Saturday, February 18, 2006

Linux Talk at Silliman

I gave a talk this morning to the instructors of the Department of Physics of Silliman University. It came out pretty well, if I do say so myself.

Actually, it was supposed to be for the different departments, too. Sadly, the only person outside of the Physics department who came was from biology. I was really hoping for a broader audience. And to think that my contact at Silliman shooed away his students from the talk because he thought we would be full. Bugger!

Anyway, there was a funny exchange with the biology guy. He was asking about GIS systems, and I said there was GRASS. Available for free.

"For free?" he said, astounded.

"Yes," I confirmed.

"But GIS packages cost $15,000!" he cried out.

"Well, you can give me the $15,000."

"We don't have $15,000."

"Okay, I'll take what you have on you."

He he he.

I showed them how to use kalzium, kstars, kplot, and kig. I also showed them Mario's cool Celestia video. That really whetted their appetite.

And I demanded payment for the presentation, d*rnit! Enough of this "thank you very much and let me shake your hand and can we do this again next time" schtick. I told them that if they enjoyed the presentation, in payment they should conduct at least one similar lecture, preferrably to high school teachers.

Pay it forward, man.


  1. Convert them one skeptic at a time... :)

  2. Actually, they were quite enthusiastic. Just a little unsure, I guess, of how they were going to start.

  3. This is great! I mean, it would have been nice if there were people from the other departments because they could learn from this talk. Oh well :(

    Hahaha, the guy was definitely astounded when you said that GRASS is free. Schools really should be more aware of such so that they could teach their students without spending so much - they could use the money for other things like training more teachers, providing facilities for students, etc.

  4. That's okay, I'm quite happy to redo the talk. There's another event in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, feel free to reuse the charts.