[K12OSN] It's Good to be Back

j.w. thomas jthomas at bittware.com
Wed Dec 3 01:03:14 UTC 2008

I used K12LTSP about five years ago and was active on SEUL and on this 
mailing list back then.  I moved to a different state (NH), and my 
association with the school where I installed L12LTSP necessarily ended.

Last year my new church opened a new school, and this year, I have 
deployed K12LTSP again.  It's good to be back.

Last year we received six PC's as a donation, and they came with Win2K 
installed on them.  We didn't have Internet access then, and I was not 
ready to fight the good fight yet.  I did install OpenOffice on all the 
machines though, and that was pretty much all they wanted.  This year 
they started asking for more, and for everything they said they wanted, 
I remembered having it for free at my previous school.  So I proposed 
piloting k12ltsp and got a green light.

I commandeered the PC we have in the AV room as the ltsp server.  It's a 
fairly decent machine (about double the speed, memory, and HD of the 
server I had at the previous school).

During setup, one of the six Win2K machines (which are my clients now) 
gave up the ghost.  It is an ex-PC now.  So I'm down to five clients.

The first day went pretty well.  The kids were very excited, and had a 
blast.  OOo looks just the same as last year (no accident there).  I 
have had a chance to speak to the teacher only briefly, but her 
impression was also very positive.  So it looks like I'll get a green light.

Since the pilot is going well so far, I decided to start looking for a 
permanent ltsp server so we don't have to rely on the AV PC. I found a 
place to buy some very impressive looking refurbished blade servers for 
next to nothing, and I'd like a little advice:


The one I have my eye on is an IBM 1U blade with two 2.4GHz Opterons, 4G 
RAM, and a single 73G Ultra320 SCSI drive:


I could go with a bigger drive if I went with a no-name blade, and it 
would be SATA instead of SCSI.  SATA is nice because I can get more 
capacity cheap, but SCSI just seems so much better.  And with only 7 
students in our whole school, I'm thinking 73G will last a long time.

So what would you do?  Go for a no-name with more HD capacity and a 
cheap upgrade route, or go with IBM+SCSI knowing that adding more 
storage later is going to cost some major bux?

I'm also looking at one of these to replace my smoked client:


Has anyone dealt with geeks.com before?  Should I be afraid that their 
offers too good to be true?  (They... they seem like they might be.)

Jim Thomas            Principal Applications Engineer  Bittware, Inc
jthomas at bittware.com  http://www.bittware.com    (603) 226-0404 x536
Roses are #FF0000, violets are #0000FF, all my base are belong to you.

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