

FOSSED registrations and planning underway!

Finally! I just finished a major project at another school and finally have some time to "come up for air". Springtime is just around the corner and that means it's time to get ready for another great FOSSED conference! I'm actually really excited as I feel I have a really good handle on some things this year that have given me trouble in the past. One of those things is the registration process. I have switched to a fantastic Web 2.0 solution some of you may be familiar with...Zoho Creator. The solution we had in the past worked well, but it was a bit cumbersome for me and very susceptible to SPAM. We had a lot of Russians who registered for the FOSSED conference last year and still are ;-) (in other words Russian SPAM sites...etc.) You'll notice that I've added a "Captcha" (the little picture with letters and numbers you have to enter) to the registration process just before you submit to verify that you are indeed...human. I'm also excited about our new location! We have decided to move our second FOSSED conference location from UNH to The Governor's Academy in Byfield, MA. The reasons are many, but suffice it to say...keeping the price reasonable was a large factor. We're excited as we feel The Governor's Academy will generate much of the same type of atmosphere we have at Gould Academy every June. The good news is that it's only about 10-15 miles difference from the distance to UNH...for many of us... it's a straight shot on the interstate. I'm hopeful that in addition to our colleagues from New Hampshire that we'll also have many folks from Massachusetts and beyond.

Well that's it for now. I gotta' get up early in the morning and hit the slopes! Headed to Saddleback for what I hope will be a fantastic day of skiing. Check out the links above with regard to sending us session ideas! We need your input! After all, it's YOUR conference! Wanna' present or teach a session? Let me know!

Looking forward to another great year!


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wow! Our new SmartBoard and Edubuntu!

Recently I was able to purchase an interactive whiteboard called a "SmartBoard" for our school. I have several more in the budget for next year, but this one gives us an opportunity to learn more about how to use one. I was excited to find out when I ordered it that it would be compatible with Linux, but I had my doubts. Often times manufacturers make claims to be compatible with Linux, but generally with a loss of features or a very difficult installation. I was a little nervous when I stuck in the CD to the drive on my Edubuntu desktop....and I couldn't get the installer to execute. So...I went to the web site and downloaded the installer from there. The installer was a breeze to work with! It's an autopackage that simply asked me a couple yes or no questions...and then VOILA! That was it! Suddenly the SmartBoard software launched and we were in business! The total install time took less than 2 minutes! Guess what else? Everything works! Every feature from the notebook software to the screen captures and more! I'm truly impressed! The folks at Smarttech have really taken a look at the future of Linux and FOSS in Education. Today was simply my first day...all I got a chance to do was put it together, load the software and play around a little. I'm finding myself a bit excited to get to school tomorrow so I can really try things out. Just in the few chances I got to try it out today, I can really see how it will totally change the way I teach! I'm psyched!

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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