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Fwd: Re: [seul-edu] Fw: Linux in schools?

>From owner-seul-project@belegost.mit.edu Mon Jul 30 07:48:04 2001

Sender: rasjidw@seul.org
To: seul-edu@seul.org
Subject: Re: [seul-edu] Fw: Linux in schools?

Dave Prentice wrote:
> Karsten,
> Your situation sounds similar to mine. I set up a classroom lab
> scratch, with 14 machines now running and 9 more in the works. A
> suggestions:
> 1. Ask universities in your area if they have any old hardware to
donate to
> your school. You may catch one right after they've decided to
upgrade. Even
> if all they have are 486's, those are still OK for Linux. Cost=$0.

> You don't need a very powerful server if each client has its own
> drive and does its own processing. All the server needs to furnish
to the
> clients is NIS (or equivalent) and perhaps NFS.
> 2. Search the net to see if there is a computer recycling
organization in
> your state. You may be able to get some free hardware there too.
> 3. You can get pieces and parts like NICs, hard drives, and so on
> cheap through such sources as ebay.
> 4. You only need one Internet conenction for a network like yours.
I set up
> a 486 as a router using Freesco. Any 486 with 16meg and a floppy
drive will > do.
> 5. Find out if there is a Linux user group in your area. Linux
> practically trip over themselves to help you.
> 6. Everybody has their own favorite distro. I like RedHat, but any
of them
> should work.
>From personal experience, you can put together a pretty good
network for
> well under $1000.
> Dave Prentice
> prentice@instruction.com
> > -----Original Message-----
> From: Douglas Loss
> To: seul-edu@seul.org
> Date: Sunday, July 29, 2001 6:17 PM
> Subject: [seul-edu] Fw: Linux in schools?
> >
> >On Sat, 28 Jul 2001, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> >
> >> To: Doug Loss
> >> From: "Karsten M. Self"
> >> Subject: Linux in schools?
> >>
> >> Doug:
> >>
> >> What I'm seeing right now are efforts to set up "a small
> >> GNU/Linux lab
> >> in a secondary school, 4-20 boxes, for a small budget, $1000 -
> >> $50,000", thereabouts. Not sure if this is enough to make a go
> >> of, but
> >> I'm willing to wing it. Hoping that something bigger and/or
> >> more interesting might start showing up after a time.
> >>
> >> Thoughts?
> >>
> >> --
> >> Karsten M. Self
> >> http://kmself.home.netcom.com/

Hi, I'm new to the list, and I assume that many of you will have
seen 'Using X-Terminals in a High School'
(http://www.silvervalley.k12.ca.us/~chobbs/xterms/index.html) and in
particular the updates as at January 2001
For those that have not, it is well worth a look. As Chris Hobbs
states at his site, using anything under a Pentium 100 [actually a
Pentium 75 should be okay] will in a noticable performance drop even
when just being used as a 'dumb' X-terminal, although I think you
could get away with some of the last of the 486 line. I have done
some testing myself, and I found that a 486DX66 was simply too slow
for anything much more than console use. (ie, would probably work
happily as a router, but don't try and do too much in X.) However,
given that here in Australia I can pick up P133 boxes for around
$A120 (about US$70) or so, and I assume that it is similar in other
countries, I don't think that this is a major problem. And even a
P75 box will work fine as a 'dumb' X-terminal. Use of the boxes as
X-terminals of course requires an application server which will need
to be a moderately high end desktop or low end server if it is to
service 15-30 users at the same time. Which brings me to the project
that I'm just starting out on. I would like to promote Linux in
Schools here. My idea is to offer a 'risk free' approach that allows
Schools (and potentially businesses) to use a Linux 'application
server' in a Windows / Mac environment. Additional terminals can be
added either keeping the current Windows / Mac setup, or much more
cheaply by using Linux only X-terminals. This can be done either
with commercial X-servers for Windows (starting from US$25 per
seat), but I'm hoping to put together a cut down version of
cygwin/xfree that would be easy to install and free. A free
(commerial) X-server for Mac already exists. And Linux of course
comes with Xfree built in. I would like it to provide file sharing
via Samba, and to make it scalable using Linux clustering. It is
then a matter of finding / creating the tools to make it easy to
install and administer, and colating appropriate educational
software together. My main goals would be to provide a system that
is: a) inexpensive b) easy to install and scale c) easy to
administer d) allows any existing Windows / Mac computers to run as
X-terminals e) allows any existing (Win/Mac) file servers to be
integrated into the system f) allows the easy addition of (cheap)
Linux X-terminals All of the above are relevant in both an
educational and business environment. So also, g) comes packaged
with as much stable software relevant to education in schools. h)
comes with documentation appropriate for a teaching environment.
That is my dream / vision. I am not a Linux guru. I have only been
using Linux for around 3 years. But I think the above is possible.
Any feedback would be welcome. If you think someone is already doing
this, please let me know. If you are interested in helping, let me
know. If you think I'm mad, that's okay too, and you can let me know
if you must, but I'd rather you didn't. ;-) Cheers, Rasjid.

Doug Loss                 Always do right.  This
Data Network Coordinator  will gratify some people
Bloomsburg University     and astonish the rest.
dloss@bloomu.edu                Mark Twain