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

There's also a subtle but important difference in the philosophical underpinnings of Linux vs. Windows: While you might get the Windows licenses for free, MS ultimately is still after your money; perhaps you didn't spend the money, but your benefactor did. Or if the licenses were donated by MS, they did so with the hope that at some point you will buy more, so the donations are just seeding. To make money they have to control the access to their software, to restrict access to it. Notice that in their latest Office offering, the XML file format (which is only available in the more expensive versions) isn't really open nor designed for interoperability with non-MS software. There's nothing sinister about it, since MS is a business, and therefore its reason for existing is to make money. But I don't think your school & church exist to provide financial support for MS. Linux's reason for existence isn't to make money, but to allow people to use computers. Some companies make money out of it, after the fact, but they don't control the access to it, which means others can make it freely available if they so desire. And in the case of K12LTSP, enough people desire so to have created a community that supports that freedom.

Limiting access to software, like Windows, et al, would be similar to a school telling its students that they can't share with others whatever the school teaches them. Linux says share all you want, and you'll be surprised what people come up with, for example, Knoppix and LTSP. Again, it's not illegal or sinister, and the people who work for MS aren't monsters. It's just that they way they want the world to work is inconsistent with what schools are trying to do, whereas Linux is much the same as schools.

As others have pointed out, by the time the kids get out of school and into business, the MS tools they used in school will no longer be current. But there's a bigger paradigm shift going on, which is being missed by the people who say kids should use Windows because that's what businesses use. In ten years the software landscape will probably look quite different from today, as OSS continues to ascend at the expense of proprietary software, perhaps glacially but nevertheless inevitably. The internet makes this all possible. Kids are quite familiar with downloading such things as music (as are a fair number of adults). However, there's a moral and legal impediment in that some/much/most of the music available online wasn't intended by its creators to be freely available. Yet imagine if it were. I think people would come up with all sorts of creative things if they had unlimited access to music files. Now substitute software for music, software that is intended to be freely shared, which people do re-combine to make new things. I'm not sure how the music sharing bit will play out, and I think there will always be some proprietary software for narrow markets (word processors and spreadsheets are not narrow markets). But understanding how the internet allows sharing and collaboration and connecting with others is what matters, and proprietary software like that of MS only inhibits participating in that. Choosing Windows over Linux is to choose yesterday's technology over tomorrow's.


Doug Simpson wrote:

Doug Simpson Technology Specialist DeQueen Public Schools DeQueen, AR 71832 simpsond leopards k12 ar us Tux for President!

On Thu, 21 Apr 2005, Rob Owens wrote:

2 more comments:

1)  If the parents think the children are being
somehow handicapped by using Linux, they should be
shown some of the articles I've seen on the internet
about the salaries of Linux admins vs. Windows admins.

URLs please!!!!!

2)  The basics of Linux do not change much.  Since I
started learning how Linux works about a year and a
half ago, I truly feel that I am learning valuable
information.  More and more I feel that any time I
spend to learn something in Windows is a waste of my
time.  This is because every release of Windows does
something a little bit differently.  I have had
questions about how to set up my network in Linux--I
researched the internet, and found a how-to from 10
years ago that still applies today.  In my estimation,
time spent learning Linux is time well spent.


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