NotesSensei writes: "My aging Lenovo W500 is up for replacement. I have a model with 1920x1200 screen resolution on a 15" screen and don't want to downgrade my display. Now I know the Chromebook Pixel and the Macbook Pro Retina go beyond the 1920x1080 found elsewhere, but I'd rather run a standard Laptop with a decent size SSD and Linux as my main OS. Even the Alienware gamer laptops seem to be frozen in time at 1920x1080. A big screen doesn't harm, 20 years of staring took some toll on my eyesight, so 2400 pixels wide on a 13" monitor won't cut it. What are my options?"
NotesSensei writes: "I have a Galaxy II that has been bricked by Samsung's customer service in Singapore. They demand S$400 to repair what might not be broken. What can I do with a Galaxy II that has a broken OS installation?
The full story: One of my offsprings used a Galaxy II with Android 2.x and for a reason eluding me the OTA update to Android 4 didn't work. So we brought it to Samsung's customer service centre at Plaza Singapura. Despite the fact that I bought the unit in a shop in Singapore they claimed it to be a 'export unit' and only agreed to attempt an upgrade if I sign that they won't be responsible if they screw it. (So much for global warranty) And they did screw it. The unit powers on but the touch screen is unresponsive. They quoted S$400 to fix it. I think that the OS upgrade just went wrong and the unit might be salvageable. What can I do?"
NotesSensei writes: "I had a chat with the IT teacher of my kids primary school and he was open to the idea to introduce FOSS and GNU/Linux to his students. The first start would be a 4h parent/student event (there is a regular program for such events for all sorts of topics) on a Saturday. Now I'm tasked to propose an agenda/set of activities to market the event and conduct it successfully. I'm planning to find a sponsor (most likely my current employer) to give away memory sticks (or if short of funding: DVDs) with a bootable Linux version (Edubuntu being the most likely choice) as door gift. In the beginning of the session I probably would give a short introduction what FOSS is about including the introduction of Stallmann's fredoms 0-3 as well as "what can a school kid do with FOSS". I can have access to school computers, so some hands-on activities for participants would be nice. This is where I need ideas from the/. readers. What would you do? Besides creating a general interest in FOSS an ideal outcome would be students and parents asking for more... as in a co-curriculum course.
NotesSensei writes: "Over the years I've collected tons of materials from seminar hand-outs to invoices or warranty cards. I want to get rid of the paper and keep the stuff in scanned format. I got a feed scanner and have settled on PDF-A as open standard format. Now I'm looking for a good way to be able to add meta data (preferable addable from OCR) and search. What system would one use if it needs to be accessible from Mac and Linux or Windows"
NotesSensei writes: "We have a zoo of devices in our little home network... from OLPC to Win7, Mac to Linux, Wii to PSP. Now SWMBO has demanded to curb the total online time for specific areas of the internet (game sites, uTube). I'm not looking at blocking sides (I can buy that from my ISP if I want that), but to have flexible accounts. Time spend on e.g Khanacademy or OpenTextbook would never be curbed (but eventually logged), while the game sites have a counter. Since the kids can use any device that monitoring needs to happen on the network level. Ideally using their credentials from the OS level to authenticate. How would one setup this?"
NotesSensei writes: "I'm in discussion with the school my kids are attending how to improve their IT systems for teachers and learners. They already run the school's website on Joomla. The school recently has gotten a subscription to Google Apps for education and are slowly adopting it. However what we are looking for is a fully integratable system to manage online and offline learning. All over goal is to blend online and offline activities and make teaching and administration more efficient and transparent. The areas we like to improve are: - Curriculum management: help teachers to plan the curriculum for a subject and map curriculum items to a specific week. Associate learning materials to a lesson (documents and references like URL or pointers to the page in the study book). Manage the documents where they keep the worksheets including review cycles and version management (a little WIKI like, but with print options into formal handouts). Link this to teacher discussion boards for continuous improvement. - Schedule management: Plan the course schedule and ultimately transfer it to Google calendars of teachers and student. Including the exception handling (like this Friday English is out because students attend a sports day) - Assignment management: publish and track all assignments (both eLearning and hand-outs given in class). Track due date (pushed to Google cal), points, scores and relevance to the grade book (So far I only found grade books, but not assignment tracking in general) - Assign discussion boards (and/or permanent chat rooms) to classes and/or specific assignments - Track resources for courses including links to Wiki entries (and back) or external resources - Parent portal with access to students assignments, schedules and grade book, feedback system for parent-teacher communication - Attendance tracking including update of the calendar
All of these using Single SignOn with the Google account students have as well as the ability to subscribe via RSS/Atom and mobile access to the information. I had a look at Educause, schoolforge, OS4ED, OSEF, Moodle and EduTech. All of them had something to offer, but I got the feeling that it is pretty patchwork at this moment. What would you suggest to achieve all these goals?
NotesSensei writes: My kids are learning Chinese in school. While grammar is drop dead simple writing is a challenge since there is no relation between sound and shape of the characters. I would like to know if there good techniques (using technology or not) to help memorize large amount of information, especially Chinese characters. Most of the stuff I googled only helps on learning speaking.
NotesSensei writes: "I have primary school kids at home who are more comfortable in using our computers (Mac and Linux) than they are using (paper) worksheets provided by their school. I'd like to encourage their computer usage by providing them access to learning software that is fun to use and efficient in teaching essential skills (Math, English, Science, History etc.) Also I'd like to give them a head start in getting information organized (I was thinking about TheBrain as a tool). How would the ultimate learning setup look like? What software, what online systems and what curriculum would I want to use?"
NotesSensei writes: "My family is a happy Mac user. Only lately constant bickering is breaking out about time slots for usage. So I decided to add two more Macs to the home network. Ideally I want to set them up, so regardless of which machine a family member is using they get their environment. Also I'd like to have passwords synchronized across the machines. I have a NAS for storage, but would like to know how to keep desktops and passwords (including the keychains) in sync."
NotesSensei writes: "I travel a lot and depend on the network connection provided by the hotels I stay. Typically I get one network cable to connect one machine. The network identifies the machines by NIC, boots up a login/billing screen and add them to the billing (hotel internet and roaming are a civilized form of street robbery). However I carry more than one device: the work pc (running Ubuntu), a netbook with Skype, VoiP and my music, a smartphone with Wifi capabilities etc. What's a good strategy to create my own in-room wifi for all my devices? I tried a wireless router, but it didn't work since it would not be able to authenticate. Ideas are very much welcome."
NotesSensei writes: "The old hardware is due and I'm looking to buy a Small Factor Desktop PC (something like the Shuttle XPC)to run Linux (Ubuntu/OpenSuse). Ideally it would have Dual Display ports and sport a 64Bit (at least)Dual Core. What would be the best model to pick (the Small Factor PCs typically have graphics on board and graphics support seems still a weak spot). Which vendor is considered Linux friendly?"
NotesSensei writes: "Checking my site from a free ISP I realized, that they were injecting code with advertisement. I didn't like that. What would be a feasible approach using Ajax and some DOM magic (and probably some server side pre-preparation) to identify and eliminate such code injection?"
NotesSensei writes: "There are PicoCricket, Lego Mindstorms, iRobot Create and many others to play with Robotics. I'm looking for an easy but fun way to teach my youngsters (Primary 2) about robots and programming them. What system is best looking from a fun and educational angle? Are there free curricula available?"
NotesSensei writes: "I made the transition from typing DIR to ls. I updated the grub configuration, I figured out what su is and what chmod or chown is good for. I'm ready for the next step leaping from "Linux for Dummies" to "Linux intermediate". Unfortunately I don't have the time to visit all the excellent mailing lists and forums (wouldn't fora be correct, at least in Latin). What would be a comprehensive source for intermediate Linux questions? Stuff like: How to use Gnome/Kde to login and work on a remote box. How to run your Windows apps using Wine. How to use a central directory to manage your home network. How to reach out to your Linux based appliances (Router, NAS). How to recover from a failed GUI loading when some hardware pieces don't work temporarily. How to harden Linux. How to make it tolerant against hardware failure. Stuff like that?"
NotesSensei writes: "I realized, that sitting on my balcony in midst of greenery lets met work more productive. However sitting in a garden chair (deck chair) is a hot (almost burning) issue since my T60 is nowhere suitable to be used as a *LAP*top. What could I do to make the outdoor computing experience cool(er)?"