[K12OSN] RE: Help to convince school

daniel.hunt at iibbank.ie daniel.hunt at iibbank.ie
Thu May 13 12:17:59 UTC 2004

Funny - I had thought of doing that, basically infecting the network on
purpose ;) Not that I would ever do it or anything :D

But I simply refuse to firewall each bloody machine - it'd be a nightmare to
maintain! (just something I thought of there that he may ask for)

But you see my problem is that he will most likely ask me to be the network
admin. Part time basis though - when ever there's a problem, I'll get a call
and get there as soon as possible to sort it out. That sort of stuff will be
ruled out almost completely with a linux solution, except in extreme cases
such as hard ware faults / tea or coffee spilt on server / etc... :p

He finds it _very_ difficult to understand why a community of programmers
would feel obligated to provide any sort of backup support at all if there
were any problems. The only word that I could think of to describe it was
"honour", which, in hindsight, may not have come across as I meant it - it's
a hard situation to explain to someone who doesnt understand it you see!

Next time I see him (god knows when) I'll give linux one more stab - as he
hasn't fully made up his mind yet. I'll explain how it may seem better to
put in a system that 'everyone' uses in the 'real world' but that even
governments are turning their back on it due to costs and security problems.
I would imagine that < 1% of virus writers out there write anything to
attack linux (but possibly microsoft do ;o) ) and that as linux is
_designed_ to be a multi-user environment, it has built in security as one
it's main core elements. Compared to Microsoft who finally allowed users to
"Protect my home directory" in Windows XP :)

Although what you say may seem like heresy, reverse phsychology may be the
only way for him to learn. Spending 10000Euro (before proprietary software
of course ... that's jsut the MS licensing fees), on top of the upgraded
network switches, and new/2nd hand 17" monitors for half of the machines,
then my own charge on top, and having an entire network brought to it's
knees by some 6 year old in Taiwan with a commodore64 writing exploits ...
may make him think again about K12.

As it stands, the K12 server would be in and around 3/4000 euro (i'm making
it so that it's so overpowered that it could possibly handle twice the
machines neccessary - my calculations may be off you see :)) then my own fee
for the installation of it all plus some donated bootable network cards from
the bank i work in ... and possibly some 17" monitors (dont know yet).
That's one hell of a saving :)


-----Original Message-----
From: Terrell Prude', Jr. [mailto:microman at cmosnetworks.com]
Sent: 13 May 2004 12:41
To: Support list for opensource software in schools.
Subject: Re: [K12OSN] RE: Help to convince school

If that's the case, then it sounds like he's already made his decision.  
He's like my school district (the blame game). 

People have got to learn to accept that there is no "blame" if the 
business case is there.  K12LTSP and other Free Software is not only a 
good business case, but it's simply the right thing to do.  If he's 
looking for a place to point his finger, then he needs to stick with 
Windows.  Then, he can stay busy pointing fingers while he's rebuilding 
how many boxes; meanwhile, the kids' access to technology is now degraded.

I'm going to suggest what sounds like heresy.  Agree with him about his 
Windows desire and offer to help push it forward!  Yes, you read that 
right.  Then, when the next Sasser, MSBlaster, or Nachi comes out (and 
it will), and the higher-ups are asking what can be done to stop 
this...then you have your iron-clad case, while their minds are actually 
focused on the problem.  Then you present your case to this dude's 
bosses, saying, "This dude and I were discussing an idea that was 
designed specifically for K12, and it's immune to these viruses," etc.  
Give him credit for "coming up with the original idea", in front of all 
the bosses, and make clear that "_we_ think it'll really work well, and 
_we_ would like to do a small pilot to try it out."  Notice the 
prodigious use of the word "we" here.  This has two effects:

1.)  It makes him look good for coming up with an idea that, yes, you 
came up with.  That's just how government managers seem to work, so he's 
getting stroked in front of his bosses for free.

2.)  He'll have more political trouble saying "no, no, I didn't come up 
with an idea that might solve our virus problem."  This is especially so 
since *you* would then be appearing to his bosses like you're the team 
player here, and not him.

Yes, it's dirty pool, and yes, it's sneaky.  But I've seen it work in 
other areas.  After the smashing success that K12LTSP will provide (and 
it will), then he looks like a hero and must at least privately--if only 
to himself--admit that you were right, meanwhile, naturally, taking all 
the credit.  Let him; our initial goal--infiltration--will at that point 
have been achieved.


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