Wednesday, 13 June 2007

A blog about Michelle!

I was relating to my partner Michelle how much I enjoyed Sir Ken Robinson's talk that I posted the other day and how I really wanted her to visit the blog and view it herself.

"Oh!" she said "I don't visit it anymore because it is just all about computer stuff and nothing about me anymore!" (She is an artist so that explains her response to a degree).
So I said "Right then, my next post will be about you" and here it is.

Michelle is a Cancer/Rat, so she is always very willing to express how she feels and has a lot of junk hanging around the place.
She is also a very loyal, generous and talented person.

Michelle has been an artist since she was 15 years old and is currently studying for a Masters in Visual Arts at Curtin University. She is considering transferring to a Doctor of Creative Arts as she reckons a Masters is just not going to be big enough vehicle for what she has to say.

Michelle started learning to surf when she was 40, a late starter like myself (although not quite so as I was 49), and now our life is organised around the opportunity to surf.
Well it was until Michelle managed to score herself a 0 .7 job this year teaching an indigenous visual arts program at TAFE which has meant I have been going on my own a bit lately much to her disgust as she has had to go to work.

Michelle also loves music, particularly singing, so I talked her into letting me teach her to play the bass guitar and we started a band, Floodgates, with some other surfer mates Brad and Simon.
The band parted company amicably at the beginning of this year having achieved everything that we set out to do including the creation of a few originals.

Michelle owns 2 toy poodles, Hamish and Hermyne, who she totally dotes on and they are in bed with her as I speak having morning quality time. I have a half share in them too, Hermyne, in the blue and yellow jumper, in effect being my poodle and Hamish hers. They are very spoiled and Hermyne has a few psychological problems that result in the odd internal mishap but she is slowly getting better. (Actually, that maybe more of a wishful statement than anything, as a relapse has just been noticed). She is Hamish's sister from the same litter but she had a bad start in life and has only been with us for awhile as her former owner was not very responsible it seems.

Michelle is my surfer buddy, musical partner, lover, confidant, inspiration and best friend!

Monday, 11 June 2007

I discovered TED recently!

I have been getting a bit sick of the old tele lately and I am find I am relying more and more on the web for infotainment(a new word for me to use) which I think encapsulates what the web is offering more and more as the time passes.
The satisfaction I am starting to derive from the web now is as much based on having more of a choice as to what I chose to view rather than having a TV network decide. It is not all the way there yet but I reckon that is where it is going rapidly.
Anyway, well worth visiting the TED site and enjoy this most amusing talk by Sir Ken Robinson on a really serious subject - That our eduction system kills off creativity!

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Getting an easy start with OpenSource!

I clicked on my own Adsense advertisement the other day as I was interested in exploring the wares of an Australian Linux service company and they happened to have some info about the OpenCd - chockful of open source software for Windows which I had not realised was available.

My partner Michelle is an accomplished artist who is currently responsible for teaching an indigenous art course at the local TAFE here in Albany and would like them to learn some basic computer skills with a view to being able to use an image manipulation program

I also have been teaching an indigenous course lately, a group of lovely Noongar ladies who have been hacking their way through a Certificate I in Information Technology.

Both of these groups have indicated they would like the opportunity to work at home but do not have the software and cannot afford it etc.

So the OpenCD may be the perfect solution for these 2 groups of users, so I have downloaded and burned the ISO and will run off a few copies so as we can hand them out.

So now the TAFE hierarchy will not have an excuse to baulk at installing a computer in Michelle's teaching space loaded with Photoshop/Microsoft Office because of the licensing restrictions and cost because they can just have Gimp/OpenOffice installed instead as this is what the students will be given to use at home.
I will continue to hassle the TAFE hierarchy to start pushing the teaching of Open Source software so next time I run a course it will be based around OpenOffice rather than Microsoft Office as this is what the students will be given to use at home.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Another Ubuntu success story!

Like many others, I am an Ubuntu/Kubuntu convert and I know why I prefer it to Windows but it is great to read that users with serious experience like Paul Nowak do also and can explain why far better than I can!

After Ubuntu, Windows Looks Increasingly Bad, Increasingly Archaic, Increasingly Unfriendly
— My recent switch to a single-boot Ubuntu setup on my Thinkpad T60 simply floors me on a regular basis. Most recently it's had to do with the experience of maintaining the software. Fresh from a very long Windows 2000 experience and a four-month Windows XP experience along with a long-time Linux sys admin role puts me in a great position to assess Ubuntu. Three prior attempts over the years at using Linux as my daily desktop OS had me primed for failure. Well, Ubuntu takes Linux where I've long hoped it would go - easy to use, reliable, dependable, great applications too but more on that later. It has some elegance to it - bet you never heard that about a Linux desktop before.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

John Howard - Climate Change - I don't believe him, do you?

A sneak preview of the Liberal government's new climate change ad!
A personal message from the Prime Minister himself!
Very funny but I hope, like many Australians, that Kevin Rudd makes it over the line as none of us trust this guy anymore!
Thanks to the GetUp mob and Domenic Allen.