[Nottingham] Linux Tuition

Jon Masters nottingham at mailman.lug.org.uk
Fri Jul 11 11:44:01 2003

On 11 Jul 2003, Godfrey Nix wrote:

> Running a course will mean hiring a room and equipment (unless we go
> with the 'virtual class' suggestion), so can anyone find us a sponsor
> that we can offer the course for free?

I think it would obviously be cool to get sponsorship but I just do not
see who would be willing to fork out for it - and getting people willing
to grant us free access to do whatever we want to their machines is not
likely especially where they would be liable for what happened.

The only option to get the room for free would probably be a University or
college and I know we probably will not get either University volunteering
access to even run a bootable CD on their machines. What if someone did
something stupid using their internet connection[0]? or broke H&S rules?
or <insert computer use things that bother orgnizations here>.
The GLLUG people are extremely lucky to be in such a winning situation.

> Hmm, just had a thought. Can we get the local college(s) to offer the
> course under one of the government schemes (I see adverts in the paper
> for computer courses, but all at the moment are MS stuff). Then we get
> taken on as the tutors?

That might be a good idea.

Someone else asked about distributions for new users and I am going to
once again break from recommending Debian and go with RedHat 9.0.
I used Slackware for years, then RedHat, then SuSE, then ROCK,
then Debian, and still use Debian with a little token Gentoo.
Of course I have used and reviewed many other distributions and like to
keep up to date on their progress but am fundamentally now a Debian guy.

I am a Debianite most of the time but am so impressed with the latest
distributions from Redhat and Mandrake that it would be crazy not to
recommend them as a great starting to point for people who just want to
insert CD and go. The same probably goes for SuSE but I have not used it
much in the last four years and in any case people can always switch to
another distribution later on. We should of course offer a choice!

Installing Debian is still very painful and Progeny very nicely fixed it
though that has yet to feed back in to a stable Debian release for
users[1]. Actually installing Solaris is much more friendly than
installing Debian and that is saying something there.


[0] Unplugging machines would constitute hardware modification and
probably be disallowed at the very least though even if it were permitted
for us then there are still about a bazzilion other things which might go
wrong and we would be liable for the actions of those attending the event.

[1] As usual this is connected with politics and bitching though at the
end of the day the end user is only concerned with how easily they can
insert a RedHat installation CD and end up with a working desktop running
everything including StarOffice with a minimal level of effort.