Things I’m really excited about

I’ve mentioned some of these things before, but I just want to re-iterate those and add to the list.  I make use of everything on here and wish others did as well.

Freedom– I like freedom, don’t you?  Use FLOSS software and open licensing, provide your source files.  This goes for media production too.  You might just be doodling, but someone else could take your doodles and improve upon them vastly.  Then you can go back and take their improvements and steer the project back the way you originally intended.  Freedom fosters collaboration and inspires creativity, bolster that don’t stifle it.

The Open Clipart Library– WOW The new website makes this much more usable, and you can also import directly into Inkscape without going through the website.  Check out my submissions to see some of the stuff I’ve been working on.  Lately my biggest contribution was a set of mid-sagittal diagrams for the full set of American English phonemes.

Inkscape– I definitely mentioned this one before.  It’s a poor, aspiring graphic designer’s wet dream.  I’m seriously improving my understanding of proportion, lighting, and form just from playing with this so much.  I use it for art (drew a goblin, currently working on a troll), design (website mock-ups, graphical elements of bigger designs, etc), work (lots of educational print-outs), everything.

The Internet Archive– Sometimes you look at a page, forget about it, then come back several years later.  That’s what happened to me with the Internet Archive. They host… an unimaginable amount of data.  It’s honestly still kind of a mess right now, but how could it not be with well over 100 terabytes of information.  There’s a lot of music here, some of its even good, like the Grateful Dead and Jack Johnson collections.  Don’t you love bands that don’t hate their fans?  Play with the wayback machine while you’re browsing the site.  You can even put in news sites like Reuters and CNN.  I’m currently using the site to host my podcast about Kochi prefecture and Teaching English in Japan.

Project Gutenburg and Librivox– Books, lots and lots of free public domain books.  The prior has them in various text formats and the latter has vocal recordings.  I recommend the Brothers Grimm collection or perhaps some Sherlock Holmes.

Wikimedia Commons– is also a really useful site for all sorts of media.  It’s easier to find freely licensed stuff here than on Flickr sometimes.

The hypertext D20 System Reference Document– YES. D&D made easy.  Especially for playing on-line.  Since I’m running a game via e-mail this is coming in handy for serious.  I appreciate WoTC making the bulk of the rules open content.  I understand they want to turn a profit, but I wish they’d just release the character generation content as for their deprecated versions as well.  (I guess the Pathfinder RPG might object).

Google Docs– This is seriously handy collaboration software.  I’d appreciate it if it were a little more reliable and felt less like a beta product in constant development, but it does the job most of the time.  Conversion to offline formats like .doc and .odf are not perfect, but again they do alright considering… If they just handled the non-braking space characters in a better way I would be happy.

Let me know what you’re really excited about!

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Filed under internet, issues, linux, musing

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