jueves, 31 de diciembre de 2020

This Is the Way 2020 Ends...

2020 changed many areas in our lives.  Suddenly, I saw myself using software I had never bothered to use before: Openshot, Kdenlive, Tupí, and Inkscape, among others.  Also, I bought licenses of several online apps.  I even started using some social networks in spite of my total lack of interest in them.

As many others, I lost money and became alien to my work, which took a much greater chunk of my time than before.  I stopped doing exercise and had no time to read or to write, my favorite activities. Sickness also attacked my family.  Every day seemed like taken out from a dark and weird dimension.

Still, I found out that I could navigate this new weird and unstable reality. As Mechatotoro said, I can also claim that I have survived this year.

I hear many people being happy and hopeful about 2021.  Still, there is no guarantee that the year about to start may be better than this one. What will 2021 bring? Nobody knows.

At least I can say "this is the way 2020 ends..."   I am grateful I made it.

lunes, 12 de octubre de 2020

Sharing Your Work Online: Licenses


One of these days, I was talking with a colleague about sharing one's work online.

Many people don't know the importance of licenses when it comes to sharing one's work in the cyberspace.

Thus, I told her about Creative Commons and the possibility to use one of those licenses for her work.

Why is that important?  I guess most of us want others to our rights as creators of content.  Sharing something does not mean that another person may simply appropriate it.  That happened to me once with an animated image I made long time ago!  I felt shocked because, even if I shared it freely, I thought that at least if people liked it, they would mention my name.

Thus, licensing your shared work helps you in that area.  The different types of Creative Commons licenses provide the flexibility for you to decide how you want your work to be shared and will tell other people that you are serious about your creations. 

So, if you are serious about your creations and want to share them somehow, checking out the licensing options you can use is a good start.

miércoles, 16 de septiembre de 2020

There is Nothing like a Good Penguin!

 This year has brought a lot of changes to the world.  Many have lost their life or their jobs, and others have seen their pay reduced.

 While I am of course affected by the current situations, I count myself among the lucky ones.  I still have my job (although it has changed radically from the way I used to do it last year).

 I fully work online now.  I never thought this was going to happen, but here I am, working online every day and using software I never thought I would ever use.

 Then, I hear my colleagues.  Computer crashes, software misbehaving, malware, and the list goes on...

  A couple of days ago, I heard two Windows users complaining that MS Teams did not work properly on their computers.  Then, another told me she had nothing to work with a PDF file...

  Today I worked with a PDF file and my problem was deciding what to use.  At the end, I used LibreOffice.

  There is nothing like a good penguin to help with one's job!

viernes, 10 de julio de 2020

Working with PDF files...

Today I had to work with some pdf files.

Actually, I needed to convert some LibreOffice files to pdf format.  That was not a problem: it was as easy as clicking the button "export as pdf."

The problem was that I needed to add an image to a specific page and that for some strange reason was not possible on LibreOffice.  Well, it was, but moving or resizing did not work.

Thus, I thought of Inkscape.  Still, Inkscape only works with one page at a time and thus I ended up with a split document.

Now, merging pdfs on Linux is not hard.  I followed this tutorial

And that took care of the problem! 

I learned a useful command on the CLI: pdfunite.

jueves, 21 de mayo de 2020

A Decade with Linux!

I had totally forgotten about it, but Mechatotoro reminded me that today this blog is celebrating its 10th. anniversary!

The anniversary image that Mechatotoro sent me!

Wow!  A decade since I migrated to Linux and Free Software!

It has been 10 years of happy computing and lots of amazing discoveries.

This has been a decade in which I learned a lot; much more that I could have ever imagined.

No, I still don't know how to use the terminal as an expert.  My knowledge of its magic is extremely basic...

So, what did I learn?

I think that the most valuable lesson I learned in these 10 years using Linux and Free Software is freedom.  I no longer believe in the "this is how computers work" idea that kept me captive for so many years before my migration.

I feel really thankful for that!

domingo, 3 de mayo de 2020

Thank You, Free Software! Thank You, Linux!!

With the Covid-19 situation, many educators and students have been sent home and, with little or no training at all, they must keep their academic activities.  I am one of those professors.

While my workload has increased easily three times, I consider myself fortunate because I do not have to face the Windows-related issues that many of my colleagues seem to struggle with.

Also, I can say that the army of tools that Free Software offers has helped me to cope with my working needs. Thus, I want to make a list of all the tools I have been using lately (in no particular order):

1.  LibreOffice
2.  Galculator
3.  Kolourpaint
4.  Gimp
5.  Openshot
6.  Inkscape (and its Sozi extension!)
7.  Firefox
8.  Audacity
9.  Showfoto
10. Kdenlive
11. VLC
12. Openshot
13. Guvcview
14. RecordMyDesktop
15. HandBrake

And I still have many more to explore! Of course, all of them on top of my Linux system.

This list makes me see appreciate the great work of the developers and communities of each one of those great tools. I know that because of the pandemic, our pockets have also been affected but, if you can, please consider making a small donation to any of the projects that have had your back all this time.  :)

domingo, 22 de marzo de 2020

Covid-19, Work and Free Software

Year 2020 started with an unexpected rage.  The spread of Covid-19 has caused lots of deaths, fear, job losses, and an enormous uncertainty.

Anytime I turn on the news, my heart hurts.  Seeing so many people struggling, governments totally lost, and medical services collapsing sometimes makes me lose hope.

Here in my country we haven't had such a bad time as bigger nations, to which I send my best thoughts.  Still, the chaos is evident everywhere.  The authorities have instructed us not to leave our homes unless it is strictly necessary and thus, I (as many other people in the world) ended up working from home although I was totally unprepared for that.

My university literally sent us home with the command "work from there" and nothing else but an institutional platform that cannot hold such a heavy traffic.

Anyway, I am lucky if I compare myself to many of my colleagues.  They were much less prepared for the drastic change and some were heavily against online classes.  The same is true about most students here; they are not used to self learning and are very dependent on teachers telling them what to do. (*sigh*)

Fortunately, I can always count on Free Software.  Thanks to the army of tools available as Free Software, I can plan and make my online classes, even if I am totally inexperienced.

I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. Coronavirus has really changed the way we live... many people are gone or will pass away due to this virus. I am deeply thankful to the great heroes who work long hours trying to assist the sick. Those of us who are not medics, nurses or workers in hospitals can help by staying home and following the safety measures.  I'll do that while I work from my house.  Please, let's all help by staying home!

sábado, 25 de enero de 2020

A New Year with New Learning!

This was my first attempt.

2020 has started and I have taken Santiago's advice to use Inkscape. He commented on my blog when I mentioned my experiments with GIMP.

At first, I didn't get very far.  All I got after trying like crazy was a weird humanoid image.

Still, I didn't get up. I had learned the basics of vector images by trying to give shape to that odd creature.

Later, I could get something a bit better. I aimed at
drawing one of the images that I can do easily by hand: a cat!

To simplify my life, I chose the rear view.  This is what I got:

A cat ignoring me!

Then, I started drawing all sorts of things. Of course, my drawings look more like cartoonized versions of everything, but that's OK.  I am glad to say I learned something new!