[sf-lug] 7th & 8th grade sci teacher now using primarily Ubuntu

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Dec 15 16:56:19 PST 2008

Quoting Christian Einfeldt (einfeldt at gmail.com):

> He is not going to have to do any re-installing.  I was just
> responding to a point by Rick Moen, who said:  "Ideally, they would
> always be provided with the means to blow away a suspect machine
> configuration and autorebuild."

Just a comment in passing:  I responded offlist because _you_ had
suddenly gone offlist into private mail.  Kindly get in the habit of
doing "reply all" when posting to mailing lists.  Thanks.

Anyway, getting back to the point:  You recently clarified that sound
_had_ worked under Ubuntu, but the teacher had then done something that
reportedly made it stop working.  And then something additional happened
("switched to ALSA") and sound is working again.

Christian commented:  "I am pleased to say that he solved an audio
problem by himself...."  That's great -- but one notes that he seems to
have also caused it.  ;->  

1.  If these guys are going around wielding root authority, via sudo or
otherwise, then that's pretty much an accident waiting to happen, nei?

2.  In my experience, one killer of Linux deployments is customers'
perception that the easiest way to make problems go away is to reinstall
machines, and their habit of whipping out a CD of $PROPRIETARY_OS to do
so.  Customers with root-equivalent access will feel that need sooner
rather than later.

Thus, it's extremely useful to provide the customer with technical means
to reload your Linux work, and make the customer perceive that step as
being easy.  (Use whatever works to make that happen.)

3.  You also want to provide the customer with information about how to
recover from common non-root-level problems, e.g., by moving dotfiles
and dotfile directories in the user's home directory that are in a
questionable state out of the way, to return user software to system

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