+ Post New Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8
*nix Thread, User reaction: windows --> *nix in Technical; So currently I'm running a completely windows system except for a single squid proxy. My medium to long term goal ...
  1. #1
    AntiThesis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    115
    Thank Post
    5
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0

    User reaction: windows --> *nix

    So currently I'm running a completely windows system except for a single squid proxy.

    My medium to long term goal would be to get things moving onto the open source side of things as I really like the concepts, think it would save the school a ton of cash and so on.

    My question really are:

    1) What are/were the reactions of users to the switch?
    2) Did/do they have any issues adjusting to the new software and look?
    3) Do you imagine they'll have trouble adjusting once they get out into the big bad windows world after school?
    4) Worth it?

    I'm concerned that it would be quite disruptive to users who have been using windows for say 5 years and are now confronted with *nix stuff as well as users who have been using the new stuff for 7 years (grade 0 - 7) and now have to learn to use windows when they leave our school.

  2. #2
    Midget's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    In a Server Room cutting through a forest of Cat5e
    Posts
    1,298
    Thank Post
    5
    Thanked 59 Times in 49 Posts
    Rep Power
    40
    Unfortunatelly for alot of low level office jobs here in the UK they only ask for experiance of Windows and MS Office and wouldn't count Linux/OOo, so you will have problems in that respect if a similar attitude is prevalent in SA.

    Also training for all staff to a level that they can do basic training with students will be fun for you.

    Thin clients might be a better option, if you DO have to stick with windows, for reducing costs.

  3. #3

    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Alcester, Warwickshire
    Posts
    4,859
    Thank Post
    412
    Thanked 777 Times in 650 Posts
    Rep Power
    182
    <soapbox>

    I have for a long time been strongly of the view that we need to provide a range of experiences, so that we're actually preparing young people instead of just going with the flow. They need to learn to evaluate the options, choose an appropriate one and explain what was or wasn't good about it afterwards. Otherwise we're just going to breed a generation of MS clones who get out into the world and find themselves unable to transfer skillsets between one software product and another.

    Of course as a Debian and Ubuntu maintainer, I have a slightly vested interest (and I don't make my views a secret, by any means) but it's still important to recognise that most of the world uses Windows and Office, and it's going to be that way for a very, very long time yet.

    </soapbox>

    In practical terms though, you're going to have less trouble with the kids, who are very adaptable to this kind of change given a few weeks to get used to it. Members of staff will be more of a problem, though; partly because you will find they are nervous of such a change, and you're taking them completely out of their comfort zones. You'll also find that if there's something you're doing because it's good for them but they don't necessarily understand why, lots of the little problems that aren't normally such a big deal will become much bigger (I remember the mutterings and grumpings when I last did a RADIUS roll-out, and it didn't quite go to plan).

    So: think carefully, move slowly, offer choice, and communicate effectively.

  4. #4
    Midget's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    In a Server Room cutting through a forest of Cat5e
    Posts
    1,298
    Thank Post
    5
    Thanked 59 Times in 49 Posts
    Rep Power
    40
    monkey> I agree entirely, people should be able to take what they know of one program and apply it to another, however the kids need jobs and if those jobs require "Word and Excel" and they haven't used them, they are going to be at a disadvantage. At least in the UK.

    And then you've got all those IT projects/exams that specify Access and Publisher

    One compromise is using linux with MSO under crossover Office, but the cost of that won't offer much of a saving over a winXP system.
    Else have both systems. XP/MSO where they require it (IT Dept etc) and nix/OOo where they don't. You just have to make sure that OOo is set to save as MSO filetypes by default.

  5. #5
    AntiThesis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    115
    Thank Post
    5
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0
    Thanks for the comments folks I suppose the cold, hard reality is that it really is a MS world at the moment but I'd like to change some of that if I can.

    Ubuntu is at least well recognised in SA what with Mark Shuttleworth and all so it might not meet quite as much resisitance. Users here generally consist of people using Word and Excel rather than anything that is terribly complicated.

    I think some test machines in another area, some time to play around and see the configs and how people react would be a good plan.

  6. #6
    ahuxham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,122
    Thank Post
    76
    Thanked 138 Times in 109 Posts
    Rep Power
    31
    There is an alternate solution; running both systems in parralel. Grade 0-7 students are young enough to appreciate easier learner and more direct/educated learning.

    Have a look at the Sugar project for linux, designed with kids in mind. Who new interface with every assosciated application thrown in there. To be honest I'm quite impressed with what it does.

    Sugar - OLPC

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_(GUI)

    http://www.sugarlabs.org/

  7. Thanks to ahuxham from:

    dhicks (25th June 2009)

  8. #7
    linuxgirlie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    340
    Thank Post
    106
    Thanked 33 Times in 18 Posts
    Rep Power
    31
    1) What are/were the reactions of users to the switch?

    Shock, annoyance, was to blame for things the end user did, some training due to things being hidden under different menus etc and the fact that the computers are slow - which makes no difference what OS was run on them! The main problem came from the staff not the students but rubbed off on the students. So a student would say something we would ask were it came from and they would say 'mr/miss so and so said'. This years yr7 will be the first to use Linux till leaving(if bsf doesn't eat us in the next 7 years), and have not had not so far complained or had a single problem. The staff are also fine now, and we try and iron out any problems due to the OS asap.


    2) Did/do they have any issues adjusting to the new software and look?

    We use KDE here and I have made it look as close to Windows as possible even down to using 'My Computer' icon. The software seems to be fine, just a few problems when things are in different places. Most of the software we have either found alternatives or they are web-based. In places that we can't do that they still run windows, for example DT suite for pro/desktop and Media have Macs.


    3) Do you imagine they'll have trouble adjusting once they get out into the big bad windows world after school?

    Maybe. The students here are taught using generic terms and could easily cope with a job asking for Excel experience etc. We have had this comment from students before but so far have had various come back to us who have been on work experience, saying things like 'There wasn't a Windows computer in the building' or one guy who came back in awe cause he had just spent the week working on a computer that was just a command line! Also we have had lots of Uni students coming back and telling us that they are grateful for us opening their eyes to open source cause (when doing computer science) they are way ahead of the rest of the class, and an English uni student who said that he can save his loan money cause he built himself a computer and could put all the software on it for free.

    4) Worth it?

    Hmmm, slightly bias but I would say yes, it was tough, it has taken 6 years to get it integrated, in those years there were times I wanted to give up and just use Microsoft, but didn't and now it works well and the maintenance is almost non-existent we allows us to take a pro-active role rather than a reactive one. On the student side it is good cause they are getting a mixed range, Windows at home (but not all we have several students who parents chose to come here cause we use Linux and they use it at home!) a few windows here, macs and Linux. We are getting students coming to us and asking to re-install their computer cause they are fed-up of viruses, crashing and other problems.

    But this is just my view.

    Jo

  9. #8

    dhicks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Knightsbridge
    Posts
    5,664
    Thank Post
    1,263
    Thanked 786 Times in 683 Posts
    Rep Power
    237
    Quote Originally Posted by linuxgirlie View Post
    Do you imagine they'll have trouble adjusting once they get out into the big bad windows world after school?
    Learning to use any piece of software is not actually hard - just sit down, figure out what you want to do and get on and do it. Anyone well-grounded in the basics of spreadsheets (and, more importantly, maths) should be able to figure out Excel in no time. For those that require more formal instruction, a quick certificate course should do it - a week full time maybe, or half a term if you're doing other things. The problem seems to be staff and parents projecting their own lack of knowledge on to the children - your average 15 year old is bright enough to figure out most of Excel in an afternoon.

    --
    David Hicks

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread

Similar Threads

  1. [Video] Shatner Reaction to new Star Trek Trailer
    By mattx in forum Jokes/Interweb Things
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 1st December 2008, 12:10 PM
  2. Odd reaction in public.....
    By MyDejaVu in forum General Chat
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 22nd May 2008, 12:48 PM
  3. What am I meant to do?! (Windows 98 user problem)
    By SteveB_NI in forum General Chat
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 2nd May 2007, 08:14 AM
  4. User paid to uninstall Windows XP
    By tickmike in forum General Chat
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 17th November 2006, 05:29 PM
  5. Windows 2003 Administrator User
    By Nij.UK in forum Windows
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 27th October 2006, 11:12 AM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •