|SUBJECT ||Re: [hangout] IBM and Linux
|From hangout-at-nylxs.com Fri Nov 23 14:49:21 2001
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2001 14:49:21 -0500
To: Ruben Safir
Bcc: Don Marti
Subject: Re: [hangout] IBM and Linux
References: <200111231725.fANHPes05835-at-superglide.netfx-2000.net> <20011123140713.C1256-at-www2.mrbrklyn.com>
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In-Reply-To: <20011123140713.C1256-at-www2.mrbrklyn.com>; from ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com on Fri, Nov 23, 2001 at 14:07:13 -0500
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>>If the objective is to make free software widely accessible and a common
>>alternative to proprietary systems,
>> the open source/free community has
>>to accept help from whatever sources it can.
Maybe. Giving out code is not the same as helping schools.
>>Yes, IBM is a big ugly
>>corporation. Yes, if IBM could patent air and bill you for it, it would.
That's right. And it's not point to be overlooked or simply brushed aside.
Whatever they contribute, fine. This is not a reason to sleep with a Polar
>>This being said, IBM can't beat the GPL (or at least has shown no
>>inclination to do so yet)
It probibly could if it wanted to, but this is not the focis of this
>> and it has things we lack, specifically money,
>>money, and more money.
Now this is the point I wanted to get to.
It's really not true that we don't have money. We have as much money as we
care to donate, and spend, as a community. The community DOES have money.
Furthermore, and money which is donated to any cause needs to be carefully
examined for strings attached. And money is not the same as equiptment.
If IBM wanted to donate to NYLXS, for example, 2 million dollars for the
purposes of supporting our educational initiative. We would look to make
sure it had no strings attached. If it had no strings, we would accept it.
If they wanted to donate an s390 to NYLXS, they could keep it. We have no
use for it without an infalstructure to maintain it.
If they donate VM's, as they are, I currenty have no use for that either,
and it completely is useless to helping the free software agenda in the
schools. If they want to donate an actually s390, then that MIGHT be
useful, but not likely. What would be more useful would be
an open check. If they are interested in promoting FS in the schools, let
them cut a damn check so the Clubs and Faculty can buy what they need to
use FS as they see fit in the school. Second best is to donate a few PC's
and a PC server, with other equiptment (hubs etc), if they wanted to. If
they can help support new connectivity, that would also be good.
Next best would be for them to help with faculty and tech support. Let
them get their people in there on IMB time and money, 2x a week.
But forcing a marketing solution on them is completely NOT of any use, and
can be harmful, period...regardless of the money involved.
There is also the danger of becoming too dependent of IBM. That is a
disaster. The NY Linux Scene needs to develope the means to handle
community needs on it's own without being dependent on IBM. We, as a
community, DO have the money, time, and VOTES necessary to do the needed
outreach and devlepment. What we don't have is focus and organization.
And gawking at IBM is not helping.
>> I don't know the same teachers you
>>know, but the ones I have met are not teachers because of an abiding
>>passion for technology--they want to teach kids, they need computers to
That's a good question. Really they don't need computers to teach kids.
They need computers to teach kids about computers. In any event, this is
where the COMMUNITY needs to get off it's duff and work. This is just
plain old fashion, roll up your sleaves, and contribute to your community
work. We have the talent to get into this school, and others, and to
donate a few hurs a week to make the schools a better place for learning,
and teaching of the power of freedom and free software. In fact, we can
probibly put more people into the field than IBM. Let IBM support US in
our lead to help the school, if they choose to help at all.
>> and they really don't care whose OS or hardware they use as long
>>as they get the machines in their classrooms, running, and with the
>>training and support they need to make those computers go.
And that, my friend, is a fatal misconception and huge problem. They DON'T
want to just get computers into the school. They want to expand their kids
horizons. Many object to computers in the schools at all, not to mention
calculators. We need to show how FS expands on the basic ability to teach
children, not how to use word processors, but how to THINK, DEDUCE, CREATE,
and LEARN. We need to show how this huge library of computing software
teaches instruction, and trains the mind to problem solve and communicate.
THAT is the power of free software in the school system. It expands the
oppurtunity of child to develop real world skills which they will use every
day of their life, even, G-D forbid, if one day they need to take a job
using Microsoft's yet unmamed Word Processor.
>>Last week Microsoft announced a settlement agreement that gives schools
>>free computers, and also provides $90 million in teacher training and
>>$160 million in technical support. While it's easy to question the
>>altruism of these settlement terms,
It's not the altruism in question. If you read the articles by the
Attorneys rejecting the offer, they're rejecting it on grounds that the
introduction of MORE MS products into the schools is harmful to the kids!!
And they're RIGHT.
>>Why would any school
>>board or school administrator turn up the opportunity to get free (as in
>>beer) new computers, software, training, and support in favor of a bunch
>>of hobbyists nattering about Free (as in speech) software, bearing a
>>hodgepodge of old machines they sorta cobbled together from old parts
>>dug out of the basement, and training and support that they can provide
>>kinda on their off hours?
Because this is not the real choice. The real choice is, why would they
turn down free computers and software to their schools which restrict their
teaching ability and obstruct their goals. Instead they can have support
of an association of expert computer professionals from the community.
This is especially true in light of the fact that what the teachers really
would prefer is more text books, teaching space and room. Screw the
computers. They're not on the SAT's.
>>The only way we're
>>going to be able to do have a serious presence in the classroom is by
>>aligning ourselves with the help and support of corporate giants
IMO, this is completely not true. Then were just trading one exploitative
solution for another dressed up all nicely in the flag of the GPL. Only
the community can make a difference. IBM is irrelavent in this regard
accept in it's support of the local computing professionsals in the local
FS movement who are working to make it happen.
Really, the best thing IBM can do is hire more local Free Software people
so that these people can better support their own damn school. They do
have educational resources and programs, not to mention other areas of
employment, which can put more FS people to work.
let em hire Jay...
Brooklyn Linux Solutions
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