This is my blog…

All the things that are my life.

Browsing Posts published by Kevin D. Boutelle

I’ve recently completed building a file server for my home. The purpose of the machine is to provide storage space for precious memories and projects. I built a Linux machine instead of buying a ready made NAS because I wanted something that was more configurable and cost effective.  If you look at NAS devices that are meant for home or small business users they have many limitations that simply aren’t present with a full Linux based PC. Hard drive sizes, memory upgrades, choice of NIC or adding WiFi are all things that I have free choice about and can change at will during or after the build when I build it myself. Then there’s cost. Using off the shelf parts that are a year to two years old on the technology scale allow me to save hundreds of $$$.

This article will show one more benefit. The ability to decide what happens on my server and when in regards to hard drive configuration and backups.

My server is configured with 4 hard drives at this time. Two provide for the operating system, programs and backup for the home folder. The other two are the main storage for the network. These drives need to be mirrored. Because I used Ubuntu Linux there is no reason to purchase a hardware solution for mirroring of drives. I can simply use a program called rsync. I wrote a very simple script for rsync and set that in my home directory. I then edited the crontab to fire that script every day. This provides a complete mirror that will only copy over the new files, which is exactly what I want.

Here is the rsync script that I built:

# Copy all media files to 2nd drive

# What to copy
copy_files=”/media/data00/documents /media/data00/magazines /media/data00/movies /media/data00/music /media/data00/pictures /media/data00/tv /media/data00/video”

# Where to copy to

# Use rsync to do direct file copy
rsync -av $copy_files $dest

My drives are named data00 and data01, the folders to be copied are the only folders on the primary data drive. The switches for rsync handle archiving and verbose mode so that I can watch what happens the first time the script runs. Like I said, this is a very simple script.

Next I modified the crontab file to run once per day. Use this command in terminal if you wish to run as root:

sudo crontab -e

Then I added this line so that the script that I made will run once per day:

0 0 * * * bash /home/kevin/Documents/

If you were to do something similar you would only have to change the name and location of your script file.


Ideas Presented

The concept that the “kids know it already because they are already using it” is misleading. Using the tools, accepting the results without understanding the implications does not equate to knowing.

How do instructors know when to “turn off” the educational aspect of social networking. Since this is something that occurs non-stop. Develop sound policies that address this and include this thought: “if you wouldn’t call the students home at that time, should you be communicating with them via social networking?” Another aspect that may be presented is that a student may ask a question at any time but expecting an answer “right away” should not be the rule. Instead, the instructor can set guidelines (or the policy can set that guideline) for when the “cut-off time” is.

Including students in conversations about developing a new AUP is important.

Development of a “web footprint” should be constructive not destructive.


The presenters for this session made a wiki for us to use during the event. That can be found at

The Need: Connected to the Regents Reform Agenda and the Regents Learning Technology Plan and Next Generation Learning.

NYSED State Wide Learning Technology Plan:

Internet Safety:

Social Media in Education website:

The Dignity Act for All Students:

Suggested Reading: Disrupting Class



This session was informative in learning about the ways in which iOS devices and their associated apps can be presented and used in a classroom environment. Besides providing a fantastic template that completely outlined the method for setting up and delivering a class integrating iOS devices, the participants were provided the opportunity to explore and network. This proved beneficial, as always and highlighted why I like the pre-conference workshops. NYSCATE just isn’t NYSCATE without them and if you’ve never attended one, you really should.


After having both the Apple iPad 2 and Motorola Xoom on a daily basis for several months I feel that I can accurately differentiate what separates the two devices. They both have fantastic displays and one could argue that the iPad is a bit more fluid moving from screen to screen or app to app but that’s not always the case. Application crashes and OS hesitation are common on both devices so hardware capability, user interface  fluidity and application reliability are certainly not the differentiating factors.

What is it then? Well, the proof is in the pudding. The pudding in this case being the applications that you install on these devices to make them fit into your life. I have found many instances of manufacturers providing for both platforms in very different ways.

Lets use Angry Birds from Rovio as our example. Free to install with ad support on both devices. What differentiates the two platforms is that the iOS version stops after a few levels, requiring that you purchase the full version to continue. The Android version however allows you to play on and on without purchasing anything. You even get to enjoy the updates to the later versions of Angry Birds for Android with Seasons and Rio continuing to add new levels with every update for no charge.

This is the case for many applications. That is limited function on iOS without purchasing the full version and full function on Android for free. This is pure genius on the part of the iOS application developers. These app manufacturers completely understand the sort of people that will gravitate toward the seemingly easier to use iOS devices. Consumers that are completely willing to spend the $1.29 to $5.99 (or more) on something that they find value in. Over and over, application after application. The sort of thing that would enrage the open source crowd to the point of mass hysteria. I exaggerate of course, but only a little.

So what is my take on this? Do I feel that one device is superior or that one platform is better for all? Am I trying to convince you to put aside your lazy ways and get a little dirty with Android? Not at all. My final take is that the cost of ownership of an iOS device is significantly higher than with an Android based device. To do the same work (or play as in this case) you must first pay. Then you must pay again. Oh and if you want to do something else you have to pay again and again and again…


I am looking for USB drives for under privileged kids at our school. The problem is that some students are creating things that they cannot save and/or take with them. They may not be able to use/view their stuff at home as they do not own a computer or they may have one that is very old. They may have access to a computer at a relatives home or have the ability to go to a store to get pictures printed but that is all, other than their access at school. These kids don’t have the means necessary to secure a reliable storage device to keep their stuff. Some of these kids are very creative and have created some amazing work. You wouldn’t believe the things I’ve seen come from the Special Education classrooms here. Simply awe inspiring. I wish I had the permission to share some of it and hopefully someday I will be able to do just that.

What I’m hoping for is that someone out there or even several someone’s will have some USB drives they can bare to part with. If you have given a presentation, held a conference, have promotional stock that is out of date or simply have a few thumb drives laying around, please consider sending them to me. I’ll even try to reimburse you for shipping if needed. The simpler the better and I don’t care about the size, color or what is printed on them. Well, as long as it is not inappropriate for K-12 students that is. 🙂

My work address is:

Kevin D. Boutelle
c/o: Oswego County BOCES – Instructional Technology
179 Co. Rt. 64
Mexico, NY 13114

Thanks in advance for looking and passing the message along if you can.


There are a few new music services that have popped up lately. I’ve been lucky enough to get invited to use two of them. and Spotify are the ones that I’ve spent time with lately. will only let you in if you are a friend of someone on Facebook that is already using Turntable. It is a place where you can create your own listening rooms and/or stop into an existing room and listen to what is playing there.

Spotify requires that you download an app to your computer so that you can partake in its pleasures. Spotify is already a big hit in Europe and will soon be here. It’s a freemium sort of service that you should check out if you can.


I’ve been spending a little too much time on Google+ lately. It’s a new thing, we’ll see how it goes. I added a badge to this site so that you can find me there if you are interested. Don’t have an invite yet? Let me know, I can help.


This is a screenshot of the settings RockMelt requires in Facebook. There were a few that I had a choice about, I removed most.

Facebook Settings for RockMelt

Then there was the access log. This is especially interesting as I have not used RockMelt since Sunday (11-28-2010) and today is 12-2-2010 (4 days later).

RockMelt Access Log in Facebook


I’m getting ready to leave work and head home. Soon I’ll be on the road to Rochester and NYSCATE 2010. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends, making a few new ones and mostly seeing what others have that’s new and interesting. It’s supposed to be all about computers and technology but what it’s really about is ideas. That’s the coolest thing that NYSCATE offers. Fresh, interesting ideas about how to use both old and new tech.

Stay tuned Bat-readers, for tomorrow you will hopefully have something very cool to ready about.


Sometimes I like to find quotes that fit what I’m thinking at the moment. I couldn’t find the exact one I wanted so I modified one I found. I’ll post the original and the modified here, you be the judge which you prefer.

Original: “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you”

Modified: I could care less that you lied to me. What pisses me off is that I can no longer believe [in] you.

It fits and it works for me.

’nuff said