[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: [Computerbank] CBAUS BUILD

> Feedback from everyone is important and all input is valued.
> Options and issues include, but are not limited to:
> Distribution to base CBAUS build on.
> How we deal with low end and mid range hardware - do we do different
>   installs or just say "only run Abiword on your 486" when Star Office is
>   installed as well (just an example).
> Do we focus on the same apps as teh environment they are built for.
> How do we handle printing.
> How do we deal with document compatabilities.
> What file system we use.
> How we partition a hard disk (/ and /home - for system and recips' data?).

We're already arguing such issues of distributions elsewhere, so I don't
want to add to that with discussions of ext2 and one root partition. We can
vote of stuff like that if necessary anyway.

The bad news is that I disagree to your approach and think we should tackle
it from a different angle. Namely I think we should work at getting a
higher-level idea together of the key systems and then work of the low level
details. The idea is not fight over detail now, but once we have more

I will explain where I am comming from. This may not be directly related,
but hopfully will offer some background to what I am proposing.

Firstly, the process will require a few different players:

1. Clients make requests for Computerbank assistance

2. Meeting between clients and a Computerbank solution architect to work out
how we can best serve the client. The solution architect works with a few
basic system components and constructs the required system from that (they
know nothing of hardware, software, or any distribution issues. They know
that it is free, linux, and what it will allow them to do). They come up
with ideas like "you need a few workstations to share an Internet

3. System builders get a request from the solution architect to put together
the machines. Making best use of available resources they load base systems
and do site customisations (eg. hostnames, ip's, hardware config). If any
additional development is required (eg. login scripts, integration work) can
be performed there and onsite.

Such an approach says that you don't tell end users that they are getting
"Abiword, Galeon, on KDE", but rather a computer with a "word processor and
web browser".

** Ideally we should have a look at all of the machines CB has built so far
and work out how much diversity and functionality is required. **

Ignoring that smart idea, I will just have a crack at it myself. Ultimately
I have a sneaking suspicion we could get away with just a handful of
standard installs to work from! ;)

My guess would be:

Internet Gateway (self explaining)
=> (LRP?|smoothwall?)?, squid, modem+ppp dialing, webmin, caching DNS, email
server?, apache (Internet hosting?), DHCP?

Internet machine/kiosk (dumbed down for just web surfing)
=> X, web browser, email client, news client

Stand alone X (general workstation for browsing and simple word processing
=> X, Abiword/gcalc/email client -> lightweight office, web browser, print

Office (for actual business workstation use?)
=> X, (Gnome|KDE), OpenOffice, web browser, print services

File server (for more business style scenarios)
=> samba, apache (intranet), maybe NFS boot/X client setup/VNC host?,
Internet proxy, DHCP, print server

I'm not sure if such a decision has been previous made, but if we could
agree on such high level configs, we could then get down to the issue of
exact packages to install and what is in/out.

That's my contribution for now. Other notes is to just keep it really simple
with stable packages, only one version of things, and no unecessary tools.

Implementation would be to have package lists that we simply apply for each
machine type and keep a record of those for maintenance/urgent upgrades.

So let me know how crazy an idea that is!?!?

computerbank mailing list