Ancient Greece had its Great Explainers, one of whom was Plato. The open source community has its Great Explainers, one of whom is Michael Tiemann.
Several thousand feet in the air, in a conference room on the 10th floor of Red Hat's Raleigh, NC headquarters, Tiemann is prognosticating. The place affords the kind of scope he relishes: broad, sweeping, stretched to a horizon that (this morning, anyway) seems bright. As the company's VP of Open Source Affairs explains what differentiates an open source software company from other firms in a crowded market, he exhibits the idiosyncrasy that has marked his writing for decades: the tendency to pepper his exposition of open source principles with pithy maxims from a diverse range of philosophers, politicians, political economists, and popular writers. It's a habit borne, he says, of the necessity of finding something that resonates with the many skeptics he's confronted over the years—because necessity, he quips (quoting Plato, of course), is the mother of all invention.
In one week the Randa Meetings 2014 will start and this is possible because of you. You supported us (and can still support us and thanks to you we will be able to improve your beloved KDE software even more. So it's time to give you something new. Here is another interview with one of the persons who will be participating in this year's meetings (and participated since the start in 2009). And watch out for some other interviews to come in the next days and weeks.
Brescia said that Bitnami's goal is to make it as easy to deploy an application on a server as it is to install an application on an endpoint computer. Bitnami has more than 90 different open-source applications and development environments in its software library that can be deployed with one-click installer packages on desktop, virtual machine and cloud deployments.
For some time now, there has been much talk about the Raspberry Pi revolutionising the teaching of computing in schools. Linux User & Developer has devoted much space and attention to the growing number of Jamborees and the increasing attention teachers are giving to the small, £25 bare-bones machine. It is, say advocates, the perfect way to introduce children to the world of computing, allowing them to see and actually interact with the innards of the machines they are using. It is, they add, a great platform for programming and for creating all manner of electronic wonders.
But for former journalist Alex Klein, it doesn’t quite go far enough and – simple as many believe it is to use – he believes the Raspberry Pi in its vanilla state is still too confusing for some. He points to the Raspberry Pi For Dummies guide which, at 400 pages, he feels is far too long and impenetrable. This is the reason why he began a Kickstarter project called Kano: in order to produce a user-friendly computer and coding kit, asking for $100,000. By the time the project was successfully funded on December 19, 2013, 13,387 backers had pledged $1,522,160.
The complete and free “out of the box” software solution for schools, Debian Edu / Skolelinux, is used quite a lot in Germany, and one of the people involved is Bernd Zeitzen, who show up on the project mailing lists from time to time with interesting questions and tips on how to adjust the setup. I managed to interview him this summer.
Starting this Friday, Aug. 1, the more than 300,000 students who registered for the Linux Foundation's free Introduction to Linux course on edX will be able to log in and start learning Linux. It is the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Linux, opening training access to anyone around the world with an Internet connection. It's also part of a larger revolution in education being led by edX, the online learning platform founded by Harvard and MIT.
They say you never forget your first computer. For some of us, it was a Commodore 64 or an Apple IIe. For others, it was a Pentium 233 running Windows 95. Regardless of the hardware, the fond memories of wonder and excitement are universal. For me, I'll never forget the night my father brought home our first computer, a Tandy 1000. Nor will I forget the curious excitement I felt toward the mysterious beige box that took up a large portion of the guest bedroom. This happened at a time when simply having a computer at home gave a school-age child an advantage. I have no doubt my experiences from that time positively influenced my path in life.
In the decades that have passed since the beginning of the personal computer revolution, computers have gone from being a rare and expensive luxury to a mandatory educational tool. Today, a child without access to a computer (and the Internet) at home is at a disadvantage before he or she ever sets foot in a classroom. The unfortunate reality is that in an age where computer skills are no longer optional, far too many families don't possess the resources to have a computer at home.