[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[seul-edu] xterm performance, help for newbie

G'day to you all,

This is my first post, so FYI, I'll attempt a concise intro here.  Else,
page down to "Business".

I'm a high school instructor at a small private school in Brooklyn, NY.  Let
me redefine 'small' for those of you who think 500 in a HS is small:  we
have 40 kids in 1-12 (that's up 10 from last year); we have 5 1/2 salaried
staff/faculty (I won't even tell you my salary-you'd ditch this whole thing
as a hoax.); virtually all of our classroom and office furniture is other
people's rejects (not as bad as it sounds, though).  We're starting our 4th
year, we're growing at a rate that most people would say is dangerous, but
even so we have a waiting list that keeps lengthening.  Up to now, I've been
a full-time instructor, part-time administrator, and IT Dept. when I could
or had to (this year we hired a principal).  I've had no formal computer
training, but I've geeked my way to a satisfactory mastery of Windows and a
comfortable understanding of PC hdwr (I've had plenty of people call me a
glutton for punishment).  On the FWIW side, I also have an incurable
affection for the Palm OS devices.

An avg family profile includes a very limited income, kids academically
behind due to bad city schools, and parents who are desperate for an
alternative and usually worried about their kids' safety.

Except for an HP Scanjet and a Brother laser printer (a poor school's copy
machine) and a very helpful 10/100 ethernet network, which was donated, all
our active computing equipment has been purchased personally by instructors.
This includes 4 systems, from a K6-2/300,32M,3.2G on up to a
K6-2/400,96M,13G Aptiva.  Additionally, we have received a slug of older
machines from a 486DX/2-66 (IBM w/ MCA:() on backwards.

For the first time ever, we now have a budget for computers. We'll start
with staff needs, but with an eye to more ed apps in the future.  But it has
to stretch very far.  I'm sick of the Windows headaches and at some point,
we're going to have to have better stability than it can offer. So I've
watched with interest the xterm development, and have the strong hunch that
it's what we need.  I've installed Corel's Linux onto a partition on my
Aptiva just to prove it could be done, and I'm just starting to work on a RH
6.1 install-with my new Red Hat Linux Bible (IDG Books, pub.) at my side.
I've read everything I can find on xterms themselves, and I've kept up with
this list since May.

Now there are all kinds of gotchas:
Me:  no programming experience in Linux or anything.  If I'm going to do
this, I've got to able to pick it up quickly, and not get stuck too often.

Equipment:  The Aptiva will have to be the server for now.  If we can even
get two clients running, we'll be good to go for a while.  I'm expecting
that I'll need 486s with 16M, from what you all and others have said.  The
Brother HL-1240 plays a pivotal role for all our systems (anybody seen a
Linux driver for it?).  The Scanjet 6200c (usb) may be replaced soon; it's
always been troublesome, but we need a capable scanner and scanner apps in
either case.

Existing Windows uses:  We have no option:  we are stuck with Win apps for a
good little while, I suspect.  The biggest non-negotiable is our school
management system-an Access 97 db.  It exports to Excel and Word.  I use my
Palm III heavily for PIM and records-management, meaning OL98 for now; and
PenForms (Access on the desktop side).  We've also got a few ed apps that we
can't lose-most significantly a music theory app.  We're using StarOffice
(Win) satisfactorily on one system, and I think we won't have difficulty
expanding its use in the future, but MSOffice interoperability is still a
must-have.  Fortunately, I've got a fairly teachable staff to work with, so
if I give viable alternatives, in a lot of cases, they'll accept it.

So before I dive in, I'm needing some input:

+First off, is this off the track, or beyond the scope of, or too elementary
for this list?  If so, kindly deep-six the post.  Are there other lists that
might help me more specifically?

+I see no way around emulation.  Winehq's ratings for Access are a little
??, but I'd like to try it for the xterms.  VMWare and Win4Lin seem to fit
the bill (for a price) for the Aptiva (xserver), since I need support for a
scanner, the Brother, and my Palm Hotsync (I also rely on an HP CD-WR 8100
for backups.).  I'm sure with time I'll be able to migrate to more Linux
stuff, but, it will be a while.  Can this work? (talk about straddling the

+I've noted concern about performance on xterms, specifically regarding WINE
and VMWare, but also StarOffice. Will the projected clients be faster or
slower than a K6-2 w/ 32M w/ Win98 running StarOfficeWin?

+And finally, where can I get more input? I've covered these emulator sites:
wine, vmware, win4lin, bochs/plex86, twin, twine, freemware, freedows, etc.
I've also included my list of xterm links, FWIW.  What else is out there?


                           1stUp.com - Free the Web
   Get your free Internet access at http://www.1stUp.com