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Ostrich Lessons In Oregon?

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the going-for-the-cheap dept.

The Almighty Buck 255

dalslad writes "Oregon Schools Prove Linux Saves Money, says the headline but this article says "One has to wonder if Northwest school districts took ostrich lessons; they must represent the biggest secret in the Linux community. If their successes occurred in New York, Microsoft would be fighting for 5% of the PC desktop share". Maybe so? I've seen a lot of sites with Linux success stories, but the K12 Linux projects show progress I never knew existed." Yeah, I don't think that the schools are going to prove to be the sole factor in Linux on the desktop, but it's a good step. More importantly, I think the success of the system depends on projects like the K12 Linux project and its like, especially for broader individual usage.

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eff pee (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338375)

I hate your grandma

Yet another example of Linux community idiocy (-1)

JismTroll (588456) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338693)

You'll notice that 50% of that software that is "available" for educational purposes on that page is "under development", meaning when you click the link it's an empty directory on SourceForge.

Way to go. The usefulness of free software never ceases.

What is the plural of Ostrich? (-1)

markjrubin (88076) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338377)

What is the plural of Ostrich?

Re:What is the plural of Ostrich? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338448)

How about a nice cup of touch your toes, here I cap0me I AM A GOD AMONG TURLDS

is simoniker (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338378)

the goatse guy ? [goatse.cx]

Re:is simoniker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338550)

no that's michael. simoniker is tubgirl.

and if you act now.... (4, Interesting)

sweeney37 (325921) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338385)

With Microsoft's desire to have complete market dominance [slashdot.org] , how long before they start offering schools free, or cut-rate discounts all under the guise of "charity" [slashdot.org] ?

Get 'em hooked early, then they'll never be able to stop using it.

Mike

Re:and if you act now.... (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338416)

Please don't take this as a troll, I am just trying to go with the other side...

Why shouldn't they be hooked early? Do you think that businesses are just going to magically stop using MS Office in the near future?

So we are going to have these kids learn Linux and OpenOffice or maybe StarOffice or maybe KOffice and they are going to go about their daily duties with those applications...

They get to an interview... "Do you have experience with MS Excel, MS Word, and MS Access?" "No sir, but I have used Kblah, OOBlah, and StarBlah."

I would LOVE to see interviewers more tech. savvy and understand what those applications are. I doubt that day will come anytime soon. They are just too entrenched.

I think using Linux in schools is a great idea. I also think that MS offering hardware/software to schools is also great. Whereever they can save the money that I end up paying in the end is good for me.

Just my .02

You broke the /. Golden Rule (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338435)

You made a great point, but since it was slightly in favor of M$, prepare to be modded down :(

Re:You broke the /. Golden Rule (0, Offtopic)

DeadSea (69598) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338562)

In my experience, moderators are often more than willing to moderate up posts that say Microsoft is doing a good job, or indeed posts with which they disagree. I have found that it is very common for a moderator to moderate up both a post with which they disagree and the best rebuttal response to it.

I am very sceptical of anonymous cowards posting that something will be modded down although it shouldn't be. I'm guessing that as often as not, it is the original poster trying a bit of reverse psychology.

Troll ? (0)

Zemran (3101) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338574)

I thought it was humour...

Re:and if you act now.... (5, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338580)

Heh. You're taking exactly the wrong tack. Computer literacy is not about which software you know. We deployed StarOffice at a company and they cried and cried and cried because it wasn't MS, nevermind that, when they had been using MS they had to share 5 computers with MS on it. (Gov't agency; get audited all the time.) These people were complete computer idiots. I mean their big problem with the Linux desktop was that they didn't like the fonts.

Turn this around; take an applicant who's just coming in for a job that requires a spreadsheet, a wordprocessor, and some sort of presentation software. What's going to impress you? Someone who just knows MS Office 2k, and gets hysterical when you give them Office 97 or Office XP. Or someone who has a good grounding in something a little different. "Have you ever used Word?" "No, but I've used Writer, Abiword, Islandwrite, and Emacs." Shows you've got flexibility, and that you've done something more than use yer grandmothers computer."

Just my opinion.

Flexibility vs Practicality (1)

mmol_6453 (231450) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338626)

Flexibility is primarily usefull to large businesses. It shows you can handle different situations.

Small businesses (read 1-10 people) tend to be a bit more practical. They're specifically interested in whether you can do the particular job they need you to do.

Re:Flexibility vs Practicality (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338697)

totally right. However it also applies to big businesses.

For a developer - knowing MS Word or Wordpenguinstaroffice makes no difference whatsoever. All the developer will do is write simple reports and maybe put a few tables and section headings in there. But then, no-one is going to ask a developer if they know how to use a word processor.

If the job description *does* ask for Office skills, then that's what they expect you to have, and you'd better know it as it's no good trying to find the menu to highlight the 2nd row of each table if you have a stack of documents to type up. People using such packages are trained in how to use them, and I don't mean just how to click 'file open either'.

So flexibility matters, but specific skills matter far, far more if that's what the recruiter wants. (for developers: imagine you went to an interview, said I know C++, and the recruiter said 'brilliant, that shows you're flexible 'cos we only do java here' :-)

Re:Flexibility vs Practicality (5, Insightful)

awakened tech (630189) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338816)

Actually I think exactly the opposite is true. A large company with hundreds (or thousands) of staff can say "that's our Word guy and that's our Excel guy". Having worked for and ran my own small company I know that you can't afford single speciality people in a small group, everybody has to much in a do a bit of everything, therefore the wider their knowledge base the better.

I'd go as far as to say that if I was employing somebody to work in my 10 person company and they said they only had experience of a very small number of specific programs the interview would be over there and then.

This true in all industries, for example take a carpenters. If you have a hundred staff you can have one carpenter who specialised in door frames. If you have 5 carpenters you need them to be able to do more than the one specific task (unless of course your company only makes door frames!)

Re:and if you act now.... (3, Insightful)

Delphiki (646425) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338674)

I really don't think it will make too much difference one way or the other as far as getting a job, as long as it's presented right. If you're applying for a non-technical job where you would be using MS software, I doubt they would be impressed by the fact that you knew non-MS alternatives, though I doubt they would hold it against you too much as long as you said that you pointed out that you had experience in very similar programs. On the other hand if people only know open source alternatives and go into a job interview and start trying to convert the interviewer that's probably not going to help them.

Ideally I think schools should have a variety of platforms for students to learn on, including Windows, Linux and OS X. Flexibility means being able to work on a variety of platforms, not just being able to work on a non-MS platform, after all.

Re:and if you act now.... (1)

ColdGrits (204506) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338682)

"Have you ever used Word?" "No, but I've used Writer, Abiword, Islandwrite, and Emacs."

Sorry, but if I ask someone in an interview whether they have used a wordprocessor, and they reply that they have used emacs, then they ain't gonna get the job!

A texteditor is not a wordprocessor!

(Mind you, if they say at any stage that they use emacs through choice, they are unlikely to get the job ;-) )

Re:and if you act now.... (5, Insightful)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338767)

heh...if you read the post, you'd understand the point was showing that the person had flexibility.

I laugh at the fact that they actually have courses to teach people how to use word processors and the such, and then I wake up from geek world and take a good look at my parents. I've never had anyone "teach" me how to use word, excel, or anything else, but when I had to use it, I learned it on the go, and wasn't inneficient at it either. To any computer literate person, the skill to figure out a tremendouly easy gui is just intuitive. "hmm...I want a table of contents...hey, look...insert TOC...hmm...it filters through heading types...I guess all I need to do is set up my headings as I type, then click the right radio buttons for the ones that I want to show up in the toc"

If you hire an employee that has experience in a system that makes you be able to think (ie, linux, where you need to figure out how to get things to work--and thus learn how to figure things out), you'll not only get an employee who will be able to figure out word xp in no time flat, you'll get an employee who won't be complaining that he can't do his job because he doesn't know how to use the new, upgraded "word l337" or whatever mycrosoft thinks their new cool name should be.

Re:and if you act now.... (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338709)

Have you been to a job interview for a NON-TECH job in the past year? (I am saying a year b/c that's when most of my job interviews were).

100% of the interviewers asked "do you know MS Word, MS Excel, and MS Access."

If I told them, no I use Emacs and OpenOffice they would have blinked at me and marked something on the clipboard that wasn't good.

Companies do NOT use Free Software (for the most part, the small minority does NOT count). Companies probably aren't going to move to free alternatives anytime soon.

Whereas a company that is using free alternatives would understand that a MS Word user would use StarOffice/OpenOffice just fine, it doesn't work the other way around.

Just my worthless .02

Re:and if you act now.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338782)

Just my worthless .02

At least you got something right ;-)

Re:and if you act now.... (5, Insightful)

tambo (310170) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338729)

>What's going to impress you? Someone who just
>knows MS Office 2k, and gets hysterical when
>you give them Office 97 or Office XP. Or
>someone who has a good grounding in something a
>little different. "Have you ever used
>Word?" "No, but I've used Writer, Abiword,
>Islandwrite, and Emacs."

Two comments - one you'll sort of like, and one you won't.

Bitter pill first: Familiarity counts. Any application beyond Calculator or Solitaire requires a learning curve - regardless of platform. Even if you know Writer, Abiword, Islandwrite, Emacs, StarOffice, and MS Word, using mail-merge in WordPerfect will still be harder for you (the first few times) than for someone who's only used WordPerfect.


Now here's a helpful suggestion, though rarely-seen on Slashdot: It's most impressive to have as broad a background as possible.


Which of the following candidates would you choose for web admin:
1) The stodgy Microsoft guy who insists on using IIS because that's all he knows; or
2) The wild-haired Linux guy who launches into a tirade when you mention not using Apache; or
3) The guy who has solid experience with both, knows their relative strengths and weaknesses, can provide an expert opinion on which is better suited to your needs, and is comfortable developing for the platform that you choose?

David Stein, Esq.

Re:and if you act now.... (0, Troll)

The Grassy Knoll (112931) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338817)

>These people were complete computer idiots. I mean their big problem with the Linux desktop was that they didn't like the fonts

You sir are the idiot. And it's Linux's problem if users don't like the fonts.

After all, what are computers for?

Dur... they're for users!

Ask Steve Jobs...

Rob

.

Re:and if you act now.... (4, Insightful)

tuffy (10202) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338650)

Why shouldn't they be hooked early? Do you think that businesses are just going to magically stop using MS Office in the near future?

If the workforce knows an alternative to MS Office, prefers an alternative to MS Office and can get the same job done just as well using an alternative to MS Office, businesses are going to magically use an alternative to MS Office.

Seen WordStar lately?

Re:and if you act now.... (0, Redundant)

djocyko (214429) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338659)

Of course, this argument is why we still use the Imperial measurements system and why we will never rid ourselves of MS programs as the industry standard. If people are taught these tools, they will use them and will never change. However, if people are brought up with alternatives, some definitely better (metric), some arguably better (free as in everything), maybe we will see a change occur. I don't think "because they will be at a disadvantage when looking for a job" is the best of arguments here. If the mindset of the country is going to change, it will only change if we do it early.

I say teach the kids the right tools. Sometimes the only way to make progress is to jump..

Re:and if you act now.... (2, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338662)

You are correct to point, but it is a chicken and egg thing.

Many firms use Windows and Office because a large number of persons, not to mention the owners of the firms, are familiar with the software. This familiarity provides a significant comfort level. This is a great change from 20 years ago where most were not familiar with any microcomputer technology, and so it was truly a wide open game.

Which leads to how we teach our students? Do we teach them commands and processes by rote, explaining that such and such mouse movements are magic incantations that cause the Lord MS to bless us with text, figures, and presentation, or do we teach them critically that the computer is a tool, just like a microwave oven, and not every one will work the exact same way but there are fundamental similarities.

I hear the people back in the peanut gallery saying that students are too stupid to learn critical thinking and that may be true. But let me ask you this? Who is the more likely to have a lifetime of employment. A person who believes that the only OS is MS Windows or MacOS, or *nix, or the person who understands that all of these do similar things and is comfortable enough to go into an read a book the week before an interview and then go in a proudly claim they know the system and are willing to work on whatever tool the employer has.

Re:and if you act now.... (2, Interesting)

An Onerous Coward (222037) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338665)

I don't think that a majority of companies are going to stop using MS Office in the near future. But I do think that anyone with experience with one of the other products you cited should be able to figure out the major features of Office with no training whatsoever.

Sure, there are going to be some managers/HR-bots who fail to recognize this. But we're not in the business of saving people from their own stupidity. :) Anyways, as the alternatives get more popular, such people are going to be less and less common.

My advice to a job seeker would be to first point out that OO.o is your primary office suite at home, and if the dude looks at you funny, just tell them that you also have experience with MS Office. Whether it's technically true or not, it may as well be.

Re:and if you act now.... (4, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338740)

They get to an interview... "Do you have experience with MS Excel, MS Word, and MS Access?" "No sir, but I have used Kblah, OOBlah, and StarBlah."

Wrong answer, Say "Yes".

If it's a technical job requiring you to have deep knowledge of VBA macros, of course you actually have to study it. Otherwise, using the K* and OO gives you almost exactly the same experience. If lying bothers you, (and this is trivial on the scale of job interview lying), spend an afernoon playing with someone's Windows PC and create and print a few documents, add up your shopping list, sort it alphabetically. You now have all the experience you need to do 99% of real world MSOffice work.

You don't have to "study" MS Office for six years to learn how to write a memo, or add up a column of figures. I worked it out, the closest I came to a computer at school was a pocket calculator.

On your resume, you write "experienced with MS Office and Linux office software". Or reverse the order if you think they'd prefer to hear that. You now have one more ability that may help you get the job.

Not either/or (1)

nanojath (265940) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338745)

It makes perfect sense to have MS applications as appropriate for specific learning tasks - for example, as someone who's paid the rent many times in the past with temporary clerical work, it would be remiss in my mind to have a word processing/keyboarding class that did not teach MS Word. But multi-platform, multi-program proficiency can only be of benefit to a student.

Re:and if you act now.... (1)

JPS (58437) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338803)


They get to an interview... "Do you have experience with MS Excel, MS Word, and MS Access?" "No sir, but I have used Kblah, OOBlah, and StarBlah."

I would LOVE to see interviewers more tech. savvy and understand what those applications are. I doubt that day will come anytime soon. They are just too entrenched.


Well, being familiar with Linux or *BSD and being able to use either vi or emacs is more a less a requirement for any tech position in our (small) company. Even for sales or marketing positions, being familiar with Linux is a plus.

The right interview question should have been: "do you have experience with Spreadsheet softwares, Text Processing or Text Formatting softwares, and (simple) Relational Databases softwares, and if so which ones ?"

It took maybe 1 minute for former Excel users to get used to gnumeric (which happens to be the spreadsheet program we use).

Re:and if you act now.... (5, Insightful)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338450)

With Microsoft's desire to have complete market dominance, how long before they start offering schools free, or cut-rate discounts all under the guise of "charity"?

They've been doing that as long as they've owned the market. It's not working any more, i.e., it's getting hard for Microsoft even to give Windows away. For educators, Windows just isn't nearly as good a value proposition[1] as Linux.

[1] Yes, I know that's PHBspeak. It's also intensely ironic.

Re:and if you act now.... (0, Flamebait)

Farnite (670426) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338474)

Get 'em hooked early, then they'll never be able to stop using it.

Sounds like the Catholic Churches policy!

Re:and if you act now.... (5, Interesting)

mmol_6453 (231450) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338539)

When I was in elementary school (K-6), my schools used Apples and Macs. (Remember that Apple did the whole "charity" thing once, too.) I don't think it had much of an impact on the students. It didn't have any affect on me or anyone I knew. The only reason I'd get a Mac would be to get a piece of that IBM's 970 processor.

Unfortunately, I expect the same will be true of exposure to Linux. Most of the benefits that schools will see in Linux systems will come from the administrative end. To get exposed students interested in running the platform at home, there'll have to be computer clubs and activity groups that take advantage of the benefits of Linux.

Re:and if you act now.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338611)

Well I had Apples in my school all the way through HS (I don't think I got to use an IBM for anything GUI ever)...

I think that my dislike of Apples came from the fact that they would FREQUENTLY crash for no apparent reason. They were SLOW and bulky.

Do I think that MacOS X enabled Apple's will have the same problems? I dunno, probably not. Will Linux machines or WinNT/2k/XP machines? Doubt it.

Re:and if you act now.... (1)

djocyko (214429) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338700)

I wouldn't get a Mac because of the prices. I happen to dislike many features of OSX, but the main drawback is the prices. Linux doesn't have that problem.

Anyhow, what I really want to point out is that this sort of thing will act as a "Linux is absolutely useable and absolutely free" promotion to people. People need to get more comfortable with the idea of using Linux. Once they are, then we'll see who chooses cheap hardware cheap OS (Linux) vs cheap hardware expensive OS (windows) vs expensive hardware, expensive OS (apple). (I measure cheap vs expensive purely on sticker price. I don't use quality as a measurement. I think that's fair.)

Re:and if you act now.... (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338770)

When I was in elementary school (K-6), my schools used Apples and Macs.....It didn't have any affect on me or anyone I knew..... Unfortunately, I expect the same will be true of exposure to Linux. Most of the benefits that schools will see in Linux systems will come from the administrative end.

your school didn't have the ability to at the beginning of the semester to hand you a free and legal MAC. with linux... here you go, a full legal copy of the OS...Oh and have a copy of the Office Suite too...

This one tiny little thing is what will make it work better than apple could have EVER done. the kids get it for absolutely free...

Re:and if you act now.... (1)

chief-dot (197143) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338778)

I disagree, I think having more Linux exposure will make the decision to use it later in life a lot easier to make.

You don't need a club for that, you just need to prove that it works.

Re:and if you act now.... (5, Interesting)

thornist (64703) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338552)

With Microsoft's desire to have complete market dominance, how long before they start offering schools free, or cut-rate discounts all under the guise of "charity"?

In South Africa they've already done this. In fact the story goes that the Department of Information were making very positive noises about a state pro-open source policy a couple of years ago, and then just a couple of days later Gates had flown out to meet Mbeki and Mbeki was announcing the "generous" gift of free MS software for all South African educational institutions (don't have time to seek out the reference for this story right now).

In South Africa the issue is more than just getting people hooked to the company. Bigger than that for us is the question of being dependent on the US for our IT infrastructure. What happens if South Africa falls into disfavour with the mighty America and we cease to be able to get software or support, but all our data is tied into MS proprietary formats.

Open source is a question of sustainability and survival for countries like mine.

Re:and if you act now.... (1)

rkz (667993) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338589)

kazaa

Re:and if you act now.... (1)

thornist (64703) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338814)

LOL, but that's not really the point. We may be a poorer country but the idea of keeping our national IT infrastructure running on warez doesn't seem quite right.

Hidden Move from MS !!! (1)

da5idnetlimit.com (410908) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338587)

In an unheard of move from Microsoft, Bill Gates found a new way to subside schools in our Country.

Profiting from the offer for free harware with Windows 2000/Office 2000 licences, thousands of schools answered the call for free money.

But why, would you ask, take the whole deal ?

Effectivly, soon after the announcement, we all had a big surprise. Here the comment of Jack Doe (Brother of the famous you know who) :

-"Well, yes, I know, finding our MS Licences on Ebay must have been a real surprise to you, but we thought that, maybe, we could sell them and keep the hardware. The money we get from the Licences will help us buy Support Service at Red Drake (the Famous Distro Maker). All together, we get a better IT with support, for free (to us)."

In other news tonight, M. Bill Gates III died of a massive heart attack after seeing this news !

they already have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338602)

okay, I don't have a story to reference but just trust me. There was a school that M$ donated around $100,000 worth of computers. However, there was no software on them(the standard software was included of course). The school system had to spend thousands and thousands of dollars loading software on the computers to use them. Gates got the money from the software purchases and got a tax write off for donating the computers. Some "charity" work, huh?

Re:and if you act now.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338718)

They offered computer science majors free copies of VS .NET, Windows XP, Visio 2000 Pro, SQL Server 2000, and a few other programs at my college. Certainly K-12 isn't far off.

Schools aren't the defining factor? (5, Interesting)

binarytoaster (174681) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338391)

Yeah, I don't think that the schools are going to prove to be the sole factor in Linux on the desktop, but it's a good step.
Remember way back when, when Apple donated a bunch of Macs to the schools? Yeah, then the parents all bought Macs for compatibility and because their kids knew how to use them.

That was when computers were new; however, teaching them how to use Linux at a young age can affect how they decide later on. Now when they see Linux, they won't think "Ugh, I'm not going to be able to use it, so even if it is free..." - they'll be thinking "Hmm, I learned how to do this in school, maybe I'll try it at home."

This is a nice step...

Re:Schools aren't the defining factor? (3, Informative)

gregfortune (313889) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338485)

And that's the same factor that influenced the adoption of UNIX systems in the 70's and early 80's. The universities received their copies free or at drastically reduced costs and then students demanded UNIX like environments when they entered the workplace.

I teach UNIX/Linux at the local university and I've heard the last line in your comment verbatiam from several students each quarter. If we can get kids started on it even earlier.....

Re:Schools aren't the defining factor? (1)

krilli (303497) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338764)

they'll be thinking "Hmm, I learned how to do this in school, maybe I'll try it at home."

No, they'll go, like "This is UNIX! I know this!". And it'll be AutoCAD-WM. And the world will be beautiful.

Posted Quickly (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338392)

Good idea to post another story quickly... That story about open source being better than closed source was such an obvious sham it was getting a little embarrassing, even for the shoddy 'journalism' we see here on /.

Oregon, Slashdot, Microsoft and Google...??? (0, Offtopic)

jkrise (535370) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338395)

Sometime back, I tried searching thru the Google news site, for the Oregon Open Source bill. Curiously, I got a wrong reference to a March 6 Slashdot article. Right now, Google lists 'zero' matches for an "Oregon Microsoft Slashdot" search.

Something crazy going on between Google and Slashdot? Why this hide-and-seek??

Re:Oregon, Slashdot, Microsoft and Google...??? (1, Funny)

Matey-O (518004) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338429)

Sometime back, I tried searching thru the Google news site, for the Oregon Open Source bill. Curiously, I got a wrong reference to a March 6 Slashdot article. Right now, Google lists 'zero' matches for an "Oregon Microsoft Slashdot" search.


Something crazy going on between Google and Slashdot? Why this hide-and-seek??
Nah, Microsoft, Open Source, and Slashdot are listed as 'noise words' in Google's dictionary.

Re:Oregon, Slashdot, Microsoft and Google...??? (2, Informative)

MrSkunk (544767) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338449)

Ummm, did you actually try that search, or are you just trying to spread some FUD? I just searched google for 'Oregon Microsoft Slashdot' and I got 4,230 results.

If you want to find info on slashdot related to oregon and slashdot, then you can search for 'Oregon Microsoft site:slashdot.org'. That returns 244 results.

Re:Oregon, Slashdot, Microsoft and Google...??? (0)

jkrise (535370) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338483)

Try news.google.com - a month back, Google listed 3 wrong links; now it's just this story - 10 mins ago.

I even posted this in these forums - I was responding to the porevious Oregon bill story then. More later...

Re:Oregon, Slashdot, Microsoft and Google...??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338496)

Aren't you the guy who stated that Win XP offers no advantages over Win 95? LOL yeah I remember you... you said anybody can do anything in Win 95 that they could do in XP... OMG LOL

Re:Oregon, Slashdot, Microsoft and Google...??? (1)

mmol_6453 (231450) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338551)

I suspect Google News doesn't keep references to really old stories. A lot of news content sites take them down after they're no longer hot items.

Re:Oregon, Slashdot, Microsoft and Google...??? (1)

DeadSea (69598) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338509)

He said google news not google web search. You can try yourself searching for slashdot microsoft oregon [google.com] . As you can see, the only thing that comes up now is this story.

My guess is that after some time period it is no longer considered news and a search there will not find it. Slashdot articles more than a couple weeks old won't show up.

Linux in Public Schools. (2, Insightful)

taliver (174409) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338396)

Of course having Linux in Public Schools will make Linux appear everywhere. Just look at Apple's success with the same strategy.

The problem becomes one of kids thinking that Linux is a "training" computer environment, and that when they "grow up" they get to use a real environment.

Re:Linux in Public Schools. (1)

The Zody (635829) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338610)

Then the obvious thing for all of the OSS freaks out there is to try to do the same thing for windows, sure XP can be great for some but it is just a learning OS. If that angle is played correctly then Linux will have nothing to wory about.

Re:Linux in Public Schools. (1)

mijok (603178) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338744)

I doubt that, since usually there are two kinds of pupils - those who are very interested in computers and thus easily learn to use them and those who aren't and have difficulties learning. When they grow up the ones that learnt well will choose what's best for them (no I'm not claiming that it will obviously be Linux) since they'll have the knowledge and probably more advanced needs too and the ones that didn't learn much will probably have limited needs (since they won't know what else they could do with computers anyway) and thus they'll try to stick to exactly what they learnt in school because that will be the easiest alternative for them.

My Wife and Kids (slightly OT) (3, Interesting)

under_score (65824) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338415)

Linux is great. I personally use it as a server (along with FreeBSD), and I have RH8 running in a desktop configuration. However, I still haven't completely rid myself of Windows because I am lacking certain types of software that will run on Linux. Dreamweaver for myself and my wife, and a multitude of educational games for our kids.

So I have a question... what is available to replace this type of software? I haven't heard of _any_ educational games for kids! Is there some other way that I can solve this problem?

Re:My Wife and Kids (slightly OT) (1)

radja (58949) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338486)

here [debian.org] is debian-jr. may not be exactly what you want, but there's a few links on the page too.

Re:My Wife and Kids (slightly OT) (5, Informative)

moorg (537751) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338487)

This article [linuxjournal.com] includes references to educational linux software. Overall it's a great article.

You may also try looking at the Linux Journal topic Linux in Education [linuxjournal.com] .

In addition, there is a Knoppix remaster [ofset.org] that's intended for schools.

Have you tried Wine?

Re:My Wife and Kids (slightly OT) (1)

lederhosen (612610) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338507)

Wine may work for you, it is win32api on top of unix.

http://www.winehq.com/

Re:My Wife and Kids (slightly OT) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338520)

There are alternatives, but they aren't very well known about. However, I'm going to go on a rant here. Sorry....

Why are you asking us? Ask the vendors if they are doing anything for Linux. Mention that there are several reasons that you will be unable to continue being their customer since either

1) You stay with Win98, because that works with all you have already purchased, so when they bring out a WinXP version, you will be unable to use it, so you won't buy it

2) You upgrade to WinXP, spending money on hardware and replacements for the items you already have that won't work WinXP, with little to no money left over to spend on their latest lines

Tell them that the expense of maintaining Windows is getting too high, and that you wish to exit the upgrade strategy Windows currently forces you to undertake. The purveyor of replacement goods that supports linux will get your custom and your money. If it's not them, it will be a competitor (note that you don't have to be the best at X to do good in Linux. You just have to be better than your competitors in Linux).

Summing up - ASK YOUR VENDOR!!!!

They are the one that decides what is available under Linux.

As an aside, you can probably get a lot of stuff running under Wine for Linux for the simpler edutainment stuff.

Re:My Wife and Kids (slightly OT) (1)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338538)

Educational games -- have you checked out the edutainment packages in KDE 3.1 yet? It's not a full replacement for everything available on Windows, but it's a start.

Re:My Wife and Kids (slightly OT) (1)

cbozic (679475) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338546)

When I was in elementary school, we didn't use the computers to play educational games. Most of the computer's in our classrooms were for looking up book report topics or getting experience with word processing software. Linux would be fine for these student uses (many distros come with OpenOffice.org and Mozilla) and be much easier to maintain in the long run (greater file system security and system tools).

However, teachers would often be left to admin their own machines in schools I've seen. My aunt, two uncles, and mother-in-law are all non-computer-wiz teachers who would rather let their class machines rot with broken software and viruses than try to clean install everything on their own. They won't call an admin because there is only like one or two per county and it's a hassle to get an appointment.

I think linux would be great in the school systems but I don't see it happening until sombody comes along and installs it on a teacher's machine for him or teacher's become more comfortable installing it on their own. It really would be a smart but unlikely choice.

Chris

Re:My Wife and Kids (slightly OT) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338567)

"I haven't heard of _any_ educational games for kids! Is there some other way that I can solve this problem?"

Well, yeah - you could try to organise a project to develop some. Yes, I know that this means work, but quite frankly it isn't going to happen unless enough parents do this. The majority of Linux coders will probably classify educational games as utterly unimportant (on one Linux game development list I'm on there's only a couple of developers who have written any educational games, mainly for their own kids, pretty much everyone else doesn't see it as even a remote priority).

If you want them, you'll have to get people organised to make them. You can't just say "let there be educational games" and expect educational games to appear...

Re:My Wife and Kids (slightly OT) (1)

linuxelf (123067) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338755)

I've got my daughter using a few little linux games, but the real problem is, she wants the ones in the box. She wants the games with Blue's Clues, and Dragon Tales, and Arthur. There's no way you'll ever see open source games using these characters. Unfortunately, if it doesn't have one of these characters on it, most kids won't want it.

Quality K12 Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338419)

(Software Resources)

Application Index:

Latest updates on the Education-related Application Index
XML error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 41


Very encouraging.

Re:Quality K12 Software (0, Flamebait)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338597)

It wouldn't be linux if some open standard like XML didn't blow up in your face.

Same old (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338420)

I haven't read this site in about a month, but I'm glad to see its the same thing. Just to give you an update: I've lost the 10 lbs that was nagging me, and hurting my back, shaved my ass, head, nuts and back. I'm a real ladies man, now, i've plowed about 47 hoes in the last month. I also forgot everything I know about computers and am twice the man because of it.

Tx,

Mgt.

Education = diversity of experience (5, Insightful)

Gefiltefish11 (611646) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338421)


I think it's well-agreed that most MS users are that way because of simple familiarity. Your run-of-the-mill user wouldn't port to Linux or another platform (even apple, as easy as it is to use) because they all seem foreign and counter-intuitive (this because intuition is based on repeated experience).

Because of this, it seems critical to catch kids early, before they become pigeon-holed into one particular OS (or any software package). Rather than using Linux exclusively, perhaps a revolving curriculum would be most helpful --Linux, MS, Apple, etc. Provide the variety of experiences that helps kids to learn the similarities among systems that makes for general intuition rather than intuition that is product-specific.

Re:Education = diversity of experience (1)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338668)

I would agree with that, but I started out using MS-DOS and then Apple IIe's (moved to a poorer school district), then eventually in high school Win 95 came out.

There was no learning involved to go to Win95, and I've pretty much forgotten everything I learned from Apple IIe. My only reason for remembering anything at all in DOS is that I never really knew that much about it to start with (other than launching stuff).

A diverse computer education seems like a great idea, but I'm young enough to have been in these classes recently. It's always like 5 people who have it at home who kinda push the other kids through. Nobody really learns much because those who are interested are too busy teaching the others.

CHARITY? (0, Offtopic)

dimer0 (461593) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338424)

... and then if Microsoft acts as a charitable organization, they're free to ignore the national do-not-call list, and interrupt my dinner to try to sell me Frontpage 2004!!!

Personally involved in Oregon (portland) linux... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338438)

I was personally involved in pushing for linux use in school networks, and met with huge amounts of resistance - especailly immediately after that point at which MS threatened to audit Portland public schools with their gestapo license enforcement crap. I swear to honest god someone on the school board was getting paid off or some shit.

We installed linux at a few schools anyway, on their network cores, only to come back later and see that the admins had come around and installed win2k right behind us.

I wonder why MS isn't offering these cut rates to schools like they do to countries and organizations that are threatening to use OSS.

Fuckers.

Re:Personally involved in Oregon (portland) linux. (2, Insightful)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338726)

We installed linux at a few schools anyway, on their network cores, only to come back later and see that the admins had come around and installed win2k right behind us.

You installed software (on "network cores", no less) behind the systems administrators' backs, and you were expecting something different to happen?

Re:Personally involved in Oregon (portland) linux. (1)

freedommatters (664657) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338799)

in what capacity did you install linux on machines ? were the admins informed before hand? did they agree?

Has anyone tried reading the article? (4, Funny)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338453)

It reads like a bad babblefish translation. I expected better from Linux Journal. While one of the headings in the article asks, "Can You Explain the Oregon Legislature?" I would ask of Linux Journal, "Can You Explain Who Edits This Stuff?"

Re:Has anyone tried reading the article? (2, Insightful)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338688)

Well, it may be written poorly, but it's extremely biased, that meets my expectations about Linux Journal. Not an attack on Linux, but I wouldn't read Windows magazine for news either. Or MacAddict *shudder*. As a rule of thumb, I don't trust news reported by evangelists.

Linux isn't feasible for education (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338476)

While Linux may be a viable option for High School computers and servers running behind the scenes, it is hardly fitting for use in elementary and middle school desktops. Most teachers will be feaful of it and unsure of what to do with it. Assuming some techie guy comes in and installs Linux and gets everything configured correctly, what then? There is some educational software in Linux, but not much. What are these teachers actually going to do with the computers then? I think it's great that Open Source is being considered in education, but it still has its limited applicability. Too often I see people pushing Linux all over the place and making it out to be the cure-all for any computing solution and that's not the case.

Re:Linux isn't feasible for education (2, Insightful)

lederhosen (612610) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338526)

Computers are not needed for small kids.
It is better for them to learn some math,
or more important their language.

Young and fluent... (2, Funny)

da5idnetlimit.com (410908) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338687)

I can see the problem...

They learn some math.
Then the Langage.
Then the parents come to you and asks why their child only speaks in perl 8)

Linux isn't feasible for education-K12 luddite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338711)

"Computers are not needed for small kids.
It is better for them to learn some math,
or more important their language."

You started learning your language the minute you said "Mama", and computers can help with Math.

Re:Linux isn't feasible for education (1)

theLOUDroom (556455) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338837)

Computers are not needed for small kids. It is better for them to learn some math, or more important their language.

This is insightful?

Please.

Computers are a fact of life. Kids should be exposed to them early.

The comments about math and language are a nonsense argument. Kids shouldn't be taught one skill, or two skills. They should be taught a variety of skills. Computer use, and more importantly, understanding basic computer concepts are very important skills.

Attention Please... (-1, Offtopic)

JoshMarotti (685722) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338478)

I am a queer.

That is all. Please return to your Linux wank-fest

Maybe... (3, Interesting)

Infernon (460398) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338498)

I don't think that the schools are going to prove to be the sole factor in Linux on the desktop, but it's a good step.

Maybe it won't be the sole factor, but it sure as hell is going to make a huge difference. Think of all of the lucky kids who are getting to know Linux at a young age and take that knowledge and (hopefully) preference into adulthood.

Re:Maybe... (2, Insightful)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338776)

Think of all of the lucky kids who are getting to know Linux at a young age and take that knowledge and (hopefully) preference into adulthood.


This, of course, assumes that Linux is a good thing. And that these kids will get a chance to know it. Every Windows PC at a school needs to be locked down to prevent tampering and just general mis-use by curious do-it-yourself kids. What makes Linux any different than OSX or Windows if the kids are only allowed to launch certain applications, and never allowed to use the actual underlying OS tools? Basically, we're getting kids acclimated to various program launchers, which is by far the easiest part of an OS to learn. The OSX dock is anything but intuitive, but even that only takes like 2 minutes of messing around with it to figure it out.

And as far as Linux being a good thing, I'm tired of that being assumed. Linux is an OS with pros and cons, just like every other OS, and instead of immediately assuming that world + dog should be using it we should look specifically at the students and discuss what the positive and negative effects of a Linux shift are.

I will agree, though, that there is no excuse for running Windows for firewall and routing, and Linux would work well for their web and application servers. The low price tag is moot (as these schools already have licenses to MS products, you don't get your money back for switching), but the stability and speed is a huge advantage.

linux educational software... (4, Interesting)

WPIDalamar (122110) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338504)


I work for an educational software company... and I've never heard of anyone asking for linux versions of any of our products. If you want companies to make linux versions, you need to get on the ball and ask for them... hint hint...

Re:linux educational software... (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338511)

People have asked the companies to do linux versions. Then the companies take a risk and make the linux versions. Then nobody buys the linux versions.

linux educational software..Lies,damn lies, & (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338690)

Proof? Oh wait, you was hoping we wouldn't ask.

Re:linux educational software... (1)

blane.bramble (133160) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338576)

As most educational software seems to have been written in some sort of authoring package, would it be so hard to produce a version that run on Windows/Linux/Mac?

linux educational software...Authoring environment (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338761)

You mean like this [squeakland.org]

how about Universities? (2, Interesting)

bigjnsa500 (575392) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338554)

I have been banging my head up against a wall for about 2 years now trying to get our University to at least make some sort of switchover to Linux servers/desktops. I mean, you don't need Windows to just check email and run telnet apps. Needless to say, they signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract extension to Microsloth.

Impressive (4, Interesting)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338557)

With K12 linux, I found this especially impressive:

"On the server side, two Compaq servers--a 933MHz dual-processor ML370 and a 1GHz dual-processor ML350--run Red Hat Linux and support about 220 concurrent users. "

220 users! Thats 220 times the price difference between a thin and a 'fat' client, minus the servers.

I am setting this up for a school next week (3, Insightful)

codepunk (167897) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338573)

I donate my time to set up a terminal server environment and other linux goodies for school. Next week I am going to work on converting a under funded christian school and the week after content filtering solution for a public school. Linux is making alot of headway in these projects and I really enjoy showing them what can be done with a simple download.

a possible explantion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338577)

OSS and Linux aren't paying the big marketroid salaries. Probably just as well, I don't expect it to be successful because its now "NEW" or "IMPROVED" or some such.

SCO's proof that Linux supports terrorists. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338590)

From the article: K12 Linux may be the mecca of open-source success.

See they're even mentioning mecca. That's proof enough that Linux is supporting terrorists, they're even trying to infiltrate our schools with muslim terms now.

Sometimes you don't want attention? (3, Interesting)

Build6 (164888) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338629)


Does anyone else think these guys now have a big bulls-eye painted on them? I'm no historian, but from what I remember of revolts that weren't crushed (heads on sticks, bodies swinging from gallows, babies thrown onto bonfires etc.) is that there needs to be a critical mass before being able to withstand the (lethal) reactions of any oppressive tyrant. One single village aflame with the spirit of revolution pretty quickly becomes aflame in a physical sense when the imperial troops arrive.

Some new MS "education initiative" for those special school districts? Something else? How hard is it to replace the education board with different membership with different ... priorities?

Then again, maybe I'm just operating under FUD/paranoia... .

Re:Sometimes you don't want attention? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338685)

Just because your paranoid it doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.

MainBrain School (3, Informative)

ErikSev (10724) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338680)

Just a quick and shameless plug, MainBrain [mainbrainschool.com] allows schools to set up an amazing website which lets parents check grades, attendance, discipline, and all sorts of other information. It runs on Linux, using Perl and MySQL.

Check this school administration software [mainbrainschool.com] and let me know what you think.

More important than that (4, Insightful)

bahamat (187909) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338701)

People will natually want to use the computer system they grew up with. My mom first used to learn about computers with a System 5 Macintosh, and she still swears by them even though she's been using a PC for the past 10 years. She still wishes it were a mac, she just knows they're far too expensive. Today's generation of people using computers really have only known MS products. There's comfort there, and better the devil you know than the one you don't.

I've always said that Linux on the desktop is not harder, it's only different. It's just different, so they complain. Linux is different so it's too hard. Mac is different so it's too dumbed down. It's just lame excuses from people unwilling to change. If kids grow up learning Linux they'll stick with it their entire lives. Just as youngsters in the 80's loved UNIX and when they grew up and got IT jobs they brought it into business. Truth is, people are sheep. They'll follow and do pretty much whatever they're told. The best progress into the world of home and business can be made in schools. If children grow up riding on a penguin they'll stick with it.

Not quite from Ostrich... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6338802)

But from Monty Python's "How not to be seen" ;)

http://www.stone-dead.asn.au/tv-series/sketches/ fc -24/how-not-to-be-seen.html

But who takes schools seriously? (2, Interesting)

okvol (549849) | more than 11 years ago | (#6338824)

One of my daughters had a computer class in grades 1 through 6, in a decent funded public school. They had Apple IIs and Macs. They would only allow the Macs to emulate the Apple IIs to be fair to the students. I seriously doubt any student graduated and went on to recommend Apple IIs.

The sad part is that no one cares about the level of tech in the public schools. This would be good news if it meant anything.
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