Open source software - a social responsibility?

LibreOffice CalcOver the last ten or so years, I have had opportunity to be employed by, or work with a range of NGO, academic, and faith based organisations in less economically advantaged countries. These organisations had a common feature. They were all large organisations (500 plus) working with people, either in or being groomed to work with, the wider community. They also all used the big name proprietary office and other software which is mostly not affordable in the wider community. With the cost of proprietary software, the use of pirated versions of these proprietary packages is rampant in the wider communities… and the lack of adequate antivirus protection makes the whole situation a serious productivity issue…. and moral dilemma.

Excellent free and open source software (FOSS) alternatives are available… From experience, I suggest some of the issues facing FOSS adoption relate to awareness, reluctance to change, and change management processes.

The question...or maybe challenge is better... is whether community focussed organistions can drive wider community improvements by showing leadership in use of FOSS!

Tag: foss


OCR With Special Characters

Training Tesseract to reconise new characters and fonts

Training Tesseract

I was recently faced with the challenge of using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to convert an old book to an editable text format. This is not difficult with English and other major languages, but the challenge comes when the document uses a minority language with a different alphabet to those recognised by OCR programs. Take the "ŋ" character in the image in this article - with English based OCR, "ŋ" can show as "n" or "g" or "u"... or another, but never as "ŋ" as that character does not exist in the language file. The OCR gets completely lost and the resulting text requires much editing.


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A Daily Bible App

Reading calendar

A new Bible App with audio and daily readings for 2018.

Choose between Buk Baibel in Papua New Guinea Tok Pisin, and the World English Bible or New English Translation in English... or compare all three verse by verse... or two at a time in synchronised windows.

  • The daily Bible readings for 2018 are based on the Revised Common Lectionary, as used by many churches.
  • The WEB and Buk Baibel also include the additional Deuterocanon books.
  • Audio is available as phrase synchronised mp3s for NET Old and New Testaments, and for the New Testament of the Buk Baibel and WEB Bibles.
  • Add your own notes, bookmarks, and highlights

Available on Google Playstore. Short url: dowload from this site


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Zotero 5 makes some changes

Zotero homepage
Zotero, the powerful reference and citation manager has just seen some good changes in the latest version 5.  See  for full documentation.

The key change for me was that the firefox extension is no longer used. Firefox joins Chrome and Safari in using connectors to a standalone Zotero. Zotero handles the update seamlessly, and now that I am used to the new format, I like it... as it gives me flexibility in use of browsers.

Logon as a "Guest" at elearn, to read more on how this tool can improve your workflow writing scientific and other academic papers.



Tag: library metadata citation zotero