[ok-mail] [K12OSN] Scalability (long email)

norbert bear2bar at netscape.net
Sun Apr 11 19:51:02 UTC 2004

Hi Terrell,

Well, here in Canada, we do not have any such statutes. The Govt, in 
collusion, with the School Boards determines what's best for those poor 
innocent students !!!!! and of course what could be better than being 
formed into a nice safe mould such as M$ !.
That all said we have not been passive ( see www.xtlabs.org <- my 
company & www.mille.ca - only in French but the gist is that Govt with 
certain School Boards are actually looking to validate Linux 
(OpenSource) from a pedagogical point of view, thereby giving small 
upstart companies like mine an actual chance at making a difference.
This is why we have taken on the approach of "combining" M$ with K12LTSP 
as a first migration step. Once the schools & boards get a "taste" of 
Open Source the may be more willing to consider it versus the 
"proprietary" alternatives

Last point that has me really up in arms and slowing introducing to the 
media is that the boards are more concerned with maintaining unionised 
M$ administrator jobs than increasing the number of computers available 
for the kids and availing more applications and teaching tools for the 
teachers. Clearly unionised jobs take precedence over the education of 
kids !!!!


microman at cmosnetworks.com wrote:

> Sounds to me like your school board is like my school board--they just 
> don't seem to care about actual, positive change with regard to IT and 
> saving money.  Thus, depending on your local laws, the only real 
> effector of change may be legal, and one guy going up against the 
> entire legal team of the school district, while certainly possible, is 
> a tough thing to do.  Matter of fact, the state of Virginia seems to 
> directly back this Microsoft preference; I'm told that the state's SOL 
> (Standards of Learning) exams require MS Internet Explorer 5.5 or 
> later and will not work w/ Netscape or any other browser.
> That said, there may be an applicable statute that says no vendor 
> preferences.  Unfortunately there isn't one where I am, but there may 
> be where you are.  Also, there may be statutes that say all economic 
> backgrounds must be included in all facets of school instruction, be 
> it in the classroom, homework, or otherwise.  Windows and MS Office, 
> as we know, cost a bundle.  "Poor" kids aren't going to be able to get 
> those--legally--w/o major sacrifices.  By contrast, you can get a 
> decently equipped LindowsOS PC for $299 (the 128MB DRAM, 20GB HD 
> versions are $199), and that, of course, includes OO.o and everything 
> else.
> Both approaches, unfortunately, involve taking on the school board in 
> a legal sense.  For most people, I wouldn't recommend doing that 
> without backing from the likes of, say, the ACLU.  I myself am in fact 
> stubborn enough to do such a thing, except that I have a very good 
> friend whose position I need to protect, and that's the only thing 
> stopping me at this point--personal loyalty to my friend.  I think 
> that the solution is that we, as citizens, need to push for Free and 
> Open Source Software, especially during election years, with hard 
> numbers to back up our claims.  That means writing your Congressmen, 
> attending Town Hall meetings, and generally doing that stuff that 
> grassroots lobbyists do to get their laws pushed through.  There is no 
> easy answer to this one; it'll take work.
> --TP
> norbert wrote:
>> Hi Terrell,
>> Thanks for the response. To answer why the twenty + client on 
>> terminal server, well it isn't by choice ! The school board has some 
>> applications that are a must and these *only work with IE*. I've tried;
>> Crossoveroffice  - it doesn't cut it for the applications they need !
>> Win4lin - is limited to Win 9x & is too expensive
>> VMware - I have not been able to get more than a couple of thin 
>> clients running with it & costs !!!
>> The applications are Edusystems, Kidpix (no Tuxpaint is not 
>> acceptable) & FirstClass (the linux local client works well but there 
>> is no server version yet.
>> Now the final "kink" in this problem is that there are non-profit 
>> organisations that give Win2K server & CAL licenses for *free* to 
>> educational institutions, so this is giving preference to a M$ 
>> solution as long as these apps cannot run with browsers on linux.
>> If you have *any* suggestions to avoid using M$ please let me know !
>> thanks
>> norbert
>> microman at cmosnetworks.com wrote:
>>> It wasn't my choice, unfortunately.  Back then I worked for not just 
>>> a Microsoft shop, but a totally rabid Microsoft shop.  The very 
>>> notion of running anything that was Free Software was total anathema 
>>> to this company.  They basically subscribed to the notion that, "if 
>>> it *can* run on NT/2000, it *will* run on NT/2000."  Actually 
>>> putting OpenOffice.org on anybody's computer might well have gotten 
>>> me fired, even if the user had specifically asked for it, unless it 
>>> had been a major partner (wasn't gonna happen).
>>> So, to answer your question, we never took them off of Microsoft in 
>>> the first place.  We simply made them run their apps locally again.
>>> That does bring to mind a question, though:  Norbert, can you tell 
>>> us why you need to run twenty client sessions on a Windows Terminal 
>>> Server?  Would folks not be better suited by a K12LTSP server?
>>> --TP
>>> Brian Chase wrote:
>>>> This must be why Citrix is so successful, because the native WTS 
>>>> does such a poor job of it.  What I can't figure out is why you 
>>>> took your whole office staff back to Microsoft when OpenOffice has 
>>>> been out for several years now.
>>>> Terrell Prude', Jr. wrote:
>>>>> That's one of the major problems with Windows Terminal Server; the 
>>>>> underlying platform's just not efficient.  The RDP protocol used 
>>>>> with it is reasonably efficient, but the server itself gets 
>>>>> S-L-O-W very quickly.  I never did more than five on a dual-PIII, 
>>>>> 900MHz, 1GB DRAM box w/ Ultra3-SCSI RAID, back when I was running 
>>>>> Windows networks, for performance reasons; with any more, the CPUs 
>>>>> kept pegging, and the memory subsystem kept almost continuously 
>>>>> swapping to disk.  As it was, there was plenty of swapping, and 
>>>>> the CPUs were heavily used.  We also had stability issues with 
>>>>> user applications (e. g. Microsoft Office).  We ended up using 
>>>>> Terminal Services only for us sysadmins and making everyone run MS 
>>>>> Office on their desktops again.  Boy, did we learn!
>>>>> If for some reason you have to do this for twenty clients on one 
>>>>> server, then I'd recommend going for, at a minimum, a four 
>>>>> processor box, with max GHz (currently we're talking either Xeon 
>>>>> 3.2GHz's or Opteron 2.2GHz's (that's the 848 model, BTW).  Also, 
>>>>> better have no less than 4GB DRAM, and more is definitely not 
>>>>> overkill.
>>>>> --TP
>>>>> norbert wrote:
>>>>>> Ooops that's a P-III & just for clarification we're using K12LTSP 
>>>>>> with diskless client, from each client we launch a rdesktop session.
>>>>>> thks again
>>>>>> norbert
>>>>>> bear2bar at netscape.net wrote:
>>>>>>> Hi,
>>>>>>> Has anyone setup rdesktop with linux on 20 + workstations ? 
>>>>>>> (With Win2K) and what specs are needed for the Win2K server to 
>>>>>>> handle the load.
>>>>>>> We've setup a P-II 500 Mhz with 512mb ram and can barely launch 
>>>>>>> 3 connections. The response is incrediblly SLOW....
>>>>>>> thanks for the input
>>>>>>> norbert
>>>>>>> jhansknecht at hanstech.com wrote:
>>>>>>>> On Tue, 2004-04-06 at 21:26, Shawn Powers wrote:
>>>>>>>>> snip
>>>>>>>>> I have 3 schools, all connected via fiber.  There are approx 
>>>>>>>>> 30 classrooms per building, with a variation of 10 & 100mbit 
>>>>>>>>> connections internally.  The 2 big directions I'm looking at 
>>>>>>>>> would be to have 90 "mini-labs", where a teacher gets a new 
>>>>>>>>> white-box Pentium 4 computer, and have it serve as a classroom 
>>>>>>>>> LTSP server to 5 or 6 "junker" thin clients for the students 
>>>>>>>>> (much like the original case study Paul Nelson put up several 
>>>>>>>>> years back).  If the student management system won't work 
>>>>>>>>> under Wine -- that teacher computer would have to run win4lin 
>>>>>>>>> or some such solution.
>>>>>>>> Instead of win4lin think about using a Windows terminal server 
>>>>>>>> with
>>>>>>>> rdesktop. ....you will need to spend a little but I suspect you 
>>>>>>>> will be
>>>>>>>> able to conqueror this application requirement.
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