Mutterings on presentations.

I’m lazy.

When I write a presentation I want to be able to use it in three forms:

  1. As a slide show. Over some kind of projector. Using whatever is available. Given the instability of powerpoint and the fact I don’t run windows, this means some form of .pdf file
  2. As handouts online. Preferably without any need for anything but a browser. This requires html5.
  3. As something interactive… when I’m using tools. Again, this should be able to be done in html5.

What I don’t want is people having to use special tools.

And that is the reason that I am trying not to use Open Office, Microsoft Office, or any other Office clone to write slides. You cannot get nice html stuff that will work on everything. And if you have ever had to translate an openoffice text file into powerpoing and then get ir right — at the last minute — it can take hours, simply hours.

Now there are some good resources for most people that answer this question. The problem with this is that I is not most people. I’m odd. Most of the time I want to work with text files and illustrations. But I need to use multimedia, equations, and be able to work over some distance.  Finally, I can write Latex, but I am not good at it. I need spell-checkers.  And, for copyright reasons, I cannot use google docs and hope it will work everywhere.

Finally, this has to work in bulk. I teach about 40 — 50 hours a year. The most beautiful presentation software I know of — Sozi — works in an SVG monitor, and I don’t think that way. I think text, not graphics. (the same thing applies to jessyink).

That leaves me with LyX. Most installations have two slide pro grammes — beamer and powerdot. I used beamer last year, and the main problem I had with it was getting a good UK spell-checker up and running. (the main reason I don’t just use emacs and LaTeX is I cannot spell)

The good thing is that there are templates for both. Powerdot is simpler. And the output is nice…Screenshot - 110113 - 16:51:00

The main issue is finding style sheets for powerdot that work with Lyx, but CTAN has three you can start with.



A small technical post, including fedora 18 beta.

Fedora 18 is almost out. I installed the beta onto a laptop a couple of days ago. The new version of anaconda looks pretty and worked well — until I did something clever, which was try to use cinnamon as my desktop environment. That was broken on install. In the end I installed kde-openbox and that worked.

Whenever you do a fresh install of fedora the codecs for most videos and music will not work. Autoplus at present is not working. The simplest thing is to install rpm fusion using the command line and then install the codecs you need.

It took a couple of days to get this up and running — I prefer that my laptops run something bleeding edge. However, the desktop servers remain on debian testing, and that at present is rock steady and the linux mint debian cinnamon packages work well in a debian testing environment. Debian is conservative — the kernel is 3.2 versus 3.6 for fedora — and fedora gets software earlier.

On more mundane things… Sarah’s daughter has been added to the blogroll. This woman is honest, and struggling with what it means to be a woman of God. Consider this…

The other day Dalrock wrote some priceless wisdom to a commenter of his. While reading it he blessed me with an admonishment I was in need of: “Don’t let her frame it as ‘her not understanding’. This is as others have pointed out manipulation and rebellion.”

In each of these incidences, the words should indicate rebellion and not a lack of understanding or ignorance. I’ve been reading the Bible since I was a young child. I am very well aware of the words in it. To claim ignorance or lack of understanding of God’s clearly expressed commands is a lie. It is, as Dalrock said, “manipulation and rebellion” itself.

I am so thankful for this community of Christian bloggers who speak the truth and help me see what I need to change in order to become “that tethered mind free from the lies.

At times we all sound harsh on the intertubes. But the words of rebuke, when heard, can cause change, and any such change is to be rejoiced in.