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Comment: Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (Score 2) 105

by VVrath (#42153989) Attached to: Raspberry Pi's $25 Model A Hits Production Line

There seems to be a huge difference in the amount people are spending on supporting peripherals for the Raspberry Pi. I just bought a set of twenty for my classroom (breakdown below) and ended up spending GBP855 in total - around GBP43 each. TBH I could have trimmed this down further, as the USB Hubs and multiple sets of HDMI-DVI adaptors are to make it easier for pupils to switch between the Windows PC on their desk and the Raspberry Pi; they only have to swap two cables instead of three, and HDMI connectors are a lot more user friendly than DVI for frequent connections/disconnections.

Had it been available the model A would have been ideal for our usage - the Raspberry Pi's will not be connected to our network for security reasons, and the extra RAM and additional USB port are of no great benefit for our use case (teaching pupils about alternatives to the Windows OS they have been using since primary school, teaching programming in a sand-box that won't endanger the rest of the network).

Breakdown for those who care:
20 x Raspberry Pi @ GBP23.98 each
20 x Cases @ GBP4.20 each
20 x Micro USB PSUs @ GBP4.90 each
20 x HDMI Cable @ GBP0.80 each
20 x HDMI - DVI Adaptor @GBP 2.24 each
20 x HDMI - DVI Cable @GBP 2.71 each
20 x 4 Port USB Hun @ GBP1.32 each
20 x 4GB Sandisk SD Cards @GBP 2.60 each

Comment: Re:Uhhh well a different view... (Score 4, Insightful) 151

by VVrath (#41499179) Attached to: Free Font Helps People With Dyslexia

I am not an English teacher, although of course all teachers have a responsibility for incorporating literacy into their lessons. Strangely enough, I take far more care over my lessons than I do with Slashdot comments.

Just in case you ever do consider teaching as a career, can I recommend that you look to improve your method of giving feedback? A snarky comment is humorous, but does not maximise the potential for learning. It would be much better to write something along the lines of:

"That was a good post, and expressed your point clearly. However, you have missed a comma and used an apostrophe unnecessarily in your final sentence. Please re-write the sentence with the grammar corrected below."

This sort of formative assessment rewards the learner (with praise) for their achievement as well as providing guidance on how to improve in the future.

Comment: Re:Uhhh well a different view... (Score 5, Informative) 151

by VVrath (#41497937) Attached to: Free Font Helps People With Dyslexia

Probably replying to a troll, but anyway:

As a teacher, I can tell you that dyslexia is definitely not "an excuse". A pupil with dyslexia has been a member of my tutor group for the last four years. He struggles with reading, although use of a reading ruler is of tremendous help. His handwriting is difficult to decipher, and contains many mirrored letters (e.g. b/d, p/q, backwards s). However that difficulty aside he is one of the most intelligent and articulate 16-year-old's I have had the pleasure of teaching.

Comment: Re:It's all about trade-offs and priorities (Score 1) 992

by VVrath (#41265659) Attached to: Texas Opens Fastest US Highway With 85 MPH Limit

About two years ago I got caught by a mobile speed camera doing 48mph under a 40mph limit. This was coming downhill from a bridge, where the road widens substantially, and they tagged me literally 50 yards short of the sign raising the speed limit to 50mph. Given that I was just driving with the traffic flow at the time, I felt rather unfair. They must have made tens of thousands in fines on that Sunday afternoon...

Anyway, my insurance company doesn't mind if I get one speeding fine, but for two-or-more unexpired offences they raise the premium substantially. So when I replaced my car later that year, I bought a Citroen C4 which has an optional speed limiter. You set the maximum speed and it won't let you exceed it (unless you kick down hard e.g. to avoid an accident).

So now I travel everywhere at the speed limit or below. It takes a bit of discipline, when other road users consider the legal maximum to be "slow" and attempt to tail-gate me, but a few brief taps of the brakes introduces them to the concept of leaving braking room. No more speed tickets for me (and I get much better mileage too - averaging 57.6 miles per imperial gallon for the last 5000 miles).

Comment: Re:Performances are not "source". (Score 2) 83

by VVrath (#40172373) Attached to: MusOpen Releases Open Source Classical Music As Pro Tools Files

It's modifiable in that you have access to all the individual channels as they were recorded. This makes it much easier to extract individual instruments, put together your own mix, add or even replace parts with your own recordings (this recording of Eroica needs more cowbell...)

Comment: Re:ProTools is the antithesis of OpenSource (Score 4, Informative) 83

by VVrath (#40171757) Attached to: MusOpen Releases Open Source Classical Music As Pro Tools Files

All the wav files I've downloaded so far are named sensibly enough that you can work out the instrument, take etc. which provides the context. They all sync up fine, so layout isn't a problem either.

I wouldn't say importing them into an open source DAW will be trivial, but they're not as worthless as you seem to think they are.

Comment: Re:What is the definition (Score 2) 83

by VVrath (#40171683) Attached to: MusOpen Releases Open Source Classical Music As Pro Tools Files

The pieces are out of copyright, but (until now) there weren't any copyright free recordings of performances of these works.

Regarding musical periods, "classical" was me playing a bit fast-and-loose: Bach was a late Baroque composer, Beethoven is arguably Late Classical/Early Romantic. Still I bet you'd find their work in the classical section in your local record store.

Comment: Re:ProTools (Score 1) 83

by VVrath (#40171551) Attached to: MusOpen Releases Open Source Classical Music As Pro Tools Files

True, but as the raw audio files are available there's nothing stopping any suitably talented person from creating their own edit/mix in the software of their choice.

I've spent the last half hour having lots of fun playing with the recordings of the Egmont Overture in Audacity. Sadly I'm no audio engineer...

Open Source

+ - MusOpen Releases Open Source Classical Music Stems->

Submitted by VVrath
VVrath (542962) writes "Following Monday's story about MuseScore releasing its open source recording of the Goldberg Variations, the Musopen project has released ProTools files ( from its open source recording project. The final edited recordings are still being worked on but it seems we're living in very interesting times regarding open source classical music."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re: to train 100 teachers (Score 1) 165

by VVrath (#40103349) Attached to: Google Funds Raspberry Pi And CS Teachers For UK Schools

I didn't realise that there was a test as I haven't started applying for mine yet.

Exactly how each teacher training institution decides if your subject knowledge is good enough is up to the individual institution. Some have an entry test, some a list of specific degree title's they will consider, some assess it during an interview. I did my PGCE at St Martin's College (now part of the University of Cumbria) and they primarily looked at your degree, but if that didn't pass muster would discuss it with applicants during the interview.

I was basing what I knew on having a Science teacher with an English degree (at least that was what I heard maybe that wasn't true).

That doesn't sound ideal! I take it the teacher in question wasn't much use when asked difficult questions? As an ICT teacher I find my subject knowledge gets tested an awful lot more my pupils asking interesting questions than by the demands of the curriculum.

Thanks for the information. I've wanted to be a teacher since I was in Year 10 and definitely not for the high pay check, just liked the feeling of helping some one learn something.

It's the best feeling in the world. We've been teaching year 7s to program (in Scratch) for the last half term (great fun!), and to see how some of them just "switch on" at being able to make their own programs and simple games has been mind-blowing.

"It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so." -- Artemus Ward aka Charles Farrar Brown