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[school-discuss] More Progress!

Hi Sam and Doug,

   The concept is picking up more steam!  Today I was back at the 
technology Administrator's office.  Fortunately she realized that she 
had some spare time so I  asked if she wouldn't mind sparing 5 minutes 
while I show her something.

   I had preloaded a live demo CD of Knoppix Linux on a nearby 
workstation and opened up Writer.  I asked her to sit down in front of 
the computer and describe to me what she was looking at.  She responded 
that she was looking at a word processor and that it looked like Word. 
I told her to poke around and give me her impressions.  She found and 
identified the icons for "New Document", "Open File", "Save File", 
"Print", etc.  I had her explore the toolbar selections and then asked 
her if she could see using this application within the school district. 
  She responded , "Yes".  I then asked her to open up the Calc and 
Impress applications, to which she responded that it's like working with 
Office.  She continued exploring and found Draw and Math, which she was 
impressed with, also.  I then said, "so you wouldn't have any problem 
deploying an application like this in the district?"  She again 
responded affirmatively.  I then said to her that this application is 
absolutely free to use and deploy as she saw fit.  Her jaw just dropped 
and her eyes popped out.  "Free!?"  "Yes, Lucy, free."

   The two of us are on very friendly terms.  She couldn't believe that 
people worked on this and then made it available free.  I told it her 
was made made by people who are good at what they do and just wanted to 
make the best office software in the world, that their goal is not to be 
as good as Microsoft, but better.  She was very impressed and excited. 
  Needless to say my little "show-and-tell" demonstration went on for 
more than 5 minutes as she kept asking me about the software.  I also 
used the opportunity to show her a bit of Linux and showed her the types 
of free software that comes pre-loaded with Linux.  We also wound up 
discussing K12LTSP as a solution to a number of particular areas for 
improvement in the district.

    She was very excited by all this.  We discussed how other districts, 
such as Yonkers (where she last worked), are so strapped for money that 
these solutions would open up a whole new level of technology for the 
district.  I mentioned how K12LTSP could be used to boost the 
capabilities of older hardware because they would be running off of a 
server.  She started discussing how she was familiar with projects in 
Africa to make computer technology available.  I said, "Yes, I know, 
they're using Linux to do it."

    I also explained how Linux was basically Unix rewritten for the Intel
platform, and how Unix is what runs all those multi-million-dollar
mainframes..  She told me how she's familiar with Unix because that's 
what her husband works with!  I said she should talk to him about it.

    I've always liked Lucy and we both respect each other.  We have 
worked well together in the past, but now I think I have a very strong 
and excited ally.  The district I work in is big and very influential. 
All in all, I'd say it was a good day for open source.

-Jim Anderson

"There is no such thing as perfection... only different levels of pain."

Registered Linux user #269312