Head in the Clouds

Cloud Services are a big thing with major companies, like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and now Oracle in a price war over cloud computing. Although this does mean a reduction for users of these services. Like many people I use cloud services like Dropbox, copy.com, and Google Drive.

So one of the things I’ve wanted to do is setup a cloud based file sharing for my personal projects to gain control of the storage and for the experience. Students asked me about best way to share their files. I found ownCloud  a open source project to enable cloud based file sharing.

Overall it’s easy to install, and to use. However, you do need to have SSL certificate (used with https) to avoid creating security problems. I’ve found references to scaling problems around the use of SQLite (which is part of the default install), but this can be fixed by moving to MySQL.

Start your (Game) Engines

I attended the DLTV conference which had too much funky stuff. AIE‘s session about the Unreal game engine and how it could be used in ICT teaching, was excellent giving me a good background and some cool ideas to try out.
Knowing little or nothing about all these different game engines, I thought it was worth some background research. Ralph Barbagallo’s Blog has a good overview of the various game engines, with some insightful comments. Digital Tutors provides a similar overview and Arges Systems gives an in depth comparison. For a fuller discussion I reads through some of the Unity Forums.
Edit: Unreal is now free for student!


  • Unity3D is more expensive with per seat / per platform licencing, but provides a greater library of assets to quickly add make games. It does have a free version with a 30 day trail of the Pro.
  • Unreal 4 is very cheap, $19/mo with no lock-in. The engine has been modified to enable easier scripting and C++ programming for the coders. Its asset library is relevantly new. This gets better for Academic Use, because the license covers all the institution’s computers.
  • Crytek is cheaper again, $9.95/mo, and has high quality graphics, but the engine appears to be difficult to work with.

Adobe CS2 for free

I’ve just found out via FB that Adobe have made the entire collection of CS2 software for free. The Creative Suite includes Premiere Pro and After Effects for video editing, InDesign for magazines & books, Illustrator for graphics & line art, and of course Photoshop for image & photo editing. It does not include Dreamweaver, which become part of CS3. Of the package the biggest score is Photoshop, which has dominated the photography industry.

However, this grab bag of software does have some caveats, addendums, and cautions. As old software, it is no longer supported, so the current operating systems will be less capable of running is as the hardware improves, and the software will be more vulnerable to malware. So use at your own risk.

Adobe has disabled the activation server for CS2 products, including Acrobat 7, because of a technical issue. These products were released more than seven years ago, do not run on many modern operating systems, and are no longer supported.

Adobe strongly advises against running unsupported and outdated software. The serial numbers provided as a part of the download may only be used by customers who legitimately purchased CS2 or Acrobat 7 and need to maintain their current use of these products.

The specs, mean that is should run on anything from this century, or at least the last decade.

  • Mac OS X v.10.2.8–v.10.3.8. PowerPC® G4 or G5 processor
  • Microsoft® Windows® 2000/Windows XP. Intel® Pentium® III or 4 processor


Download: Adobe Creative Suite 2