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Blue Skies Thread, Open Source Schools' Miles Berry offers a radical response to the ICT funding cuts in General; Originally Posted by X-13 What sort of knowledge would be required to manage this sort of thing? As others in ...
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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    What sort of knowledge would be required to manage this sort of thing?
    As others in this (rather long) thread have pointed out, you probably shouldn't aim for a "big bang" switch to Linux workstations over one summer holiday or something, you should aim for gradual change - aim to introduce self-contained "appliance" applications and servers in to your system. Examples I can think of offhand: file servers (Samba), print management (PyKota, Samba again), Internet gateway / filtering (Squid) and email / webmail (SquirrelMail, RoundCube, etc). You can just plonk a server (or VM, obviously) on your network and set it up to do whatever task your aiming to get done, with no rush or change needed to any other parts of your system. You'll find that there's already a whole bunch of such appliances alread available and ready to go (actually, commercial products often have an open source version at their heart, and if you search carefully you can generally get most of the commercial functionality for free), often packaged as VM images.

  2. Thanks to dhicks from:

    X-13 (3rd February 2011)

  3. #167

    X-13's Avatar
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    Thanks, dhicks.

    I just got one HT to agree to letting me but an open source computer in the staff room for teachers to play with, so I'll guess I'll see how it goes from there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    I just got one HT to agree to letting me but an open source computer in the staff room for teachers to play with, so I'll guess I'll see how it goes from there.
    Just having one computer with different software on, open source or otherwise, isn't going to be much use to anyone. There's a bunch of Windows-based open source / free applications which come in handy in schools (Paint.NET, Audacity, GIMP, Freemind, etc) - your best bet is probably to install the contents of the Open CD on all your workstations. I doubt there's much point in a Linux-based desktop machine running different software to every other machine - better to spend your efforts installing a server and sorting out some web-based applications that can be used throughout the whole school.

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Just having one computer with different software on, open source or otherwise, isn't going to be much use to anyone. There's a bunch of Windows-based open source / free applications which come in handy in schools (Paint.NET, Audacity, GIMP, Freemind, etc) - your best bet is probably to install the contents of the Open CD on all your workstations. I doubt there's much point in a Linux-based desktop machine running different software to every other machine - better to spend your efforts installing a server and sorting out some web-based applications that can be used throughout the whole school.
    This is a test. I'm not telling the staff I plan to switch it all over yet.

    This is being done under the guise of seeing if they like the software and think it could be useful for lessons.

    I'm going to see what comments/problems staff have and work out a plan of attack from there.


    Before they know it... it'll all be FOSS.


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    Most of the open source apps have Portable equivalents anyway so just whack those on a share, add shortcuts to your redirected Start Menu and away you go then when you build your next image put them all on (or deploy via your distribution tool of choice)

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    X-13 (3rd February 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    Most of the open source apps have Portable equivalents anyway so just whack those on a share, add to your redirected Start Menu and away you go then when you build your next image put them all on (or deploy via your distribution tool of choice)
    Aha... Didn't know about that.

    I'm going to bring that up with the HT tomorrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    Aha... Didn't know about that.

    I'm going to bring that up with the HT tomorrow.
    PortableApps.com - Portable software for USB, portable and cloud drives

    You don't need the launcher if you don't want it, just run the EXE

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    jinnantonnix (3rd February 2011)

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    One of teh strategies for planned migrations to OSS is to have a few test machines which run on Windows OS but have the proprietary and OSS equivalents of various software packages. Have a few handouts explaining the similarities between the two (eg MS Office and OOo) and ask people to evaluate them. Have some test files around for editing with Inkscape or Audacity ... it helps to break the barrier down of why people don't want to use OSS stuff.

    The OS it runs on is not that important to the basic user in many cases ... they just want to know how to do certain tasks and which apps to do them in.

    If you move to *nix then again, it is just about helping people find their way around, but I would get people to use OSS apps first.

    Stress the similarities in the applications though ... and how easy it is to swap from one to the others ... this fits in with the idea of transferable skills and reduces another barrier you may have (too hard to change).

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    Grumble, that was what I was planning to do. The OS change would be a final thing, more as an added cost reduction.

    Thin clients is what I want ideally, we just don't have the budget to replace everything. [Everything is old, slow, second hand/donated RM all in ones.]

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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    Thin clients is what I want ideally, we just don't have the budget to replace everything. [Everything is old, slow, second hand/donated RM all in ones.]
    Those RM all-in-one cases are well-designed, and they do take standard motherboards - you could fit new motherboards to all your machines. As I've said in several other threads just recently, making an old computer in to a thin client won't improve graphics performance - you still need reasonably modern, capable graphics locally to render things like YouTube video and so forth. If you're going to have a relativly capable processor and graphics locally then you really might as well run web browsing locally, too. A Linux distribution with a browser and RDesktop should still (I think) be small enough to boot via PXE, so you could have diskless clients and just boot from the network.

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    David, you certainly know your tech.

    I'm going to have to sit down and look though all the options and make a firm decision. I keep seeing things and thinking "Oh... That looks like it would be useful" and changing what I hope to achieve.

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    Miles Berry has some excellent points. Like it or loathe it, we're moving into the cloud. Public, Private, Open Source, or an Open Mix. It's the only viable and sustainable model that I can so far see in these times of 'ConDem' austerity. But before you "put your Heads in the cloud", I've compiled a Top of the Pops (err Clouds) top 5 checks. The following list isn't as dull as it looks and is worth a read before you formulate strategies or arguments. Full reasoning is at http://www.f2mke.co.uk/education/201...lining-part-3/

    1) Security
    2) Availability
    3) Capacity
    4) Offline
    5) Portability

    Full reasoning is at http://www.f2mke.co.uk/education/201...lining-part-3/

    If you have a general interest in all things cloud then you might find this useful?
    Last edited by f2mke; 5th February 2011 at 12:11 AM.

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