[K12OSN] OT: Google Apps

James P. Kinney III jkinney at localnetsolutions.com
Sat Dec 6 19:27:01 UTC 2008

Google apps have less than half the capabilities of OpenOffice but are
accessible from (nearly) any Internet accessing computer. The
performance issues you see are bandwidth for the classroom, not system
resource problems. 

I'm not a huge fan of using Google for anything but search. (Disclaimer:
I worked at Google for a while) The paranoid pundits are mostly correct
- Google lays claim to EVERYTHING that crosses their wires. Everything
is a billboard for ad space to Google. I'm pretty sure that is
inappropriate for most schools.

Most schools I have seen are very poorly outfitted for high-speed access
for the number of online machines. 25-30 PC's sharing a T1 is like
dial-up speeds. While cable modem offers high download speeds, actual
throughput is determined by the total number of systems on the main line
at the pole. Still, a 10M download rate is sufficient for ~100 users
(100kbps/user). There are DSL providers that can do that and provide
sufficient upstream capacity to not be a blocking issue. Best bet is to
use political clout and get local cable monopoly AND local phone
monopoly to provide AT NO COST FOREVER the top-speed service they have
to EVERY SCHOOL (makes for good advertising and community service and it
give the school system lawyers something _productive_ to do). With a
setup like that to each school, use a load-balancing firewall.

On Thu, 2008-12-04 at 09:09 -0500, David Hopkins wrote:
> A lot of teachers at our school have discovered Google Apps and are
> pushing it as a replacement for StarOffice because it is web-based,
> allows students to submit documents easier and a whole host of other
> benefits.  However, what has also been observed is that the servers
> get very very sluggish once an entire class of students sign in.  The
> suspicion is that this is due to Google Apps and Flash?
> Does anyone have experience with Google Apps in their environement?
> Pro's and Con's of using it vs StarOffice?  How does it run in
> alternative browsers (e.g. Opera, Konqueror, Nautilus)?
> Sincerely,
> Dave Hopkins
> Newark Charter School
> Newark, Delaware
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James P. Kinney III          
CEO & Director of Engineering 
Local Net Solutions,LLC                           

GPG ID: 829C6CA7 James P. Kinney III (M.S. Physics)
<jkinney at localnetsolutions.com>
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