Rebecca Ore on Thu, 10 Jul 2003 20:05:26 -0400

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Re: [PLUG] Community Service Project (Devil's advocate)

On Thu, Jul 10, 2003 at 05:26:26PM -0400, Magnus ( wrote:
> On Thursday, July 10, 2003, at 05:00 PM, George Gallen wrote:
> >There are surely many more job opportunities out there
> >for those versed in Windows vs those versed in linux.
> That's an incredibly nearsighted basis for recommending Windows, 
> George.  If these were High School seniors I might have a little more 
> tendency to not balk at this.
> I've been doing UNIX & Linux work professionally for almost 6 years now.
> I've been doing windows work professionally for over 9 years now.
> The things I was doing 9 years ago in Windows are obsolete.  The things 
> I was doing 5 years ago in Windows are now largely obsolete.  But you 
> know what, I'm still doing the same things in Linux & UNIX that I was 
> doing early on in that part of my career (plus some new things, too).  
> The things I've learned with Linux have applied amazingly well when 
> dealing with other vendors systems like Solaris, AIX and HP-UX.  I have 
> no reason to believe that the core of Linux will be all that much 
> different in another five years.  Whereas Microsoft has grandiose plans 
> for totally revamping how we think of Windows every 4 or 5 years.  
> Indeed, Windows 2000 is about to become largely obsolete within the 
> Microsoft community.
> Considering the age of these children, the staying power of UNIX, and 
> the questionable future of Windows (or should I say the complete 
> assurance that Windows will be completely changed when these kids are 
> out of high school) I think that putting some flavor of UNIX or Linux 
> on these machines is a good thing.
> Though if the goal were to teach them UNIX, I'd favor NetBSD or OpenBSD 
> over Linux.

I like NetBSD very much, but I think RH 9 (or Debian) is more sensible
for this purpose except I'm not sure that the average 486 is going to have
enough juice for RH 9 though (I'm running it on a Pentium-166 and it's
somewhat boggy.  The kids are going to want an X-window system with some
games, and something like AIM if they're able to be online.

Some kids that age will get interested in programming -- so it's nice
tha the tools are there for them, but most kids are just going to get
familiar with computers in general, which is okay, too.  The advantage
of Linux or the Open Source BSDs is that the hood can be lifted.
There's no way to have such an option with an average donated Windows
install that I'm aware of.

They're going to see Windows soon enough.

Rebecca Ore
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