oron at actcom.co.il
Tue Jan 27 22:27:02 IST 2009
Hello Yosi, "long time no see". Welcome aboard.
Wow, just browsed my inbox and got smashed with this
huge (multi)-thread subject -- browsed rapidly all (good) suggestions.
1. Technical problems:
* From complaints, seems like disk-space is causing a lot of collateral
damage. Since disks are very cheap (500Gb for less then 300NIS) it
should be easy to put 3-4 likes these in one "server" host in the lab.
(Maybe as a striped volume group for extra performance).
Having these disks shared among workstations would:
- Avoid students most common complaint.
- May reduce unexplained technical problems (at least some crashes
were reported as a direct disk-space problem).
- Since it looks as if students are having general quota problems (as
usual in big places like Technion), it may seduce them to use the
lab services more often ("Hey, I have so much storage here, that I
save some other projects temporarily. This lab is really cool").
* CR/LF problems are mostly archaic non-issue for the last 10 years.
Any reasonable editor (VIM, kate, gedit, notepad++[windows]) and IDE
displays both without a problem (including syntax highlighting etc.)
I suggest ignoring it instead of giving it a prominent space on the
wiki (OK, as Schachar pointed, there are some arcane cases, but
that's true for everything).
* DOK -- https://fedorahosted.org/liveusb-creator has a windows
executable as well.
2. Change control and maintenance:
* A choice of distribution and update policy is critical. I won't
state my personal preference so we don't divert into distro-wars,
but would like to give concrete examples about the effects:
- The version you used contained OpenOffice.org-2.4x while current
version carries OOo-3.x -- as pointed out this is a major change
both in interoperability with MS-Office as well as other features
(select language and zoom directly from the bottom status bar).
- Distribution specific policy regarding big (and changing) platforms
like Eclipse. What versions are packaged? Which plugins are packaged?
* Update policy -- are your workstations fully updated? or are they in
the same state as first installed? This has a big impact both on
security and "normal" bugs you hit every day.
* There is a constant conflict between having "stable" lab and having
current and up to date software. One possible idea is to have
- Let's assume we have 15 computers, select 2-3 of them and upgrade
them to the bleeding edge version of your distro.
CLEARLY MARK THEM (labels on the monitors).
- Proactively ask students for feedback: What aspects got improved,
what's got worse.
- The feedback would gradually lead you to migrate more and more
machines to this version.
- Lather, rinse, repeat...
* There are other advantages to such scheme:
- The students have an active role, instead of being passive moaners
- The same idea could be expanded later to having 1-2 "sampler"
workstations with different distributions. You'd gradually see
which are the favorites.
- This way, the students would not only compare "A Linux" with Win*
but rather see several different "Linuces".
- On the same page, do you install more than one desktop?
(e.g: GNOME, KDE, icewm). Having choice is one of the key features
and may help students understand the richer world in free software
("A: I hate this desktop. all shortcuts are wrong. B: Come look
at my desktop. It's so better. C: A -- I can configure the
same on yours, you won't need to change desktops").
* About lab engineers:
- What happened to masters degree students? Don't they work in the
labs anymore, or are they Windows-gurus nowdays?
- If not, maybe undergrads can take over or help with the maintenance
core? Then the community would need to help them, but not
actually do the day to day routine.
> Does Wednesday 12:30-14:30 fit your schedules? It would be real nice if we
> could have a Linux event every two weeks or so that time in the lab, and
> this particular time slot woudl assure nice attendance.
> Tentively I set Feb 18th for the first such event.
Sheesh, we do work sometimes. Anyway, if a "Happy Linux Friday" would
help you can count me in.
Oron Peled Voice: +972-4-8228492
oron at actcom.co.il http://www.actcom.co.il/~oron
linux/reboot.h: #define LINUX_REBOOT_MAGIC1 0xfee1dead
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