Thursday, December 31, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
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
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
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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