[Edu-sig] Bootable Python CDs?

Laura Creighton lac at strakt.com
Thu Apr 27 14:48:30 CEST 2006

In a message of Thu, 27 Apr 2006 08:18:49 EDT, "Paul D. Fernhout" writes:
>Laura Creighton wrote:
>> So bring-your-own distribution
>> is the way to go.  The only tricky thing is making sure that the
>> students -- who want to save their own work on a CD -- actually
>> do this properly.
>Wow, I had not even thought about students saving their work beyond to a 
>RAM disk for the session. Nor had I really thought they would take the 
>initiative to use a CD-ROM burner, but I guess those are common in school
>labs now? 


>Or does anyone carry around a few external USB CD-ROM burners with them 
>for kids to use to save their work?

I bring exactly one.  But I have a class size of about 15.  They aren't
that expensive.

>USB Flash drives with 64MB these days are about $10 retail, so is it 
>possible to expect people to bring their own, or alternatively give them 
>out in class to keep (if it was a paid gig), to use to save their work 
>from done from the bootable CD? Do computer lab PCs in schools now 
>typically have at least one up-front USB ports for easy access?

They do here in Göteborg, Sweden.  I've thought about using USB
sticks, but so far haven't found the motivation to change the way
I already do things.

>Of course, how important is it in in most cases for students to really 
>save their work from playing with Python for one session? Is this really 

I think so.  But in addition to whatever else I am teaching at the time,
I am also teaching 'how not to be a passenger in your own life'.  So
making tools you can use to _do_ or _find out_ something that matters to you
is very important to me.  'It's your tool, you made it, and you get to keep
it (and improve it)' is very much the message I want to get across.

>And now, another thought, maybe if there was some easy way to save your 
>work to the Python site or some other web hosting service (gmail?) then 
>you would not need to worry about kids writing their stuff to CD or USB, 
>they could just run some magical Python application that would stash their 
>Python work on the network somewhere for later retrieval. I can see the 
>value of that as something to consider building into a Python educational

When we tried this at the university, the pages ended up being full of the
same sort of porn, viruses and root kits that made it necessary to wipe
the machines in the first place. 

>So, if you are going to a computer lab with network access
>  to the outside world (is this taken for granted these days in the USA?)

I'm in Sweden.  I wouldn't know what is available in the USA.


>practice by some.
>--Paul Fernhout

Laura Creighton

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