[K12OSN] OT: Apple Imac lab

Peter Scheie peter at scheie.homedns.org
Sun Mar 1 05:54:24 UTC 2009

Not to put too fine a point on it, but you should let the powers that be know 
that the acquisition cost is a minor part of the TCO.  The major part is in 
supporting the machines, keeping them running, etc.  With LTSP, you mostly 
support one machine, the server, with a little overhead for the clients.  If 
they get 20 Macs, make sure everyone, and I mean everyone, knows the cost of 
supporting them will be 20 times the cost of the LTSP lab.  Linux, done 
properly, is cheaper in the short run and MUCH cheaper in the long run.


David Hopkins wrote:
>> It sounds like this teacher is wanting MAC up front, period. You said
>> yourself " I don't like the idea". I bet you  would be better off just
>> letting this teacher run her Imacs as Imacs and not try doing the thin
>> client thing. Reason I say this, been there done that,with someone with
>> this mindset. Don't mean to sound so negative here, but from what I read
>> here you are setting yourself up for one of the "I told you Thin Clients
>> would not work" already. Remember this is a woman you are dealing
>> with:).
> She is supportive of thin clients mostly but would definitely prefer
> to move to all Macs if allowed (predominately because of video/audio
> issues).  What she doesn't want is MS products.  Personally, I'd
> prefer to stay with thin clients if possible but we already have a mix
> of MS/Apple/Linux in the school.  What I am worried about is starting
> back down the slippery slope to all desktop systems which is where
> this particular request is leading.  There is a history behind it (a
> little more about it below)
>> We set up 24 Imacs about 3 years ago and the slot load cd Imacs worked
>> fine with sound, usb sticks , flash. The tray load( this is an easy way
>> of distunguishing the different models), I could never get video to come
>> up right.I can not remember what model of video card these had. But that
>> has been about 4-5 versions ago of K12ltsp. The only reason we got rid
>> of these Imacs was the new Super "wanted all the PC's to look the same".
>> Go figure.
>> You may like the challenge of making these work,which is cool, but I
>> think I would just let her run with whatever she wants to use MAC
>> related and save yourself some grief ,down the road.
>> Let us know what transpires as things develop.
> That is why I am leery of Macs and PXE boot (netboot?). Actually, I am
> somewhat past enjoying the challenge of trying to make things work
> most days. I like stability and maintainability with no surprises.  I
> know I have to move to the latest K12Linux release for my servers
> which is about all the excitement I want in the near term.  I am
> rather certain that once we add this Mac lab there will be an
> immediate request for another laptop lab "because we have so many Macs
> already" (already heard that in the context of the existing Mac
> wireless lab).  The current financial situation is such that it might
> not happen but the school has been able to save so much money based on
> using K12LTSP that ironically funding is available to remove most of
> the thin clients.
> I'll definitely keep the list updated on what happens. There are some
> meetings (State level) to discuss thin clients as a possible
> state-wide model and moving from them to Macs right now at NCS would
> be devastating to that possibility.
> Sincerely,
> Dave Hopkins
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