Roger Whittaker <roger(a)suse-linux.co.uk> writes:
> I've just subscribed various people to the list - please post a
> message to say hello and introduce yourselves.
If you were at the meeting, I was wearing a Debian t-shirt (with a red
swirl logo on it) --- there's a photo at the top of this article,
where I'm wearing similar stuff (except for the penguin ;-)
I'm a Debian GNU/Linux developer, and run the UK Debian mirror, and am
responsible for producing the Debian official CD images:
I have only a peripheral interest in educational matters, in that I've
been frustrated in the past in my efforts to provide free computers
(which were otherwise destined for a skip), but I can certainly
contribute on a technical side, and having been involved in Debian
(which is completely voluntary, like OSIE is expected to be) since
1996 I may be able to make some suggestions about how to ``organise''
such a thing.
For those of you who've not come across Debian before, we're a
world-wide voluntary organisation (read, chaotic jumble of mailing
lists) that puts together a Linux distribution (and soon a HURD
distribution) and gives it away.
Debian doesn't pay people to do this, and doesn't sell what it
produces, and in most legal senses doesn't really exist (i.e. the
machines in the mirror network mostly belong to people like me, rather
than to Debian, and the bandwidth is donated rather than paid for).
This probably gives a pretty good feel for what Debian is all about:
which you will notice leads into the The Debian Free Software
Guidelines (DFSG), which is where the Open Source Definition came from.
My internet machine, that hosts the Debian UK mirror, may be of use to
OSIE, since it has about 30GB of spare disk, and a 20Mbit/s connection
at a well connected ISP. This machine could act as either a primary
host or mirror site for the web site, and could do DNS secondarying
etc. as well.
Something I'd be interested in working on (although perhaps a SuSE
list is not the right place to spend too much time discussing this ;-)
would be producing Debian CD images, tuned to the needs of educational
Debian has accumulated some funds in the UK, and have been looking for
a worthwhile cause to spend them on (we never really need to pay for
anything that actually makes Debian work, so don't have much use for
money), so we could probably afford to have a few thousand CDs
pressed, and send them out to schools that are interested.
Say no to software patents! http://petition.eurolinux.org/
Philip Hands. +44 (0)20 7744 6244 philip.hands(a)uk.alcove.com
Alcove UK --- Liberating Software --- http://www.alcove.com/http://www.hands.com/ phil(a)hands.com http://www.uk.debian.org/
thought this might be of interest to some of you :-
> Subject: Microsoft and the British Government - Possible Anti-Competitive Behaviour
> Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001 15:04:20 +0100
> From: alanh(a)bryngwyn.carmarthen.sch.uk
> To: Erkki.Liikanen(a)cec.eu.int
> I write regarding the current negotiations between the British
> Government and Microsoft in which, to date, Microsoft have been awarded
> a contract to supply the National Health Service with some 60 Million
> (£)'s worth of software licenses.
> I would be grateful if you could inform me of the current state of the
> anti-competition investigation being undertaken by the EU against
> Microsoft, as it appears that more such deals (like that for the NHS)
> are in the pipeline. As the commisioner with responsibility for the
> Information Society I am sure that you are well aware of the potential
> for damage being created by such actions.
> Many Thanks
> Subject: RE: Microsoft and the British Government - Possible Anti-Competit ive Behaviour
> Date: Sun, 9 Dec 2001 14:08:31 +0100
> From: Erkki.Liikanen(a)cec.eu.int
> To: alanh(a)bryngwyn.carmarthen.sch.uk
> CC: Mario.Monti(a)cec.eu.int, Marc.Van-Hoof(a)cec.eu.int, Olli.Rehn(a)cec.eu.int, Per.Haugaard(a)cec.eu.int
> Dear. Mr. Harris,
> I pass your letter to my colleague Mario Monti and his cabinet. He is
> responsible for this issue.
> But still, during investigation I don't believe much more can be said what
> has been in public.
> with best regards
> Erkki Liikanen
> Mr. Erkki Liikanen
> Member of the Commission
> tel. +32-2-295.79.57
> fax +32-2-295.85.61
> secretary; kirsi.larjava(a)cec.eu.int
> tel. +32-2-295.14.40
There may be hope for all of us then?
Tel : 01554 750661
Fax : 01554 758255
1. The contents of this email may be snooped on by
interested government parties for unknown purposes!
Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, 2000.
2. The opinions expressed in this email are personal
and may not be shared by Bryngwyn School.
I have been experimenting with a copy of Mandrake that I downloaded from
their site a couple of weeks ago. When you install, it gives you a dozen
options - network server, network client, games machine, office machine etc
I can't say that the server client set-up that I am running on a pair of old
K6's is doing that well. I like the potential idea and haven't given up yet.
The Sun website is keen to tell us that are releasing Gnome ver 2 and Star
Office ver 6 in the Spring.
I think Chris's idea is excellent and been toying with the idea of
approaching Mandrake about similar myself, anyway. I don't have any
experience of Red Hat but they seem to have a good record for corporate
support. What are Suse thinking Roger?
Not being too negative though, I think, we will probably look to be
installing XP because of the number of existing Windows based licences that
we have and the resident level of staff training that we possess throughout.
I include in this, all the staff nervously working through their NOF courses
on their new machines that their spent hard earnt cash upon as well as our
gap filling KS3 part timers.
Additionally, There are quite a few killer apps that I don't think we could
live without and quite a few departments have invested large amounts of
budget into resource CD's and windows based curriculum support software. We
have been using XP on standalones for a while now. It represents a big move
forward and so far is a very solid platform.
I have reservations too, about Sun Microsystems making a monoploly of my
network and taking over where Microsoft left off either. I wouldn't want to
invest curriculum development and good time into possibly buggy and soley
office based moves forwards either.
Now, start to resist the urge to flame me at this point, please. I am on
your side, really. I would love for Linux to succeed at a school level but I
don't mind paying Bill Gates if it makes my life easier. If I sweat and work
against the flow, upset staff and departments, all I will get for showing
the LEA and the Head that we can survive on less money is a budget
reduction. Not much incentive really, is it.
Pay a fair day's wage for a fair day's work and we might find some people
prepared to get Linux moving. Chris, you have already said that you are not
going to work full time on this. Is anyone? Will a slick system arrive in
time for me not to install XP. I have my doubts. If I can help in a small
way, though, I am happy to help you.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
It's a long story, but basically I have been increasing annoyed with RM
recently. Therefore, I would like to create a Linux distribution which works
in a similair manner to RM connect. What do people think of these proposals?
I can't guaranteee that it's going to happen or quickly (I'm busy with school
and developing KDE), but if some people want to help as well, then it just
Linux distribution plan
Schools, colleges, universities
To provide a simple to install and administer networking system, which works
in a mildly similair manner to RM Connect. Except it actually works (and has
decent security), and is based on free software (GNU/Linux).
By simply booting a machine with a boot floppy, it should be easy to install
Linux on to the macine, after just asking a few questions such as the
hostname to use, and the kind of mouse that the box has.
A Linux distribution based on Red Hat 7.2 would be created. The main reason
that Red Hat is suggested is because it can be installed based around the
Kickstart installation system, which enables an administrator to stored the
installer settings in a configuration file, rather than needing to sit in
front of the computer and tend to the the installation every time a question
The distribution will:
* Be mainly based on KDE, but provide Blackbox for older hardware (486s and
slow Pentiums). There is a possibility that GNOME could be provided as well,
but I prefer KDE, and know very little about how GNOME works.
Stuff like Kylix and Open Office will also be provided.
On the server side, CUPS would be used for the printing system and all
machines will have ext3 formatted hard discs.
* Have a central administration databases where:
- User names and groups are managed
- Print and disc quotas are managed
- Software can be allocated to a machine/group of machines
- The central configuration files are located
* On booting up a machine, a system service will check with the server hosting
the administrative database whether any software has been
allocated/deallocated. If so, it will be downloaded via apache and installed
locally, or removed, as appropriate. However, some larger software such as
Open Office might want to live permanently on the server.
If any configuration files (e.g. /etc/host or similair) have been modified,
the updated versions would be downloaded. Perhaps CVS could be used here.
* A database such as NIS would probably be used for the administrative
* Upon loggin in (via kdm) the system would map the user's home directory on
the server to the /home/user directory on the user name. NFS or SMB are
* There will be some user based administrative tools. This will allow the user
to change his/her password via a web browser. There will also be an
information page showing stuff like information about disc/print quotas.
It will also be possible to define the desktop menus (e.g. KMenu) that will
appear on the user's desktop. This will be based around .desktop files, and a
utility will convert these files to Blackbox menus so that the menu is kept
consistent between different desktops.
A web based e-mail system could be used to integrate with the IMAP mail
* The server side would consist of the following pieces of software:
- IMAP e-mail server
* It will be possible to customise the desktop to default levels. For
instance, by most KDE configuration files will be held in a globally readable
directory (perhaps in /usr or /etc). Therefore ~/.kde will be mostly read
KDE's architecture makes it very easy to provide configuration files based on
Cheers, Chris Howells -- chris(a)chrishowells.co.uk, howells(a)kde.org
Web: http://chrishowells.co.uk, PGP key: http://chrishowells.co.uk/pgp.txt
KDE: http://www.koffice.org, http://edu.kde.org, http://usability.kde.org
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.0.6 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: For info see http://www.gnupg.org
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
The latest issue of New Scientist [2nd Feb 2002] has a very interesting
article on Open Source. The lovely thing is that it is the very first
magazine article they have ever released under a copyleft [i.e. an Open
For this reason you don't need to buy a copy of New Scientist. Go to
http://www.newscientist.com/hottopics/copyleft to download the article.
Nigel Pauli - I.T. Manager
St. John's School, Northwood, U.K.
--- SILCOATSIT(a)aol.com wrote:
> Floppy I wish I could get that option to work, It
> goes don't want to play 8-(
Hmm. I know what you mean (I think). I had trouble -
the clients kept saying 'Non-system boot disk' or
would get stuck very early on. Two things:
1) I reverted to new disks - much better.
2) I think the floppy drive in my server wasn't A1, so
I used another machine. It kept making useless disks.
I used another machine - sorted.
The command is:
cat /image_to_use > /dev/fd0
Some sites left out the ">", but I put it in, as
recommended by other sites.
Do You Yahoo!?
Great stuff seeking new owners in Yahoo! Auctions!
> -----Original Message-----
> is it worth organising another workshop in Sandwell ? try to make it
> free, bring you own servers and clients and see what we can
> get working?
What workshop is this in Sandwell? Is this the sandwell in the Midlands?
I could be interested in attending this...
--- SILCOATSIT(a)aol.com wrote:
> Interested in how you are booting the clients, is it
> a bootrom of the nic or a floppy?
> (who can't get a client to boot yet)
Floppy. (I know, I know). But heh, it works.
Do You Yahoo!?
Great stuff seeking new owners in Yahoo! Auctions!