[Edu-sig] Re: Edu-sig Digest, Vol 14, Issue 9

Lloyd Hugh Allen chandrakirti at gmail.com
Sun Sep 19 14:44:42 CEST 2004

> Subject: [Edu-sig] New Job
> Joel said:
> should be large enough for a dual partition between
> Windows and Linux that I might be tinkering with at
> some future time. A few spare batteries would also be
> good. Because of various ugly bureaucratic rules, the
> donation would have to be to me personally, *not* to
> the school; this might affect any tax breaks that you
> were hoping to get. However, I can still give plenty
> of favorable publicity to whichever person(s) and/or
> firm(s) make the donation possible. :-)

I am in a similar situation; another individual and I are jointly
responsible for maintenance and the inventory of ~600 computers (as
well as teaching a full schedule each). However, the district's
Support Center sets policy etc.

It is very important to make friends with your immediate superior at
the Support Center equivalent and with your principal so that you can
get the freedom to take one or two machines aside and play with them.
It is extremely difficult to maintain stuff that you don't have the
freedom to experiment on.

To bring it back to Python, the "silver bullet" for experimenting with
linux and/or python on machines with sacrosanct hard drives seems to
be knoppix. I am amazed by how easily it autoconfigures, especially
considering that I still can't quite get X to run under debian on a
computer that I built myself (knoppix handles it quite knicely). If
you go to http://www.knoppix.net/docs/index.php/KnoppixCustomizations
and then look at the very last one, Zope, there is a link to a
distribution that claims to include Python 2.3 and VPython. It also
seems to contain other educational stuff. This is a secondhand
reccommendation; I have played with it as far as "yes, it does boot
and is quite pretty", but I haven't yet ensured that it won't write to
and destroy an NTFS volume. As with any linux bootcd, make sure that
you use extreme caution with writing to ntfs and that you run ntfsfix
when you are done if applicable.

FAT should be fine though.

Good luck.

More information about the Edu-sig mailing list