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Posts Tagged ‘freeware’

Why do libraries spend thousands of dollars a year on Microsoft Windows licenses for pc’s that are only used for access to the internet? 

I’m no expert by any means, so it’s possible that they think it’s worth it so they won’t need a separate server for those computers, but in reality they probably already have a dedicated server for them anyway…  Or maybe they think patrons can’t adapt to a different operating system – more likely they don’t want to themselves!  Most patrons wouldn’t even notice the difference, and those who did would quickly adapt.

These computers often do absolutely nothing except provide access to the internet.  So why not use Linux?  And while we’re at it throw some open source software on there like Gimp and Open Office?  All free, all useful to patrons – how can this not be the right thing to do?

Just a thought on how we can save everyone a little money. 

And now I shall prepare for some relaxing in the good-smelling open air of Wisconsin with a wacky web developer and Skippy the camping cat.

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And, no, that doesn’t mean we will spend all day scratching ourselves…

scratchday2 Scratch Day is on May 16, 2009 – follow the link above to find more info. It doesn’t say, but I think this is the first of its kind. If there are any librarians out there who have considered trying something like this I think this is a perfect opportunity to see what your community’s reaction would be.

Scratch is that great free program from MIT that allows anyone to create their own computer games and animations. It’s so easy even kids are using it. I know there are several libraries in the Chicago area that teach classes on how it works to get them started. There are even gaming days where everyone can come in and play the games they made! I was hoping to get something like that started when I was at Indian Trails Public Library, but I wasn’t there long enough. In respect to offering workshops in a library setting I like that the kids can not only create games but tell their own stories through animations they can make themselves.

There is also a program called Alice that I’ve played around with. I can’t say one is easier than the other, but they do work a little differently. There is a version of Alice called Storytelling Alice that I think might be good for the younger set, but I have yet to try it out on anyone but myself.

In any case, I think kids around the world would love to be introduced to the wonders of Scratch on May 16, 2009. So, if you’ve been thinking about it go ahead and do it. If nothing else you can bring some kids in to the library and let them play the Scratch games other people have created available on the Scratch home page. That’s plenty of fun on its own!

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