W. Chris Shank on 19 Jan 2008 09:08:55 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] One True OS

-- warning - rant alert --  

Who is going to be teaching the students in the Linux lab? You? If  
not, is the teacher going to be familiar enough with Linux? Do they  
have lesson plans geared towards Linux? What is the plan when 25 kids  
are in there and the teacher can't figure out how to print? How about  
when they want to use the new scanner that was just donated? Or when  
last year's yearbook project doesn't format correctly with OpenOffice?  
How about when they want to add a new font for the yearbook? So the  
teacher is supposed to be troubleshooting or be contacting you while  
25 3rd graders go unsupervised? It will be pandemonium. Oh an how  
about when the kids surf to some illicit content - because the net- 
nanny software doesn't work on Linux? Wait untill you get that call  
from their parents.

You really need to have all this stuff figured out. I've been there.  
It's not pretty. We currently support 3 catholic schools in a nearly  
identical context. You _can_ make Windows XP work really well for what  
they need. Plus, if you go to the right places you can get legal  
licenses for XP and Office for next to nothing (seriously - like $10  
each). Plus you will know that all the software they are using will  
work well (ie: ask the Librarian what they use - it probably requires  

Get the windows desktops under control. You can use Linux on your  
server(s), firewall, and other network components quite effectively.  
And this will save a LOT of money because the schools don't get  
discounts as much on the server stuff or 3rd party web filtering  
tools. There is a lot of free software for windows that will help you  
get them stabilized. Also, keep track of the saving that Linux  
provides on the server/network side. Once everyone's seen how stable  
it is and you've earned their trust, you will then have the  
credibility to get buy-in for a switch to Linux later. Also, you will  
have better understanding of the big picture and may determine that  
it's best to leave them as is.

Linux is that it's come a long way in the last few years and is  
probably as nearly as good as an Apple. That means that anyone who  
could make the transition from Windows to Apple could probably also  
make the transition from Windows to Linux. However, if you give the  
Apple desktop to someone who is not ready, willing, and able to make  
the transition they will be unhappy and will most likely let you know  
this every chance they get. This is even worse if you've forced Linux  
on them and they don't want it. At least with Apple there is market  
pressure also working on your side. So, unless you like to hear people  
complain all the time, it won't be worth your trouble. Instead, I  
would set an example. Install Linux on your workstation and/or laptop.  
Be sure to take this with you when you are fixing things or at  
meetings, etc -  and have all the eye candy installed. As users see  
that you can function with this - they will start asking you about it.  
If you show a good enough example - soon they will ask you to convert  

Regarding XP - Microsoft has already been forced to extend XP once for  
OEMs -the so-called "C" version. They will most likely do this again  
as the June deadline approaches. If they don't - it would be the  
opportunity that Linux / Apple needs to gain a foothold in businesses.  
I know first hand that forcing Vista on the consumer is driving  
adoption of Apple at home. Of my little circle, I'd say 1 in 20 go for  
a new Apple computer instead of a new Vista PC - it would probably be  
higher if Apple was more affordable. MS isn't stupid, they see what's  
happening on the consumer side, I doubt they will repeat it on the  
business end. But if they do, I hope that Linux companies can figure  
out a way to leverage this opportunity. (Linux Store equivalent to the  
Apple Store?) But for your school - you can be certain that XP has  
many more years of life,

On Jan 19, 2008, at 8:16 AM, James Barrett wrote:

> On Fri, Jan 18, 2008 at 09:32:56PM -0500, Ed Ackerman wrote:
>> I have my kids trained, actually they trained themselves on Linux  
>> (Fedora
>> Core) XP, W2K, W98, and MAC OSX at school. They don't have a problem
>> switching between XP/W2K/Linux/MAC. They just know some machines  
>> function
>> differently or that things are in different menu positions for each  
>> OS.
> Kids are definitely more technologically apt than their grandparents,
> aunts, uncles and parents.  Often times, programming a VCR is a real
> crisis for most "older folk".  Kids don't use manuals, they just  
> "know".
> One of my friends has a granddaughter who uses his computer to play
> games.  She is not old enough to read, and only knows how to type her
> name.  When an error message pops up on the screen she does not know
> what to do and just walks away.
> I like to say that I know quite a bit more than the average person in
> regards to "computer-related stuff".  I also like to say that 1 out of
> 10 teenagers presently know way more than I do.  Good thing I don't  
> work
> with them!
> --
> James Barrett
> ___________________________________________________________________________
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W. Chris Shank
ACE Technology Group, LLC
(610) 640-4223

Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --        http://www.phillylinux.org
Announcements - http://lists.phillylinux.org/mailman/listinfo/plug-announce
General Discussion  --   http://lists.phillylinux.org/mailman/listinfo/plug