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Linux Gazette: Secure and Robust Computer Systems for Primary and Secondary Schools

Aug 08, 2002, 13:00 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard A Sevenich, Michael P Angelo)

"A wealthy school district will have the option of purchasing new software and hardware at some appropriate interval. It may also have the technical staff to install and maintain the hardware and software. Even in this idealized school district, the computer system environment is a harsh one, with its many student users, some of whom start as relatively computer illiterate and may not have acquired the discipline to follow administrative rules intended to ameliorate system virus infections and other external attacks on the system. The technical staff has the added burden of attempting to maintain system security in this nearly impossible environment, characterized by intermittent, unplanned intense work shifts in response to system security disasters. Providing the necessary level of technical expertise is quite expensive and consequently rather rare in our school systems. In fact, many of the primary and secondary schools in the USA have computer facilities that are in dire straits. Perhaps the major problems are these two:

  • "The networks are plagued by viruses etc. and suffer significant down time. Further, loss of files and of attendant work time is routine.
  • "Often the computers are a hodgepodge of donated and purchased computers with various versions of Microsoft operating systems and software..."

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