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Books & Articles I wrote.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


When iWoz a kid

I've started reading iWoz - the story of Stephan/Stephen Wozniak. It's funny as my name was also written wrong on my christening certificate as "Stephen" and my mum had it changed but they just wrote a huge "V" through the "ph".

It started of really well, so i ended up reading for more in one sitting than i really had time for.

What interested me was his story about how his dad taught him stuff when he was young. His dad worked at Lockheed and would explain things in fairly technical detail, but in a way he could understand - even at the age of 4. It's not that he wanted to force him into being an engineer - it's more than he knew he'd listen and learn and that can only be good no matter what you end up doing. iWoz (alpha version at that time in his life i guess) therefore knew a whole bunch of stuff kids his age at school never knew. I certainly didn't know that stuff.

I really struck a chord as this is exactly how i am with my son. He is 3 but has a "secrets" book which is a science book and we read it quite often. He just keeps asking why and i figured i's get a book so when i don't know quite "why" i can ask the "secrets" book for help. This morning he wanted to know what happened with steam rollers and so we ended up with a discussion on how the shape of the tar changes with heat and the atoms move around, only to settle into a mor structured shape when cooled down.

Well, it wasn't quite like that - i tend to move around a bit and make weird noises as it keeps his attention more. We build a (small) robot the other week and he helped every step of the way. It's an easy way to get kids learning - don't make it a task - make it something you just *do*. I very rarely say "i'm going to learn this" - it comes as part of my day, i just end up reading or typing.

Looking forward to reading more.

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I used the Protege editor some years back and due to my issues around requiring support for multiple inheritance in my Schemas, i decided to see where it hasd got to. Well, it has added full OWL support and some excellent tutorial papers.

So, when working with OWL, here is my suggestion.

1. Download Protege 3.2 with the full plugins.
2. Create a new OWL document using OWL/RDF Files
3. Use OWL DL
4. Install Pellet as the reasoner and run the DIG Server on port 8181

With this creating and reasoning with your Ontologys is really quite simple. In fact, structuring them properly is harder than using the tools - the tools are really quite excellent now.

The cool thing is that with the reasoning engine and Protege taxonomy option, you can get multilpe inheritance indirectly by defining based on a monotonic inheritance hierarchy, but using inference through the reasoner to build your hierarchy. Now I can start looking at building some of these things now!

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