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RE: [K12OSN] OT: Apple Imac lab



Dave,

Stick to your guns on the OO.o for the Macs, as I think that’s the big
slippery slope.  

You volunteer your time adminning the Linux boxes.  Adding this lab of Mac's
will add a significant amount of work to you.  What I don't understand is
why you agreed to take on that extra work.  

If I were you, I would drop a few "this is a LOT of work I am not sure I can
do on a volunteer basis... We may need to look at a support contract for all
these Macs..."  If you have a few quotes from Mac shops about supporting
that lab with comparable uptime to the LTSP system (is that 99.999 or
99.9999 uptime...), I think you will find a lot more traction for your side
of things.  Just make sure to spec the quotes correctly so that they have to
interface seamlessly with the existing servers, have the ability to netboot
as LTSP/Win workstation, and whatever else you can think of.  I strongly
suspect such a contract will cost many times more than the lab itself.   

---
Steven Santos
Director, Simply Circus, Inc.
 Email: Steven SimplyCircus com
  Mail: 14 Pierrepont Road
        Newton, MA 02462
 Phone: 617-527-0667
   Web: www.SimplyCircus.com 


> -----Original Message-----
> From: k12osn-bounces redhat com [mailto:k12osn-bounces redhat com] On
> Behalf Of David Hopkins
> Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2009 11:50 PM
> To: Support list for open source software in schools.
> Subject: Re: [K12OSN] OT: Apple Imac lab
> 
> Rob, and everyone else that has responded.
> 
> Thanks for vote of confidence on this.  I've read all the responses
> and I'll try to address them in this response.
> 
> > I think your argument above is very valid, and it should probably be
> your primary argument to the administration.  "I don't want to spend
> > money on Macs for a video lab, because I'm afraid we'll end up
> spending money on Macs in areas where they're not needed".
> 
> Yep ... biggest concern.  The discussion about 10% usage for
> video/audio is also valid but I learned some more details as well.
> There are some new state level standards (Web 2.0)  that dictate that
> students will learn video/audio packages (not sure why, it really
> feels like the 'must learn MS Office debate a decade ago and the must
> learn DBase approach I saw before that in Florida).  So, have to have
> the capability, somehow.  IF (and it is a big IF) I can get buy-in to
> make this a very restricted special case scenario the lab could
> approach.  That requires that there is a line drawn though. 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 ...
> 
> > The solution doesn't have to be "don't buy Macs for the video lab".
> The school could instead implement a "standard computer package",
> > probably based on LTSP, and require special authorization (and
> paperwork, expert witnesses, etc) to spend more.  That could help
> prevent
> > the slippery slope that you're concerned about, but it would also not
> lock out non-LTSP systems.
> 
> So far this has been done except that newer staff and adminstrative
> staff in particular coming in from the other schools aren't buying
> into thin clients quite as much. They acknowledge that the uptime
> statistics are phenomenal (less than 4 hours of downtime this year to
> this point and part of that was a power failure that took out the
> school) but then they say "We can do the same with Windows as well"
> which I'll admit can be done with a huge investment of resources. They
> also acknowledge the ease of use and ability to sit anywhere and work
> is also fantastic.  TeacherTool is very very popular as well.  Does it
> work with FC10?  I have to check.
> 
> Next topic: To address the central file server, authentication and
> such.  This is exactly the scenario I already use and have described
> before but I'll relist it here.  I have LDAP/Samba authentication
> (Thanks David Trask and Matt!) with a secondary authentication server
> as well, file server with channel bonded output to handle the load,
> channel bonding on my main backbone between switches (I forget the
> actual type off the top of my head but amer.com switches support
> linking multiple ports between switches) to further remove bandwidth
> issues, heavily loaded servers on a single 24 port GigE switch which
> removes switch-to-switch network traffic completely in many cases, 2
> Windows Terminal Servers, separate system to run backups (BackUPPC is
> EXCELLENT, thanks Les!), 6 LTSP servers running LTSP CentOS based,
> separate wireless network with filtering between it and the main
> network (firewalled), 200+ thin clients, 90+ printers.  It does just
> work.  All of this cost less than the estimated cost of retrofitting a
> single classroom to be the new Mac lab when you include the cost of
> the new Macs.
> 
> > I know you're a volunteer there, so maybe you're not in a position to
> impose that kind of approval system.  But you should probably suggest
> > it to the powers that be.
> 
> I'm lucky in this respect. I started volunteering at the school when
> the school consisted of the School Director and a secretary working
> out of an office at the YMCA during the planning phase.  I handled the
> IT since (with support from this list).  I have a lot of 'capital' to
> spend based on how things currently work. In fact, this Wednesday
> there is supposed to be a meeting as part of a truly independent task
> force requested by the new Governor to look at IT in the state. (The
> chairwoman isn't even from the state and has no vested interests to
> worry about) A representative from the task force  is coming to see
> how NCS "does IT" to determine if the model should be looked at as a
> possible solution state-wide.  I wrote a letter that has been sent to
> this task force (if you'd like a copy, let me know). Again, there are
> many people who participate in this list that deserve tremendous
> amounts of credit for how successful NCS's IT solution is.  I will
> absolutely be giving credit to everyone I can think of at this coming
> meeting.  What will be the outcome of the meeting? I honestly don't
> know. I do know that if we have to then say "but we can't meet current
> state standards" using it, then it won't be as effective.
> 
> Budget issues: There is tremendous resistance within parts of the DOE
> to going this route. Unfortunately for them, Delaware is looking at a
> 20% reduction in the state budget next year across the board and the
> new Governor is very open minded to new ideas and approaches.  This is
> the best chance I've seen in 8 years to really get some attention. And
> the timing of the Mac lab couldn't be worse?  But, everything works
> out in the end. I'm sure that will be the case here as well.
> 
> Again, thanks for all the different viewpoints and suggestions to my
> question.  They have been very helpful in letting me get a better
> handle on the multiple issues/concerns/approaches that exist.
> 
> Sincerely,
> Dave Hopkins
> 
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