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Re: [K12OSN] OT: Apple Imac lab

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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.
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