[plug] Linux laptops

garry 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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