Thursday Sep 24, 2009

Redefine Facts, Jump Paradigms

An Operating System for the Mind, Stephen Downes. I tend to agree with Downes in this piece how to think about education in the 21st Century. He is articulating a fresh approach to the "skills" vs "core knowledge" debate and it seems empowering and flexible. My complaint with the common core view of the world is that although I value a Liberal Arts education to a certain degree I find it expensive, poorly delivered, and lacking in practical skills to earn a living. At the other extreme I am critical of the facts/skills-only crew who pay lip service to a more common base of knowledge from which to build and grow and diversify (and enjoy). Both views lock you into one or another paradigm, and there seems to be a political agenda underlying both as well. Instead, the operating system view from Downes seems to be a paradigm breaker. I like it. He redefines facts themselves and offers a way of engaging facts to learn and act. It gives you the perspective you need to jump paradigms when you need to -- which is getting more and more often these days since everything is changing so fast out there. Give the Downes post a read. It`s a tad on the long and complex side but it`s well worth it.

Saturday Feb 21, 2009

OpenSolaris at the Tokyo OSC 022109

Here are some images from the four OpenSolaris sessions at the Tokyo Open Source Conference today. Also, here is a report I posted to advocacy-discuss about the event and the community in Japan. Some press here and some video here. The semi-annual conference drew over 1,500 people over two days.

Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109 Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109

Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109 Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109

Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109 Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109

Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109 Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109

Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109 Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109

Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109 Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109

Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109 Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109

Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109 Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109

Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109 Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109

Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109 Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109

Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109 Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109

Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109 Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109

Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109 Tokyo FOSS Conference 022109

Thursday Feb 19, 2009

Tokyo Open Source Conference: 4 OpenSolaris Talks

There will be four OpenSolaris presentations at the Tokyo Open Source Conference on Saturday at the Nihon Denshi Technical School:

- Masafumi Ohta on the EeePC at 11 a.m.
- Takahiro Machino on the OSUM program at 11:30 a.m.
- Hisayoshi Kato on DTrace at 12 p.m.
- Reiko Saito on translation and localization at 1 p.m.

I'll be there for all three. Stop by and say hello. The OpenSolaris community will have a booth on the show floor as well. Photos to come.

Sunday Nov 16, 2008

ACM/ICPC Programming Contest: Hefei, China

Yesterday I attended the ACM/ICPC Programming Competition in Hefei with Shao-Ting, Chengzu Zhou (Ricky), and Edgar Liu. Very impressive event. There were hundreds of Chinese students working in teams solving problem sets written in English while programming using NetBeans running on OpenSolaris. Absolutely outrageous. I had a ball. Loved every minute of it. Here are some shots:

ACM/ICPC Programming Contest ACM/ICPC Programming Contest

ACM/ICPC Programming Contest ACM/ICPC Programming Contest

ACM/ICPC Programming Contest ACM/ICPC Programming Contest

ACM/ICPC Programming Contest ACM/ICPC Programming Contest

ACM/ICPC Programming Contest ACM/ICPC Programming Contest

ACM/ICPC Programming Contest ACM/ICPC Programming Contest

ACM/ICPC Programming Contest ACM/ICPC Programming Contest

ACM/ICPC Programming Contest ACM/ICPC Programming Contest

ACM/ICPC Programming Contest ACM/ICPC Programming Contest

ACM/ICPC Programming Contest ACM/ICPC Programming Contest

ACM/ICPC Programming Contest ACM/ICPC Programming Contest

ACM/ICPC Programming Contest ACM/ICPC Programming Contest

ACM/ICPC Programming Contest ACM/ICPC Programming Contest

ACM/ICPC Programming Contest ACM/ICPC Programming Contest

ACM/ICPC Programming Contest ACM/ICPC Programming Contest

ACM/ICPC Programming Contest ACM/ICPC Programming Contest

ACM/ICPC Programming Contest ACM/ICPC Programming Contest

Sun China is the technical sponsor for the regional China ACM events, which includes five live contests as well as a series of online pre-qualification sessions. In total, more than 15,000 Chinese students participate and touch OpenSolaris and NetBeans. That's very cool.

Saturday Nov 15, 2008

Hefei University of Technology

Yesterday Shao-Ting and I stopped by Hefei University of Technology to meet with some professors and students about starting an OpenSolaris User Group. We also met with Wei Liu, Sun's Campus Ambassador at at the university. Really great day hanging out with these guys. Shaoting and Wei talked about the OpenSolaris distribution, and I talked about some ideas to start a user group.

Hefei University of Technology Hefei University of Technology

Hefei University of Technology Hefei University of Technology

Hefei University of Technology Hefei University of Technology

Hefei University of Technology Hefei University of Technology

Hefei University of Technology Hefei University of Technology

More images from Shaoting here.

Friday Nov 14, 2008

University of Science & Technology of China

A couple of days ago Chengzu Zhou (Ricky), Edgar Liu, and I presented OpenSolaris to a group of graduate and undergrad students at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in Hefei, which is not too far from Shanghai. I understand that USTC is in the top 10 of Chinese universities, so it was a quite pleasure to speak there. We covered the new features in the OpenSolaris distribution, the OpenSolaris Web Stack, and the OpenSolaris community. It was great fun for three hours. The questions from the students were excellent and their enthusiasm was infectious. I'm continually impressed with how much Chinese students are interested in connecting with the West.

University of Science & Technology of China in Hefei University of Science & Technology of China in Hefei

University of Science & Technology of China in Hefei University of Science & Technology of China in Hefei

University of Science & Technology of China in Hefei University of Science & Technology of China in Hefei

University of Science & Technology of China in Hefei University of Science & Technology of China in Hefei

University of Science & Technology of China in Hefei University of Science & Technology of China in Hefei

University of Science & Technology of China in Hefei IMG_2406

IMG_2403 IMG_2390

Friday Oct 31, 2008

Open Source University Meetup

OSUM portal from Sun -- ZDNet. Ok, I signed up to another open source social network. This is my billionth social network, I think, but somehow I find the time and space. This one is the Open Source University Meetup (OSUM), and it fits directly into of the most important goals for OpenSolaris -- to grow. There's more than just OpenSolaris on this network, though. You'll find MySQL, NetBeans, OpenSPARC, Java, and OpenOffice as well. See Gary Serda for everything happening on universities involving Sun.

Sunday Jun 08, 2008

Koreans Going After English

Some South Korean parents are so motivated to get their kids into English classes that they are willing to split up their families to do it -- For English Studies, Koreans Say Goodbye to Dad. That's just very sad. The Korean government has stated that it will start addressing the problem by hiring more English teachers. I also didn't know that there are now more than 103,000 South Korean students in the United States -- the highest population of foreign students in the country.

Wednesday Jun 04, 2008

Contest Update: 10 Days to Deadline

The OpenSolaris Community Innovation Awards project is moving along. The project includes two programs: (1) a contest and (2) a student grant program. Submissions for the student grant program are now closed, and we will announce the grants June 16. Here are the current proposals. But more importantly, the deadline to submit entries for to the contest program is June 14. That is only 10 days from today! Winners will be announced in August. Here are the current contest entries.

What we need: We are especially looking for judges now. If you are interested in getting involved in the project and helping judge entries, please send mail to awards-program at opensolaris dot org. You can also post from the awards-program Jive forum.

Monday Apr 14, 2008

New OpenSolaris Images from China

I can't keep up with all this stuff, so I just point to whatever I can when I can. Check out Fiona Duan's flickr photostream for some new images of various OpenSolaris events at Chinese universities. Lots of Beijing OpenSolaris User Group activity, too. Great to see the community thriving in China.

Friday Feb 22, 2008

Campus Ambassadors in Japan

It was great to meet the three Campus Ambassadors in Japan yesterday -- Heejoung Park, Takahiro Machino, Hiroya Susuki. I'm going to be getting more involved with various education programs around OpenSolaris in China, India, and Japan. Should be fun. I've been on OpenSolaris for four years, and I've worked on many aspects of the project. But working with students is the most rewarding by far. Looking forward to doing more in this area.

Tuesday Feb 12, 2008

Teaching OpenSolaris

I see that Max is out there teaching again --  new opensolaris course material. Excellent. And I see that the OpenSolaris Curriculum Development Resources page is growing rather nicely, too.

Friday Feb 01, 2008

New OpenSolaris Curriculum in India

[ug-bosug] Introductory OpenSolaris Curriculum: Here is an OpenSolaris student curriculum just emerging from training sessions in India a few weeks ago. What's cool is that although the material is specifically written and compiled for Indian students, there is actually a connection to documentation written by professors in China. 

Monday Jan 14, 2008

A Closed Network

Decline in Japanese students abroad cause for concern -- "As the number of Japanese students in the United States decreases, the number of Chinese, South Korean and Indian students is surging." -- Kyodo News

This article articulates a trend that can only lead to one result: the further isolation of a closed network.

Sunday Jan 13, 2008

China and India Pressing Japan

Losing an Edge, Japanese Envy India’s Schools -- "While China has stirred more concern here as a political and economic challenger, India has emerged as the country to beat in a more benign rivalry over education. In part, this reflects China’s image in Japan as a cheap manufacturer and technological imitator. But India’s success in software development, Internet businesses and knowledge-intensive industries in which Japan has failed to make inroads has set off more than a tinge of envy." -- New York Times

Very interesting article about many Japanese coming to grips with the reality that China and India are moving much, much faster, and leaving Japan behind. To compete in the future -- a global future -- Japanese education will have to change rather significantly. This piece focuses on Indian education techniques in Japan. English, computers, math, and science are big parts of it, too. Japan is absolutely a country that loves fads. But I hope this is not a fad. The more diversity and global awareness here the better.

Thursday Dec 06, 2007

BOSUG Meeting for FOSS.IN

It was great to stop by the Bangalore OpenSolaris User Group meeting last night to meet more of the OpenSolaris Community and also a bunch of students from Amrita University in Kerala, which is a five hour drive south of Bangalore and a place they call "God's Country" in India. The students tell me it's quite beautiful, and the fact that they invited me to come down and visit was quite humbling. The students are visiting Bangalore for the FOSS.IN conference, and they are also participants in the Code for Freedom Contest.

BOSUG at FOSS.IN

BOSUG at FOSS.INBOSUG at FOSS.INBOSUG at FOSS.INBOSUG at FOSS.INBOSUG at FOSS.INBOSUG at FOSS.IN

BOSUG at FOSS.INBOSUG at FOSS.INBOSUG at FOSS.INBOSUG at FOSS.INBOSUG at FOSS.INBOSUG at FOSS.IN



Thursday Oct 18, 2007

OpenSolaris at IEEE at Aizu University

I took a quick day trip to Aizu University yesterday to present OpenSolaris at the IEEE conference there. Aizu is a few hours north Tokyo, and it was great to get out of the city to see trees and mountains as the fall season rolls into Japan. This was my second visit to the Aizu since I was there a few months ago with the team from Sun's Tokyo Software Center.

The presentation yesterday went well. I was talking in a big cafeteria, so it was difficult at times to project my voice over the natural noise in the room, but in our little corner the participants seemed quite interested in OpenSolaris. The audience was a mix of Europeans, Asians, and Americans so English was the common language overall and everyone was very interactive. Also, wireless worked perfectly -- and automatically -- and the projector worked great, too. That's a big deal for me since I always have projector problems with my laptop, but all is well now. The response to OpenSolaris was also really good. I think people are starting to realize that we've done a lot of work in the past few years, and we are getting to a point where a lot of people are noticing and appreciating the effort. I don't see a tipping point yet, but we are getting closer. Perhaps in the spring when Indiana is launched.

I also had my very first experience seeing a bullet train blow through a station at jet speed. Now, riding the bullet is one thing. I've done that many times. It's nice but no big deal. But standing on the platform and watching the thing fly by 20 feet away is another thing altogether. It's extremely impressive. You can't even hear the darn thing coming till it's right under your nose. Then you hear massive sound as it tears through the air and then in a second it's gone. It's that fast. I'm not kidding. It's sort of like watching the Indy cars rip down the backstretch at Indianapolis. Very difficult to get a photo unless you know it's coming. Really wild.

Anyway, here are some pics from the trip. Special thanks to Makoto Uno at Sun for shooting many of the conference photos and to Aizu Professors Toshiaki Miyazaki, Daming Wei, and Incheon Paik for inviting me and making me feel welcome.

OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE

OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE

OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE

OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE

OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE

OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE

OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE

OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE

OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE

OpenSolaris at IEEE OpenSolaris at IEEE

Flickr set here. Everything tagged Aizu here.

Friday Oct 12, 2007

GMU OS Class

I see Harry J. Foxwell (here, here, here) is teaching a new CS course -- Advanced Operating Systems -- involving OpenSolaris at George Mason University. Here's the course syllabus. Very cool, Harry. OpenSolaris continues to make its way back into universities around the world.

Tuesday Oct 09, 2007

Curriculum Development Guides

I see the student and instructor guides for OpenSolaris have all been updated to v2 -- OpenSolaris Curriculum Development Resources. Take your pick: Polish, German, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish.

Tuesday Oct 02, 2007

Sun Ray at Dublin Institute of Technology

Very cool story here about the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) School of Computing installing a Sun Ray system -- Dublin Institute of Technology installs thin client computer lab. Damien Farnham has more on the project, but it's cool to see that students were involved in the implementation and that the Irish OpenSolaris User Group holds meetings there.

According to the article, "The SunRay laboratory will provide staff and students with access to Solaris 10, Suse LINUX and Microsoft Windows." And it's also great to see comments about the importance of UNIX skills in education as well -- "It is not reasonable to expect computing graduates to be competitive upon entering the workforce if they are not equally competent in using Unix and Windows systems, said Mark Deegan, lecturer at the DIT School of Computing. "We must present students with equal opportunity to develop desktop and system administration skills on both Windows and Unix systems."
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