Posts Tagged 'openSource'

April is the cruelest month: an update on my IT 521 projects

Well, it’s April, and the countdown is on. I haven’t posted in a while, so here is a progress report on my final projects for IT 521.

My PC, which continues to run Ubuntu splendidly, is still not wireless. Unfortunately, I have had to shift my attention away from it to work on other assignments and projects for IT 521. In hopes of solving the wireless issue, I did try installing the 7.04 beta mode upgrade available off the front page of the Ubuntu website. The download and install went smoothly, but there is still no Internet access without a network cable. Overall, I am pleased with the speed and ease of the Ubuntu OS but would very much like to solve the wireless problem.

My focus this past week has been on Inspiration and open-source concept mapping software (CMap and FreeMind). This IT 521 assignment really held my attention because I was able to use these tools to complete other course work as well as help a friend plan a vacation. For example, I mapped the effects of NCLB legislation using CMap. I also created an interactive outline of barbecue restaurants and live music venues in Austin, Texas. Not too shabby!

Now, I am focused on Webliograpaher. I have set up two Webliographer pages as part of my semester project in IT 521. Here are the links:

Publish Me! Webliographer
Fulton High School Webliographer

On Tuesday, April 3, I will conduct a brief, after-school inservice for Fulton High School faculty members who want to participate in the Fulton Webliographer. I hope to help at least a few teachers register a user account and start adding their own URLs. I am especially interested in selling the simplicity and efficiency of web-based bookmarking, a concept I didn’t know about until this semester. There is tremendous value here for the classroom teacher who wishes to seamlessly integrate Internet resources into instruction.


Virus scanner? Check. Printer? Check. Wireless connection? Nope.

Tonight I installed a virus scanner using the add/remove menu on the applications toolbar of Ubuntu. There is a search tool you can use to locate different open source applications offered by the Ubuntu community. Installing the scanner was easy, but Ron says it is not the same as virus protection. I’ll keep looking for open source virus protection.

Re-installing my HP 1315 all-in-one printer was also pretty easy. Under the system toolbar I selected “administration” and then “printing.” From there I clicked on “printer” and then “add printer.” Ubuntu walks you through a three-step process to add a printer.

I don’t have a clue about how to reconfigure my wireless connection. I am still connecting to the Internet using a network cable. If anyone out there is reading this and has an idea, please tell me!

Keyboard problem solved

So, the answer to my March 19 post is, “Yes, I screwed up something with my keyboard when installing Ubuntu!” Luckily, the problem was easily remedied. I had accidentally selected the “English International” keyboard layout. I found this out when I went to the system menu, selected “preferences” and then “keyboard” and then “layouts.” You can add or remove layouts, so I added the U.S. English layout and removed the international one. Easy enough.

Whatś up with my keyboard?

So, itś not all love and warm-fuzzies in Ubuntu land.

If you have been reading my latest posts, I wonder if you have noticed something unusual about the apostrophes? They render oddly in the ¨compose¨ mode, the ¨preview¨ mode, and the final ¨view blog¨ window. And I experience the same problem when typing a document in OpenOffice Writer.

In fact, the apostrophe/quotation mark key has been giving me fits all night. I really have to tap it hard to get either punctuation mark to show up on screen.

Could I have messed something up during the installation?

Installing Ubuntu, Part 3

Success at last!

Today Ron had a brainstorm. Why not try one of the other install options offered on the Ubuntu boot-up menu? We kept the computer plugged into the modem with the network cable, fired up the computer with the Ubuntu 6.10 CD still in the drive, and waited for the menu to show up. Rather than select the first option, we tried ¨install text only,” which is the second or third option down the list.

The installation took less than one hour. We still received the error message about the ¨wireless applet,” which we chose to delete and reconfigure later based on Ronś friendś advice. When all was said and done, the entire operating system was installed on my laptop with graphics and everything!

I am now creating this post using the Firefox browser on my brand-new Ubuntu desktop. My computer runs like a dream! It used to take several minutes to start up; now I can start up and be online in less than two minutes.

The only tasks left to deal with are making my computer wireless again and installing some virus protection. I feel confident about the latter, but I don´t have a clue about the former! Oh, and according to Ubuntu, I already have 134 software updates! This I have come to expect after reading some of Jasonś posts.

Installing Ubuntu, Part 2

My official Ubuntu CD arrived on Friday from Amazon. Hopeful it would install easier than the CD I had burned, I popped it into my computer on Saturday morning. The good news is I got further along in the installation process than I had in my previous two attempts. I got far enough to encounter an error message. The message said something like this: “The panel encountered a problem wile loading OAFIID: Gnome_panel_WirelessApplet. Do you want to delete the applet from your configuration?” For no special reason, I chose the “don’t delete” option. This may have been a mistake because shortly thereafter my computer froze up again.

Ron spoke to his Linux friend, who offered a few suggestions. He said the installation might go more smoothly if I connected directly to my Internet modem using a network cable to get a stronger connection. Luckily, Ron had a cable in his computer bag. Our friend also suggested that we delete the “applet” (whatever that is) and worry about setting up the wireless connection later. He said sometimes when installing a new system, the user has to go back later and configure things separately.

Around 11:30 a.m. I connected my laptop to the modem with a cable. Just as before, I started the installation with the Ubuntu CD in the drive. After double-clicking the install icon on the desktop, I walked away. When I returned to my computer some hours later, the clock in the menu bar was frozen at 11:47.

Still no progress.

Installing Ubuntu, Part 1

A lot as happened in the last three days, and I hope to recapture it all as accurately as possible in this post.

First, a few reflections about the process. I started my “Ubuntu Odyssey” (and that is indeed what it has been) almost a week ago. If I had had one full, unadulterated block of time, a day perhaps, I may have been able to finish this project. That is not my reality, though. Instead, I had to break down the project into steps, and whenever I had a free hour or two, I worked on it. More often than not, each session ended with a roadblock or dead end — very frustrating but also beneficial in that I had time between steps to reflect and seek help from others. As it would happen, Ron (my husband) works with a Linux disciple who is all too happy to offer advice. Thanks to this fellow and Ron, I have been able to pretty much avoid a complete nervous breakdown.

So, after the whole download debacle (See posts from March 12th and 13th.), I decided to just go ahead and burn the sucker on a CD-R disc and fore go the whole md5sum nightmare. This burn took about half an hour. Then, I followed the instructions for the CD integrity check found at the Ubuntu website. In about five minutes, the CD passed the test.

My next order of business was to erase my hard drive, or so I thought. Ron told me this was called an f-disk command, but he had never performed the operation before and could not tell me how to do it. I searched the Internet and found step-by-step instructions for erasing a hard drive at I followed the steps as best I could, but, like the md5sum, my computer would not recognize the f-disk command. I fiddled with it for the better part of Wednesday morning. In the interim, Ron talked to his Linux friend. According to him, all I had to do was install Ubuntu; the installation process would take care of the hard drive for me. Great!

So on Thursday morning, I began the Ubuntu install. First, I started up my computer (which, for the record, is a 2003 Compaq Presario 2100 that runs Widows XP) and immediately hit the f2 key to get the set-up menu. I selected “boot from CD,” inserted the Ubuntu CD I had burned a few days earlier, exited the set-up menu, and restarted my computer. When the Ubuntu screen popped up, I selected the first option, “Install Ubuntu.” The desktop appeared rather quickly, and I double-clicked the install icon in the upper left corner. I was hopeful that the rest of the process would resemble the 30-minute, 6-step procedure that Jason described in his blog. But that was not to be. I started at 7:02 a.m. My computer locked up twice, once at 7:27 and again at 7:47. When it froze up the second time, I quit trying to install.

Now it is Friday, and I am trying to decide my next move. Do I resume efforts to wipe my hard drive clean in hopes of making the installation go more smoothly? Do I wait for the arrival of the Ubuntu CD I ordered from Amazon before trying again?


Think on this:

"What if we just ignored the status of students in other countries? That wouldn’t be especially neighborly, but at least we wouldn’t be viewing the gains of children in other lands as a troubling development."

Alfie Kohn

"When I hear people say it's our job to create the 21st century workforce, it scares the hell out of me. Our job is to create 21st-century citizens. We need workers, yes, but we also need scholars, activists, parents -- compassionate, engaged people."

Chris Lehmann

Train of thought:

These are the communities where I network and cross-post. Come by for a visit!
Classroom 2.0
School Matters (East TN, USA)
Media Literacy