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Page history last edited by Harish Pillay 11 years ago

THIS COURSE HAS BEEN SUPERCEDED BY CE9005 (ce9005.pbworks.com)


CPE802 Open Source Productivity Tools

3.0 Academic Units (credits) Academic Year 2010/2011





Class Project:


Pre-Quiz IRC Chats:

  • There will be TWO irc chats one at 10:00 am and the other at 3:00 pm.
  • Both will last 30 minutes.
  • The logs will be posted here.
  • The quiz will be on paper and will have TWENTY (20) questions.
  • They are all multiple choice with some requiring short answers
  • Each question will carry 1 point making the whole quiz 20 points (and 20% of overall grade)
  • The quiz is CLOSED book :-(
  • 10 am IRC chat log
  • 3 pm IRC chat log


June 12 2011:

a) Something interesting to read about as you continue your academic journey.

b) A pretty interesting Google logo


Check out this link - a table top Linux machine @ http://wearables.unisa.edu.au/mpx/?q=node/86


June 13 2011: For those interested, I've a spreadsheet that extracted info from the Singapore Elections Department website so that I can analyze trends etc from the very first recorded election in 1955.



Installing Fedora on your machine:


Interesting research showing that Firefox is gaining significant usage in Europe with some countries at nearly 50%. 


Course Summary

Welcome to the CPE802 wiki. This class will meet three times a week starting May 23, 2011 for 4 weeks.


This course will introduce you to the philosophy and principles of Free and Open Source Software and all the related tools and techniques. This course is not a programming class per se, but if you have programming backgrounds and/or are interested to learn about the use of open source technologies for software development, you are at the right place.


Official/backup NTU course description.


  1. Philosophy of Open Source Software (OSS) and its contribution to innovation
  2. History of OSS
  3. The Principles and Practice of Open Standards and Interoperability
  4. Brief introduction to pure OSS environments including Linux, XWindows, KDE, Gnome
  5. Mixing OSS environments with proprietary OSes(cygwin and xwindows under Microsoft Windows)
  6. Virtualization
  7. The Magic of Live CDs
  8. OSS Office productivity tools (OpenOffice, AbiWord, KOffice, Tex, LaTex, Lyx, Scribus), including spreadsheet, word processor, presentation, advanced drawing tools, and database connectivity for creating self-updating reports and graphs
  9. OSS Web browsers (Mozilla Firefox)
  10. OSS Mail client (Mozilla Thunderbird)
  11. OSS Languages/Frameworks (LAMP, Ruby, Perl, PHP)
  12. OSS Database manipulation (MySQL, Postgres)
  13. OSS Graphics Manipulation (GIMP)
  14. OSS Web Content Management and Collaboration Tools - Git/Subversion/CVS/Darcs, RSS, Wikis, Blogs
  15. OSS Audio and Video Systems - Pod/Vidcasts, Jabber, SIP, unencumbered audio and video formats
  16. OSS Security - GNU Privacy Guard, PKI
  17. OSS, Google, Ajax, Web 2.0



Class Meetings - 2011

1. Meeting One Monday, May 23, 2011 LECTURE : Introduction to Open Source


Wednesday, May 25, 2011 LECTURE : Introduction to Open Source (2)
3. Meeting Three Friday, May 27, 2011

Lab. Introducing Fedora and OSS

4. Meeting Four Monday, May 30, 2011

LECTURE : OS Economic Model & Licensing - 

5. Meeting Five Wednesday, June 1, 2011 LECTURE : Win vs Linux & Virtualization & Cloud Computing
6. Meeting Six Friday, June 3, 2011 Lab. Burning ISOs, PGP 
7. Meeting Seven Monday, June 6, 2011

LECTURE : Class Project; Public Key Infrastructure & LAMP - 

8. Meeting Eight Wednesday, June 8, 2011

LECTURE : Audio + Video Formats, Web 2.0

9. Meeting Nine Friday, June 10, 2011 Lab. Web 2.0 Services
10. Meeting Ten Monday, June 13, 2011

a) CLASS QUIZ - One hour. 6:30-7:30pm.

b) Class Project: Status and review

11. Meeting Eleven Wednesday, June 15, 2011


1. GPLv3, Open Standards, iCommons

2. PKI, GNU Privacy Guard, PGP,

3. Understanding cryptography

12. Meeting Twelve Friday, June 17, 2011 Project review.
13. Meeting Thirteen Monday, June 20, 2011 Class Project Presentation.



Using IRC for logging the class:


We will be running IRC chats during the class. If you prefer, you can use the browser to do this.  Go to:

http://webchat.freenode.net.  Choose the channel #cpe802.


IRC Chat Logs:

1. May 30 2011

2. June 1, 2011

3. June 3, 2011

4. June 10, 2011




All are welcome to participate/contribute in the irc discussion online during the lesson.


Class Blogs





  1. Grading will be: 80% from class project ProjectWork2011, 20% from the a class quiz to be held on June 13 2011 in LT10 during the regular class.
  2. The final project presentation will be on June 20th in LT10 as well from 6-9pm. 





External Resources




Viewing this site

Please use a standards compliant browser such as Firefox to view this site. You will be glad you did.



Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License

Comments (12)

miluku said

at 10:47 am on May 27, 2011

Do we have notes to study for exam? Or does the exam comprise of EVERYTHING under open source?

Harish Pillay said

at 11:01 am on May 27, 2011

This wiki is the starting point. I will cover stuff in class and the lab and those tend to be what I focus on for the "exam".


Wafa said

at 9:24 am on May 29, 2011

Hi Harish, Good morning.
I am having trouble running my open source software from my fedora. It's like i open like libreoffice for example then the system crashes on me. I'm not sure why.
So its like i restart butthen the same thing happens. N like the new apps that I dl like blender, i cant find in my activities tab so I was wondering does this have to do with the fact that im booting it externally?
Hope you can help. Thanks!
See you tomorrow!

Harish Pillay said

at 5:47 pm on May 29, 2011

Wafa -

Hi. IIRC, you've run this from the thumbdrive. If that is the case and if it the one that I helped create for you, then the thumbdrive will not have enough space to have libreoffice installed. And that is the reason for it to crash. Are you able to get a larger USB external drive? If so, I can help you installed Fedora 15 on that and have it include LibreOffice, Blender etc.


plam1 said

at 2:41 pm on May 29, 2011

Sir, I cannot find the database of our chat logs. In which page are they kept?

Harish Pillay said

at 5:44 pm on May 29, 2011

Unfortunately, the irc chat logs were NOT captured. I forgot to turn it on :-(. Please do remind me. I will have to make sure that this is automated somehow.

miluku said

at 3:31 pm on Jun 2, 2011

Can the quiz include mainly question from past year paper 05/06 semester 2 ? :p

Low Song Chuan said

at 2:57 pm on Jun 3, 2011

when is the quiz?

Harish Pillay said

at 3:47 pm on Jun 3, 2011

Monday June 13. I will update the wiki.

Paul FitzGerald said

at 10:33 am on Jun 11, 2011

Here's an interesting (& relevant) item I just read [Office Watch Vol. 16 No. 6 - 10 June 2011]
The US Supreme Court has confirmed a ruling that Microsoft is guilty of patent infringement in Word, awarding the largest ever judgment in an patent appeal case – US$290 million. Microsoft lost their appeal 8–0 with none of the justices siding with the company.

Back in 2007 a small company called i4i claimed that Microsoft had breached its patent on technology to edit XML files within Word 2003 and Word 2007. A jury agreed, awarding the $290 million amount in 2009. Microsoft appealed all the way to the US Supreme Court and lost all the way.

Microsoft seemed to hope that the Court would ‘legislate from the bench’ in their favor with a request that the common standard for proof in patent cases be reduced to a lesser burden of proof. The US courts are required to assume a patent is valid unless there’s clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.

Microsoft is putting the bravest face they can on what was a resounding loss:

“This case raised an important issue of law which the Supreme Court itself had questioned in an earlier decision and which we believed needed resolution. While the outcome is not what we had hoped for, we will continue to advocate for changes to the law that will prevent abuse of the patent system and protect inventors who hold patents representing true innovation.”

Grammar check sidebar: the word ‘inventors’ in Redmond’s statement gets a blue squiggly line and suggest ‘investors’ in Word 2010 US English. Perhaps a Freudian slip wanting the phrase to read “protect investors who hold patents” which would be closer to the truth.

zy1988 said

at 10:28 pm on Jun 16, 2011

hi Mr harish

what if we overshoot the 10 mins presentation, will there be penalty?

plam1 said

at 10:42 pm on Jun 16, 2011

shouldn't be ba. but i think 10 minutes is more than enough. if you can overshoot mean must have a lot of information.

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