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

A number of thoughts come to mind:

While the parents may be hung up on Windows I suspect the children are
less so.  As an experiment take a child "trained" on Open Office and ask
him to write a letter in Word. That should somewhat allay the fear of
skills being non-transferable.  You may also want to point out that Unix
and Apple are not dead and that their child would be limiting his/her
employment choices in the future if they become dependant on a single

As far as the "look and feel" of Windows, have you pointed out that
WinXP really isn't a lot like Win3.1?  An "uncomfortable feeling" is a
bit hard to quantify but if they can express what the problem is perhaps
a solution can be found - if they can't, it sounds suspiciously like
"we've always done it that way".  For those who want to use Win98, let
them, it will free up the thin clients for those less dependant.

Tell them that an LTSP lab is a real lab and that Linux is in the real
world. Shrek 2 was animated and rendered using linux; the City of Munich
runs linux (~14000 desktops);  it is not unusual to find linux used in
missile support equipment - is that real enough?

The arguments that you cite as ineffective, viruses, security, spyware,
etc. might be more effective if you give them the dollar value of the
added work involved if your system is compromised.  Your time is worth
something as well so factor in the centralized updates as well.  $$$ do
tends to appear on peoples radar.

While it's looking like your initial acquisition will be low cost, who
will fund the upgrades needed in a few years when new computers and
licenses are needed to support the next generation of Windows or Office?

By all means accept the new machines but use them in addition to the lab
not instead of it. It makes more sense IMHO to have 16 desktops instead
of 4.  It will give you more seats as well as allow you to provide
"cross-training" for your pupils so they aren't "disadvantaged" (or so
they can make their own choices, depending on how you look at it).

And, one of the biggest reasons to stick with open source - Freedom of
choice, something that used to be important.  Still is to some folks.

- gustav

On Wed, 2005-20-04 at 14:15 -0400, The Prof wrote:
> 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 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.
> Joseph
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