My 14 Most Valuable RSS Feeds

I thought it would be a good use of my time to go through my RSS feeds and come up with a list of the ones I found the most useful to me. This was probably a worthwhile activity because out of the 55 feeds that I track, I found I had a hard time narrowing down fourteen that I was really getting good value for investing my time in. I’m a strong proponent of trying to be effective in absorbing all the useful information there is on the web. With my move this summer, timed nicely with my first full time job, of moving all my tracked sites to RSS feeds, I’ve since been able to get through all the articles worth reading quicker than finishing a coffee. It might not seem like much but when you take into account that this is something you might do as part of your routine everyday, the time saved over week to week really adds up.

Going through the list also made it clear where I was spending a lot of my time, and showed me what I needed to change. After putting some thought into into it, it turns out that I was spending a lot of my time following some blogs that I never read any posts for. Refreshing the blogs you follow is something that can definitely afford to be done once every few months. Switching to a good RSS reader that saves you time is also a big part making that an effective refresh. Continue reading “My 14 Most Valuable RSS Feeds”

4 More Ways to Get The Most Out of University

To follow up to the last post on 5 ways to get the most out of university, I’ve compiled another list of 4 more specific things you can do to get more value out of your time at university. Thanks to Will and Nick who commented on the last post with some really good points. These tasks all require a bigger investment of time and effort, but I think there’s the possibility of getting stronger results from applying them Continue reading “4 More Ways to Get The Most Out of University”

5 Ways to Get The Most Out of University

In my experience, the best things available to me at university, have nothing to do with the establishment itself. On a regular basis I see too many people putting their faith in the system, and the ones who do that have a hard time understanding the idea of taking their own earning into their own hands. It’s really painful for me to see people waste the opportunities that are available to them. So here are five of the habits I’ve found that give the greatest growth while in a university environment. Continue reading “5 Ways to Get The Most Out of University”

Why BNET.com Is A Really Good Site

In the past two weeks BNET.com has become one of the sites I always need to visit daily. The site is well written, has useful information, is well structured, and it’s also well designed. I want to go over a few of the different aspects of BNET that I think make it a really good site.

First off, what’s published on BNET I find a lot more useful than regular ‘articles’, that’s because most of them go beyond that. Everybody is familiar with what an articles is on the web today, they cover one topic and for the most part tend to throw information at you. On BNET, each article is a thought out, well put together guide that provide lessons and instructions on worthwhile topics. In the article Managing a Remote Team, the 3 different sections are called: How to Manage Employees in Remote Locations, Hiring and Inspiring a Dispersed Team, and Ten Tools for Remote Teams. This structure of information is good because I find that they break the information up logically and they provide a decent introduction telling you a bit about what you’ll get out of the article.

SIFE Ryerson With CakePHP

The school year has started again, in fact we’re already a month into it, and I’m still here working as part of my 2nd co-op work term well away from all the glamour and action of the school environment. Activity with SIFE Ryerson has started again and with my separation with the day to day activities of the group, I volunteered to take over the relaunch of the SIFE Ryerson website. This was a good project that I was able to do on my own schedule, that only mildly required interaction with other members of the team. Most importantly, it was also the best opportunity for me to get my hands dirty in CakePHP. Working with CakePHP on a site like this from the start was the best choice to really start learning the framework; it was fairly small, it had few requirements, and I had a good deadline to work with.

With working on it on a day to day basis, concepts in Cake started to become familiar in my head fairly quickly, and at the end of the project the framework has become much more comfortable to work with. I have a few thoughts on what it was like starting with CakePHP.

Fear Of Freedom

I read a short essay last week by Richard Stallman titled ‘Why “Open Source” misses the point of Free Software‘, in the essay he talks about how he sees referring to free software as ‘open source’ isn’t correct because of how the meaning of the term has changed paths from the meaning of ‘free software’ into something that misrepresents what free software stands for. By increased usage of ‘open source’ and reduced usage of the term ‘free software’, it appears that from his point of view users are becoming primarily concerned with only the benefits of the development model that goes into making free software and that a barrier is being created preventing users of free software from being aware of the issues of freedom that are involved with software that were the catalyst of the free software movement.

I can agree that in the current state of things with Linux growing quickly and gaining many new users, there is at the same time the possibility for the majority of these users to not be aware of the issues of freedom. They are getting free systems, and are moving into a much better world than one of proprietary software yet they are not entirely free and even if the open source development model is superior, the issue of freedom hasn’t gone away. These new users are for the most part still marginally kept back from a completely free system, and my issue with that is I don’t think they are aware of that fact or understand it as best they should.

In 2 Months

To help in making sure my current goals for the next two months are kept, publishing them here seems to be a good idea to help me stick to them. I heard from a professor of mine and also read a post from Steve Pavlina‘s blog about journaling that keeping a journal is a powerful tool to help achieve your plans, and this is a time for me when achieving my goals is very important. It’s been a busy summer, and a lot has happened career, educational, and personal wise. I had to make some big changes this month in order to keep myself on the path I want to see myself on in the long term. The changes I’ve made have allowed me to change my set of activities and shift everything in my life to focus more on my long term goals.

How Free Software Changes The Educationial Culture

Last semester at school, Ubuntu started to see its way onto the laptops of some students in my program. At that time, students started asking questions about Linux, questions came up about all the new applications that were available, and as the questions continued it became clear that Linux was starting to change the students’ attitudes and the way they thought about learning.

It’s easy enough to notice that even with the small adoption rate, that students realized the possibilities available with using Linux, which was more than they had while sticking to the standard program materials which included using VB.net and MS Access, as well as other proprietary programs. The growth that the few students who installed Ubuntu went through, to me was evidence of the change that free software can bring to the culture of learning.