Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (4633 mails)

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[opensuse] Linux in Public Schools
  • From: "Greg Freemyer" <greg.freemyer@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2007 11:26:08 -0500
  • Message-id: <87f94c370701220826i3b0c48bdrd425fcd1bfe15b69@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On 1/20/07, StephenW <winstephen@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
As the original poster perhaps I should have added a bit of explaination for
posting. So, I shall.

I also work as a technical support person in an educational setting that is
moving away from a "mixed platform" to a Windows only scenario. The mixed
platform came about way back when the local school had choice. The district in
now in charge of all hardware decisions. I began two years ago working with
Mac (OS 8.0 thru 10.3.8) and Windows (95 thru WindowsXP SP2). Thanks be that
in the last year the decision was made that I am no longer expected to keep
everything working. What is left are the Macs running 9.2 or better and only
the machines running XP - eventually all Macs are scheduled for replacement.

I doubt I need to go into the problems I face working with machines that come
with the user having administrator privileges... and even worse not being able
to remove them because some of the programs need those privileges to function.
This is especially onerous when teachers go away and leave computers running in
that mode and students have access - you can guess some of the consequences.

I keep looking for OSS programs that will do the same thing as the MS based
programs and have installed a couple of them (e.g., Firefox and OpenOffice). I
am afraid it is a losing battle since more and more companies are only writting
educational software for Mac or MS. One example is seen in our district
deciding to install ActivBoards in every classroom in the district (a
multi-million dollar action). It is a great piece of technology but more
firmly locks the sytem to MS (or Mac). Not to mention the use of SmartWeb and
Excent (online tools for teachers' records and reporting) written specifically
for Windows - and jury rigged to function somewhat on a Mac. Look as I may
there is no way this kind of software can be countered.

It appears that in spite of my desire to see OSS make more inroads it is not
going to happen in the desktop application arena.

Or, there any clout in a group like this to do anything - except solve our own
problems in our own little worlds?


PS I am still a novice in my pursuit of understanding and using linux -
including lists such as this. The one LUG in my area fell apart sometime ago.
I need to look about to see if they have been revived.


The Atlanta Public School systems has allowed at least one school to
totally drop MS and go with Linux thin clients instead. IIRC, most of
the apps run on Linux Servers thus significantly reducing IT support


for a good posting about it. FYI: ALE is my LUG.

If you want to know more details I suggest you google "Daniel Howard
Atlanta" and you will find a couple of news articles written about his

Also, many of his other postings to the ALE list are relevant:

Greg Freemyer
The Norcross Group
Forensics for the 21st Century
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