Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

My Spies Come Through, Finally…

technology

My Spies Come Through, Finally…

A while back I sent a pack of spies into China but they were so distracted by touristy things that they forgot/neglected to report back on GNU/Linux on retail shelves in China.

Attempting to appease me, one sent the following picture of a GNU/Linux lab in a local college.

Well, it’s a start. That same college bored my son to death a few years ago. Things are looking up.

Here’s what Google finds (154 hits). They even have a course in GNU/Linux Desktop. How times have changed.

21 Comments

  1. That Exploit Guy

    @oiaohm

    ‘Welcome to super confusion. I meant exactly what I said. BA with Masters.’

    I see that you are again falling back on Wikipedia to justify your pitiful understanding of the world around you.

    I admire your audacity to try and lecture university graduates on how qualifications work, but the fact of the matter remains that there is no such thing as “BA with Masters”, not even according to that Wikipedia page. Rather, the table at the top explains to you very clearly right from the word “go” that there are three forms of Master’s programmes, and Bachelor degrees with honours are expressly placed at one level below it. Section 2.5 even states clearly that all of them are offered as standalone programmes to students who have completed their undergraduated courses (at Level 7 or 8). The only confusion, like the alleged confusion of B-tree, is one that exists only in your imaginary world. You are welcome, however, to raise your concern to the Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, as I believe everyone needs a good laugh every now and again.

  2. That Exploit Guy

    @Robert Pogson

    ‘What you have to say doesn’t fly. Swapping working PCs for new PCs and paying for that other OS and M$’s applications and the applications of other “partners” doesn’t fly in education here because there are no funds for IT except for toner and the occasional failed parts.’

    Where did I in anywhere here mention “swapping working PCs for new PCs”? The only thing I see here is a retired teacher/full-time horticulturalist who has achieved such a zen level of dishonesty that he can’t even feel any shame with such a transparent attempt to put words in one’s mouth.

    Anyhow, the way I see the situation is that the only reason you were valued where you were was not because you were the top man for the job, but simply that there were barely a living being to compete for the same position in all those remote areas you mentioned. I can easily find dozens of contractors where I live that can make Windows fly with a tiny school budget, and if you can’t make it work, it’s your problem, not MS.

    In other words, the only thing you have managed to conveyed to me is that your market value is only proportional to how many people are competing in the same labour market, and that simply doesn’t speak well with your actual ability to get things done.

  3. oiaohm

    That Exploit Guy –Do you mean BA with honours?–

    No you need to read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Qualifications_Framework

    Welcome to super confusion. I meant exactly what I said. BA with Masters. BA with honours is an extra 1 year or 2 at end of BA course. It is a 1 Year or 2 todo Masters and you can do both at exactly the same time. In fact your work for BA honours can be the same work for BA Masters qualification. Particularly if you take the research line for Honours on hard enough topic.

    That Exploit Guy I did pass high school english with high enough grade to enter any University course.

    –Students must have a 50% minimum in TER English (or equivalent)–

    This equals a C in english. You don’t need to be brilliant in English. I got a B- in fact.

    That Exploit Guy yes my english is what a passing grade in Australia can look like.

    Remember at Uni I am allowed to have my work proof read and use grammar correcting software. No web browser has embedded grammar checking software.

    –most of the time– Really that is correct. Unless I happen to be going near the university for some other reason I never go there. So most of the time is true.

  4. Robert Pogson

    TEG wrote, “You do realise all you are proving is that the only reason you were valued where you were was that there was no one else who could switch on a computer to save his own life, right? As the old saying goes, “In a country of the blind the one-eyed man is the king.” Instead of insisting on being the self-parody that you are, why not just have some humility and listen to what other people have to say for once?”

    What you have to say doesn’t fly. Swapping working PCs for new PCs and paying for that other OS and M$’s applications and the applications of other “partners” doesn’t fly in education here because there are no funds for IT except for toner and the occasional failed parts. Installations are usually random grants from government, about every ten years or so. I showed many schools how to get PCs for the cost of freight, say in the back of a truck making the run over the winter road anyway, and by using GNU/Linux there were no maintenance issues, no re-re-reboots and no malware. So, what you have to say is irrelevant. Further, real people with tons of IT budget and IT staff are finding the same things that work in the bush for me work for them. So, you are out to lunch. It is wise to judge a thing by its fruit. GNU/Linux does magic in education.

  5. That Exploit Guy

    ‘Reality I never ever have to set foot in the University I am enrolled in.’

    Interesting. It was “most of the time“. Now it’s “never”. You sure know how to makes things up as it sees fit, don’t you?

    ‘That Exploit Guy Australia is different. Its nothing strange to be 400 kms plus away from University.’

    It’s called “distance learning” and it’s and extremely common thing around the world.

    My landlord is a coordinator of one of these courses, and, no, he doesn’t mark papers with robots that exist only in oiaohm’s imagination.

    ‘So yes you can have a full BA with masters and never set foot in the University.’

    Do you mean BA with honours?

    Masters are usually offered on the basis of your existing qualifications but as courses separate from your undergraduate studies. There is no such thing as BA with masters.

    Also, as far as I can see in the website, the only BA course of the IT category does not come with an honours program, nor there is any indication that any participating institute is offering honours study on top of their courses.

    What I find even more interesting is that the course has its entrance requirements set almost entirely around English competency, which would put you in about the same position as a blind person trying to get a driver’s license in NSW.

  6. oiaohm

    That Exploit Guy
    –Also, please, don’t even bother trying to tell me your tall tale about travelling the equivalent of the distance between Sydney and Melbourne to fulfill your contact hours.–
    LOL Really you need to check out the Australian University system. Contact hours. You think that takes travel to contact hours. LOL complete moron or live in a country with a poor education system so has no understanding of how the Australian system works.

    http://www.open.edu.au/
    Reality I never ever have to set foot in the University I am enrolled in. That Exploit Guy Australia is different. Its nothing strange to be 400 kms plus away from University. I don’t have to go to the University todo contact hours. Go to the nearest tafe at the time and schedule to use video conference link to the University counts.

    This is a history expand of the Australian School of the Air for primary and high-school students.

    As I said at that time I was 400 kms away from the University at that time. That is not the largest distance I have been away.

    That Exploit Guy Australia is one of the few countries where you can enrol in a course on-line and travel around the country and never ever set foot in the University. You don’t even have to attend graduation. So yes you can have a full BA with masters and never set foot in the University.

    Non Australian it shows. Australian University system is different to most.

    That Exploit Guy
    –And who exactly is going to care except Linux fanatics?–
    Except universities don’t bother teaching something unless there is some commercial link somewhere.

  7. That Exploit Guy

    @oiaohm

    ‘Chris Weig but you normally don’t find them doing a course in Linux Desktop usage for old school Unix lab usage.’

    And who exactly is going to care except Linux fanatics?

    Also, please, don’t even bother trying to tell me your tall tale about travelling the equivalent of the distance between Sydney and Melbourne to fulfill your contact hours. You know no one is going to buy it, and I am just going to ignore it, so do yourself a favour and spare the world another thousand words of sweet nothing, mmmkay?

  8. That Exploit Guy

    @Robert Pogson

    ‘Typically teachers are fearful of ever opening a PC… The curriculums are usually happy if students can just name the parts of a PC. I had students shop for parts, specify them, install them, swap them and so forth. The curriculum is usually happy that students know how to turn on a PC. I showed students how to take them out of boxes and install OS, applications and parts and set up networks.’

    This is just a gift that keeps on giving, isn’t it?

    You do realise all you are proving is that the only reason you were valued where you were was that there was no one else who could switch on a computer to save his own life, right? As the old saying goes, “In a country of the blind the one-eyed man is the king.” Instead of insisting on being the self-parody that you are, why not just have some humility and listen to what other people have to say for once?

    ‘Students loved that I could get them credit for several courses at once because they could meet all the educational objectives with much less time and effort with GNU/Linux.’

    “Students loved”, as told by the sole proprietor of the story-telling business here.

    This is, of course, not to mention that the choice of operating systems has fundamentally nothing to do with anything you mentioned above. Rather, it just is that Windows will simply cause the teacher to refuse to teach anything based on purely ideological ground.

    Am I correct?

  9. oiaohm

    Chris Weig but you normally don’t find them doing a course in Linux Desktop usage for old school Unix lab usage.

    The thing that is the problem here. Is a percentage of seats on all collage camps are Linux. So if the windows machines are full knowing how to use Linux means you can still get some of your work done.

    The question for business is what percentage Windows do they require. Most cases is less than what they think.

  10. Chris Weig

    The talented M$ shills attack the messenger! Totally ignoring that Linux is available on college campuses.

    Reading competence: zero. TEG wrote:

    So are you telling your readers that you need “spies” to tell you such well-known fact that colleges do have Unix labs, …

    In Germany, too, it would be indeed difficult to find a university/college without a Unix/Linux lab. The only ignorance then is to be found on your side, dougman. It’s the same ignorance that makes you sell anti-virus and anti-malware software to your — I use the word lightly here — customers.

  11. dougman

    The talented M$ shills attack the messenger! Totally ignoring that Linux is available on college campuses.

    Here is my local mirror: http://mirror.umd.edu/

    So what, that colleges have Linux labs they say, they DEMAND that people pay more extortion money to the M$ GOD.

    So just ignore Linux, don’t waste your time!

  12. Robert Pogson

    TEG wrote, “C’mon now – I can quite easily find a fifteen-year-old who can disassemble and reassemble an entire PC in less than half an hour. What’s exactly is so special about this non-skill of yours?”

    Find it in the curriculums. Find any other teacher in Canada that does that in high schools. Typically teachers are fearful of ever opening a PC and that other OS forbids installation without a paid licence… I was in a large school division once where the head IT guy knew every computer teacher in the division. He called me a “bright star”. The curriculums are usually happy if students can just name the parts of a PC. I had students shop for parts, specify them, install them, swap them and so forth. The curriculum is usually happy that students know how to turn on a PC. I showed students how to take them out of boxes and install OS, applications and parts and set up networks. The curriculum writers know almost nothing about IT. I filled in huge gaps. Students loved that I could get them credit for several courses at once because they could meet all the educational objectives with much less time and effort with GNU/Linux. FLOSS is ideal for education. The EULA of M$ has no place in education. I had students read the GPL and the EULA. Their eyes opened wide…

    In the curriculum of Alberta there are five credits for basic computer programming. I could get students those credits in half the time by using FLOSS and chucking the usual textbooks which cost a lot. In the Manitoba curriculum basic aspects of programming are reserved for Grade 12. I taught them in grades 9 and 10 in the Alberta curriculum. GNU/Linux is ideal for teaching that kind of thing and teachers and students have all the tools they need with no need for requisitions or approval from on high. Same for networking and electrotechnology. Having a teacher with more knowledge helps students a lot. The usual computer teacher has taken a course or two at university and done nothing but teach students how to type or use M$’s products. I have done IT around the world on all kinds of hardware for all kinds of purposes and I have electronics training and machine-shop training that I can bring to play. “apt-cache search” allows me to find software of particular interest to a particular student in seconds. You would not believe how a student lights up when the stuff they are learning is relevant to their career-plan. I know how to do that and I do not hesitate to teach a dozen course in the same room at the same time to give students what they wanted. I could generate a dozen lessons working late and put them into Moodle for students to use day after day, each student following “the curriculum” and getting their credits but each one on a custom programme of instruction. A teacher’s greatest asset is the energy of the students and I know how to unleash that. Compare that with students who are bored with “computers” when they really mean the rote training on Wintel.

  13. That Exploit Guy

    ‘Uh,,, the job got done and things worked well?’

    In a labour market that consists of none other than Robert Pogson himself? Heck, why not tell everyone that you have won an Olympic gold medal in an event with you as the sole participant?

    ‘I’ve had principals walk in with half the PCs in the lab laid open for cleaning and replacement of noisy fans. Their mouths drop open in amazement and they move on.’

    Now you are reminding of an episode of The IT Crowd where Jen was fooled into thinking a plastic black box with a blinking light was the Internet and proudly presenting it to a clueless audience who looked at it in sheer amazement.

    C’mon now – I can quite easily find a fifteen-year-old who can disassemble and reassemble an entire PC in less than half an hour. What’s exactly is so special about this non-skill of yours? That you are the only person who can do something that trivial 600 km south of Winnepeg, i.e. in the middle of nowhere?

  14. Robert Pogson

    TEG, going in circles, wrote, “Pray tell, then, what qualifies your former employers make that kind of technical judgment.”

    Uh,,, the job got done and things worked well? People, including employers do believe what they see with their own eyes. I’ve had principals walk in with half the PCs in the lab laid open for cleaning and replacement of noisy fans. Their mouths drop open in amazement and they move on. Normally such an operation requires a work-requisition and months of waiting. I’ve had principals walk in and witness students typing at twice the required speed in the curriculum and they never question my methods. I get the job done. At one school we had two labs, an old one for elementary students and a new one for high school students. The old one was running XP on ancient PCs and was always quitting. There were 17 machines in it and it was a good day if 14 would boot. I converted them to boot PXE and gave them a five year old PC as terminal server. I was able to dust off 10 year old machines from shelves and set them in that lab with no special configuration except tiny video RAM and they had 24 thin clients running faster than the new machines upstairs. You can bet employers notice that. That was 3 hours’ work. I could have done it in one but I had to figure out how to use M$’s bootloader to preserve that other OS. I used to be called to that lab every week to fix things up. After the change to GNU/Linux it was rock solid. That was done with $0 hardware and software budget. Employers notice that.

  15. That Exploit Guy

    @Robert Pogson

    ‘Every employer who has reviewed my performance has commented that my expertise shows in everything I do.’

    Oh, really? Pray tell, then, what qualifies your former employers make that kind of technical judgment.

    I don’t seem to be able to shake the nagging feeling that the answer to that is “nothing“, to be honest, especially when we are talking about someone who has never heard of Unix labs in colleges until now.

    ‘How can it possibly be that such a (sarcasm) crappy OS would be used in a college?’

    Then, by your logic, I wonder why Minix hasn’t taken the world over by storm yet. Maybe because it’s mere a teaching tool as opposed to, say, a beautiful feat of engineering that everyone on the planet should know about? Whatever the case, I still don’t think it’s helping you in any way with the fact that you never underwent the kind of education that would qualify you to do whatever you claim to be able to do.

    Chuckle. Unix labs… What a discovery!

  16. Robert Pogson

    TEG wrote, “So are you telling your readers that you need “spies” to tell you such well-known fact that colleges do have Unix labs”.

    How can it possibly be that such a (sarcasm) crappy OS would be used in a college? I have to assume not according to my commentators until I find evidence to the contrary. The last time I reviewed that college’s syllabus they had nothing on GNU/Linux and that was just a few years ago.

    Red River College prides itself on reflecting the needs of the community in its offerings so this course shows that they see a need for GNU/Linux desktop client machines in my community. This means graduates have employability skills that are in demand. I am happy with that. Aren’t you? I took my welding instruction from them and immediately had employment. It works. A decade ago there was not sufficient demand for GNU/Linux but now it is mainstream.

  17. Robert Pogson

    Chris Weig wrote, “a good course. Lots of Microsoft. Perhaps you should take it, Bob, so that you can learn something for a change.”

    With no systems running M$’s stuff within 100m, that would be a waste not to mention the cost of taking the course. I have much better things to do with my time. A decade ago that college had only the M$-stuff. They have changed. I don’t need to change. I could probably teach the GNU/Linux courses but I am retired and I don’t enjoy going into the city. If they asked me to do a demonstration or to set up a lab, I might be interested.

  18. Robert Pogson

    TEG wrote, “All that he needs is a CV that includes such ambiguous, unsubstantiated statement as “40 years of use in science and technology” and past experience of being employed by entities desperate enough to hire him for jobs he is not qualified for, and then waits for an employer that is also looking for personnel in a labour market that consists of none other than Robert Pogson himself.”

    My resume says nothing of the kind. I have not published it here because I don’t want trolls phoning and e-mailing everyone I have ever worked for. I list recent positions with contact information. No one has ever questioned my qualifications who has received my resume and talked to my employers. My record rests on deeds, not chit-chat on a blog. Every employer who has reviewed my performance has commented that my expertise shows in everything I do. That I have changed jobs so many times at my own choice proves that. A guy moving on who gets bumped usually leaves the teaching profession within three years because no one wants to repeat a mistake. The complete system I designed and installed at Easterville is still humming with very little maintenance after many years of operation. I rest on my record.

  19. That Exploit Guy

    @Chris Weig

    ‘Seems like a good course. Lots of Microsoft. Perhaps you should take it, Bob, so that you can learn something for a change.’

    Why does someone such as Robert Pogson need to learn anything?

    All that he needs is a CV that includes such ambiguous, unsubstantiated statement as “40 years of use in science and technology” and past experience of being employed by entities desperate enough to hire him for jobs he is not qualified for, and then waits for an employer that is also looking for personnel in a labour market that consists of none other than Robert Pogson himself.

    It’s a winning formula as long as you have the ambition of a full-time horticulturalist living on retirement funds.

  20. That Exploit Guy

    @Robert Pogson

    ‘Attempting to appease me, one sent the following picture of a GNU/Linux lab in a local college.’

    So are you telling your readers that you need “spies” to tell you such well-known fact that colleges do have Unix labs, or is that the kind of self-deception you employ to deny the more subtle reality that the many college graduates here still mock for your philosophy in operating systems?

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