Please excuse a rather long post, but I would appreciate some feedback
about setting up a computer lab. First some background..
Like most high schools we don't have the money in our budgets to buy the
technology tools that would be really great for our classes. Our school
in particular is having budget problems. Anyway, as I become familiar
with Linux it is obvious that there may be a solution to part of our
Many businesses are willing to donate old equipment, but it's usually a
generation or two old and not capable of running the latest software. It
occurs to me that the 486 that won't run Win95 very well would make a
great Linux box. I think I could probably scrounge up a number of
computers of that vintage to create a science department computer lab.
Our school currently runs a Novell network. We have network jacks in all
of our classrooms, but very few computers to plug in. Ethernet
connection would give us T1 access to the internet plus access to the
resources of our media center. These machines would be the only Linux
machines in our LAN/WAN.
Now, assuming a lab of 20 workstations with at least one higher end PC
(P200+, 64 MB RAM, 7 GB hd, etc.) here are the questions:
1. What would you consider the minimum specs for the other computers in
the lab? Specifically processor, RAM, hd size, etc. I would like to run
X for Netscape and other graphical apps including StarOffice or the
2. Can the Pentium machine be a server for the other computers and
reduce the size of the hard disks that are necessary?
3. Would a few serial terminals be of any use in this case? Perhaps
non-X-based apps could be run that way.
4. Most of the students using such a lab would probably have Windows95
computers at home. Is basic file compatibility possible? I haven't
gotten to that point yet with my own Win95/Linux config at home.
5. Is it possible to install Linux over a Novell network onto the other
computers? This would eliminate the need for CD-ROM drives on the
workstations. I guess a parallel port CD-ROM drive could be used.
6. Is there anyone else out there who has performed a similar feat and
would be willing to correspond about the experience?
Thanks for your patience. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Timothy D. Wilson "A little song, a little dance,
Henry Sibley High School a little seltzer down your pants."
1897 Delaware Ave, W St. Paul, MN -Chuckles the Clown as