Show Discussion - August 17, 2019

@Schyken was kind enough to write up some show notes:

Heyo everyone! This week’s BDLL brought about the end of the EndeavourOS challenge and of course someone started talking about Snaps and Flatpaks! You can watch the stream archive here! https://youtu.be/6cPf06VqX9A

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This week’s BDLL Distro Challenge is Regolith Linux! Regolith uses the i3 tiling window manager on top of Ubuntu, claiming to be a “visually spartan” experience that is meant to “stay out of your way to prevent distraction”. It can be installed either via an ISO or by PPA! Give it a shot and let us know how it goes over the next two weeks either here in Telegram, on our Discord (https://discord.gg/RVaGCEF), or on the BigDaddyLinux Discourse (https://discourse.bigdaddylinux.com/)!

Regolith Linux Homepage
https://regolith-linux.org/

Regolith Linux LiveCD (ISO) Download

Regolioth Linux PPA Installation Commands

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:kgilmer/regolith-stable
sudo apt install regolith-desktop

More info on the homepage.

(https://regolith-linux.org/)Topic Thread On BDL Discourse
Regolith Linux - August 17 to August 31

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You’re encouraged to give Regolith a try at your convenience and just let us know how it goes! There’s no obligation to do so, but if you do, we encourage you to join us next week on the stream! If you can’t be on camera, you can certainly join voice-only or stick around in the YouTube chat!

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One of the things I didn’t get time to say when we were talking about computer hardware/software in education, it is not just the operating system that is an issue, even if schools transitioned from MS Office over to LibreOffice or one of the other Office solutions available both 'Free and Open Source or paid propriety such as Softmaker Office Schools could save a lot of money just on this one application, but they won’t even try these, or any number of other open source solutions that could enhance the learning experience of the students. I was a school Governor (Board member) for a number of years and despite the school needing to save money, all my encouragement to try other software solutions that could save much needed cash fell on deaf ears. And the amount of money thrown at new PC hardware, when good refurbished options would have been cheaper and adequate for the task, were never fully looked into. Public/State education on both sides of the pond are in a dire financial situation at the moment, yet something that could improve the educational experience of the students, AND save money is ignored.

I’m a little bummed that Linux wasn’t able to make it into schools with LibreOffice as the primary use case 7 years ago. I felt that we had an opportunity back then, to make it into the education market for the following reasons:

  1. MS Office was still dominate, and they didn’t have the online Office 365 offering yet, and you still bought licensed copies per seat I believe.
  2. Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides wasn’t ready to take over in schools yet.
  3. We had some easy to install distros with great free software that would have run on those computers that needed to be upgraded to run the latest Windows and Office.

At least in the US and from what I have observed in the schools that I have contact with it seems that Google finally got the traction and was able to become the defacto office suit in education. Although, Google Drive Apps still lack the full feature set you get in MS Office or even LibreOffice, it is “good enough.” I was surprised when a marketing woman came to me 3 years ago and basically was able with a Chromebook and Google Apps running offline on the Chromebook she presented her whole marketing pitch. Once I saw that in the business world, MS Office really lost some more shine as the primary “productivity app” needed in the business world.

Perhaps, Google was able to steal the limelight away from MS Office because they offered a nice package for education:

  1. Cheap laptops with the installed and auto updated ChromeOS that could be purchased for every student in a classroom, run most of the day, and easily be used by different students each period. (One school that I know of went with a company that brought in refurbished dell laptops for each student so that they could have the usual Windows apps, but it was a disaster. Hard drives failed, none of the batteries lasted much more than a single period for the class, and the boot times were so slow that it held up the limited time they had to teach. They soon switched to Chromebooks.)
  2. Easier device management and control without the need to be a sys admin. A tech savvy teacher in a small school could lock down the “apps” that were installed and where they kids could go on the internet without knowing all of the complexities of network administration.
  3. Cloud storage made easy too.

I’m guessing those reasons above took away some of the road blocks that Linux wasn’t able to eliminate as a community quickly enough to make installing Linux on existing hardware a good option.

Of course, the Linux community is getting another shot at education this year. I doubt that a lot of schools have the resources to change out all of their Win7 machines. I’m thankful that we were able to help my son’s small high school keep two of old computers usable (we have two more that we are running at home), by installing MX Linux on them, and basically setting them up in a public area of the school for students to either make some quick edits to their Google documents or print them off if required by the teacher. His school got a special donation to replace all of their desktop computers in their labs with new Win10 ThinkCenters, and in the classrooms they have a Chromebook assigned for them to use. But now there are two Linux computers providing access to their Google accounts after class hours.

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