Thursday, February 17, 2005

Update on LTSP

Update on Linux Thin Client & New Website
(www.technologyrescue.com)

It’s been some time since we have given an update on our
Linux thin client project (LTSP), and several exciting
developments have taken place.

We’ve completed two full installations of LTSP. The first
was for Connections Charter School in Hilo Hawaii. John
Thatcher, the principal of this three-story school that
overlooks beautiful Hilo Bay, also serves as the resident
computer expert in the school. So frustrated by virus and
spyware problems, John had just unplugged his computer lab
from the internet. Already aware of Linux because of some
active parents involved in the school, he quickly asked us
to convert his computer lab to Linux thin client after
seeing the technology demonstrated. We installed an LTSP
server, and used his existing computers for the
workstations.

The installation took less than a day, and it was
fascinating to watch his middle-school students as they
arrived for their first computer lab the next day.
Jostling to get to their “favorite” computers when they
arrived, we surprised them by showing that all the
computers now identically fast. And that when they store
their individual work, it is actually stored on the server,
so they can log into any machine in the network and work on
their own customized desktop and with their own documents.

Our second installation was at Notre Dame School in
Marysville, California. With 130 students, the school has
struggled with fewer than ten working computers. Like many
private schools, the cost of acquiring and maintaining
computers was just not feasible for them. We outlined a
plan for a powerful LTSP server, and then installing four
computers in each classroom in their main building.
Because of the old construction, wiring the building was
difficult, and we installed several of the classrooms
wirelessly. In addition to the LTSP server and
workstations, we installed an internet filter system that
works seamlessly and is also based on Open Source software.
We are also now installing a laser printer in each
classroom.

Our third installation will be a private school in Sandy,
Utah this coming month. We’re very excited to have a
product that makes such a difference for schools. For
those attending the NECC 2005 Conference in June, please
come find us. We are using LTSP to provide the “email
garden” at the conference.