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[K12OSN] Given this situation, why bother continue with LTSP?


How is everyone doing?

I have, for the past 1.5 years, been running a small k12ltsp lab (12
machines plus server) in our church and affiliated school.  During
this time I have, thanks to many people here and on IRC, been able to
have a nearly fully-functional lab up and running with minimal
problems.  There have been issues of course (not all clients have
sound for example) but given the requirements for a small elementary
school, things have worked out great.

Now, the major problem with the lab is the mentality that this is not
Windows. And it has been a huge hurdle. Parents stressed that their
children will be at a disadvantage at high school and beyond.  Staff
and admin members of the church who are turned off from the system
because it doesn't "look & feel" like Windows (currently running Gnome
because we have the bandwidth) and everything from Open Office to
Xpdf, while still functionally the same, gives them an uncomfortable
feeling. Many would rather use an old Pentium 2 with Windows 98 than
use the K12ltsp lab. And so on.

Whenever I am faced with these people and their negative comments, I
can usually sway them to look at the benefits by citing the costs
saved by using LTSP vs. having to go upgrade all our Pentium 1
machines we are using as clients and buying all the XP licenses and
Office XP licenses and the MS Server 2003 licenses. Once I tally up
all the costs of that, and compare it to the costs of the LTSP, they
do understand, but it is always a "too bad for that" sort of comment
and "hopefully in the future we can afford a real lab" attitude.
Arguments like viruses, security, spyware, centralized updates, and so
on are ineffective because, as end-users and not admins, they do not
care about that - off their radar.

Now, a new situation has arisen.  A member of our congregation can
provide us with nearly-new pentium 4 machines (our LTSP clients are
Pentium 1s) and all the necessary Microsoft software (XP, Office, and
server 2003) legally and at next to no cost for us. He has done it
with other organisations like ours and they've loved it.  He has
offered to do the same  for us.

Given that the major driving force which helped me discover LTSP was
the ability to afford Windows, with that roadblock gone, what reason
is there not to go with Windows?

Thank you.

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