Art Alexion on 20 May 2010 04:48:55 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] (OT) Philadelphia Wireless

On Wednesday 19 May 2010 12:20:39 Mike Leone wrote:
> Because of ...
> > Machine Cost?
> That's usually why.
> My GF is a computer lab librarian. They use software like SteadyState or 
> Fortres as guardian/lockdown software, which is Windows-based. They also 
> get grants from the Gates Foundation. You can draw your own conclusions.
> :-)
> Also, they use the PCs for training - she's always giving into classes 
> (I mean, REAL intro classes - this is a mouse. Here's how you move one. 
> etc). And she also gives classes on things like Word - here's how to 
> make a resume, send a job letter, etc. because that's what still wanted 
> most - at least some exposure to MS office software, which is still 
> ubiquitous.
> These are usually folks who can't afford computers for themselves, and 
> so have never used one, except for ones at the libraries. And as you may 
> imagine, the libraries aren't exactly overflowing with money for lots of 
> PCs ...
> > free). Or at least have some Linux machines available for those that
> > don't mind using it.
> So buy some machines, and donate them to the library of your choice, and 
> specify they use Linux only with them. Then the library will have some. LOL
> (while I said that sarcastically, that is how many libraries get PCs - 
> donations)

We have been looking into what VMWare used to call VDI, now View to replace 
shared desktops which tend to get trashed.  They can serve Windows or Linux 
desktops, with non-persistent images.  That is, every time a user logs in, 
they get a fresh desktop.  There is some pretty durable, but cheap, hardware 
out there as well.

This should be the future of libraries as it cuts down on maintenance costs 
while providing a choice of platforms.  This isn't likely to get there via the 
type of donations Mike mentions, but a worthy grant from a foundation or from 
the hardware and software vendors.

Art Alexion
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