14 August 2003
Slow Food's tech manifesto
I have occasionally been attracted by Slow Food's Master of Taste, with its units of wine, coffee, olive oil, chocolate, cheese, spices, herbs, balsamic vinegar, bread... but I wasn't confident in the stated policy of slow, self-directed study ('Relax and take things easy: you will have all the time you need to complete the Master at your own pace') and locally-organised classes. From my experience of Italy this might just be too slow.
But this is something altogether different. Just read their tech manifesto:
With two campuses located in historic buildings hundreds of kilometers apart and professors and students living in nearby towns, not on campus, the University's information and communications technology will be specifically designed to meet all the needs and standards of its users.
Consequently, there are plans to make extensive use of wireless technology, built to the latest Wi-Fi standards (IEEE 802.11). This means that the local network (LAN) and Internet links can be set up without having to lay cables, guaranteeing optimum mobility and giving users freedom to change workstations or location at will.
Professors and students will be supplied with laptop computers complete with Wi-Fi cards; palmtops will also be programmed with the same feature.
In the spirit of openness which characterises the University, the entire IT network will run on Open Source software (Linux, Apache, MySqu, Php), enabling it to manage different types of hardware and software made by different manufacturers...
All internal administrative, secretarial and teaching activities will be operated via a dedicated Intranet system; priority will be given to the user interface, ensuring easy use and smooth interaction.
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