[K12OSN] Introduction/Question

aust_txv at ACCESS-K12.org aust_txv at ACCESS-K12.org
Fri Oct 22 14:04:06 UTC 2004

> First, I need to learn the basics of Linux/Fedora 2. I am a moderate
> Windows 9x user but the skill set doesn't appear transferable can someone
> offer a direction on developing basic skills.

Hi Quinn,
You have come to the right place.  If you want to get solid computer 
skills, linux can offer a lot.  Plus it is really fun.  The k12ltsp is also 
a great place to start.  Other skills you have gained centainly apply. 
k12ltsp is not that far from ms windows on the surface and you might even 
fool your classmates into thinking they are using a Windows OS :)  Check 
out ICE and the winxp theme.

> Secondly, I need to learn basic networking. I am familiar with the
> components of the basic network (wan/lan,nic,router, switch, etc..) but
> would appreciate a direction, link that can provide the development of a
> skill set.

Smart small and don't bother with the old stuff.  Get a grip on TCI/IP and 
what tools and services help you use this set of protocols to make devices 
on a network talk to each other.
For example, the IPX protocol is old and proprietary and you may ever need 
it.  ( Man, that hurts to say being a Novell person.)  Don't waste your 
time.  There are things that are nice to know, versus things you need to 
know.  K12LTSP is a great tool to use to find out what you need to know. 
May I suggest another angle, learn what problems need solved with using 
computers.  For example, How do usernames and passwords get made ?  -- user 
management.  What are good passwords ? -- security.  What makes the thin 
client boot off the network and what services make this happen ? --- 
networking and services.   What if I want my windows users to share the 
same username and password as my k12LTSP system ?  ---- authentication and 
file systems and file and print sharing.  Stuff like that.  What is an "X" 
server and what are windows managers ? ---- huge in k12LTSP.
> Thirdly, I would like to build some small form factor thin clients using
> Netvista boxes. Can someone recommend a source for lowcost (mini atx?)
> motherboards with built in audio/video/lan? Computer Geeks
> (compgeeks.com) has socket 370 celeron 500's for $10.50.

No help here.  I buy used gear from companies like Partstock.com or ebay. 
Dell Optiplex's with on-board ethernet ( PXE bootable) :)  We remove the 
harddrives and uplug the CDROMs.  No OS.  Check out via's motherboards 
also.  Many companies now sell thin stuff. Amer.com.  I believe the days 
are gone when you can build gear cheaper than you can buy it. Fator in your 
time.  What drew me to k12LTSP was...I started pulling old 486 and Pentium 
I's out of the closet and finding a way to make them boot off the network ( 
rom-o-matic ).  I want to breathe new life into old hardware.
> Lastly, if you have or are considering building a lab in an elementary
> school lets connect and share knowledge (however limited it might be, at
> least on my part...). I am willing to help.

Stop !!! this is my opinion, you must form your own.   Quinn the biggest 
problem I see in the Elementary level and k12LTSP is lack of applications. 
That is windows only strength in my mind.  Elementary schools run tons of 
multimedia software, AccReader, SuccessMaker, others... Most don't work 
under linux.  School districts ( the industry ) in general need to start 
demanding native linux applications --- IBM get moving !!!  Again Quinn 
please form your own opinion.  I use my student input constantly.  Students 
are pretty flexible.  Adults ?  now that is the problem :)

I could use your help...What are the top 5 things a 5th grader wants from 
the computer they use at school ?


Have fun Quinn.

Tom Ventresco
Austintown Local Schools

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