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Re: [K12OSN] K12LTSP Support

Hi Bob,

The school I help out at sounds about the same size as yours. The person being paid to do be the system guy also sweeps the floors. I am a parent volunteer with no Linux (or Windows) certs. (I have learned everything from helpful Linux users, many on lists like this one, and books.) We have a computer lab of 25 computers and various classroom computers scattered around. My advice is for you and some knowledgeable parents to get involved. Form a technology committee of volunteers to help out with some of the workload. If the Computer/Maintenance person knows he can count on you to help, he will be more inclined to try new things. Check with the local colleges to see if they have Linux knowledgeable people in their MIS or Comp Sci departments. Most grad students would be very happy to make some extra cash and should be economical to have them come in and trouble shoot or get you started.

Work within the windows framework and add open source solutions slowly as they make sense. I started by introducing a Linux server so that the school could have a shared internet connection. Then I added e-mail and a local web site. I nearly had them talked into a linux lab, but Microsoft came back and quoted them $15 a seat for Win2k so they chose to stay with the familiar. But I did convince them to dual boot the lab machines for Linux and 2000 and I am using Linux/samba as the PDC for the Win2k machines. I have them using Open Office since Microsoft did not give them a break on Office. Also, TuxType is a school favorite. My next addition will be the Gimp. The point is if you introduce Linux and open source slowly ( a server here, an application there) then the learning curve for the new "admins" is not too steep and you build credibility with the users. I point out to them that they have been running Linux as a server for years and the only time the email has been down has been the cable company's fault. They are amazed with the quality and value of apps like Open Office and Tux Typing (which I keep reminding them are free) so now when I suggest a new open source program they are eager to hear about it. Next time they are looking to upgrade OS's I know Linux will be part of the discussion. By moving slowly you keep everyone in a comfort zone. The learning curve is manageable. The quality of the programs I am giving them take away their suspicions about free software not being as good. Now Linux and other open source apps are part of the discussion and not some off the wall idea.

This is much longer and more rambling than I intended. I hope some of it is useful.


At 10:47 PM 10/21/2003, you wrote:
From: Bob Karschnia <bobk mn rr com>
To: k12osn redhat com
Subject: Re: [K12OSN] K12LTSP Support
Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2003 21:49:53 -0500
Reply-To: k12osn redhat com

You must have misunderstood my question.

I'm taking about a school of 200 kids (40 computer total).  The tech support
doesn't exist ... at all.  It is contracted out because they are in the
business of teaching not maintaining a computer system.  Its great if a
school district can afford the luxury of full time staff to do this but small
non-public schools can't.  The person who maintains this also sweeps the gym
floors and cleans the windows.  They are doing a lot beyond teaching and the
time to learn a new technology, and Linux is new to them, is minimal.

With that as a back drop, we need someone who can maintain this and help
through problems.  We are looking at LTSP for all the right reason but if no
one can support us locally, it makes no sense to put it in.

When I asked about an equivalent to MS Certification for LTSP, it was to give
us some direction on where to look for help.  I wasn't impling that an MCSE
is the be all end all.  Nothing bad implied ... we just need help and didn't
know where to start looking for people who can support this locally.

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