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  • Gerald Ardito commented on the blog Cocktails and educational research July 25, 2016 - 7:01am
    Jon, Thanks so much for sharing this book and your commentary. I have just finished this book and am now reading Miller and Page's earlier Complex Adaptive Systems: An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life. I am trying to immerse...
  • Richard Huntrods commented on the blog White elephants and other e-readers July 23, 2016 - 7:52pm
    Jon, First the history. :-) I have a Radio Shack TRS-80 4P that I upgraded the drives to double-side panasonics the day after I bought it. It still runs and all the software still works. :-) I have a Toshiba laptop - my first Toshiba laptop. Still...
  • Jon Dron commented on the blog White elephants and other e-readers July 23, 2016 - 7:35pm
    @Richard - app decay is a major problem. I've had apps that I've paid plenty for that are no longer available and, of course, free ones that I rely upon come and go all the time (more fool me for relying on free apps). Same is true of things that...
  • Oscar Lin added a new discussion topic Mendeley in the group Research group on MultiAgent Systems July 23, 2016 - 5:52pm
    Just for sharing: I found Mendeley https://www.mendeley.com/ is very helpful to me to organize and store phf files oscar
  • Oscar Lin commented on the blog White elephants and other e-readers July 23, 2016 - 5:50pm
    Thanks Jon for this informative review. Just for sharing: I found Mendeley https://www.mendeley.com/ is very helpful to me to organize and store phf files oscar
  • Viorel Tabara bookmarked FreeIPA in the group Open Source Software July 23, 2016 - 5:30pm
    This is a killer tool and freedom breaker for any application looking for SSO. Not only it can handle authentication on its own but it can talk to Microsoft Active Directory for those cases where enterprise policy requires so. Top it up with Ipsilon...
  • Viorel Tabara commented on the blog White elephants and other e-readers July 23, 2016 - 5:20pm
    Having bought my SGS3 4 years ago I had the option of switching to CyanogedMod a few years back when I broke free from Rogers and stopped receiving updates for the soon to become obsolete Android version. Today the market for unocked phones is...
  • Viorel Tabara bookmarked Endless OS/Computer in the group Open Source Software July 23, 2016 - 4:53pm
    What is it? The best description is found buried under the Developer Information. Built on top of OSTree uses the same technology as RedHat Enterprise Linux Atomic and at $79USD for a Quad-core CPU / 1GB RAM / 24GB SSD with HDMI output it can make a...
  • Richard Huntrods commented on the blog White elephants and other e-readers July 23, 2016 - 3:38pm
    Jon, Interesting collection of reviews. I have one thought about some of the things you said about Apple. You love your devices and almost refer to them as "coming home". I would *almost* agree. Except... like so many companies of the past and...
  • Jon Dron published a blog post White elephants and other e-readers July 23, 2016 - 11:27am
    When I get new devices I tend to make notes about them: it's part of my tinkering approach to research, a way to explore the edges of the adjacent possible.
    Comments
    • Thanks Jon for this informative review.

      Just for sharing: I found

      Mendeley https://www.mendeley.com/

      is very helpful to me to organize and store phf files

      oscar

      Oscar Lin July 23, 2016 - 5:50pm

    • @Richard - app decay is a major problem. I've had apps that I've paid plenty for that are no longer available and, of course, free ones that I rely upon come and go all the time (more fool me for relying on free apps). Same is true of things that are built-in. I hate the new Apple Notes which, of course, ties you to iCloud: the one and only reason the old version was worth having was that it could use any IMAP account for storage. As I mentioned, we don't own our devices any more. The same is even true of cars. When they rely on a complex ecosystem of operating systems, other apps and cloud services, the control is in the hands of the seller (or whoever buys the seller), not the purchaser, and we only ever have a licence to use them. Even Linux boxes suffer a bit from app decay, though to a much lesser extent, especially as they are far more likely to use standards that do not change anything like as fast, and that usually remain backwardly compatible. For the record, I still use an iPad 2 from time to time, and it is so far fine. The iPad 1 gathers dust, the iPhone 3 lost its screen, and the iPhone 4 is without a SIM right now but was OK last time I checked, a few months ago. The hardware is still fine but, indeed, the range of apps that run on them is diminishing all the time.

      @Viorel - I too had a first generation Intel MacBook Pro (circa 2006 I think) that died early this year and is only dead now thanks to cats: it hadn't got operating system updates for a while, but it was trundling along nicely with nothing more than a new battery and upgraded hard drive in all its nearly 10 years of operation till cats poured water on it. I still have a working Asus laptop from around 2003: its batteries (in days when batteries were replaceable I always used to buy 2) are both down to 5 minutes, and it would die if subjected to Windoze, but it runs Lubuntu very happily, if a little sluggishly with its 768MB of RAM and first generation Celeron.

      @Oscar - yes, it's a good app, though it's another cloud-based system that could be yanked or changed at any time, and the DPT-S1 doesn't support it. I'll have another try at the iOS app - I found it OK a few years ago but I don't trust Mendeley with my data, especially now it is owned by Elsevier. I think Zotero is a safer, if rather less slick, option.

      Jon Dron July 23, 2016 - 7:35pm

    • Jon,

      First the history. :-) I have a Radio Shack TRS-80 4P that I upgraded the drives to double-side panasonics the day after I bought it. It still runs and all the software still works. :-)

      I have a Toshiba laptop - my first Toshiba laptop. Still has Win95 and I long ago turned off updates. I keep it because it has a REAL RS-232 port on the back that I use to talk to  my galss furnace and annealer via RS485. It's currently on my side desk as a serial test device as I cannot get my son's Zaurus to communicate with my Raspberry Pi 3 via serial. The PiDP8 (PDP8 copy that uses the RPi as it's engine) is  running Multos  right now and I need a serial terminal to connect a second user. The Zaurus is reliable and portable (and I have the serial cable for it). It was last used to do the initial configuration of a Sun Sparcstation V440 in 2005 which only allowed serial console.

      As for devices, you are correct. My phone does work as a phone and a texting device - something my old Nokia would not do well (text, that is). It's the apps that annoy. All the map applications quit last year and now the Navionics only works via wifi. Hard to use at the dive site.

      As for Linux, I'm not so sure. I just did a big installation using VirtualBox on my PC in order to build a reservoir simulator from source. It worked on Ubuntu 14 but not 16. Turns out someone (expletive's omitted) allowed a broken beta package of a critical library to make it into the release version of 16!

      I'm also running with updates turned off as the latest set of Ubuntu 16 updates destroys the unity desktop. Real fun doing an update only to end up with nothing but a blank window. It's been a known problem since U12. As much as I love open source, sometimes letting these folks loose on so-called stable builds is not the best action plan.

      Even the latest VirtualBox update from the grand master of the buy-up, Oracle, has had problems. It's hard to embrace open source when it can't keep itself running for more than two weeks!

      Of course I long ago turned off all Microsoft updates on my Win 7 box. Far to dangerous to let Mickeysoft tamper with things once it's obvious they no longer care, and only want to force Win10 on the world.

      My 2005 Macbook Pro is still running, but without a battery. The installed one died, so I bought a replacement from Asia. It lasted two years then suddenly expanded. I noticed when the mouse/trackpad cursor developed a mind of it's own. Took out the (then) removable battery and all was well. It's been running that way for the past 3 or more  years. Of course it cannot be upgraded past Snow Leopard but that's not really all that bad.

      My 2012 Macbook Pro is still running and 'updateable'.


      One could argue that it's the way with all things computer, but I know many people that are still getting adequate server life out of Linux or BSD running on old 386, 486 and Pentium boxes.

      Richard Huntrods July 23, 2016 - 7:52pm

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More wire posts
The impressive work to date of our very own AU Press is being lauded by The Book Publishers Association of Alberta (BPAA). Last week it announced the 2016 contenders for its annual Alberta Book Publishing Awards, and AU press is on the shortlist in two categories. The BPAA award shortlist recognizes the works of publishers […]
July 22, 2016 - 11:17am
Athabasca University’s Convocation is a special event each and every year — if you’ve ever been a graduate, an attending family member or simply an honoured guest, you know how remarkable it is to watch all of the hard work and dedication come to life. As an online university, AU understands that our wide reach […]
July 20, 2016 - 10:54am
In an economic downturn and the increasingly volatile world of news media, recent Athabasca University graduate, Cathy McDonald, found a way to weather the storm. She embraced it, head-on. The Calgary-based, former broadcast news reporter and radio promotions personality was able to shift career gears in a flash – all because she stayed the course […]
July 15, 2016 - 8:44am
AU Library & Scholarly Resources has created a new Library Orientation Video Series, based upon its live Adobe Connect orientation webinars. The newly launched videos for students feature optional closed captions, chapter-by-chapter viewing, and chapter descriptions. This will allow you to quickly and conveniently access the information presented in the webinar on your own time, […]
July 11, 2016 - 3:38pm
U.S. President Barack Obama’s official adoption of June as Pride Month, matched by a similar official embrace in Toronto, should be celebrated as an important gain for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, (LGBTQ) civil rights since the Stonewall Inn, Greenwich Village riot of June 28, 1969. While the Stonewall Riot deserves its pre-eminent place in LGBTQ […]
June 23, 2016 - 11:56am
On June 14th, 2016, Dr. Marti Cleveland-Innes of the Centre for Distance Education at Athabasca University presented, via AdobeConnect, to instructors studying teaching at the Open University of China. With the assistance of Dr. Xiaoying Feng, who offered translation and discussion support, Dr. Cleveland-Innes provided a detailed review of presence in online environments. Open Universities […]
June 22, 2016 - 12:18pm
The term “paced program” couldn’t be more fitting for recent AU graduate Cristina Vanderhaden. The Ottawa-based, BA (French) major and recent retiree from the RCMP, spread out her AU adventure over a full 30 years — a snail’s pace for some — but a perfectly timed journey for Cristina. Starting AU in 1985 gave her […]
June 20, 2016 - 3:56pm
The Open Education Consortium (OEC) recently honored AU’s Dr. Rory McGreal with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Presented in collaboration with its 2016 winners of the Open Education Awards, held at the OEC’s Open Education Global Conference in Kraków, Poland, in the “Special Merit Award” category — the accolade is typically bestowed to individuals who, during their […]
June 19, 2016 - 11:07pm
Alberta Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt spoke to graduates at Convocation 2016 on June 9, and had some very nice things to say about AU. Here’s the text of his speech: Greetings from Minister Marlin Schmidt It’s an honour to join you on such a special occasion. I want to begin by congratulating tonight’s distinguished […]
June 16, 2016 - 2:34pm
  On Friday, June 10, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) presented Honorary Memberships to Lisa Carter, dean of AU’s Faculty of Science and Technology, and to Program Administrator Carole Mason. The prestigious awards were presented to the pair at the 2016 RAIC Festival of Architecture by the Ottawa-based, RAIC President Allan Teremura. Held at […]
June 16, 2016 - 8:59am