Re: [vox-outreach] Letter to local schools - draft
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Re: [vox-outreach] Letter to local schools - draft
Minor suggested corrections are inline below.
On Thursday 16 October 2003 10:36 pm, Bill Kendrick wrote:
> Here's the text of the letter I just _finally_ got back to (after 10 days
> of not having time to work on it!) that I'm going to send to the local
> K-12 schools (Davis, California and nearby), along with a copy of the
> cool "OpenOffice.org" pamphlet, and, where appropriate, my Tux Paint flyer. ;)
> Please let me know of any changes/corrections you kind folks think it
> could do with. :^) I suck at English.
> --- begin paste from OOo ---
> My name is Bill Kendrick, and I'm with the Linux Users' Group of
> Davis, a non-profit dedicated to the Linux computer operating system,
> and to 'Open Source' software in general. I'd like to bring to your
> attention a variety of software which you might find useful at your
> school. Best of all, it's free.
> If you're not familiar with Open Source, then allow me to explain.
> What's commonly known as the 'Open Source' movement began over 20
> years ago, and was simply a formalization of the tradition of sharing
> information that computer programmers had been doing since the 1960s.
> Software that is released under an Open Source license is available
> freely to everyone. The human-readable source-code behind the program
> is available, and this accessibility allows people to fix bugs, add
> features, and even create completely new software based on the
> existing code.
> Open Source provides people with the ability to share ideas and work
> together freely. It's like the scientific method, which works well
Open sharing of ideas and results
> for physicists, doctors, and researchers. It's ideal for software
> creation too!
> In fact, Open Source software is being embraced by schools,
> governments, corporations, and individuals all over the world. The
> Internet itself has always been build on such open software, but today
> more Open Source software is being created for 'the average person,'
> including teachers and children.
> Along with cost, the Open Source model has a number of other
> advantages over commercial software:
> * Extensibility
> Authors of Open Source software are often amazed at the kinds of
> uses other people come up with for their work. Apple took an Open
> Source web browser and replaced Microsoft's Internet Explorer with it
> in their Mac OS X. IBM took the Linux operating system and made it
> run in a wrist-watch. When programmers get an 'itch,' they can easily
> 'scratch' it, without paying licensing fees or worrying about asking
> for permission.
> * Security
> Because the source is available for peer review, bugs and errors are
> found more easily. Open Source software has a very good track record
> for repairing problems quickly. (Even if the original creator of the
for having its problems repaired
> software is unable or uninterested in fixing it, others are free to do
> so -- to the benefit of all of the users.)
> * Interoperability
> Open Source software does not just mean programs for Linux! Countless
> Open Source programs are available for Windows,
> Mac, Unix, and other operating systems you've probably never heard of!
> They run on all sorts of hardware, from the ubiquitous
> Intel-compatible PCs to hand-held PDAs. And nobody likes software
> that won't work with other software; the Open Source movement is also
> about open file formats, which can be used anywhere without paying
> royalties or dealing with patents.
> * Control
> Open Source software, like Linux, can't be controlled by a single
such as Linux can't
> company. You are not at the mercy of a single vendor. There is no
> forced upgrading, and no pay-per-user licensing policy. Your school
> is freed from the obligation of tracking license certificates, and
> freed from the risk of audits for improperly licensed software. Open
> Source provides true free-market products -- an alternative to
> I'd be happy to sit down with you and tell you more, if you'd be
> interested. Feel free to contact me via e-mail at:
> firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me at home: (XXX) YYY-ZZZZ.
> I'm personally involved with a non-profit in Arizona, and have created
> of a number of educational Open Source programs for children. I'll be
> holding a handsn demonstration of one of them at the Davis Food Cop
> later this month (Sunday, October 26th from 11am to 3pm). I'd be more
> than happy to answer any questions then, as well.
> For now, I'll leave you with a small list of some useful Open Source
> software that you can download today, and begin using on your
> computers tomorrow!
> Celestia http://www.shatters.net/celestia/
> "Celestia is a free real-time space simulation that lets you
> experience our universe in three dimensions. Unlike most planetarium
> software, Celestia doesn't confine you to the surface of the Earth.
> You can travel throughout the solar system, to any of over 100,000
> stars, or even beyond the galaxy. All travel in Celestia is seamless;
> the exponential zoom feature lets you explore space across a huge
> range of scales, from galaxy clusters down to spacecraft only a few
> meters across. A 'point-and-goto' interface makes it simple to
> navigate through the universe to the object you want to visit."
> OpenOffice.org http://www.openoffice.org/
> "OpenOffice.org 1.1 gives you everything you'd expect in office
> software. You can create dynamic documents, analyze data, design
> eye-catching presentations, produce dramatic illustrations, and open
> up your databases. You can publish your work in Adobe Portable
> Document Format (.pdf), and release your graphics in Macromedia Flash
> (.swf) format - without needing any additional software." (Also see
> Tux Paint http://www.newbreedsoftware.com/tuxpaint/
> "Tux Paint is a free drawing program designed for young children
> (kids ages 3 and up). It has a simple, easy-to-use interface, fun
> sound effects, and a cartoon mascot who helps you along." (Also see
> Tux Typing http://tuxtype.sourceforge.net/
> "Tux Typing is an educational typing tutor for children. It features
> several different types of gamelay, at a variety of difficulty
> Wikipedia http://www.wikipedia.org/
> "Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that is being written
> collaboratively by the readers. It contains over 165,000 articles.
> Every day hundreds of contributors from around the world make
> thousands of edits and create lots of new articles. All of the site's
> content is covered by the GNU Free Documentation License, a form of
> 'Open Source' for texts."
> Thank you for your time, and enjoy
> William Kendrick
>  England, Russia, China, Japan, Korea, India, Brazil, Israel, and the
> state of Massachusetts, to name a few.
>  IBM, Oracle, HP, Sharp, DreamWorks, Intel, AMD, Apple, Amazon, and
> Google all use the Linux Operating System, for example.
> --- end paste ---
> Thanks ;)
> email@example.com Got kids? Get Tux Paint!
> http://newbreedsoftware.com/bill/ http://newbreedsoftware.com/tuxpaint/
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