[PLUG] Why are students/colleges not using *nix systems

श्रीधर नारायण दैठणकर ghodechhap at ghodechhap.net
Thu Dec 21 18:21:47 IST 2006

On Thursday 21 December 2006 17:35, Shakthi Kannan wrote:
> > *nix are harder
> > to setup and those setup shows more problems so
> > people avoid it.
> GNU/Linux installations have been made
> "newbie-friendly" these days.

It is perception. And the so called friendly distro. are not yet available 
enough as much as pirated windows CDs are. 

RedHat 7.2 and 9.0 are still in circulation in some of the colleges. I offered 
them ubuntu and slackware CDs but it was a chicken and egg problem. Prof 
didn't see an advantage of upgrading and students weren't ready to take 
anything that college is not using. And I wasn't patient enough to persue 
across academic years to make sure that they get upgrades.

> > Problem is working on unix has no advantage in
> > college.
> Incorrect. Most CS education in US is on *nix or
> GNU/Linux. FOSS-based education is ideal for Indian
> universities/colleges. Implementation has to be done
> correctly.

CS education in US is not the frame of reference and you can find plenty of 
rant online about CS students starting with java/visual basic instead of 
C/C++ these days. 

> > Nobody knows it,
> > nobody asks for it. So the motivation is way too
> > low..
> That is why in my workshops I give an industry
> exposure to the students on how FOSS is extensively
> used in the Industry - which they have no idea about
> in the first place.

Well. That is another problem not as apparent as much of availability of FOSS 
within educational institutes. I believe, from experience, that one has to 
have a drive to learn in order to truly succeed/benefit from FOSS. Well, 
actually it is true for everything but everything else has a ecosystem which 
supports jobs/earning even when you don't/may not have a drive learn and 

With FOSS, that ecosystem is absent and it is guaranteed that it would remain 
that way. In that case, when somebody asks you, "will I get job if I learn 
linux", it is very hard to craft a "yes" to it. The question is wrong on so 
many levels, it is not even funny.

> > Wooing
> > away profs/educational institutes is a hard way of
> > doing things.
> One can criticize, but, at the same time, one must do
> something to improve themselves. Most Indians in India
> that I have seen only criticize, and don't do any
> *productive* work - be it for the beneficial for
> others or for their own good.

Please don't generalize.

I did offer an alternative which is to video shoot the lectures and distribute 
them freely. 

I did some workshops/lectures for PLUG and frankly it is tiring to answer same 
questions over and over again and with academia, you have to play the same 
game once new academic years started. I have no interest and more importantly 
energy  doing that.

OTOH, if you shoot and distribute, I-the-lecturer is doing one time job which 
is OK and given that nothing much changes in 3-4 years in academia, it is 
acceptable too.

I am ready to redo the lectures if people are interested. I have handicam 
which could be sufficient. Any takers?


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