Ian, what you are saying seems to make good sense to me.
For my part, though, I have only managed peer to peer Win98 to Linux via
Samba so far. This was a venture into a strange land in itself. Now linking
upto an RM/NT domain with global user logins starts to become a different
game. I have been reading all the technical posts on this site and thinking
that I want to to get stuck into this nightmare like I want a hole in my
Maybe the way forward that we are looking for is a distro that can
autoconnect you to the RM server. The option of easily connecting either OS
could keep a lot of people happy and appeals greatly.
What do you and people think? Is this possible? Could it be an easier option
than a full blown setup like www.bluelinux.org
are working on?
From: Ian [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 02 February 2002 11:08
Subject: Re: [suse-linux-uk-schools] Schools Linux distro
Hmm. But you wouldn't try XP on a couple of old
boxes and XPect much. Linux _will_ run on an old
machine. It will turn a redundant box into a very
useful bit of backend kit very happily (router, print
server, file server ect). Linux on the desktop, at
least in the sense that me and you want, will run on
something a little more up to date. I know exactly
what you are saying, BUT I no longer have a Windows
installation at home - which for me is very
significant. KDE is _so_ much better than the Windows
We have a Windows 2000 network with a pretty high spec server - dual
processors, 512 meg, SCSI RAID etc. As a bit of an experiment we gashed
together an AMD 450 with 256 meg using LTSP set up and stuck it on the
network using cygwin for a login. The perception was that it was quicker
the main server! Ok lot's of issues about like with like but it just goes to
show you can prove just about anything about anything if you want to.
I think Chris's idea is excellent and been
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?
(I tried Mandrake, and have come back to RedHat.
Mandrake messed me about with it's control centre
trying to set up my cable modem.
You must have been unlucky because my NTL conection worked frst time from
basic set up on installation without doing anything in control centre AFAIR.
There are some issues with Mandrake but then at least there is a choice!
It was probably me,
Nah, if it doesn't work its the suppliers fault by definition for not making
it fool proof :-)
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.
A lot of us are in similar positions. There's no
instant fix. Perseverance, and following up ideas such
as Chris', or working on projects such as Michael
Brown's. I'm locked into RM Connect here - so this
discussion could yield some results for me!
It doesn't have to be all or nothing. My line of argument goes like this.
If Open Source continues to be taken up world wide at the current rate its
only a matter of time, therefore those with no experience of it are putting
themselves in a very dangerous position (Scare them! MS, RM et. al do it
the time. Its just part of the marketing game)
It costs very little to set up a thin client server, put it on the network
and give access to those older machines you were going to throw out. Put
in say English and give them Word processing and Internet access which is
mainly what they will want. If they would have had nothing this is
better. We are not claiming perfection, only improvement.
> Additionally, There are quite a few killer apps
> 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.
But they already have machines running these so when they are needed you
don't want them blocked by kids doing a bit of WP. So you put lots of thin
clients around to do the basic WP Internet stuff on Linux and leave the rest
to do the other bits. Its bad management practice not to target resources at
the applications and there is an opportunity cost in using an expensive
machine for a trivial task.
> have been using XP on standalones for a while
> It represents a big move
> forward and so far is a very solid platform.
XP is not so different from 2000 - more expensive and the lower cost
can't be networked. My advice would be to use 2000 where you need MS stuff.
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.
Fair point. OpenOffice.org
is making good progress.
That's more exciting than SO6, although SO6 is fairly
exciting to be honest. I _really_ like the beta.
Even if Sun charge for this it will have to be substantially less expensive
than MS Office, in the longer term there is Open Office and with XML and
improved filters there will be many free or very low cost alternatives to
choose from. The key is breaking the current monopoly.
> Now, start to resist the urge to flame me at
> 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.
Look at it the other way round. If you had al your software free and someone
came a long and said I have a product that you can buy with loads of strings
attached and I'm sure your school will increase your budget to pay for it,
would you go for it :-) More like call the menin white coats.
> Pay a fair day's wage for a fair day's work and we
> might find some people
> prepared to get Linux moving.
Commercially for my company Linux is a far better bet than Windows. (We have
installed some pretty big Windows 2000 networks) Hopefully it will be a
little while before all the others cotton on and we will maintain our
competitive advantage ;-) If it was very obvious and easy everyone would
done it, but you get competitive advantage by doing the things others can't
I know it was a throw away phrase, but to be fair
Linux is moving very quickly. If you come away from
the linux news for a couple of months, then return,
there's been a whole load of significant improvements
in the software that we all use. The updates are quite
cheap too! The beauty is, that it's _not_ company
dependant. It _will_ happen.
Chris, you have
> already said that you are not
> going to work full time on this. Is anyone?
Probably not on that particular project, but on getting Linux at the desktop
into schools in general, its pretty full-time for me at present.
You don't have to go entirely for one operating system and around 400
secondary schools already use Linux alongside Windows in various capacities.
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