|SUBJECT ||Subject: [hangout] Introduction to Free Software for Schools
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Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2002 12:14:44 -0500 (EST)
Subject: [hangout] Introduction to Free Software for Schools
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List: New Yorkers Linux Scene
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My name is Marcus Conti and I will be leading NYLXS' efforts to introduce
Free Software (FS) into schools. I believe that FS and schools
are a natural match and hope to help others believe it too. Simply put,
for schools, FS has a price that is right and quality comparable to or
exceeding commercial, non-free alternatives.
I have begun a basic "to do" list for the group (the items are not
necessarily in order of priority):
* Prepare a "marketing package"
This will consist of materials that will hopefully convince schools that
FS is right for them. Although it seems like FS should be one of the
easiest things in the world to "sell" because of its high quality and low
price, it probably will take a lot of work. I am currently looking for
and writing literature that illustrates the value of FS in general and
the value to schools in particular. This also includes finding out the
kinds of software that are most useful to schools and what their needs
* Compile a list of support and installation volunteers
We hope to be able to help schools install FS and support them in using.
If we can show that we (and other groups) can offer the schools
technical support and/or guidance they may be more willing to try FS.
* Find sources for free/low-cost hardware
Set up some structure for allowing people to donate hardware for schools
or work with groups that already have donated hardware that could be given
* Compile a list of schools
Not just a list of school names, but a list of people to contact and
persuade. It will be helpful to know what technologies the school is
using currently and what the technology needs are.
* Contact schools
This will require a lot of leg work and persistence.
* Install software, support it and teach people how to use it
If anyone can contribute in any of those areas, please let me know. Some
people have already expressed interest, thank you to them, and I will be
calling on you. Please feel free to comment on or add to the basic
objectives above. I hope to schedule a meeting soon. I will be out of
the country January 9th-15th, so the first meeting will probably be
after 1/15. Any suggestions on when or where to have the meeting are
I am not very fond of writing bios. But some info is appropriate. I
graduated from college with an economics degree and began working in the
economic research field. I became increasingly interested in the
computing side of the research and I ended up being the most technical
member of my research team because I had taken several programming
classes in college. Building on the C programming I learned in
college I learned Java and began working as a Java/Web developer. I
used mostly Microsoft products in my work and quickly began to miss the
Unix systems I had used in college. I heard about a Unix-like operating
system called Linux and investigated. I installed Linux on an old
486 that I purchased for almost nothing and got hooked. Since then I have
moved to using Linux primarily and using non-free software as little as
possible. That is how I got to Linux (or it got to me).
New Yorker Linux Users Scene
Fair Use -
because it's either fair use or useless....