SLUG Mailing List Archives
Re: questions about software usage at schools, etc. was: [SLUG] Red Hat Slagging
- To: slug@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Re: questions about software usage at schools, etc. was: [SLUG] Red Hat Slagging
- From: "Simon Bryan" <sbryan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu Jul 13 13:56:44 2000
- Organization: OLMC Parramatta
- Reply-to: sbryan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> But what is the main criteria? Surely it is "educational software"? Back
> when i was in school Mac's and BBCs had the best/most educational software
> so that is what was used.
Mac's basically fell way behind the market and even releasing pretty see
through machines is not helping to expand the market. We had BBC/Acorns
they were great, excellent OS (one even I understood) but without the mass
market outside of schools they are not economically viable. We are not a big
enough market to create a cheap machine for, therefore we use the hardware
that is available for the general public and business.
> If anyone happened to run the same system at home, bonus, but it was never
> really a consideration.
It wasn't because so few people actually had a machine at home, now they
are the standard, and they mainly have been driven by the games
phenomenon (Ughhhhh..) which are of course Windows based, again for the
mass market. Now we constantly have requests that students be able to
work seamlessly between the computers at school and those at home, staff
also require this functionality.
> Anyway, I'm more interested in what kinds of software a school runs. Is most
> of your stuff for students or for teachers? Which group (if any) would be
> more willing to look at alternatives to what they are currently using.
Software is generally either MS Office or educational, the latter are nearly all
CD Roms, but run across all curriculum areas and in general are pretty good.
Neither is willing to look at alternatives, believe me I have been there with our
Acorn systems (great computer, very fast, fully functional in office type
packages). Remember these people are not computer experts, despite their
claims. They are teachers and studnets, they want the tools that will help
them to get the best job done, like most teachers they are dedicated to the
students and want to spend time working on their curriculum area not on IT
matters. This means staff like to try out the software / web site / whatever at
home first, learn it properly and then introduce it in an appropriate way to the
> Would it be teacher/school management that would bring Linux more visibly
> into the school or student/assisted learning software?
Admin is pretty well tied up, both the DES and CEO mandate the use of
OASIS, a large number of private schools like us use MAZE, they are all
Windows based packages.
If you want to make Linux visible, sell me a preconfigured or self configuring
desktop machine that will access the Internet using a good web browser. It
has to support java, cookies and webmail type systems. Then add some
other stuff to it such as Star Office and you might have a winner, especially if
you can set it up on our ageing 486 and P90 machines (8 - 16 Mb RAM and
less than 1Gb HDD)
> Well you really only pay the cost of learning package management tools once
> really. Whether it be rpm or apt/dpkg (for command lines) they do the same
> basic thing; they differ syntaxicly.
> Contrast with Windows where "innovation" in installation process means
> reading and understanding what different terminology refers to the same thing.
Don't understand this statement. I stand by my assertion that installation in
Windows is much easier than in Linux.
> > I can also find plenty of Windows for Dummies type books (yeah real paper!)
> > written in simplistic language for when I am learning a new trick in Windows,
> > in Linux I have to scroll up and down Man pages - damn things won't even
> There are plenty of Linux books as well. In fact I went book hunting prior
> to the GST introduction -- unfortunately I couldn't find any interesting
> Linux books -- and I saw similiar shelf space given over to Linux as to
> Windows. If I include the Unix shelf space there are equivalent, arguably
> *nix has more.
i believe that was my point, nothing interesting or useable. The simple Linux
books talk about setting it up as a stand alone system not as a networked
system or server.
> Documentation often tends to be overlooked because most people who currently
> install Linux believe they know and understand computers and their systems
Documentation there is a plenty, but as I said above most of it is useless to
a newbie. Especially when you can't afford to have a non-production machine
running and so have to experiment on live systems.
Simon Bryan sbryan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Information Technology Manager sbryan@xxxxxxxxxx