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Re: [school-discuss] Possible Schoolforge Project

PureOS has done some work in this direction. They also have some nice hardware options; between the hardware and software choices, they are doing a good job supporting user choice and privacy.


If they aren't a good fit for everyone, they still provide a good model of what a system this could look like built using open source tools.



On Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 7:58 AM, LM <lmemsm@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Sun, Feb 19, 2017 at 9:48 AM, Daniel Villarreal
<yclwebmaster@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> I don't think people realize they have much choice.  When one sees the
> Google Playstore app on their device, it is very convenient to just
> use that "repository." Certain Kindle ebook formats may able to be read
> on Android devices and generic PC's using open-source, free software,
> for example. See http://calibre-ebook.com/about and
> http://www.sumatrapdfreader.org/free-pdf-reader.html
> Although the venerable PDF format is able to be read on most devices, it
> doesn't offer the flexibility of newer formats (see
> http://www.the-ebook-reader.com/ebook-formats.html).

Here are some articles I wrote on ebook software and readers in case
anyone's interested:

I also have build scripts and patches for Bard, a lightweight ebook
reader with text to speech capability (using flite).

Unfortunately there aren't a lot of Open Source projects that run apps
and I don't know of a good way to tell if an app is Open Source or
closed source.  Most are closed source.  Some of the projects like
remix-os and android-x86 might offer future possibilities for running
Android apps.  There's also an option to run some apps in Chrome.
Most of the android emulators are closed source.  Apple seems even
worse if you want to run their apps on anything other than their

> Again, it's a matter of convenience. I think that having the capability
> to use external memory card, i.e. SD card (https://www.sdcard.org/) and
> the option of sideloading apps illustrates that people have choice. It
> becomes a question of how much choice there is and what are people
> willing to do to exercise their choice.

I like those options myself, but the average person I talk to would
sooner download everything from an app store or use the Internet for
storage.  I especially prefer memory cards and flash drives for
storage when it comes to privacy, but most people I talk to aren't
that concerned about privacy.

> I agree, I think it comes down to documentation and education.
> Many people don't bother with orthographic instructions and would rather
> watch a video.

There's a breakdown I read about how people learn and how many are
typically visual versus auditory and tactile learners.  Video may be
the largest percentage, but there are certainly people like me who
prefer other methods and we should try not to exclude anyone.

> It would be good for people to know how to ascertain what level of
> hardware they need for their needs, how to shop online, how to save money!

With some school districts, I've noticed saving money isn't the key
factor.  They're more interested in out-sourcing the responsibility
and having 3rd party support whenever they need it.  That may be why
Red Hat's offerings are so popular in some sectors when they need to
run Linux.

Another trend I noticed with books/ebooks, schools and religious
organizations tend to prefer to collect donations for actual books,
not ebooks.  When I mentioned possibilities like sharing classic books
in ebook format or using OLPC to give children in other countries
access to ebooks for learning, they seemed very uncomfortable with the
ideas.  I like physical books and when I go to the library, I prefer a
real book to an ebook.  However, if you can download/have access to a
library of ebooks versus one physical book, I'd prefer access to
multiple books in digital format.  Also, older books aren't good for
people with allergies, so being able to access really old books (such
as books old enough to be in the public domain) as digital copies can
be better for health reasons.  Not sure how we can educate some of the
organizations doing book drives about the advantages to a system like
a OLPC laptop (which works well even in areas where power sources are
unreliable) or a personal computer if someone already has one or if a
group wants to rebuild and donate one from recycled parts and a
library of public domain/Creative Commons licensed ebooks.  However,
it would be nice if well meaning organizations started looking into
some of these alternatives for educational purposes.  As well as
digital books, this could also provide access to interactive works,
educational games, other useful software and even the Internet.

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