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

Re: [school-discuss] Converting 600 old laptops into K12LTSP

Søndag 21 mai 2006 15:32, skrev Daniel Howard:

> We could probably load Linux OS directly onto each laptop and keep them
> as stand-alone units so the kids could take them home as the original
> model proposed, 

The problem with 6-7 years old laptops is not only the operating system you 
run. It's also the harddrives. It depends on the use, but I believe that 
the reason for that just 50 of 600 old laptops works, is that the harddrive 
is ready for demotion. You have lost the write access to the disk. 

When the disk has done is milage, it's errors, and then it's stops to 
work ...

Then you have two options. You can use the machines as thin clients with 
netboot (PXE) with a wired network. Or you could replace the old harddrives 
with the cheapest ones you get on the marked that should still get 
supported in the laptops bios. I believe the people at Free Geek in US 
could give you advices about the quality of your hardware. We have similar 
organisations in Europe working with Skolelinux shipping reused computers 
to schools or to the developing world:  


> but the support issue (number of PCs to support) along 
> with the need to plug them in to power daily in the classrooms and
> either plug network in or log on wirelessly makes that less desirable.

Wireless at this old machines probably has limited bandwidth not suited for 
used as thin clients. Wireless does not provide enough throughput, and have 
to little capacity. A thin client will in general use 1,5-2 Mbit/s 
capacity. If you have a switched wired network with 100 Mbit/s it takes 
60-70 thin clients on a server. Then we recomend diskless workstations. 


> I'd rather see the kids stay after school for a few hours to do homework
> on them when necessary and reduce the number of PCs to support by a
> factor of 50 by turning them all into thin clients that stay at the
> school.

Then I would go for a wired network, or use them as half thick clients with 
swap for each client on the server because the local harddrive could be out 
of order. 

> Are there any other ideas out there for what to do to revive 600 drunken
> laptops?

As suggested I would use the laptops as diskless worstations. I would 
contact Free Geek in US to learn how to reuse hardware with free 
software :)


Knut Yrvin