Tuesday, November 18, 2008

NASA Software

NASA is a strange beast... Kind of like a university where lots of departments are all interconnected but still work independently. They make great open source software too.

Here is a new one I've come across - GMAT General Mission Analysis Tool

The software is designed to work out trajectories and launch timings for space craft from earth.
So if you have ever wondered what it was like to be a rocket scientist here is your chance.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Curtin University Lecturer

Ahh the fun I have.

On Wednesday I had the pleasure... nay the privilege to give a talk and demonstration with my boss (Paul Broadbridge) to a range of university lecturers about interactive lectures.

We pulled out all the toys for this one... eBeam, TurningPoint, Graphire Bluetooth Tablets and our latest toy - the Wacom Interactive Pen Display.

Paul and I work in a very different way to most technology sales people. Because we were both teachers (Paul has had a lot more years at the coal face than me), we focus on sound pedagogy and using technology as an enabler.

We had a lot of fun and we have a lot of visitors coming down to our office in the next couple of weeks to talk about how they can use technology to augment their lectures.

Nothing on TV?

Yep another Friday night and nothing on TV right? Scrabble anyone?

Two places to go on your computer for brain food - not mush.

www.ted.com - An annual conference of the best thinkers in the world in a range of fields sharing their discoveries and ideas. Absolutely gold, especially if you are interested in the future and what will happen next. It is also a great bonus that the content is Creative Commons, so that you can share this stuff with your peer groups.

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/iview/ - Missed something on auntie? This is a selection of content from the ABC - from news to docos. Great if you have a fast Internet connection. I use it for when the other half is watching H&A or some other commercial crap. I just wish they would put Spicks and Specks on it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Edusim and Google Sketch-up

I haven't written anything about Edusim on this blog - Something about it screams Beta software more than most but things are definitely changing.

Edusim is a 3D Networked environment that you can place learning objects into.

They are starting to put google sketchup items into the Edusim environment...

Now this is getting good. Now you can create 3D learning environments populated with a choice of thousands of 3D models for free. Awesome.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mind the gap!!

I keep forgetting how cool TED.com is.

I was watching a few videos while the other half was watching a chick flick in the lounge room. (yes we only have one TV in our house and sometimes even that is too many).

And came across this little gem - http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_seen.html

Followed it up and went to his website - this is the coolest way to play with statistics I have ever seen. Click on Gapminder world and you can visually see a whole range of data and how it related to other data all from places like the UN and it's agencies.

OK so not strictly something that I would use on an interactive whiteboard but - well you can - each bubble is clickable and the whole graph is interactive. Actually it would work quite well with eBeam or a Wacom tablet now that I think about it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Bryce 5.5 - It's free

Back in 1998 (that's 10 years ago) I got a cover disk off some UK computer magazine - it was for Bryce2. It was amazing - I could ray trace and construct with ease - and my friends were amazed when their invites had customized ray traced images on them.

Bryce changed companies a few times and is now in the hands of DAZ software. The generous people there have released Bryce5.5 for free as they release Bryce 6 onto the market.

I was amazed at how easy it was to get restarted with Bryce - the image above took me about 5 mins to create - and about the same to render. Yes I know it's pretty simple but I'm at work so playing with this stuff is not really my job.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

More Open Source Software

So now my list is feeling a little redundant....


This is a whole DVD of free software for Windows Mac and Linux. Most of it is for education.

If you can't find it here it probably doesn't exist.... maybe. Actually there are a couple of things on my list that is not on theirs, and very much visa versa.

It looks like the University of Central Queensland is very open source orientated, which is great to see.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ebeam GNU/Linux

OK so it is not entirely native (works under wine) but eBeam Interact and Scrapbook work on my little Japanese Hitachi Laptop. Who Hoo - great job luidia - now all you have to do is get capture organised and we will be on the same level.

After work I'm taking it down to the back training room to fire it up with the projector!!!

Go to www.luidia.com for drivers for ubuntu and openSUSE