I spend a lot of time reading, writing, thinking and doing IT at home and work. Lately, I am teaching at a remote northern community which has a neglected system. They were running with a wide-open router and no anti-malware. I have set up a new router and a server to provide local services and databases.

The last addition was a database of recipes from the web. I used AnyMeal to create the database from MealMaster recipes and wrote PHP and Pascal CGI scripts to search it. Now anyone on the LAN can browse for a new recipe.

Other PHP scripts provide a local bulletin-board, course management system, encyclopaedia, and a searchable image gallery. We also have tons of static content like the CIA's World Factbook and texts from Gutenberg.org indexed by SWISH-E. This local content gives students and teachers a lot of information without going through our ISP's bottleneck. People are amazed at the speed of this stuff from a good server with SCSI drives, lots of RAM and a gigabit/s NIC.

I just love making IT work in education. I use Debian GNU/Linux for most things but keep that other OS around for the time being because people are used to it. With web applications either OS will do. I have added ten thin clients running desktops on the server to demonstrate a migration path from XP.