Today was supposed to be a dive into the code of an Open Source project (for coders) or into documentation/text creation for the non-coders.  I wanted to make sure that I could keep the environment on my laptop so I decided to download Fedora and then git the WebWork project.  Well, it took wayyyy too long to download, install Fedora 17 as a VMWare VM, update, and install VMWare Tools.  I’d forgotten that VMWare often snubs Fedora and acts as if it doesn’t know it, requiring me to build VMWare Tools.  Not a big deal except that it required time in the middle of what was supposed to be another activity.  My fault.

So, things got installed, started up WebWork, and it was just about the end of the day.  We’re going to touch on today’s topics a bit more tomorrow.  I know Ben’s been looking at the source for WebWatch.  I don’t know what the rest of the class has been doing.


Oy.  That’s right, I said Oy!

I forgot to mention that I was dying in #teachingopensource at, waiting for someone to talk to.  People zoomed in and out from all over the world – UK, Canada, Neatherlands, France.  I tried 3 languages, queried, whois’d, nothing happening.  I found out today that such things can be interpreted as rude behavior.  Like I said, “Oy!”

Then, from the misty mist and the dusky dusk came Ben Steele to both request and grant an interview.  It was a great way to end the day.  I feel I know him somewhat better.  Hopefully the feeling is mutual.  He’s interested in pursuing the WebWork project with Mike and Jason (and several other people).  It sounds interesting and is used by a large number of teachers and students around the country.

The day started with an auspicious beginning.  5:30 am, feeding the horses.  They took turns, were polite coming in, ate their food, surrendered there heads to the halter and (until the last horse) allowed themselves to be led to the paddock and loosed unto the wilds of their 10 acre pasture.

That last horse – Ginger.  I wonder what number she would have reminded Daniel Tammet of.  I think David Letterman was 117.  At any rate, the 2nd to last horse out (a mare named Felina) started calling from the paddock.  By the time I was leading Ginger out, Felina was on her way back in.  The words “in heat” sprung to mind.  I did the usual controlling behaviors, and Felina reared and looked at me to see if I was kidding or not.  I was not.  I had to threaten her all the way out of the paddock, meantime bringing Ginger in tow.  Everyone lived, life was good.

And, life was good for the day.  We used git, github, blogged, discussed documentation, and sampled various online and downloadable programs relating to these topics.  My favorite, in appearance anyway, was gitk.  Beautiful but I have not yet figured out how to use it well.  I am planning to download the gitg source, build it, and take it for a drive.  I tried using the Fedora install but my c libs are too far behind (CentOS).  It should be easier just to build.

A variety of people presented and answered questions today.  It was fun.  I was unable to join in the WebWork activities, but am hopeful the group is able to successfully revise their project and bring it up to date.

Perhaps, now that the sun has been properly respected as it sunk over the yard arm, I can fade off with some final thoughts on prime numbers in geometry.  Barry Dalgarno has some interesting thoughts about repeating patterns.  I keep restarting his article at .  I need to do a quick and dirty script or program to check it out.

Ok, POSSE is all about Open Source and the communities associated with it.  I’ve attempted to attend for 2 years prior to this year and something has interfered every year.   Finally, this year, I am able to participate and become more of a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) contributor and participant.

My background is Computer Science, but I have toes in some other waters as well, such as music, farming, horses, networking, mechanics.  Perhaps it is true that I dwell in a shallow puddle and exemplify the dangers of “Jack of all trades, master of none.”

At any rate, the first day of POSSE was a bit overwhelming.  We whipped through a bunch of topics (some of which were familiar).  The history of intellectual property (with a greater focus on copyright), the origins of intentional sharing of intellectual property and how to do it “properly,” GNU, GPL and other licenses.  Complicated and interesting stuff.

So, believe it or not, I started becoming overwhelmed when we created our blogs.  I used to use mIRC (maybe 15 years ago).  Since then, I have only used email and user groups to communicate with other professionals.  So, I felt like I had a lot of catching up to do as we set up our blogs, streamed to, etc.  It works, I just felt like an extinct being trying to rise from the tar pit.  More practice is needed.


This is a new, totally rad post to the cloudforall network of blue skies believers.  The future looks cloudy, which is a sunny prospect.