James Barrett on 18 Jan 2008 17:03:30 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] The One True OS, migrating to

On Fri, Jan 18, 2008 at 10:57:09AM -0500, Art Alexion wrote:
> On Friday 18 January 2008 00:04:20 James Barrett wrote:
> > Some things
> > must be considered, such as "Will the children be confused about the
> > software differences after the switch?" 
> Not as much as the teachers.
> (Tech-saavy teachers will be more confused than the clueless)

Good point.  The teachers will not know how to teach Linux if they 
have never used it before.  But the main question to be posed and issue 
to be pressed should be "How will the children benefit or suffer from a 
Linux migration"* which, of course, does depend on whether or not the 
teacher will be comfortable enough with Linux to teach it to the kids. 

(* compared to "benefit/suffer from a Vista migration")

> >Then there is the bottom line, "What
> > are the costs of doing such a thing, and are they outweighed by the
> > benefits?", remembering that cost is not all about money.  Cost can
> > include the topic of 'Will Windows software run correctly on Linux, if
> > at all?'
> Depends what you need.  There are always wine, CrossOver and vm solutions.  As 
> for money, its not just the cost of the software, but the increasing windows 
> hardware appetite if the school needs to keep older hardware in operation.
> The question you didn't ask in a school environment is, "Are you giving 
> students real world experience by teaching them an OS far less likely to be 
> used by a future employer than Windows?"  Flooding schools with Apples in 
> the '80s didn't cause businesses to install Macs over PCs.  Then again, it 
> didn't hinder students in their mastery of Wintel PCs either.

I just calculated the price for new machines running Vista, compatible 
printers and software for the computer room for the next 4 years.

30 new machines @ $500 per machine (a VERY conservative estimate)
Office 2007 for each machine: $150/license
Two new B&W laser printers and one good color AIO inkjet... $800
We're already well past $20K and have not even calculated flat panels!
30 bulk OEM Flat panels @ $175 each
Nearing $25000, which is $24000 more than they need to spend.(<--period) 

I have not calculated how much it would cost to recycle/ dispose of the 
old machines, CRT displays, printers, keyboards etc.  Probably a lot.

I do seriously believe that migration to Linux will cost the school less 
than $1000, give them a state-of-the-art lab and still save them enough 
money to heat the entier school for a few cold winter months.  

The students are currently learning just a few things on these machines.
1) word processing, spreadsheet functions and the such
2) web browsing
3) school stuff (math, reading, spelling)
4) how to do fun, seasonal stuff like make holiday cards with clipart

All of which can be done in Linux.  They are NOT doing stuff that 
requires bleeding edge machinery.

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