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Re: [Fwd: Re: [school-discuss] New wrinkle on using FOSS and thin client architecture to transition to 1:1 student to PC ratio]

Hi Daniel,

Is there a website where you could host the pictures?  Then you can
just send a URL to the list.

Alternatively, I'd be happy to host the pictures for you on
nelinux.net or softwarefreedomday.org.


Daniel Howard wrote:    [Mon Apr 24 2006, 11:33:41PM EDT]
> Since my last post with a single .jpg file pic of the cart didn't show 
> up on the list right away, I assume there's a limitation on attachment 
> file size, so I'm posting this response w/o pic.  I'll forward the pic 
> to Bill and Bryant separately, and anyone else that wants a pic.  Daniel
> Bill Barowy wrote:
> >Yes, as others have written, please share more.  I teach a course in 
> >computer structures for k-12 teachers, introducing OSS, and examples like 
> >this can be very powerful and insightful.  I'd like to prepare it as a 
> >case study for my students to investigate.  Full kudos to you, of course!
> >
> Thanks to Bill and Bryant for the kind words.  Pic attached, I'm the one
> with the beard and William is the other guy.  No, I haven't written
> anything up other than what I posted.  Here's a bit more data on it, let
> me know what kinds of info you would all like on it.  Perhaps I should
> poll the teachers to have them comment on it's uses, plusses and
> minuses?  Send me your queries, I'll do my best to address them.  Bill,
> we have a conference phone at our school, would it be helpful if we set
> up a call with some of our teachers and your students to talk to them
> about how they use it?  Best time for teachers is right after school
> ends, 2:45 or so.  I might learn something also, you never know.
> Cart size: 4 ft by 2.5 ft (without shelves installed, they store on top
> of the cart when being transported.  It has to fit easily in an
> elevator, that was a primary design constraint.  Wood construction,
> except shelves are metal adjustable shelf brackets with metal wire
> shelves (for lower weight) and to be able to adjust shelf height so
> Kindergarteners can put the shelves lower for their chair height, and
> 5th graders can raise the shelves for their height.  I keep a rubber
> mallet in the cart to make it easy to pop the shelf brackets off of the
> bracket supports, which are screwed into the cart itself.  Security
> right now is a plastic coated cable that runs through metal hinges I
> superglued to each laptop on the side, not fantastic, but the real
> security in our school are the hallway ceiling cams.  There's a single
> shelf on which the server, printer, and power switch reside that is
> about a foot up from the bottom of the cart.   This shelf has four 3
> inch holes in it for cat5 and laptop power cables, is removable, and
> underneath it is the 16 port switch with gigabit link to the server, the
> laptop power bricks, power strips, and the UPS battery backup.  The
> latter is sized so that if the cart is packed up (laptops zip up and are
> placed with net and power cables still attached), and the last thing
> disconnected is the power to the cart, as long as you move it to the new
> location and plug the power in within 30 minutes, the server stays up,
> and when you open up the laptops after reinstalling the shelves, they
> wake up from sleep mode instantly.
> The original intention was that it would be rolled from room to room,
> but it turns out several rooms just don't have the space for it, hence
> the request to set it up in a wide section of the hallway.  I ran a Cat6
> wire through the ceiling and dropped it down to the cart along one wall
> where there was a power outlet.
> Cost of cart (wood, shelves, network switch, power strips, cabling,
> paint, etc.) is about $400, assuming you already have the laptops.  It
> took me and one of my family members a weekend to build and paint it.
> Since the new idea is to leave it relatively fixed in the hallway, I
> don't see why you couldn't do it with LCD monitors and diskless thin
> clients, but then again, you can buy refurb Win98 laptops that would
> make fine thin clients for $240, just a bit more than an LCD monitor;
> this is how we plan to build more units after we use up all of our
> current, unused laptops.  By the way, the reason the laptops were so
> useless is that someone decided to upgrade the OS on them from Win98 to
> WinXP without upgrading the RAM in the laptops.  You can imagine how
> slow they became...Linux is the only OS that I know of where you can
> upgrade to the most recent software and be able to run it on older
> hardware w/o requiring a memory upgrade (at least on the clients, that is).
> Daniel
Open Source Software Engineering Consultant

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