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Re: [K12OSN] Preparing K12Linux F11

Joseph Bishay wrote:

I hope everyone is doing well.

           * I am thinking to make the K12Linux F11 Live Server ISO
           x86-64 only as this is the majority of deployments.  32bit
           clients are supported by the 64bit server.  32bit servers
           are still possible if you install K12Linux on top of the
           standard Fedora 11.

I know for myself and some others, that our servers are going to stay
32-bit because of the cost of upgrading it to anything more than that.
  My question is this -- is the plan to have K12Linux by default a
cutting-edge system? I.E.: You need 64-bit servers, gigabit-network,
excellent, modern thin clients?  If that was the case it makes sense
to have it only 64-bit.  But I would imagine a lot of people using
LTSP are not at all in that boat and were drawn to it for exactly the
opposite reasons. So what's the vision?

Same here. Most of the people for whom I've done this always ran 32-bit K12LTSP on 32-bit machines with 3.5GB DRAM. And they will continue to do so. If they've got to buy a new machine, then it's "well, we're buying a new machine anyway, let's just put the regular Windows Server on there."

Additionally, there is a very large bit-ness problem with some apps. The Adobe Flash plugin on Firefox is simply the most famous of them. Such bit-ness problems are a second reason (in addition to the first one, above) why I run exclusively 32-bit K12LTSP today. I'm a long-time IT engineer, and I can sort out bitness issues, but I'm the exception. If I'm a typical technology administrator at a school, I don't have time to futz around with bit-ness issues or excuses, because I've got an entire school to take care of. Your "Linux thing" is now keeping me from doing my job.

Hence, I stay with 32-bit, because that's what works.

       OpenOffice.org is an absolute must, because of all the MS
       Office files that teachers sling around.  Remember that one of
       the big selling points of GNU/Linux distros is that "it
       already comes with office."  This really can't be considered
       negotiable any more than the kernel can...if it's to be taken
       seriously in a North American K-12 environment.

       As for the educational apps, some should be included, e. g.
       ChildsPlay.  After all, there's gotta be something "K12" for
       "K12Linux" to demo.  :-)

What about the option that used to exist with the older K12LTSP --
after the initial installation there was a desktop folder script the
administrator would have that contained a series of scripts to
download educational/extra software.  It basically was a front-end for
yum.  That's still an incredibly cool demo feature -- double-click
additional software, double-click 'get OpenOffice' or 'Get ChildsPlay'
- wait a moment, and it's ready to go!

That was used for non-Free apps like Adobe Flash and Java. OpenOffice.org has always been on there, and given the MS Office file issue, I'd say that app's too important. What happens when you demo the "get OpenOffice" on a slow link? Say it's a school that cannot afford high-speed connections, or they're simply not available in that area. If we're focusing on just the United States and southern Canada with K12Linux, then we can assume high-speed connections for "get <insert large app here>" demos. Worldwide, that's a different story.

Here's an example. I met some young (and very pretty) college students from some remote village way up in the mountains of Peru. They had computers up there...but no Internet. No electricity, either. So how did they have computers without electricity? Solar panels from a government grant. Kids did their homework on computers powered by solar panels. Granted, they were older computers, but they worked. Software was installed via CD-ROM. When they went off to the university (about half of 'em did, Peruvians are a very educated people), they were already computer-literate.

Well, I'd come prepared for such an opportunity. I promptly showed 'em my PowerBook G3 running Kubuntu Dapper and the Spanish Language pack. They already knew about Firefox from college, but had never seen OpenOffice.org. I explained to them that it's "basicamente Microsoft Oficina, pero gratis, como Firefox." They were quite impressed and immediately asked me where they could download it. This led to one even asking me about GNU/Linux, and then they all wanted to try it (naturally, I let them). Score one for FOSS there.

Folks, OpenOffice.org is one of our two mondo-big poster children for desktop FOSS (Firefox is the other one). We need to get it immediately in front of people, again, just like Firefox. Best way to do that is to have it on the ISO image.


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