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[vox] Another Linux Success Story (or, Why I Love Linux!)
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[vox] Another Linux Success Story (or, Why I Love Linux!)

Hey guys,

My sister teaches emotionally disturbed children in the Sacramento Area.
Her classroom had a couple of computers which the kids would use to play
games and learn to word process. Recently, the classroom was burgarlized
and the computers stolen. Even though the school administration promised
to replace the stolen machines, she still would be without computers for
several weeks, if not months. A law firm in the Sacramento area came to
the rescue and donated two Pentium systems to replace the stolen machines
until she got replacements. However, the MIS department of the firm
completely wiped the hard drives clean, leaving the machines OS-less.

My sister contacted me wondering what to do. She could not afford to
purchase even a copy of Windows 98--and she would be required to purchase
two licenses (we all know about M$ strong-arming the schools). I suggested
that we forgo Windows and install Linux instead. She was cool with it as
long as she could run some games and basic word-processing (so I'm
thinking KDEGames and AbiWord at this point).

She brought the machines over to my place a couple of weekends back and in
a couple of hours, I successfully installed Mandrake 8.1, choosing the KDE
window manager. I then installed the kdegames and AbiWord, among other
applications. The machines autoboot into X (run level 5), and I set it so
that they autologin to a non-privelged account. So, all one has to do is
power the machines on, and after a little while, a desktop appears with
all kinds of game icons on the desktop. :)

The only downside was that she was short a serial mouse for one of the
boxes, so she could only set up one of the machines at school until she
can get another mouse.

She told me that the computer was a big hit with the kids. They took
right to it! The kdegames package has so many cool little games they can
play (MUCH better than the games which come stock with Windows). Plus
AbiWord is a robust word processor which looks a lot like you-know-what,
so they are getting good exposure to office tools (and you don't get a
word processor stock with Windows, either).

I wanted to pass this along because if it weren't for Linux, she wouldn't
have any computers in her classroom for the kids to play with and learn
on. I am so thankful for the M$ alternative, and thrilled that I got to
promote Linux in even such a small way!

R. Douglas Barbieri

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