[Edu-sig] More of Kirby talking to the water cooler...

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Wed Jun 27 16:04:43 CEST 2007

Okeedohkee... so I got that Dell Inspiron E1505 I was talking about,
ships with Ubuntu installed. I customized it to have the Nvidia 256M
graphics card, plus 1G RAM, only 80 GB storage (so not too heavy,
inexpensive but not cheap).  Turns out Nvidia was a good choice,
as you can just check a box in Restricted Driver Manager, apt-get
beryl, and voila, that rotating cube of desktops, VPython on one
face, slides on another... wiggly windows.

I've expanded my slides at
adding in some of that grossology stuff I mentioned.  The idea
here is very simple, as I was just explaining to this philosopher
in Seattle I know.  Especially young kids have an interest in
scatalogical content and feel relieved when they have permission,
in an academic context, to indulge that interest.  The vehicle is
Mad Libs, a genre of fill in the blank stories, which you can just
make up yourself.  It's more just creative writing.  But it's also
a triple-quote segment of Python with $fill_in_the_blanks to
be later populated from a Python dictionary (another segment
provides promptings e.g. "Give me a verb please: " or whatever

That's all just a small part of the talk, although string.Template
has a continuing role when we turn to more mathy forms of
output, such as scene description language for POV-Ray or
X3D.  Which reminds me, I need to get an X3D plugin working,
or find a standalone application.

[ blub blub blub -- fills cup with water ]

OK time to get back to my cube and resume chatting with fellow
cube farmers.

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