Older blog entries for mirwin (starting at number 220)

27 Oct 2006 (updated 27 Oct 2006 at 06:23 UTC) »
Oh happy day! Thank you Apenwarr! Now for as long as my Vaio portable survives with only occasional Windows washing (data backup, reformatting & reinstallation of applications every couple of years) I shall be ever grateful I never had the nerve to hang the cds it shipped with on a Christmas tree and install a handy version of gnu/linux. For what it is worth I have hated power suspend functions ever since they managed to corrupt my Micron/Windows portable a couple of times at the push of a keyboard button. The solution was to lose the battery pack and plug in whenever I wished to use the Micron portable. I am unsure whether this disable the keyboard button or I merely had finally learned to avoid the suspend button.

In other news Fedora Core 5 seems unbreakable on the old x86 I am currently frequently reinstalling on. (No sarcasm. I need the practice. It actually seems unbreakable. I can hardly wait to try out 6. Downloading now.) Unfortunately the hard drive is vibrating like it is on its last legs .... I may yet have to look up and purchase some hardware soon.

Wikiversity

Still off to an apparently slow start.

One problem is that people get dispersed to individual areas of interest.

Another is that no one is quite sure how to use the wiki format to study, teach and/or publish all at once. Perhaps this was overly ambitious to expect student notes to coevolve to high quality material. Mostly I think it is a lack of small friendly groups with common interests showing up at the same time. I think people are coming and going and checking back to see if it is alive yet. 8(

Anyway I trying something new. I am setting up my own wikimedia server so I can link to Wikiversity from personal scribbling not really yet decipherable by others. Later after I clean it up I can cut and paste suitable material over to the Wikiversity.

Last/first problem is just the blasted interface. It is way to clunky for studying mathematical physics or engineering. I guess I will have to get in habit of doing math by hand first and then keying in information as part of a review or discussion or publishing process.

I am not sure if our Tex pre/process is working like Wikipedia's does as I do not know Tex. Perhaps I should acquire a copy and start learning it.

Some good news. One of our people is talking to one of the integrated desktop teams ..... I think KDE but I could be wrong .... they are considering moving their training support activities to Wikiversity.

I think that will give us a huge boost. First from knowledgeable development people prototyping good ways to use the wiki format for training/studying. Second from steady supply of new participants familar with the wikimedia software environment for web publishing and interaction.

Nice to hear Advogato is going to survive.

Wikiversity

Back from the grave. Apparently stable short term URLs and a link from Wikipedia -->> The 16th most visited site in the web world according to Alexi. High enough rank that even with serious error bands and over reporting, we should see a steady stream of curious people from Wikipedia main page through Wikiversity trying to figure out what it is and whether it has any value for them.

My niece and nephew were here from Texas last month wondering if there was any way to get some math help next year long distance. Their parents are to my certain knowledge hardcases requiring them to do the work before helping them check it occasionally or providing sustained attention as they work on a tough one. No doubt they thought I would be a soft touch willing to do their work for them. lol

I will give them a call and provide URLs at Wikiversity where we can do some useful tutoring and leave some useful materials behind us for others. If we can work the technology properly maybe some of their buddies will find the site of interest.

Actually I guess I need to make prior contact with their parents and make sure they have had their quarterly briefing regarding internet safety procedures before I send them the URLs. It will be interesting to see how original they are in creating their handles for their user accounts.

If this Wikiversity thing works out perhaps they will be interested enough that we can accelerate their math enough that they will be ready will they get to college. I never really recovered from the deficiencies in my high school access to advanced mathematics. Topped out at basic trig and limits definitions. Not exactly preparation to compete directly with half the engineering students repeating calculus. My high school math instructor told us if anyone asked if we had trig to tell them no. Unfortunately no one asked. If you had the sats to get into the engineering program you were supposed to be ready for engineering calculus. I guess somebody has to get the Cs but it was a serious shock to me after breezing though high school.

Since I was the first from my family to graduate college I really should have no regrets. I just want to see some generational progress. If they want graduate degrees I would like them to have a fair shot at the grades, activities, and socializing necessary for good shots at scholarships and internships.

Wikiversity

It's dead Jim.

Perhaps someone at an existing university or other source of decent facility resources will revive the concept when they decide they wish to be at the front of a free information wave.

Worth noting that stable URLs are critical to the formation of a web/wiki community. If nobody can find it, there is no action. If there is no action even the occasional stray participant gets bored and wanders off.

28 Apr 2006 (updated 27 Oct 2006 at 04:54 UTC) »
26 Apr 2006 (updated 27 Oct 2006 at 04:55 UTC) »
26 Apr 2006 (updated 27 Oct 2006 at 04:57 UTC) »
25 Apr 2006 (updated 27 Oct 2006 at 04:58 UTC) »
9 Mar 2006 (updated 27 Oct 2006 at 04:59 UTC) »

Public Capitulation of Cert War

excerpted from message posted here:

Hi Kelly,

First, I cheerfully acknowledge loss of the Cert War at Advogato. Despite even long stretches of the trust metric being broken or non calculated I have never successfully achieved certification as a master. I go now to post public capitulation at my diary at advogato.org.

I am interested in your java project porting Wikimedia to a Java environment . I have been studying Java sporadically and need a useful focus to my efforts to learn the language. I have little interest in the language for its own sake, I am more interested personally in possibilities implied by peer to peer distribtuted processing with free software components for entrepreneurs with little starting capital.

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