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Posts Tagged ‘Master on Libre Software

First subject of the Master on Libre Software

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After my collaboration to teach systems integration in the Master on Libre Software during last year I decided to enrol me on it this year. I’m pretty sure it will offer me a stronger background to work in the FLOSS world (do not confuse floss with free software or open source software as you can see in the cartoon 😉

I only could attend to a couple of sessions of the first subject called “Introduction to libre software” where Jesús Barahona and Gregorio Robles introduced the key questions that will be developed during the rest of the course. For me the history lesson was really inspiring, I had never looked beyond the 80’s where the software was libre in its beginning [1]. It was also very interesting to hear about the interaction between Stallman and Tanenbaum, when rms ask Tanenbaum to use its compiler as free software. He refused with “No, the university might be free, but the software they develop isn’t”[2] and Stallman created gcc. Tanenbaum wasn’t also very lucky when he discouraged Torlvalds to create a new operating system based in Minix, a few months after he released Linux 0.02 , it was October 1991

One of the exercises we made during these sessions is recommendable for everyone that haven’t read very carefully the OSI and FSF definitions for OSS and free software. Create a Venn diagram with software categorized by license, you could start with: free software, open source software (OSS), open source, Free Open Source Software (FOSS), Free Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS), freeware, shareware, careware, *ware, libre software, software de fuentes abiertas (SFA, spanish definition), free redistributable software (FRS), ..

Finally the task for the students of this subject are not the typical ones in the university. We have to create the following content:

  • collaborative notes of every session
  • blog entries about the subject, indeed this is one of them!
  • exercises in the forum about controversial cases
  • specific report about one of the topic covered in the introduction
  • video presentation

As you can see if you are interested in libre software you’ll find the exercises enjoyable.

[1] Introduction to Free Software (Chapter 2.1. An in the beginning it was free)
[2] Free not free

Written by sanacl

October 12, 2010 at 11:34 am

Teaching at the mswl in Madrid

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Last Friday I was teaching at the master on libre software we offer in Madrid. It was a fun experience, the students are kind and the place (madrid on rails) is really comfortable. In my first lesson I talked about the importance of logs in the system administration and started talking about the transport layer ( DNS and web servers).

We installed a web server (apache) and tried to stress it, of course this was the funniest part. Indeed taking services to the limit is a great way to know them.
In the next lesson we will continue talking about services like MTAs, databases, monitoring services, LDAP … I’ll try to transmit the typical problems/challengues that are managed by a system administration during the working week, I’m pretty sure this will be much more useful than repeating a how-to than can be found googling for it.

Written by sanacl

April 19, 2010 at 1:21 pm