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2003 Oct 16 23:01

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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.


-- Rod

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
                                          "source code"

> 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[1], corporations[2], 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
>   monopoly.
> 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:
> bill@newbreedsoftware.com, 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
            ^^^^^^                                                ^^^
            hands-on                                             Coop

> 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
>   insert)
> 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
>   insert.)
> 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
>   levels."
> 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
> [1] England, Russia, China, Japan, Korea, India, Brazil, Israel, and the
>     state of Massachusetts, to name a few.
> [2] IBM, Oracle, HP, Sharp, DreamWorks, Intel, AMD, Apple, Amazon, and
>     Google all use the Linux Operating System, for example.
> --- end paste ---
> Thanks ;)
> -bill!
> -- 
> bill@newbreedsoftware.com                           Got kids?  Get Tux Paint! 
> http://newbreedsoftware.com/bill/       http://newbreedsoftware.com/tuxpaint/
> _______________________________________________
> vox-outreach mailing list
> vox-outreach@lists.lugod.org
> http://lists.lugod.org/mailman/listinfo/vox-outreach

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