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Comment: ICDL or open ICDL (Score 1) 364

by crowne (#36310154) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Homeschool Curriculum For CS??
For basic computer literacy starters you could look at the International Computer Drivers Licence ICDL or open ICDL.
Google "open ICDL" or see

ICDL uses Windows XP, Internet Explorer & MS Office
open ICDL uses Ubuntu Linux, Firefox & Open Office

Both office suites include a mini database (Access or OO Base), which is used to explain some DB fundamentals.

Neither course attempts to introduce any sort of programming.

Comment: Copper wire in South Africa (Score 2, Interesting) 338

by crowne (#34392282) Attached to: AT&T Goes After Copper Wire Thieves
Here in South Africa copper wire has been a country wide problem, some areas being hit time and again 1 week after the lines have been restored.
I definitely agree that fiber is the way to go, especially once you've replaced the same line more than 6 times....

Problem is that they go after the electricity cables too, and those can't be replaced with fiber.
Occasionally they end up self fried, but it doesn't seem to be a long term deterrent.

Comment: cms or wiki (Score 1) 369

by crowne (#33899866) Attached to: Convincing Your Employer To Go With FOSS?
AFAIK Confluence is open source but not free, I recall Atlassian providing source code with their enterprise licences. I'm completely unfamiliar with Plone, but I've investigated a fair number of Wiki's and CMS's. From what I learned a while ago when looking into this, there is a distinction between a wiki and CMS, with CMS being a bit more complex. One of the basic CMS requirements was workflow publishing, i.e. content is changed but not made available for public consumption until the necessary parties had reviewed and authorised it. I was very impressed with XWiki and Alfresco

Comment: Let him have a wooden copy for a good few years. (Score 1) 417

by crowne (#33473788) Attached to: Software (and Appropriate Input Device) For a Toddler?
As a professional programmer, I naturally have a keen affinity for various computer models including those that we put in our pockets.
However as a father of two, I firmly believe that computerised or televised entertainment is harmful to childrens development, and must be restricted as much as possible during formative years.
Its much too easy leave it to barney the baby-sitter to entertain the children.
I have seen how children get mesmerised my the screens and stop interacting with the rest of their under-developed senses.
So for now let him copy your behavior with preferably a wooden non-toxic imitation.
Let him develop the skills and senses that you can now take for granted.
At 18 months he's barely mastered the tactile sense, and should be experimenting with surfaces of different textures, especially with his mouth.
In years to come when the basic skills and senses are developed, he can start attaining specialised computer skills if so desired.
Baby-hacker might be a cute idea, but seeing as so many adult hackers have imbalanced development, typically below average in either social or physical development, try to lead the kid towards a balanced development.

+ - The World's First Full Face Transplant->

Submitted by
Dave Knott
Dave Knott writes "A thirty member Spanish medical team has achieved the world's first full face transplant. There have been ten previous similar operations, but this is claimed to be the first total transplant, replacing all of the face including some bones. The unnamed recipient originally injured himself in a shooting accident, and received the entire facial skin and muscles — including cheekbones, nose, lips and teeth — of a donor. The complex operation involved extraction of the donor's face, followed by removal of the jaw, nose, cheeks and parts of the eye cavities. Then the medical team took all of the donor face's soft tissue, including musculature, veins and nerves. In order to transplant the face, the medical team has to connect four jugular veins, extract bones and join all the musculature and blood vessels. The recipient has had a chance to see himself in the mirror, and is reportedly satisfied with the results. It is unknown whether he now looks more like John Travolta or Nicolas Cage."
Link to Original Source

+ - Confessions of a SysAdmin-> 1

Submitted by
Mr.Fork writes "Scott Merrill from Crunchgear has a confession. He really really hates computers, in particular, WINDOWS-based computers. He writes: I hate computers. No, really, I hate them. I love the communications they facilitate, I love the conveniences they provide to my life, and I love the escapism they sometimes afford; but I actually hate the computers themselves.

Does his editorial speak to all of us in similiar IT related fields? Do we all silently hate the complexities and idiocentricities computers have like error messages and stupid designs that make no sense to the common user that make our tech professions miserable? IS Scott's onto something...?"

Link to Original Source

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