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

Re: Weekend thoughts

Brian wrote:
> > I've contacted a few
> > of the local school districts where I live (and encourage all of you to
> > do the same) and have had at least some of them be very interested.
> Do you have any pointers on what works best when contacting school
> districts?  Especially those entrenched by M$ hyperbole and deceit?
Well, I don't claim to be an expert or anything, but I called the
offices of the school district where my son is a first-grader and asked
to speak with the technology person.  In a small school district there's
generally only one person responsible for all of their computer stuff. 
I told him my credentials and offered to help him with whatever he
needed help on--stringing cable, unpacking systems, loading software,
etc.  I made sure that he know of my interest in Linux, and when the
conversation turned to how he's expected to do great things on
effectively zero budget I mentioned that a Linux system could be set up
on pretty much any system that was lying around (this district is a Mac
shop, so I especially mentioned LinuxPPC, MkLinux, and Linux/m68k) and
could act as an AppleTalk server, SMB server, and WWW server from the
standard install.  Then I let it drop.  Over the next few months I kept
in touch over the phone and email with "keep-alive" messages, usually
talking about something (Linux or not, but usually Linux) that could
extend his resources or could give him new capabilities for little

He called me a couple of weeks ago and said he was ready to put Linux on
a spare system he has and to start playing with it.  He was adamant that
all the software they already run (PageMaker, Adobe Illustrator, etc.)
be able to run on it, and not just functional equivalents.  Since the
system it will run on is a Mac I mentioned the dual-boot capability,
which intrigued him quite a bit and which saved the install.  I hope to
do this for him sometime in the next few weeks.

I also talked to the wife of my priest (Christian Orthodox), who teaches
at a Catholic parochial school.  They had just had a bunch of PCs
donated, and were trying to figure out how to fit them into their
computing environment which is primarily Mac.  I mentioned that Linux
will run on _all_ the systems they have and will look the same on each
of them, which she was very interested in.  She passed my name and phone
number on to the tech person at the school.  I have yet to hear from
that person, but it's only been about 10 days.

Finally, I talked to an old friend who is the administrator (and defacto
tech guy) at an alternative private school.  They have a melange of
computers, all donated, most of which aren't terribly up-to-date.  I
gave him the same message I gave to the priest's wife, with the addition
that Linux would perform better on limited hardware than either MS
Windows or MacOS.  He was non-committal, and may have been trying to
think of a way to get out of the conversation, but we'll see.

> I did
> see the list of projects on the SEUL website, but I couldn't infer any
> sort of priority among the projects.
We're working (behind the scenes) on reorganizing those pages on the
website, so don't be discouraged.  In the meantime, given your interest
and the amount of discussion we're generating, I'd say keeping an eye on
the posts to this mailing list is probably the best way to find a good
place to apply your talents.

> By way of background, I'm proficient in C++, Perl, and pTk, passable in
> C, and a newbie with Tcl.  Very comfortable with Linux, although I
> haven't hacked any kernel code yet :)

Micah, Brian sounds like he might be useful for extending your edulp, if
that's something you're looking for.

Doug Loss                 It is impossible to imagine Goethe
Data Network Coordinator  or Beethoven being good at billiards
Bloomsburg University     or golf.
dloss@bloomu.edu                H. L. Mencken