Convincing a school district to migrate from OS X to Ubuntu or Edubuntu

Christopher J Combrink chris at
Wed Nov 19 14:02:53 UTC 2008

You can get MS versions of both packages: Open Office & FFox. Give it a

As said below however, I don't see schools moving away from MS Office
any time soon. The movers and shakers of the world have to start
implementing OO before schools will start teaching learners to use

It's like teaching theories on inhabiting Mars.. would be cool - but not
all that relevant. Yet. 

On Wed, 2008-11-19 at 21:40 +0800, Sandy Harris wrote:
> Rashkae <ubuntu at> wrote:
> > I think you should start by switching the school computers to Open
> > Office and Firefox, if you can.
> Can you demo it? Put OO and Firefox on a USB stick, put in into
> a machine, edit some files, show some web browsing, then bring
> the files up in Word and show people that OO handles Word files
> just fine.
> > Open office because it's much more efficient and supports the up and
> > coming data format standard for all platforms out of the box.
> Also because it can save the school a lot of money. This might be
> your main selling point.
> Portability is an argument both ways. MS Office is considered standard
> in some circles. For those folks, you can point out that OO can read &
> write (most of) the MS file formats. This argument will fail if the school
> has a large vocational component and needs to prepare kids to get jobs
> in a market that has MS Office skills in many job ads. You cannot win
> that one at the school; someone has to educate the employers.
> Other folks need something that will also run on Suns or Linux or
> whatever. For them (us!) OO beats MS Office hands down, but
> they aren't your target market.
> > Firefox because, well, it's Firefox.
> Yes, and it is free and you don't have to uninstall Safari to install it.
> And it runs on Windows PCs, Linux, Solaris, ...
> > Personally, I think OS X is a nice enough system that if I happened to
> > administer a Mac, I wouldn't remove it.  (I'm not really a free software
> > purist.)
> Macs are running Unix. They have FreeBSD underneath, so all the
> editors & shells & ... available on Linux are available there too. Of
> course there are differences in various details. Overall I prefer Linux,
> but there are things on BSD that I consider far better.
> Of course, they have extras, the Mac GUI, Safari, ... but they can
> run all the standard stuff too. If you want X and your favorite
> window manager, you can have them. Or Firefox, or ....
> Every Windows box I use, I think about putting a Unix on it.
> Which Unix depends on the machine & applications. Xubuntu
> is my first choice for a PC-based desktop, OpenBSD for a
> firewall, ...
> It wouldn't occur to me to put Linux on a Mac. It already has
> a perfectly good Unix.
> -- 
> Sandy Harris,
> Quanzhou, Fujian, China

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