I`m only using Linuxc in the server/intranet capacity and would be happy to make it available on the desktop (though it would have to be as a dual boot with Windoze).This is prolly a faq-how would I stop the sabotage of a desktop by malicious hands. Can I achieve the equivalent of profiles and policies?
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What is algophobia a fear of?
Find out at schoolmaster.nethttp://answers.schoolmaster.net/quiz?id=168
On Mon, 19 Mar, Mr J W Philpott wrote:
> I've been sitting here looking at all the postings and have
> felt the stirings of an odd nostalgia, all the great
> arguments remind me of the Acorn lobby.
> On the other hand it took me a couple of hours to get Apache
> running on an WIN98 box.
Does Apache run on Windows? I thought it was Linux only??
Could I suggest you look at Navaho, for full Linux support.
> If I was foolish enough to want to go my own way, I would
> return to the sad old Acorns because they atleast worked
> straight out of the box.
They still do. And the boxes are MUCH faster than your 'sad
old A3000s' and much less prone to virus troubles than Wintel.
G M Locock, Network Manager
Bablake Junior School, Coundon Road, Coventry, UK, CV1 4AU
Tel: (+44) 24 7663 4052; Fax: (+44) 24 7663 3290
Web: http://www.bablakejs.co.uk Email: gml(a)bablakejs.co.uk
No need to duck the flames :-) You make some valid points, and after all
that's what we are all here for to see how this idea of open source in
schools can be pushed forward. In some ways- though I personally don't think
thin-clients are the way to go- you may find some solice in a thin-client
environment running Linux, and all that being managed by an external service
provider (such as *cough* Fen Systems ;-)
Linux *has* got a learning curve, but then all software has to varying
degrees. Technically, and I don't know him, I think your IT savvy friend
could probably take Linux home and work it all out within a couple of months
to the point of at least being capable in setting up various services (SAMBA
is a good place to start). You are right though- you need the time and
skills (some anyway) to make Linux work for you. Not every school will have
both (or any) of these and this *is* where consultants and commercial
solutions and support can really help.
I'm not sure if you have looked into managed solutions or even commercial
support services, but if the will to use Linux is there, there are certainly
solutions to your predicament!
>How easy do you think your job is going to be when >Microsoft continues on
their current plans to tie software >tightly to each piece of hardware.
Very good point indeed. With schools and governors and parents and teachers
all looking at the financial implications of ICT in their areas, wouldn't it
be interesting to cost the TCO of the .NET initiative- even as compared to
existing Microsoft network implementations? The MS .NET idea will absolutely
kill any ideas of there being a TCO issue with Linux, even considering all
the points raised so far.
Linux as a total network solution- managed *cough* or unmanaged ;-) is still
in the best interests of the nation as a whole and in particular schools and
not only because of its "price". The fact that XP will now make software and
hardware "proprietary" elements of the same coin means that it will be
expensive to set-up a XP scheme but also mean that licensing becomes more of
a burden, not less of a burden or expense. Linux provides great flexibility
in licensing (the best) and the source code to boot. Open source/free
software means that schools would have control not only over licensing (what
licensing?) but also over the actual code to the OS and all applications
associated with it. If this isn't a financially victorious argument, then it
most certainly is an ethical one.
If schools wish to tie themselves up in the new MS scheme of licensing (and
the existing one) and limit not only their freedom in software but also
their freedom in hardware, then there is something fundamentally wrong with
the way that the school is run and the IT knowledge of the teachers in
question- not of the open source solutions offered.
The real issue is not which is best (though that is also a lost cause where
Windows is concerned) but which offers freedom to innovate and expand and
utilise. Linux does, and Windows doesn't.
Again, my humble opinion- and that isn't to say I am right and all else
wrong, its just something I've observed and studied!
"Because we are successful, we're allowed to innovate"
Bill Gates, .TV Interview
How did they get successful then?
At a meeting of UKUUG council last Thursday, I raised the question of
OS(I)E and it's likely relationship to UKUUG. Council was happy for a
voluntary schools' association to be affiliated to UKUUG without the need
for formal membership of UKUUG on behalf of its members.
As I stated last Monday, I believe that such an affiliation is essential,
not least because of the dangers of destructive competitive and commercial
I shall circulate more detailed thoughts on this shortly.
SuSE Linux Ltd
The Kinetic Centre
020 8387 1482
just to make a change from the current thread on the mailing list, to be
renamed fensystems-linux-schools-marketing :-)
i am currently investigating offering a training course to be combined with
meeting/conference, all at cost, maybe over two/three days at a UK
i am concious that UKUUG already have the summer conference, which isnt
appropriate for schools,(more users than developers). so some thoughts please:
- possible dates, July seems good?
- what training, i have some great material for schools from the US that i'd
love to use as the basis for teaching. Workshops for beginners,
intermediates, advanced seem also possible ?
- also to find the opportinity for further discussions
- what is the role of the commercial companies.
given the debate during this week, we need to thing about the role of the
commercial companies, small or large and the way in which the membership can
Red Hat Europe
t: +44 1483 734955 m: +44 7720 079845
On 19 Mar 2001, Philip Hands wrote:
> > StarOffice will import and export MS Office files. You can also give
> > StarOffice to students and staff to use at home.
> Sorry to be pedantic about this but, StarOffice is not Open Source
> Software. Given that OSIE is about promoting Open Source/Free
> Software, I don't think we should really be encouraging people to use
> software that doesn't actually qualify?
> OK, so there is supposed to be Open Office in the wings, about to take
> over from Star Office, so people will argue that StarOfiice, and
> similarly Netscape, are almost free enough, and are about to be
> replaced by things that do qualify, so we shouldn't worry about it.
A large proportion of StarOffice is open source (in the form of
OpenOffice). I am happy to assume that OpenOffice will soon reach the
same state of usability as StarOffice, and think that in the meantime
there is no harm in promoting StarOffice. If OpenOffice did not exist
then it would be a different situation.
As for Netscape: there are many open source alternatives that are of
similar or better quality. I know for a fact that Mandrake have not
upgraded to Netscape 6 and will be ditching Netscape 4 as soon as a couple
of memory footprint issues are worked out of Mozilla - I presume other
distributions are doing likewise.
> Personally, I'd argue that neither Star Office, nor Netscape, are of a
> quality that one could be proud of,
I've never had any problems with StarOffice - it certainly isn't any worse
than MS Office (which is the 'standard' against which it is going to be
measured by most people). Netscape 4 is a horrible browser, but I am very
impressed with Netscape6/Mozilla's Gecko rendering engine - what do you
find wrong with it?
> If there is not a viable Free Software alternative for something, then
> perhaps we should concentrate on promoting Free Software where it is
> ready, or perhaps on helping to ensure that the almost viable
> alternatives come to fruition.
Unfortunately, if you decide to "wait until it's ready" then you can end
up waiting forever, because there is always something new being developed
that will bring massive enhancements. KDE - supermount - KDE2 - CUPS -
OpenOffice - Mozilla - SAP - XFS - the nature of the beast is that there
will always be exciting projects still in a development phase. At some
point you have to say "let's go with what we've got now" and accept that
you will have to wait a few months for extra features 1, 2 and 3, because
if you wait until features 1, 2 and 3 are released then you will find some
new must-have features 4, 5 and 6 that will have just started development!
The cycle never ends.
Fen Systems Ltd.
On 19 Mar 2001, Philip Hands wrote:
> > LyX.
> > Use it once and you'll wonder why on Earth word processors were even
> > invented.
> After your enthusing about it at the meeting, I thought I'd give it
> another look (I generally use Xemacs & LaTeX as my ``word processor'' ;-)
> Anyway, I find that I cannot install it here, because it's non-free
> software, since it relies on the non-free Xforms library (which is
> non-free because its source is not available).
>  we are an exclusively Free Software house at Alcove.
Try KLyX - AFAIK it uses QT instead of Xforms. You may find a couple of
bugs relating to entering Greek characters - if so then I can send you the
The LyX people are currently working on GUI independence - I think this
would be a worthwhile project to contribute to if anyone has the time and
Fen Systems Ltd.
OK I heared the arguments...
I largely agree with the arguments...
But I think the arguments are not about the issues
which others....and yes, myself too...feel are the
necessary ones to consider.
I have no problem with Star Office....neither would
others. I have no problem wih K desktop....
I agree - we are 'Educating' not training....
Pupils need to use current MS tools NOW - not just when
they leave school...in many other subject areas
You only need to take one look at programs like
'crocodile physics, technology, chemistry' to be
converted. They are simply fantastic compared to
anything (are there isn't much) to satisfy CAL.
The 'control' programs for Data logging....all require
Publisher (....and I hate it....much prefer my Acorn
copy of !Style) is everywhere...integrates very nicely
with other MS packages (just as well because it
doesn't have much else going for it) but it simply doesn't
have a convenient way of transfering material to LINUX
I might well migrate by NT servers to LINUX...
I might well change my Netscape proxy server to LINUX (although I've
never managed to get the MS proxy client software (winsock proxy)
to work with anything but MS server).
I might change my Email server to LINUX...especially as its the
same box as my proxy.
I certainly run Xserver clients on my PCs to give access to
a differen't OS....a multiuser OS....
I use telnet and introduce some C programming as a change
to Visual Basic (again....nothing anywhere near as good for LINUX..
and yes, I'd be first to agree that VB has its problems)
You could use CITRIX to deliver MS interface to LINUX clients...but
I'd say that was only to be resorted too when really necessary. Sound
and moving graphics are pretty slow, and CITRIX is expensive. A Terminal
Server Client for LINUX would be attractive but I can't see MS doing/Allowing
Add to that the dearth of 'cheap' (sorry) LINUX capable technicians,
the dearth of teaching staff that have any familiarity with LINUX (in fact
there is dearth of IT capable staff) and the
desktop battle is lost - except for niche schools and or workstations
within a school.
Head of Computing
> I still find this philosophy puzzling. Given that schools ICT involves
> providing systems for people who, in the main, are several years away from
> full-time employment, why do some schools feel it necessary to restrict
> themselves to the systems in use by businesses today?
I am following this thread with interest as someone who uses Linux myself at
home and at school, but has stuck *largely* to Microsoft products for most
teaching purposes. What follows is a Linux v. Microsoft argument of the
sort I'm sure most of you have seen repeatedly.
I don't feel restricted: I use lots of products. But if we succeed in
educating students to use computers, that implies doing coursework in a
whole range of disciplines in school. Key skills and all that?
We have two philosophies: those who want to integrate IT into school life,
where ease of use is paramount; and those who want to prepare for an
uncertain future where it's important to look at alternatives. Given this
is a linux-based thread, the latter predominates this group.
The problem is simple: most schools don't have time to do both; some don't
have enough time or money to do one as well as they'd wish.
The decision to base most instruction on particular products is a pragmatic
one for many schools. Students wish to work at home, at school, and
transfer files about. I work in a boarding school where significant numbers
of pupils bring machines into school. We looked at Acorns, Macs, PCs as
possible platforms, and came down on the PC side precisely because parents
can provide Windows/Office at home. This was of course well before Linux
became a viable alternative... However I have some students with Macs and
Linux machines, and that's no problem. They know what's going on and are
capable of transforming disks and files from format to format.
However the lumpenproletariat prefer to stay firmly on the shore (rocky or
The arguments over Office compatibility are spurious. Yes, Star office can
read MS office files. However that doesn't extend to making sense of
embedded objects like charts and graphs, making the exchange between the
two much less suitable for serious use. [no doubt someone will tell me I'm
wrong in this and I just don't know how to do it properly. Please do!]
Now for the 'years away from employment' argument. No: some students will
leave school and go straight into using IT seriously. We don't have time to
teach to professional standards (how acceptable are ECDL and CLAIT or a
GCSE?) but what experience such students pick up at school can make a
Most Universities expect pupils to arrive with sufficient skills to use
machines from the moment they arrive. Yes, many more universities use
Unix, but we are still referring to basic abilities rather than technical
skills. There is just as much reason to teach someone word-processing
using MS Word as any other package. Reasons for teaching generic
word-processing should not be seen as bashing any one particular product.
If you argue that we should not use industry-standard products you are on
shaky ground: I have used Word in particular since version 1 and it's
recognisably the same product. It's unlikely to change significantly in its
next iterations (as far as most users are concerned). I realise exactly the
same argument appies to *any* of the popular word-processors. I believe
experience my students pick up at the age of 14-16-18 *will* impinge on the
early parts of their careers in business or at University.
If you deny that, you are saying we might as well use Wordwise on a BBC.
</troll> The argument surely isn't about 'industry standard' it's about the
functionality and compatibility of product A against product B?
There, I feel better now. Feel free to pile in!
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