Archive for the ‘Open Source & Education’ Category

Deep Freeze for Linux Officially Launches!

July 17, 2007

Deep Freeze Logo

DP Logo

Today I got this email from Faronics that they have officially launched a Deep Freeze product for Linux – well specifically Suse Linux today. Here is the blurb off there site:

Deep Freeze Linux brings absolute system protection to Linux environments

Deep Freeze Linux allows administrators to leverage the strengths of Linux with the ease of use that they have grown to love in Deep Freeze. Deep Freeze Linux provides a completely non-restrictive working environment where there is no need to be concerned about system damage or corruption; a simple restart eradicates all changes and ensures that the standard system configuration is available at all times.

All changes to a machine are temporary for that working session. The need for IT professionals to perform rebuilds, re-image, or troubleshoot computers is eliminated, resulting in a reduction in IT expenditures and an increase in computer uptime.

Offering a similar feature set as Deep Freeze Standard, Deep Freeze Linux requires SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) 10 with the ext2 or ext3 file system running on IDE and SATA hard drives, and the KDE or GNOME desktop environments.

Protection and Security

    • Guarantees 100% workstation recovery on restart
    • Provides password protection and complete security
    • Protects multiple hard drives and partitions

Configuration Options

    • Supports installation via command line or YaST
    • Stealth Mode allows Deep Freeze Linux to run without user awareness

Control and Flexibility

    • Selectively Freeze or Thaw fixed hard disk partitions
    • Deep Freeze Linux can be remotely managed via command line or through several desktop management solutions

You’ll have to visit the site for screenshots of the interface.

This is a perfect solution in providing a Linux system that would be protected by malicious users in a kiosk or computer lab situation. We use Centurion Guard for Windows, and it saves us a lot of work. I would expect the same for Deep Freeze.



Vmware Academic Program

June 13, 2007

Vmware Academic

Working at a academic institution has some perks as I found out about this program that is available from Vmware. Of course there are requirements in order to qualify for the academic program, myself being a staff member and in charge of the computer learning environment, I think we can at least qualify for academic pricing for their software. I know we can definitely use it in a lab environment to virtualize our classroom servers (file & print, oracle, student web development, etc) and use it in infrastructure use to virtualize our web servers. Of course for infrastructure use we will need to pay for it at academic pricing, but it sure beats paying full price with our budget limitations. Here what you can get:

The departments at member institutions qualifying for free licenses will gain access to software through the VMware Technology Network (VMTN) Subscription . VMTN provides members access to a powerful suite of VMware products, support, upgrades and a host of technical resources. The products within the VMTN Subscription are ideal for instructional and research use within academic institutions.

Included products are:

  • VMware Infrastructure
  • VMware SDK
  • VMware P2V Assistant
  • VMware Workstation
  • VMware Server

For IT and other infrastructure use, eligible institutions can access the entire suite of VMware software, at a special discounted price, through standard VMware commercial sales channels.

Vmware Academic Program Website

Microsoft Academic

Microsoft also offers a full range of software on their academic program, if your interested check it out here. Last I checked it was around $500 for electronic fulfilment – thats downloading .iso files to burn instead of $800 for media that is sent to you, of course you can still download with that subscription. Licensing is by department – checkout this short list of perks:

The department receives numerous benefits as part of their membership:

  • Latest set of Microsoft platforms, servers, and developer tools via regular CD shipments and a download Web site.
  • License to install the software on any number of lab machines used by the department for instructional and research purposes.
  • License to provide the software to students taking courses that lead to credit or a certificate within the department, so they can load the software on their personal computers for use in coursework and personal projects.
  • Electronic software distribution to students through e-academy License Management Systems (ELMS).
  • Four technical support incidents (varies by region) in addition to access to the managed newsgroups and the Online Concierge.
  • Private newsgroups where faculty can ask technical and administrative questions, collaborate with each other, and talk with the MSDN AA team.
  • Comprehensive Web site that provides resources for faculty, including;
    • Program information and news
    • Projects, tutorials, academically focused articles, and curriculum

Finally we could talk about Ubuntu and the whole range of Open source products including WordPress. I know that some schools use free wordpress accounts for interactive use of technology in various subjects. Blog sites obviously promotes free exchanges of ideas and spurs interaction amongst the younger generation epically. The nice thing about Open Source is that it is free for consumption.


Open Source Solutions for Potential Academic Use

June 6, 2007


I thought I would rant a little on a few items I´m interested in getting acceptance here at my University. As I´ve mentioned before that we´re primarily a Microsoft House, there is nothing wrong with that as long as your flexible to new ideas. This isn´t quite the case here, so I guess this is where the rub is as a few of my colleagues can attest.

Any ways there are some projects which I think those in the academic community should look closely at. Some are specific to certain subjects while others can be applied to anything.

Moodle & Sakai – E-Learning solutions similar to Blackboard & WebCT. Can it scale to University Size? – Definitely! Check out San Francisco State University’s Install – They’ve grown more since this article check them out on the moodle website.

Drupal & Joomla / Mambo & Plone – Content Management Systems – All have some level of support for 508 accessibility compliance. This is rather crucial for education in order to support every student.

Updated: 6/12/07 – Looks like some folks were trying to find the Vmware Moodle Appliance – here’s the link.

WordPress & Moveable Type – Blog Site Software – I know there are alot more but these two I personally like. WordPress offers academic accounts.

oscommerce & zencart – E-Commerce software which can be used for business related courses. Oscommerce or a variant of it are commonly installed for free on a lot of Linux based hosting services.

Apache Friends Xampp – Self contained Apache / MySQL / PHP stack which runs on Linux / Windows / Mac OSX for quick and easy deployment for development purposes. Ideal for students to hit the ground running developing Open Source software without learning the aspects of setting up a server (should be reserved for the admin). There also a way to run it off a USB memory stick.

Last but not least – Ubuntu /Edubuntu / Ubuntu Studio – A free operating system which rivals Windows and my favorite Linux distribution. There variants of Ubuntu which are tailored to specific uses. I’m still waiting for Ubuntu to have a way to control users from messing up their installs, much like Deep Freeze (commercial drive protection software). Rumor has it that Deep Freeze ala the Faronics Corporation is working on a Linux Version – Check it out here!

I could go on with so many more applications but these are the most mature products that come to mind when I look at what’s out there. Anyone else care to add?