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Re: [K12OSN] Maine and Laptops

I'm also on the front lines of 1 to 1 laptop computing....we have a couple
hundred here in Vassalboro.  They are Apple ibooks which for the most part
are fine....I happen to love my own G4 iBook.  Anyway...I had a proposal
(read fantasy) about how to pursue inexpensive and reliable mobile
computing.  The thin-client laptop idea has a lot of merit, but requires
one to be always connected....my idea is this:

An inexpensive yet functional PC laptop running a locally (statewide)
rolled version of Knoppix loaded on to a read-only partition.  Then we'd
have a writable partition that would be the students persistent home
directory and a place to store local settings such as browser prefs and
printers.  Any locally added software could be loaded here as well.  One
of the nice things about the iBooks is the ability to restrict users from
messing things up using permissions (after all it's based on Unix...Mac OS
X).  The Maine laptops have essentially 3
users....admin.....teacher....and student.  Teacher can use most anything,
but is locked from "some" of the settings (to prevent them from screwing
too much up).....student can't use some apps such as iChat...etc....and
they have virtually no access to settings outside of printers and their
own password.  This has made things quite easy, but I think my way would
be even better.  Imaging the iBooks is quite a task due to the Open
Firmware password that is in place.  In my plan....we could simple use
"dd" to copy images willy-nilly all over the place....or maybe even g4u. 
Knoppix has almost everything we need and then some....we could add
anything else that's needed prior to distribution.  Well....that's my
idea, but no ones really listening to me  ;-)

"Support list for opensource software in schools." <k12osn redhat com> on
Wednesday, December 15, 2004 at 8:07 PM +0000 wrote:
>I certainly hope that we get to be "creative" in our 1-1 solutions.  I am
>still trying to get reimbursed for self wiring our highschool for a
>wireless infrastructure.  The app. is about 5 pages long.  I was also
>struck by the statement that they will be paying more of the educational
>costs when in actuality they will be paying around 61 million dollars less
>when going to the Essential Program and Services.  As the proposal is now,
>we will lose over 1 million in our district alone -- and I am supposed to
>buy laptops for everyone????  I am very interested to get the actual
>facts.  We are opening our network up to students to bring their own
>devices after the holidays and putting 25 linux laptops into the English
>classes at the same time.
>I had a thin (flash bootable) laptop that I tested for a few months.  It
>was almost ready for kids and I am definately going to pursue it again
>when I get the details on this new proposal.  
>I suppose those of you not in Maine are not as interested in this, but we
>may be calling you for input on open source solutions for 1-1.

David N. Trask
Technology Teacher/Coordinator
Vassalboro Community School
dtrask vcs u52 k12 me us

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