It is the end of the school year and I am nearly done. I am waiting for some documents to finish up files for a teacher who left early. Along comes the security guard wanting a PC fixed… It’s slowing down, apparently. I talk to the end-user on the telephone and clarify symptoms and options. We decide to install GNU/Linux after backing up certain files. They have been doing dial-up but have ordered high-speed service so the modem is no issue.
After finding most surfaces clogged with dust, I take it outside for dusting and fire up SystemRescueCD. It is a newer PC from Dell, a P4 with 1.6gHz clock, 64bit processor, 1gB RAM and gigabit/s NIC. I can work with this.
- This is the first PC I have ever seen without a PS/2 connector. Almost all of our keyboards are PS/2 but I remember a model with USB and it works.
- I use
tar cz files|ssh myserver "cat >> /home/backup_user_2010-6-29.tgz"to make a backup of the files in question (My Documents for two users)
- Debian GNU/Linux – Lenny Netinstall works like a charm.
- I add a selection of apps in addition to defaults that might suit the style of these users.
- I restore the backed-up files and test various application.
- Another satisfied customer.
And so it goes on. That other OS keeps messing up and I show no mercy, installing Debian GNU/Linux left, right and centre, wherever I go. I used to struggle tuning up those systems to keep them going but it was way more work than migrating. I have lost count of the kills but it must be close to 100 PCs and I will be another school year in this community. Perhaps I will run out of machines to convert.
Now, I am off for the summer planning next year’s campaign both teaching and IT. The outline of the IT plan is fairly simple: increase the number of PCs for students, inform teachers and students of resources and extend the network wired and wireless. It is actually quite doable with this year’s work as a basis.