Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-edu (146 mails)

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RE: [suse-linux-uk-schools] OSE Conference

firstly, i would apologise to all Acorn Users, i now know where you all are

and also, 'no headteacher got fired for buying RM'


Dr Malcolm Herbert
Head of Technology R&D, Becta
02476 847126 Mob: 07801 612438

-----Original Message-----
From: Nick Drage [mailto:nick-drage@xxxxxx]
Sent: 11 July 2000 16:43
To: Schools List
Subject: Re: [suse-linux-uk-schools] OSE Conference


Frank Shute wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 10, 2000 at 11:17:31PM +0100, Adrian Wells wrote:
> >
> > Phillip Deackes wrote...
> > No one in management (without technical expertise) is ever going to put
> > arse on the line and plump for something that's free (must be a catch)
> > against something that's over priced (must be great). After all, if NT
> > over and the payroll is late, he is blameless 'cus half the world has
> > paid through the nose for the same kit, and they MUST be right, mustn't
> > they, because they wouldn't waste money?
> Management has yet to understand that it has to invest in people;
> investing in crumby software, expensive hardware and even crumbier
> employees is a waste of money. Management are beginning to realise
> it...the problem is that they're like a herd of dinosaurs with their
> very small brains, slow reflexes and a rather pathetic follow the
> leader attitude.

You have to give "Management" some sympathy though, in the same way that
"no-one ever got fired for buying IBM" in the same way "no-one ever got
fired for buying Microsoft"..... however the point to make is that
no-one ever got promoted for buying Microsoft either.

> > Philip is right, what we need are case histories, .....
> There won't be any case histories until managers/headmasters realise
> that there needs to be a paradigm shift from the old `spend lots of
> money on software/hardware approach'.
> At the moment, they're unable to contemplate spending a significant
> portion of their budget on either technical staff who know what
> they're doing or outsourcing their IT requirements to anybody other
> than RM.

I forget the name of the gentleman in charge but even my goldfish like
memory knows about Powys Council, and I don't really follow the
news-wires, even the Linux ones. So if "Management" wants to get on the
map, there's an incentive.

> > actual examples of how to do things, but not with Mickey-mouse
> > bits of software (I don't mean that the software is Mickey-mouse
> > in it's execution (pun intended) but in it's suitability, 15
> > different e-mail programs is of no use,
> Just because there are 15 different email clients doesn't mean that
> you have to use them all nor all the different MTAs for that matter.

Good point, sendmail is a very powerful tool, in the same way that a
Chieftain tank is a very powerful vehicle. However, if you want to go
to the shops, you tend to drive something smaller - no reason to try and
deal with a big scary MTA if something smaller and simpler will do the
job you need. That's the beauty of Linux / Unix / etc., there is always
more than one way of solving a problem.

> > I want one that is smooth, seamless and effortless) - "we give our
> > kids crappywrite for word-processing and if they don't like it
> > tough" ain't good enough, sorry but we need appropriate,
> > world-class software and it's a fact of life that Word is that
> > [never yet seen WordPerfect work properly on a windows platform
> > (may be great on LINUX)].
> Word is NOT a world class piece of software - TeX is. Wordperfect
> works fine on Linux and Windows, my mother has used it for years on
> both...and dos; sounds like you're having problems with the platform.

Haven't used TeX but I'd just like to second the point about Word. As
will all Linux mailing lists it's best to avoid turning it into a gripe
about "our friends from Redmond", however due to lack of backwards and
forwards compatability with Word I wouldn't call it "world class".

> > The sad truth is that world-class software, that meets international
> > standards of exchange and the demands of business comes at a price -
> You obviously haven't been using linux for very long or you would
> realise that world class software does not necessarily come at a
> price. What's `international standards of exchange'? Do you mean the
> ability to exchange and read files? If so Microsoft software meets
> none of them.

Proof of the universal capability and strength of Linux / Unix can be
found from the ISP arena, if anyone needs the elusive "five nines
reliability" they do.


> > So how is LINUX going to assure management of it's capability, and
> > business that it will not mean the end of the (capitalist) world?
> As I mentioned, they're herd animals and they'll follow once they
> realise that the sky wont fall in on them. We just have to keep up
> the pressure. I and others are not proposing to end the capitalist
> world, I just want to make a decent living out of linux.

Heh, sorry, but I think a lot of us are hoping to make a decent living
out of Linux, hopefully a very decent living. It's just a case that
there's a "win win" attitude, I can put some effort in for nothing to
help out other people, and in return other people will help me when the
opportunity comes. You don't expect to put in a great deal of effort
for no return, you just don't charge for everything by the hour.

> > PS. I'm installing a LINUX server into one of our prep schools over the
> > summer! :-)
> Good luck! If you need a hand and you're anywhere near me, let me
> know.

Actually Phil, you're local to me aren't you?

High heels are a device invented by a woman who was tired of
being kissed on the forehead.

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