I'm over in the US this week, with a number of our educational IT partners, and have heard about some of the things happening here that may be of interest to UK FE colleges. One of them, {Open Source} Heroes Happen Here, is for those who are using or developing Open Source applications which also link to Microsoft technology. And there's a free offer to American customers that you can also sign up for.

I immediately thought about all of the college Moodle users - often running it on top of a Microsoft platform - either Windows Server or SQL Server. With new versions of both due this year, then you might want to start evaluating how the new features in Windows Server 2008 can enhance your system. This is also interesting to all of you running Moodle on SharePoint.

In the US, there's an offer for a free 'Hero Hack Pack' - it's only being promoted over here in the US, but the web site will accept requests from the UK, so sign up quick while you still can, and get your own copy.

You sign up on this webpage - and they'll send you a pack with a free evaluation copy of Windows Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008, along with a 'Getting Started' guide on integration between open source and Microsoft technologies.

Go to www.opensourcehero.com and click the 'Order the Hero Hack Pack' button in the middle of the page.

ps In US parlance, the web site celebrates individuals who are doing amazing work with open source and Microsoft technology - like Steve Bjorg of California ('tis he, on the right) who, the site tells us "warmly embraces the term recreational programming".