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Comment: Re:surprisingly useful. Never booted to Linux (Score 1) 68

by UncleRage (#47683983) Attached to: Google Brings Chrome OS User Management To Chrome

Depends on the framework... we use Brainhoney which integrates pretty well with Google Docs; which is fortunate for us as we're rolling out a pretty extensive 1:1 Chromebook initiative this year.

Don't take that as a rebuttal to your point, though -- we lucked out, truth be told. It's not as if we planned that to begin with, it was merely a happy coincidence.

As a result, we're modeling our blended learning programs around the idea of the Chromebook/Google Drive as a tool to collect and prepare content and our labs as a place to create the final presentation: Content is prepared on the go and assembled (if need be) in a lab. Of course, the side effect to all this is transitioning to a Google district (zero to ~50k accounts over the last week) and the sanity of that is up for debate.

It's also meant a myriad of third party solutions to be brought in... Gaggle (email and document discovery), Hapara (teacher dashboard), integration with our SIS, synchronizing AD with Google for accounts and passwords... all so we can transition from cheap laptops/netbooks to cheaper Chromebooks.

Sorry, rambling. Early morning coffee... I now live, breathe and eat Google. Quite a change from the last few years of iPads (and, in certain ways, welcome -- at least there are real tools available for management!).

Best of luck to your daughter. Stay involved; the whole on online learning game is a new one.

Comment: Re:I'll believe it when I see it (Score 1) 252

by UncleRage (#45977419) Attached to: Apple Will Refund $32.5M To Settle In-App Purchase Complaints With FTC

No, you don't.

I've created thousands of iTunes accounts and I just bashed out 70 Monday morning (I'm an Apple sysadmin with over 4 thousand iPads in a large school district, no underlings, minions or temps at my disposal. How I wish Apple would allow for a simple .csv import to create accounts...).

You don't even need to specify a "free" account as it now defaults that way -- as long as you begin the process by "buying" a free app. All you need is an email address to receive the verification email.

My workflow starts with iBooks. It's free, so the follow up "payment options" is defaulted to "None" when building the account itself.

Comment: Re:Damn (Score 1) 198

by UncleRage (#43368487) Attached to: Film Critic Roger Ebert Dead at 70 Of Cancer
Ben Croshaw (aka Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation) also does an admirable job; to the point of questioning how video games can achieve the status of art when so many AAA producers refuse to break away from bad television cliches.

Back on topic, never having known the man (Roger Ebert, that is), I'm still saddened by his passing. He was a standard in his field -- and always appeared to approach his task with professionalism and genuine integrity. Regardless of whether I agreed or disagreed with his final view, I managed to respect him for his efforts.

Comment: Re:Found happiness elsewhere (Score 1) 818

by UncleRage (#40364829) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Aren't You Running KDE?

Yeah, pretty much.

My work life is primarily OS X (read: ARD and a crap load of ssh sessions) on the desktop and a fair mixture of Linux and OS X Server in the rack (I've still got a couple of Xserves...). Home is a fair mix of Win 7, OS X and Linux (FreeBSD if you count FreeNAS, but you probably shouldn't as it just sits and runs without interference).

Booting into Win 7, I get an immediate jolt of discomfort. Apps run as expected (stable and mostly sane), but I feel weird having to reach for Putty to get into my comfort zone. This is much less pronounced with a *nix box, but if I invoke a GUI (outside of WMaker or wmii), it feels... flimsy, cheap.

I despise so much of Apple's direction and philosophy; but damn it all. They make a slick OS that's downright comfortable.

Comment: Re:lots of school software is windows only (Score 2) 310

by UncleRage (#40320631) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Choice of Linux Laptops For Elementary School?

Jesus.

The educational market doesn't focus on Linux, hell, they barely focus on Macs (disturbingly, although not surprisingly, they are all over the iOS band wagon; which is why I'll have four thousand of iPads by fall).

We have all kinds of state mandates as to what is taught and how dollars are spent (i.e. state approved vendors). Tech in education is NOT what many of us grew up with. The day of a mismashed C64/A2 lab held together with duct tape by a volunteer group of kids playing D&D every afternoon are over. Because kids cutting their teeth learning to write a program that accesses a flat text file, draw a moire pattern on the screen and other activities that teach basic concepts are over.

Primary tech is all about Lexia, Compass, First in Math and the like. It's a bunch of crap, substandard, third party software thrown onto a SMART board. It's got zero to do with life prep, it has everything to do with reinforcing the drill and test mentality while building brand loyalty.

I love Linux. I'm at my most comfortable with a fresh Debian netinstall and moving on from there. But this is education we're talking about. If it isn't "media rich", "Web 2.0 ready!", "Cloud enabled for a dynamic user experience!" or whatever bullshit catch phrase that is being spewed this week, it doesn't go anywhere.

Maybe my district is just too big. Perhaps this kind of idealism really is still possible in a small district (in which case, I need to find a new fucking job). But in my experience thus far, K-12 has turned into prestage for Corporate America. If it's not being used in the cubicle farm, it's got slim chance in the primary educational market.

It's all about numbers. Just trade profit margin for graduation percentages -- and if your numbers aren't high enough, prepare to have your funding cut.

Sigh.

Comment: Obligatory FreeNAS comment... (Score 1) 414

by UncleRage (#39467445) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Manage Your Personal Data?

Cheapo used market PC, invest in some large drives and a couple of drive docks, install FreeNAS.

Take a weekend to organize your data however it makes sense (by year, subject, file type, whatever), and store it on a particular drive. Rinse wash and repeat. Depending on how important the data is, store in a fireproof safe onsite, or offsite. When (read: if) you need the data again, dock the drive and retrieve.

Personally, I'm about to liberate myself from years of data. I'm tired of all these bloody drives and the annual, "I really want to look at _______ again". It's amazing how much of that crap has zero personal value anymore. (This isn't a comment on your data, but mine.)

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