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Education Software Linux

350,000 Linux (Virtual) Desktops Land In Brazil 109

Posted by timothy
from the rip-helio-gracie dept.
xufem writes "Millions of Brazilian schoolchildren will soon be 'brought up right' running Linux on over 350,000 seats each using PC sharing hardware and software from Userful and KDE. This is world's largest virtual desktop deployment and probably also the world's largest Linux deployment, and seems to have been selected over OLPC by Brazil. Definitely a moment to celebrate — and just in time for Brazilian Carnival which starts tomorrow!"
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350,000 Linux (Virtual) Desktops Land In Brazil

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  • Nice headline and all. I don't really care about it at the moment though. I want to hear back after they've been running the program for 5-10 years. Or do they quietly cancel the program after a year or two of failures? (Any project of this size will have road bumps that need to be solved. Will they be solved or will they spend the money and buy the machines, yet the machines never end up assigned to students for another 4 years?)

    • Extramadura Spain (Score:5, Informative)

      by emj (15659) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @01:30PM (#26918759) Homepage Journal

      The place to look would be Extramdura in Spain, they have been using Linux for a long time. They claim very, very low costs. I don't have any recent posts but LWN wrote about it in 2003 [lwn.net], and last time I heard it was still going strong.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This solution may not be entirely Free/Libre:

      http://support.userful.com/wiki/index.php/Manuals/UMx/Readme#Copyrights.2C_Licenses_and_Trademarks

      "Copyrights, Licenses and Trademarks

      Userful Multiplier is commercial software and contains proprietary, patent-pending intellectual property. See the Userful-EULA.txt file for full terms of the license agreement."

      From the EULA in the download:

      2. LICENSE TERMS
      ==================
      2.1. Software is owned and copyrighted by Userful and/or by third party suppliers. Customer'

    • Any large IT project I don't care what OS you use will cost a lot more then you expect. License Costs are the least of your problems. As they are the easiest to calculate Seats*License Cost per seat and is also the smallest part of the equation. The most expensive is human capital and Change Management to get them doing thing the right way.

      • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Facetious (710885) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @02:27PM (#26919635) Journal
        I disagree. Back when I was the sole IT guy for a factory, I figured about one fourth of my time was spent figuring out what licenses we had, which ones we needed, etc. The actual license costs are easily identified, but the admin time wasted dealing with licenses is not.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by grahamsz (150076)

          Not to mention the headaches recovering a failed machine. Random software will decide that you've moved it to a new machine and will deactivate your serial number.

          The last thing you need when everything's smoldering around you is to sit on hold with the vendor while they deactivate you old serial so you can reinstall the software you've paid for.

          Linux has its flaws but being able to easily install a pile of software on a freshly deployed machine is a godsend.

          • by guruevi (827432)

            We have some not-so-common research software. One of them you actually have to e-mail their sales staff with a code which they will respond in one of the following days (or later if it's a weekend coming up) with a serial number. Another one decided to use dongles. Of course the headache of keeping track of who used the dongle last time and why the 2001 drivers aren't working on Windows XP SP3 is big enough, in the upgrade they decided to give us an upgrade dongle. But since it's an upgrade you also need th

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      While I could not find really useful English links about it, the Open.Amsterdam [amsterdam.nl] project has been running for two years now, and last October the City Council have declared [amsterdam.nl] that the long-term goal is to have all of the local government on open-source desktops. The pilot used SuSE Linux for two of the city's departments. Along with the wide-scale deployments like Munich or Vienna have done, I think you will have plenty data points in a few years.

      See here [www.osor.eu] for a minor press release in English.

    • Knowing our government, there is indeed reason for preoccupation about the success of the project.

      But what really concerns me is what happens in 2011. In October 2010 we will have presidential elections (and, for the record, in Brasil we vote for the state-level and federal-level executive and legislative in a single election). Hopefully, the current flamboyantly corrupt government will lose. But the one quality of the current government, its defense of Free Software, will probably go away with it. The heav

  • by Anonymous Coward

    linux makes a terrible desktop, and now brazilian children will be startin gout their education on a platform that noone with any brains uses for serious work. all this means is that when these kids graduate, they are going to have to take remedial classes to learn windows and os x, real operating systems where real work gets done.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by theskipper (461997)

      Disagree. I'd rather my kid got a case of gout from Linux than a virus from using Windows.

      Of course neither is as bad as the swelled cranium that results from using a Mac...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Vectronic (1221470)

      Pfft, troll... especially implying that using Linux leads to gout... lol

      Seriously though, the basic day-to-day operation of Windows, Linux, OSX, etc... is about the same as the various types of the english language, yeah we stumble on some metaphors, and references, but I can switch between them all quite easily, besides where the "work" gets done, is in the software UI, which is even more seamless between OS's...

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      LOL, at what point does a troll become so blatant that it deserves a Funny mod?

    • Oh, crap! I'd better tell my employers that we've been wasting our time on a toy OS! Thanks a ton, AC!
    • all this means is that when these kids graduate, they are going to have to take remedial classes to learn windows and os x, real operating systems where real work gets done.

      Like playing games and removing malware?

    • by catman (1412)
      Loverock, is that you?
  • by Main MAn (162800)

    The Brazilian government is really good in announcing things, but not really good in making them happen. ie http://br-linux.org/2008/um-ano-apos-fiasco-governo-marca-novo-pregao-por-laptops-educacionais

    So let me know when they start to deploy it.

    • by Captain Splendid (673276) <capsplendid@@@gmail...com> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @01:28PM (#26918709) Homepage Journal
      The Brazilian government is really good in announcing things, but not really good in making them happen.

      Ethanol.
      • by kusanagi374 (776658) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @01:54PM (#26919149)

        But Gasoline is more cost-effective than Ethanol where I live, for instance.

        Because:
        1. While Gasoline is about 42% more expensive than Ethanol, the mpg is lower on Ethanol. So, to correclty compare prices, you have to multiply the gasoline price by 0.7. When I do that, Gasoline ends up being 5% cheaper.
        2. There is no control over ethanol tampering in Brazil. Quite a few gas stations add a bit of water to the tanks, and the flexible fuel cars won't stop working because of that. You just get lower mileage.
        3. The temperature in our region is lower (Hey, 25ÂC is SMOKING HOT for me). We actually have a bit of snow during the winter... and Ethanol doesn't play nicely with cold temperatures. The engine deals with it by adding gasoline to the mix.

        Unless you live in Sao Paulo (where ethanol is 45% cheaper when comparing prices vs mileage), it's just not worth it.

        Diesel cars, the ones that are truly efficient, are not allowed in Brazil. That is because while Brazil doesn't depend on others for heavy crude oil, we have to import ALL of our light crude oil... and diesel cars would screw up the import/export balance. What about biodiesel, you say? We barely have enough volume to replace the diesel used in our trucks, nevermind fueling cars.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Wooky_linuxer (685371)

          It doesn't matter. We have the technology to completely switch to ethanol (where cars are concerned, anyways) if we need to.

          I agree the politic on ethanol pricing is less than ideal (and sometimes downright stupid), but I think the important point is that we managed to develop a viable fuel alternative -ok, we might have been lucky for already having an established sugar cane production, and having the area to do so but nonetheless we made it. Most other countries would love to be in that position. Biodies

        • by marcosdumay (620877) <marcosdumay@@@gmail...com> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @02:47PM (#26919911) Homepage Journal

          Well, an anecdote does not make a pattern. Ethanol is cheaper than gasoline on almost the entire brazilian territory. Except for, it seems, where it snows (You realize we are talking about some 2% of the territory here, and some very unusual 2%, don't you?). Now, did you take into account that gasoline also lacks quality control, and is some times mixed with kinds of solvents that, differently from water, damage your motor?

          • by dafradu (868234)
            You live in Brazil? The same Brazil i live? I have never head of snow in Brazil, not even in the south region, in high altitude cities... They get a little frost during the night, thats all.

            Ethanol cars always had trouble starting up when its cold, and by cold i'm saying Rio de Janeiro cold, 15ÂC. I remember when my father had to add a little gas to the carburetor (i think) to be able to start the car...

            This doesn't happen anymore with Gas/Ethanol (flex fuel) cars.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Fluffeh (1273756)

              You live in Brazil? The same Brazil i live? I have never head of snow in Brazil, not even in the south region, in high altitude cities... They get a little frost during the night, thats all.

              Prepare to be amazed! Prepare to have you socks knocked off your frost bitten feet! Prepare to make icicles like only a man can in the winter!

              Santa Catarina [sc.gov.br]
              Rio Grande do Sul [homestead.com]
              Brazillian Snow Ski Holiday [rentmeavacation.com] (Okay, there is in fact only ONE result...)

              • by dafradu (868234)
                Thats what i'm talking about: "The temperature there reaches 32Â Fahrenheit at the heart of winter." When that happens the news report from the site and everything... lol.
            • by hnangelo (1098127)
              You should know your own country a little better... It snows every year in the mountains of the south region, specially RS and SC.
            • My friend, think more carefully before speaking. Really. Specially on the Internet. Every stupidity (I'm not in anyway saying *you* are stupid, but *what you said* was stupid) you post on the Internet gets indexed, mirrored, and can hunt you many years after the fact.

              And regarding the problems ethanol cars have with cold, I believe this is a characteristic of carburator based Ethanol cars. This problem has been solved many years ago with electronic fuel injection, AFAIK. And electronic fuel injection arrive

          • by tcheleao (171167)

            I don't know in what country YOU live.....I live in Cambara do sul/RS, Here snows every year.
            In potugues:
            Nao sei em que pais vives....Aqui em Cambara do sul/RS neva todos os anos. Caso voces brasileiros nos excluam, seria uma bencao para nos.

            • Don't misrepresent the facts. He is already aware that there is a small amount of snow in certain Brazilian places.

              And it is true that snow is _very_ rare in Brazil. When there is a bit of snow in a city, it gets on nationwide TV news, and people travel there to see it. And we are talking of _a bit_ of snow.

              Only in some really extreme places, such as high altitude places in the southernmost part of the territory, do we have "real" snow, like this:
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Neve_santa_catarina.jpg [wikipedia.org]

              E te

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Caue (909322)
          Diesel is the least efficient. Altough it has higher cal. output, it does ignite soly by the pressure in the chamber, making it EXTREMELY hard to keep tuned. Notice all the black fumes coming from larger trucks and suvs running on diesel? that's called incomplete burning. Poorly tuned engines do that. To keep everything going, you have to use more oil. The oil comes into the chamber when its not well tuned then... oil burning. it's quite a mess.

          I live in santa catarina, (that's a brazilian state) and we all

        • "barely have enough volume to replace the diesel used in our trucks" !? AFAIK, we are not even close to replace the diesel used in our trucks, they mix only like 2% of biodiesel with the fossil diesel. This is from my memory. And right now I checked Wikipedia, which seems to confirm the current percentage is 2%, with 5% planned for 2010 or 2011.

          Oh, and the "Unless you live in Sao Paulo" bit was horribly wrong. ethanol is more cost-effective than gasoline in nearly the entire territory. That is the reason fo

      • Looks (from the press release) http://www2.userful.com/company/linux-desktop-virtualization [userful.com] like 18,000 seats have already been deployed and are running well. And the budget has already been allocated and system vendors have won the auctions to supply the hardware.
      • by Mark_in_Brazil (537925) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @03:57PM (#26920965)
        GP said:

        The Brazilian government is really good in announcing things, but not really good in making them happen.

        PP said:

        Ethanol.

        Wonderfully understated. But in this case, taking it further is interesting. So here I go...

        Brazil's government has achieved a bunch of really aggressive goals in recent years. Let's start with the ones in energy independence...

        * Ethanol is a viable fuel, being based on sugar cane and not corn. It's been that way for a while now.
        * New cars in Brazil are now sold with engines that are equally happy burning gasoline or ethanol or a mix (or, with a conversion, natural gas - see below)
        * Natural gas, originally imported via a pipeline from Bolivia, and now with big reserves found in Brazil, presents another alternative fuel with environmental, financial, and geopolitical advantages over petroleum. The pipeline was announced and then successfully executed. Exploiting Brazil's own natural gas was a new challenge. The programs were announced and then successfully executed.
        * Over 95% of Brazil's electrical energy comes from hydroelectric plants. Hydroelectric projects were announced and then executed successfully.
        * Total independence from foreign petroleum. Planned, announced, done.

        Changing from energy, there are other things, like the...
        * massive migration to FOSS going on since the early days of the Lula government (2003-present). I saw with my own two eyes huge numbers of Linux desktops at ITI (Information Technology Institute) and other government offices in 2005-2007. This one is still in the process of happening, and faces very well-funded opposition (from MS and friends), but despite that, it's been successful. Announced and made to happen.
        * A more stable (and, not coincidentally, better-regulated) banking system than the one in the USA
        * Health care policy that has basically done away with the black market for transplant organs, maintained the viability of what is widely considered the best AIDS policy in the world, and brought the benefits of generic drugs to the Brazilian people. All planned, announced, and executed successfully.
        * A GROWING middle class. Tens of millions of people have joined the middle class of Brazil in the last several years. Growing the middle class is often a stated goal, but rarely achieved as spectacularly as it has been in Brazil in recent years

        * I would also mention that the Brazilian government paid off close to $20B in loans early just in the year 2005, meeting the goal of reducing foreign debt, which the previous governments seemed to love, and saving something on the order of 10^9 dollars in interest payments. Goal announced, goal achieved.

        Every place has its advantages and disadvantages, and wherever you go, the deal is the same: you've got to try to make the most of the advantages and minimize the effects of the disadvantages. Brazil's advantages and disadvantages are different from those of the US. But to say the Brazilian government isn't good at making things happen is just wrong. I hate to pull out a mean word, but here it is: saying the Brazilian government, especially in the last several years, isn't good at making things happen, is just plain ignorant.

        In early 2003, the US invaded Iraq to save the world from Saddam Hussein's supposed stocks of weapons of mass destruction, and to fight a war against terrorism and bring peace, stability, and democracy to the Middle East. I remember the announcements. I also remember announcements of how the economic policy would continue US economic dominance into the 21st Century. I'm a US citizen, so I know the answer to this question as I ask it: how are those goals workin' out for ya? Is terrorism down in the last several years? Was the haul of WMDs worth the multi-trillion dollar cost of the stupidest war ever, plus the destabilization of the region? I guess by mentioning the destabiliz

        • * Over 95% of Brazil's electrical energy comes from hydroelectric plants. Hydroelectric projects were announced and then executed successfully.

          Didn't know that one, thanks. Starting to wish I spoke Portuguese and not Spanish.
        • by Caue (909322) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @04:15PM (#26921161)
          You got real stuff and propaganda stuff all mixed up, dude. Brazil is only independent in the production of heavy oil; we still import more than half the oil used for gasoline, diesel and querosene.

          Health care sucks. You can get AIDS medicine, but if you are in an emergency and depend on the SUS (sistema unico de saude, unified health system) you're pretty much toast. that's why health plans sell like water around here.

          Our financial system broke down several times in the last 70 years; the american and european broke twice.

          No new hydroelectric plants are coming around until 2015. All the recent growth is based on gas and coal burning, and some crude oil.

          The middle class in brazil is different than the middle class in other states. Here, middle class don't have two cars, nice house with front lawn and a trip to disney every year; we strugle between paying the rent and paying school and highschool for our children, because the educational system is a hell of a mess.

          We are not so good, but we are not so bad either. I speak that as a brazilian. I really love brazil, but i'm as skeptical as the next guy when it comes to analysing this or any other governaments before.

          • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Health care sucks.

            I am not sure if Health care sucks.

            Compared to England it is much better.

            I have to travel at least once a year to Brazil, to get a *better* treatment from the "cursed" SUS (you speak of).. because here in the UK - well things are pretty slow.

            It took 2 years in the queue, for me to be tested here in England for some neurological stuff.

            Whereas in Brazil, just under 3 months.

            And then there is America. If you are poor and living in the US - you are pretty much stuffed. You can't even get prope

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            You got real stuff and propaganda stuff all mixed up, dude. Brazil is only independent in the production of heavy oil; we still import more than half the oil used for gasoline, diesel and querosene.

            I'm honestly not sure if this is the case. It doesn't contradict what Petrobras says [petrobras.com.br] (in Portuguese) on its site: that average daily production is higher than average daily consumption of petroleum products in Brazil. Meanwhile, new platforms are coming online and huge new reserves have been discovered, so pet

            • by Caue (909322)
              That was a wonderfull reply. Filled with passion and belief, and I reckon that's just what we all need.

              The petroleum part is still messed up - since we extract bad petroleum and have to buy good petroleum. It's one of those things nobody can explain, but until now, we haven't had so much luck with our oil searching. The mega discoveries last year are being used as political propaganda; we are not sure they are viable YET. Not at this prices, it isn't, too damn deep.

              Other than that, it amazes me how much

            • The Angra nuclear reactors are a joke, at least as far as energy production in concerned.

              Where did you get that from?

              I suspect they may exist solely so Brazil can have a nuclear weapons program. Officially, it doesn't, but why the insistence on continuing a program that has been so spectacularly unsuccessful?

              What alternative do you suggest? We can produce only so much hydroelectric power, specially because of environmental regulations, and thermoelectric plants are an environmental disaster.
              We have no choice but nuclear energy. And considering the minuscule budget allocated to the Navy nuclear reactor program*, I find it a good investment - and think it is absurd that we don't invest much more.
              And regarding nuclear weapons, I personally don't believe our government could keep such a

        • The current government's economic policy is the same as the previous (the one who solved hyperinflation). Of course the current situation is better, since in the previous government Brazil was struck by several extremely serious international crisis in a moment where it was fragile, having very little international credibility (the default of Jose Sarney* was only renegotiated in 1994, so in the 1990 decade foreign investors were highly suspicious of the Brazillian government - and the Workers Party's rheto

  • No, no, no (Score:5, Funny)

    by hwyhobo (1420503) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @01:27PM (#26918703)

    I am known by my friends as a UNIX bigot, but I need to inject a little sanity here. Running Linux on the desktop is not a precondition to a good upbringing. We all know it's the editor you use that determines that.

    • I control the butterfly [xkcd.com], so there!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by von_rick (944421)
      vi & nano - the force runs strong in those two.
      • by cb88 (1410145)
        what! no mp (miminum profit editor)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by marcosdumay (620877)
      The government loves standards... They'll probably go with ed.
    • I vote that Emacs doesn't count as an editor. It's basically an OS on its own...I mean, do you ever say "My favorite text editor is Linux!" No? Didn't think so!
    • Running Linux on the desktop is not a precondition to a good upbringing. We all know it's the editor you use that determines that.

      And the editor we used was timothy, who determined it. Yeesh.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The year of the (virtual) Linux desktop is here!*

    *Valid only in Brazil.

  • "While others debate whether GNU/Linux is ready for the desktop, Userful is quietly proving that it is -- and making a profit while doing so"

    "By combining a mixture [linux.com] of proprietary administrative tools with a modified Red Hat distribution and a GNOME desktop, Userful has updated the concept of timesharing by adapting it to a personal computer. The result is DiscoverStation, a hardware and software solution that connects as many as 10 terminals to a single computer"
  • by iris-n (1276146) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @01:49PM (#26919073)

    I live in Brasil. This kind of things are announced from time to time, and the implementations varies. But they are mostly done. See for example the conversion of the government's computer to Linux. It was slow an irregular, but it was done, and it is working for some time know.

    This is an issue that has been on media for quite some time, and it would be quite shameful if it failed again. I really think this time is for real.

    The thing that really worries me is how these systems are going to be administrated. There aren't exactly a lot of Linux sysadmins here. If they aren't very careful about it (and they seldom are), we could end up with a huge expensive system badly misconfigured, that would just harm the kids and Linux's reputation.

    Let me give you a real example. In my university, there are countless computer labs, and two of them run linux. One of them is run by be central administration of the exact sciences department. It is a bloody mess. They couldn't even get the user accounts working well, and its a heroic feat to get anything to compile there. The other lab, is run by the physics department. Mostly physics students that are hired to administrate it from time to time. Runs tighter than a duck's ass.

    That said, it is really wonderful to get that mindshare, and for the first time kids won't be trained to think that windows is all that is.

  • RIAA math. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @02:00PM (#26919241) Journal

    350,000 virtual desktops is as meaningful as "The equivalent of 421 CD burners [theregister.co.uk]." Nowhere in the article does it actually give meaningful numbers like the maximum number of concurrent users, or the actual amount of server hardware, or what sort of workstations will be hosting those virtual desktops.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      This isn't your classic "virtualization". It might be better termed as PC hardware sharing. Each PC can have 2-10 monitors, keyboards and users connected. So 350,000 kids **will** be able to work simultaneously. Presumably this translates into somewhere between 35,000 PCs and 175,000 actual PCs.
  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @02:09PM (#26919359)

    This reminds me of the Apple ][ in school. Apple had a huge education discount back then. In hopes that kids will grow up with the Apple ][ and Macs and then will purchase them when they grow up. But the reverse effect happened. When they grew up they remembered all the problems they had when they were a kid and linked issues of the past with Apple (B&W screens (Most people I know still though well in the late 90's that all Macs were in Black and White), Incompatible floppy formats (Apple cant read IBM Disks, IBM Cant read Apple Disks), etc...) So using a PC seemed so much more modern, as the ones they used in schools as they were so budget conscious that they never updated their product line, still having Apple II well until the late 96 when they finally went with Windows 95 where the new PC's were so much better then the Apples.

    This could have the same effect as well... Being a Virtual Desktop on a massive server over the Network it will seem slow and clunky to the kids especially once they are shown a modern Windows PC that their parents my have for work, or when they start to go to work. Also because Linux has much better security, when exposed to windows they will feel that it could do more.

    So this could have the reverse effect on Linux Adoption.

    • by Weasel Boy (13855) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @02:40PM (#26919811) Journal

      The schools I attended from the late 80s through mid 90s had 5 to 10 Macs for every PC. In spite of this, there was usually a wait for Macs but never for PCs.

      After we graduated, we found that the business world was 99% PCs, as it had been from day one, never having given Apple any serious consideration at all.

      Most then went on to get the same kind of computer at home that they used at work because, as much of a pain as it is to use Windows, it's more of a pain to have to use both.

      Then school boards started making noises, with some merit, that kids should learn in school what they'll be using in the real world. This caused many schools to switch to PCs.

      This has nothing to do with technical merit and everything to do with first-mover advantage in the right market (personal computers for business).

      Also, running virtual desktops over the network is not necessarily slow and clunky. Have you tried it? I've been doing it for years.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jellomizer (103300)

        Also, running virtual desktops over the network is not necessarily slow and clunky. Have you tried it? I've been doing it for years.

        I do it all the time. But still compared to a real one, they are still clunky. The fast enough to be not annoying and useful. But still it sometimes when you get those subtle animations It makes it that much nicer to work locally. Although it depends on the work you are doing. I wouldn't do anything graphic intensive over Virtual Desktops (Stuff that really encourages kids to

        • by markdavis (642305)

          >I do it all the time. But still compared to a real one, they are still clunky.
          >The fast enough to be not annoying and useful. But still it sometimes when you get those subtle animations
          >It makes it that much nicer to work locally.

          You are thinking of network thin clients, or just running X remotely over the network. The solution Brazil is using is a multiheaded Linux machine. There are just lots (10 sets) of keyboards, mice, and monitors connected directly to each single (local) server. So there

      • Most then went on to get the same kind of computer at home that they used at work because, as much of a pain as it is to use Windows, it's more of a pain to have to use both.

        Not to mention the fact that, while Macs may have been cheap for schools to acquire, they were far from affordable for most people. That's where Apple's strategy was flawed.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      But, but, but all the Brazilian students will be encouraged to download Linux live CD's and see what it's really like on their more powerful home PC's.

      I think you're right on. We could pray they might teach some interesting computer science classes with these environments that really shows off open software, but for the majority of students it will just be a locked down, strange platform running educational software. Yay.

      • by V!NCENT (1105021)
        Better strange and actualy launching apps then waiting for it to boot and wanting to demolish the computer when Windows fails to properly multitask AGAIN (the horrors... never had any computer rage against everything besides Windows, only boredom when I couldn't get something to work on Linux)
    • Seems like "virtual" is perhaps the wrong way to label the posting and is being miss-used in the title, they are really multi-station or multi-seat desktops. Up to ten monitors and keyboards per PC. No Server Required. In fact many of the schools are in remote rural locations: http://www2.userful.com/company/linux-desktop-virtualization [userful.com]
    • by MightyYar (622222)

      But the reverse effect happened.

      I'd argue that you are wrong. I think the only thing that got Apple through the misery of the mid-to-late 90s was brand loyalty, in large part thanks to their aggressive education marketing.

      • Most of the brand loyalist were not students during that time but professionals and graphic artists who didn't want to loose all their programs. Also the people who hated Microsofts dominance at the time.

    • But it's not like most student care, most school computer systems sucks anyway, there just isn't enough money to administrate them. I rather the schools pay that small amount of money to Linux admins than Windows admins. Knowing Linux admins they are usually alot better at sharing info on the net than the Windows admin, even though there are now lots of good windows blogs.

      As is stated above this isn't about VNC or remote X11, it's about shared physical machines. Not that it makes it less painfull, try playi

      • by V!NCENT (1105021)

        Windows admins usualy have no clue whatsoever. System got a little messed up? Well instead of fixing a minor issue it's reformatting time!

        Seriously... they only know how to set it up. App here, registery fix there (can't blame them for Windows being a complete suckup) is all they know. Any problem results in re-imaging :S

    • Not if they use ubuntu : )

    • This reminds me of the Apple ][ in school. Apple had a huge education discount back then. In hopes that kids will grow up with the Apple ][ and Macs and then will purchase them when they grow up.

      We had Apple ]['s at high school. They were fantastic machines. very easy to hack and develop for. The transition to the Mac turned me away from Apple. It was less open, more oriented to non-technical users.

      Maybe they should have put Woz in charge ;)

    • I personally disagree, but I'll concede you make a point. However, your examples just don't make the point for you.

      Virtual Desktop on a massive server over the Network it will seem slow and clunky to the kids especially once they are shown a modern Windows PC that their parents my have for work

      Almost without exception, every Windows machine I've had to deal with, other than mine, has been a mind-bogglingly slow piece of garbage. That isn't necessarily because of Windows, but because of the way peop

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