Melbourne school uses KDE and Kubuntu for library kiosks

Westall Secondary School in Clayton South, Melbourne, has started using KDE under KUbuntu Linux to allow them to replace the 3.0GHz Intel PC’s they were using with older 2.1GHz PC’s, extending their lives and avoiding landfill. The systems use KDE’s Kiosk framework to let the staff lock down the systems for their library system. The 3.0GHz machines released from this role will be going back into the main school for teaching duties there.

In explaining why the school went for Kubuntu, Stefyn said the students responded well to CDs put out by the Ubuntu project. Many had tried Ubuntu at home, which led to a decision to provide a familiar working environment at the school as well.

They got help both directly from Peter Lieverdink and also from the Linux Users of Victoria. They are also encouraging students to experiment with Linux, with old PC’s as a prize:

During our last hardware cleanout, we challenged the students to create the best Linux install and customization, and the winners would get to keep the hardware once it was decommissioned.

and all that apparently unnecessary desktop bling helps to get attention, according to the schools IT manager and teacher:

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

Great stuff!

Emerging Linux Filesystems talk – LUV October meeting – 2nd October 2007

Recently LinuxWorld commissioned me to write an article on Emerging Linux Filesystems (the formatting is a bit different from the original I sent, but the slideshow of graphs now works) and have kindly given me permission to present a talk based on my work at the October Linux Users of Victoria (LUV) meeting.

So if you can make it you can hear about my experiences with ChunkFS, btrfs, NILFS, ext4, Reiser4 and ZFS/FUSE, as well as with ZFS under OpenSolaris (in this case Nexenta).

I’d also like to thank Dragan at Xenon Systems for the loan of a shiny, Linux friendly, test system!

Welcome to WordPress, Russell!

Russell Coker, SELinux developer, Bonnie++ maintainer and fellow LUV person has now switched from Blogger to his own WordPress installation, which makes leaving comments a hell of a lot easier! 🙂

He’s also now got a blog on “random things that are large or of limited interest“, though why that isn’t just a category on his main site (and using WordPress’s handy “more” marker to stop the whole thing showing up on the front page) I’m not sure.

Anyway, welcome to WordPress Russell!

VPAC & Linux Users Victoria off the air – all RMIT networks down (Update: RMIT back)

RMIT came back online at around 09:30, hopefully it will last!

VPAC systems are unreachable from the outside world as it appears that all RMIT networks failed at around 8am.

This means that the Linux Users of Victoria (LUV) server is also down as it is hosted at VPAC, so no LUV email or website for the moment.

The systems themselves are still functioning normally, just needs the RMIT ITS networks folks to track down the problem and fix it (good luck people!).

LUV (Melbourne Chapter) October General Meeting: Intel Architecture and Hacked Slugs

Paraphrased from the original.

Start: Oct 3 2006 – 19:00
End: Oct 3 2006 – 21:00

Location: The Buzzard Lecture Theatre. Evan Burge Building. Trinity College Main Campus. The University of Melbourne. Parkville. Melways Map: 2B C5.

Intel’s Core Architecture by David Jones

David Jones is a Solutions Specialist with Intel Australia specialising in Server Architecture, working directly with end users such as Westpac Bank, Ludwig Cancer Research, VPAC and others advising on latest technologies available from Intel. David has been with Intel for 10 years and in IT for 20 years, coming from a UNIX background. Today David will introduce Intel’s latest Architecture (Core Architecture) and explain the differences between Hyperthreading and Dual Core technologies.

Hacked slugs, solving all your problems with little NAS boxes by Michael Still

This talk will discuss how to get your own version of Linux running on a Linksys NSLU2, known to the Linux community as a slug. This is a consumer grade network attached storage (NAS) system. These devices are quite inexpensive, are physically small, and run on low voltage DC power. I also discuss how to handle having your firmware flash go bad, and provide some thoughts on projects made possible by these devices. The presentation will also include extra demonstrations of the process of flashing and setting up one of these devices.

Ed: as usual there will be a pre-meeting curry at 6pm

LUV Server Down – Colocation Power Work Again!

It appears that Eftel have took the power down again at the colocation facility in Collins Street, but unlike last time it would appear that the server isn’t back up yet. This could be because the outage is still going on (it’s still listed as current on their site as I write even though it was scheduled for just Saturday) or it could be that there’s a problem with the box.

The LUV sysadmin has tried to get permission to go and investigate today (Sunday), but it appears it won’t be possible until Monday.

Linux Users Victoria – Webserver Down – Electrical Work at CoLo

For those wondering (as I was) about why you can no longer get to the LUV website or mailing lists, it’s because the colocation facility (EFTel, who provide free hosting to us for which we are very grateful) are having major electrical work done at the Melbourne CoLo. The ticket (#8705) says:

8705 Scheduled maintenance 26-Aug-2006 14:30:00 27-Aug-2006 00:00:00 MAJOR ELECTRICAL SHUTDOWN – 530 Collins St: Affecting ALL Victorian Services

Update: Back up again..

Linux Users Victoria (Melbourne) May Meeting – ComputerBank and SELinux in FC5

May 2006 General Meeting – LUV News, Linux News, Computer Bank, SE Linux in Fedora Core 5.

Tuesday 2nd May 2006, 7pm at The Buzzard Lecture Theatre. Evan Burge Building. Trinity College Main Campus. Parkville. Melways Map: 2B C5.

There’s an unofficial pre-meeting curry at the Classic Curry Company on Elizabeth Street around 6:15pm.. yum!

Ballarat Linux Install Fest Pictures

I’ve now put the piccies of the start of the InstallFest up in my Gallery. It’s only the start because I was too busy installing systems afterwards to take any more! 😉

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…including the official opening by the local state member of parliament, Karen Overington (Labour) who, despite being a self-pronounced computer klutz, was kind enough to help us out.

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But the real stars of the show were Sasha Ivkovic and Troy, the technician, who did a wonderful job in spreading the word and prepping the room brilliantly and Bill Farrow for bringing the barbie and snags for free!