Thursday, December 31, 2009

è Last Supper (ó 2009)

was tangy tuna on a queen-size bed ó rustic rice (no duvet required): è fish was delish: way 2 go! Let's breakfast by è lake. 8~}

è Last Supper (ó 2009)

was tangy tuna on a queen-size bed ó rustic rice (no duvet required): è fish was delish: way 2 go! Let's breakfast by è lake. 8~}

My End-of-Year List (2009)

Most played music in 2009:
Bach Violin Concerti
Mozart Wind Serenades
Kings of Leon 'Aha Heartbreak'
Paramore 'Riot'
Discovered musical delight in 2009:
Mozart 'Great Mass' in Cminor
Bang-on-a-Can's live recording of Eno's 'Music for Airports'
Best new film in 2009:
Moon (2009), directed by Duncan Jones
Most read book in 2009:
(as always) Paul's 'Letter to the Philippians'
Suzuki's 'Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind'
Discovered reading delight in 2009:
Ann Wilson's 'Terran Empire' novels and stories (free download from project gutenburg and elsewhere)
Bill Bryson's 'Shakespeare'
Best re-read in 2009:
Hesse's 'Siddhartha' and 'Steppenwolf'

Thursday, December 17, 2009

new Ubuntu, LinuxMint, KDE, Bilbo Blogger!

Well, I've installed the new Ubuntu (karmic koala) and LinuxMint (Helena) on the school's LAN and everything's working and looking good. I'm also impressed with Ubuntu One (Ubuntu's free cloud solution, with 2GB of storage space for us all) and its possiilities for school. Of course, Ubuntu and Mint are Gnome-based and for us here look and function the way we want but there are so many cool KDE apps that I've decided to mix-n-match. First up, the best CD/DVD writer available has always been K3b, and that's still the case; then there's Akonadi--a PIM tool that a school like ours can use big time; and then there's Bilbo Blogger, the client I'm using to write and post this blog. Everything works, looks good (aka Apple's Human Interface Guidelines) and there are NO VIRUSES at all.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Joe the Lion

There's a track called Joe the Lion on Bowie's Heroes album and a part in that song that I love. I love the pun on the word God in the lines: 'you can buy God/ it's Monday' where Bowie modulates his voice from singing to a cast-away throw-off almost-spoken phrase about the drag of starting another working week. Apparently Bowie wrote the song about/ while thinking of his son.

I've been thinking about that song because recently I watched a film. Here's the connection: the film is the debut of its director, Duncan Jones. Duncan Jones is the son of David Bowie (real name David Jones); so Duncan Jones=Joe the Lion. His film is called Moon; it's an independent, low-budget sci-fi movie made at Shepperton studios in London. And it's wonderful and thought-provoking and a return to what sci-fi was always intended to do: make us think about 'what-ifs' and the current state of the human condition.

The film concerns a man, Sam Bell, who lives alone on the Moon, single-handedly mining Helium3, humanity's prime energy source. He's on a three-year contract, which has almost ended; he's dreaming of finishing up and returning to Earth and the family he loves and misses. Things happen. And along the way we get to explore the themes of loneliness, belonging and identity.

I enjoyed the film immensely, as did the majority of the critics who reviewed it. If you're lucky, Moon might be coming to a cinema near you; if you live in Swaziland, it definitely won't (we don't have a cinema).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Helena

Today, Wednesday 02nd December 2009, we have both Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala, released last month) and LinuxMint 8 (Helena, released last weekend) up and running and working just fine and dandy on our school Lan/Wlan.
We've come a long way this year.
At the beginning of 2009 we were still running Windoze through a dial-up connection and having problems with viruses and Realnet (swazi.com). Neither Windoze nor Realnet could cut it for us. Second termwe switched to SPTC's Broadband and Ubuntu and began to see a rapid improvement. Now, we can do almost anything we want to with our IT here in the Admin block--although the Broadband service and the Realnet service are still problematic.
At first the teachers were reluctant to try Ubuntu/Mint but having seen how reliable and useful Linux distros can be, they are happy to leave Windoze for others to use; they use Linux.

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