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



It's not clear whether this is a gift from a person who is just paying the
M$ price, or one who has access to surplus of some sort, or whether he has
negotiated some special deal for non-profits, religious organizations, et al
with M$.  If he is just covering normal M$ costs, is he providing a trust
fund to cover updates and maintenance for the operating system and other
software?

Paul Nelson has stated that he was so occupied with maintaining the Windows
desktop boxes at Riverdale HS that he had to forego teaching, but that since
Riverdale has been totally on K12LTSP, he can teach again.  So, if you do
this system pro bono, you might tell them that you aren't going to be up for
providing the extra maintenance required -- on a per machine basis no
less -- or if not pro bono, give them a new estimate for the contract.

Just this week, I was forced to configure a Win2K desktop box.  First, I had
to install SP 4; then I went for updates and had to deal with 40(!) of just
security update packages.  The installer just hung, and since there is no
progress bar or hour-glass in evidence, I just waited and waited, and then
did it again (machine is 1.4 GHz with 1 GB memory and plenty of drive
space).  Finally had to deselect most of the pre-selected updates and do the
job in about 6 iterations, with de-selection and reboots each time, in order
to install them.  Gratefully, this was just one machine.

As far as being familiar with the O/S and the apps, by the time the kids are
in college, there will be Longhorn and Office 2015 or such, and the
transition from XP to them may well be just as great an effort as from OSS
to Windows whatever (off course, if you are doing just trivial work, the
transition is tantamount to non-existent either way).   But, moreover,
students of today need to be able to adapt to evolving computing
environments that they will be confronted with over 50 years or so of
interaction with them.  They will also save a pot full of money over a
lifetime if they are comfortable with open source and can avoid such
revolting developments as renting M$ software, needing a broadband network
to run it, and other dastardly schemes being plotted in Bill's conference
room.

In fact, though the community colleges here, within spitting distance of
Redmond, are politically welded to Windows on the desktop (but use Linux
almost exclusively in the server closets), more and more students are
popping Knoppix into the machines in the labs.

Ken Meyer


-----Original Message-----

From: k12osn-bounces redhat com [mailto:k12osn-bounces redhat com]On
Behalf Of The Prof
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2005 11:16 AM
To: k12osn redhat com

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

Hello,

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 that 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.
Joseph

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