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23,000 Linux PCs For Filipino Schools

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the get-'em-while-they're-young dept.

Education 142

Da Massive writes "Speaking at the event in Melbourne, Australia, independent open source consultant Ricardo Gonzalez has told of how he has helped bring 23,000 Linux PCs to over 1000 schools in the Philippines: 'Ministers in the Filipino government now understand Linux can do so much for so little outlay.'" The slow process of educating a government that knew only Microsoft is especially well described in this piece.

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fp? (0, Offtopic)

byteframe (924916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216920)

boo yah?

don't hate me (2, Interesting)

blhack (921171) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216954)

Let me preface this by saying that I am one of the biggest linux geeks you're ever going to meet. I run gentoo on my laptop, as well as on my Desktop at work. I have installed Ubuntu on my sisters' laptops and my mom's Desktop. I do graphic design work in scribus and inkscape.

I'm a linux geek....but

If the true goal of a computer program for a school is to ready its students for the workplace, then is linux really the best method of doing so? Isn't the school in some way doing its students a dis-service my training them on a computing method that they will very likely never use again?
As much as i DESPISE some of microsoft's products (i admin a damn win2k3 i really need to explain WHY i hate microsoft?) i understand that in order to function in a modern workplace, the ability to navigate microsoft windows is almost as essential as any other office skill.

Re:don't hate me (0, Troll)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217002)

This kinda reminds me of all that Mac training I had to do when I was in school. While I was using Mac at school, my family had Microsoft products at home. Which do you think I spent more time on and retained more about? If you guessed Windows, you get the grand prize. In retrospect, all that time spent on an Apple II was really a waste. I don't know a thing about Mac anymore.

Re:don't hate me (4, Insightful)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217198)

Yeah, all those Mac-only programs like Word and Excel, well there's no way I can use that knowledge on a Windows machine now. And those Mac-only programming languages like BASIC, C, C++ and Pascal. Useless now that I use a Windows machine at work. Even those Mac GUI concepts like copy and paste are un-transferable to Windows.

Stupid Apple. Stupid schools.

All that time spent learning apps and stuff on a Mac was totally wasted.

Re:don't hate me (4, Insightful)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218044)

Therein lies the key. You leared how to use an OS and computer, most people learn "if you click this that will happen" and cannot handle having things happen outside their little bubble of knowledge. I personally think that every school should have a decent mix of different types of computers, that way kids will learn the actual core skills to use a computer and not the other way. I'm teaching my two year old right now how to use windows and linux, soon Mac when I get the iMac for my wife. I want her to have a base knowledge about these things.

Re:don't hate me (2, Funny)

schon (31600) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217440)

all that time spent on an Apple II was really a waste. I don't know a thing about Mac anymore
Uhh - if you learned computing on an Apple II, and you're wondering why that didn't translate to knowledge of the Mac, you have bigger problems than just wasting time.

Re:don't hate me (2, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217020)

Linux isn't used as much as it could be, because everyone knows Windows. If you train the next generation in Linux, businesses will have a greater incentive to switch, which means there'll be a greater incentive to develop software for Linux.

Re:don't hate me (2, Informative)

DaHat (247651) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217116)

Funny... that's just what Apple was thinking in the mid to late 90's when Macs were most of what you saw in schools... what happend? Those folks ended up using PCs once they went on to college and real jobs.

Re:don't hate me (4, Interesting)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217358)

Those folks ended up using PCs once they went on to college and real jobs.
Ehh? I haven't seen a decent university-level computer science program yet that isn't mostly using UNIX, and there're plenty of "real jobs" for folks who know something other than win32.

Even for those that do go on to work with Windows, though, having used more than one UI is a Good Thing for a reason: The more of them you learn, the better able you are to notice and generalize the common concepts, and the less limited you are to only being able to use the individual UI you learned on.

Re:don't hate me (3, Insightful)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217496)

Well, think about the pricing, you could get an expensive (yet easy-to-use) Mac or you could get a cheap PC with DOS that no one really liked but it was there OS. Most businesses and people chose the cheaper route and got a PC, today we have the opposite, with Linux being cheaper yet not as (seemingly) easy to use as the Windows and Mac computers. I expect that because of the price point alone (and easier to use distros, Vista becoming ME II and OS X being popular) Unix/Linux will become the most used platform.

Re:don't hate me (4, Interesting)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217034)

I am also a Gentoo guy.

It doesnt matter what OS or software they use.
Typing up a document or surfing the net is nearly identical no matter what you choose.

Also hopefully some of these kids will go on to management and instead of being tied to Windows they will lean towards Linux instead.

I really want to shoot the managers who think "Windows works well on my desktop. Lets make all our company servers run it too!"
Thats a effect of Microsoft being in all the schools.
In Australia, Microsoft actually gives away all their software to schools in a effort to make sure everyone is brought up with their software.

Re:don't hate me (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218076)


And KDE or Gnome is just as easy and intuitive to use as an end-user as is the windows interface.

And with KDE being ported to Windows, surely the battle is starting to turn?

Re:don't hate me (0, Flamebait)

sgtsqh2o (1050154) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218282)

Microsoft doesn't give a crap about the Philippines. Manila isn't listed as a timezone (and Pyongyang). Where is Sri Jayawardenpua anyways? Move along now. Nothing to see here.

Re:don't hate me (5, Interesting)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218456)

"The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

The little guys count more than you imagine.
If every insignificant country switched to Linux overnight, Microsoft would be screwed within months.

Re:don't hate me (4, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217080)

Pretty much *any* software you are going to teach in school is going to be obsolete by the time they are "in the workforce", so it would be better to teach concepts as opposed to steps to follow. Teach them how to learn, not how to memorize, and they will get much further.

Re:don't hate me (3, Insightful)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217330)

"Teach them how to learn, not how to memorize, and they will get much further."

Talk about hitting the proverbial nail on the head....with a sledgehammer!!

Sadly, that method of teaching is not as prevalent as it should be.
When I was in college, one of the most important things I was taught is the concept of knowing where to find 'the reference materials needed' instead of a crapload of by rote memorizing.

I got my AAS in Veterinary Technology (think Registered Nurse for Critters), and while I was doing that, a BS in Biochemistry just kind of fell into the mix with no additional effort. (Vet Tech is TOUGH!)...No way to memorize all of the needed info, but knowing when and where to find the info needed made the big difference.
Medical Terminology, Pharmacology, and Anatomy(leg bone connected to the hip what? and by which attachments?!...hint: there are 27 major attachments to the scapula-shoulderblade to be learned- How's that for a non-sequitur?) are all brute force memorization, but after passing the classes it is just a PDR away (PDR=Physician's Desk Reference). Many times I have thanked the head of Murry State's head of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine's Dr. Kay Helms for this little bit of insight.

This concept applies readily to any tech field, and many more. *disclaimer: this could be a more cogent post if I was not into my second beer! (9.5% alcohol by volume, 40 oz.)*

Re:don't hate me (4, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217472)

Just don't look up anything in a reference book in front of your patients (or in the case of a vet, the owner of your patients). My boss is a pilot, and he told me a story about how he took up a friend for a flight once, and when coming in for the landing, he got out his checklist to go through the proper landing procedures. The guy got all freaked out because he thought that he was looking in a manual, and didn't know what he was doing. I'm a software developer, and I spend a lot of my time looking up the right answer in various places, rather than trying to come up with it on my own. It's often faster, easier, and more reliable to look up the answer somewhere else, rather then try to solve a problem yourself.

Re:don't hate me (4, Funny)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217478)

Hah, put "Landing for Dummies" on the cover of the landing checklist.....

Re:don't hate me (2, Interesting)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217750)

Just don't look up anything in a reference book in front of your patients (or in the case of a vet, the owner of your patients).

I'm actually encouraged when a doctor looks something up. It means they're not just guessing or relying on memory of a similar case they came across a long time ago. The only GP I currently trust proverbially as far as I can throw is one who when I presented a medical problem offered to do some research and ring me the following night from home.

My boss is a pilot, and he told me a story about how he took up a friend for a flight once, and when coming in for the landing, he got out his checklist to go through the proper landing procedures. The guy got all freaked out because he thought that he was looking in a manual, and didn't know what he was doing.

Your boss' friend is an ignorant idiot. Not only does this friend not know that checklists are common in aviation, but he decides to freak out when the pilot's workload is highest. My response in your boss' shoes would be to politely explain how it works, then lose the friend (certainly never take that friend flying again).

Re:don't hate me (3, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217734)

There are some majors where rote memorization is good. When you're in the ER and you just reacted to some drug and you're going into cardiac arrest do you want the doctor to go "Hold on a second let me let me look this up."

I'm an engineer and my sister is a pharmacist. I don't interact with people and nothing needs to be known NOW. Heck I sat in a meeting where we had 5 engineers around the room and I was the youngest and we all broke out our Fluids books to figure out some mass transfer through a pipe.

On the other hand I just got out of ACL surgery. I wasn't feeling any effect from the Oxycotin (naturally high tolerance to all drugs) so I called my sister. She knew off the top of her head what would react with it and how much more I could take. Granted she also knows where to find the stuff if she doesn't know.

As I see it:
Engineer: Where to find it>What it is
Doctor: What it is>=Where to find it

Re:don't hate me (2, Interesting)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218638)

"Granted she also knows where to find the stuff if she doesn't know."
This was my major point. There is WAY too much to know and remember...ask your sister.

Education and experience will let you know what to remember and what to look up, but in your reply you raised valid points:"There are some majors where rote memorization is good. When you're in the ER and you just reacted to some drug and you're going into cardiac arrest do you want the doctor to go "Hold on a second let me let me look this up." Absolutely!! The point I failed to elaborate on. To know the difference between memorizing 'this' and 'that', compared to the ability to look 'it' up was my point. I apparently failed to adequately express my point of view here. (no sarcasm...I'm serious here).

Some info needs to be almost 'hard-wired' for instant recall, but some info just needs to be ' a reference away' for most situations. (for example: as a Vet Tech in Oklahoma, do I REALLY need to remember the scientific name of an internal parasite (worm) in the Ethiopian River Rat that is not a medical problem in the USA?- but I can tell you for certainty that if your 'sight hound' [greyhound, afghan hound, borsai, etc] have had aspirin recently...LET YOUR VETERINARIAN KNOW before there is any general anesthesia involved. Aspirin is a protein-binder that will cause an anesthetic overdose in 'sighthounds' if not accounted for, and the tolerance for lidocaine for local anesthesia in llamas is 2.5 mg/kg- if this is exceeded, the said llama will go into some spectacular seizures!)

As an engineer, you should maybe look at this method. (not trying to be an asshat here) Do you memorize every engineering table you are exposed to, or do you only memorize the relevant ones to your work?...and have a clue as to where other relevant tables could be found?

YMMV, Proceed with caution, and the best of luck to you. :)

Re:don't hate me (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218944)

As an engineer, you should maybe look at this method. (not trying to be an asshat here) Do you memorize every engineering table you are exposed to, or do you only memorize the relevant ones to your work?...and have a clue as to where other relevant tables could be found?
I don't even memorize the ones relevant to my work. There's no reason to, they're huge. Some of us kept our engineering books (I resold mine but I'm considering picking up some old editions on Some of the stuff from freshmen year that we've used every year since has stuck around. F=ma, V=IR, rho*g*h, Water is 1000 kg per cubic meter, and the likes.

But absolutely nothing on the scale of my sister (or my Aunt that's a dermatologist, or my uncle that's an ER doctor).

A solution that they own. (4, Insightful)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217506)

In addition to that, it might be more rewarding in the long term to tech the student solution that they can own themselves.

Teaching Microsoft in 3rd world countries, mean creating a new generation of users that will completely dependant on an foreign solution, and that one day, the workforce of the country will spend significant amount of money which will be spent overboard and will go to the pocket of a foreign company.
This guarantee future bleeding of money : you have a nice new emerging IT environment that strives to develop, and most of the earned money will exit the country in term of license.

On the other hand, teaching open source software will help the new generation realise that these solution exist, and that they can take them as their own. Instead of having a Microsoft unleashing BSA-like dogs to crackdown on unlicensed copies, they have access to FSF software whose philosophy is "do whatever pleases you with it *AS LONG AS* you keep guaranteeing the same freedom when you passes it around".
Once this generation grows and enter into the workforce, a lot of busyness opportunities may appear that don't depend on foreign companies. Thanks to OSS, local solution my be developed, with new emerging companies basing their solution on infrastructure they can own themselves. The earnings from such companies will stay inside the country and help stir up the economy.

Free software empowers emerging countries, whereas proprietary software represents one additional way to lock them into a permanent dependence on foreign companies that will bleed out of the country the earning of emerging IT busyness.

That doesn't matter much for rich countries. But learning that you don't necessarily need to depend on some US company is very important in emerging markets.

Also, as you said, given the difference between Office 2007 and, let's say, Office 97, and given that these children will also be at least 10 years away from entering the workforce (and much more for those few who'll manage to go to universities) learning a specific interface implementation is completely pointless. What they need is to learn some basic concept in computing (what is word processing vs. which button should be clicked). And Linux is just as good as anything else for that.

Re:A solution that they own. (2, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218296)

Let's not pick on or exclude first or second world users. For open source software there is nor first, second or third world. Your contributions are purely valued on their own merits.

Of course open solutions created or contributed in the third world not only means they will be save money but they will also be able to achieve a more competitive status, in first and second world technology.

The important part of open source is to create an effective ecosystem for it, with it being taught in primary and secondary schools, being researched and contributed to in universities and the being applied and extended in business and government. This effort is then expanded beyond a countries borders and shared as a global effort, with benefits accruing to all computer users, regardless of race, colour, creed, age or especially wealth.

Closed source proprietary software, creates, and enforces the digital divide, leaving peoples as well as countries at a permanent disadvantage with what is becoming an integral part of any countries infrastructure and economy.

At the end of the day the current monopoly in operating systems and office suites, only suits once city, in one state, in one country, for every other person, in every other city, in every other state, in every other country it is a wasteful, pointless, dead end.

Re:A solution that they own. (1)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218764)

Or they torrent the files that they need and don't give a crap about paying the fee.

Re:don't hate me (3, Insightful)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217542)

Exactly, and why does everyone think that it has to be MS to create those concepts? I bet that if you go to a school today most people wouldn't know how applications are launched, or even how simple parts of the computer's OS works, and probably 98% think that the GUI==the OS. Most kids know how a program works by launching it from Start-->All Programs--->Games--->Minesweeper and not how the OS really works. MS always ends up creating new "buzzwords" to make their OS/Program seem new just think of the "ribbon" on Office 2007 (if you are unlucky enough to have used it) or "Shortcuts" rather then links, MS has a way of making anything that seems like a computer concept be totally linked to Windows and totally foreign to Mac or Linux, that's how I am sure they manage to keep market share from people looking at Mac/Linux who panic when they can't see a C drive.

Re:don't hate me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22218364)

You have the right idea but ask yourself how many times you took sides on things?

Nvidia or ATI? AMD or Intel? Sony PS3 or Xbox360 or Wii? Apple Mac or PC? Coke or Pepsi? Toyota or Honda? Ford or GM or Dodge?

You probably had to choose one or the other of those things, at some point in your life. If not those things, then name two sports teams or two brands of ketchup or whatever.

At some point you have had to choose. How many of those choices were made because you "knew" one was better than the other without ever trying it or perhaps without ever trying either one?

You just KNOW in your head or heart that one is better than the other, without even trying it. And you might even get on message boards and flame people who stand for the other side. You might not be a Mac user and might not have ever used one, but you might trash them in the name of XP or Vista until the end of time.

If not you, other people will do it.

Because NOBODY has a truly open mind any more. They want to choose sides, decide A is better than B, though they have never used A or B, and then fight for it.

Such it is with operating systems. People haven't used linux but they know, somehow, that Windows is better, or Mac is better, or whatever. And they've closed off their minds to any other way.

Open minds seeking knowledge are a myth. If you just want to KNOW, then you never close your mind to anything. This is why we can never know the universe: the quest to KNOW is endless, yet humans seek to know only "enough" and then all else is ignored.

Re:don't hate me (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22217092)

I don't understand this. I think school should teach how to use computers - not to use some specific tool. If the kids learn spreadsheets by using I am 100% sure they will know how to use Excel as well. However, the plus side is that while learning, they are very likely to learn that MS Office is not the only option. Most people who use MS Office are not aware of or any other options. users are aware of MS Office though. This applies to Linux vs. Windows discussion as well. Teach the kids Linux and they will learn that world is not black and white (concerning the tools available to get the job done). I argue this because Linux users are mentally prepared to face different kind of computers.

Re:don't hate me (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217164)

Pretty much any software knowledge one gains when they are young becomes deprecated when you go into the real world. I actually grew up with DOS and Windows and allot of it now is junk as things have moved on.

Re:don't hate me (3, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217172)

I used an Amiga with Word Perfect at school, and DOS with Word Perfect at home.

Fortunately the skills were useful for Word at a later point, and understanding how directories (now folders) work.

Many people I work with (as customers) don't understand how to download something from the internet (or an email attachment) and find it at a later time. This is a useful skill that is very cross platform. As are typing, google, webmail, and even spreadsheets.

If someone can learn enough to type as quickly as fast handwriting, use the internet, send an e-mail, and save a file for later retrieval they are much better off than one who can't.

Spell check, and spreadsheets are bonuses.

It could also reasonably be argues that the purpose of computers in school is to save money by not needing encyclopedias and other types of expensive books, and to augment the ability to teach certain types of subjects.

I say this as someone who set up a Xubuntu computer at my wife's work for a summer internship for high-school students that had very little computer experience (they could use a mouse and type, and certainly knew how to find myspace instead of work though). They would stay after they could leave to use the computer to type essays and learned how to enter data into a spreadsheet along with basic (very basic) spreadsheet concepts like sorting and dragging down a column to repeat a pattern. These are the types of things that will help them be more qualified in the workforce even though they gained no Windows experience.

Software like the test builder/taker in Edubuntu could be a great bonus to a school poor school and could easily save a school dollars a test (goes somewhat to paying for the computers).

Re:don't hate me (1)

fwarren (579763) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217822)

Spell check, and spreadsheets are bonuses.

I have found spell check on Slashdot next to impossible.

Re:don't hate me (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218702)

Thanks for the good post. :)

It's astounding the number of people get locked into the mindset of doing things *only* a specific way.
If the thought is taken to paranoid extremes, it makes one wonder how we will advance as a civilization at all.
My stepdaughter can use any PC as she has been exposed to not only MS crapware, but Linux, and OSX to get things done.

It doesn't have to be a religious OS matter, just a practical matter.

Re:don't hate me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22217220)

linux is all you find at my workplace...

the difference is pretty much in the apps for the end user and you will find these to be inconsistent in the future regardless of platform. office 2000 vs 2007 for example

Besides with more web based apps it makes even less of a difference in the long term....

Re:don't hate me (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217224)

no, they are not doing a disservice

Re:don't hate me (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217256)

At the end of the day drag and drop and clicking on icons or menu's is pretty much the same on any OS.

Re:don't hate me (1)

Shimmer (3036) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217284)

The true goal of a computer program for a school is to ready its students for the workplace

No, that's the goal of a vocational program (like shop class).

The goal of a typical computer class is the same as that of school in general: To educate citizens so they can successfully assume responsibility for running their country in the future. This is reason we have public education.

Re:don't hate me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22217320)

If the true goal of a computer program for a school is to ready its students for the workplace, then is linux really the best method of doing so? Isn't the school in some way doing its students a dis-service my training them on a computing method that they will very likely never use again?

This "soundbite" and others like it are very much in Microsoft's best interest to put out there.

The reality is that running several applications ... such as Firefox, Thunderbird or OpenOffice ... is identical no matter if you run that application on Windows or on Linux. Other applications are Windows-only, but have equivalents in Linux that are very similar to operate. Also, there is nothing to stop vendors of applications which are currently Windows-only to port those applications over to Linux once those software companies begin to realise that the move to Linux is now gaining significant momentum.

There are some desktop applications that are currently Windows-only (such as microsoft Office) ... but there is barely any practical difference between those and OpenOffice. If you have learned how to use OpenOffice Calc, and you know what that application can do and can be used for, it isn't at all difficult to use Excel.

Notice the way that I turned that last thought around, opposite to the way this thought would normally be written? I did that deliberately, just to try to demonstrate the way that Microsoft gets these "soundbites" into the public vernacular. Microsoft want people to think that it is "normal" to run Excel, and to run anything else requires additional training. The fact is that people have to have at least a little training for anything they use in the workplace, it won't be exactly the same as they were used to at school. This applies just as much to Microsoft software as to any other.

It is, in fact, probably easier right now for an ex-student who was trained on OpenOffice at school to move to a job where the software in use is Office 2003 than it would be for another ex-student who was trained on Office 2007 to move into that exact same job.

You don't actually HAVE to run Microsoft software, despite what Microsoft would dearly want you to believe.

Re:don't hate me (1)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217354)

Not to mention that in a real developing country MS practically gives out Windows licenses. I really doubt that the cost Windows is more than 5% of the hardware...

Re:don't hate me (2, Insightful)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217622)

But the hardware is tied to the OS. If you were to get Vista you would probably pick out a new computer with a dual or quad-core processor with 2-3 Gigs of RAM, a nice DRM-compliant video-card for Aero, then of course the average person needs to spend about $300 on anti-virus/spyware, MS office, new versions for programs that MS broke backwards compatibility with, ETC. For a school they can probably get licenses very cheap, however when the student ends up going to college, they can either pay the $1000 setup with Vista, over-the-top hardware, and all the proprietary software Windows needs to patch its flaws or the kid can buy a decent $300 computer with Linux installed because they learned about Linux and all the software is just a click or apt-get away. MS teaches kids to be dependent on one provider (MS) for their software therefore paying excess to third parties for hardware to just run the OS, also because the kid hasn't learned really how a computer works, any chance of a sysadmin job or other high-tech job disappears unless the kid learns a whole lot in college (or there is a giant breakthrough in software) and ends up being dependent. The kid who learns Linux and how the computer actually works can buy cheaper hardware, and can easily become a sysadmin or other high-paying tech job and nearly all software will be free. Now, even with cost not the option, does the school want to teach their students to be dependent or independent?

Re:don't hate me (4, Insightful)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217374)

If the true goal of a computer program for a school is to ready its students for the workplace, then is linux really the best method of doing so? Isn't the school in some way doing its students a dis-service my training them on a computing method that they will very likely never use again? As much as i DESPISE some of microsoft's products (i admin a damn win2k3 i really need to explain WHY i hate microsoft?) i understand that in order to function in a modern workplace, the ability to navigate microsoft windows is almost as essential as any other office skill

Actually this is a fallacious argument.

I just pointed out yesterday that kids can learn any OS. Keep in mind that I (along with all my peers) grew up in a world without windows and yet still managed to learn. In fact, I didn't even see windows until I was 19 and in college. That's when Win 2.0 came out and I thought it was - erm - mostly harmless.

My seven-year-old and five-year-old sons have no issues moving from my Vista laptop to my wife's Win2K desktop to my openSUSE laptop and desktop and to my mom's openSUSE desktop or to my father-in-law's Macintosh. Unless you're gonna teach kids how to administer Win2K3 workstations, then there's no issue.

Re:don't hate me (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217992)

Well said!
Hear! Hear!

The root of the problem (no pun intended) is the inability to break out of the MS mindset of how to do anything.
Claiming that due to MS's coverage of the market making it the standard is all BS, and admitting defeat.

Save all of the 'but I have to use windows at work" whining. So what! Use something else at home. Get your kids involved in MS alternatives. Our generation is too hooked on the MS Koolaid.
Kudos for you doing do we get the rest to do so.

Teach your kids to learn, not memorize 'by rote' steps!!! *thinkofthechildren*tag (that;s almost getting to be as bad as the Nazi/Goldwin shut-down on an argument!!!

Re:don't hate me (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217406)

In school I used WordPerfect 5.1, Quattro Pro, MS Works, Filemaker Pro, QBasic, MS-Dos, and CorelDraw, along with a bunch of programs that were so obscure, I can't even remember the name of them. Up until high school, the only computer I had ever used at school was an ICON [] . I don't use any of that anymore. However that hasn't stopped me from becoming quite proficient with computers. I'm a computer geek, so I did some learning on my own, but nobody I know from school has any problems using computers in the slightest. Any program you learn in school now will be out of use in 5-10 years. So the real answer is, instead of trying to focus on what a software is being used, try to teach the kids concepts, instead of trying to teach them exact sequences of buttons to press that will only ever work in the exact version of the software you are "teaching" them on.

Re:don't hate me (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217432)

then is linux really the best method of doing so? Isn't the school in some way doing its students a dis-service my training them on a computing method that they will very likely never use again?
Can you think of anything in Windows that couldn't be figured out by someone who has been trained on Linux? My point is this, the sheer amount of software available out of the box in many linux distros allows you to use many different software programs [open office, Koffice etc..] so after a while, you generally get to understand the general workings of different programs making learning new ones easier. That would as far as I'm concerned, be an advantage. To be able to figure out new software that is similar to what you're already familiar with rather than being trained in one specific program on one specific OS is an advantage not a deficit.

Re:don't hate me (3, Funny)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218626)

Can you think of anything in Windows that couldn't be figured out by someone who has been trained on Linux?

Why do people use this? :)

Re:don't hate me (1)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217468)

Most people use Windows yes. However with the GUI changing (just look from XP to Vista), training students on an outdated platform of Windows is worse then teaching them *NIX. Because most Linux/Unix GUIs don't need to be new for the sake of being new, most skills acquired on KDE 1 can be transferred to KDE 4 with little problems, and the same with Gnome. Secondly, most basic Windows concepts can be accurately emulated by having a Windows-like WM or theme on the desktop environment of your choosing, I have seen people think that Linux is just like XP whenever an XP theme is installed and therefore can get around in Windows. Most workplaces/schools don't want people to have admin privileges so all the talk about knowing how Windows works and how to admin it is null and void. Also, Linux can be an easy way for students to get into computer programming/repair/systems administrator jobs that require little college training and have relatively high pay, everyone knows Windows however *NIX skills are essential to get beyond a data entry position in trying to get a technical job. Also, many offices are going to mixed OS environments with some OS-X systems, a lot of XP systems, a few Vista test systems and some Linux systems. Schools should not take a risk with MS's products becoming obsolete whenever the students graduate, most Unix skills are here to stay and can save a student a bunch of money (either spend $1000 on a desktop with Vista or spend $400 for a Ubuntu desktop for the same performance not to mention the save on the cost of proprietary applications and anti-virus/spyware) and gives them skills needed. Think back to the old DOS skills and Apple ][ skills, now they are not needed anymore, a few wasted cells in your brain, today if you learned Unix back in the '80s running OS-X or Ubuntu in 2008 will be second nature to you, take someone brought up on Windows 98 and sit them down on a Vista machine, they would be confused because they were learned on 98 and now its Vista and everything looks different! Unix is stable, secure and chances are (with the lack of OS innovations and the rapid adoption of OS-X and Linux) the future platform. MS products are a dead end, they only end up in another $50 MS tax with another $100 for your Office tax not to mention your $150 Anti-virus/spyware tax and your super new top-of-the-line-won't-be-able-to-run-Windows-7 desktop that could cost $600 upwards. Unix/Linux helps you get ahead, with Windows your just another consumer.

Re:don't hate me (1)

amirulbahr (1216502) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217514)

Training != Education

Unfortunately schools and most higher education institutions are all about training work-bots and getting them deployed ASAP.

Re:don't hate me (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217520)

i understand that in order to function in a modern workplace, the ability to navigate microsoft windows is almost as essential as any other office skill.

And what will they learn in those classes? They'll learn how to use a mouse, they'll learn how to cut and paste either with the mouse or with control keys, they'll learn how to navigate in a GUI. Then they'll learn how to use a word processor and a spreadsheet. The techniques will be exactly the same as they'll use in the Real World if they end up using Windows, except, possibly, for the arrangement of some of the menus, or the exact set of features available. Even so, they'll understand what's going on and find it easy to adapt, and that's the important thing.

Re:don't hate me (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217594)

You got it so spot on. These school kids are going to need real Windows(r) skills when they're ready for work in five to ten years.

So will the next generation and the generation after that. I learned all about registry hacking when I was in grade 3, 1982 I think, and boy, I'm so glad I did.

What's the use of Linux desktops? If windows has been good enough for the last thousand years, it's good enough for the next thousand years.

Re:don't hate me (1)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217740)

If the true goal of a computer program for a school is to ready its students for the workplace, then is linux really the best method of doing so? Isn't the school in some way doing its students a dis-service my training them on a computing method that they will very likely never use again?

Um, No. A wide range of enterprise servers run Linux or gasp Unix based Operating Systems. Knowing your way around the shell, and administration is a major asset. Never use again, are you kidding me. If they grow up learning linux you think they will chuck it to buy Windows? You think there are no jobs for linux users? You think you cannot install linux on your office machine? Some places this may be true, I try not to work at those places.

A PHP programmer is a PHP programmer, Ruby, Java, C++ the same. Many of the systems these children will learn about will out last the education their windows counterparts were suckered into. Don't believe me, I used a Apple IIs in school followed by IBM PCxt with dos and then 3.11. Besides copy paste little of that knowledge is of any practical value whatsoever. Later I took classes in a Unix environment, I use those commands to this day and see no end of life to their needs.

Teaching kids on systems with an understood planned obsolescence is abhorrent and should be outlawed. Good on you, Mr Gonzalez.

And shame on you Win Admin. How many times have you had to refresh your knowledge to do your job. Learning how to learn is far better than memorizing for a test. Unless oof course you just want your MCSE. You have my pity, and you should really say something about your company putting mission critical application in the hands of MS. At least put it in a VM for cripes sake.

The Philippines can only afford Linux (2, Interesting)

nicodoggie (1228876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217854)

The Philippines is pretty low on budget. Not because we lack certain industries or we have a crappy economy, but because those dumb-ass politicians we have keep most of our tax money in their pockets. Mostly, they don't start projects they wouldn't profit from. When a certain amount of money is alloted to a certain project, they find ways to cheapen the price and keep the change for themselves. They see Linux as their cash-cow. They get praise for computerizing the public school system (which gets them votes) and they keep the remaining amount of money they save from not purchasing licenses from Microsoft.

Anyway, in the Philippines, Computer Gaming/Internet shops are quite ubiquitous. These shops are often jam-packed with students of all ages from different walks of life who play MMOGs for 20 pesos an hour (about 50 cents). And the kids with computers have cheap 100 peso (a little over $2) pirated copies of Windows in their systems. This already provides them with enough Windows know-how.

Linux is really a lot better anyway, and the kids here today have to learn to realize that.

Re:don't hate me (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217880)

> If the true goal of a computer program for a school is to ready its students for the workplace, then is linux really the best method of doing so?

It's not the worst - where kids can't do much of ANYTHING on computers (i.e. only run office and some ed games) because the educators are so afraid the computers will break.

> Isn't the school in some way doing its students a dis-service my training them on a computing method that they will very likely never use again?

Many of us long-time geeks learned on Apple ][s, Commodore PETs, VIC-20s (Some guy named Linus got his start on a VIC-20 once), Commodore 64s, and TRS-80s, did it seem to hurt their career? I think those systems, being so open to exploration, probably did a lot more for us kids back then - than them not being (non-existent) Windows machines.

> As much as i DESPISE some of microsoft's products (i admin a damn win2k3 i really need to explain WHY i hate microsoft?)

Well at least explain why you think schools should LIKE Microsoft, and your next generations should also like Microsoft.

> i understand that in order to function in a modern workplace, the ability to navigate microsoft windows is almost as essential as any other office skill.

I'm sorry, what is this Microsoft Windows curriculum? Is it like spelling, grammar, math, computer skills, TCP/IP? Microsoft is a company, they sell software that does common things. Just like there are many math books and many books on English there are many software makers that sell/distribute common things like office suites and web browsers as well as servers and other fine things in the world.

Re:don't hate me (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217926)

If the true goal of a computer program for a school is to ready its students for the workplace, then is linux really the best method of doing so?
Isn't the school in some way doing its students a dis-service my training them on a computing method that they will very likely never use again? ...the ability to navigate microsoft windows is almost as essential as any other office skill.
1) The purpose of an eucation is not to train users to use a particular product, but to learn particular skills

These skills may include :-To use an operating system, to use a word processor, to learn programing languages, to learn how to acquire information and apply it.

To promote good values such as honesty and integrity. Some of the things you should learn in school.

2) Teaching useless skills, yes it could be a disservice , but to take myself as an example I learnt word processing in several programs wordperfect51 abiword word97, 2000 star office, open office, wordsworth, and several more.

The actual programs and versions are unimportant really I can use them all and so can everyone reading this, even the ones they never heard off. Because you do not learn Word version x you learn how to word process.

Is Linux the best way, of course it is no need to pirate the software, several alternatives to achieve a particular task some better than others, you learn to evaluate the tools available and select what meets your requirements. IT is not set in stone, software hardware changes, the most important skill is to be adaptable.

When it comes to the workplace and training on particular systems and software thats a whole different ball game
because that is training to do a particular job at a particular company at a particular time.

Who knows what students will use in the future? (3, Insightful)

slocan (769303) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217988)

If the true goal of a computer program for a school is to ready its students for the workplace, then is linux really the best method of doing so? [...]

Well, Linux in such a context ("to ready students") isn't a method. It can be a tool (and so can Windows) of a given method. And the method can be adequate or inadequate.

As to the method, who knows what students will use in the future? At work or at home?

Schools (if they are not to be short-sighted) should enable students with skills that will allow them to use any tool, existing ones and specially future ones, unknown ones. Training to use one program instead of another based on current market shares is short-sighted.

I read a circa 1969 book by Lauro de Oliveira Lima commenting on a 1960 text by Marshall McLuhan. Both wrote how education would (or should) be in the future (and wrote about the future itself). Lauro de Oliveira Lima made quite a compelling argument about how education is about the future and the unknown. For the students are supposedly being prepared for a future life, work and a society that is unknown and unpredictable.

My point is, training someone to use Windows or Office is short-sighted education (and possibly inadequate education, if the student doesn't develop skills to learn to use any tool he may encounter. And he may encounter Windows, Linux, Solaris etc).

But the point of using gnu/linux or any other free or open source software in an education context is goes beyond the possibility of using certain tools. It's about the possibilty of understanding those tools, modifying those tools and creating new tools. It's about empowerment. And even if it remains as an unfulfilled possibility it remains as a door that can still be opened.

From such a point of view the use of linux, inkscape etc in an education context could be part of an open-ended education effort which aims at the future. And then comes to mind a Robert Heinlein quote:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Education should not be about Windows or Linux, but about being able to use any one of them, understand the differences, be prepared to choose and to deal with whatever the future brings.


P.S.: I use Ubuntu at home since 2004. And before that Gentoo and Debian.

Re:don't hate me (2, Interesting)

merc (115854) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218000)

If the true goal of a computer program for a school is to ready its students for the workplace, then is linux really the best method of doing so? Isn't the school in some way doing its students a dis-service my training them on a computing method that they will very likely never use again?

Your question is quite valid, and worth consideration. However, the inverse could also possibly be true, and one of the core disputes I have with community colleges and many high schools of today, that being:

How much are we teaching the IT leaders of tomorrow about computer science and technology by making them Windows centric end-users? I fear sometimes that all of the Visual Basic and Java is going to create a layer of abstraction over basic computer science comprehension (this has, of course also been discussed [] on slashdot).

I think the answer is simple -- don't teach platform specific technology, or cover a few of them.
Give a well rounded education but most importantly cover the computer science concepts.

Re:don't hate me (1)

cbdougla (769586) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218024)

One thing to bear in mind is that it's not always about learning computers but learning ON computers.

What made the Apple II such a great machine back in the day wasn't its standard interface that a student could learn and use in the workplace but the wealth of educational software used to teach them something using the computer interactively.

Math, spelling, and reading comprehension don't care what OS you run.

Re:don't hate me (1)

donaldm (919619) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218060)

Personally I don't despise Microsoft however I would not trust them. Actually some of Microsoft's products are quite good and definitely integrate well with Microsoft software but just try to get other software to integrate.

I am not overly surprise with the "Oh it's not like Microsoft" attitude it is always interesting how people will say they have a Microsoft product that does not have an equivalent Linux (note I did not say open-source) product and I normally take great delight in pointing out a commercial Linux product which in many cases is cheaper and is functionally equivalent. A good counter is to ask the Microsoft software supporter if they have paid for a legitimate license and then when they wipe the shock-horror look of their face tell them about the commercial software for Linux (Google's your friend here).

From the Article I noticed they talked about Fedora 5 which is really fairly old now and if they wanted Fedora I would definitely recommend Fedora 8 and is the one I use which has much better wireless support (if needed). Choice of distribution aside Open Office is a must and will do pretty much everything a student requires. You can even used "Dia" as a Visio replacement and for those people who want to do programming the development tools are excellent.

I know I will most likely get people pointing out some commercial software is much better than Linux software but before anyone replies please make sure you have legitimately purchased the your software and if you have I can normally point out commercial Linux software that will be functionally equivalent. People also need to keep in mind that the Philippines is a poor country and Linux can save the country a considerable amount of money. In addition Linux will help train computer people to understand the fundamentals of computers since the Linux source is open. This as far as I am concerned is more important than just learning how to use a web browser or so called Office Productivity Tools.

Re:don't hate me (1)

robo_mojo (997193) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218230)

If the true goal of a computer program for a school is to ready its students for the workplace, then is linux really the best method of doing so? Isn't the school in some way doing its students a dis-service my training them on a computing method that they will very likely never use again?

Anything a kid can learn about one system can be adapted and applied to another similar system.

The teaching should not be focused on any particular implementation. Leave the specifics to the vocational training if the kid just wants to learn how to do one thing only.

Otherwise you are just stuck with circular logic. You despise Microsoft, but you want to keep kids learning it in schools so they will succeed. This assumes the kids aren't adaptable. And it results in furthering Microsoft's exposure which leads to an even bigger and focused market which means kids will keep learning it and etc.

What we need instead are smarter kids.

Re:don't hate me (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218240)

Can you point to me how using, say Firefox and are somehow non-transferable skills? It's not as if IE and Firefox are so different, or that KDE is somehow some quantum-leap from Windows, or that is some radical departure from the Office 97-2003 suites (that's reserved for Office 2007).

Virtually every GUI out there is an iconified program launcher with some pretty picture file manager. Some details may be different, but I have a hard time believing that young Abdul who learns on an Ubuntu Gnome desktop is going to sit down at a Windows workstation and be completely lost.

Re:don't hate me (1)

arcade (16638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218350)

I haven't used microsoft products since 1999.

I even work with computers. :P

So no - the ability to navigate microsoft products is not essential.

Re:don't hate me (1)

Jerry Smith (806480) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218352)

Education might not be about training, but about teaching.

One trains animals, one teaches people. One trains Office, one teaches text processing.

Re:don't hate me (2, Interesting)

wwwillem (253720) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218372)

No I don't hate you. :) And I think you deserve at least the +3, but not moderated as "Funny", because the issue you raise is serious enough.

Eight years ago, I was planning for my wife (a health care professional) her first PC, and I thought that the purchase of an iMac would be the most user friendly and logical choice. But her criticism on that plan was (along the lines of your story) that at work she would need to use a Windows PC, and then with a Mac at home she would only get confused. So, I got her a Windows 98 desktop and with only using Outlook Express and Internet Explorer, she lived "happily ever after" for the next 8 years.

But last Xmas holidays that setup really became outdated and needed a refresh. So I installed a RedHat based system and converted her IE and OE to FireFox and Thunderbird. And I simply told her, if you still like it a week from now I will put it on your desk (instead of the old box) otherwise we'll go to the store and go buy some new Windows PC.

Let me tell you, I wasn't pushing, and she wasn't biased !! I got a few questions during the first 3 hours and then it was "business as usual". Today's desktop GUIs have become so similar that for the casual user it doesn't matter anymore if the underlying technology is Windows, Linux or Mac. It's all the same.

So, making school-kids ready for their Windows dominated future workplaces, can pretty well happen by letting them use Linux while in school. For them the difference will be as big as switching from a Nokia to a Motorola phone. Or from MySpace to FaceBook.

Re:don't hate me (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218560)

If the true goal of a computer program for a school is to ready its students for the workplace, then is linux really the best method of doing so? Isn't the school in some way doing its students a dis-service my training them on a computing method that they will very likely never use again?

As a (future) educator, I think that this attitude is actually the greatest disservice both to students and to schools.

No, the computer program is not supposed to prepare the students for their workplace. Especially not in the sense of teaching them to use a certain bunch of programs that they are going to use once they get a job, and even more especially not in primary school.

Computer classes, just like physics or chemistry or maths or language classes, are not there to prepare kids for any kind of workplace — they are there to teach them some more-or-less basic facts. Of course businesses would like to dump the workforce training costs off to schools or anyone else, but different jobs require different skills; no business can expect that any school's students will be trained exactly to cater to their needs. You don't learn a job before you start doing it anyway.

Computer classes are there to teach kids not to fear computers, not to fear programming (as programming is the only way of truly utilizing the computer and understanding its capabilities) and to teach them some basic paradigms. Not to teach them a certain version of a certain OS, which they will never ever see again after leaving school, as it will have been surpassed.
Do you think I ever saw MS-DOS 3.30 after leaving high school?

Re:don't hate me (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218720)

Well, we learned wordperfect for dos at school, by the time we entered the workplace there was no wordperfect for dos to be seen.
You really need to teach concepts in school, teach the kids what they're looking for rather than where specific apps keep those options. Whatever they learn in school today will be obsolete by the time they start work anyway.

Re:don't hate me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22218744)

> the ability to navigate microsoft windows is almost as essential as any other office skill.

Then all those students who learned Office 1997 to 2003 have wasted their time because 2007 is nothing like that. What will children of 10 or 12 find when they reach the workplace ? Who knows, but it won't be Vista or Office 2007 and probably nothing like those.

Re:don't hate me (1)

owlman17 (871857) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218796)

If the true goal of a computer program for a school is to ready its students for the workplace, then is linux really the best method of doing so? Isn't the school in some way doing its students a dis-service my training them on a computing method that they will very likely never use again?
I do agree in principle, that is, if one happens to live in a developed country with a stable IT-infrastructure, well-entrenched in Microsoft products. A lot of small to medium business here in the Philippines use pirated MS XP+Office (plus other MS-based products) but an awareness about piracy and open-standards has been steadily growning. When there was an anti-piracy crackdown a couple of years back, quite a number of those companies made the switch to Linux. Some were partial conversions, the others went all the way. I personally converted one company's group of about 8-10 workstations, plus got my friends to do the same. The company I work for started on Ubuntu 5.10 from scratch. (Roughly 50 workstations, we've maintained a few windows boxes for that odd application or two, or for some esoteric file conversions.)

Asus Eees are selling like hotcakes and they're now very hard to find in stores. I'll go out on a limb here and say that when these kids grow up, it'll be mostly a Linux workplace, at least on this part of the planet. I've heard the jokes about 'The Year of Linux on the Desktop' etc, but somehow I have this feeling that if such a time would come, it would start from developing countries like ours.

Re:don't hate me (1)

freeasinrealale (928218) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218848)

Having been in the IT for some 50+ years now and retired, I can say that no software 'environment' is ANY guarantee of a reasonably 'secure' career, even one based on m$ wares z?. I can see this one coming... the end of the m$ hegemony. All the m$ money backing losing causes such as HD-DVD, buying off officials to prop up a product that isn't all that good (windows et al) spells the end of the m$ empire. At least French SUN kings and perhaps mssr Gates, who is now bailing from his company, can repeat the same phrase - Apres moi - le deluge.

Re:don't hate me (1)

Martian_Kyo (1161137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218874)

If by using linux they learn about dependencies, compiling, advanced use of CLI, proper system of permissions and the advantage of proper documentation. I think they'll do just fine with the 'next...yes I why the hell doesn't it work' nature of windows.

The best thing about linux, is that encourages you to attempt to solve the problem on your own.

When a problem occurs on windows, and you don't have an internet connection to search the forums, you're pretty much screwed.

After few months of forum search for linux problems, I was able to solve problems which I hadn't encountered before, because I knew where to start looking.
After years of forum searching for windows problems, I am still clueless about it. but that's just me.

Linux might not be ready for your secretary or clueless business manager, but it sure as hell is ready for the classroom.

Re:don't hate me (1)

angus_rg (1063280) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218922)

Don't forget about vi, the greatest HTML editor ever.

About fucking time! (3, Informative)

sgtron (35704) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216964)

The Philippines is such a poor country, it's about damn time they wised up and chose the free option. Although, I can't help to think that with so much corruption in every aspect of the government and business over there. I'll be surprised if this pans out in the end.

Re:About fucking time! (2, Informative)

kramulous (977841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217062)


... so after a successful deployment of 13,000 Fedora Linux systems from a government grant, plans are underway to roll out another 10,000 based on Ubuntu.

13000 already done. Time to be surprised.

Nobody is perfect (0, Flamebait)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22216976)

Yeah but can it eat up 10 gig of hard drive space and 50% of the available ram?

Re:Nobody is perfect (1)

Aetuneo (1130295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217936)

Well, my Ubuntu system has around >90% of the RAM used right now (mostly Caching files - almost 75% of the RAM is being used to Cache stuff), and I suppose that you could cat /dev/random > /root/largefile if you really wanted to use up 10GBs of hard drive space (or have it download movies for a few days, or install every package available through apt-get). So, yes, Linux can eat up >50% of the available RAM, and 10GB of space on the hard drive. However, you have to put in a fair amount of effort for the hard drive. Windows, on the other hand, does all of that - and more! - out of the box! For example, when hooked up to a network, a vanilla Windows install will download viruses, while a vanilla Linux install will just sit there, wondering who keeps on pinging it.

The best decision for the officials (0, Flamebait)

hackingbear (988354) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217000)

Look! We didn't waste more of tax payers' money and we didn't violation any US copyright laws. Those pirate Windows installed? Oh... they were installed by the kids. We can't take blame for that.

It would have gone faster... (0, Troll)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217004)

...but the Government Ministers kept asking how well these "Li-nux" PCs would run Vista Ultimate...

Filipinos? Where the hell are they from? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22217124)

They're the ones that are like niggers, but with a little cream and no tits, right? Like J-Lo, just without all the jugs and attitude. That's how I remember it...

Re:Filipinos? Where the hell are they from? (1)

dino213b (949816) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217266)

I am sure no one is seeing what I am seeing, but, this advertisement is so unbelievably inappropriate underneath the troll message.

at least, this is a step in the right direction (5, Interesting)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217144)

I RTFA because I live in the Philippines and I could agree with the last paragraph..

"If Linux and open source wants to take hold in the education market it must deliver course material for high schools and elementary schools."

Most of the public and private schools here only computer textbooks that is only related to MS products. What I find funny is that, they can't afford to buy those Office suites and operating systems in the first place, yet they are teaching them. There is nothing wrong with teaching it but then again it boils down to the fact that they had to pirate these software just to be able to practice what they teach \ learn.

Recently, BSA had been hot on companies and large educational institutions here, I have seen some smaller educational institutions switch most of their OS to Fedora since they could only afford to show a number of licenses. There are also raids conducted on local internet cafes but the rumor is that, they are not BSA but the local NBI units trying to make some money. Because of these factors, most cafes that only offer printing and internet surfing switched to Linux also. The only cafes I know in our area that run windows are those gaming cafes and those located at known malls.

Yes, we had been pretty much dependent on MS as a nation. At least this is a good step in the right direction. Even though DSL is pretty much affordable by middle classes here, the combination of OS and Office seems to be much, many just pirate them leading to numerous unpatched systems that are always online, coupled with users who only know the basics.

On second thought, we should really do something about the whole educational mess we are right now. Not just regarding computers / technology.

Or is resistance futile?

Re:at least, this is a step in the right direction (1)

OneInEveryCrowd (62120) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217810)

Here's some background on what the parent poster is talking about: []

Note that one of the people who respond to this blog entry claim that neighboring countries who *don't* collaborate with the BSA get huge discounts from Microsoft.

While this was going on, the big complaint from my friends over there who use internet cafes wasn't that linux was bad or hard to use. The complaint was that the linux version of yahoo chat didn't allow the use of webcams.

She (1)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217184)

She can still hear the rebel yell just as loud as it was.

Me FOSS (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217192)

only wive dolla

Re:Me FOSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22218208)


Where can I sign up? (1)

module0000 (882745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217206)

Where can one sign up to work/help for these folks?

Ballmer will be flying out there next week (0, Troll)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217242)

The Steve will roll the corporate jet out there and drop some democracy on them...I mean meet with the leadership and promise them $3 XP, hand out some training coupons, take them out to a strip club and get them good and boozed up. They'll come crawling back.

Oh, yeah.

I've used Linux for years and no one has ever flown out here and taken me to a strip club. Not once.


My only concern (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217246)

Is how they are going to maintain what are essentially 4 different distributions, fairly fast moving distributions -- although, if the machines worked when they were deployed, they should not decay very quickly.

Hooray for the most corrupt country in asia? (-1, Flamebait)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217258)

Yay for Linux, but this really isn't the best of examples [] and it would be best to not associate it with a group which has such questionable voting methods [] .

I'm not saying they shouldn't have access to Linux, there's just no need to go around shouting about it.

Re:Hooray for the most corrupt country in asia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22218278)

Don't know why that was modded flamebait; it's not flamebait, it's just wrong.

I'm from Viet Nam and my gf is a Filipina, and I can tell you that Viet Nam is way more corrupt than the PI. You haven't seen corruption done right until you've lived in a communist country. The PI would probably make it to a top 10 list of the most corrupt countries in east Asia, but number 1? No way. It's about middle of the pack.

Good move (5, Informative)

jantoxicated (964375) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217428)

As a Filipino - and by the way, the comments here are very very disturbing - I am happy this is pushing through. If you are living here, Microsoft Windows IS the most dominant OS around here, with a few exceptions of other who used Macs. The only Linux users I knew are those that belong to my local Linux user group and programmers like me. But ever since the crackdown of BSA on schools regarding pirated copies of Windows and others, schools here (or at least in my city) reacted by moving some of their machines to Linux, using and using Firefox. Of course Windows machine didn't evaporated overnight but at least we are on the right track.

Di bale kita, di bale (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217908)

much has been written about the internet's anonymity exposing truckloads of mindless negativity

that some of it should reveal itself as racism isn't surprising in the least

don't feed the troll, nor even be disturbed by his presence

browse comments above the 2 or 3 threshold, or get some mental bleach ;-)

Re:Good move (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217984)

What comments do you find disturbing? I read one about corruption in the Philippines - is that what you had in mind?

Re:Good move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22218382)

Great news for us Filipinos []

In case you missed it... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22217488)

Madam Speaker, Vice President Cheney, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Seven years have passed since I first stood before you at this rostrum. In that time, our country has been tested in ways none of us could have imagined. We faced hard decisions about peace and war, rising competition in the world economy, and the health and welfare of our citizens.

These issues call for vigorous debate, and I think it's fair to say we've answered the call.


Yet history will record that amid our differences we acted with purpose, and together we showed the world the power and resilience of American self-government.

All of us were sent to Washington to carry out the people's business. That is the purpose of this body. It is the meaning of our oath. It remains our charge to keep.

The actions of the 110th Congress will affect the security and prosperity of our nation long after this session has ended. In this election year, let us show our fellow Americans that we recognize our responsibilities and are determined to meet them.

Let us show them that Republicans and Democrats can compete for votes and cooperate for results at the same time.


From expanding opportunity to protecting our country, we've made good progress. Yet we have unfinished business before us, and the American people expect us to get it done.

In the work ahead, we must be guided by the philosophy that made our nation great. As Americans, we believe in the power of individuals to determine their destiny and shape the course of history. We believe that the most reliable guide for our country is the collective wisdom of ordinary citizens.

And so, in all we do, we must trust in the ability of free peoples to make wise decisions and empower them to improve their lives for their futures.

To build a prosperous future, we must trust people with their own money and empower them to grow our economy. As we meet tonight, our economy is undergoing a period of uncertainty. America's added jobs for a record 52 straight months.

But jobs are now growing at a slower pace. Wages are up, but so are prices for food and gas. Exports are rising, but the housing market has declined.

At kitchen tables across our country, there is a concern about our economic future. In the long run, Americans can be confident about our economic growth, but in the short run, we can all see that that growth is slowing.

So, last week, my administration reached agreement with Speaker Pelosi and Republican Leader Boehner on a robust growth package that includes tax relief for individuals and families and incentives for business investment.

The temptation will be to load up the bill. That would delay it or derail it, and neither option is acceptable.


This is a good agreement that will keep our economy growing and our people working. And this Congress must pass it as soon as possible.


We have other work to do on taxes. Unless Congress acts, most of the tax relief we've delivered over the past seven years will be taken away.

Some in Washington argue that letting tax relief expire is not a tax increase.

Try explaining that to 116 million American taxpayers who will see their taxes rise by an average of $1,800. Others have said they would personally be happy to pay higher taxes. I welcome their enthusiasm. I am pleased to report that the IRS accepts both checks and money orders.



Most Americans think their taxes are high enough. With all the other pressures on their finances, American families should not have to worry about the federal government taking a bigger bite out of their paychecks. There is only one way to eliminate this uncertainty: Make the tax relief permanent.

Members of the Congress should know, if any bill -- raises taxes reach -- reaches my desk, I will veto it.


Just as we trust Americans with their own money, we need to earn their trust by spending their tax dollars wisely.


Next week, I'll send you a budget that terminates or substantially reduces 151 wasteful or bloated programs, totaling more than $18 billion. The budget that I'll submit will keep America on track for a surplus in 2012.

American families have to balance their budgets; so should their government.

The people's trust in their government is undermined by congressional earmarks, special interest projects that are often snuck in at the last minute, without discussion or debate. committee reports that never even come to a vote.

Unfortunately, neither goal was met.

So, this time, if you send me an appropriations bill that does not cut the number and cost of earmarks in half, I'll send it back to you with my veto.


And tomorrow I will issue an executive order that directs federal agencies to ignore any future earmark that is not voted on by Congress.

If these items are truly worth funding, Congress should debate them in the open and hold a public vote.


Our shared responsibilities extend beyond matters of taxes and spending. On housing, we must trust Americans with the responsibility of home ownership and empower them to weather turbulent times in the housing market.

My administration brought together the Hope Now alliance, which is helping many struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure.

And Congress can help even more.

Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, modernize the Federal Housing Administration, and allow state housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to help homeowners refinance their mortgages.


It's been a difficult time for many American families and, by taking these steps, we can help more of them keep their homes.

To build a future of quality health care, we must trust patients and doctors to make medical decisions and empower them with better information and better options.

We share a common goal: making health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans.


The best way to achieve that goal is by expanding consumer choice, not government control.


BUSH: So I propose ending the bias in the tax code against those who do not get their health insurance through their employer. This one reform would put private coverage within reach for millions, and I call on the Congress to pass it this year.


Congress must also expand health savings accounts, create association health plans for small businesses, promote health information technology and confront the epidemic of junk medical lawsuits.


With all these steps, we will ensure that decisions about your medical care are made in the privacy of your doctor's office, not in the halls of Congress.


On education, we must trust students to learn, if given the chance, and empower parents to demand results from our schools.

In neighborhoods across our country, there are boys and girls with dreams. And a decent education is their only hope of achieving them.

Six years ago, we came together to pass the No Child Left Behind Act, and today no one can deny its results.

Last year, 4th and 8th graders achieved the highest math scores on record. Reading scores are on the rise. African-American and Hispanic students posted all-time highs. Now we must...


Now we must work together to increase accountability, add flexibilities for states and districts, reduce the number of high school dropouts, provide extra help for struggling schools.

Members of Congress, the No Child Left Behind Act is a bipartisan achievement. It is succeeding. And we owe it to America's children, their parents and their teachers to strengthen this good law.


We must also do more to help children when their schools do not measure up. Thanks to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarships you approved, more than 2,600 of the poorest children in our nation's capital have found new hope at a faith-based or other nonpublic schools.

Sadly, these schools are disappearing at an alarming rate in many of America's inner cities. So I will convene a White House summit aimed at strengthening these lifelines of learning.

And to open the doors of these schools to more children, I ask you to support a new $300 million program called Pell Grants for Kids. We have seen how Pell Grants help low-income college students realize their full potential.

Together, we've expanded the size and reach of these grants. Now let us apply the same spirit to help liberate poor children trapped in failing public schools.


On trade, we must trust American workers to compete with anyone in the world and empower them by opening up new markets overseas.

Today, our economic growth increasingly depends on our ability to sell American goods and crops and services all over the world.

So we're working to break down barriers to trade and investment, wherever we can.

We're working for a successful Doha round of trade talks. And we must complete a good agreement this year.

At the same time, we're pursuing opportunities to open up new markets by passing free trade agreements.

I thank the Congress for approving a good agreement with Peru. And now I ask you to approve agreements with Colombia and Panama and South Korea.


Many products from these nations now enter America duty-free.

Yet many of our products face steep tariffs in their markets. These agreements will level the playing field. They will give us better access to nearly 100 million customers.

They will support good jobs for the finest workers in the world, those whose products say, "Made in the USA."


These agreements also promote America's strategic interests. The first agreement that will come before you is with Colombia, a friend of America that is confronting violence and terror and fighting drug traffickers. If we fail to pass this agreement, we will embolden the purveyors of false populism in our hemisphere.

So we must come together, pass this agreement, and show our neighbors in the region that democracy leads to a better life.


Trade brings better jobs and better choices and better prices. Yet, for some Americans, trade can mean losing a job. And the federal government has a responsibility to help.


I ask Congress to reauthorize and reform Trade Adjustment Assistance, so we can help these displaced workers learn new skills and find new jobs.


BUSH: And I ask Congress to reauthorize the Reform Trade Adjustment Assistance so we can help these displaced workers learn new skills and find new jobs.


To build a future of energy security, we must trust in the creative genius of American researchers and entrepreneurs and empower them to pioneer a new generation of clean energy technology.


Our security, our prosperity and our environment all require reducing our dependence on oil. consumption over the next decade, and you responded. Together, we should take the next steps. Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions.

Let us increase the use of renewable power and emissions- free nuclear power.


Let us continue investing in advanced battery technology and renewable fuels to power the cars and trucks of the future.


Let us create a new international clean technology fund which will help developing nations like India and China make greater use of clean energy sources.

And let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases.


This agreement will be effective only if it includes commitments by every major economy and gives none a free ride.

The United States is committed to strengthening our energy security and confronting global climate change, and the best way to meet these goals is for America to continue leading the way toward the development of cleaner and more energy-efficient technology.


To keep America competitive into the future, we must trust in the skill of our scientists and engineers and empower them to pursue the breakthroughs of tomorrow.

Last year, Congress passed legislation supporting the American Competitiveness Initiative, but never followed through with the funding. This funding is essential to keeping our scientific edge.

So I ask Congress to double federal support for critical basic research in the physical sciences and ensure America remains the most dynamic nation on earth.


On matters of life and science, we must trust in the innovative spirit of medical researchers and empower them to discover new treatments while respecting moral boundaries.

In November, we witnessed a landmark achievement when scientists discovered a way to reprogram adult skin cells to act like embryonic stem cells.

This breakthrough has the potential to move us beyond the divisive debates of the past by extending the frontiers of medicine without the destruction of human life.


So we're expanding funding for this type of ethical medical research. And, as we explore promising avenues of research, we must also ensure that all life treated with the dignity it deserves.

And so I call on Congress to pass legislation that bans unethical practices such as the buying, selling, patenting or cloning of human life.


On matters of justice, we must trust in the wisdom of our founders and empower judges who understand that the Constitution means what it says.


I've submitted judicial nominees who will rule by the letter of the law, not the whim of the gavel. Many of these nominees are being unfairly delayed. They are worthy of confirmation, and the Senate should give each of them a prompt up-or-down vote.


In communities across our land, we must trust in the good heart of the American people and empower them to serve their neighbors in need.

Over the past seven years, more of our fellow citizens have discovered that the pursuit of happiness leads to the path of service. Americans have volunteered in record numbers. Charitable donations are higher than ever. Faith-based groups are bringing hope to pockets of despair with newfound support from the federal government.

And, to help guarantee equal treatment of faith-based organizations when they compete for federal funds, I ask you to permanently extend Charitable Choice.


Tonight, the armies of compassion continue the march to a new day in the Gulf Coast. America honors the strength and resilience of the people of this region. We reaffirm our pledge to help them build stronger and better than before.

And tonight I'm pleased to announce that, in April, we will host this year's North American Summit of Canada, Mexico, and the United States in the great city of New Orleans.


There are two other pressing challenges that I've raised repeatedly before this body, and that this body has failed to address: entitlement spending and immigration.

Every member in this chamber knows that spending on entitlement programs -- like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid -- is growing faster than we can afford.

We all know the painful choices ahead if American stays on this path: massive tax increases, sudden and drastic cuts in benefits, and crippling deficits.

I've laid out proposals to reform these programs. Now I ask members of Congress to offer your proposals and come up with a bipartisan solution to save these vital programs for our children and our grandchildren.


The other pressing challenge is immigration. America needs to secure our borders. And, with your help, my administration is taking steps to do so. We're increasing work site enforcement, deploying fences and advanced technologies to stop illegal crossings.

We've effectively ended the policy of "catch and release" at the border. And by the end of this year, we will have doubled the number of border patrol agents.

Yet we also need to acknowledge that we will never fully secure our border until we create a lawful way for foreign workers to come here and support our economy.


This will take pressure off the border and allow law enforcement to concentrate on those who mean us harm.

We must also find a sensible and humane way to deal with people here illegally. Illegal immigration is complicated, but it can be resolved, and it must be resolved in a way that upholds both our laws and our highest ideals.


This is the business of our nation here at home. Yet building a prosperous future for our citizens also depends on confronting enemies abroad and advancing liberty in troubled regions of the world.

Our foreign policy is based on a clear premise: We trust that people, when given the chance, will choose a future of freedom and peace.

In the last seven years, we have witnessed stirring moments in the history of liberty. We've seen citizens in Georgia and Ukraine stand up for their right to free and fair elections. We've seen people in Lebanon take to the streets to demand their independence. We've seen Afghans emerge from the tyranny of the Taliban and choose a new president and a new parliament.

We've seen jubilant Iraqis holding up ink-stained fingers and celebrating their freedom.

These images of liberty have inspired us.


In the past seven years, we've also seen the images that have sobered us. We've watched throngs of mourners in Lebanon and Pakistan carrying the caskets of beloved leaders taken by the assassins' hands.

We've seen wedding guests in blood-soaked finery staggering from a hotel in Jordan, Afghans and Iraqis blown up in mosques and markets, and trains in London and Madrid ripped apart by bombs.

On a clear September day, we saw thousands of our fellow citizens taken from us in an instant.

These horrific images serve as a grim reminder. The advance of liberty is opposed by terrorists and extremists -- evil men who despise freedom, despise America and aim to subject millions to their violent rule.

Since 9/11, we have taken the fight to these terrorists and extremists. We will stay on the offense. We will keep up the pressure, and we will deliver justice to our enemies.

We are engaged in the defining ideological struggle of the 21st century. The terrorists oppose every principle of humanity and decency that we hold dear.

Yet, in this war on terror, there is one thing we and our enemies agree on. In the long run, men and women who are free to determine their own destinies will reject terror and refuse to live in tyranny.

And that is why the terrorists are fighting to deny this choice to the people in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Palestinian territories.

And that is why, for the security of America and the peace of the world, we are spreading the hope of freedom.

Let us show them that Republicans and Democrats can compete for votes and cooperate for results at the same time.


From expanding opportunity to protecting our country, we've made good progress. Yet we have unfinished business before us, and the American people expect us to get it done.

In the work ahead, we must be guided by the philosophy that made our nation great. As Americans, we believe in the power of individuals to determine their destiny and shape the course of history. We believe that the most reliable guide for our country is the collective wisdom of ordinary citizens.

And so, in all we do, we must trust in the ability of free peoples to make wise decisions and empower them to improve their lives for their futures.


In Afghanistan, America, our 25 NATO allies and 15 partner nations are helping the Afghan people defend their freedom and rebuild their country.

Thanks to the courage of these military and civilian personnel, a nation that was once a safe haven for al Qaeda is now a young democracy where boys and girls are going to school. New roads and hospitals are being built. And people are looking to the future with new hope.

These successes must continue. So we're adding 3,200 Marines to our forces in Afghanistan, where they will fight the terrorists and train the Afghan army and police.

Defeating the Taliban and al Qaeda is critical to our security, and I thank the Congress for supporting America's vital mission in Afghanistan.


In Iraq, the terrorists and extremists are fighting to deny a proud people their liberty and fighting to establish safe havens for attacks across the world.

One year ago, our enemies were succeeding in their efforts to plunge Iraq into chaos, so we reviewed our strategy and changed course.

We launched a surge of American forces into Iraq. We gave our troops a new mission: Work with the Iraqi forces to protect the Iraqi people, pursue the enemy in his strongholds, and deny the terrorists sanctuary anywhere in the country.

The Iraqi people quickly realized that something dramatic had happened.

Those who had worried that America was preparing to abandon them instead saw tens of thousands of American forces flowing into their country. They saw our forces moving into neighborhoods, clearing out the terrorists and staying behind to ensure the enemy did not return. And they saw our troops, along with provincial reconstruction teams that include Foreign Service officers and other skilled public servants, coming in to ensure that improved security was followed by improvements in daily life.

Our military and civilians in Iraq are performing with courage and distinction, and they have the gratitude of our whole nation.


The Iraqis launched a surge of their own.

In the fall of 2006, Sunni tribal leaders grew tired of al Qaeda's brutality and started a popular uprising called the Anbar Awakening. Over the past year, similar movements have spread across the country.

Today, the grassroots surge includes more than 80,000 Iraqi citizens who are fighting the terrorists.

The government in Baghdad has stepped forward as well, adding more than 100,000 new Iraqi soldiers and police during the past year.

While the enemy is still dangerous and more work remains, the American and Iraqi surges have achieved results few of us could have imagined just one year ago.


When we met last year, many said that containing the violence was impossible. A year later, high-profile terrorist attacks are down; civilian deaths are down; sectarian killings are down.

When we met last year, militia extremists, some armed and trained by Iran, were wreaking havoc in large areas of Iraq.


When we met last year our troop levels in Iraq were on the rise. Today, because of the progress just described, we are implementing a policy of return on success, and the surge forces we sent to Iraq are beginning to come home.

This progress is a credit to the valor of our troops and the brilliance of their commanders.

This evening, I want to speak directly to our men and women on the front lines, soldiers and sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast you and more.

Our nation is grateful for your courage. We are proud of your accomplishments.

And tonight, in this hallowed chamber with the American people as our witness, we make you a solemn pledge: In the fight ahead, you will have all you need to protect our nation.


And I ask Congress to meet its responsibilities to these brave men and women by fully funding our troops.


Our enemies in Iraq have been hit hard. They are not yet defeated and we can still expect tough fighting ahead.

Our objective in the coming year is to sustain and build on the gains we made in 2007, while transitioning to the next phase of our strategy. American troops are shifting from leading operations to partnering with Iraqi forces and eventually to a protective over-watch mission.

As part of this transition, one Army Brigade Combat team and one Marine Expeditionary Unit have already come home and will not be replaced. In the coming months, four additional brigades and two Marine battalions will follow suit.

Taken together, this means more than 20,000 of our troops are coming home.


Any further drawdown of U.S. troops will be based on conditions in Iraq and the recommendations of our commanders.

General Petraeus has warned that too fast a drawdown could result in, quote, "the disintegration of the Iraqi security forces, al Qaeda- Iraq regaining lost ground, and a marked increase in violence."

Members of Congress, having come so far and achieved so much, we must not allow this to happen.


In the coming year, we will work with Iraqi leaders as they build on the progress they're making toward political reconciliation.

At the local levels, Sunnis, Shiite and Kurds are beginning to come together to reclaim their communities and rebuild their lives. Progress in the provinces must be matched by progress in Baghdad.


We're seeing some encouraging signs. The national government is sharing oil revenues with the provinces. The parliament recently passed both a pension law and de-Baathification reform. They're now debating a provincial powers law.

The Iraqis still have a distance to travel. But, after decades of dictatorship and the pain of sectarian violence, reconciliation is taking place and the Iraqi people are taking control of their future.


The mission in Iraq has been difficult and trying for our nation, but it is in the vital interest of the United States that we succeed.

A free Iraq will deny al Qaeda a safe haven. A free Iraq will show millions across the Middle East that a future of liberty is possible. A free Iraq will be a friend of America, a partner in fighting terror and a source of stability in a dangerous part of the world.

By contrast, a failed Iraq would embolden the extremists, strengthen Iran and give terrorists a base from which to launch new attacks on our friends, our allies and our homeland.

The enemy has made its intentions clear.

At a time when the momentum seemed to favor them, al Qaeda's top commander in Iraq declared that they will not rest until they have attacked us here in Washington.

My fellow Americans, we will not rest either. We will not rest until this enemy has been defeated.


We must do the difficult work today so that, years from now, people will look back and say that this generation rose to the moment, prevailed in a tough fight and left behind a more hopeful region and a safer America.


We're also standing against the forces of extremism in the Holy Land, where we have new cause for hope. Palestinians have elected a president who recognizes that confronting terror is essential to achieving a state where his people can live in dignity and at peace with Israel.

Israelis have leaders who recognize that a peaceful, democratic Palestinian state will be a source of lasting security.

This month in Ramallah and Jerusalem, I assured leaders from both sides that America will do and I will do everything we can to help them achieve a peace agreement that defines a Palestinian state by the end of this year.

The time has come for a Holy Land where a democratic Israel and a democratic Palestine live side by side in peace.


We're also standing against the forces of extremism embodied by the regime in Tehran.

Iran's rulers oppress a good and talented people. And wherever freedom advances in the Middle East, it seems the Iranian regime is there to oppose it.

Iran is funding and training militia groups in Iraq, supporting Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, and backing Hamas' efforts to undermine peace in the Holy Land.

Tehran is also developing ballistic missiles of increasing range and continues to develop its capability to enrich uranium, which could be used to create a nuclear weapon.

Our message to the people of Iran is clear. We have no quarrel with you. We have respect your traditions and your history. We look forward to the day when you have your freedom.

Our message to the leaders of Iran is also clear. Verifiably suspend your nuclear enrichment so negotiations can begin. And to rejoin the community of nations, come clean about your nuclear intentions and past actions. Stop your oppression at home. Cease your support for terror abroad.

But above all, know this: America will confront those who threaten our troops; we will stand by our allies; and we will defend our vital interests in the Persian Gulf.


On the homefront, we will continue to take every lawful and effective measure to protect our country. This is our most solemn duty.

We are grateful that there has not been another attack on our soil since 9/11. But this is not for the lack of desire or effort on the part of the enemy.

In the past six years, we've stopped numerous attacks, including a plot to fly a plane into the tallest building in Los Angeles, and another to blow up passenger jets bound for America over the Atlantic.

Dedicated men and women in our government toil day and night to stop the terrorists from carrying out their plans. These good citizens are saving American lives, and everyone in this chamber owes them our thanks.


And we owe them something more. We owe them the tools they need to keep our people safe. And one of the most important tools we can give them is the ability to monitor terrorist communications.

To protect America, we need to know who the terrorists are talking to, what they are saying and what they're planning.

Last year, Congress passed legislation to help us do that.

Unfortunately, Congress set the legislation to expire on February 1st. That means, if you don't act by Friday, our ability to track terrorist threats would be weakened and our citizens will be in greater danger.

Congress must ensure the flow of vital intelligence is not disrupted. Congress must pass liability protection for companies believed to have assisted in the efforts to defend America. We've had ample time for debate. The time to act is now.


Protecting our nation from the dangers of a new century requires more than good intelligence and a strong military. It also requires changing the conditions that breed resentment and allow extremists to prey on despair. So America is using its influence to build a freer, more hopeful and more compassionate world.

This is a reflection of our national interests. It is the calling of our conscience. America opposes genocide in Sudan.


We support freedom in countries from Cuba and Zimbabwe to Belarus and Burma.


America's leading the fight against global poverty with strong education initiatives and humanitarian assistance. We've also changed the way we deliver aid by launching the Millennium Challenge Account.

This program strengthens democracy, transparency and the rule of law in developing nations, and I ask you to fully fund this important initiative.


America is leading the fight against global hunger. Today, more than half the world's food aid comes from the United States.


And tonight, I ask Congress to support an innovative proposal to provide food assistance by purchasing crops directly from farmers in the developing world, so we can build up local agriculture and help break the cycle of famine.


America is leading the fight against disease. With your help, we're working to cut, by half, the number of malaria-related deaths in 15 African nations. And our emergency plan for AIDS relief is treating 1.4 million people.

We can bring healing and hope to many more. So I ask you to maintain the principles that have changed behavior and made this program a success. And I call on you to double our initial commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS by approving an additional $30 billion over the next five years.


America is a force for hope in the world because we are a compassionate people. And some of the most compassionate Americans are those who have stepped forward to protect us. we might live in freedom and peace.

Over the past seven years, we've increased funding for veterans by more than 95 percent. And as we increase funding...


And as we increase funding, we must also reform our veterans' system to meet the needs of a new war and a new generation.

And, as we increase funding, we must also reform our veterans system to meet the needs of a new war and a new generation.


I call on Congress to enact the reforms recommended by Senator Bob Dole and Secretary Donna Shalala so we can improve the system of care for our wounded warriors and help them build lives of hope and promise and dignity.


Our military families also sacrifice for America. They endure sleepless nights and the daily struggle of providing for children while a loved one is serving far from home.

We have a responsibility to provide for them. So I ask you to join me in expanding their access to child care, creating new hiring preferences for military spouses across the federal government, and allowing our troops to transfer their unused education benefits to their spouses or children.

Our military families serve our nation. They inspire our nation, and tonight our nation honors them.


The secret of our strength, the miracle of America, is that our greatness lies not in our government, but in the spirit and determination of our people. When the federal convention met in Philadelphia in 1787, our nation was bound by the Articles of Confederation which began with the words, "We the undersigned delegates." Constitution, he offered an important revision, and opened with words that changed the course of our nation and the history of the world: "We the people."

By trusting the people, our founders wagered that a great and noble nation could be built on the liberty that resides in the hearts of all men and women. By trusting the people, succeeding generations transformed our fragile young democracy into the most powerful nation on earth and a beacon of hope for millions.

And so long as we continue to trust the people, our nation will prosper, our liberty will be secure and the state of our union will remain strong.


BUSH: So tonight, with confidence in freedom's power and trust in the people, let us set forth to do their business. God bless America.


Supporting a local distro? (2, Interesting)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217558)

This is good news, yet I wonder why they went with Fedora instead of a localized distro?
( [] )

Re:Supporting a local distro? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217694)

Well, forgetting that they also went with Ubuntu, Kunbuntu and Xubuntu... Fedora is currently a high customizable distribution which seems to be very good at being an upstream distribution. (probably Ubuntu is as good, I am not qualified to say). So a local org can and should start, at the very least, a SIG in Fedora to make and support local spin of Fedora.

Re:Supporting a local distro? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22217844)

Maybe because it's slashdotted....

Re:Supporting a local distro? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22218946)

i think because most Filipinos understand English better than the national language Filipino (based on the Tagalog language with parts of Bisaya and other thrown in). Most everyone here can understand spoken common street Tagalog, but most speak Bisaya, or Ilonggo, or any of the hundreds of other dialects of the 7000+ islands, and learn English as a second language almost immediately after starting school. Reading tagalog for a non-native speaker (me for example) is tedious at best and downright incomprehensible at worse.

(im Filipino -- Bisaya to be particular.)

Early Exposure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22217668)

One reason I like to see Linux rolled out to younger students is that when they later get exposed to winders they will really see the difference. From that point on they will aways want a Linux box handy to do their stuff, whether they are forced to use winders at uni or work or wherever.


Dude... (1)

bjmoneyxxx (1227784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22217748)

you're getting a Dell!

Beautifull Quote: (2)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218052)

'Ministers in the Filipino government now understand Linux can do so much for so little outlay.'

There. That just about sums it up.

bloodless revolutions - and linux (1)

Christoph (17845) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218502)

The bureaucracy and corruption is stifling, but I give Filipinos credit for some progressiveness.

Specifically, they had two bloodless revolutions (EDSA I and II, ousting Marcos and Estrada, respectively). Manila is catching up with India as a location for call centers (kahit sino diyan alam mag English/everyone there knows English). There is a wind farm in northern Luzon, where a coconut biofuel plantation is going in, too.

PS. Mr. Ricardo Gonzalez, post here if there's anything stateside people can do that would be helpful.

Niceee (1)

marco916 (1149907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22218584)

Reading most of the posts, everybody is for getting one thing, you need to upgrade Windows every few months with another sloppy update and patch here and there. Windows XP support will end soon, and then Vista support will end and so on and so on. when you get free working computers with Linux installed, that's all that matters, and the fun part comes later when you can figure out what you can do with a Linux box and all the potential it has to run loops around a Windows OS. You have unlimited software distributions, free most of the time. If you don't like Ubuntu, download and install Fedora, don't Fedora, install Red Hat. At least with a Linux OS you can run it on older boxes for a few years without much hardware upgrades.
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