[plug] Linux laptops
garbuck at westnet.com.au
Wed Oct 15 19:29:26 WST 2008
NSW considers giving students Linux laptops
Fran Foo | /October 14, 2008/
*NSW secondary school students could be issued with $56 million worth of
Linux-based laptops as part of Kevin Rudd's digital education revolution.*
The state wants government secondary school students to tote around
computers built specifically for the education market.
Jim McAlpine, NSW Secondary Principals' Council president, said sellers
could look at offering non-proprietary software for the laptops, such as
Edubuntu, the education version of popular Linux distribution Ubuntu.
"The laptops can run on an open source operating system with a suite of
open source applications like those packaged under Edubuntu.
"This would include Open Office for productivity software, Gimp for
picture editing and the Firefox internet browser.
"Students would also have access to thousands of other open source
educational programs," Mr McAlpine said in briefing papers sent to NSW
Labor Party politicians and school principals two weeks ago.
A Microsoft Australia spokesperson said the company had not seen the
document and could not comment.
Open source software seller Red Hat is deeply entrenched in the NSW
government system but refuses to say which agencies it services. The
company has been lobbying government officials at both state and federal
levels on the benefits of open-source software.
In his first trip to Australia, Red Hat global chief executive Jim
Whitehurst said he would be meeting federal government officials in
Canberra, and other key customers.
"We're seeing a lot more engagement across the commercial and government
sectors," he said.
"IT budgets will be constrained due to the financial crisis but that is
the very reason to look at a more affordable way of doing things and
ditch the proprietary way."
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