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Re: [K12OSN] Given this situation, why bother continue with LTSP

Comments are mixed in as we go along, please read on. . .
On Wed, 20 Apr 2005, The Prof wrote:

> Hello,
> Thank you for the prompt replies.  I'd like to continue the
> conversation by addressing some concerns which have been raised, as
> well as providing some more information.
> In regards to the person doing the donating - the hardware must be
> given to a non-profit organization, and we are not allowed to re-sell
> the licenses. The hardware is coming from one place and it doesn't
> have any OS on them.  The number of software licenses available is
> very high so we'll never run out, and it includes ALL microsoft
> products.  I do not think there is a time-limit, so to speak, for

If you get Windows XP on the workstation and Server2003 (likely) the 
licenses expire after two years.

> these licenses, but I do not know.  The person doing the donating
> wants to help us out very much, and doesn't have an agenda of any
> sort. He has been trained extensively as a MSCE and other

Trained as a MCSE?. . . hmmm. . . that's job security for you!

> microsoft-related things, so he does know it all very well, but he's
> not going to gain anything one way or another.
> In regards to the future upgrade of these donated machines - I would
> argue that the turn-over rate of computers in a church or elementary
> school is much slower than in a company - we were, until 1.5 years
> ago, running pentium 1 windows 98 machines on a WinNT server a little
> slowly, but no problem. Only reason we had to ditch that system was
> because our NT server died a horrible, smokey death and we wouldn't
> have been able to afford to upgrade all the clients to XP.  I think
> that if we had a lab of pentium 4 machines and a dual Xenon SCSI
> machine as the server (that's the type of hardware he can get us) that
> it would last us for a long, long time.

The *hardware* will last a long time.  The *software* however, will expire 
after two years.

> In regards to the spyware situation - doesn't microsoft now have
> anti-spyware software? If so, that would be included as part of the
> donation.  For the viruses, I'd assume that we'd have to install a
> server-based antivirus program to take care of that, along with
> locking down the clients a bit. That does require more work and admin,

These are nearly a non-issue under OSS.  . .

> which brings me to the next point...

> Administration:  Currently with a linux lab I am the only one who can
> administer it because no one knows how or is interested in this
> 'new-fangled stuff'. If it was a Windows lab, that responsiblity could
> be spread out among at least a few people who have this ability,
> lightening my load. In addition, most of the admin/setup/etc. is done
> for free as we volunteer our time.  So it isn't like we'd cost more
> because of the increased work to them :)

They learned Windows, they can learn linux. I did!  Besides, if you use 
terminal services, any upgrades are done one time, on one computer and the 
clients automatically have the latest and greatest.

> Learning a word-processor vs. learning MS WORD: This is an interesting
> argument. Since many people are educators here, you are approaching it
> differently than the parents/admin staff. They are looking at it from
> a certain perspective.  IE: I use MS at work. I use MS at home. My
> child in university uses MS and her prof uses MS in his lectures. My
> resume says that I know MS Office. Where does Linux fix in?  Bank

This is beacuse MS has been force-fed to the masses for so long that the 
masses think they have to put up with the problems.

As a side not to this. . . There have been several kids from this small 
district that graduated, went on to college, and went into comp[uter 
science, programming ot other fields, that come back and ask why we never 
taught them linux, or open-source because now that they are in colloge, in 
the computer classes, they use linux, primarily because it is free (they 
can get all the stuff at home as well as at achool for no cost) and it 
comes with all you need to write, compile, debug and run their own 
programs.  Under MS, you have to buy the editors, compilers, debuggers and 

> website X and company website Y say that I need to get IE to make it
> work.  When I walk into BestBuy or open the paper I see the computers
> are being sold with Windows XP. So why are you forcing this
> non-Windows stuff on me? So what if it is less administration? Why do
> I care?  That's the dilemma.

If you are doing the administration for free, as a volunteer, I would 
think it would be very good to only have to check for updates and do minor 
maintenance tasks once or twice a week, on one server (clients get it 
automatically, remember, under terminal services. . . ) as opposed to 
hours *per computer* just chasing viruses, spyware and adware.  Unless you 
live at that location, I wouldn't want that at all.

> As sad as it is to say, MANY people do not view education and school
> as a way to increase their child's capability of thought, but as a way
> to get a professional high-paying job. And I'm not about to take on
> the ideology of an entire culture. :)

Increase their capability by providing many avenues to the same 
destination.  You can get from Chicago to L.A. by road (MS) or you can get 
to chicago by plane (linux) but if you are scared to death to fly, and 
don;t know there are other options, you will likely never make it to L.A.


> Joseph
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