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Old 09-30-2004, 01:53 PM   #1
Registered: Aug 2003
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A Modest Proposal

Hello All,
This is just something I noticed the other night typing an incredibly long research paper on my laptop running Suse (i keep all my school stuff in Linux because its much more reliable)... Why don't more schools use Linux? I mean to me it only makes sense. Here at Xavier they have laptops you can check out in the Library and student center. XP Pro... of course bogged down like hell with adware and spyware. Now these systems are susposedly just for acedemic use. Granted that Linux is so much more stable and if the system is set to boot into run level 5 with a link to a browser and maybe a gAIM link, and a version of openoffice that by default safes in .doc format. Now wouldn't that be good for the typical end user at campuses all around the country. Schools would pay less for IT fees, and maybe be able to drop tuition. There is really no way for a particularly nasty kid from screwwing up the system since he won't know the root password.

Let me know what you all think.

Old 09-30-2004, 02:42 PM   #2
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yeah. its a good point, but none of the schools seem to get it. "Well if its free, it cant be good," is thier response. Give it a shot though, see what you can get your school to do. Bring in a notebook with Linux installed, and every negitave response to it, fix before thier eyes. IE: "Well we dont want them to have to type commands", and you start up in runlevel 5, etc. Show them that it can get way easier than windows, to administrate and use. Thats one of the major setbacks Linux is facing, is that people think its only for IT geeks. Hell, bring in your grandmother and have her use it in front of them, if you think it will help =P
Old 09-30-2004, 04:22 PM   #3
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Old 09-30-2004, 06:43 PM   #4
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I used to sell into the Educational market, and used to ask ICT coordinators why they didn't consider Linux.

two points came up quite often.

The couldn't get support for it was the first one. Most IT teachers barely know one end of a PC from the other. They teach from guidance notes which have been produced about Windows and Office. What they don't understand, they get the pupils who do know to teach the rest of the kids. IT technicians (if there are any) are just as bad, they know everything about how to install software, but mention anything more complex that an ADSL router and they start staring into space.

Most schools have maintenance contracts with local companies, however, most IT service companies including big ones like RM, haven't got a clue about Linux. And more importantly, they don't want to know. Its going to be expensive to train a techie up in Linux, and what do you train them to do anyway - if there's no actual business, what's the point in training them?

The second point is that schools use a lot of specialist hardware and software. Things such as electronic whiteboards, digital presenters, projectors etc. All the software is only available in Windows format - as is all the old software! OK, so you could use Wine to make it work - but we all know Wine isn't up to being abused by 10 yrs olds yet!

Then you have licensing - a complete minefield - e.g. if a school is a charitable organization, they get their MS licenses for nothing! There goes your Linux is cheaper argument - add in the extra cost of support and you can see why they want to keep to the dark side!

... and that is what I learnt in school today!

F0ul_ Oli
Old 09-30-2004, 07:24 PM   #5
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shane25119, if you check out the IS major, all computer related classes deal in windows. Talk to most of the profs. and they will tell you they have heard of linux, but do not know much about it. They are supportive of you using linux, but all material has to be compatible in a windows format.
In Comp. Sci., you will be using a freebsd server with pine to hand in homework, so that is the closest you will come to a linux environment at school. The comp sci. profs. also will be supportive in your use of linux.
Go to the IT department and I think that all servers run some form of windows or another.
As f0ul_Oli said, they probably get a big discount on the OS. If you want to see any changes, go to the IT department and talk to them, Whether that will make a difference, I would say no, it wouldn't hurt to let them know.
I myself have not seen any students using linux(I thought I was the only one), but if there is enough support, then a change here or there might be possible.


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