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Blue Skies Thread, Open Source Schools' Miles Berry offers a radical response to the ICT funding cuts in General; 2. Make use of web-based applications. Quite simply the 'Cloud' and web apps will not work for any school outside ...
  1. #31
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    2. Make use of web-based applications.

    Quite simply the 'Cloud' and web apps will not work for any school outside of a major city unless we host/cache them internally - which costs money by the way.

    In this school they have just been upgraded to a 6Mb/s line and 150 clients/300 users. I'll have that for 5 years at least i imagine before it is replaced. At least there isn't the contention of 5 schools sharing 2Mb that we had before!
    Last edited by Mr.Ben; 20th July 2010 at 04:08 PM.

  2. #32
    TheLibrarian
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    IME, it's horses for courses; open source will fit in perfectly in places, others it won't and others still could operate a mixture of open and closed source.

    I'm left wondering who's sock pupper @Putt1ck; is.

    @Putt1ck; I am not going to waste time arguing for or against and how to etc. because until the support is there from Central Government downwards my personal opinion is that open source won't be taken seriously in the majority of schools.

    That said, I do have a question or two for you, what is the open source equivalent of Group Policy?

    Do you have any suggestion as to how we get Game developers to support Linux too? I'd love to free my machine at home from Microsoft.

  3. #33
    Butters's Avatar
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    @TheLibrarian

    Spot on about GPO's.

    @Putt1ck

    I'd be interested to know which company you represent as it seems you are here with a company hat on.

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    That said, I do have a question or two for you, what is the open source equivalent of Group Policy?

    Do you have any suggestion as to how we get Game developers to support Linux too? I'd love to free my machine at home from Microsoft.
    To "lock-down" my Ubuntu clients I use gconf. It's a set of scripts that tell the computer what access to give each person. You can either have this as a per computer bases or a per user basis, it has a frontend so you don't have to do it all by hand.

    I use Linux as my main system at home and have done for 10 years, I also play alot of games....what ones are you talking about? I tend to use cedega/wine though....not native. Though the recent news is that Steam is releasing it engine for Linux so that their games will run natively. : [Phoronix] It's Official: Valve Releasing Steam, Source Engine For Linux!
    Last edited by linuxgirlie; 20th July 2010 at 04:18 PM.

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  6. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold View Post
    Erm, there is only one thing with that. You might think your good, but how do we know? How do we know that LIttle Jonny's parents are any good? Just because they are IT consultants doesn't mean they are good at their job. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and there is a difference between someone who is first line support and someone who is running a large network. However, both people could say they work in IT support for a large company. There still needs to be someone checking skills before anyone is let loose on a network.
    How do you know any IT person is any good? Same process. In my case Google will provide the answer.

    You've also made a couple of assumptions such as the OS software is better than the existing infrastructure people already have. You cant make that case without knowing the current setup schools have already. This is the KEY point to the argument, OS solutions need to be evaluated in comparison to the existing setup. Comparisons need to be made for the short and long term goals and all the costs need to be accounted for.
    I'm comfortable that open source is better for schools; although it is not the same as the mainstream UK schools solution and some rethinking from first principles might be needed. It is better because it can do the job, is more sustainable and cheaper. In absolute terms it will be better after a little collaboration (damned word keeps coming up...).

    There isn't a one solution fits all, and taking into account non technical problems such as staff interest needs to be accounted for.

    Edit: Don't take this personally, I just dont think you can take someones word that they are good at their job without assessing their skills. Certainly if schools dont already have someone in position it is difficult to judge?
    If I took things personally I'd stay off the Internet

    Sure you can't just take someone's word for it, schools assess all volunteers to some degree. In particular it is difficult to assess someone when you don't have someone with equivalent skills to assess them; this is a common problem in IT recruitment, particularly when recruiting specialists (web developers, network engineers, security people, etc.). There is a degree to which you have to look them in the eye and decide to trust they know what they are talking about.

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    Butters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linuxgirlie View Post
    To "lock-down" my Ubuntu clients I use gconf. It's a set of scripts that tell the computer what access to give each person. You can either have this as a per computer bases or a per user basis, it has a frontend so you don't have to do it all by hand.

    I use Linux as my main system at home and have done for 10 years, I also play alot of games....what ones are you talking about? I tend to use cedega/wine though....not native. Though the recent news is that Steam is releasing it engine for Linux so that their games will run natively. : [Phoronix] It's Official: Valve Releasing Steam, Source Engine For Linux!
    I'd be quite confident that you have far more linux knowledge/know how when compared to your average Network Admin. Doesn't help when nearly all courses out there are based on Microsoft products but it means that the 'average' NM wouldn't have the skills to go completely open source.

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    @TheLibrarian @Butters:

    Which company I represent? Think of me as the taxpayer. As Google will tell you pretty quick, I used to work in schools in Manchester, I've worked for a solutions provider and now I'm a CIO. But here touting for business, not in the least; I'm fairly sure that you ain't buying what our company sells. Although if you are in the market for an archaeological investigation, some historic environment consultancy or are struggling with a geospatial challenge (particularly in the web arena) I can say that we are undoubtedly among the best in that business and can provide you with the telephone number of your local office

  9. #38
    linuxgirlie's Avatar
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    I'd be quite confident that you have far more linux knowledge/know how when compared to your average Network Admin. Doesn't help when nearly all courses out there are based on Microsoft products but it means that the 'average' NM wouldn't have the skills to go completely open source.
    Thank you. But it is all self taught. I have never done any CPD or courses to learn Linux at all. It all came from the Internet, Books, Magazines and just messing about on test computers/virtual machines.

  10. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Ben View Post
    2. Make use of web-based applications.

    Quite simply the 'Cloud' and web apps will not work for any school outside of a major city unless we host/cache them internally - which costs money by the way.

    In this school they have just been upgraded to a 6Mb/s line and 150 clients/300 users. I'll have that for 5 years at least i imagine before it is replaced. At least there isn't the contention of 5 schools sharing 2Mb that we had before!
    6Mb/s for 150 clients is more than enough for web apps of even the more complex variety - I'd be wary of pushing big files down such a line as matter of course, but for web apps that shouldn't be a problem. If it seems tight I'd look into the network/WAN and maybe check whatever you're using for filtering.

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    Butters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linuxgirlie View Post
    Thank you. But it is all self taught. I have never done any CPD or courses to learn Linux at all. It all came from the Internet, Books, Magazines and just messing about on test computers/virtual machines.
    I'm capable at linux using the above methods but it often alienates a lot of the Microsoft trained guys - that's why championing Open Source is problematic due to the upskilling requirements needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Butters View Post
    I'm capable at linux using the above methods but it often alienates a lot of the Microsoft trained guys - that's why championing Open Source is problematic due to the upskilling requirements needed.
    I wouldn't say Linux requires 'upskilling' it's just a different set of skills to the Microsoft norm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by somabc View Post
    I wouldn't say Linux requires 'upskilling' it's just a different set of skills to the Microsoft norm.
    Splitting hairs.

  14. #43
    TheLibrarian
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    Quote Originally Posted by linuxgirlie View Post
    To "lock-down" my Ubuntu clients I use gconf. It's a set of scripts that tell the computer what access to give each person. You can either have this as a per computer bases or a per user basis, it has a frontend so you don't have to do it all by hand.

    I use Linux as my main system at home and have done for 10 years, I also play alot of games....what ones are you talking about? I tend to use cedega/wine though....not native. Though the recent news is that Steam is releasing it engine for Linux so that their games will run natively. : [Phoronix] It's Official: Valve Releasing Steam, Source Engine For Linux!
    Do you think there's any posibility of you writing an article or two about how and what you use to keep your school open source / linux?
    I for one would find it very interesting.

    Games? Recently WoW, which I know does run under Wine, usually though the more graphically intensive fps games that tend to require DirectX.

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    Quote Originally Posted by putt1ck View Post
    There are that many technical staff in schools who are not trying the emerging technologies? And they call themselves geeks? The term should be better protected...
    Which emerging technologies exactly? There are plenty out there. Should they be expected to constantly update their technical knowledge of all of these disparate areas? When do they do this R&D if they're working? Are they expected to give up their time outside work? Many do, but condemning anyone who doesn't strikes me as somewhat judgmental.

    What? You mean I should give my time up to help but those I'm aiming to help can't be expected to give up some of their time? I could probably schedule some day time for schools that were particularly local (North Oxfordshire, around Oxford) and would be willing commit days of my holiday to a group of schools who wanted to pursue this seriously.
    No, I mean that your collaboration solution relies entirely on the goodwill of both the employees (who are employees, and should not be expected to give up their free time without reward as it is not part of the job - many do, yes, but that does not mean that they should, or are obliged to do so) and of the volunteers. If someone gets fed up, or finds a more interesting prospect, or decides to stop for any of a host of reasons out of the volunteers you could have major problems.

    Sure, for the pioneers in a given area; the rest in that area could reproduce far more easily by drawing on the experienced pool from the pioneer. That damned collaboration word again
    Collaboration does seem to be a big thing, and I agree that it's good. I don't necessarily agree that it is the one and only solution however, unless you're in an ideal world where personal politics, holding back knowledge, and all of the other group dynamics enter into things.

    Basically while I agree with your ideals, and somewhat with your principles, I don't think you're allowing a safety margin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by somabc View Post
    I wouldn't say Linux requires 'upskilling' it's just a different set of skills to the Microsoft norm.
    I always understood upskilling to mean learning new skills. So for a non-Linux user learning Linux would be upskilling. For a non-Windows user learning Windows would be upskilling.

    Maybe my definition is wrong.

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