Saturday, November 20, 2010

I am reading slowly these days because of full time work. I am studying community informatics

I have been limited, in the books I can borrow at the university of Ottawa, as I am now an alumni and no longer a student. This is a good thing because I had gotten into a habit of borrowing tens of books and not reading these books. Also carrying all these books was a heavy load. I am cut down now to only being able to borrow 15 books.

I am borrowing a book on music and the brain, as my only university library music book out on loan. I did buy one book, I started to read at the university and returned. The book is about bass playing and it is written and published by Bass Player magazine. I read this magazine and even had a subscription to this magazine in the early and middle 1990s. I did manage to perform a few shows in the very early 1990's in punk, folk and world music genres.

Otherwise, I am focusing on community informatics studies and in particular studies of informatics in the developing world. I have been reading about the concept of technological dualism which is a thesis about R&D in the developing world being less funded and less in tune with third world needs. This thesis also ties in with the digital divide and the income gap. Wage disparity, medical research disparity, needs fulfillment disparity, these all are mentioned in the study I am reading by the scholar Jeffrey James in his book Information Technology and Development.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Continuing to study French

I must learn possessive pronouns in all their variety as well as descriptions of objects using adjectives and also locations of objects as my final test in my fall French course. This is more intense than a university course as it runs 2.5 hours five days in two weeks. A university course would only be 2 days in two weeks.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lily Pond music typesetting software.

I have been using the open source program Lily Pond to write music. I am writing mostly small pieces or practice pieces I discover on the bass and guitar. Generally these are simply scales and various patterns on scales.

Beginners books on bass and guitar.

I have been reading a number of Complete Idiot's Guides and For Dummies books for bass playing and guitar playing.

Friday, October 29, 2010

I did not in fact travel to Sweden.

In the end I could not find enough time off work to attend the conference in Sweden. There is also a socialization in gaming conference this weekend in Montreal I could not attend. I am thinking of attending an International Statistics conference in Dublin next summer. This Dublin conference though is out of my price range. I would need to save for a few years to attend something like this and right now I am trying to pay down debit not save money so much.

I passed my first French test.

I was able to pass my first French test. I did well enough with the oral parts of the test and nearly passed the written part. My oral marks pulled me up high enough to pass the over all test.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

I am learning French at work

I am learning French at work and am not doing enough home work. I will try to practice for a few hours now. I will use a computer to record myself with Audacity software.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I am studying the PLENK2010 course.

This course about personal learning environments is sponsered by the National Research Council it is a massive online open course with over a thousand students. Here is the web page

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Saving my school RefWorks file

I will no longer have access to RefWorks in a few days. I have made a back up RefWorks file but have not been able yet to export my RefWorks references into another format.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The books I borrowed recently from the school library.

Here are the books I borrowed recently from the school library. I used and SAS enterprise Guide to partially automate making this list of books. You will note I did not get the place of publication. does not list place of publication and that is the source for most of these citations.

Deitche, Scott M. Green Collar Jobs: Environmental Careers for the 21st Century (Praeger, 2010).

Hayward, Susan. Nikita: French Film Guide (I. B. Tauris, 2010).

Garner, Roberta. The Joy of Stats: A Short Guide to Introductory Statistics in the Social Sciences, Second Edition (UTP Higher Education, 2010).

James, Jeffrey. Bridging the Global Digital Divide ( Edward Elgar Publishing, 2003).

Taylor, James R. (Renwick) The Computerization of Work: A Communication Perspective (Sage Publications, 2000).

Roy, Sumit. Globalisation, ICT and Developing Nations: Challenges in the Information Age ( Sage Publications, 2005).

Gentzoglanis, Anastassios. Regulation and the Evolution of the Global Telecommunications Industry (Edward Elgar Pub, 2010).

Akerlof, George A. Identity Economics: How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-Being (Princeton University Press, 2010).

Abeles, Harold F. Critical Issues in Music Education: Contemporary Theory and Practice (USA: Oxford University Press, 2009).

The Warwick Org Theory Network. Understanding Corporate Life (Sage Publications, 2009).

Cox, Andrew. The Right Tools for the Job: Selecting and Implementing the Most Appropriate Management Tools for Specific Business Purposes (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).

Cramsie, Patrick. The Story of Graphic Design: From the Invention of Writing to the Birth of Digital Design (Abrams, 2010).

Sunday, September 05, 2010

I think my trip is going to happen. I will be able to travel to the Internet Research 11 conference in Gothenburg Sweden in about six weeks.

I have been planning trips to conferences the last few years. One conference the American Sociology Association I did manage to attend on a scholarship, although I only attended a section's graduate student session. I am planning on attending the Association of Internet Researcher's conference in Sweden this fall. This conference is called Internet Research 11 and the hash tag is #IR11. So far I have afforded to pay a student registration fee and saved up over half the money for the airfare to Sweden. It looks like I will, in fact, be able to afford to go to this conference.

Friday, September 03, 2010

The term poor bashing has not really caught on in academia

When I searched Sage journals today, using the Sage Journal's web site and a free access account, I found only one article that used the term "poor bashing". This article is by Canadian scholars suggesting the term did not move out of Canada.

Here is the citation:
Colleen Reid and Allison Tom. "Poor Women's Discourses of Legitimacy, Poverty, and Health" Gender & Society June 2006 20: 402-421.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Planning on attending an Internet research conference in Sweden.

I have been planning on attending an Internet research conference in Sweden later this year. I have paid the registration fee now. I have to find the money for the plane fare now.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Reading about Swedish town ecologists.

I did a search for computers and sustainability and one reference that came up was a book on city planning. I scanned the edited book's list of papers and choose one to read. Here is the citation:
Dovlén, Sylvia. Conditions for the Integration of Ecological Knowledge in Land-Use Planning - the Local Government Ecologist Perspective in Thornley, Andy and Rydin Yvonne. Planning in a Global Era (Hampshire, England:, Ashgate, 2002) 211-227.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

I submitted some field notes to the Journal of Community Informatics covering a brief history of Computers For Communities

I had worked on these notes for a few months. I got some feedback from the Computers For Communities CEO. I am not entirely happy with the work. I did submit the notes I had done. May be the peer review will improve these notes and may be they are fine as they are.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I have a paper due this week and am not sure I will complete it.

I proposed to write a paper for the Journal of Community Informatics about the co-creation of technology by telling the history of the group Computers for Communities and have a simple draft. The problem is that it is too simple I feel and I may not submit it to this journal after all. I will loose no money if I do not submit it. It is not such a big deal in the here and now.

I have been learning to apply mathematics in computing this past year.

I believe in the title of this post I am being vague. I do want to be specific so first off let me deal with this vagueness. I add numbers, multiply them and thus have an idea if my data is correct. University level math is really doing arithmetic calculations in large amounts, more frequently and resulting in much more practice thus the programmer gains more skill and knowledge of arithmetics.

I had been trained in university to take it for granted that mathmatics was part of computer programming. Variables were one of the key common terms, concepts and symbols one would use in the completion of homework and exams in both mathematics and computer science. At work and at school and in computer self help books, I was guided to use meaningful names for variables. Yet, in proofs one aims for generality. My work at present seems to favour a general approach for variable names where an abstact generality is, in fact, favored over specific meaningful instances. I work in the abstract in my present job duties and leave it to others to draw out the meaning and attach the data to the real world.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Journal Field Notes: Meeting the co-creation theme from participation theory

I was blogging on our organization's (Computers For Communities) web site about allowing participation and when I say allowing I mean allowing those we give computers to to direct what participation they would like to have happen. Sure we can think about instructions and support and using free software tools to help us offer that support but it comes down what do those in the community getting these Linux computer want to do? We logically can not really think of this answer ourselves and plan for it, I believe. We can listen perhaps.

Then from this argument where do the new owners of these computers create or co-create with us. They provide the tables and chairs for the computer lab. The room where the lab is set up is given to them by the landlord and they choose to have computers in there. In working briefly with these people I did active listening to see how we could interest them in the computers. What could the computers do for them based on what they were saying and how they were expressing themsleves around the lab. The question is still open.

I need to write about this in my field notes for the journal of community informatics. The notes are due soon.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I have been studying small business this month

I started to read about small business. I am helping found a non-profit corporation here in Canada.

Teaching myself some old technology for work.

I am researching some technology for work. This is older technology called Dynamic Data Exchange and is a way of communicating with Microsoft Excel.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday, June 04, 2010

I am graduating this evening from the university of Ottawa in systems sciences

After almost four years of part time study I am graduating with a graduate school certificate in systems sciences from the university of Ottawa. My mother and my partner Jenny will attend the graduation ceremony with me this evening.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

I submitted my field notes abstract and am waiting for a decision on the acceptance by the journal to publish these field notes.

I submitted my field notes last weekend and am waiting to hear back from the editors. This is the first time I have submitted something to a journal. I have worked with editors before to write for a journal. In that case, I was only a minor author.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Here is the first draft of my abstract for the Journal of Community Informatics.


These field notes describe the origins and initial development of Computers for Communities a non-profit, in Ottawa, Ontario Canada, that refurbished computers and installs Ubuntu Linux on these computers. At the moment the group is run by volunteers only. The computers are then given to the volunteers for their service. Also the intention is that the computers are given away free to community centres, housing projects and other such community based organizations. The field notes describe the early days of the Computers for Communities through to the first lab installation in a tenant organization office. The notes continue to describe the first computer workshop where volunteers were able to refurbish computers and take one home. The notes end with the first general meeting of the membership and at the same time the submitting of paperwork to the Ministry of Industry to register the non-profit as an official organization under the laws of Canada.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Book review being worked on for local SAS user group.

I am working on a book review for a local SAS user group. I will give the presentation June 9 in the morning at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. The review covers the book ODS: the Basics by Lauren E. Haworth. So far the book has proved useful to me at work.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I read a little of a journal article about older volunteers in the USA.

The article is
Tang, Fengyan. "Socioeconomic Disparities in Voluntary Organization Involvement Among Older Adults" Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 37, 1, March 2008.
This paper describes a statistical modeling of data from the Americans Changing Lives (ACL) survey from the Survey Research Center of the University of Michigan. The author investigates the effects of socioeconomic status on type and scope of volunteering of older adults. The author concludes that education alone not income has a positive effect on types and scope of volunteering. The author calls on voluntary organizations to help older adults with less education volunteer and thus reduce disparities caused by inequalities in society.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

I looked at the schedule of economics 101 at Carleton. I will have enough to study at work though this summer.

The summer schedule of economics 101 is not bad and on TV it is great. I could watch it after work each day at 4:30. I could really use this credit in my work. I need to learn more economics and econometrics. I really need a break thought to regain reading time so a full course probably won't be how I spend my summer. I have training at work next week in supervising skills and more programming courses as well as computer science methods courses coming up in training at work. Also my French training will be happening again this summer. My French is improving and I can basically read French well enough for some jobs in Montreal and now my oral French and my written French need improving.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I am taking the summer term off school.

I decided to take the summer term off school. I will first check courses and schedules to make sure there are not some sociology or economics courses I might benefit from this summer.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I started to read Daniel J. Levitin's book "This Is Your Brain On Music"

This book so far has been a review of musical physics. It also contains some geography and history of musical culture and opened with a brief look at the author's career in the recording industry. I am presently just starting this book as Daniel reviews basic music theory from an acoustics perspective, in other words, physics of sound leading to basic music notation and music concepts in terms of physical sound.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Watching a union sister struggle with law school and raising a kid.

I am friends with a former union sister who is studying in law school. I also know a political assistant who has started law school. The union sister is also raising a child. She is really struggling to make ends meet. I have offered to bring her food before. I did consider law school and the problem is law schools have unregulated fees and are therefore very expensive. One legal studies professor suggested I am too old to build a lawyer's career. The school told me this was not true they have seniors studying there quite successfully. Someone I volunteer with told me her cousin found enough financial support from grants and bursaries to attend law school suggesting more searching for funding might work. I am though working full time now so will not qualify for some financial aid and working full time does not give enough time for study even with time away from work granted by my employer.

This problem can, of course, be solved, but for now I will post this as an open problem. I know problems have solutions, as that is one thing I learn quite a lot in applying mathematics to life's problems.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I have failed my knowledge representation course and dropped out of the thesis.

I was scoring much too low in the knowledge representation course and decided to drop out of the course and my thesis. I will graduate this spring with a certificate instead of a diploma.

Monday, April 05, 2010

I have the lecture slides organized into my notebook.

I have all the professor's lecture slides from the month of March organized into my course notebook before my own handwritten lecture notes.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

I have one more test in my knowledge representation class and then I am done this course.

I have one more test this coming Wednesday morning and then I am done my knowledge representation course. I have all the lecture slides printed out and have started to read them carefully. I need to make a list of exercises as these will be the basis of the test questions.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I have become knowledgeable about using Prover 9 to do resolutions.

I am now working on my second homework assignment in knowledge representation. To do both problems I need to use Otter or its modern implementation Prover 9. I have written all the formulas now for one problem into Prover 9 input files. Now I need to consult my course notes and the lecturer's slides to see how and what to set my goals to in Prover 9. I may move on now to the second problem and write that up into input files. I have about 12 hours to do this work. I must also do a write up and then make a pdf of that and burn all the files to CD.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I have been studying SQL for almost a year now. This is helping me study knowledge representation.

At the moment, I am in a course taught by a leading database researcher. The course is not about databases. The lecturer uses databases as examples of where inference is not done with the data. In other words, databases are not artificial intelligence. Whereas knowledge bases are about inference and developed in the artificial intelligence field and then go beyond to such topics as the semantic web.

Thus it makes sense that research on knowledge management and assessments of knowledge management's successes put down databases of knowledge as under used and expensive projects that have been created by a management fad for knowledge management. These assessments may, in fact, be off in this sense. My research could show that these databases can be converted to knowledge bases and then have more value as these would actually think.

This would be the expert software of artificial intelligence which is also mentioned in the both the knowledge representation literature and the knowledge management literature. In neither literature's are expert software's the exact junction. The knowledge representation literature sees its self as moving beyond expert databases and the knowledge management assessments have put a lot of faith in expert systems and some times also use these systems to again prove the failure or success of knowledge management systems and efforts by judging the effectiveness of these software's. My contribution to the knowledge management field will be to present knowledge representation as a tool for knowledge management. This is probably not an original idea. I can though offer more support and experimentation to bring knowledge representation into knowledge management again perhaps in some novel ways.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I presented my research at a school conference this past week.

I presented some connections between emotions at work and knowledge at work in a slide show entitled Toxicity in the Knowledge Workplace.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I am in need of better scheduling of my school work.

I have used scheduling before for school work and it has worked well. I have lost touch with this art as I have been working full time and not scheduling the off work time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Prover 9 is working fine for my school work.

Almost right after I wrote the last blog post I tried out prover 9 with the lecture example the professor had given and it worked just fine. This means my school work should now be easy to complete.

I am slowly getting some homework done.

I have three problems solved now in my home work with about ten more to do. Most of the rest require I use Otter software. So my next step should be getting this software working and doing, resolutions, refutations and proofs. Once Otter is up and running the homework will be easy to complete.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I am doing a book review talk this spring. I will blog my progress reading the book here.

I am now reviewing Output Delivery System: The Basics and Beyond by Lauren E. Haworth, Cynthia L. Zender, and Michele M. Burlew. I read the first chapter for the second or third time and tried some code at work. That is I did not read linearly but looked up exactly what I thought would solve a problem and teach me the most. I tried ODS TRACE around a Macro program. It was hard to see what the ODS objects were but I identified the dataset behind the numbers I want to extract. I want to choose what to output into csv and also meet some standards for that cvs output in terms of formatting. I will continue reading chapter two for the second or third time. I downloaded the code that creates the dataset used in the books examples. Now I am not sure whether I will read more this evening or get back to the knowledge representation topic of diagnosis.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I applied to be a research officer at work.

I applied to be a research officer at work and wrote a test for this job this week. Now I have to wait to see if I will be interviewed.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I have now learned resolution-based refutations in a lecture as well as from a book.

I have learned resolution of disjunctive normal form propositional logic to prove a formula inconsistent. This is a method of arguing by counter example the truth of a statement. We have just now covered the proofs for the soundness of this one step in this method namely the resolution rule of canceling a proposition and its negation, and then the soundness of the over all method, the refutation method and then the proof of the completeness of the method.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Studying SQL these days.

I am studying SQL these days. Today I began studying software testing. I also borrowed some dictionaries of logic symbols.

Friday, February 05, 2010

I wrote a logic test as part of the knowledge representation course.

I really did not want to end up studying logic in graduate school yet here I am doing just that. It is improving my understanding of knowledge representation and this understanding will be needed to actually write stuff my thesis supervisor expects. This logic refresher also allows me to think about some software writing dogmas and problematics that keep popping up at work.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Planning on attending SAS Global Forum.

I successfully found a hotel and plane flight and including the cost of student conference registration I can just pay for the whole trip with my tax return. I will have saved about 1110 dollars by searching on the web and using Travel Cuts, a student travel service rather than, a constantly television advertised service.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Still studying, I took time off this afternoon to relax.

I started the morning studying fairly hard. Mostly I started by organizing time and scheduling. I made a list of the exercises and did not actually get to working on these anymore yet. I did review the notes the professor posted and this reading relaxed me about the test. True, the exercises most likely will be on the test so deserve attention. That is we will probably have to solve some logic problems. On the other hand, placing the technology of knowledge representation in context with other computing topics was inspiring and I believe I can study a little OWL and RDF now to prepare for the test.

I also need to finish the review of my own notes. I have about four more lectures worth of notes to read. I lost my notes for the first three lectures.

School tasks and other learning tasks for today and the next few months.

This is just some note taking for myself. I have a test tomorrow in knowledge representation so am studying today. I am also getting organized for doing all this school work.

  1. Study for test #1 in my knowledge representation course.
  2. Study the assigned journal articles for my thesis research.
  3. Write a conference paper on toxic workplaces as modeled in a KR language.
  4. Prepare a book review presentation for the local SAS user's group.
  5. Finish reading three SAS books.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Database theory everywhere and database languages.

I am studying with a database expert professor. He is teaching the class in Knowledge Representation. I am really enjoying this course so far.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I am trying to read the logic of theory contraction and the logic of updating theories.

I am reading symbolic logic and trying to understand the symbols used in an assigned paper. I have been required to read this paper by my supervisor in my thesis work.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reading about PROC SQL.

I have read now 6 chapters in the book:
Lefler, Kirk Paul. PROC SQL: Beyond the Basics Using SAS (Carey, NC: Books by Users, 2004).

I have a 20 page paper to read on belief revision and belief updating logic. Then I have even more to read.

I have actually been assigned 4 papers, a chapter in a book and a number of chapters in another book to read now. I have downloaded 2 of these papers and updated my master bibliography folder in RefWorks for these 2 papers. I have 2 more papers to still download. I want to add these 4 papers to my e-book reader. I have started to read the first paper and have read 3 pages so far, and am almost finished the fourth page now.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

I attended both classes this week.

I started my course this week. I attended both classes. We did cover some of group theory this week. We only looked at group theory as a way of looking at logical proof and mathematical logic was our first example.