My first post to our groups mailing list
msisley at ufl.edu
Mon Mar 12 15:12:23 GMT 2007
Hello all :)
My name is Mark Sisley and I just joined the list. I'm from
Palmetto/Bradenton/Sarasota area (in descending order, in hoping
that you'll recognize one of the former), but am at UF in
Gainesville for college. I idle in the ubuntu-fl room as Mark007.
While I just joined the list yesterday, I was looking through the
archives, and would like to respond to Mike's message.
>> Edubuntu is the "educational operating system"; promote it as
>> "educational software" that makes learning fun for the "kids".
>> I have
>> been looking at this distribution as a gateway into the household
>> computing market.
This is an excellent idea. I had never thought of the merit of
marketing to parents about Edubuntu. I had always thought of it as
something for schools to use in teaching students. Kudos for the
>> So you just let them know that they can keep windows and have
>> this great
>> "educational software" too. All they have to do is pick which
>> one they
>> want to use when they turn their computer on.
>> Note: Forget terms like "dual-boot" or other things that will
This, however I feel a little differently about. When I first read
this post yesterday, I thought, "That's a pretty good idea."
However, pulling the wool over someone's eyes like that is
dangerous for several reasons. First, and most importantly, we can
never be entirely certain that (edu/x/k)ubuntu will work on a
particular set of hardware. Just yesterday I was about to install
Edgy on a computer at home, but was completely unable to get
xserver to start when loading the live cd. Turns out, there are
some problems with ATI video cards that I was unaware of in that
particular version of xserver. While it may be fixed in 7.04, the
case still stands that somehow, somewhere ubuntu will not work on
someone's hardware. If you market it as software and something
comes up like X not starting, uninformed users will worry that
they've screwed up their computer and won't have the slightest
idea how to get around.
I'm trying to formulate exactly what I mean clearly. I was going
to state a second reason as being potential problems with
partitioning and the bootloader, but ubiquity has really done a
lot to remove those for the most part. However, I just don't think
it's right to pull the wool over people's eyes and market this
completely as educational software. Fact is, it's linux. Say the
user wants to uninstall this piece of software; what do you tell
them? There's no autouninstall feature for ubuntu so that the user
can get their hard drive space back. What gives? It's simply
dangerous catering to a completely uninformed audience.
Having said that, I'm going to take it all back. Sort of, at least
:) I don't know if you all have heard of the install.exe project,
but it's quite interesting
(https://wiki.ubuntu.com/install.exe/Prototype). I had a friend
try it, and it didn't really work too well so I wouldn't advise
using it till it's stable, but this has the potential to offer
something that _would_ have an uninstall process. I'm not sure how
they would implement uninstalling the boot loader that is
installed, but maybe if they could have some way of replacing the
windows bootloader, then that particular facet of the problem
could be solved.
Essentially, the idea is that NTFS writing is safe only so long as
you don't change the file size of the file you're writing. So, if
you create an ubuntu file while in windows, you can then modify
the file in ubuntu. You just have to give ubuntu xGB of space to
work with in the first place. Now, all of the problems involving
drivers and hardware problems would still apply, but it is
remarkably less intimidating and daunting than the prospect of
repartitioning or reformatting your hard drive (if your hard drive
has errors, then it won't be resized for the ubuntu install - this
was the case for me - I had to completely remove windows and start
over again, and that kept me from ubuntu for a while).
So, in essence, the gist of my meaning is that we really can't
market it as something that simple. There's too much that could go
wrong, and it would then be hard to justify our actions. However,
I have no qualms with marketing the product in new ways. I just
don't want to pretend that there is no risk involved to those less
informed than linux geeks :)
Hopefully that's not too many words <grin>
More information about the Ubuntu-us-fl