This has to be a joke. How can a teacher be so stupid, and americans wonder why the world views them as being stupid. How can you expect children to learn anything in an enviroment like that.
Paris because thats where she went to school.
The leader of a US effort handing out PCs and CDs running Linux to kids has apologized to a teacher for "throwing her to the wolves" in a tirade online. HeliOS founder Ken Starks has blamed a misunderstanding for his blog post, which had criticized the Texas middle-school teacher after she'd attacked HeliOS for "misleading" …
Confiscating something because she doesn't understand it and then embarking on a which-hunt for some reason it was illegal and hence justifying the confiscation after the fact. Who does this woman think she is? The government?
Of course she might just be panicking because depriving people of legal possessions constitutes (even for a teacher) theft. I assume she didn't return the disks at the end of the school day which any reasonable court of law would likely accept.
I'd say something about USians here but even here in Arsetralia, a good quarter of the people that graduated teacher training with me are not people I would want anywhere near a child's mind.
The article is a little past "sell-by." Since the events described, Helios and the teacher have actually participated in some productive and less heated communication. The teacher was apparently first, trying to settle down some class disruption, and seized the CDs, uncertain what their content was. Apparently, according to later accounts, they were returned to the student after school. "Karen" is evidently now rather embarassed by the whole incident, and the Helios blogger has also cooled off. The teacher's linux education has commenced.
What this teacher is basically saying is that it's not OK to be different, which bothers me. Sure, WIndows runs 90% of the world's computers, but the teacher should be teaching history, math, language arts, etc., not operating systems. When this kid gets to high school, much less the real world, I'm sure WIndows (or whatever OS he/she's using) will be so different, it probably wouldn't really help to teach specific tasks.
If this was a Mac FanGrrl, I could wave this off a a zealot. But a MS zealot?
Maybe wheb she tried to run Linux, she had a base install that made you actually use your brain to find the libraries and shell scripts to make the think work. I guess all she wanted was to get right to the Backstreet Boys MP3...
This got a fair bit of coverage over on BoingBoing:
The follow-up / postscript / happy ending is here:
So flamethrowers can go back in the cupboard :)
"I am sure if you contacted Microsoft, they would be more than happy to supply you with copies of an older verison [sic] of Windows and that way, your computers would actually be of service to those receiving them..."
If I could have the phone number of the magical, charity giving MS i'd be on the phone straight away.
This is old-ish news, and things have changed slightly... See helios' more recent blog entry - http://linuxlock.blogspot.com/2008/12/character-assasinations-aint-us.html - fair play to helios for admitting to his mistakes, and it sounds like the teacher concerned is willing to learn too.
"I am sure if you contacted Microsoft, they would be more than happy to supply you with copies of an older verison [sic] of Windows and that way, your computers would actually be of service to those receiving them..."
Yeah, right. *Points at article about MS inflating the price of Windows XP in order to push Vista*
Just wow. I don't really know what to say. To say that I'm stunned by a public school teacher being so grossly and blatantly stupid would be a stretch. What wouldn't be is to say that even the most ill informed wintard is usually not this far out of touch with reality. I wonder if this "teacher" can be sacked for criminal stupidity?
I'll get me own coat as I'm off anyway to thank my lucky stars that I wasn't subjected to twunts like this when I was in school.
Stupid children -why learn the linux - you dont want to work for google or sun - or even use a free os thats almosty bullet proof
go back to being good little consumers - and remember to buy new computers next year (or 2011) when window 7 comes out - <i>of course theyre</i> "vista capable" just not "7 capable"
and remember to buy antivirus software , and firwalls because security costs extra.
It gets better. The unnamed teacher then called Ken, the blog's author, complaining that she had been "thrown to the wolves" (and genuinely upset). This, in spite of her name not being released.
Yes, that teacher's behavior was unflatterinly discussed in many online forums, but it's not like her name and address were on the web page. She was and remains an anonymous figure of ignorance.
We should thank Karen for being such a wonderful stereotype. She's a product of a bureaucracy without any clue about software, yet she displays unbelievable condescension and spouts threats about a matter of which she doesn't know anything. "I don't know what you're proposing, but I think you should be jailed for disrupting the establishment. Toe the party line, you maggot!"
And that, fellows, is the "progressive" system that's supposed to teach our kid how to think.
Let's hope that at least, she learned something about Linux -- that is, apart from "don't ever piss off a bunch of nutso geeks with too much free time on their hands".
Would Karen be less than convinced by the evolution or Big Bang theories by any chance? one of those teachers who think the universe was created by a god a few thousand years ago? In anyway, a perfect example of a FauxNews-fed paytard. "Free software? Must be some counterfeit pirated Chinese stuff downloaded via p2p shurely!"
The part about MS is hillarious too. I think I will ask Stevie B. for a few free older versions of Windoze, and watch at the chairs flying!
Once again I am reminded why the US educational system needs major oversight on the gullibility and plain stupidity of teachers. I am by no means a Linux or OSS evangelist, but at this point in time, all schools should be trying to free themselves of Microsoft's pathetic "Educational" licenses. While I agree somewhat with the teacher in that children should know their way around Windows since it is "used on most desktops" my point is why not both operating systems? Surely they can't have already judged America's youth to be so thick that all hope is lost? Have the students really become smarter than the teachers?
Speaking of which, my niece told me the other day that her 9th grade science teacher told the class an example of plasma was mayonnaise and that milk sold in stores had human bones in it. Won't someone, somewhere please think of the damned Children? Pitiful.
We are one of the states in which the elected State Board of Education continues to argue over inclusion of Intelligent Design in the Science curriculum.
I love it here (as they say, I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could), but we do still have the occasional intelligence problem.
Mine's the one with the wear marks in front from the satellite-dish belt buckle.
Right up there along side Kansas, Texas is now on my never-move-to list of states. I'm sure one teacher is not indicative of the whole state, but still, why take any risks. At least in the Bourbon drinking/mfg capital, we don't stunt our students in learning about alternative OS's.
Is there any wonder why the US is in the crapper where tech is concerned?
The very fact that the teacher is aware that there are older versions of linux & Windows shows that she's coped with learning different systems (and, being US based, wonder if she's also tried Mac). It doesn't say much for the confidence she has in her students to learn a new Operating System (wonder if she's tried Windows 95/ME/Vista etc ... does 95 really help with Vista - or does it merely help to understand fundamentals of opening programs, saving files etc.
I wonder if in part her over reaction is related to any crackdowns they've had recently on pirated software .... and she doesn't quite understand the difference.
Still waiting... hello?
Read the follow-up, it helps, but it still is SAD. This story says that ignorance out there teaches a new generation of compliant drones ready to serve MS without question. Those kids will get along just fine, they will be perfectly adapted to their environment... but they will be just that, functional. We need teachers who tell our kids to question the status quo, not to embrace it. And not only in IT, but in all fields.
Before the enlightened Linux fans begin rousing and writing stirring emotional responses I think it needs to be mentioned that after calming down a bit the Linux aficionado from Helios has posted a follow up article on his blog here...
It's worth reading if only to get some more insight into the circumstances surrounding the seizure of the childs Linux discs. I know it's a long article but hopefully reading it will prevent too many commentards from scawling their thoughts all over the comment section. I would have thought that someone at El-Reg (being a respectful tech news site) would have perhaps READ the follow up blog posting before putting this story on the site. Come on, wake up sub-editors!
...George Carlin is proved right. School in the US is the place where children are sent to be stripped of every trace of individuality and forced to become conformist consumer automatons bowing to the will of their corporate masters. Just like the UK, in fact.
I will miss that man. He, at least, knew what the fuck he was talking about.
I agree that having a free OS and other software suites would be a good thing in saving school districts money. However, the reality is that the vast majority of educational software is developed for Windows, a small amount for Macs, and almost nothing for Linux. If all the students needed was a desktop OS where they could get on the Internet and type up a paper, or work on a PowerPoint-type presentation an open-source solution would be fine. However, a lot of software and hardware used in industry do not have any Linux versions - such as CAD/CAM software including AutoCAD, MasterCAM, Chief Architect, Rhino 3D, etc. Also, hardware such as laser engravers, CNC machines and dimensional printers do not have Linux driver support - nor do the majority of them run on Macs. The vast majority of educational software does not have Linux versions - software that comes with textbooks, online learning systems, etc..
Sure, you could run a Windows emulator on top of Linux, but if you were to look at what most school districts have for computers they just don't have the power to be able to do that... how well do you think Win XP would run on top of Linux with emulation with only 256MB of RAM? The reality is a lot of schools and districts don't have the money to upgrade or buy new computer systems. They're stuck with what they've got, which in a lot of cases are 5-7 year old computers. So until developers start porting or developing educational software that runs natively under Linux, it isn't going to be widely adopted. As a matter of fact one school district in my area converted over to Linux desktops only to convert back to Windows due to compatibility issues with their existing sever infrastructure. And attempting to support two separate OS platforms means the IT staff has to be trained in both, or have larger staffs with dedicated techs - which incurs more man-hours and ultimately costs more money. So before you start promoting open-source as a cost-saving measure for schools, you have to look at the whole picture and see what the existing infrastructure is and what software and hardware is actually being used in an educational setting.
Kids should have lessons on other OS's than the Microsoft flavors...
That's the problem these days.. all they learn is windows, and because it IS easy to use and set up and administer that's what gets installed everywhere and there are lots of people that can support it.
as "JIM THE BOSS" so badly put it, because there is a massive shortage of Linux gurus the TCO of a Linux server can, because of support costs, be a lot higher than a windows environment..
I am not a fan of Linux as a desktop environment, it still has a long way to go to become main-stream, but as a server environment i don't think you can go too far wrong.
As more people become technically savvy with Linux, and the more linux people there are in the workplace, the TOC will fall below that of a windows server. that is until Microsoft alter the ridiculous licensing they introduced for windows 2003 server onwards...
"...supply you with copies of an older verison [sic] of Windows..."
As long as you supply them with an advance payment to cover admin charges and shipping...
Unless they've got a few unsold copies of version 1 lying around, which they might be prepared to let go for only P&P...
"...ANY COMMON IDOIT CAN RUN WIDNOWS..."
Precisely. *Any* common idiot. Including Jim.
Strictly speaking, any common idiot can abuse Windoze (e.g. sending HTML emails, sending unencrypted plaintext confidential emails, not installing any AV), but IMHO the fact you have to have a modicum of sense to use alternatives can only be a good thing.
"9th grade science teacher told the class an example of plasma was mayonnaise and that milk sold in stores had human bones in it"
Hm, that's a bit too much... Maybe the girl has had a small recollection fault there? Is she too literally minded sometimes, maybe? Does she have problem getting sarcasm (to reference another El Reg article from the past few days)?
Thinking a little about it here, because there MUST be a rational explanation for the things allegedly said by the teacher, I came up with the following two ideas that might explain it:
1) in trouble trying to explain what plasma is (how many people really can?) or give an idea how it might look like (how many have seen it at all?), the teacher could have said something like "a homogeneous mess of particles, you know, kind of like mayonnaise is to food...".
2) the bone's one is more plausible, maybe: the teacher might have said something about "milk having a lot of things that are good for human bones and go in its composition", or something like that; which is true, since vitamin D3 and calcium are essential to keep bones in good shape.
Where's me Pollyanna hat, lads?
First: SLOOOOOOW. I was surprised not to see this a few days ago, not today :P
Second, I'm torn as to the "negative response". Yes some of the emails have gone beyond what is acceptable, but then I re-read the original email and I can't understand how anyone can expect anything other than vitriol in response (Even if two wrongs don't make a right!) I mean seriously, don't send an email without at least some rudimentary fact checking. Come on, it's not that hard!
The only thing cool about Linux is that it is free. I have three different flavors of Linux (Fedora, Ubuntu and openSUSE), two flavors of Windows (XP Pro and Vista Ultimate) and one Mac OS X and I can tell you from personal experience all three crash. All three have programmatic problems and all three have their respective pros and cons.
At the end of the day the Linux fan boys would rather rag on this chick and call her a bunch of names then to educate. I know the story has a nice shiny happy ending. My post is more pointed to the bloggers and such that took this ladies comments and tried turning this into some sort of "Free Linux" movement.
Linux is okay but it is hardly great and whether or not anyone here will admit it the numbers don't lie. Windows is still the top dog and likely will be for many years because Linux STILL doesn't have the maturity it needs to go mainstream.
Stop sign for stop bitching and deal with it fan boys...your day will come...but not today.
Public school needs to be teaching kids to read and write. Squeezing in trivial gratutious "Computer" courses where they play around with the GUI or maybe SimCity is a waste of time.
If you're training people for data entry --- then WIndows is the pragmatic choice. If you're training them to think ---- Reading, Writing, Math,.. etc or much more important. And no -- I am not a hermit. I have been a Systems Consultant for 20 years now.
Did Gavin Clarke read the Helios blog post http://linuxlock.blogspot.com/2008/12/character-assasinations-aint-us.html on December 12th before writing this article? Have any of the people leaving comments looked at it?
Do some proper research before opening your mouths people. Shame on The Register for running such a shoddy piece
as mentioned above - I pity the teacher and tbh sympathise with her on some level. You will see why if you read the follow-up by Ken linked in other comments above.
Its quite sad really, but it speaks volumes about Mr Stark's character that he expained his reaction and "Karen"s ignorance / misconceptions, rather than commentarding like everyone else was doing. Maybe if this is in the spotlight long enough, some M$-tards out there who see it will start asking some uncomfortable questions of themselves and their favourite evil bastard corporation.
we can but hope.... :)
And they're that bad in Florida too, as if you didn't already know.
I was banned from computer classes for questioning the "science" teacher's opinion that creationism was da thang and wondering about that nasty evolution stuff. Plus I went from an "A-/B+" student to a "D" student, all of a sudden. Then when I threatened to go to the school board, they started giving me bogus made-up science "awards"
Mr. Michael Kratzer, I hope you burn in hell forever.
As it inevitably does and won't repair, what you gonna do? Who you gonna call? Most just a-holler and a-wail. But when the going get tough, the rest boot...
Linux. What the good times are for. TRK. Works every time. It even reminds me of DOS just enough to get nostalgic.
Well, nothing to say about the teacher in particular, even considering she was just ignorant -- we are all born that way, so no big shame there. So I hope something good comes out of this for everybody.
The deeper question is the thing she says, and many people who should know better also believe, that you have to teach the kids what they will use at work. That's obviously what's implied in that sentence about Windows running in most of the world's computers and teaching them anything else being a disservice or whatever. That is WRONG. Well, it depends on what you think schools are for, anyway.
If you think schools are just monkey training places, then fine. You MUST teach them Windows and Word and Photoshop and whatever the laundry list big names are at the time in some area. And then send the kids to the mills to use that "knowledge" as yet another nobody -- it might all be obsolete anyway by that time. That's fine, we need those people too. It's a capitalist world after all, so that's one need fulfilled.
The thing is that other people (me included) believe that what should be taught is concepts, and analytical skills, and critical thinking, and logic, and important facts that are needed to ground one's knowledge, things like that. People good at those things are needed too, you know, and if we teach more kids well, we might get more of these people. Of course, you CAN teach computing concepts using anything, including Windows (although it might take more work in my opinion). You can use Linux or Macs or Solaris or whatever too. I myself would think that Linux in general, by being more transparent in what it's doing, is a better choice, actually. Failing to do what you want (less common nowadays) also helps in educating, hehe. I mean, I learned much more about mechanics when I had an old, frequently troubled motorcycle and car than when they would "just work". Nowadays Linux just works for most things people do, but the nice thing is that you can still mess with everything under the hood if you want/need/are told to do by your teacher.
What is booting a computer? It's much more than pressing a button, which might not be obvious to a Windows or Mac user when they do it. That's why I dislike the Ubuntu (to name one distro) thing of putting a nice animated splash on top of the ugly boot messages. It takes away that information, that awareness, the being closer to what's really going on. Sure, you don't need to have it, and unless I'm having trouble booting, I don't look at it myself (when I do reboot, which is almost never, hehe). But for someone who is learning, it makes a world of a difference. Even if they don't ever see it again after school, they'll have an idea of what it is that happens behind the shiny little graphic gimmick put there to kill the time between button-push and mouse-working. Or: what is a computer program? A window with buttons and menus that you click on, right? That's all them office workers need to know? Maybe. But I'd hope they would learn better and make their choice. Write their own little programs -- both command line and graphical -- and compile, and link, and execute, and then discover that their other computer at home can't run it (why!?). To learn the concepts, even if they never write a program again. That's what I believe what school is for.
When I was in school in the 80s/early 90s, we had no computers in schools in my country (maybe the richest private schools did, but mine was a small, cheap one). So by about 1990, I decided to enroll in a short 4-month course (2 hours a week only) on computing, at a small private computing school. Eight bit computers (crappy, Brazilian assembled, imports were not allowed those days), no hard drive, only the 5 1/4 inch floppies. It was DOS, don't remember the version. And Wordstar, dBase III+, and Basic. One month for each. I still have the materials and disks in some box back home. What good was that when I got to the lab a couple of years later and sat in front of a 386, with a mouse (a wot?), running Windows 3.11 and Word? From an operational point of view, no good at all. Everything worked differently. But the deeper concepts were the same, and the adaptation was fast. Now, using Linux and MySQL and OpenOffice and Perl for my bioinformatics work, those days are long gone, but it was all built on those primitive tools, from a time when you had to know much more about how computer things worked than now to be able to use them. It's of course better nowadays, from the user standpoint. But what about the educational standpoint?
I will never need, say, history or literature or art for my work, but I'm extremely glad someone forced me to learn something about them. Given a choice, I'd probably have skipped it all.
Ah, I feel like an old cranky geezer indeed...
WHAT THE FUCK HAVE MACS GO TO DO WITH THIS ARTICLE?!?!?! Christ! When are you lot back at school?
Seems as this has calmed a bit now, and given the litigious society that is the US of A a kid handing out cd's of software could have been anything. Seems she was acting as she thought best, although a slightly more restrained an rational approach would have been perhaps better. A lesson that could be learned at a website not too far from here. It does go to highlight how far the FUD has got though!
She'd be right
Linux is utter crap...Linus Torvalds is a self rightous nerd with little talent...and his operating system is fucking pointless - you cant run any real software on it (apache - utter shit - mysql - utter utter shite)...only the fucking cluess fan boys think this crap is any good...
Open source software is total crap...
Bug ridden, reduced features, completely incompatible...its utter shite...
Take subversion for instance - please take it...it is the worst fucking piece of shit source control ever developed by any species anywhere in the known universe...
If this free shit didnt exist then companies would have no choice to actually go out and buy quality products built by software engineers who have a clue and not the full of themselves virgin brain dead moron nerds who create the total crapola that is open source...talentless the lot of them...couldnt write decent code if they were given written instructions...
Linux is different, and normal people don't use it. That makes it wrong and scarey. New ideas are bad. Normal people don't have new alternative ideas. They should be stopped from being different and scarey. Just like Muslims, I mean terrorists are different and scarey. Terrorists probably use Linux too. Linux users need to be stopped before they all become terrorists too.
While doing my degree at an art school, the entire place was mac-only, and we would often recieve tuition in mac-only sofware, and every student was encouraged to buy a Mac, due to it being "the industry standard".
Annoyed the heck out of me, kept fumbling with the keyboard shortcuts along with the "apple key" and the "funny squiggle key" as replacements for CTRL+ALT and once even spent 5 minutes trying to get a disk to eject thanks to the lack of buttons on the machine.
Naturally, out in the real world, most of the students have PCs at home and the "industry" isn't too bothered either way, most of it is freelance work, and design studios are laid-back enough to allow or encourage people to bring in their own hardware.
Still, enforcing and agreeing with draconian policy from the top is probably a good way of getting promoted...
hmmm this article is past its sell-by and was addressed in another article at http://linuxlock.blogspot.com/2008/12/character-assasinations-aint-us.html
while what she said was completely wrong, there is no need to drag this sorry incident up again as it has been resolved by both parties concerned..
im a fan of linux and i prefer to convince people with reason instead of having them stuck in a pillory in the middle of the town square (however desirable that might be at times)...
But why don't you lambast the teacher for mailing the president of a company and libelling him?
Is it OK for the teacher to be an dick (a state of mind rather than a physical presence) but not for the person being dicked about to return the favour?
PS: Plasma? Which sort? The one in blood? Nothing like mayo. The one in a flourescent lightbulb or sodium lamp or on a plasma cutter? Well, nothing like mayo either but I have seen them.
whats there to learn? double clicking? the main sellingpoint of windows and the reason linux has failed so miseably on mainstream desktops is that you dont really need to "learn" anything.
you just pick it up and go
now there has been a lot of work done here on the linux side but putting the need to pick the right dist aside, for most people, linux is still harder to use than windows. linux is a milion diffrent things but windows is windows (more or less)
this also means that linux is not erally free. because linux is the way it is you generally need more experise to run it and that brings costs.
dont forget that nearly all linux dists are made by comanies and the goal of those companies is to make money. NOTHING ELSE. atleast microsoft is more honsest in that regard
"Karen continued that HeliOS is holding back students' education and potential careers by bamboozling them with Linux when they should be concentrating on Windows."
Yeah, I could be writing Windows software for peanuts, like some of my friends. Or I could be doing what I'm actually doing, which is writing Linux and Unix software for decent money. The reason I can demand higher rates? Because of a shortage of programmers with experience programming for Linux and Unix.
Most CNC machines dont have windows support either
CNC control builders generally build their own customised OS, they might include bits like X-windows, but the reason being is that they dont want to pay m$ for an OS that will crash.. and do you want to be around a 60 HP machine tool spinning its cutter at 3500 rpm and its says "Z axis will overtravel in 2 seconds . Abort, retry or cancel?" just before a 30 lb lump of metal escapes from the machine and flattens someone
But back to the topic
I lost a job oppetunity when I confessed to knowing howto install and configure Linux.....
I know there was a happy ending but free software listed is Google Earth, iTunes, Adobe? Free to download and use maybe, not free as in open to learn!
Remember if you use Linux you are a Communist! The Lord Ballmer has spoken and you will listen!
( Mines with the local LUG card in the pocket! )
Linux is (slowly) gaining market share, it would make sense to teach kids the basics at least, like how to install it and get things going, and the pros/cons of it against something like Windows.
I intend to try and learn how to use Ubuntu when I have the time and patience.
Alien because I, for one, welcome our free, open source overlords.
That in many places wants Darwinian Theory of Evolution removed from the classroom so a stupendous level of ignorance from a school teacher is hardly surprising, go on Miss keep your kids at the level of point and click monkeys and in a few more years you will have managed to turn them back into jellyfish. I would have thought the silly cow would have at least done a little online research before racing around accusing and looking very stupid, I wonder if she is a relative of Sarah Palin.
I'm a PC and I have no walls so come on in and help yourself to all my data !
But that could just mean "Student disagrees with Teacher". Could in my day and has been done several times this year (most recently the student union rep being done for spam because they didn't ask for the IT admin to do it).
Teachers don't get paid much and take it out on "lippy kids" whether it turns out not to be their fault or not.
"Sure, you could run a Windows emulator on top of Linux, but if you were to look at what most school districts have for computers they just don't have the power to be able to do that... how well do you think Win XP would run on top of Linux with emulation with only 256MB of RAM?"
As well as XP would run native.
Virtual memory management is vastly better under a UNIX system than a Windows one. And Linux picked up the same VM system.
And WINE Is Not an Emulator. It implements the Win32 calls. So it isn't XP running on Linux, it's Linux running the application.
Seriously, before you start yipping, read what you're going to talk about.
@"Maybe wheb she tried to run Linux, she had a base install that made you actually use your brain to find the libraries and shell scripts to make the think work. I guess all she wanted was to get right to the Backstreet Boys MP3..." this statement just proves why linux will never take off. too many people claim its user friendly and easy to use but we all know its nowhere near as intuitive as windows is.
also, all the different flavours of linux are a big turn off for many people. all the different installers, having to go through much more bollocks installing apps then with windows, and of course the fact it usually looks terrible (ubuntu etc... cant you at least find a decent designer to do the UIs? yes, you can install different GUIs but its not exactly user friendly is it?)
until linux becomes more friendly, more intuitive, more commonly used it will never be accepted.
now, maybe students doing IT studies at gcse level should be expected to do some linux work, to help them in the workplace, but for standard joe public using ms office whats the point? how many receptionists will ever use linux?
@"and remember to buy antivirus software , and firewalls because security costs extra." psssst... windows can have free s/w too you know... maybe even more windows s/w is free than linux?
@"Strictly speaking, any common idiot can abuse Windoze (e.g. sending HTML emails, sending unencrypted plaintext confidential emails, not installing any AV), but IMHO the fact you have to have a modicum of sense to use alternatives can only be a good thing." - wow, really selling it there? windows can be used by anyone but only the intelligent can use linux? yeah, elitist OS is just what everyone wants... i can hear them now: 'please make it more consusing and less easy to understand'
as said before, until linux becomes as easy to use as windows its not got a hells chance
"Starks said she and Karen had spoken - she contacted him"
For that to make sense, one of the two must have had a sex change halfway through the sentance (unless there's a bloke called Karen out there). Oops!
On another note "Teacher Karen" has a point. If you want your students to learn about computers, give 'em Linux. If you want 'em to stand a better chance of obtaining gainful employment on leaving school, Windows is probably the better option.
I suspect that in most organisations for most office roles taking recent school leavers, most managers interviewing, given two candidates of otherwise equal worth one with experience of Windows and MS Office and one with Linux and OpenOffice, will give the Windows guy the job. The perception will be (rightly or wrongly) that he'll be up to speed quicker.
Now the Linux zealots will shout this down, but the fact remains that of all the client machines I've seen in business (since DOS went west), the vast majority have been Win based and the rest Mac. I've personally seen more OS/2 installations (one) on the corporate desktop than Linux over the years........
They do teach conformity, though. It was designed into the system.
And no, it wasn't a vast conspiracy-type thing. The story can be found here:
John Taylor Gatto was a teacher in the US. This book began as an attempt to determine just what he'd achieved during his 30-year career.
This comes down to the age old issue of how to teach I.T. in schools. I remember in the days of the BBC micro and later the Archimedes how many people (mostly adults, not children I might add) whined that learning on these platforms did not set children in good stead for the Real World (tm). That was bollocks then and it's bollocks now but it's sad to say that this is a widely held belief and teachers either buy into it or are pressured to move the curriculum this direction by well-meaning parents and piers.
Quite how an education in Windows 3.1 would have helped me once I left school is beyond me since it had all but disappeared. Instead I was taught elementary computer science, programming and other useful (and some not so) skills. Teach your children how to use Windows and that's all they can do. I for one am proud to be a child of the microcomputer age.
She may not know what she is talking about, but she makes a good point.
Giving kiddies a non-standard OS is not going to help them. Who gives a monkeys if Linix is any good? Its not what they will see in the real world.
Because linix shoots itself in the foot with the morons who think it should be as user unfriendly as possible. Like the tosser above who posted "it makes you acutally have to think while you install it". And that is a good thing? Why?
Wasting a childs formative years and retricted tuition time on linix is indeed failing the child, when they could be learning a far easier system that WILL help them when trying to get a job
Linix is shit
How to open attachments safely
How to keep your viruses up to date
How to create a slipstream disk (so you aren't hosed in 30 seconds)
How to check whether a word document is safe to open
How to check whether an email is safe to open
How to check whether a media file is safe to open
How to check ANYTHING you click on is safe to open
Now, what's to learn with Linux?
Open Explorer? Click on the Web Browser Icon on the desktop.
Browse your files? Click on the File Browser Icon on the desktop.
Run an application that is installed? Click on the bottom left corner to bring up a menu with "Applications" "Settings" "System" and so on on it, select "Applications" and "Office Software" for example, then "Writing Documents". No different from Opening Office on windows.
but i think that you should be taught how to do something rather than told what series of buttons to click to do it.
The first word processor i ever used was FOLIO, later on i used something on an amiga, then fireworks on an archamedees, all at school. I had used 6 or 7 different word processors before i'd even heard of Microsoft Word. So i'm pretty comfortable with any of them now, thats the sort of thing that schools should be doing. The basic 'using a computer' course should teach how to use a word processor, how to copy files etc, not the specifics of word and windows.
"If you want your students to learn about computers, give 'em Linux. If you want 'em to stand a better chance of obtaining gainful employment on leaving school, Windows is probably the better option."
It is? The version of Windows available when my nephew was at school was Win98.
Please tell me how that helps him get a job.
Putting Karen aside, isn't the real story that FOSS is unfamiliar to many/most computer users?
For example I gave a colleague an Ubuntu CD to try out but they changed their minds after a helpful friend warned them that it must be pirated and full of viruses. Free (as in beer) arouses suspicion and free (as in speech) isn't commonly understood. Meanwhile malware and counterfeit or stolen software are quite familiar ideas.
In my experience at school, many teachers didn't believe they had to learn anything themselves and were quite happy with the knowledge they had when they left teacher training.
The good teachers are those who recognise that they need to keep on learning and will strive to do as much. How can you teach such a fast-evolving subject as IT when you have no current understanding of it?
FWIW, when I was at school I learned first on BBC Masters, then Acorn Archimedes, and at uni I used Windows NT and Linux. Along the way I learned BASIC, C++, Assembler and VBA. Just as with any form of language, it never hurts to know one more.
Don't get me wrong or anything, I am indeed in favour of free open source software such as Linux, but I have to admit that it's a bit of a pain to get going.
Mostly with getting drivers installed, it's a particular pain if your wireless card doesn't work "out of the box" and you have to go searching the Internet trying to find a driver, but then you find out that the only driver for it only supports WEP encryption (as was the case with me).
I'm certainly no Linux guru; I imagine there is a way around it somehow.
Thinking about it, it's more of a fault with the hardware manufacturer for not supporting Linux, when they should be.
Again, I’m in favour of open source software, and I like how most Linux distros will work well older computers whereas some versions of Windows won't, but I do generally find Linux to be a bit of a pain to use at times.
Yeah, I’m kind of rambling, so I’ll shut up.
(Also, I apologize to El Reg if I submitted this post twice - the network died as soon as I clicked on "Post Comment" and I wasn't sure if it sent or not)
"She may not know what she is talking about, but she makes a good point.
Giving kiddies a non-standard OS is not going to help them. Who gives a monkeys if Linix is any good? Its not what they will see in the real world."
Hi Gordon, have you ever heard of IT or Software Engineering? AIX, HP-UX, Solaris? zOS?
There are many more operating systems out there in the world. Keeping kids exposed only to windows is useless for educating people. Sure, teach 'em to use word, they'll probably use it. Teach 'em OO.o too, as more and more corps and governments use that now. And give them a flavour of programming with any of the multitude of languages available for free and easy to set up on Linux. And windows too, if you like.
Your premature announcement of the death of all other operating systems is not well received. Linux is good experience for most of the non-windows ones.
It's over here and some people seem to be missing it. -------> .
This isn't about what they teach children, although some of that is bad enough. This is about stifling the natural curiosity of kids of a certain age endowed with a bit of grey matter. It's also not about zealotry. I don't particularly like "Linux" as there seems to be far too many distros, a mish-mash of other people's preferences and umpteen different package managers, filesystems, filesystem hierarchies and configuration layouts . What this IS about is letting kids discover things on their own, rather than being force-fed the usual bull, half of which will be proven totally wrong in the next decade or so anyway because, collectively, we ain't nearly as smart or advanced as we think we are.
Think back, if you were around then, to the time when the eight bit era was in full swing and we were all writing programmes in assembler for Z80s and 6502s? Remember the fun we had, even when the Magic Blue Smoke escaped from the bus port because we'd bridged two tracks on the Veroboard? Bringing shit to school and comparing notes with your friend with the ZX Spectrum 48, breaking and then hurriedly unbreaking the school Econet before you get caught and watching the Winchester spin up? The ribbon cables, the components, the EPROM burners, hot soldering irons, 5.25" floppies, tape decks with Schmidt triggers bodged onto the cable because that's the only way you could get the levels right and the noise down? The next wave of this very thing is what's being denied kids with a little curiosity because it's not what the system wants. They don't want creative, intelligent, thinking human beings coming out of the other end of the system. They want obedient consumers who aren't going to try to jailbreak their messiah 'phone, aren't going to replace the OS on their trojan ridden, marketing friendly, corporate sponsored computer and are going to simply buy a new gizmo when their old gizmo breaks.
This teacher confiscated a kid's own property, stopped him talking to his fellows about the exciting new way he had found to satisfy his curiosity about how computer systems worked and punished him for expanding his horizons and encouraging others to come and see what he'd found. If that's not wrong then there is something around here that's seriously fucked up and I see no reason in the conciliatory update to change my opinion. Besides, it's really not her at whom the ire is directed, rather the system that produced her and those like her. Really, she's just another victim of the mindset that is causing all of these problems.
As for "thrown to the wolves," let's take your metaphor and run with it. Usually, wolves stay in their packs, howl at the moon, eat, breed and stay the hell out of the way. However, they are usually very good parents (far, far better than humans) and the whole pack will come for you if you beat one of their pups over the head to the point it can't think for itself any more. That's the issue at play here, not the warring factions of proprietary and open source software, individual personalities or one ignorant teacher overstepping the bounds of her "authority." It's like calling to like and the realisation that the intelligent are being denied their rights and having their intellect stifled at the very time it should be left to develop naturally.
 That said, it works *for its intended audience*. You want a simple desktop? [U|Ku|Xu]buntu depending on your poison for the DM. Want a decent server? Centos. Want something similar to MS Server with lots of GUI config tools? SuSE. Want something you can customise to death? Slackware. My point was that it is a minefield.
"Surely you would *not* want people trained in linux/unix programming then? Once the schools start churning out shed loads of cheap linux programmers your rates will tank."
At present, I spend a fair bit of my time fixing inexperienced programmers cock ups. If there were a few more well trained Unix and Linux programmers then perhaps we would all be more productive, capable of producing new and exciting functionality for clients. This wouldn't necessarily impact rates of pay too much, and it might also improve the poor image programmers currently have thanks all the botched projects out there.
Too true and you are absolutely correct in that case.
However, you should also take into account that if they're that shite at upgrading, the contemporary Linux release he'd have got would probably have lacked a GUI.
I also don't believe that underinvestment in educational infrastructure was included in the original discussions here, so I am going to accuse you of moving the goalposts.......
All the yelling, screaming and frothing at the mouth just shows how easily manipulated some people are by propaganda. Some people will believe anything they read if it strikes up the smallest bit of emotion. After reading the author's followup, it doesn't seem like he was intentionally puppeteering. He may have been at first but perhaps subconsciously at an emotional level, and he was definitely smart enough to realize it after he witnessed the affects.
I'm glad the author learned how powerful a podium in front of a gaggle of lemmings can be. It's disconcerting that some of the self professed "best and brightest" Linux community aren't capable of sensing that they are being lead to the slaughter.
There's a lot more to thinking than forming the perfect algorithm for a particular problem. Perhaps some of the more rabid folks should explore additional ways to utilize their gray matter. All of the most brilliant coders I've met set themselves apart by being knowledgeable in many facets of thinking, not just numerical logic. Hubris is an albatross.
The only pain to get going is where you "know" windows rather better than you "know" computers.
for those who "know" neither, both linux and windows are osbcure magical beings manipulated by obscure rituals. For those who "know" both, they use the same logical progression.
Whether you like Linux or not has nothing to do with you being wrong. You're wrong whether you like or loath Linux.
"Like the tosser above who posted "it makes you acutally have to think while you install it". And that is a good thing? Why?"
It seems obvious that you don't understand much about thinking (or spelling) in general, let alone why it's important for the educational process. So I guess it is no use anybody explaining it, is it?
"She may not know what she is talking about, but she makes a good point."
Gawd/ess. It's better to keep your mouth closed and appear a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. The only point made here is that it's OK to admit mistakes and move on with life, better off for having learned something.
"Giving kiddies a non-standard OS is not going to help them. Who gives a monkeys if Linix is any good? Its not what they will see in the real world."
The ONLY corporate installs I do these days are Linux (and BSD in the server room). Not a single one of my clients has asked for Microsoft or Apple on the desktop in over a year.
"Because linix shoots itself in the foot with the morons who think it should be as user unfriendly as possible. Like the tosser above who posted "it makes you acutally have to think while you install it". And that is a good thing? Why?"
You have obviously never actually tried a modern Linux, have you? Try Slackware 12.2 (supposedly one of the more geekish distros). Just boot the install DVD, and accept the defaults. It really is that easy. Works just like Windows. Seriously, try it. You might just learn something. Or you can sit in the corner, sucking your thumb, drinking the corporate coolaid.
"Wasting a childs formative years and retricted tuition time on linix is indeed failing the child, when they could be learning a far easier system that WILL help them when trying to get a job"
Linix is shit"
It's "Linux". Do learn about the next thing you rant about, 'k? It'll make you seem less of a twat.
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In the real world no software is fully free.... go talk to red hat or novell. Maybe they will give you the os for free, but if you need support they will pull money from each and every orifice in your body..... and they will require you to smile and say things like 'thank you' and 'i am not worthy' when they do it too.
And if you need any kind of decent application that can run on it ... prepare to be ransacked for more money.... novell or oracle db anyone ? tools from cadence and mentor anyone ? solidworks ? SAP ? . fill in your own serious business or cad appliaction...
free .... the cost of the hardware/os is NOTHING compared to support costs and cost of applications. 1000$ gets you a good workstation ( quad core + quadro gfx + os of choice ) these days. 99 $ for a wintendo licence is nothing compared to that. And the total system cost is nothing compared to licences that run in the millions every year for the applications.
Plus if there is a major update to your linux you run the risk that half your hardware no longer works because they DELIBERATELY break the api.... i call it sabotage.
And 'free' in the other sense ... whenever you touch something that has open source in it you have to pay a bloody bunch of bloody lawyers to cover your behind. You might just have created something that may fall under GPL or LGPL and you may have to give out the keys to the kingdom... you need a lawyer to translate the legalese. Otherwise you may feel the wrath of the fsf ... I'll take commercial compilers. Those come with a licence to sell whatever i produce with them and the freedom to include whatever libraries come with a licence. ( and yes i have the source to those libraries and can make derivates. )
Its only free for hobbyists. they can install distros to their hearts content.
Yes i play with linux too. Here is my history
- version 0.89 on a 720k floppy was soo cool. look a *nix command prompt...
- the first port of x-server. look man, i have x-eyes on my screen... all you have is win3.1 with a ton of applications
- look i have a cool LAMP based on 6.xx of ubunut. Until an automated update broke the whole config to the point it wuld not boot, and i had to find a way to access the reiserfs volume from a windows pc....
I still have a linux machine. To browse the big bad web. There it shines.
Something to think about : if all people in the world were honest , we would not need virusscanners and spyware removers and we wouldn't need linux or windows ( we'd long time ago had something that works. )
coat please. i have to go boot iRMX now.
"I HASVE A GENUIS PRORGAMMER WHO SNOWED ME THE FACTS AND FIGURES PORVIG THAT IT IS %350 CHAEPER TO ISNTALL WIDNOWS SREVER 2003 THAN IT IS TO PUT LINUX ON A SERVEER BY THE TIME YOU FUIGURE IN SUYPPORT COSTS BECAUSE ANY COMMON IDOIT CAN RUN WIDNOWS BUT YOU HAVE TO BE SMRAT TO RUN LUNIX"
Perhaps your Genius Programmer could show you how to use a spell checker.
I'd love to see those facts & figures, I have several linux servers all of which have been cheaper and easier to install and run than my windows servers.
"It's Austin, not Texas"
No shit. Austin's probably the only TX city I'd consider living in or near. It's the only one I've spent any time in that seems to at least be living in the '90s ... the 1990s, that is. The rest of TX is still stuck in the 1890s, or there abouts. High tech, good tunes, educated people, a lively downtown, reasonably priced housing in the suburbs, what's not to like about Austin? Other than what they try to pass off as beer, that is.