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NSW. education laptops might be loaded with Linux

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a b 5 Linux
March 18, 2009 8:32:02 AM

mmm As from last year... we are getting free netbooks for school

http://www.zdnet.com.au/blogs/under-the-microscope/soa/...

somehow I'm gonna bet if they do use Linux, they won't allow for terminal... and I'm gonna bet they're gonna censor quite some stuff...
a b 5 Linux
March 18, 2009 9:31:20 PM

Reformat.
a b 5 Linux
March 19, 2009 1:10:17 PM

amdfangirl said:
mmm As from last year... we are getting free netbooks for school

http://www.zdnet.com.au/blogs/under-the-microscope/soa/...

somehow I'm gonna bet if they do use Linux, they won't allow for terminal... and I'm gonna bet they're gonna censor quite some stuff...


I doubt it. Schools have a hard enough time keeping people from doing that on Windows, where the IT person (if they have one) might be familiar with what to block on computers. Give an average IT guy or girl that just knows Windows or MacOS a Linux or UNIX machine and watch their face turn green. Yes, even the Mac people who constantly talk about their machine being based on UNIX rarely even know that their machine has xterm installed, let alone actually how to do anything with it. A real UNIX admin would be able to stop any shenanigans you might try to pull, but UNIX admins are far rarer and more expensive than your typical IT people with a couple of correspondence-course Microsoft training certificates.
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a b 5 Linux
March 19, 2009 6:37:06 PM

mod parent up +10

MU_Engineer is right on!
a b 5 Linux
March 21, 2009 11:45:56 AM

You would think so... Of the ones I've seen done for large scale rollout they tend to be imaged centrally and then pushed out to the end users. As such the knowledge hole is removed, all the local site has to do hand them out.

Linux in this environment might well stand a chance. Knowing that your students will realise that they can't install MSN and the like might just be the basis of a good sale. If your school tech can't understand it then the chances of your average school kid bothering are slim.
a b 5 Linux
March 22, 2009 6:04:39 AM

Like I said, reformat. Then install what you want :D 
a b 5 Linux
March 23, 2009 9:18:03 AM

audiovoodoo said:
You would think so... Of the ones I've seen done for large scale rollout they tend to be imaged centrally and then pushed out to the end users. As such the knowledge hole is removed, all the local site has to do hand them out.

Linux in this environment might well stand a chance. Knowing that your students will realise that they can't install MSN and the like might just be the basis of a good sale. If your school tech can't understand it then the chances of your average school kid bothering are slim.


I'd get around it ASAP, I'd get Pidgin and possibly Atomic Tanks for leisure, then teach everybody in the grade how to do it.
a b 5 Linux
March 23, 2009 7:23:51 PM

And you my friend are part of the problem... Sorry, but when you start to admin systems your attitude changes. Get used to the idea that this is a work tool, a locked down environment configured with just the tools you need to do your job, at your age you've got a couple of decades at least to put up with it!

Don't get me wrong here, I love letting people play and have told people to 'go break it' on a good few occasions, my C++ tutor did this to my class to encourage us to play back in the day. Difference is that those machines were imaged and restored to a known working config at the end of every day.

a b 5 Linux
March 24, 2009 11:57:36 PM

amdfangirl said:
I'd get around it ASAP, I'd get Pidgin and possibly Atomic Tanks for leisure, then teach everybody in the grade how to do it.


...and watch you get kicked out of school for some time. Audiovoodoo is right, the PC isn't yours and you're really not supposed to mess with it. At work, mess with the computers and you'll only get fired, if you're lucky. If you do something really severe, you'll get charged with criminal tampering with computers or networks (not sure about the laws in Australia, but that's what they are here in the U.S.) I'd say leave it alone. If you MUST mess with it, don't reformat it. Just do something relatively benign like run from a live USB disk or live CD. And then don't tell others you did it, as some teacher or school official WILL overhear somebody talking about what you did and you'll get in trouble. I've been in school more than long enough to know that.
a b 5 Linux
March 25, 2009 4:33:59 AM

audiovoodoo said:
And you my friend are part of the problem... Sorry, but when you start to admin systems your attitude changes. Get used to the idea that this is a work tool, a locked down environment configured with just the tools you need to do your job, at your age you've got a couple of decades at least to put up with it!

Don't get me wrong here, I love letting people play and have told people to 'go break it' on a good few occasions, my C++ tutor did this to my class to encourage us to play back in the day. Difference is that those machines were imaged and restored to a known working config at the end of every day.


Oh c'mon do you care if we play games or run IM. I'm sure the school proxy blocks traffic from the msn servers anyway.
a b 5 Linux
March 25, 2009 4:49:12 AM

Hooray for private education! No evil proxies! Although you miss out on the laptop :kaola: 

I found that our systems admin didn't mind us bypassing locally-run Internet filters, or even application (read: game) blocks as long as 99.9% of the school still couldn't do it. I mean, if you give higher priviliges to some students so they can access Terminal for using GCC, you have to expect them to exploit that ;)  As long as you don't make their job harder they probably won't mind... probably.
a b 5 Linux
March 25, 2009 7:31:16 PM

amdfangirl said:
Oh c'mon do you care if we play games or run IM. I'm sure the school proxy blocks traffic from the msn servers anyway.


Yes I do. Sorry but I'm in old fart mode tonight so I'll let rip on this one. Why the hell do you need IM at school? Do you not have real friends to talk to?? Have you considered the liability the school faces nowadays if Pedo Pete manages to sort out a date with the dumb girl in your class?? We both know that's down to user education but what the hell do you think the press would do? If you want games then get a computer club going and use a Lab and Lan, we used to have one going in the early 80's with a BBC Model B. You know strangely I managed as far as my second year at Uni without owning a PC myself, I only got my first mobile in 1999. You don't need any of this, you just think you do. It's not some violation of your rights to lock down a tool that they supply to you for educational use against their set syllabus.

Now all that said if I were the admin and I knew the faces involved I would cut some slack (as per Randomizer post), but by heck would people asking me for it have to earn it!
a b 5 Linux
March 25, 2009 10:21:21 PM

Well our sysadmin taught our programming class, so he knew us well. The guy was a champ. I still remember when he took control of someone's computer from the server while they were playing Tony Hawk's PS 3 and it took them 5 minutes to realise they weren't in control. Of course, then the application blocks were put in place, but luckily our higher privileges got us around that :D 

Bottom line: Know your sysadmin. Everything else you do (or do not) stems from that.
a b 5 Linux
March 26, 2009 7:41:23 AM

audiovoodoo said:
Yes I do. Sorry but I'm in old fart mode tonight so I'll let rip on this one. Why the hell do you need IM at school? Do you not have real friends to talk to?? Have you considered the liability the school faces nowadays if Pedo Pete manages to sort out a date with the dumb girl in your class?? We both know that's down to user education but what the hell do you think the press would do? If you want games then get a computer club going and use a Lab and Lan, we used to have one going in the early 80's with a BBC Model B. You know strangely I managed as far as my second year at Uni without owning a PC myself, I only got my first mobile in 1999. You don't need any of this, you just think you do. It's not some violation of your rights to lock down a tool that they supply to you for educational use against their set syllabus.

Now all that said if I were the admin and I knew the faces involved I would cut some slack (as per Randomizer post), but by heck would people asking me for it have to earn it!


Two problems in your argument:

a) I'm not actually getting these laptops

b) this is also for home & personal use for stimulus of the economy
a b 5 Linux
March 26, 2009 10:19:44 AM

c) You will pay for it in 5 years time when you get a job and shell out higher taxes ;) 
a b 5 Linux
March 26, 2009 11:30:06 AM

hmm...
a b 5 Linux
March 27, 2009 12:52:35 PM

randomizer said:
c) You will pay for it in 5 years time when you get a job and shell out higher taxes ;) 


Very true! With the way things are shaping up here in the U.S., it's more like you'll pay for two of them every year with higher taxes if you're one of the people dumb enough to actually work instead of just sticking your hand out. And if you earn decent money, then it's more like you're buying the laptops for everybody else in your class (who are now sitting on the dole, watching reruns of Dancing with the Stars.) But hey, that's hope and change you can believe in! I just hope I have some change left in my pocket after I cash my paycheck! :fou: 

Yes, I am a bit in rant mode, but when you go to school for-fricking-ever, pile on six figures' worth of debt, and work your tail off to eventually get a good job (after doing 80-hour weeks of scut work for several years for little pay after graduation but before you get said job), you want to be able to actually ENJOY the fruits of your labors. When some idiot politician that cheats on their taxes and gets no punishment for it goes on TV and says that you need to "pay your fair share" (which means pay out the $ORIFICE or get harassed by the IRS, like the politician DIDN'T do and DIDN'T have happen to them) so they can fly on military aircraft for free, give hundreds of billions of dollars to their political backers, and let lazy SOBs sit at home on the dole, it makes your blood boil. It practically makes your blood vaporize when you sacrificed getting things you want today (such as a new computer, mine is over three years old) to minimize your debt so you stay solvent, but you're paying for the the idiot down the street that bought a ton of high-end stuff on credit and went belly-up.

So here are some "real life rules" for you, fangirl:

1. Free (as in beer) is never actually free. Somebody somewhere paid for it and expects something in return for giving it to you.
2. The world doesn't owe you $hit. Get off your butt and work for something if you want it.
3. Bad things can actually happen to YOU, not just "other people," so don't intentionally do something you know is stupid.
4. You only has as much freedom as you can keep away from the government, and once you trade a freedom for something else, the only thing you can trade to get it back is bullets. Read your history books as that fact is writ large throughout history.
5. Anybody who says they want to do things "for the people" is simply wanting "the people" to help them further their personal agenda.
a b 5 Linux
March 27, 2009 7:32:23 PM

amdfangirl said:
Two problems in your argument:

a) I'm not actually getting these laptops


amdfangirl said:
mmm As from last year... we are getting free netbooks for school


Sounds like you were...

amdfangirl said:
b) this is also for home & personal use for stimulus of the economy


Errr.. See above! The stimulation of the economy is in the purchase and distribution. Nowhere in the article does it say the devices are for home or personal use, just education.

Sorry, but the two problems seem to be of your own making.
a b 5 Linux
March 27, 2009 9:41:34 PM

mmm... a few months ago, we got told we were part of the netbook plan but our school just got cut out a few dayz ago b/c the government couldn't afford to give it to us private school poshies (hehe scholarship)
a b 5 Linux
March 28, 2009 5:05:35 AM

MU, it's been a while since I've seen one of your more lengthy posts.
a b 5 Linux
March 28, 2009 1:44:05 PM

randomizer said:
MU, it's been a while since I've seen one of your more lengthy posts.


I'm on a week's break at the moment and actually have a little time to spare. School is even worse than usual this year as I have to study for a huge and hugely-important outside-of-school exam (USMLE Step I) in addition to all of the usual school-related stuff. I might manage to spend a few minutes every now and then on tech stuff, but it's not very much time. I do miss it a lot, but there is a chance I'll have a little more time next year once I get past most of the incessant exams and studying and into my clinical rotations. That's a lot of time away from home, but at least it is "real doctor stuff" and should be fun and not consume all of my at-home time with memorizing what largely amounts to medical trivia for exams.
a b 5 Linux
March 28, 2009 9:50:19 PM

Wow, and I was stressed over my school exams :p 
a b 5 Linux
March 28, 2009 11:37:22 PM

Ah exams. The most pointless way of assessing a person's ability. It's not about what you know, it's about what you can cram. You forget most of it after the exam too.

Back on topic: They should use Windows Me on the laptops. Make the kids learn the in's and out's of debugging problems with an OS.
a b 5 Linux
March 29, 2009 11:14:39 AM

Let's turn my computer into a mobile laptop, create a clone ray... not!
a b 5 Linux
March 29, 2009 7:05:33 PM

randomizer said:
Ah exams. The most pointless way of assessing a person's ability. It's not about what you know, it's about what you can cram. You forget most of it after the exam too.


^ +100, Insightful, and oh so very true.

Quote:
Back on topic: They should use Windows Me on the laptops. Make the kids learn the in's and out's of debugging problems with an OS.


And for the advanced debugging group, DOS 4.00. :ouch:  I had DOS 4.01 on the very first computer my family had and it was still pretty darned buggy.

amdfangirl said:
Wow, and I was stressed over my school exams :p 


Nah, don't be stressed yet, you're too young! You're in what, the Australian equivalent of eighth grade or freshman year of high school? The first mildly stressful exam you'll have is whatever Australia uses for a standardized university entrance exam, which would be analogous to the American ACT or SAT. You won't see any ugly exams until you go to a university and have to take a final exam in a weed-out course in a hard subject, which is commonly the only grade you have in that class. The really ugly exams aren't usually seen until you are in graduate or professional school, where they almost always are the only grade in that course and/or are end-of-year exams required to pass from one year to the next. The board exams I am studying for are really not all that academically difficult once you've done all of the necessary memorization, but it just takes months of memorization to get to that point. Almost everybody in my school passes (typically one person in the ~100-person classes fails), but most of the anxiety is because your actual score makes a big difference in what kind of job you get when you're all done with training.
a b 5 Linux
March 30, 2009 12:44:38 AM

University exams are stupid. I remember sitting in a first-year programming exam with my question book and a 20-page answer book. I used my reading time to flick through the questions and saw a few places where I needed to write half a page of code for a question. 5 minutes after we began they came around saying we didn't need the 20-page book and took it from us, even if we have already written in it. So then I had to write half a page of code in about 1-1.5 inches of white space between two questions. I ended up writing around the next few questions and drawing arrows. :lol: 

I've also had exams with two identical answers in multiple choice, questions that stop halfway through a sentence and English so bad that you wonder if they outsourced the exam question writing to China.
a b 5 Linux
March 30, 2009 4:47:31 AM

randomizer, you're right. they did!

The schools have outsourced their exams to China and many college students have followed suit and have done the exact same thing, they outsource their homework and programming projects to China.

From what I hear some high school students do it too.

Sad but true.
a b 5 Linux
March 30, 2009 8:34:46 AM

Wow, my tests are written by the teachers, but that's no QC.

Those of us who want to get answers, steal them from the answer cabinet.
a b 5 Linux
March 30, 2009 1:26:45 PM

randomizer said:

I've also had exams with two identical answers in multiple choice, questions that stop halfway through a sentence and English so bad that you wonder if they outsourced the exam question writing to China.


Actually, the Chinese come here and write the exams. VERY few professors in lower-level classes write their own exams as they have TAs do the job for them and often don't even look at the exam the TA makes before handing it out. Many TAs are foreign as the American students want to get their bachelor's and then go get a job, while the foreigners tend to hang around longer in academia. About the only exception to this is professional school, most likely due to the better pay you can get with those degrees compared to a PhD.
a b 5 Linux
March 31, 2009 10:23:08 AM

I can't really argue with you there. Where I go, 30% of the students are international, and most TAs are also students or former students. I'm fighting to keep Aussie blood among the faculty staff. Too bad that a large percentage of students can't understand me because of their poor English. If I had an Asian accent it might have helped them.
a b 5 Linux
March 31, 2009 6:25:51 PM

As a former college exams officer this all differs somewhat from the UK. We still have most awarding bodies setting questions by group discussion using subject specialists. The lead time can be quite high and when I was in the game (~2001) the push was for clearer language in the questions.

I grew very disillusioned with the sector, a lot to do with provision of disability rights access which in a number of cases made a mockery of the exams ( - don't get me wrong on this but when I have a girl doing social care that needs a reader and a writer I fail to see how she will ever be able to read the back of a ready meal when looking after a child. ) But also with the non attendance of students (it was a state funded FE college) that cost us thousands of pounds a year.

a b 5 Linux
April 1, 2009 12:39:42 AM

audiovoodoo said:
As a former college exams officer this all differs somewhat from the UK. We still have most awarding bodies setting questions by group discussion using subject specialists. The lead time can be quite high and when I was in the game (~2001) the push was for clearer language in the questions.

I grew very disillusioned with the sector, a lot to do with provision of disability rights access which in a number of cases made a mockery of the exams ( - don't get me wrong on this but when I have a girl doing social care that needs a reader and a writer I fail to see how she will ever be able to read the back of a ready meal when looking after a child. ) But also with the non attendance of students (it was a state funded FE college) that cost us thousands of pounds a year.


Are you talking about standardized exams or the exams that a professor gives their class during a semester to determine their grades? Standardized tests here in the U.S. are made by various organizations, but with few exceptions the professors/TAs/others in the academic department in the school make their own exams to give to students to determine grades. The only exception to the departments-make-their-own-exams I have seen is in the clerkships (third and fourth years) of medical school, where most programs use standardized exams (OSCEs and NBME "shelf exams") as their written exams to determine grades.
a b 5 Linux
April 1, 2009 4:49:34 AM

hmm, apparently, there is a forum for this now.
!