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[school-discuss] Ideas

Michael Shigorin wrote:
>Joel might be a bit wishful but I think he tries to help with what he can. ;-)

Yes, I do practice wishful thinking, and I intend to continue doing so until
I finally get uploaded into that Great Server in the Sky. In addition, I agree
with David Bucknell and some others that SchoolForge should not narrow
its focus too much. To help keep that from happening, I'm going to include
a variety of wild ideas in this message. Enjoy the chaos.

Marilyn, as we might expect, mentioned music and art. It is also no surprise
that I agree with her. In fact, when I first mentioned DoSomething.org (it seems
so long ago now), one of the projects I was looking at was this:


FLOSS graphics programs can play a role here--not just the ones Marilyn
mentioned, but also math-manipulation tools (KSEG, Geogebra) and
graphics-oriented programming languages like VPython, PyGeo, Pov-Ray,
Context-Free, and BASIC-256, which I just recently gave a page on the
SchoolForge web site.

Drastically shifting gears.... Far too few people nowadays are aware of
the historically important project known as the Stone SouperComputer:


This was one of the first large-scale examples of a heterogeneous
Beowulf cluster. "Heterogeneous" is, of course, a euphemism for
grabbing whatever old parts you can get and linking them together in
any fashion that will produce a system usable for your purposes. I
envision many different classes of students in many different locations
going through their neighborhoods for old machines, and then
kludging them together to produce a computer for playing chess.
A good starting point for the students would be here:


Once the Beowulves are functioning, they can play against each other
in a tournament. The overall winner can go up against the incumbent
champion in the field of proprietary chess software:


Win or lose, it ought to be good publicity for FLOSS.

Speaking of publicity--getting SchoolForge a Facebook page certainly
can't hurt. Personally, I've been spending more time on Linkedin:


I've encountered a number of FLOSS people on Linkedin already.
It looks like there are definite opportunities there.

In the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), there are several
Special Interest Groups (SIGs) that might be particularly useful:





And here are two more places where SchoolForge
members can look for allies:



I'm now going to take a breather while I gather strength to throw more
stuff at you. Everybody keep on this. Having FLOSS conquer the world
will take time. As the old saying goes, Romeo wasn't bilked in a day. :-)