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i heard a quote yersterday when using ict think 3 things is it useful, is it useful, is it useful...
yes linux is not right for some people and is for some,
oo 2.0 is good way got a decent database in it now...
But i agree but i think bearing in mind not read article yet but will do...
the article sounded one sided and that linux is not sutable for anything in schools in which we all know this is not true.
linux has long way to be suuccesful on the desktop but is getting there..
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Just finished reading the article in the Christmas 2005 edition of Linux Format (LXF74) on Linux in education.
There is short piece on serval projects, including Karoshi, and I feel that this is a much more objective view of Linux in education than the PC Pro article - despite being in a Linux mag!
Instead of trying to decide whether Linux is better than Windows, it outlines some of the ways that you could use Linux and mentions some of the schools that are doing so.
Well done Linux Format!
I have now got the latest PC Pro and have read the artical by Davis Moss and am quite shocked!! Is he a teacher or techie I wonder? The whole item is very, very dismissive of Linux without giving any specific reasons or viability of his arguments. The line 'The chance of someone doing something unintentional and rendering the system unrecoverable is a lot higher under Linux for example', is utter, utter rubbish. His entire slant on how his qualifications and experience are all Windows based and so exclude him from using Linux just make him come across as lazy and unwilling to learn new skills.
I really get the impression the entire article was funded by Microsoft, as it reeks of disinformation and poorly thought out arguments which have no substance whatsoever. By implecation he will never install nor upgrade any software on his network ever again, nor will he move beyond his current Office setup. It makes the blood boil, it really does.
*Afterthought* If he is a teacher he should really not be doing the amount of dabbling he does under the new working agreements, and if he is a techy he seems the type I often get calls from heads about when their network manager or technician is unable or unwilling to carry out work or invesatigate a new technology through fear that they are getting out of their shallow depth or really have little knowlege or learning ability to adapt to new techniques.
I found PC Pro to be very biased like this in the past D_B. I support your sentiments entirely.
well read article last nigh (picked copy up in town on sat)
anyway my initial thoughts are article is very flawed first the fact that even in windows enviroment he will need training or if he does like most of us learn 'on the job' then he can do the same with linux as he has done with windows.
The fact he is trying to argue linux as complete replacment shows how little he understand ict in education and linux. As no one would argue for complete replacement of systems with linux for example never would replace mis systems with linux not at this stage.
Again the fact he completly miss hybred solution of having linux servers and xp worksattions just shows how much he lacks in skills to implmenent a required solution.
The fact even bases on windows figures on licnese costs alone how about training and support contracts.
This article is one sided and just shows to be honest how little the writer understands ict in education letter to pc pro time...
For us, theshirt hit the nail on the head with what he said, but i for one wud embrace linux/opensource in the backend of thing like sql/webserver's - its just having the time to learn thats the problem.
Although everything is running quite nicely so far so i can work on it soon [as a s start, gonna have a dual boot - xp & linux - machine at home and get to work learning it ]
For doing stuff at home use Colinux it runs Linux on your desktop in a window.
that seems interesting project going to have a look at it
OK. I might suffer the collective wrath of our penguin loving friends on here, but I liked what Dave Moss said. Yes, it was a little biased, but it was honest. He didn't couch his article with a felt need to look "geeky" or "hip" (which is what happens sometimes when people discuss which distro they use lately, or how much they saved by recompiling their aged kernel to work with wireless or whatever).
I think it was good from a number of perspectives:
1. Dave Moss is writing from his personal perspective and his schools' position with regards to specialist software and skills. Lets face it (and let's be honest) teachers like their specialist software, only limited amounts of which can be found among the ranks of Apple or Linux offerings (and if they are offered from the Linux camp just don't offer the documentation, training, or support required by staff, students, or support staff).
With skills things look worse for Linux/Unix at the moment. There are plenty of people with pretty good to very good Windows knowledge schools can hire, and this means they get productive from the get go. Dave mentions this in part of his article when he refers to MCSE qualifications and self taught Windows skills. The reason for this is manifold, but primarily one of availability. Ever looked for decent entry level "we'll show you how its done" Linux server books? They are there, but they assume (generally) a certain level of Linux kowledge before using them. But look for a book on Server 2003, and you can get drowned in the options. For Linux to become more acceptable it needs that documentation and skills training (I know LPI and CompTIA are helping here- and its good).
2. Dave takes an honest look too at replacing the network with Linux/Apple equipment and software. Now, I'm a big Apple fan, but would be the first to jump all over the suggestion we move entirely to Mac OS X (although that's not as bad as moving entirely to Linux). Yes, he could have looked at integration but what's the point? After testing some integration scenarios the best I could think up to fit my own situation was to continue using smoothwall as a firewall. And even that wasn't convincing enough. Perhaps- as some intimated- it is because I'm lazy. Maybe. But with working full-time, studying for an MCP and HND and being a Dad and a husband I haven't the time to learn how to integrate Linux with our 2000/2003 servers or even replace desktops with it etc etc. And I sure haven't got the time to re-teach staff and students how to use an application over again (Open Office anyone?) when the current solution costs very little and works (they use it at home and mum and dad use it at work- they can all use it).
So from two practical perspectives I think Dave hit the nail on the head. OK- so let's look at integration a bit more closely with an example Dave uses- Wine. I tried it some time back and it didn't work well at all, and it seems that this is Dave's experience too. In a school you can't "guess" it's gonna work- it *has* to work. And if it doesn't work as planned the support structure needs to be there to help get it working. Linux newsgroups etc anyone? Fine. But what you'll generally get are recommendations to try this, that, or the other distribution with it. Hmmpphh. Bang goes another working week of distraction and heart-ache.
3. Cost. Here's the big one. I have read the BECTA pamphlet about OSS in schools. It's pretty good. But really- is MS software really that excpensive- and are we saying that it is ethically wrong to have to pay for software in any case? The prices Dave Moss quotes are a little less than we pay for licenses, but it shows that MS are doing what they can to reduce the gap between "free" software and its own offerings (for schools at least). This is a good thing, and probably why many schools administrators have looked at Linux and just thrown their hands up in the air and submitted to the inevitable: Windows works well enough, Office is pretty good, the staff and students can use- we can even run all the software they want- and we can get training, documentation, and usually suitably skilled staff to support the whole.
Here's the key:
"The software landscape of our user base is too diverse, and the skill set of our user base is too diverse, and the skills sets of our users and managers mean they don't want to spend time problem-solving..."
I agree. And I also agree with Dave's sentiments about having the desire to change the landscape- it would be nice to have the skills and support required to do this. But I don't see it happening in many schools at all. I understand that Karoshi is an option (and others like it)- a recent Linux Format whet my appetite on that one. But when you *really* look it isn't an option for our school- at least not right now (for a variety of reasons- some of which are above).
In the final analysis it's bias that can read the article and find itself totally opposed to its premise without considering where it comes from and why- without really hearing what the guy is saying. He isn't anti-Linux; but he is anti-change for change' sake. And so am I.
As a last point- hybrid pretty much means the same thing in this context as total rebuild of network. Why? Because you rip out the heart of the network by taking away AD and Server and then replace it with Linux solutions and XP clients. You lose what you had to gain what? It's all one and the same- same problems getting skills, support, staff retraining, and downtime...
Now running for the bunker!!!
AMLightfoot (21st August 2012)
Very good points well stated Paul.
Just read the PC Pro article - Right on Kingswood.
i think problem is that article compltly missed out the obvious way in which linux i used in schools as servers.
As said i am no way saying a school should move over to complete linux solution i dont think linux on desktop is ready for it yet.
but as a server it out performs windows greatly and i think this is where the problem lies with article as it suggested linux was not usable at schools at all which not true as it can be used succesfully in schools as a server.
You can do Linux on the desktop. You just can't do it the Windows way (and indeed you shouldn't). No, the best approach is to use thin clients booting off the network. This is completely alien terrirtory to most Windows admins and I think this is where everyones stumbling.
I thought David Moss was the thin client guru - or have I got the wrong person?
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