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Re: [school-discuss] Enterprise Linux thin client schools

Hi Casey,

On Thu, 13 Dec 2007, Casey Adams wrote:

Les poses a very good position in his Program of Dreams comment.  It
is not in his best interest just to write functionality for every
request that comes along.  It seems to me, and I am trying to figure
how to get this going at os4ed, that if a group with common interests
and similar functionality needs will all contribute a little, then a
lot can be achieved.

Agreed. The only thing is that there has to be a fairly large amount of incentive. ( and/or self interest).

As an example, say I want to build multiple language support into
openCentre, which I do.  That effort is going to require a fairly
serious rewrite of code to replace English language with variables,
create templates, etc.  I could do this slowly over time paying money
out of my pocket,

This is what I'm doing with Open Admin... it all takes time...

but I could be serving the broader community better
if I can do it quicker and better.  If I have 1,000 registered users,
many from other countries,  who would each donate $10 then I could
easily throw some of my development team at it and have it ready
before summer giving them enough time to implement for the coming
school year.  Sooner means more cost savings that can be redirected to
the instructional budget.

True. But they also have to decide on their own resource allocations.

My partners at os4ed think that we will not be able to generate this
community group think support. I think it can be done, but am
struggling with the best way to pull my registered users together to
generate financial support.  I mean, if you can get something you need
for far less that if you were paying for it by yourself and the result
is distributed back to the community, isn't that a great reason to do

So, I am looking for ways to generate a community response where
everyone gives a little and everyone gets a lot.  I would guarantee
that ALL contributed dollars would go to development only and would
guarantee specific deliverables.  Any ideas on how I can successfully
create this momentum?

Provide a single section/module of translated work that is popular. That might provide some incentive for user to help with the translation of other portions.

Les R.
Open Admin for Schools

As I learned in Economics 101 in college, there ain't no such thing as
a free lunch (TANSTAAFL, if you remember), yet most of my clients
think there is and keep coming to the table asking for more.  Ideas


On Dec 12, 2007 8:11 PM, Les Richardson <les@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Hi James,

Need sleep, funding, more hardware for testing and for Les to put LDAP
support in OA :)

Ok, when do you want it by? LDAP, I mean. (grin)

Remember this is not 'Programs of Dreams'... 'If I write it, they will
come' stuff. I'm fairly pragmatic.

If you have a real use for the LDAP integration, I will add it in (it's on
the development books), but then your commitment must be to help with the
testing... that's the other side of the development coin.

Right? (grin)


(just poking at you - OA needs to be the cornerstone for schools)

On Wed, 2007-12-12 at 16:13 -0600, Les Richardson wrote:
Hi Casey,

they never seemed to take off.  I am sure there were a variety of
reasons behind that, our high prices as one, but the feeling I got
from feedback was that it was simply too complicated.

Strong Agree!

This speaks to
many issues like training, change management, teacher motivation, etc.

For this to be successful, I think the thin clients would need to boot
to a specific server with a specific image that had everything the
teacher needed.  The idea of your average teacher plugging and
unplugging wires isn't going to go very far is my guess.  And the idea
of every teacher having their own server sounds like a logistical tech
nightmare for IT.  It really has to be simple so the focus is on the
instruction and not the technology.

The technology needs to be
practically invisible in education for true success.

Exactly right, IMO. Ubiquitous. Reliable. Well Understood. Well integrated
with other classroom activities and curriculum support materials.

Les Richardson
Open Admin for Schools

My opinion if it helps!


On Dec 12, 2007 3:10 PM, Marilyn Hagle <marilyn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I have enjoyed reading this thread.  It is true that when there is overcrowding,
teachers often lose their classrooms.

This brought back memories of teaching elementary music.  The music room is
often the first to go, and then the teacher gets the pleasure of pushing a cart
of stuff from room to room.  When I was a student teacher, we had to push a
piano.   Yikes!

You might be forced to go to a portable class, if there are space constraints.
However, for the teacher - it will suck (couldn't think of a better word).  It
wears you out pushing a bunch of stuff around all day.  Organizing your stuff
can be a challenge.  I think the worst problem is usually discipline because
you can't control your environment.

I thought you might enjoy the views of an old traveling teacher.  :)


Quoting Daniel Howard <dhhoward@xxxxxxxxxxx>:

I'm talking to several Atlanta schools now that are expecting the new
enterprise thin client system that William and I recommended within the
coming months, and one thing that keeps coming up is what happens to the
computer lab teacher when there are so many PCs (at least 2:1) in each
classroom.  Plus, many of these schools are bursting at the seams with
enrollment growth, so the computer lab is a likely target for a regular
classroom anyway.  This is what happened at Brandon, e.g.

One thought I had was the following: suppose the computer teacher went
mobile and had on her cart a server that she could use to go into a
classroom, quickly connect the thin clients in the room to her server,
and voila, she's in command and can run any apps she has on her server,
including TeacherTool, etc.  Wireless connection from mobile server to
Internet would likely be best to prevent the mobile server from handing
out IP addresses to other school computers if miswired, and that's one
less wire to mess with too.  At the end of the session, she reconnects
the classroom clients to the main school server (single wire from room
switch to data port, e.g.), and the kids reboot and they're back where
they started.

Any thoughts from the group, pro/con?  Assume all rooms have the same
thin client platform, so a single config with dhcp could be used.


Daniel Howard
President and CEO
Georgia Open Source Education Foundation


Casey Adams

James P. Kinney III
CEO & Director of Engineering
Local Net Solutions,LLC

GPG ID: 829C6CA7 James P. Kinney III (M.S. Physics)
Fingerprint = 3C9E 6366 54FC A3FE BA4D 0659 6190 ADC3 829C 6CA7

Casey Adams