Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

22,000 Indiana Students Using Linux Desktops 321

Posted by samzenpus
from the open-school dept.
Anonymous writes "Indiana's Department of Education has moved 22,000 students onto Linux desktops, and it's looking like that's only going to accelerate with SLED 10, Linspire, and other distributions getting better."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

22,000 Indiana Students Using Linux Desktops

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 17, 2006 @02:38AM (#15925154)
    Now there is truly more than corn in Indiana!
    • by Peyna (14792) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @03:41AM (#15925292) Homepage
      Soybeans?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Durrok (912509)
      As a hoosier I can tell you that although there may be more then corn in Indiana it is the most exciting thing around.
  • by Pete Brubaker (35550) <pbman96@noSpAM.hotmail.com> on Thursday August 17, 2006 @02:52AM (#15925188) Homepage Journal
    Hey, wait a second, isnt that the number of "terrorist targets" they claim to have?
    • by Mayhem178 (920970)
      I figured that should be obvious. Students tend to be free-thinkers, which makes them a threat. Threat = terrorist!
  • thats nice (Score:3, Funny)

    by rhesuspieces00 (804354) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @02:53AM (#15925193) Homepage
    but does it run...

    oh wait, i guess it does.
  • by RuBLed (995686) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @02:57AM (#15925204)
    When I RTFA, I noticed that yes, they are using one flavor of Linux now but what worries me is that they're "planning" to use more flavors in the future, ranging from Ubuntu to Freespire. I don't have anything against it but if it is under the state grant program, it should try to standarize on one or two flavors of Linux. I think they're getting too excited on this and not thinking of the small consequences when 22000+ students are divided into 10 or more Linux flavors. Although they said those are "future" plans, I really would like to see them standarize. (or it is just me that wants them to use Ubuntu, hehe...)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It must be this new abstinence-only doctrine in action: install linux to deny students access to P2P pr0n.

      I am fine with that, but how are they going to be able to download viruses and gamez?
    • by Denial93 (773403) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @03:46AM (#15925305)
      The various flavors aren't that different from each other, especially in the areas that (should) matter to students. As long as they all run OOo and Firefox, are free of spyware and WoW clients, and can talk to each other, little more will be required. A heterogenous Linux environment isn't the end of the world, nor an administration nightmare. This has the same reason as the switch in the first place: the OS matters less and less. (Of course it'd be all different with proprietary business software or groupware, but these aren't needed here.)
      • A heterogenous Linux environment isn't the end of the world, nor an administration nightmare.

        True, the world would still continue to revolve, but IMHO if you're having to support a heteroegenous Linux environment, you're creating more problems than solving. As an admin, nothing could be easier than maintaining a single huge group of Windows XP corporate clients--especially when the hardware was virtually the same no matter where you go on campus. If there's a problem all I had to do was push updates t

        • by shawb (16347)
          If there's a problem all I had to do was push updates to a single OS

          And if there is a vulnerability, all an attacker has to do is push a virus/worm for a single OS.
    • by Skrynesaver (994435) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @03:54AM (#15925325) Homepage
      when 22000+ students are divided into 10 or more Linux flavors.

      The article mentions SLED and RedHat. They also mention Ubuntu being used successfully by a different school district, I presume because of the edubuntu project. No sane admin is going to roll out 10 distros, "apt-get emerge rpm, Oh sod it install the bloody thing yourself!". However what's happening here is that different school districts are approving A distro for use on their systems, not some poor support tech trying to work out what distro is being used in a given instance.

      If my experience is anything to go by students who are introduced to linux early find Windows is broken if they are asked to move over. Employers of Indianna, prepare to be swamped with demands for cheaper OS installs in 6 years!!

    • by sbrown123 (229895) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @03:56AM (#15925329) Homepage
      A good quote in the article states that they don't bring up Linux or open source with the students but keep the focus on the cirriculum. Thats good, and makes Microsofts job really, really hard when they want to undo this. As for the different distros you will notice that they point out that these are being implemented at a school by school basis. But why should that matter? They are using the OS to just be an OS and thats about all. They probably just want it to run a web browser and Open Office. I live in Indiana, and have several friends who teach in the school system, so I know from talking to them that the hardware is dated and just keeping Microsoft Windows running is a fulltime job on its own (patching, removing kids "tweaks", spyware removal, etc).
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by FLOOBYDUST (737287)
        One of the largest drains on IT school budgets is the cost of licenses. From the article it appears they are focused not on "wow we use Linux" but we can put laptops in the hand of the students for substantially reduced cost. What needs to happen next is true integration of the laptop into the curriculum. I believe the algebra, geometry and calculus curriculum is ripe for improvement using laptops in the classroom to learn advanced concepts such as three dimensional coordinate systems , graphing, integrat
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by csubi (950112)
      I really don't think that would be of such a big problem - as soon as you get the hang of using any of the most popular distros, you're set to use most of the others (again, speaking about the popular ones like Fedora, Suse, Mandriva, Ubuntu, etc).
      I started with Mandrake 9.2, suffered like hell for a few months, two years later I use Ubuntu at work and Gentoo ~x86 a home.
      So as long as they see something else than Windows, it will be a largely beneficial experience, making th
      • by ComputerizedYoga (466024) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @05:30AM (#15925495) Homepage
        Let the kids choose which distro suits them best.

        The kids aren't going to have any say in what distro gets chosen (which is fine, in my opinion). But each district's IT department will certainly have that degree of autonomy.

        Incidentally, that's also the response to the fears of too many distros. It's not going to be the department of education (as in statewide) micromanaging things, doing OS installs and maintenance, etc. It's going to be the IT people in every individual district ... the people who've been trying to get by on freeware and the cheapest possible systems management solutions for ages.

        Districts need to train, hire/fire people for the required skillsets, and will probably also have time to work out a way to come into line with the state's policy. That'd be my expectation anyway.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by BoberFett (127537)
        And why standardize the Linux distro to be deployed? Let the kids choose which distro suits them best.After all, all these distros aim at the same thing : be a capable and functional desktop OS

        Apparently you missed the part where the student stated that he "Didn't care" whether it was Windows or not. Do you really think he's going to be concerned about which Linux distro is installed?
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by csubi (950112)
          Sorry,

              It's true that I did not explain myself 100% clearly:
              The "let them choose" meant that kids might develop prefences toward using a certain distro if more than one present in the same classroom?
              And if ever such a thing would become apparent, it is logical to equip more PCs with the given distro.

             
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by BoberFett (127537)
            I guess I still don't understand. To most people, a computer is a tool. It's like a hammer. As long as it pounds in nails, it really doesn't matter if it's yellow, red, wood, plastic, it just doesn't make a difference.

            Those of us who inhabit nerd havens such as /. seem to lose sight of the fact that most people simply don't care about computers enough to develop preferences. As long as it performs the task they want to achieve, it doesn't matter what's under the hood, so to speak.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      They're using two distributions, Linspire and SLED. And if you want them to standardize on one distro, best get used to the thought of it being SLED.
    • by Chaffar (670874) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @05:31AM (#15925498)

      I don't have anything against it but if it is under the state grant program, it should try to standarize on one or two flavors of Linux

      Err, no. The "biodiversity" of Linux is one of its strong points, and one that is frequently brought up by supporters of OSS. If we start "standardizing", then all we are doing is replacing Windoze by 2 (or 3) different Linux distros. Better, but not the optimal solution.

      Of all people, students should be the first to learn how to cope with new OSes (or distros) as they arise, to build fundamental computer skills instead of learning through the click here to do this approach.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by oyenstikker (536040)
        I agree with you, but there are two problems.

        1) Linux is not well documented. Fundamental computer skills would have to involve wading through tens of thousands of entries in mailing lists archives, reading pages and pages of forums, patiently asking the same question for 2 days in an IRC channel before somebody knows the answer, trying driver versions 0.96.3-r1, 0.96.3-r2, 0.97.5, 0.97.6 (oops. with .6 it switched from firmware version 1.5 to 1.6), and 0.98.1 before you find one that works, even though the
        • There are published books for all major distributions, and generic Linux books as weel in case yours is not covered.

          There is also plenty of material in the Internet.

          All my Linux problems have been solved so far by research on the Internet (I have been using Linux for more than 10 years professionally).

          I can't say the same for Windows, on ocassions you just hit a brick wall and that is the end of that.

          In regards to hardware one just have to stick to supportd one. That is the way it is with an OS that is not
        • Your point #1 (lack of documentation) is valid in the Real World, but not for kids at school. If anything, the most important computer-related thing schools teach is how to do research. Considering what you said, Linux is perfect for that! ; )

          Besides, both points are irrelevant anyway because these computers are going to be administered by the school system's IT department, not the students. Presumably, they (a) know what they're doing, and (b) will buy compatible hardware.

      • by clifyt (11768) <sonikmatter@nOspam.gmail.com> on Thursday August 17, 2006 @08:26AM (#15925852) Homepage
        "Err, no. The "biodiversity" of Linux is one of its strong points, and one that is frequently brought up by supporters of OSS."

        It is until you have to support it.

        I helped write / support a few packages that will be distributed for these students over the last few years. In the past, I could design a single install that worked for 99% of all the students. Now I have to worry about several installs. And whats on each? And will my software work on all of them?

        Case in point, a friend called me in to help her with a DOE application that was running under Java. Worked on Redhat, but not Linspire. Worked on Mac and PC. Didn't work under any of the other linux desktops. Just figuring out where the fonts are stored on each of these was a pain (we needed specialized math symbols installed...next version I've told her to just use bitmaps instead). And then all the other crap involved in writing up instructions for folks to run this stuff. Some desktops required admin access to get it in...others could run perfectly as an ordinary user (as all Unix apps should).

        Biodiversity is nice. Compatibility is another thing. Their is NO reason for a modern unix to decide I WANT THIS STUFF HERE BECAUSE I HAVE A PERSONAL PREFERENCE. I thought that was the idea of the whole Linux Standard Distribution -- or whatever they were calling it.

        All in all, until the Linux Desktop companies get their eff'n heads out of their asses, biodiversity is not a good thing. I don't care if they decide to tweak things differently or have different versions of installed software or different desktop management schemes so long as the applications work the same and an administrator that is reasonably trained on one can install software on another machine.

        "Of all people, students should be the first to learn how to cope with new OSes (or distros) as they arise, to build fundamental computer skills instead of learning through the click here to do this approach."

        I'm all fine with this -- just don't make it hard on the guys on the back end.

        Thats my rant for today...
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by alx5000 (896642)
      Although they said those are "future" plans, I really would like to see them standarize.
      The ones I would really like to see standarize are those developing distros. I got friends who regularly use ubuntu and still 'wtf' when you show them a fedora.
    • by cabazorro (601004)
      Sticking to one or two distro's of Linux is somewhat an oxymoron. The one-size-fits-all philosophy encumbers education in principle.
    • by trawg (308495)
      I'd like to see them start their OWN distribution!

      Then offer course credit incentives for students to work on it writing open source code and contributing however else they can. Surely out of 22,000 students there has to be a couple of coders, a couple decent graphic designers, a couple people that can write documentation... I would have killed for the opportunity to write useful code that might have gone somewhere in some of my CS courses at uni.
  • Stigma (Score:5, Insightful)

    by treak007 (985345) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @02:57AM (#15925205)
    Using Linux in colleges provides two benefits. First, colleges can provide very powerful applications such as blender, bluefish, etc to college students without the cost involved. Secondly, if these students, after using Linux in college, begin to realize the stigmas about Linux are wrong, they are more likely to use the distributions on their own, if at least to run the software they are used to using, thus expanding the OSS community.
    • Re:Stigma (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Peyna (14792) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @03:38AM (#15925287) Homepage
      The article is about high schools, not colleges.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gripen40k (957933)
      We use Linux at the U of Calgary engineering dept., and all it did was ADD to the stigma. Before I thought all the 31337 people used Linux to hax people and did generally c00l things with it. Then I grew up a bit and started using Linux only to realize that to do something so little like write a report just sucked (using OpenOffice), writing code sucked (using xemacs *barf*), and surfing the web sucked (using a restrictive, buggy, and old version of firefox). I'm not trying to dis Linux here (to it's credit
      • provided there isn't a hardware problem and you realise to use Automatix or EasyUbuntu to install non free stuff like mp3/dvd support i think your opinion will be changed by ubuntu.
        • I just installed Ubuntu the other day, and I've got a question about that: are there any disadvantages to Automatix or EasyUbuntu in terms of integration with the normal package management system? What makes either of them superior to the other, or to doing it manually with Synaptic?

  • by crazyjeremy (857410) * on Thursday August 17, 2006 @03:11AM (#15925228) Homepage Journal
    Fortunately, each of these students will now get to conceive their own linux distro as part of the curriculum.
  • by Goalie_Ca (584234) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @03:23AM (#15925252)
    Can someone please explain to me the relevance of all these "Switch" stories. Maybe back a few years it would have been news but nowadays people are switching every day. Newsforge had a story a while back on why switching isn't news anymore. Maybe /. should take a hint from its sister site.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 17, 2006 @03:38AM (#15925286)
      It's a state sponsored switch (in a very conservative state at that).

      Indiana is quietly attempting to become a leader in the Tech Industry in small steps taken by the government (instead of the populace).

      Our telecommunications bill was a step in the right direction.
      Bayh actively supports Net Neutrality (with Dick Lugar seeming to favor it, as well).
      State-sponsored research into improving the conditions for tech companies here in Indiana (and taking necessary steps to accomplish this).
      Governer Daniels voicing his desire for Indiana to move from manufacturing to tech; and expressing his wish to stop the 'brain drain'
      This recent OSS adoption

      Not all of it will pan out, of course. But, I applaud my state knowing that it is trying to move toward these goals. Amazing, considering how 'red' we are.
      • by megaditto (982598) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @04:02AM (#15925341)
        How much are they going to save in licensing costs, does anyone know? (not just over Windows, but Office, Photoshop, etc.)

        And how much are they going to need to spend on training up the competent tech support?

        I remember MS claiming the TCO total cost of ownership is lower for Windows than for linux because of training...
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by MISplice (19058)
          Well the techs involved in the install process are competent and actually come from school districts in Indiana. They are also the ones that are supporting the current environment. For the most part from what I understand it is almost like a cyber-cafe install where if something goes wrong ( Software wise ) they will have an image to just re-install the machine with the kids data on a network drive so they won't lose it. Who knows if this may change or not but if they get most of their schools on Linux it w
        • by LDoggg_ (659725) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @10:07AM (#15926360) Homepage
          How much are they going to save in licensing costs, does anyone know? (not just over Windows, but Office, Photoshop, etc.)

          A HUGE amount. Microsoft's "educational" discounts are laugable. I don't know the exact numbers for Indiana, but I have experience in setting up a large linux network for a school and the money we saved on software allowed us to purchase much better hardware. All of our workstations are now equiped with flat panel monitors.

          I remember MS claiming the TCO total cost of ownership is lower for Windows than for linux because of training...

          MS's claims are just marketing garbage.

          The school that I volunteer for has 2 ltsp servers and 60 thin clients. Since the thin clients have no hard drives, I never have to fix them. If there is a need for a new software package to be installed or account maintenance, I just remote into the server.
          Much easier solution for me personally than servicing 60 windows XP computers, regardless of how locked down they are.

          As far as training goes.. well, the first year I just made the system look like windows : screenshot [cox.net]
          As the year went on, I noticed that neither students(k-8) nor teachers had any problems using the web browser or open office in linux. I can't imagine spending much money on training, becuase the system was more than intuitive enough.
          As far as training for any new network administrators goes, sure. However in this day and age it would be silly for a network administrator to not put some effort into learning linux.

      • by tbone1 (309237)
        Yes, Indiana seems to be moving to a more tech-oriented economy, and not just in computing. Governor Daniels is trying to get Indy back to being the center of the auto racing industry (and if you want to talk about a high-tech business ...), and we seem to be leading the push in the growth industry of ethanol. I don't think we're going to leave manufacturing behind; that would be foolish, and it does provide a lot of good paying jobs for some smart people who didn't necessarily go to college. Recently Honda
      • by edmicman (830206)
        At least they're doing something to move on from the time zone and toll road debacles. ~ recent new Indiana resident :-/ (how do you make a freakin' arrow in a comment?)
      • Thirty years ago Bavaria (southern part of Germany) was a somewhat backwards, conservative, agricultural state of Germany, whereas the northers states were highly industrialized and rich. Then the Bavarians started high tech business and have passed the north by far in the mean time.

        Now the smart and educated come to Bavaria to find a decent job...

        From what you tell Indiana tries exactly the same ... we'll see what comes out of that.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by zalt (764947)
      Really? The only Linux users I've met has been extremely computer-savvy. To this day I've never (afaik) met a regular Joe (as in "Internet explorer? Ah, you mean the blue internet button!") who's using Linux at home or at work so I have to say stories like these are still news to me. Keeps the hope up you know.

      I don't know about the states but I have a feeling Linux is still just as a) unknown b) scaring c) looked at as a server OS to the general population as here in Sweden.
      • by l3v1 (787564)
        a) unknown b) scaring c) looked at as a server OS

        Usually people are afradi from the unknown. By reducing the average level of computer ignorance, a) will pass, which will eliminate b) and while c) can still be valid for some, it seems that the whole issue will not be a problem once the general computer literacy level will raise above the level we have today. As with many things, this is also only a matter of patience and a moderate will to learn and adapt to new things. Which, mind you, is one of the mos
    • If we hope that Linux will ever have the hardware and software support it needs, the only way will be to sing its praises.

      As long as Linux is not in 20% or 30% of desktop machine (at least) it is worth building a body of evidence showing why Linux is a valid alternative.
  • Indiana (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 8ball629 (963244)
    After growing up and going to high school in Indiana, this is a surprise to me because our school was VERY outdated =S... of course this was a few years ago and it was in a town of about 7k people.
    • by pimpimpim (811140)
      Probably they still use the same pc's and will end up running old versions of slackware on it ;)
  • Well... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lord Aurora (969557)
    If it's anything like my school, those 22,000 kids are actually using about 20 Linux desktops per school, in the "new" computer lab, while the other lab down the hall has 20 brand-new Macintoshes and the teachers are using networked Windows XP on those ubiquitous Dells.

    All that to say that 22,000 students using Linux probably translates into ~150 Linux desktops in the better funded schools.

    But maybe Indiana has a better public school system than California. Wouldn't be surprised.

    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by davmoo (63521) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @05:01AM (#15925449)
      I can't speak for all of Indiana, but I can speak for what I see in Bartholomew County, one of the richer counties in the state. Both of our public high schools have astroturf on their football fields. And both also have libraries that are woefully behind the times, with poor book collections that are held together with tape, and very little money to upgrade anything. If its for athletics, money can be found to do anything, and people will be fighting each other to be the first to donate. If its for academics, it takes a back seat and is ignored.

      Using Linux here might appeal from an older equipment standpoint, but computer labs are not a priority here in the first place.
      • by k_187 (61692)
        sounds like most of indiana. Those with the money spend it on crap they don't need, while everybody else just suffers cause they don't have enough. Actually, I'd imagine that's what its like in most of the country.
        • by tbone1 (309237)
          sounds like most of indiana.

          Sounds like most of America, actually. Then again, when you are spending person A's money on person B, these things happen.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Sol_Web_Dude (889149)
        It's pretty much that way all over the state. All around the Indy metro area, you see local news rags carry on about HS Football, Baseball, etc. Not much about academics.

        And the tax money spent on athletic programs, ug!

        I would like to hope that this is a step in the right direction.
      • by Mayhem178 (920970)
        And they wonder why Indiana constantly ranks between 47th-49th on nationwide standardized testing.
  • by NcF (847200) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @03:50AM (#15925312) Homepage
    "I think within five years, we'll see a huge market shift," Huffman said. "But the Linux community really has to come together. They do have to have a common API; they've got to have a common installer. If those things don't exist, it will not be a competitive market again. If they do exist, I think it will."


    ./configure && make && make install
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by JonJ (907502)
      I was also wondering about that, more specific: The API-part, what does he mean? Does he want a stable Linux-api? KDE? GNOME? X? OpenGL? From my point of view, it looks like he just hasn't completely understood what he's talking about. And common? They all share the Linux-kernels, and a lot of them uses the same graphical user interface(Red Hat, SUSE and Ubuntu have sort of standardized on GNOME)
    • by strider44 (650833)
      Brings up an interesting point there as well. Why does there need to be a common installer? There's no common installer in Windows. People dish out loads of money for Installshield or use (for free) NSIS, and if you want similar functionality in Linux why don't you you use Bitrock or (for free) Loki? I'm not sure about API since you're always going to have Linux from Scratch to stuff developers over, but it's never usually been a problem - if you want apps just install the required libraries.
      • Brings up an interesting point there as well. Why does there need to be a common installer? There's no common installer in Windows.

        Ahh, but a single installer executable can easily run on most all Windows versions. The same cannot be said of a single installer for all Linux distros. Secondly, installation on Windows is a mess. Part of the reason for moving away from Windows is because they have not fixed problems like these. To make Linux a really good desktop, it should be a lot better than Windows so t

  • by elmartinos (228710) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @03:52AM (#15925318) Homepage
    When I switched to Linux I have noticed an instant productivity gain. Not because it is better, more secure, faster or anything, but because of the lack of Counterstrike et al. This effect should not be underestimated, especially in schools.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by phalse phace (454635)
      I know a lot of people who use Windows as their OS and they are very productive. Why? Because they are responsible and are able to manage their time. It has nothing to do with Linux. It's about getting your priorities in order.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by debiansid (881350)
      I guess you haven't tried NetHack yet. It gets you really really hooked.
    • When I switched to Linux I have noticed an instant productivity gain. Not because it is better, more secure, faster or anything, but because of the lack of Counterstrike et al. This effect should not be underestimated, especially in schools.

      Unfortunately this effect only lasts until your Linux users discover Cedega.
    • by l3v1 (787564)
      When I switched to Linux I have noticed an instant productivity gain.

      Me too. But not because the lack of Counterstrike et al. but because most things come easier or faster or more natural to do, other things can be customized to the extent that I feel it comfortable, and yes, because it's "better, more secure, faster or anything" :)

      • by Aladrin (926209)
        I agree that I'm more productive now due to things coming 'easier or faster or more natural to do', but the initial hit was quite painful. I have always been more at home on the command line than a GUI, so that wasn't an issue for me. But the initial 'how do I do this' for everything is quite involved. And some linux things are nearly impossible to look up on the internet.

        Don't believe me? There's a utility called 'screen'. It's one of the most amazingly useful utilities ever. I defy you to find a web
        • There's a utility called 'screen'. It's one of the most amazingly useful utilities ever.


          Highly insecure, but it has been one of the most useful apps i've used also.
  • Solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by joshier (957448) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @04:07AM (#15925352)
    The problem that has been with linux always has been the popularity.

    The more users, the more development, the more programs, the more users, the more .. you get the picture.

    I'm very happy with this, and I don't mind what distribution they use.
  • 22,000 is a good start.

    Especially these are students that will work later at companies. The Linux knowledge (using a Linux desktop != not server admin) is a plus!

    It's the same viral marketing that MS has used for ages: Let students work with our products later in their working life they want to use the same software tools they are familiar with.
  • Unhappy with SLED 10 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bender Unit 22 (216955) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @05:02AM (#15925454) Journal
    I have been running SUSE on my desktop at work since v8 and just tried the latest.
    Luckily I installed another harddisk in my pc before trying to install.
    It looked great but I ran into some installation problems very unlike other SUSE installs I have tried. Even on my notebook it has worked perfect, even WiFi and Bluetooth.

    Although the install itself ran fine. Getting the right drivers for my nVidia (6200) card failed. I got a trial key and went on to install the drivers in hope of running XGL. But it failed to make use of the card so I ended up installing my own drivers and forced XGL to enable. I did get that to run but then I had another problem, which was a show stopper.
    I was happy to see the Citrix client included, but it seems to have problems with multiple desktops on this SLED 10. When I change to another desktop, all the Citrix applications vanishes. I can see in the process list that they still are there, I just can't see them. That worked great on the others.
    So now I am installing it again from scratch, with KDE instead of Gnome, without XGL to see if it works then. Interesting to see what happens when I try to register the same license again. I hope that it was just XGL that broke Citrix.
  • Change and fear (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jolterhead (995713)
    This all boils down to fear. Fear of making a change in the infrastructure. In every sector of the government, it's up to the IT dept. what system is used. Not the administration or central regulations. They trust the IT dept. with this decision. As long as it "works". If all IT depts. were competent and fearless like those pioneers running Indiana Schools, all would probably move away from Microsoft products. Arguments like "but we need Microsoft products to run program x", is just plain fear. It should
  • A common API? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vogon jeltz (257131) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @05:17AM (#15925473)
    "I think within five years, we'll see a huge market shift," Huffman said. "But the Linux community really has to come together. They do have to have a common API; they've got to have a common installer. If those things don't exist, it will not be a competitive market again. If they do exist, I think it will."

    Like libc? I mean, seriously, I want some of the stuff that guy's smoking. First they go to great length explaining how they diversify on Red Hat, SUSE, Ubuntu and (sigh) Linspire and then he asks for a common API and installer? Like one kid stated when asked which system it preferres, either Linux or Windows the reply was:"Who cares?" Same thing here: who cares for a "common installer" (technically impossible) or a "common API" (it's there: libc, GTK, Qt, etc.). As a user you either see a Gnome or a KDE desktop anyway.
    "Mike Huffman, special assistant for technology at the Indiana Department of Education", gimme a break!
    • Same thing here: who cares for a "common installer" (technically impossible)

      synaptic and yumex can install nearly everything depending on your choice of package manager. They are the common installers. Conversion between the two formats is simple, although not yet fully integrated into the GUI of many distros (please proove me wrong). Installation is from a common repository... it's very possible and debian users have been doing it for years.

      If you do find some of the shit that Mike has been smoking, pl

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ibag (101144)
      I'm not sure what he means by a common API, but maybe he wants binary compatibility? If the state wants to deploy a new program but different distros are compiled with different versions of GCC and include different versions of the standard libraries (or even different subsets of the standard libraries), they can't just distribute a single binary. Depending on what the app is, they could give all of the district admins the source and say "compile this for your system and make it work" but that would be at
  • In a small Indiana public school, our Middle School "Computer Lab" consisted of 6 Commodore PETs, While I used an Amiga at home. In High School we didn't even have a Lab... typing classes actualy used typewriters!

    Anyway I'm glad to see this so maybe my child will get to use a real computer with a real OS other than at gome.
  • My school district's still mad at me for SSH tunneling! (I'm so proud of myself, they've got a new acceptable use policy this year and it's all my fault... :-) Anyway, here's hoping my own school district will hear about this and take a hint, I say this is important stuff...
  • When they interviewed that student about being on a Linux desktop vs. Windows, and the answer was "Who cares?".

    If that response from a student aka future consumer hasn't got Ballmer looking for clean shorts, the guy deserves to be thrown to the curb at once (not that he doesn't deserve that already). Any businessman who's let their primary product become a who-cares to the next round of buyers has failed miserably.

  • I admire them for switching but this seems more based on cost effectiveness then what's good for the student.

    It isn't specific on how much MS related software they'll still be using but if the main reason for switching to linux is cost cutting then it's possible they won't have office, photoshop etc. running under WINE. Yes there are alternatives to all these programs but employers when looking at your CV, are looking specifically for Excel, access, photoshop experience. While having Open office and GIMP

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow

Working...