Robert Arkiletian robark at telus.net
Sun Apr 4 01:56:25 UTC 2004

The way I got approval was to present it as a pilot project. If it worked out 
we could upgrade the lab for 1/4 of the cost of new pc's. If it didn't, we 
just delete Linux and install Windows 2003 terminal server. No money wasted. 
It's important to clarify that K12LTSP Linux is FREE. We are not spending 
money on an operating system but rather on server hardware which could run 
Linux or MS Windows.  This seemed to give some comfort to died-in-the wool 
Windows fans. The OO vs MS Office issue came up as well. The usual "we should 
be teaching students what they will use in industry". I addressed this by 
saying "Once you learn one Word Processor it does not take much to use 
another" plus "by using OO we will be allowing students of all financial 
demographic backgrounds to have access to the software at home". These are 
all valid facts which truly give Open source an advantage. The only issue was 
that I had to volunteer to support my lab as the district technician would 
not support it. Hopefully, the school and the district will realize the 
tremendous benefit to students along with the enormous cost savings once it's 
up and running. Also, don't forget to mention that there is a LOT of quality 
Free Educational Open Source Software to go along with the OS. To quote Eric 
Raymond "People tend to associate Free with cheap or shoddy". This myth needs 
to be dispelled because it's in the back of peoples minds who hear about Open 
Source for the first time.

Robert Arkiletian

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