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[school-discuss] Mac Linux network install failure
Some of you will remember that I've been dabbling with setting up
old Motorola 68K-based Macintoshes with Debian Linux M68K and using
them as XTerminals against a PC Linux server. I got the agreement
of a local community center to install the 12 Macs I have in a lab
they planned to build.
We started from scratch, scrounging cast-off 10BaseT network hubs
from a local university, getting a local consultant to donate
wire-pulling services, etc. I found that the center had paid for 10
Windows systems for this lab, but didn't buy any monitors; I
convinced the university to donate used monitors for them.
I specced out an adequate server for $550 and installed K12LTSP on
it. I figured to run both the Linux (on the server) and Windows (on
the workstations) versions of OpenOffice, and to map the home
directories of the Linux account users (on the XTerms) to a specific
drive letter for the Windows (samba) users. I found an old 486
Compaq mini-system to use as a print server for the remote lab and
put TINY Linux on it.
This was taking some time to do between family responsibilities and
vacations, but we were proceeding. When I returned from vacation at
the end of August/beginning of September and called the center to
see when we could start working again, I was told that they'd
entered an agreement with the local housing authority to set up a
joint computer lab, and that the housing authority would take care
of setting it up. I later talked to their computer guy, who
obviously didn't know anything beyond Windows. I explained that the
Macs and print server would be completely useless to them if they
didn't use Linux on the server, but after politely going around with
him for a while over the phone, I told him that it was probably best
if he reformatted the server and put Windows 2000 on it (since that
was all he knew how to do), and found a used HP JetDirect card for
the lab printer somewhere. I didn't volunteer to help him with the
printer, because (as I explained) I don't work on Windows-only
I don't know what they'll do with the Macs that are filling up a
room at the center; they certainly can't use them for anything
else. If I can find somewhere that will consider the idea, maybe
I'll try to place my 12-station Mac Xterm network someplace else
(assuming they're willing to give them back to me).
I just thought you might be interested in hearing about an
installation that went wrong for political reasons. The director of
the center said he'd agreed to this purely to make the connection
with the housing authority, although he wasn't all that enthused
about Linux anyway. He's new in the job and came in when the
network installation was already underway.
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