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Re: OpenClassroom - A GNU/Linux distribution for Education.

On Thu, Aug 05, 1999 at 11:28:31PM +0000, jose.lacal@openclassroom.org wrote:

> Therefore, I would like to request your support in our endeavor to bring a 
> simple-to-use Linux distribution to the Education market worldwide.

Well, I just spent several hours checking not only openclassroom.org but
also volks-pc.org and your personal home pages and links therein.  I did
this because the extensive use of marketing language in your post/and website
made me feel nervous.  I wanted to be sure that you knew what open source 

And my concluding opinion is that the open source endeavor openclassroom.org
is indeed genuine and backed by a lot of experience with internet
cooperation.  Your extensive and apparently successful business experiences
are matched by an equally consistent interest in technology transfer to
poorer areas of the world. I'll return to that thought further down.

You have my wholehearted support.  You seem to have been
heavily influenced by our work on seul and this makes your web site seem 
familiar when it gets down to details :-)

I understand why you chose the phrase "linux distribution" 
(because certain packages such as squid and apache will
need to be configured in a certain way to allow the rest of the more
directly educational stuff to work properly), however, you do clearly state
that existing classical linux distributions can/should make packages that
integrates the educational stuff nicely in with their standard CDs  (like
k12admin is doing now)   

> - For many countries, especially developing nations, commercial software is very
>  expensive. Using GNU/Linux and OpenSource software, those countries can 
> download the software, modify it to suit their needs, make unlimited copies, and
>  no hard currency flows out of their countries.

While your emphasis on making sure all this will work on older equipment
(286s and old Macs for example) may not motivate some of those of us who finally
managed to get rid of that stuff, nonetheless, it strikes a deep chord
within me.  It is very satisfying to see this vision energetically promoted.

> - By following the OpenSource model we will be able to offer our target market 
> the most cost-effective (not just FREE) solution to their challenges.

> - By making our toolset freely available it will be widely distributed and 
> installed quicker and thus deliver a larger user base than would otherwise be 
> the case should we have not followed the OpenSource model.

It seems to be in our common interest to see each other thrive. If
the openClassroom distribution/package succeeds, that would be a good vector 
for the propagation of our work on seul.  

Lastly,  I am impressed with the way you share openly the business side of
your venture.  volks-pc.org contains a detailed account of a conversation
between you and an un-convinced venture capitalist which is quite eye-opening.