Converting MN Colleges to OSS

Brian Fitzgerald bfitz at
Thu Sep 20 18:02:28 BST 2007

MN - Group,
2 things, - 
1) I am unable to be at a keyboard this afternoon to join the IRC -

2) Sounds like there is lots of energy in support of trying to get the
schools (MNSCU - Higher Ed) to embrace Open Source and Open Office.  I have
no problem with that and encourage the push.  
	Things to consider...
a. The education version of MS apps cost very little when purchased in bulk,
even though it seems high, the purchase price per seat is not too
b. The schools use this most of the time because that is what businesses
expect students to know and use when they are ready to go to work.
c. You need a "Champion" inside the school to work with...bug your
instructors for support, go to the student union for support (en mass) and
maybe even the Dean of the dept you are enrolled in.
d. Ask for the ability to have the IT guys (your competition) install in a
test lab or the library...
e. Get a champion from the IT staff also.
f. Volunteer to do grunt work, project management and organize a school
"open source or Ubuntu" user group to garner support...

I am afraid you can request all you want, but without support, the projects
will not get far.  I would rather they had entire Ubuntu labs (with open
source apps as the default) - but that will be select areas in a school that
will allow that. 

Sorry I cannot participate today, good luck on the School initiative. 

From: ubuntu-us-mn-bounces at
[mailto:ubuntu-us-mn-bounces at] On Behalf Of kb b
Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2007 8:44 AM
To: Anthony Yarusso; ubuntu-us-mn at
Subject: RE: Converting MN Colleges to OSS

Ya, I'll let her know about this group and mailing list.  District is in the
NW 'burbs of the cities.
Kyle Benson 
kb_one at 
kylebenson at

> Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 08:39:04 -0500
> From: tonyyarusso at
> To: ubuntu-us-mn at
> Subject: Re: Converting MN Colleges to OSS
> Hash: SHA1
> Perhaps you could get her and/or higher ups on this list or otherwise
> in contact with us? Could be a good in. What district?
> kb b wrote:
> > .hmmessage P { margin:0px; padding:0px } body.hmmessage {
> > FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY:Tahoma } My sister works for a local
> > school disctrict and there are rumblings of OOo being used instead
> > of Microsoft for cost saving reasons. This would mean little kids
> > learing to word process on OOo instead of Word which I feel is the
> > best way to break the Microsoft cycle. I think people are finally
> > starting to wake up!
> >
> >
> >
> >> Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 21:37:35 -0500 From:
> >> tonyyarusso at To: ubuntu-us-mn at
> >> Subject: Re: Converting MN Colleges to OSS
> >>
> > Aaron wrote:
> >> Hey all,
> >
> >> I came up with an idea for a potential project that we could
> >> maybe look into if people are interested.
> >
> >> On any campus you visit in the Metro area (and I'm sure
> >> elsewhere) they all appear to be using Microsoft Office to do
> >> their word, spreadsheet, and database processing. While this
> >> isn't inherently an issue, as I'm sure you are aware these pieces
> >> of software cost LOTS of money not only for the colleges that
> >> provide computers for the students to use but also for the
> >> students who in part pay tuition fees to cover the software and
> >> pay money for the software for their own personal use. Why
> >> increase the cost of higher education unnecessarily with it can
> >> easily and effectively be replaced with free and open source
> >> alternatives such as Abiword and Open Office?
> >
> >> Here's my idea, and if there is enough interest we can look into
> >> doing something with it. If I'm not mistaken colleges just like
> >> any other business are looking to cut expenses, why not show them
> >> an effective way to cut their expenses with out loosing
> >> anything? Normandale (where I currently go) already has Firefox
> >> installed on all the computers and is set as default browser,
> >> they obviously aren't opposed to open source software, we just
> >> need to show them that there are more options out there.
> >
> >> Anyways, I thought I'd run it by you guys, if there is interest
> >> maybe we can make a plan, get a presentation together (made on
> >> OSS yay!) and maybe show these guys the future.
> >
> >> Let me know what you think,
> >
> >> Aaron
> > This would be a fantastic tack to start in on. My school (Saint
> > Paul College) also has Firefox on every machine, and within the
> > computing courses even uses Ubuntu for some things, but I haven't
> > see OOo or anything else of the sort in any of the labs. Also, the
> > University of Minnesota runs Ubuntu on all machines in the
> > Computer Science department, and hosts a full Ubuntu repository
> > mirror.
> >
> > There were some folks in the Canadian team looking into university
> > stuff, but I don't know if anything ever came of it.
> >>
> >>
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