Final Cermony Open Source Final 1
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Final Cermony Open Source Final 1

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Final Cermony Open Source Final 1 Final Cermony Open Source Final 1 Presentation Transcript

  • Open Source for Schools Workshop Monday, 26/11/2007 Rabat Dr. Wasel Ghanem Computer Systems Engineering Department Information Technology Faculty Birzeit University [email_address]
  • Presentation Outline
      • Overview about Open Source Culture
      • Activities in Project
          • R&D
          • Implementing the LTSP System
          • Helpdesk Training for Core Staff
      • Outputs and Outcomes
          • Technical Documentation
          • Establishment Core Team
          • Acquisition and Dissemination of Knowledge
          • Blueprint for Open Source Support Center at Birzeit University
      • Future Plans
  • What is Open Source?
      • Open source (OS) describes the principles and methodologies to promote open access to the production and design process for various goods, products, resources and technical conclusions or advice (Wikipedia)
      • Open source as applied to culture defines a culture in which collective decisions or fixations shared during development and made generally available in the public domain (Wikipedia)
  • Why is OS essential in the Arab world?
    • “ there are less than 18 computers per 1,000 persons in the (Arab) region, compared to the global average of 78.3” (Bennanietal.,2003)
    • ICT industry in the Arab world is based on using the technologies and they do not develop the technologies for their own use (Coury and Dutta, 2003)
    • “ Diffusion of technical know-how doesn't simply depend on ability to pay. It owes a great deal to personal contacts and discussion, or to the movement of people" Freeman and Soete, 2004
  • Why performance in Technology in the Arab world is poor?
    • The absence of serious national ICT R&D funding commitments and strategies
    • Brain drain
    • The reliance on foreign expertise
    • “ higher education systems respond weakly to labor market needs related to science and technology” (Bennani et al., 2003)
  • What’s LTSP?
    • Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) is an add-on package for Linux that allows many people to simultaneously use the same computer. Applications run on the server with a terminal known as a thin client handling input and output. Generally, they are old, obsolescent PCs.
  • Why LTSP in Schools?
    • Access to computers without purchasing or upgrading expensive desktop machines
    • Possibility of getting more performance for less money by getting one high-end server and turning old existing computers into thin clients
    • Gain more control on the lab by switching to server thin client model
    • New thin client machines are less costly than standard computers
    • Less maintenance
    • Activities of the project
    • Research and Development (R&D)
      • installing and testing various OS experimenting with the LTSP package under different platforms
      • Solving encountered problems and documenting solutions mainly in the OSL wiki
      • Pilot implementation of the LTSP package was carried out in some pilot schools
    • Activities
    • LTSP Installation, Testing and Deployment
      • Install and configure LTSP and dealing with wide variety of drivers
      • Making researches about the benefits, requirements and limitations of the LTSP system
      • Solutions to the emerging difficulties and requirements
    • Activities
    • Establishment of LTSP Lab at Birzeit University
      • First stage, a Pentium 4 and other low performance computers
        • A campaign was launched at the university to collect "old" or retired PCs
      • Later, five powerful Pentium 4 PCs with enough memory to function as servers in an LTSP environment.
        • Pentium 4 PC with 1 GB of RAM could serve up to 10 thin clients
      • Finally, 50 Pentium II PCs were procured at practically no cost at all
    • Activities
    • Clustering
      • very high computing power using ordinary PCs forming a “Server farm”
      • The server farm is usually structured as “Parallel Computer” which can be compared to multi-million dollar super computers
      • Cluster is currently being researched and will be given high priority and focus in the future phases of the project
    • Activities
    • Implementations
      • Birzeit University Main Library
        • Twelve thin clients were brought to full operation
        • The room became fully functional and highly utilized by the student population
        • The search speed was the same as stand alone Pentium 4 new computers
        • The results were presented in the General Assembly meeting of the Electronic Information for Libraries (eIFL)
          • According to Teresa Hackett, project manager of eIFL-IP, this is "a great success story"
          • An award on behalf of the University was received from eIFL for this model
    • Activities
    • Implementations
    • Abu Shkheidem School
    • School ex-Principal requests to fund a new computer laboratory were dismissed because the cost of a lab were prohibitive
    • Eight Pentium I and II computers donated by the University were brought to the school
    • the OSL team installed a server and repaired the network infrastructure
      • Resulted in a fully functional laboratory for students at an extremely low investment
    • Training the Information Technology teacher on how to manage the system and operate the laboratory
      • According to the teacher, "With this setup, I am able today to teach my students technology using computers.  In the past, the IT teaching I was able to do was on the black-board, which was extremely frustrating for me and for the students "
    • Activities
    • Implementations
    • Birzeit Female School – Majida Wassila
    • Most of the computers in the laboratory were not functional
    • According to Information Technology teacher, "I was facing very serious problems with running the proprietary applications because I was using an old version of MS-Windows with new Office applications
    • The OSL team fixed the equipment to meet the minimum requirements of the LTSP System
          • more cost effective than getting replacement parts for the old computers
    • School curriculum is based on new versions of MS-Office, which presented serious problems with system usability
    • IT teacher was able to cover the entire curriculum in the Open Office and other applications at considerable high speeds
    • As imagined, the school was satisfied with the results
    • Activities
    • Implementations
    • Lutheran Vocational School
      • 20 PCs that can run AutoCAD system needed
      • According to the Information Technology teacher, "Some of the applications that were running in Microsoft environment demanded by the curricula –like AutoCAD- requires fast new computers with good amount of memory to run properly, and our computers do not meet the requirements of those applications“
      • The OSL team installed three servers to cover the requirements of the lab (7 thin clients per server), repaired the network infrastructure and configured the 20 PCs as thin clients for the existing servers
      • Researches on emulating MS Windows on Linux OS were made and implemented
      • A license for each server is required only
    • Activities
    • Helpdesk Training for Core Staff
      • Following up with increasing support calls
      • Properly assess and evaluate the requirements for the establishment of a help-desk.
    • Outputs
      • Technical Documentation
      • OSL team has generated the first revision of the technical document
      • It included the advantages and limitations of open source and LTSP solutions
      • It helped the teams to learn from other's experiences and build on each other's experience
      • An interactive version was created to facilitate searching and retrieving information
    • Outputs
    • OSL Wiki
      • Online documentation on the OSL wiki
      • http://osl.birzeit.edu:8080/wiki2/index.php/Main_Page
      • Documentary Film
        • A documentary was developed to promote OS culture and explain the benefits of OS systems and applications for institutions
    • Outputs
    OSL wiki got the best hit in Google for ltsp fedora (picked at 1/4/2007)
    • Outputs
    • Establishment of a Core Team
      • Until now, three "generations" of students have passed through the OSL experience
      • This is possible through the help of the technical documents and practical training by the older team members
      • The majority of OSL graduates ended up with very technically advanced positions at top IT companies
      • Team members acquired experience in :
        • Culture
        • Wiki and knowledge sharing.
        • Interaction with different communities and functioning professionally within the global industry
        • Technical area
        • Research and Development
        • Leadership
    • Outputs
    • Working Setups
      • LTSP Laboratory
      • R&D Environment
      • Setting the Ground for a Sustainable Infrastructure
      • Training Resources Developed
    • Outputs
    • Working Setups
      • LTSP Laboratory
        • It's equipped with 50 thin clients for students to browse the internet and use OS applications to do their homework and computing assignments
        • It will be used as a training hall for the open source computer training and awareness courses
    • Outputs
    • Working Setups
      • R&D Environment
        • Application testing and deployment was the main function of the R&D team
        • OS team was engaged in research work on clustering, parallel computing etc.
    • Outputs
    • Working Setups
      • Setting the Ground for a Sustainable Infrastructure
          • Promoting OS as a culture and not to deal with it as a stand-alone project
          • We strongly believe that this project did move in the direction we hoped it would
          • The environment we work in is a rich soil for the OS culture
          • Finding suitable applications and packages is an important motivation for the continuity of the OSL project
    • Outputs
    • Working Setups
      • Training Resources Developed
        • A training infrastructure and supporting resources were developed
        • The team started through self-learning, research and application
        • More structured training activities for the new "generations" were held
        • It was mainly a self-based learning with hands-on experiments and application in the lab
    • Outputs
    • Acquisition and Dissemination of Knowledge
      • Establishment of an Open Source Culture
      • Awareness
      • Linkages with the Community
    • Outputs
    • Acquisition and Dissemination of Knowledge
      • Establishment of an Open Source Culture
        • The project reached a wide spectrum of stakeholders, ranging from policy makers to schools' principals, University staff and students
    • Outputs
    • Acquisition and Dissemination of Knowledge
        • Awareness
          • The OS team will be using the experience gained to launch a serious campaign to raise awareness among the key stakeholders
          • This experience sets the ground for others to follow the model
    • Outputs
    • Acquisition and Dissemination of Knowledge
        • Linkages with the Community
          • The students themselves were those who installed the system in these live environments
          • OS is a rich area for innovation and creativity
          • knowledge is "produced" and not only "consumed"
    • Future Plans
    • OS support center at Birzeit University
    • Replication of the results of the OSL at a large scale
      • Ministries and NGOs
    • The key components of the second phase
      • Carry out capacity building activities and training for individuals and institutions for the installation and the support of OSL
      • Establish an OS application team that will be responsible for searching, testing and identifying existing solutions
      • Develop an OS support and helpdesk system
      • Develop the R&D operations to respond to new products
    • Thank You for Your Attention
    • Questions???