[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

Re: [school-discuss] Business model for school systems

> Where can we find the free software library you wrote?
> Kind regards,

I've never published it....

It's a mix of open-source & proprietary free software, along with some low-cost software. The FLOSS is what you'd find in the GNUWin & OpenWin projects like GIMP & OpenOffice. The other non-FLOSS & FLOSS softwares for Windows workstations included utils (free, most of them not open), Linux utils (disk mgmt, cloning techniques).

The non-FLOSS/proprietary softwares included free feature-limited (but not crippled) versions of expensive applications like Maya PE (big in U.S. colleges but I pushhd Blender 3-D on the kids), UZR-3D (photogrammetric 3D modeling), Avid (a base version of the excellent video editor, but Win-XP only), and once-proprietary tools like Open WorkBench.

As for pay-ware, I selected F-Prot for their reasonable per-seat no-hassle educational license ($3.50 per seat) & FilterGate for their $280 site license. My per-seat outlay came to around $92 (incl. used monitors, $1 odd-lot Microsoft mice & $2 keybds (I have a unique supplier here in Austin.... ;-). Rather than pay thru the nose to MacroMedia or Adobe we used payware tools like Swish (for flash animation in the comp. lab) & FLOSS tools like Nvu & PDFCreator.

To clone the machines I turned to Linux, using the Linux SystemRescueCd   bootable CD & used dd piped thru nc in clusters of 10 machines (one source, 9 targets) then rechecked the new partitions w/ QTParted. I had the machines built in a weekend (except for a handful of duds) & then I just had to rename each workstation, newsid them (a free sysinternals util) & joined them to the Linux domain (in this case, the Karoshi project's LINUXGRID domain). Again, totally legal, no royalty fee issues for cloning as with proprietary disk cloners like Partition Magic, etc.

Because the machines were donated via the Parent-Teacher Assoc (PTA) we were covered by Microsoft's "Fresh Start" programme that enables a school to "relicense" older donated machines with a school's choice of Win98 or Win2K. Making it legal, the PTA donated these 30 machines (Dells stamped as P-II 450's) at a cost of $65 ea. for a total of $2000. This way we could upgrade the whole campus (a bunch of derelicts) for a modest per-seat cost, and the teachers could run their fav Windows gradebook software or install Math/Reading Blaster or Mavis Beacon (typewriting trainer - going for $5/copy at 5dollarsoftware.com ).

In the USA PTAs can work as considered charitable non-profits if they donate to another non-profit - also non-profit software resellers like Gifts-in-Kind or TechSoup can resell to a school's PTA, altho licenses can't typically be transferred.

I made sure each penny squeaked when they went thru my fingers and it was all perfectly legal.


| This concludes our broadcast day |

Yahoo! Mail goes everywhere you do. Get it on your phone.