Couros, Version 2.0: Installation Complete

I am proud to announce that the future of educational technology (or perhaps rocket science, medicine, music, education, etc.) was brought into the world today. Our daughter, Mary Lorraine Couros, entered this world on July 30, 2004, at 13:36, weighing 7 pounds and 14 ounces. What an absolutely wonderful event to experience, and without a doubt, there is to be an incredible adventure ahead of us.

Interview with the Founder of

A while back I posted side-by-side comparisons of Furl, Spurl, and other similar social bookmark managers. Since then, I have continued to use both Furl and Spurl quite a bit, but for slightly different reasons. I just read an interesting interview with the founder of Spurl, Hjalmar Gislason and it has helped me better understand the key differences between the current status and future direction of these tools.

” … if one says that Furl is about building highly personalized resource collections to potentially share with others, one might say just as simply that Spurl ( is about building highly collaborative resource collections with others to perhaps personally keep.”
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Early CBC Clip: Beginnings of the Internet

It’s interesting to look back to early reports of the Internet, and to see what people first thought of this emerging global network. Here’s an early CBC report I found on Ebaum’s World which reports on the “growing phenomenon of Internet.” Much of the report is very positive, and I would dare say “techno-utopian”. However, it’s interesting to see how early reports like this reflect our initial understandings of networking technologies which have grown tremendously, and collectively, have evolved into something very few could predict.

Save Bitoogle!

Bitoogle is my favorite torrent file search engine. It’s a useful tool which scours the Internet for popular media files. However, the free service looks like it’s in a bit of a financial crisis (they’re giving away t-shirts with donations) as the user load is becoming very high.

If you don’t know what torrent files are, or how Bit Torrent works, here’s a brief description.

“Bit Torrent is a novel approach to file distribution. Instead of relying on a busy, slow FTP or website for a bunch of files, Bit Torrent distributes the transfer of files over a network as large as the amount of people using it is. Bit Torrent is a refreshing piece of software, as it forces those who download to upload at the same time in order to continue spreading the file.”

The bit torrent mechanism works best when the file you are seeking is a popularly downloaded file. More users means more connections, and usually faster downloads. Bit torrent works differently than Kazaa however in the sense that you are forced to upload (with Kazaa you can turn file sharing off). If you are looking for popular media files, Bit Torrent seems to currently be the most popular method.

For more about Bit Torrent, and to see some of the latest torrents, check out the following:
Bit Torrent Main Page – popular torrent search site
Bit torrent resource – from etree wiki

Free Technical Manuals

I still love the world of computer programming, even though I have wandered away from it to some extent. When I began, purchasing the huge, comprehensive and often very expensive programming language texts was the best way to learn. However, the Internet and many generous authors have changed all that.

A great resource that provides free technical tutorials is freetechbooks. There are some excellent full-text manuals here that would help anyone interested in learning various areas related to programming or computer science.

Also, if you already have a good programming background and just need a refresher or ‘cheat sheet’, these ‘quick reference cards’ would be very useful for just about any programmer.

PrimoPDF – Free PDF Converter

While OS X has a built-in PDF conversion utility, this can’t be said for Windows XP or 9x. In the past, when I have wanted to convert a document to PDF format, I have had pay for Adobe Acrobat. However, I have now noticed a relatively new and FREE PDF conversion utility for the PC called PrimoPDF. Download the free program, and it installs itself as a virtual print driver. Now you can convert just about any printable document to a PDF by pointing your print jobs to PrimoPDF instead of your printing device.

Download PrimoPDF here.

Commercials of the 80’s

Nothing like killing time before a comprehensive defense. So, I’ve just recently discovered a neat site (thanks Kim) with a great collection of commercials from the 80’s.

There are some neat ‘blasts from the past’ here, and it’s worthwhile browsing through whether it’s for personal interest or for thinking about these artefacts in the scope of media education.

Open Source Day – Resources

Since Rick Schwier proclaimed this day to be “open source day”, I better get on the ball. Here are a few of the latest resources and news articles I have found on the subject.

elearnspace has just provided an excellent post on finding open source-related tutorials. These are helpful for individuals or organizations thinking of migrating to open source products.

Sourceforge provides an insightful article which criticizes the actualization of the GPL versus its initial intended purpose. GPL (General Public License) is one of the many open source-type licenses that enables the progress of the entire movement.

Stephen Downes recently pointed to a case-study focused on the use of open source software in four Norwegian schools, specifically SkoleLinux. It’s a very interesting read, and these type of implementations seem to be the trend. For instance, Ontario’s school system has recently called for the implementation of Star Office in all of it’s schools. Additionally, Acadia University has recently adopted a Linux distribution as a requirement for all undergraduate student computers.

Well this is my minimal contribution of open source related articles for ‘open source day’. To keep up with the currents of open source, I would recommend checking out Newsforge or Canopener.