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Education Software Businesses SuSE Linux

OpenSuSE to Release Linux Distro for Educators 51

christian.einfeldt writes "The next version of openSUSE, due out in the fall, will include an add-on CD optimized for educators. According to the Education section of the openSUSE wiki, the openSUSE community sees the add-on as a way to make it easy for school administrators to create both networked systems and stand-alone desktops for teachers and students. To tailor the add-on CD to the needs of educators, the openSUSE community is asking educators and technologists to submit their software successes, applications used, and 'HOW-TOs' for writing applications and using applications. Dubbed the SLEDucator, the package collection is being included as an add-on, as opposed to a new distro or a fork."
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OpenSuSE to Release Linux Distro for Educators

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  • the SLEDucator (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Overzeetop (214511) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @08:06AM (#19648415) Journal
    Another stroke of linux name/marketing genius.
    • by niceone (992278) *
      Another stroke of linux name/marketing genius.

      Agreed. The article also mentions edubuntu... which is a bit of a better name I guess (worth a look too if you run linux and have kids).
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Overzeetop (214511)
        ...edubuntu...worth a look too if you run linux and have kids..."

        Looked at it, loved it, got it running now on an old laptop for the 4yo. Can't get the wireless networking running, but she's still working through the "games". Wish there were some more puzzles; for some reason they're her favorite.

  • SLEDucator (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by FredDC (1048502)
    How can it go wrong with a name like that?
  • by Enoxice (993945) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @08:16AM (#19648491) Journal
    Didn't I read a comic book about the SLEDucator? He used his mighty Sledge Hammer of Justice to teach criminals that crime doesn't pay, right?
  • and ride the SLEDucator down the bunny slopes of wintery bliss land!
  • by Kohath (38547) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @08:26AM (#19648567)
    - Does this Linux distribution take the summer off?
    - Does it complain about the pay?
    - Does it blame parents for poor computer performance?
    - Does it have TV commercials promoting itself?
    - Does it claim to be a "professional" distribution even though "home" distributions have better performance?
    - Is it certified?
    - Is the government paying for it?
    - Does it work on 30 documents but tell you that you'd be better off paying more and only doing 25 documents?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by JasonWM (991689)
      -school technician
      -uses LTS in school district
      -doesn't get summer off
      -knows techs aren't part of the teachers union
      -no commercials, no crap,no budget, just work as hard as you can
      -doesn't bitch

      Being the tech director (sole technician/network admin/everything guy in a system with 250 desktops, 13 servers, 1200 accounts), and having tested SUSE enterprise for distribution, I know it isn't close to edubuntu as far as being ready for school distribution. I know some CIO's/techs are saying SUSE is ready

      • Here's a guy who does the work in an educational institution and he's got practically no influence on IT.

        I don't have the time, money, or political support

        Because his superior(s) up the chain have got other socio-political arrangements with entrenched software vendors that most likely violate the intent of every corruption law on record.

        Much like Moses bringing back the ten commandments from a mountain top, software probably materializes on his desk regardless of the time he spent creating a report on vario
  • Yawn (Score:1, Informative)

    by qweqwe321 (1097441)
    Novell makes their own Edubuntu. Wonderful.
  • Good approach (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SplatMan_DK (1035528) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @08:27AM (#19648583) Homepage Journal
    Making the CD as an add-on is a great idea. One of the nightmares most educators face when they attempt to introduce Linux into their school is the myriad of distros and choices they have to somehow analyze and understand. By simply adding the tools an educator needs for administrating a collection of Linux computers in a school, they make the distro a lot more attractive.

    Schools generally don't have large IT department loaded with hardcore Linux geeks.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      One of the nightmares most educators face when they attempt to introduce Linux into their school is the myriad of distros and choices they have

      I've read about 1,000 variations on this sentence over the past few years, and I haven't been able to puzzle it out. Maybe I'm dense, but I've never figured out why diversity is a problem that threatens to make all our heads asplode. You don't see Baskin-Robbins cutting back to serving only vanilla and chocolate because people have avoided their store, heads dizz

      • by AncientPC (951874)
        The reason people don't stress over Baskin-Robins is because the choices are unimportant and don't impact your life very much. Didn't like your ice cream? You're out a few bucks and can try another one.

        Since this is /. let's use a car analogy. Assume you know nothing about cars and the respective market. Buying a car is a fairly large purchase and you can't change cars without incurring significant losses (unlike the ice cream analogy). There are so many makers, models, features, and reliability issues
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          If your analogy made any sense, then there would only be 1 model of car. What actually happens is that we have thousands of different models of cars, each with their own options. And there's also a lot of third party accessories that you can add to your car. If Joe Schmoe can pick out which car they want to buy out of the thousands of models available, I'm sure that most people could pick out an OS that works well for them. It would probably be even easier. Because if you're looking for a "sedan" you
        • "let's use a car analogy. Assume you know nothing about cars and the respective market."

          OK, let's use it. The fact is most people really know almost nothing about cars, and the fact is that there *are* many car brands. To add insult to pain, car companies have merged (a lot) and still they *insist* about having a lot of brands when they could easily merge brands along with companies and even save a real big hill of bucks.

          Neither producers nor consumers fill that having so many car brands is hurting the ma
          • by AncientPC (951874)
            Lots of choices + large investment = lots of research (which most people don't want to do) and buyer's remorse. []

            When there is a defacto choice it is easier to simply go with the industry standard, and that is Windows.

            I'm not saying it's right or best for the school district, but administrators do it because it's easier.
      • Diversity is not at all a bad thing. And I dont think anybody has said that either.

        Also, diversity and "myriads of choices" is not per definition a function of "free software". Nor is the opposite.

        But confusion, bad overview, high demands for planning and high demands for technical skills *IS* the result of too much diversity and an abundance of choices. This is true for any kind of software or product - free, open, closed and commercial.

        While the power of Linux and FOSS in general is its diversity it is al
      • I've read about 1,000 variations on this sentence over the past few years, and I haven't been able to puzzle it out. Maybe I'm dense, but I've never figured out why diversity is a problem that threatens to make all our heads asplode.

        Its the same effect that herd/flock/swarm/school behavior exploits; when a predator can't single out an individual from the group its pretty hard for them to select prey.

        Heres an experiment you can try at home.

        Try getting a cat and some small fluffy objects that the cat may like
        • by rts008 (812749)
          But don't complain if the cat,instead of acting confused, just jumps up and shreds your scrotum, pisses in your coffee, and shits on your pillow...just as an experiment to see if that confuses you.

          Some cats, and some people are readily capable of thoughts/actions outside of herd mentality.
          • Some cats, and some people are readily capable of thoughts/actions outside of herd mentality.

            I'm not accusing them of *herd* mentality.

            I'm accusing them of *predator* mentality.
            • by rts008 (812749)
              Be that as it may, you are attributing herd behavior to a predator (cat) that you are comparing to a nomadic omnivore (man).

              Very few humans can be classed as predators now days based on behavior.

              And yes, this is part of my college degree, and state certification as a Veterinary Technician.

              Humans as predators have not been an issue in nature since cities were formed. (yes- a small, but insignificant % have been, and will always remain predators in the terms you want to compare us with cats.)
  • by SplatMan_DK (1035528) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @08:33AM (#19648657) Homepage Journal
    It would be great if the SUSE folks also made a similar add-on CD for the SMB segment. They face many of the same technical challenges as the schools/educators, just wrapped in different words and scenarios.

    Making tools which allow educators and people in small businesses to deploy and administer a small networked Linux environment is a great idea. And the lack of such tools is often what intimidates non-Linux-geeks from adopting Linux.
    • by akaiONE (467100)
      PSSST! 2002 also called and wanted to say that Debian-Edu/Skolelinux want their project details back :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by houghi (78078)
      Ask them, or even better, ask them to release the tools to make your own addons.
      They already released the code to make your own distribution trademark free and information how to make your own openSUSE based ditribution [].

      Join their mailinglist, discuss and you might be amazed of what is possible. The educators part came there because of demand.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SplatMan_DK (1035528)
        While i do have some understanding of business processed, IT architecture and basic programming I am no way near geeky enough to undertake such a project.

        I am the guy who would be able to push such a product/distro/add-on to the SMBs ... not the guy who can code it. In other words I can increase the use once it is there - but not create it from scratch.

        I will be following SUSE and openSUSE more closely in the future though. I think that the more business-oriented approach that Novell has, strengthens Linux
        • by houghi (78078)
          The you are the ideal person to ask for it and let others do the actual programming. If nobody asks for specific SMB stuff, then nobody will make it.

          You can tell them WHAT those SMB's might want and need. The programmers will not have that information. Don't think that because you don't program you can't contribute. Feedback is contribution. Interacting by actively joining the mailinglist is even better.

          Let them know. Tell them directly and they will listen.

          Oh and just to show you that Novell is doing tjing
  • Apple called ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by (1108067) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @08:34AM (#19648665) Homepage Journal
    Apple called ... they want their 1980's marketing program back ...
    • by Trigun (685027) <> on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @08:40AM (#19648745)
      Why? It never worked for Apple.
      • Don't tell the linux folks...they'd love to hit 4% market penetration!

        (maybe I should post this AC, naaaaa)
      • It never worked for Apple? At one time the only computers you could find in schools were from Apple, from the student labs to the principal's desk.

        If Apple hadn't screwed up price-wise, your PC would be running a motorola cpu, not an intel.

        • by rtb61 (674572)
          Yesterdays news, with Linux, you can run it on any kind of CPU you want to, CPU agnostic, don't you know ;). I wonder how many more plugs for edubuntu [] can be snuck into this Novell story ;).
          • My point was that the motorola cpu was a much nicer one to program on - no segmented memory model - and that it wasn't only Apple that was using motorola cpus at the time. If you've ever written in assembler, you know how much of a PITA the segmented architecture was. Even if you didn't use assembler, you had to keep 6 different memory models in mind, TINY, SMALL, COMPACT, MEDIUM, LARGE, HUGE.

            What a mess. Overlaying code? don't go beyond 64k (32k in some cases). Added a few lines or changed some compiler

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Dewin (989206)

          It never worked for Apple? At one time the only computers you could find in schools were from Apple, from the student labs to the principal's desk.

          I believe the idea was that by having Apple computers in schools, when parents purchased a PC for home they would buy Apple, because that is what their kids were used to.

          In reality, what happened is most people bought PCs (In the "IBM and compatible sense", so don't get pendantic) because that's what they used themselves in the workplace.

          • Actually, a lot of parents bought Apples for home use, until the price differential between an Apple and a no-namn clone became too large to ignore.

            Of course, we're seeing the price differential has now vanished - for many users an iMac has a lower TCO than a Windows box, by the time you add in antivirus and antimalware and anti-flavoraid-of-the-day subscriptions, and the quicker obsolescence of the windows box. Throw in a copy of parallels and they have no reason to move their windows programs from xp.

  • k12ltsp (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zenray (9262) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @09:48AM (#19649493) Journal
    What the educational field needs is not another GNU/Linux distro for them - there is k12ltsp that's been around a long time. Also the new eumbuntu distro. There exist several school districts that have implemted Linux in some form already. What would be more usefull is a new batch of 'killer apps' that the education field uses. Also cheep traning, support, and maybe a freshmeat type repository of these type of things. What Novell may have is company name brand supporting them.
  • by MadMacSkillz (648319) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @11:20AM (#19650907) Homepage
    Adding another CD won't matter. Linux won't take off in schools for a boatload of reasons, support being perhaps the biggest. We've got former and current classroom teachers running networks in schools. They've got their hands full with OS X Server, they're completely blown away by Windows 2003 Server, and they've got no hope of making Linux work campuswide with all of their current peripherals AND finding replacement software for all of their educational titles AND securing the thing so the kids don't mess it up AND keeping everything up and running AND finding open source alternatives to programs mandated by the state that don't come in anything but Windows and OS X AND... I could go on and on and on. Linux will one day be the number one operating system, or some future OS based on it will. But not today.
  • I see that SuSE no longer is a big draw for commenting on here at Slashdot. Maybe it's time to put Novell stories to rest, they killed themselves and nobody cares.

Nothing in progression can rest on its original plan. We may as well think of rocking a grown man in the cradle of an infant. -- Edmund Burke