Slide Presentations

Any system administrator will have to make a presentation at one time or another – or should at least know how to. There are some very good sources for ideas on how to make slide presentations (sometimes called PowerPoint presentations).

First off, you don’t have to use PowerPoint – this should be obvious but isn’t to a lot of people. Macintosh users of recent vintage can use Keynote; also available for Macintosh, Windows, and Linux is OpenOffice (or its Macintosh-specific spinoff, NeoOffice). Note, too, that you don’t need to use slides at all. Use them only if they add something to your presentation.

Secondly, when creating a slide presentation, remember this rule: don’t read the slides. While this is a rule of presentation, it is important because this can be found directly in how the slides are created. Think of it this way: there should be things you say that are not in the slide.

Thirdly, be creative. This can be hard – and overdone. As a very interesting and dynamic presentation, consider this presentation given by Dick Hardt from the O’Reilly OSCON 2005.

Here are some excellent resources about presentations:

Who owns your remote documents?

Mark Rasch, in his latest column for SecurityFocus, Don’t Be Evil, discusses quite eloquently the legal dangers of storing documents on remote servers.

With his usual clarity, he discusses the risks and explains why sensitive documents are better off being kept off such servers.

This doesn’t just affect Google Docs but also affects any other Web 2.0 site that offers remote storage, such as Thinkfree Office and Box.Net (all of which I consider to be splendid offerings).

The problem is that any documents stored on Google’s servers (for example) can be subject to discovery in a legal process, and Google likely can be subpoenaed for your documents even without your knowledge.

BARcamp Chicago!

Got back from BARcamp Chicago Sunday night. It was a good time, and had a lot of good workshops. Met some good people, and used the nice high-speed bandwidth (but had to bypass the slow DNS!).

If you want an excellent DNS service, fast and unrestricted, use OpenDNS. This service also offers phishing protection, abbreviations, and spell-correction.

At BARcamp, some folks went to sleep – and some did not (like yours truly…). Several brought sleeping bags and went to sleep.

There were talks on Testing, the Bayes Theorem, Groovy, LISP, the rPath Linux distribution and Conary, and more. There was also the “InstallFest” – Linux installs made easy with help on hand. Even so, my machine was maxed out with CentOS 3 (a Red Hat 2.1AS source-compiled distro), even though I did upgrade it to CentOS 3.8. My machine is probably memorable as it had to be the oldest machine present (a Pentium-150 IBM Thinkpad) – and had no graphical interface – at least, on the machine itself. The graphical interface on the Thinkpad 760XL is rather odd – the full screen is used by “stretching” the actual display to the full size; otherwise, it only takes up about 75% of the LCD display space.

It was interesting to see (at BARcamp) that the Mountain Dew disappeared and was hard to get at the end, while there was plenty (plenty!) of Red Bull left. We know which is favored….

Next up is the Chicago Linux Group (which also hosts the Chicago Lisp Group), as well as the Madison LOPSA chapter meeting.