Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog

Jon
Campus Party Brazil

Jan 19, 2009 GMT

It is -10 degrees Celcius at my home in New Hampshire, but I am in Sao Paulo Brazil with a balmy temperature of +25 degrees Celcius. Hmmm...35 degrees Celcius difference....enough to cause me to shatter if I were to transport here.... But fortunately I am at the first day of Campus Party, and the participants are starting to arrive with their computers, robots, astronomy gear, etc. All I really had to bring was by USB key with Linux on it, but I admit to bringing a stuffed Tux and a few other odds and ends. A lot of the participants of this week-long event will be sleeping in tents. The tents this year were sponsored by Speedy Xtreme and Telefonica, and look like the bottoms of blue...
Prizes for the "maddog's Multi-media Challenge" - and how everybody wins!

Jan 11, 2009 GMT

I previously blogged about the "maddog Brazilian Multi-media Challenge" that is going to be at Campus Party in Sao Paulo Brazil on January 19th to 25th but I decided to update that blog entry with news about the prizes that will be offered, which I think might be interesting to people even if they are not going to Campus Party. While looking around for more Free Software for Multi-media work, I found yet another compilation from a group called 64Studio. It seemed comprehensive, and had some good reviews around it. While investigating that distribution I found a link to the Trinity Audio Group and the Indamixx portable studio. The Indamixx uses the Free Software of the 64Studio...
Campus Party Brazil - maddog's challenge - multimedia and Free Software

Jan 04, 2009 GMT

Campus Party is going to be held January 19th to 25th in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I have been asked to create a "challenge" for the attendees.I have long had a fascination with automated musical instruments (player pianos, player reed organs), and while I sometimes struggled with higher mathematics while attending Drexel University, I have developed an appreciation of how math, music and computers fit together, so I decided to anchor the "maddog challenge" around digital multimedia.This year the challenge will be to create a one or two minute video or audio "advertisement", suitable for displaying on the web in sites such as YouTube and others, but captured, edited...
Penguin Awareness Day - January 20th, 2009

Jan 04, 2009 GMT

I was riding Southwest Airlines, coming back from visiting my relatives in Pennsylvania. I picked up a copy of the airline's Spirit Magazine from the seat back pocket, and started reading about various little-known holidays. Then I noticed that "Penguin Awareness Day" is January 20th. While "Penguin Awareness Day" officially has little to do with Linux, and there is even controversy on which day is the "official" Penguin Awareness Day, there is really no reason why we could not use this day to make people aware of our favorite operating system and Free Software in general. A penguin is a great mascot. Before "Tux", the penguin, vendors were using...
Gifts that keep on giving

Dec 22, 2008 GMT

This time of year a lot of people exchange gifts in celebration of various holidays. Chanukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa to name a few. Making things a little harder for me, both my brother and my father celebrate their birthdays in December. If you are like me and coming up with the extra money this time of year is difficult, or trying to buy that gift for the "person who has everything" (my father) think about giving a gift of Free Software, sprinkled with that gift that really means a lot, your own time. Think about what the person likes to do. Are they inclined to like music? Take photographs? Did they get a new video camera recently? Do they like astronomy? Find some Free...
Giving Back

Dec 12, 2008 GMT

I was attending Latinoware, an event in Brazil held on the grounds of the Itaipu Hydro-electric plant, currently the world's largest in capacity. Each event in Brazil has its own personality, and the Latinoware event reaches out not only to the Portuguese-speaking Free Software community, but also the Spanish-speaking communities. A highlight of this year's event was an "Olympiad" of programming, hosted by HostNet.com.br, one of the largest hosting services in Brazil, and organized by a good friend of mine, Kauê Linden, who is one of the owners.     Now Kauê is not a programmer, and he will be the first to tell you that....
Dear Mr. Obama - Small and Medium Business

Dec 08, 2008 GMT

Dear President-elect Obama, As part of your campaign, you were an advocate for small and medium business (SMB). I agree with this philosophy, since such a large number of people in the United States are employed by SMBs, and since such a large portion of our economy is based on SMBs. In the computer industry there is something known as Free Software, which is software that guarantees the availability of the source code for the software solution to the end user. This allows the end user to make a business decision about whether they wish to use the software the way it exists, or take steps to change the software to have it meet the end-user needs. Sometimes these changes are simple fixes...

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