[K12OSN] OT: Apple Imac lab

Almquist Burke burke at thealmquists.net
Tue Mar 3 00:26:26 UTC 2009

Hash: SHA1

On Mar 2, 2009, at 9:41 AM, David Hopkins wrote:

>>> Now, the teacher has already added that she'll want all the packages
>>> on the thin clients on the Macs but ... she doesn't want OpenOffice
>>> on the Macs because 'it doesn't work right'.  Instead she wants a
>>> different package. And we need to order the Type-to-Learn package  
>>> for
>>> the Macs as well.  So, the 'usage creep' has already started and the
>>> lab isn't even ordered. *SIGH ...
>> She needs to look at OOo 3.0.1, it works fine. If she wants  
>> something more
>> "Maccy", look at NeoOffice.
>> Whoa, I thought this was a multimedia lab. What's Type-to-learn  
>> doing in
>> there? Are you running this on the thin-clients?
> It is a multimedia lab but the same instructor covers both. Grades 5/6
> get TTL plus other stuff, Grades 7/8 get video/audio plus other stuff.
>  There will not be a lab 100% dedicated to video/audio that has any
> non-use time.

What are you using instead of TTL right now?
What does she propose to use instead of OpenOffice (and what doesn't  
"work right" on OO)?
The objective is to fight what I call "workstation creep" that comes  
with running software on standalone PCs/Macs.

You tell her (and the powers that be) that you understand and agree  
with her request to use the iMacs for video editing because you need  
higher powered machines for that, and the software she wants for  
audio/video editing is built into them. (If you feel VERY strongly  
about proprietary software in general, you could try Linux  
workstations with audacity and Cinnerella/Kino)

But you object to using the iMac for other things that could be done  
on your thing clients (unless they want to boot the iMac into LTSP).  
And explain why.
Generally the teacher either:
intentionally using this as a trojan horse to move the whole place to  
OS X on Apple.
Doesn't see the harm in buying and installing TTL and Office for Mac  
since SHE already had the hardware and OS to support it.

You have to point out that

1) Kids wanting to use those wonderful applications will be unable to  
use them anywhere else in the building, or at home (what if they want  
to use TTL, but the lab is full). Unless they have a Mac and pay for  
their own copy, which could get expensive for the kids.
2) You have to convert the entire school to the iMac (substitute Win/ 
Dell here for a teacher who has this same creepitits with Windows  
workstations).  Which would be expensive for the school because the  
hardware and software is more expensive upfront, has to be replaced  
more often, is easier to break, and requires more work to maintain  
than LTSP thin clients. Plus, the students can get all the OSS  
programs in LTSP for free and use them at home. Explain that your  
rule is that K12Linux based (or insert other LTSP distro here) thin  
clients are the standard platform for the above reasons, and that ANY  
exceptions to this rule require proof that it is absolutely  
necessary. Point out that exceptions are fine, and you ARE making one  
here for her to do AV editing, so long as they don't become the rule.
Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (Darwin)


More information about the K12OSN mailing list