Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Linux for My Old Band

I'm not entirely sure how it works, but one of the parents in my high school's marching band has a good deal on reject computers.  These are ones that failed QA because the left speaker didn't work or one of the CD drives doesn't work, etc.  Every year he brings them to the Winter silent auction to help raise money for the band while lucky bidders get almost perfect computers for nickels on the dollar.  (FYI: At one point I managed to sell a piece of my work for $80, my mind was blown)

So I get this message this week that he's got three laptops for the silent auction, but they don't have an operating system.  What should he do?

I figured this was a fair ue of Linux, since if the buyer wants windows on it, he'd have to go buy it anyways, and now he has something useable until then.  For the sake of ease I just used Hardy, but for these actually bothered trying out the OEM install.  It was rather interesting.
  • F4 on the boot screen and select "OEM install"
  • Most of the install ran normally, except it didn't ask for a username, but did for a password.
  • Once finished, it rebooted and logged in a temp admin user (with the password you entered during setup) so you can configure the system however you want
  • When the system is configured to your liking, double click the shell script on the Desktop that arms it, and shut down.  Next time it turns on, it prompts the user for their username and password; very much like Windows when you first bring it home from the store as well.
So on these systems destined for possibly clueless users, whom I won't have the oportunity to give any instruction to, what do I install?
  • sun-java6-plugin
  • adobeflash-plugin (sp?)
  • ubuntu-restricted-extras: mp3s, dvds, Microsoft fonts, all the nonfree stuff you could ever want.
Most of the rest of the stuff I have on my systems is programming related, so I think those, plus downloading the 250MiBs of security updates starts them in a fair place.  The emphasis here is on the point that without this, the laptops would be sold with nothing more than PXE.

Am I missing something obvious that normal people use?

No comments:

Post a Comment