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Educational Software Thread, Network Manager refuses to install OpenOffice - comments please. in Technical; not being funny but stick to teaching!!! If the school has Microsoft office tough deal with it. you can save ...
  1. #16
    markcuk's Avatar
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    not being funny but stick to teaching!!!

    If the school has Microsoft office tough deal with it.

    you can save in Microsoft office compatible modes using open office so why do you need it!!!

    dont see the point in the network manager installing 2 different office suites just because its your preference..

    btw i use neooffice at home

    mark

  2. #17

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    Does seem to have turned into a 'OO is better than M$' thread, using the french as reasoning is a good one

    I'd trust the Network Managers, he is the professional.

    If you print off this thread make powdarrmonkey's thread bold, that will change their mind right away

  3. #18
    markcuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t20racerman View Post
    Yes I know - I did this... in fact I went one further and installed a portable version in my user space on the Hard drive. I was asked to remove this (..."until a decision has been made about its use") but refused as without it my German student's in particular had a real trouble with 'A' level coursework presentations and printing of assignments.
    ..
    i would of banned you of the network for that only the network manager should be installing software.

    dont you have a school laptop?

    mark

  4. #19
    kestrel1's Avatar
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    I don't get why the Network Manager is so reluctant to install Open Office.
    I am the Network Manager at my school & have installed OO for use on the network (thin client)
    Any networked PC's that come in, now get OO instead of MS Office as the licence cost is silly. We currently have MS Office 2000 & to upgrade our current licences would cost a fortune, which we do not have. Any new staff laptops are installed with OO from the start & if they do not like it I point them in the direction of one of the deputy heads, not that anyone has complained.
    I have only had one member of staff who did not like it being installed on the PC in his room, but he got told that is what he is having like it or not.
    There are no problems with Open source software & most of it works better than the stuff you have to pay mega money for. I am trying to convert as many staff & pupils as possible to use Open Office, but it can be rather hard work. Some accept it others fight it.

  5. #20

    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    @Simcfc

    MS software vs. other software is always a controversial issue. I don't object to preference ('I like using MSOffice'), just ignorance and stigma ('All OS software is of inferior quality'). I'm not advocating aggression, but it does sound like they either didn't read or didn't understand your paper. Asking for a written paper in return on their reasons for refusal might reveal a bit more about their thinking, and is a perfectly reasonable request.

  6. #21
    t20racerman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markcuk View Post
    i would of banned you of the network for that only the network manager should be installing software.

    dont you have a school laptop?
    mark

    Quote Originally Posted by markcuk
    not being funny but stick to teaching!!!

    If the school has Microsoft office tough deal with it.

    you can save in Microsoft office compatible modes using open office so why do you need it!!!

    dont see the point in the network manager installing 2 different office suites just because its your preference..
    I think you've missed the point a little here. The reasons I want OOo are absolutely clear in both my original posting and in some of my comments above. I really don't want to go down the "Use M$ route" in this thread.

    I asked specifically if OOo could run alongside M$ and would this cause problems to the Network, as I have been continually informed it would.

    I really do want to stick to teaching - I'm pretty good at it! - but both I and my pupils need OOo to make the job of teaching and learning easier.

    I COULD go back to using Banda's, chalk, and everything written by hand - but that is irrelevant here. I'm asking IT professionals for their comments on:

    "Is there any technical problems associated with running OOo on a Network alongside M$."

    I really don't want an OOo v M$ war.
    Thanks

  7. #22

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markcuk View Post
    not being funny but stick to teaching!!!

    If the school has Microsoft office tough deal with it.

    you can save in Microsoft office compatible modes using open office so why do you need it!!!

    dont see the point in the network manager installing 2 different office suites just because its your preference..

    btw i use neooffice at home

    mark
    Microsoft office files are not like for like compatible with open office and visa versa. There are a lot of formatting problems transforming between powerpoint and impress.

  8. #23

    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t20racerman View Post
    I think you've missed the point a little here. The reasons I want OOo are absolutely clear in both my original posting and in some of my comments above. I really don't want to go down the "Use M$ route" in this thread.
    Neither do I, we'd be here for months and get nowhere if you did. They're different tools with different strengths, period.

    I asked specifically if OOo could run alongside M$ and would this cause problems to the Network, as I have been continually informed it would.

    I really do want to stick to teaching - I'm pretty good at it! - but both I and my pupils need OOo to make the job of teaching and learning easier.
    I hope you've got enough technical data now to strengthen your argument.
    Our department remit (briefly) is to provide technical solutions to end-users with the aim of assisting, easing and streamlining their learning, teaching and administration whilst providing a safe virtual environment (key points bold). If there's a particular software package a member of staff wants to use because they feel it would make their life easier, and there is no technical reason for our refusal, we will go out of our way to accommodate them. It's our job.

    Perhaps your administrators don't realise that you're not pushing to have it adopted as a site-wide replacement. Make sure they appreciate that you want to provide choice, and that you're interested in a small-scale, controlled trial, not an all-out blanket approach. Emphasise that your students will be appropriately supervised if there are specific concerns that they have.

    I COULD go back to using Banda's, chalk, and everything written by hand - but that is irrelevant here. I'm asking IT professionals for their comments on:

    "Is there any technical problems associated with running OOo on a Network alongside M$."
    ..and I hope I've given you some valuable ones. I'm not prepared to get into a flame war over it.

    @localzuk: True, file formats are not like-for-like compatible, but with a little planning (and the avoidance of MS-isms like 'Wordart') they are broadly portable. Moving between the two is a valuable experience, because users will appreciate the strengths of the relative formats, and how they need to tailor their approach to using them to play to those strengths. Choosing the tool for the job is a vital life skill, of which software choice is one aspect.
    Last edited by powdarrmonkey; 27th February 2008 at 09:13 PM.

  9. #24

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    @localzuk: True, file formats are not like-for-like compatible, but with a little planning (and the avoidance of MS-isms like 'Wordart') they are broadly portable. Moving between the two is a valuable experience, because users will appreciate the strengths of the relative formats, and how they need to tailor their approach to using them to play to those strengths. Choosing the tool for the job is a vital life skill, of which software choice is one aspect.
    Still not right I'm afraid. Simple layouts can be corrupted when transferred between Powerpoint and Impress, same in Word and Writer (these are very common errors that people get). To allow users who can't afford to buy Office to use a fully functioning office suite, schools should be able to accomodate their choice of system - so long as the cost is reasonable, and as OO.o is free, the cost is reasonable.

    And yes, choosing the tool for the job is important - but not allowing the pupils to make that choice is stifling them.

  10. #25
    mark's Avatar
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    The suggestion to let you run OO.o from pen drives seems silly. A vast number of schools deny rogue executables explicitly, just because it's insecure. The possibility of infected code being introduced would be heightened. It would be far wiser IMHO for the S/W to be deployed by IT Support. But this just worsens your case.

    For the network manager to deploy OO.o may take some work on his part, but the process isn't so risky, and is actually quite simple. I personally found MS Office more tricky, helped enormously by the deployment tools provided, but necessary with the inbuilt hacking tools.

    My LA are actively pushing OO.o to all schools. They provide a custom CD with addons for the Welsh Language and other enhancements. Our countiesPrimary schools are all converted, and schools like mine have both MS Office and OO.o deployed alongside each other without problems.

    Isn't there also a BECTA publication promoting FLOSS?

  11. #26
    Diello's Avatar
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    The sheer fact that this issue has gone this far is quite amazing.

    Simple facts - OO can exist on a PC with MS Office. I know this because it does at school, and it does in my house. Compatibility is easily handled, you simply don't let OO take the file associations. OO is NOT in anyway, shape, or form, a security risk to the network. It's a set of office applications and had no more access to anything on the network than Office does - namely for the saving of files. There is also no more security holes in OO than in Office, or any application for that matter. I'd like to see any security hole in a software application be taken advantage of by a student as well, I think I'd die of shock.

    Easy compromise for your NM - You obviously have the technical know-how to be able to install a piece of software, keep it up-to-date, etc. School simply gets you to sign a piece of paper that says you take full responsibility for those 3 PCs, and remove the NM and all IT Support staff of any responsibility for the installing and maintenance of those PCs, with the except of hardware failure. As such, the IT Department washes their hands of those 3 PCs. In return, you get given local admin rights to those PCs, you can then install OO on them as you wish and provide desktop/start menu links to that software.

    At the point your NM starts harping on about you having local admin rights being a risk (wrong due to the word LOCAL, meaning you have no greater power on the network than you already do), or that it's impossible, or that OO installed locally on those machines is going to cause a huge network meltdown - that's when your Head should start Competency Procedings against the NM - because not only is he then hugely misinformed, but if that's the extent of his knowledge, I dread to think of what state your network's in... a considerably greater risk than OO is I can assure you!

    Everyone wins - You get OO on your PCs, and the NM doesn't have to lift a finger, and can still claim a win as the IT Department now has nothing to do with those PCs, so he's not been forced to do something he doesn't want to do.

    The school also need to think about the fact that allowing the NM to have his way is having a detrimental effect to the Teaching & Learning of your department, and as such, theoretical on the students and schools grades, and that parents would actually have a legitimate complaint against the school if this was harming the education of their child.

    I'm easily one for sticking my heals in the ground over teachers making insane requests however much they scream & shout. However, in this case, you're simply right, and the NM is simply wrong. It's bordering on incompetence.
    Last edited by Diello; 27th February 2008 at 11:55 PM.

  12. Thanks to Diello from:

    t20racerman (28th February 2008)

  13. #27

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    I've just had a quick scan through this thread and I must admit, I'm amazed that a Network Manager would not want to install OOo onto three machines. I'm even more amazed that he'd then allow you to run a program from a pen drive!

    I'm not overly worried about unsecure apps running on the network - It's what virus checkers and ghost and AD permissions, firewalls, etc where invented for - I'm more concerned that the kids can play games and the like from their pen sticks, not good. No, exe's and msi's and swf's (amongst others) are blocked from running accept from specific local/network drives that I have total control over on this network, thank you.

    As for OOo. We have the reverse problem here. I believe it's a cracking alternative to MS Office. Certainly OOo 3.0 looks more inviting to me as a potential replacement to MS Office 2003 than MS Office 2007 does. How ever, having put on on our network along side MS Office and made it downloadable from our schools website, I still can't convince anyone to actually use it!

    If you were at this school, I'd be more than happy to install OOo onto any three machines you choose - why stop at three. If it's going to be used and improves the teaching/learning experience I'd install it on as many machines as you care to name.

    The same goes for any good quality FOSS product you care to name - Dia, Gimp, Freemind, Scratch - To name but a few that I've installed on various machines here at teachers requests.

  14. #28
    Midget's Avatar
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    I had OOo installed on all my machines in the image, and the CDT dept used it as preference, apart from making sure it didnt steal controls over filetypes or ran the quicklaunch, it was straight forward.

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    I have office 2007 on the network and when they've finalised the latest version of open office I'll put that on as well. For the same reasons that I want IE, Firefox and Opera browsers all on the network soon and why we have Macromedia and Serif etc etc etc. It's about giving people choice and keeping in mind that it's the skills we are here to teach, not the software.

    However, I run the network and in conjunction with the Headteacher that is the decision that we have taken.

    I don't suppose I'd take too kindly to a head of department banging away at the same thing again and again, even though he had been given many and varied reasons as to why it wasn't going to happen.

    The fact is in your school the Network Manager and the ICT Project Board make the decisions as to what is on your network. You've made representations but on this occasion not got what you want. Deal with it. At the end of the day it's not a big deal; nobody's going to die and there isn't going to be a war. And as for resigning over a piece of software on 3 machines...

    But you're just creating so much fuss in what many people in your school think is probably non of you business. Would you like it if your network manager or the head of Languages, for example, kept going on about better ways of running the Physics department?

    Not trying to cause an argument, just think you've blown it out of all proportion.

  16. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proactive View Post
    I have office 2007 on the network and when they've finalised the latest version of open office I'll put that on as well. For the same reasons that I want IE, Firefox and Opera browsers all on the network soon and why we have Macromedia and Serif etc etc etc. It's about giving people choice and keeping in mind that it's the skills we are here to teach, not the software.

    However, I run the network and in conjunction with the Headteacher that is the decision that we have taken.

    I don't suppose I'd take too kindly to a head of department banging away at the same thing again and again, even though he had been given many and varied reasons as to why it wasn't going to happen.

    The fact is in your school the Network Manager and the ICT Project Board make the decisions as to what is on your network. You've made representations but on this occasion not got what you want. Deal with it. At the end of the day it's not a big deal; nobody's going to die and there isn't going to be a war. And as for resigning over a piece of software on 3 machines...

    But you're just creating so much fuss in what many people in your school think is probably non of you business. Would you like it if your network manager or the head of Languages, for example, kept going on about better ways of running the Physics department?

    Not trying to cause an argument, just think you've blown it out of all proportion.
    agree 100%

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