Friday, April 8, 2011

Updates, updates and then ... more updates!

Servers, servers, everywhere
I setup a Linux sftp server that my students could access from anywhere in school and anywhere off campus. I installed jdk and made a few user accounts and never looked back. They login remotely whenever they want. They can create, edit and print files as I added a printer to the same network. They can do all their assignments on this one server, save their work as well as use javac and java as needed from the command line. As such, I don't use an IDE. Just give me a file manager, text editor and a shell and I'm good to go!

We started doing this right after Linux came out around 1995. We used Slackware back then. We used KNOPPIX for several years and dabbled in 64bit Fedora last year. Now we use Ubuntu and love it! So, we have the Gnome desktop (looks like a Mac) and the file manager is Nautilus and the text editor is gedit and the shell is a bash terminal. Reminds me of the good old days of UNIX in the 1970s! The more things change, the more they stay the same!

We used 2 servers, s and s for a LONG time.  These servers ran for some 13 years 24x7 and no down time! I love Linux, it's just bullet proof! Anyway, late last school year I replaced these servers with 2 new ones called s and s but had a lot of issues with them. The problem, just resolved this week, had to do with firewall settings and reassigned IPs for access off campus. Guardian is now a combined ftp and sftp or ssh server. I can even use these servers from my iPod Touch via Safari! BTW, I'm looking to add apache services to caprica so as to run a private SAGE server! BTW, the name "centauri" is inspired from the SciFi TV show "Babylon5." The names "colossus" and "guardian" are from the SciFi movie "The Forbin Project." The name "caprica" is based on the SciFi TV show "Battlestar Gallactica." I'm into SciFi, so sue me....

YouTube Math Class
In the coming weeks, I will be reorganizing my screen-casts on to make clear what's available as a rental and what isn't. Also, I have too many playlists, so I think I will consolidate some of them. I will also make a link to each playlist on the side of this blog as I did the links from re YouTube Wednesday dox and filks (see last week's blog posting).

RENTALS: preCalculus (2010-2011)Harvard Calculus I (7/2010)Calculus AB&BC (2009-2010)Harvard Calculus II (7/2009). FREEBIES: SAGE PresentationsSAGE in High School MathCalculus AB&BC (2009-2010)Computer Science (2008-2009).

YouTube Wednesdays
This week we did the 3rd installment out of 4 of National Geographic's "Miracle Machines" in my computer classes (we will finish the 4th one right before April Break this coming week). I ran the Abbott and Costello skits in preCalc. In Calculus we did "Numa, Numa Calculus" which  is a great review of anti-derivatives believe it or not! See clips below. I just burned DVDs from my DVR of the recent NOVAs about Watson and Fractals. I broke each 1 hour episode up into 4x15minute mp4s for class. That's how I uploaded "Miracle Machines" to YouTube, but the current NOVAs are still commercially available from, so I won't upload these! Anyway, I was thinking of showing the 4 Fractal clips in math classes and the 4 Watson clips in computer classes. However, these videos would apply to both classes. So, I will show them in both! Now I have 8 weeks of YouTube Wednesdays all planned out! After I finish the 4 clips, I'll just swap them and do Fractals in computer classes and Watson in math classes!

Advanced Computer Math
SAGE and Pythonic Math are alive and well in Computer Math and Advanced Computer Math! We are having fun with recursion and polynomials right now. Enjoy reading the textbook from home on your computer using the new ftp site! BTW, there's tons of other stuff on there. For example, you'll find a lot of the YouTube Wednesday video files....

AP Computer Science pep talk
You are ALMOST ready for the AP! We will finish Chpater 18 Recursion next week as well as Part 3 of GridWorld. You need to hit the books over April Break. Read Part 4 of GridWorld and get the latest Barrons review book for AP Computer Science A with Java and go nuts! Don't forget, our textbook and the GridWorld casestudy are online on the ftp site that you can now access from home. Don't worrry, we already had 12 days of AP review with 6 MCQ Mondays and 6 FRQ Fridays for chapters 2-7.

preCalculus 4 Juniors
We don't have a nonAPcalculus class. However, this year I started a preCalculus for Juniors covering most of a traditional preCalculus a bit accelerated (we just finished yesterday). I am now done recording preCalculus for YouTube. So, the rest of this year we will cover as many AP topics as we can. However, this portion of the course will go much slower than a standard AB course. Lucky if we cover 1/2 of what we ordinarily would cover the first quarter of AB. We will stress differential Calculus. Otherwise, we won't have time to do differential and integral Calculus justice in this short time frame. I will try to get 2 or 3 units done by the end of June. In anycase, they will get a good head start for next year's AB class!

Here's some edmodo alerts:
Alert #1
OK guys, after tomorrow's test, you are ready to start Calculus next week! You are going to be SO ready for Calculus next year!
Alert #2
My daughter is going to visit you on Game Day next Friday!
Alert #3
I won't be recording anymore this year as I will be posting my Calculus YouTubes here from now on....

AP Calculus BC pep talk
You guys are SO ready for the AP! We have 8 school days left for AP review. Don't forget we already had 20 days review with all those post MCQ Mondays and pre FRQ Fridays (aka ThinkAlotThursdays)! Get the Barrons review book and go nuts with it over break!

CIS(theta), Computing Independent Study and Shadowfax
Updates for my independent study class will be posted at from now on. We didn't have a meeting this week, but we will have a meeting next week, so I will post on my sister blog next weekend!

Game Day
I am setting up tremulous even as we speak (since I can ssh into my servers at school from home again) for this coming Friday before April Break!

Just in time for April Break, a science fact/fiction convention at SUNY Stony Brook (, and several birthday parties! Sorry, no art shows this year....

That's all folks....

Learning with Technology,

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