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Journal concealment's Journal: The perfection of imperfection

A friend in need asked me how I would set up and secure a network for a small private middle school/high school.

At first, I did the good geek thing and started closing every hole, making the "perfect" system to keep the kids from doing anything unauthorized.

Then I had a second thought. Half of us got started because we wanted to work around something and feel the mental reward of getting it to work anyway. This attempt-reward feedback is necessary in programming because it's what pulls us through the tedium of rote work.

Thus it seemed to me the only "perfect" system might be an "imperfect" one, that is, one that can be circumvented, but only by those who've made an effort above and beyond average knowledge and used some creativity.

So, Slashdot, I ask you: how would you design a "jungle gym" of a school network, such that most kids won't get off the path but those who make an effort can discover new worlds?

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The perfection of imperfection

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Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming