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Old 08-06-2005, 09:28 PM   #1
aysiu
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Linspire possibly putting Linux in Schools


People can hate on Linspire all they want. Linspire could possibly give Linux the breakthrough it needs in America--schools:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1844695,00.asp

Even if it's just getting people comfortable with the KDE interface and Linux in general, Linspire would be doing desktop Linux in general a great favor.
 
Old 08-06-2005, 11:42 PM   #2
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Good stuff, and about time.

its only to be expected that schools are gonna try out a Corporate distro first, simply because they NEED to know that they will recive any need support for their applicatons, and becasue if your gonna teach linux to kids, you need a frienly linux to do it with. Id rather see them using slackware, but the point is that they are setting a precident by using a non-ms os. Im sure their experiment will go better than they could have ever hoped, as long as they stick with it long enough to give it a fair chance

Last edited by XavierP; 08-07-2005 at 12:06 PM.
 
Old 08-07-2005, 04:04 AM   #3
XavierP
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Kahless - nice. Do you want to edit out the Corporate...... comment please.
 
Old 08-07-2005, 11:18 AM   #4
aysiu
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If they didn't use a "Corporate" distro, how would they get all those computers set up? Hire you?

This is what Slackware's website says about support:
We provide installation support and limited technical support to our users through email as well as phone. If you need a wider range of support options, you should consider a third-party technical support company. These companies offer a wide range of support options, including standard phone support and support contracts..

Schools and corporations don't want that. They want a company itself backing the product. If it wasn't Linspire, it would have been Novell or Red Hat.

Last edited by XavierP; 08-07-2005 at 12:07 PM.
 
Old 08-07-2005, 12:11 PM   #5
jaketate
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Well considering Linspire is not that big of a operation I can only see the rollout being handled internally by the school system OR by a third-party contracted team. I dont think being dependant on any one company is EVER a good idea. There is no guarantee that any corporate linux will be able to stay in business and looking at past track records I would have to say it doesnt look good. So I think a third-party contracted support may be the wisest and at least with a non-corporate distro it will either be around for a long time (debian,slack) or even if the distro does disappear you will have everything needed to provide it on your own so you never have to worry about them closing up shop and taking something you need. I would also point out that some corporations/governments have chosen debian recently as their distro of choice, if I am not mistaken! I can only think they would go this route because they are completely free by going with a non-corporate distro. Now something like Libranet which is a "easy" distro but still pretty much "free" (freedom) and very debian compatible might would of been a excellent choice. I only mention Libranet as a example, I am sure there are otehrs. And Ubuntu may have been a good choice especially if mark? would really like to move linux to the mainstream... Just my thoughts....
 
Old 08-07-2005, 02:02 PM   #6
CloudyWizzard
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You might have some good poinst Jake but remember these are schools and companies.
Going with Debian GNU/Linux or any other distro might be "better" from your point of view but a standard Debian installation and setup would take longer then a Linspire setup (about 10 minutes per system) and most needed stuff is already installed. so for a school or company with a large amount of workstations Linspire (or any other commercial distro with a fast intstaller) would be a better choice. And there is offcourse the support isue, Companies don't like to depend on a "community" of people to do tech support, they want a company (person) they can hold responsible and who they can contact to do their support. (Hence why there is the RedHat enterprise and others).
 
Old 08-07-2005, 02:49 PM   #7
XavierP
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Also, we have to consider the learning curve. In many schools the teacher and teacher's helper may be merely "assigned" the subject, they won't necessarily be subject matter experts.

Double clicking on CNR is a lot more simple that even the ./configure and so on.

Also, what are the pcs being used for? If it's just word processing, email, browsing the Linspire is ideal - set it up quickly (and rebuild quickly if necessary) and the look and feel is similar to Windows.
 
Old 08-07-2005, 03:05 PM   #8
CloudyWizzard
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Quote:
Also, what are the pcs being used for? If it's just word processing, email, browsing the Linspire is ideal
Well I don't know how it is now, but when I was in highschool (about 8-9 years ago) the only think we learned was basic MS-DOS (was before the Windows 95 hype ) and some simple Shell that had some simple programs. not realy much. The most advanced was "programming" and that was basically giving a "car" the commands to move forward,left,right,back and stuff like that.
So I guess a Linspire PC would be ideal for stuff like that, offcourse if they want to run a server they are better with a server oriented distro.
 
Old 08-07-2005, 04:08 PM   #9
XavierP
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Hehe - we learned BASIC on VIC20s and Commodore 64s and BBC Micros. But yeah, Linspire for basic desktop stuff teaching and Debian/Slack/RH/Novell or whatever for the server. Of course, if they are looking to have a full blown Linux network I'd hope they'd have a decent server admin to look after it all.
 
Old 08-07-2005, 04:20 PM   #10
jaketate
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Well I feel like synaptic is as easy as other distros single click installers, yes it is more steps (3 clicks or so) but still AS easy. With synaptic you can sit up your own repsitory and have ONLY known working packages and restrict what users install or dont install. Is there some way to stop student1 from downloading and running the latest games via CNR?

You can also setup a apt-cache so each package is only downloaded from the net ONE time and then on it is on the cache machine and pulled from there. That would certainly be a boon instead of 100 students all of a sudden clogging the schools internet pipe each downloading the same package via CNR or some other packager.

I dont see the initial installation as the big problem. Hopefully it is a one time thing. It sure would be if it was debian, since you can apt upgrades! Can you cnr upgrades? I can see that 10min install losing the advantage when you have to do it for every upgrade. Of course it is also possible to script debian and create your own install. So you could create a 'yourschool' theme along with it. So many more options with debian.

Of course my main point was that by going with a corporate distro they are at least somewhat tied to that distro and should it close doors then they have almost nothing. The other point was about 'support' being better with a corporate distro and while that MAY be the case (arguable case) the fact is once again if that company closes shop then that 'support' also ceases. I think instead of paying for the corporate support you would hire a linux guru that could provide all the tweaking you need to make sure the distro provides you with exactly what you want.

But I am positive that linspire will be working VERY hard on making this a success so they will probably go out of there way to make sure this flys! So may go off without a hitch!

How will the schools deal with all of them running as root to make sure all software operates properly?

Oh btw debian was just a example, certainly nothing that cannot be applied to most non-corporate distros as well and even some corporate ones or at least corporate backed.

needless to say I will be watching closely
 
Old 08-07-2005, 04:39 PM   #11
XavierP
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You've probably also got some kind of back room deal going on - Linspire gets tested in the schools (probably for 'free') and then finds it's way onto either the rest of the school network or into the local government network.

But, if it gets Linux out there, I'm all for it. I'd rather have the students say "Linspire is too easy an limited, I'm going to get Debian/Slack/whatever" than say "Linux is too haaaaaard! It sucks".
 
Old 08-08-2005, 03:30 AM   #12
CloudyWizzard
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Quote:
Originally posted by jaketate
How will the schools deal with all of them running as root to make sure all software operates properly?
Dunno, but maybe they don't even care. Remember they come from the Windows world and before NT there was no big difference between User/Admin on windows and it's only since SP2 that Windows is becomming more strict about it.
Everybody I know who run XP runs it as Admin. and the people who have 2 kids have 4 acounts (2 for the parents and 2 for the kids) ALL setup as Admin.
When I was in school (last 2 years) we had to use some software to design print-board (electronics) and that was done on Windows (think it was 98) machines. We NEVER got any restriction in using it. I was even given the password to the "Digiac" (learning system) program so I could fix it if another student made a mistake (I could even change their grades if I wanted).
So I guess they don't care about security as much as the average Linux user
 
Old 08-08-2005, 10:34 AM   #13
jaketate
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I would find it hard to believe that a school wouldn't care about the users (students) running as root. I dont think I seen what level of school this is being rolled out in. Lower grades wouldn't be a problem of course but once you reach middle school and upper grades I can just imagine the trouble that would bring! I would say if you want to have a successful program you will have to have some type of security or else it will be considered a failure due to the reinstalls and so forth. I know my daughter in middle school has to log on to use the computer but I do not know if it is a generic account or truly some type of authentication. I think you will find a lot of high schools are on domains and have user accounts. And of course EVERY college I have attended has been on a domain of some sort for a good while. Dont forget how popular novell was and that was a good many years ago! But you might be right. I am certainly all for it, I just wish a more open, non-corporate distro had been chosen. Question - Could a non-corporate distro try and "sell" their distro and offer customizations to large customers without being considered to be turning into a "corporate" distro? probably not huh..... So maybe the reason they went with linspire is the local sales rep made a good pitch and if xandros or any other had came by including a debian rep(if existed) they would be using that instead. oh well, i am rambling.... good form-getting linux out there, bad form-chosing a corporate distro to do it with!
 
Old 08-08-2005, 10:51 AM   #14
PusterRacing
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Quote:
Originally posted by jaketate
oh well, i am rambling.... good form-getting linux out there, bad form-chosing a corporate distro to do it with!
Jake, We've been over this before....

Quote:
No business (school in this case) is going to install on all of their computers a desktop linux that is developed by three guys in a basement. For the above average techie user a distro like that is fine, but for a business or a non-techie user it is just not going to work. A CIO wants to know that if he runs into a problem he cannot troubleshoot, that he can pick up the telephone and call Linspire, Inc. or Novell or Redhat and get a person that can explain to him what his system is doing. That is part of what paying for the distro (or using a "corporate" distro in this case) goes toward. TECH SUPPORT. When you're in business you need support now, not when jimbob gets back from the grocery store, finishes playing the last level of Doom and then gets around to reading his email. And the forums are nice when you don't have a pressing problem, but they are a far cry from the real time help of tech support or the help desk.
As far as running as root or not. Why do they have to run as root, why wouldn't they just give the student s a USER and PASSWORD and then prohibit them from installing ANY software. I'm sure that the IT department will install software that works for the USER level, is the equivalent of the MS programs they are now using, and then not allow the students (users) to install any software. That is the way things are done in COLLEGE LEVEL computer labs, so why not JR HIGH/SR HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL, which if you had read the article rather than glanced over it, you'd know that it is JR/HS Level.......Randolph Southern Jr./Sr. High School.

I think it is a great initiative and will help Linuxstart to gain traction.
 
Old 08-08-2005, 11:24 AM   #15
aysiu
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Quote:
Originally posted by PusterRacing
As far as running as root or not. Why do they have to run as root, why wouldn't they just give the student s a USER and PASSWORD and then prohibit them from installing ANY software. I'm sure that the IT department will install software that works for the USER level, is the equivalent of the MS programs they are now using, and then not allow the students (users) to install any software.
They don't have to run as root. I think the point was brought up because Linspire 5.0 (like Windows) ships with a default-to-root user. In the Linspire setup, it never asks you to create a user. But if school IT administrators aren't giving Windows users administrative privileges, there's no reason to think they would give Linux users root privileges.
 
  


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