[K12OSN] Maine and Laptops

Tom Hoffman tom.hoffman at gmail.com
Wed Dec 22 03:00:02 UTC 2004

Hi folks, 

I thought you might like to know that I posted on this subject to
Ed-Tech Insider, a blog I contribute to on eSchool News' website: 

Trying to spread the memes.


On Wed, 15 Dec 2004 21:18:04 -0500, David Trask
<dtrask at vcs.u52.k12.me.us> wrote:
> 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 at 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 at vcs.u52.k12.me.us
> (207)923-3100
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