GNU plus Chris
Monday, February 26, 2007
  It is immoral to exclude people from knowledge and from beauty
It is immoral to exclude people from knowledge and from beauty

This entry was originally published at Chris Harvey

Eben Moglen with more words of wisdom.

”Die Gedanken Sind Frei”: Free Software and the Struggle for Free Thought

Wizards of OS 3, Opening Keynote - Eben Moglen - June 10, 2004

Read the transcript and visit this page to download the video.

He talks about the history and struggle for the freedom of thought, economic justice and the equality of persons. The struggle against control of education and publication by the universal catholic church , control of printing and censorship of learning by state power, control of knowledge and culture by owners capitalistically motivated and idealogically inclined.

We can eradicate ignorance at the expense of a few, we have to do it. — Eben Moglen

Here’s a poem that was mentioned in the talk.

I think as I please

And this gives me pleasure.

My conscience decrees,

This right I must treasure.

My thoughts will not cater

To duke or dictator,

No man can deny—

Die gedanken sind frei.

—German 16th-century peasant song

Die Gedanken Sind Frei.

Another quote:

The perpetuation of ignorance is the beginning of slavery — Eben Moglen “

Saturday, February 24, 2007
  Downes 2.0
Downes 2.0

This entry was originally published at Chris Harvey

Here’s an image of a slide from Downes powerpoint presentation Toward a New Knowledge 2.0 Society, I added 2.0 because thats what he says at the start and I think this 2.0 thing is pretty funny, follow that link for the audio.

Downes Illiterate

For some reason he has a picture of Richard Matthew Stallman on it but he doesn’t say anything about him or include anything on his slides about him or his work. Maybe its something about truth maintenance systems that he didn’t have time to talk about.

The interesting thing I stumbled across on Wikipedia was this.

If there is any additional verification required, please take note, that this, or any of my other material, may be freely used by Wikipedia.

– Stephen Downes

I’ll have to ask him can I license some of his work under GFDL for Wikiversity, that would be a step in the right direction for the Knowledge Society.

Friday, February 23, 2007
  Ehma - Opus Solemnis - Jamendo
Ehma - Opus Solemnis - Jamendo

This entry was originally published at Chris Harvey

Visit Jamendo for this album.

  FOSS alternatives and video editors
FOSS alternatives and video editors

This entry was originally published at Chris Harvey

It was a GNU Hurd developer that convinced me that its good to use FOSS on windows, some freedom is better none, even GNU Packages run on windows and most computer users run windows. So here’s a list of links. Some are equivalents to replace software on windows and some are the equivalent on GNU/Linux and some are cross platform so its stupid to call it the “Linux” equivalent. They also make the mistake of saying alternatives to commercial software. The opposite of FOSS is proprietary software.

Archie Moore

My friend Archie Moore asked

“Can you recommend any Free (as in freedom) video editing software like premiere.”

I dont know premiere so if its obivous to anyone please leave a comment. All of the videos I’ve developed has been using free software so I think it would better to say “I want to do this, do you know any software that can do that?”

The main one I use is Avidemux, basically you can take a video, chop it all up, apply some filters, resize, crop etc, maybe add some audio and then put it all back together and save it in the format you want. I also use Blender for some things.

I use ffmpeg, ffmpeg2theora and mencoder for converting to different formats. On windows you can use mediacoder.

Probably the most powerful one is Cinelerra but it only runs on GNU/Linux.

The others I look at every now and again are DIva and Pitivi.

Last I heard Archie was in the UK or Europe so I hope he’s having a good time.

There’s also a review of his Depth of Field exhibition, thats the one I checked out.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007
  Background to the Australian Flexible Learning Community
Background to the Australian Flexible Learning Community

This entry was originally published at Chris Harvey

I think its now known as the Australian Flexible Learning Framework.

Here’s the info. “Background to the Australian Flexible Learning Community.” There’s a nice collection of information there.

Check out all these sexy buggers.

I like this idea “Creative, Capable People”.

Its a bit of a shame that they’re not using a free public license. Now that the responsibilities and functions of ANTA have been transferred to the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) I wonder if its possible to release that work under a free public license.

I’ve been trying to gain some perspective of local professional online education for adults. Originally its was just a very small group that controlled the web based services offered to public secondary schools here in Qld but as of the beginning of last year all the public schools have the option to use Joomla, sure some teachers complained that they cant update it with frontpage but the main thing is that it killed off that groups projects. Private school people already get way more money than the public schools, its greedy to be funded by the gov to leach even more money from the public schools by providing lame proprietary web based solutions, those solutions cost the schools thousands of dollars and don’t add any value, their like web -5.0. edna online helped change their perspective by using moodle, some of us tried to introduce foss based web solutions before that, but apparently the other techs convinced people that foss is bargain basement crap that never works properly and we’re all a bunch of unpopular political philosophy believers and made all kinds of degrading and derogatory remarks. Thats partly why I moved on to hanging out with teachers, well apart from IT teachers.

From the adults learning online perspective everything is different, some of them are pro-foss, share a very similar philosophy and have done years of research. So why hasn’t much improved for them. When you look at their edna group it becomes immediately obvious. The bulk of the techs in their group haven’t kept up with their research and don’t have the right products, skill set or business model. Worse then that they are rude, idiotic, assholes and bullshit artists. They say things like “our products enforce learning”. I can’t see myself wasting my time reading all that shit. Notice the language, thats another different thing about working with adults.

I ‘ve been discussing web.20, foss and community development with Alexander Hayes, you can read his blog. Capability and independence have always been important to me so we’ll see what happens, hopefully using things like transclusion we can stay on the same page.

Monday, February 19, 2007
  Mediawiki the proven best collaborative networked learning resource development platform in the world
Mediawiki the proven best collaborative networked learning resource development platform in the world

This entry was originally published at Chris Harvey


Mediawiki is free software, it is famous as the software platform used in the success of Wikimedia Foundation projects, the most widely known one is Wikipedia. The greatest success in the social construction of information in the world. The largest and most successful free knowledge projects in the world and all this free from proprietary contraints. Most educational institutions haven’t even comes close to this success in the advancement of human knowledge, in fact the opposite is true. Not only has it contributed to the success of Wikimedia projects but its also used in many educational projects, like Wikia, a mobile audio encyclopedia, the one laptop per child project, UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning’s Open Educational Resources Community, wikieducator, wikischolar and many, many, many others.

Mediawiki provides a simple, feature rich environment for editing and contributing. Its ease of use has no doubt been a contributing factor in the growth of human knowledge.

I use Mediawiki for my Wiki, there’s a collection, of hacks, extensions and tools for extending Mediawiki thats constantly improving every day. You can see the details of how I set up my Wiki here.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007
  Save the Planet, reuse old hardware with the best operating system
Save the Planet, reuse old hardware with the best operating system

This entry was originally published at Chris Harvey

Save the Planet by recycling and reusing old computer hardware with the best operating system GNU/Linux.In this video I show a range of hardware that’s a least 9 years old and how useful it is with the best operating system. The commercial computer market is largely driven by vendors seeking to sell new hardware and software. There is no commercial marketing benefit in promoting reuse. GNU/Linux doesn’t require big hardware, it’s very useful if you like or need to use old and small hardware.

I also briefly mention Treacherous Computing. so make sure you are aware of it.

Friday, February 02, 2007

This entry was originally published at Chris Harvey


I’ve been spending a lot of time on Wikiversity, not so much working on a course yet though I am trying to get started on developing a course on Digital artwork for kids which would work through the basics of Tux Paint, GIMP and Blender with a focus on digital art, including how to use a digital camera to take a photo for a bloom clock project quiz that gets used to create new stamps for Tux Paint using GIMP. Simple ideas that encourage kids to get out and about and into science like getting them to try and figure out how to take a photo of lightning.

The most useful thing I’ve done so far is show people how to set up a Wikiversity blog and manually create a rss feed for your blog, a fellow aussie Michael Billington wrote a bot to generate the rss feeds but thats still being worked on by a few guys. There’s a lot happening, I’m really enjoying the Wikiversity experience, I’ve met some really good people, here’s my userpage. For instant chat join the Wikiversity-en channel on irc.

I was chatting with Yeoman and apparantly Wikiversity is the worlds first real Metacommunity. So what is a metacommunity?

A metacommunity is a community of communities. The term Community has a predicate form — communicate

Read the whole article.

Contructing reality in quiet enjoyment.
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