Ubuntu breathes new life into school's abandoned hardware

Repurposed PCs use Kubuntu to run school's Web based student library system

Roland Gesthuizen, ICT Manager and Information Technology teacher at Westall, said the school contacted the support of Peter Lieverdink at Creative Contingencies, as well as the Linux Users of Victoria group for implementation advice.

"Peter has done some work with the school in setting up a dual boot setup with authentication to the main network via LDAP. The kids were rapt with Compiz Fusion and this scored magic brownie points, because even the magical Vista couldn't compete with the graphics. This was a great step into having them explore the other functionalities of Linux," Gesthuizen said.

Even the magical Vista couldn't compete with the graphics

Gesthuizen said Westall is supporting the open source spirit by providing information about the school's work and image to other schools, and is looking at moving its entire library systems from a proprietary to an open source solution.

"Our current solution is Bibliotech, and we have had some issues implementing what we thought was basic functionality, for example an extra search field for a Web form, due to the use of closed source dll's and lack of code transparency. Other schools have purchased systems such as Athena, which have been discontinued and have had no updates for many years."

Gesthuizen said that if the source code had been available for either of these library systems, then the school could have made appropriate changes or requested the help of a programmer to do so in a suitable timeframe. As that is not possible, the school is giving its proprietary library system the flick.

"We are currently looking at switching library systems from a proprietary solution which has been lacking in features and updates. The new system we are evaluating is the open source Koha project. Once we work out how to add our required features, we aim to return this code to the project and form a community of local schools." he said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Andrew Hendry

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?