Government (Education) Lockin

Discussion topics, Linux related - not requests for help

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Postby linuxgirlie » Wed May 18, 2005 7:32 pm

ohhh, that MS license agreement is my thorn in my side....its awful £8000 gets you around 200 office and windows XP licenses...nasty business when trying to convince...
My knowledge comes with no warranty...........

Server operating system designed for schools:
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Postby skecs » Sat May 28, 2005 10:23 am

Down under in Australia it is locked into MS even worse. Because the Education Departments are state wide they negotiate a package that includes free Windows XP Pro and free Office XP Pro at home for every teacher. Just purchase the media now ($AU35) - and that only happened this year, before that you just signed out the school or TAFE campus copy from the library. Symantec do the same for AntiVirus software. When Windows Server 2003 Basic is part of the enterprise agreement so schools install it for nothing you can't compete with OSS. You also have the IT managers saying things like "we'll only support your school servers if we install and configure it - you're on your own if you want anything different" what are the schools and campuses going to say.

Yet with all of this the "Internet Sherrif" proxy filtering still blocks sites inconsistently, crashes, blocks access to multimedia files and causes numerous other problems. Last week the entire NSW Dept of Education & Training was offline for 13 hours because their server room (that controls the entire Internet access, e-mail, student administration links, etc) got infected with a virus.

At the TAFE (adult education) where I am Computer Support Officer (and I teach a bit too) we took two of the four IT & Arts classrooms off the DET network and installed our own web server, proxy server and Internet connection. One room is Mac OS X Dual G4s + Mac xServe G4 that is about to be upgraded to Mac OS X Dual G5s + a new xServe G5 that is used for Digital Media (film, animation & graphic design). The other is the computer lab where we teach IT - install Windows XP/Server and configure small LANs, etc. You need the ability to download drivers, updates, patches, new software, digital media files, etc and these were all blocked on the DET network.

This is the sort of government lockin that needs to be addressed, surely the anti-corruption and competition organisations need to look at this. If they give it away to governement then they are overcharging the average punter in the street that has to get a PC for home so the kids can do homework and not be "disadvantaged" because they write out and hand draw their homework.
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Postby ggreaves » Fri Jun 03, 2005 12:21 pm

I don't understand why it has to be wholesale changes. I work for a well known Yorkshire (thats a clue) Gov Agency which had no linux and was resistant to it implementation. In 2005 we have 2 production servers and 6 in testing phase. There is a linux laptop used for sniffing out wireless crackers and my laptop dual boots. Yes I often use SUSE to do helpdesk tasks on Windoze machines. Whats great is that staff are gobsmacked to see me turn a powerpoint file into OpenOffice then into Flash, without having to buy extra software. Sow the seed and watch the plant grow.
By all means write to your MPs, but slap your fav distro on a desktop, pilot a low key service like phpdig for your intranet, and prove the linux case. Some wars are better won one battle at a time.
Last edited by ggreaves on Fri Jun 03, 2005 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Nigel » Fri Jun 03, 2005 1:03 pm

ggreaves wrote:By all means write to your MPs, but slap you fav distro on a desktop, pilot a low key service like phpdig for your intranet, and prove the linux case. Some wars are better won one battle at a time.

Which is very similar to the way that DOS-based PCs crept in under the noses of the mainframe-based IT departments back in the mid-1980s - look how far they got :wink:
Hope this helps,

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Postby youlikeicecream » Fri Jun 03, 2005 2:49 pm

I think that Nordle has a point, although a little extreme. I work as an admin in an Ox Uni, some English students complain that they "Have difficulties writing" and claim that there handwriting has become so illegible that they cannot sit exams with paper but must have a dedicated machine for them to type on.... I on the other hand can touch-type and write legibly, so i guess it's just lazy students.
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