We are of the Coke


Bleedin eck! What a bloody mare!
March 1, 2010, 3:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Non-techy stuff

Think I could pop to the shop and buy a paper. An Independent of course! Was amusing (but gutting a bit really – especially for my brother’s friends who write for it) to read of the death of OMM (Observer Music Monthly) in the obituary pages of The Stool Pigeon (brilliant, crazy free independent/underground music newspaper). Actually, the really sad deaths were Vic Chesnutt (who I’ve only got into very recently since hearing about his death on Christmas Day) and Jay Reatard – age twenty-bloody-nine (I’d got into his music last year – in particular, Ain’t Gonna Save Me). The bit about OMM wasn’t really funny – it just made me chuckle to see it in the Pigeon being mourned. OMM was great though. Apparently, it’s all to do with the internet and the digital revolution – like this blog (it’s so easy to publish your opinions now). I didn’t buy it very often. Mostly because I was never organised (notice the “s”, not a “z”!) enough to remember which week was an OMM week and get my butt down the shop on the correct Sunday of that particular month. Hey, thinking about it, perhaps that’s why it folded! They expected too much of people – especially with the internet where things are there when you want it at the flick of a mouse etc. Hopefully, a great paper like that will have the sense/intellect/foresight to garner a new digital side – a digital OMM? This is all just my ideas and I cannot back them up with any hard references.. yet.

Referencing is the new thing for me. Since being forced into doing it for my PGCE (PcET) ET02 essay, I have become an advocate of referencing. Immediately after my last mammoth essay stint last week I couldn’t adjust to the normal world of just reading stuff and then either forgetting it or writing it down somewhere and forgetting where I wrote it down or finding a note months later and not being able to go back to the source because I had not put a reference on my note. I was going through my Linux and Ubuntu and MTB magazines and making notes of the interesting and useful articles and writing some sort of reference list! (Wow. I lasted a whole 5 minutes without mentioning Linux!).

Techy stuff

On the subject of Linux (and this part of this post will have the first URL to follow) I have downloaded a new distro (distribution – if you’re not sure what I mean, Linux has MANY “versions”. There is a new one every day) – Uber Student. It is Linux for students!

This is the link to the homepage of Uber Student – http://www.uberstudent.org

It includes software like referencing and bibliography stuff and loads of other stuff. It can be run in “Live Mode” (means you don’t have to install it or anything, just try it).

The other big thing I discovered recently was Zotero.

This is the link to the main homepage of Zoterohttp://www.zotero.org/

This link is an article on Lifehacker about Zoterohttp://lifehacker.com/5463293/how-to-clip-sort-and-cite-the-entire-web-with-zotero

Zotero is a Firefox extension (I’m going to back through this post and all the appropriate URLs in, now, so the bit earlier in the post about the first URL might not have made sense!). Zotero is a tool to organise and help create a reference list. The basics of it are quite intuitive and it proved useful to me immediately. I took snapshots of certain pages and was able to go back to them a couple of days later. I haven’t yet sussed the proper uses of it yet such as creating the reference list and accessing your links from other computers. I suppose another way of me organising my links in this blog post would be to put them all at the bottom – like a magazine (I’m thinking of the “HOW-TOs” in Ubuntu User – something I need to buy because I think the new issue came out Feb 19th 2010).

I’ve not read the Lifehacker article on Zotero yet, but I will. One thing about Zotero is that it worked flawlessly on Linux 0n Ubuntu, Mint, Crunchbang etc. I’ve  just installed Windows XP on a “spare” hard drive I have. I tried putting Zotero on to Firefox the normal way – go to Add-ons, search for Zotero, install it, restart Firefox then click on the word Zotero in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. Thing is, on XP, the word is not showing up in the right hand corner of the screen. I’ll check Google and find an IRC group or something. Perhaps I need some Java update or smething – I noticed something else didn’t run and it mentioned needed Java. Anyway, I’m not going to be spending too much time on Windows. I installed it (finally, after going through a pure 8 months of Linux heaven – and hell) because I wanted to install Trackmania United, a PC game that my son and I love. The game worked brilliantly and it was quite satisfying to see XP on my big-ish flat screen monitor running very quickly. I don’ want to talk too much about the other issues I’ve come up against in the past 48 hours since installing it because ..I just don’t want to go down that route. I need to blog this link with a burning desire….

I just found this article about FOSS – Free and Open Source Sofware – in poverty-struck South Africa; surely a place that deserves to have it since the founder of Ubuntu is South African – Mr. Shufflebottom, or whatever his name is. Here is the link to the article.

Link to article about FOSS in Africa – http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/9345

I haven’t finished reading it yet. I find this sort of stuff inspiring to say the least: I have a choice really – you know Windows or Linux etc. People in poor countries don’t have this choice though and a free (and brilliant) world like Linux can be theirs even with old hardware – I know because I’ve tested some old PCs I’ve picked up and put various versions of Linux on them: Crunchbang Linux normally being the winner due to it’s incredible speed, reliablity and instant (with a small learning curve) configurability. I’m not going to bang on about the story of the PC that I rescued from my son’s back garden as I have blogged about it somewhere else – can’t remember where now though! If I do remember, I’ll come back to this post and add an update at the end or something. Maybe it was my oldest blog (5 years old recently!)  – Whatever Happened to Bay B Kane?

In addition to that, I find the story inspiring because I am looking to set up a class teaching Linux. Here are my ideas/options/input recieved from other peeps : –

  1. Run a class in the place I’m doing my teaching practice – the WEA. I could teach the learners how to get a Live CD going and let them experiment or I could teach them how to choose a distro and burn the “.iso” etc. Open University has recently announced it is going to run a Linux course (Need a reference here – actually if you go the bottom of this page you will see my list links (references). Update: Referencing done.
  2. Set up my own centre teaching and running pure Linux in the local community – at a community centre or night school, say.
  3. Experiment with the ideas by devoting my next module in college to the teaching of Linux – I have to make a scheme of work on a topic of my choice

Links ( References)

Independent

OMM

The Stool Pigeon

Vic Chesnutt

Jay Reatard

MTB

Uber Student

Zotero

Lifehacker

http://lifehacker.com/5463293/how-to-clip-sort-and-cite-the-entire-web-with-zotero

Trackmania United

Whatever Happened to Bay B Kane?

http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/9345

Crunchbang Linux

Ubuntu

Open University

Linux course

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