The DistRogue

Monday, December 03, 2007

Project Brave GNU World: Bringing Linux to school

I'm now officially sick of having to use Windows XP on a daily basis at school. The bugs and slowness are irritating me to the point of insanity, and any time I want to use a program of my own (Firefox, Gimp, NVu, etc), I have to install a portable version on the network drive and run it from there- and that's a really slow drive. Obviously, the entire school isn't going to switch to Ubuntu because of one kid, but thanks to live CD/USB technology, they don't have to. I'm planning to get a live USB ready, running SLAX 6, that can run on the desktop computers in the library, and make it work by Christmas break.
I picked SLAX for a number of reasons. For starters, it's tiny- the maximum size for the standard edition (a full KDE desktop) is 200MB, leaving me roughly 800 megs to store stuff on. It's also amazingly fast (and version 6 comes with CFS), and our computers are middle-of-the-road- 3GHZ Pentium 4s with 1GB of RAM. (There's also 60GB of hard disk space nobody will ever use, since everything's stored on network drives.) Finally, it's easy to customize, and supports persistent changes out of the box.
Some of the computers are wired to the LAN, some use a wireless connection. I've noticed that the wired computers are faster than the wireless ones, since everything's on the network (including the portable apps I have). This might be because they use 802.11b instead of g or n, but I haven't got a good look at the specs for them.
Here's the deal:
-CPU: Intel Pentium 4 clocked at 3 GHz
-Hard disk (for temp storage only!): 60GB, usually 55GB free on C:\ partition
-Screen resolution: 1280x1024 (but it's set to 1024x768 by default for reasons I don't get... Ah well, it'll be whatever I say it is on SLAX :-)
--Wired: Intel PRO/100 network card (supported natively under Linux :-)
--Wireless: Unknown (but I'm guessing it's ipw2100- or 2200-based, just an educated guess, and both are supported natively. This is the main problem...)
-Windows XP Professional Edition
The biggest problems are going to be wireless networking and getting the go-ahead from the IT department, but I've heard they like open source. Always good to hear. :-) (Besides, I think I saw a Debian screensaver in the network room...)
From Windows XP (but hopefully not for long!),
The Distrogue.

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