"Paul Nelson and Eric Harrison met online when Nelson, a
classroom teacher and technology director at a small school in
Portland's Riverdale School District, went looking for Linux help.
"We were doing everything on the back end with Linux, but I was
spending a lot of time keeping the Windows desktops running. I
thought how nice it would be to use Linux on the front end too. I
posted a notice on the local user group mailing list." Harrison,
then a Multnomah County IT Services support tech, befriended
Nelson, and the two had an idea: make a specialized Linux Terminal
Server Project (LTSP) distribution that would allow schools to use
thin clients running Linux on old, inexpensive hardware.
"Nelson and Harrison started K12LTSP, as it was known then, so
they could show other schools how to use Linux in the classroom.
Harrison met Jim McQuillan, the founder of the LTSP project, and
told him about the school project. McQuillan recommended building
on LTSP, so Harrison and Nelson started working on a proof of
concept they could present to Red Hat.
""Our goal," says Nelson, "was to use Red Hat, and produce an
installer that would install all the LTSP parts. The end result
would be a working terminal server that anyone could install as
easy as installing Red Hat. Part of that goal was to have Red Hat
take over the work of distributing and maintaining the project. We
didn't think it would take very long. It took seven years.""