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Press Releases :: $10,000 server software solution free: OSV makes offer to every Australian school
$10,000 server software solution free: OSV makes offer to every Australian school
Open Source Victoria (OSV) responds to a group of IT teachers who
want a simple way to test and deploy Linux servers in schools. LiveLAMP
is a bootable CD that turns a spare computer into a Linux development
server for students to practice and publish programming exercises
in over a dozen languages with hundreds of development tools.

"IT administrators within the education sector can have difficulties
adopting emerging platforms such as Linux," said OSV education
spokesperson Donna Benjamin. "Time poor, they struggle just to keep
up with the needs of a school IT network. Justifying the time to
setup and maintain a professional development server on which
student programmers experiment can be difficult. This is why we are
developing the LiveLAMP instant Linux server solution."

With the LiveLAMP project, OSV aims to do for Linux application and
database servers what Knoppix has done for desktops. LiveLAMP can
turn any PC into an instant server capable of supporting up to 1,000
students doing work on over a dozen programming languages and
hundreds of development tools. Technologies covered include PHP,
Python, Perl, MySQL, Ruby, PostgreSQL, C++, C, Pascal, Fortran, CVS,
Apache, Lex/Yacc, text editing, HTML, JavaScript, CSS, XML and many
more. LiveLAMP will fully integrate with their existing Windows,
Apple or Linux systems. OSV estimates that purchasing proprietary
versions of this software for 1000 students and teachers would cost
each school over $10,000 if they had to pay for it.

"Secondary school teachers who want to deploy Linux in their IT labs
often find that their IT staff "Don't Do Linux". With the LiveLAMP
CD, we've made the process absolutely painless. With the CD in hand
a teacher just needs to find a surplus PC. To run the LiveLAMP
server, simply insert the CD-ROM into the PC and press reset. A
minute later, the LiveLAMP system has created 1,000 student accounts
on that PC and is now running as a server. All the programs run from
the CD. Students can log in and start using the programming tools.
That surplus PC then becomes a Live Linux server for the other
machines in the lab," continued Benjamin.

Con Zymaris from OSV leads the LiveLAMP development effort. He has
over 20 years experience in working with open source technologies.

Zymaris is enthusiastic about this project. He notes that one of the
few remaining hurdles that Linux and open source technologies face
in the marketplace is a lack of user familiarity. "With the LiveLAMP
project, we hope to make it a trivial step for any school anywhere
to trial a Linux server which comes with most of the major
programming languages and tools used by industry. We are therefore
simultaneously introducing new users to Linux as well as introducing
exciting and powerful computer technologies to school kids.
Both will help grow Australia's ICT skills-base while
improving kids' education."

OSV is funding the development of the LiveLAMP CD and will
facilitate its distribution as a downloadable ISO image and through
peer-to-peer file sharing networks. Giving more students the
opportunity to develop their computing skills by accessing open
source industry tools is an investment in tomorrow's ICT community.
Releasing LiveLAMP under an Open Source Licence means that anyone,
not just schools, can harness the opportunities it presents.

Open Source Victoria would like to thank the Victorian Government
for the funding which makes projects like LiveLAMP possible.
The LiveLAMP project is scheduled to deliver its first release
candidate in July 2005.

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About Open Source Victoria

Open Source Victoria is an Industry Cluster consisting of over 60
Victorian firms and developers which provide services and technology
related to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS.) Open Source
Victoria offers marketing, advocacy and information referral
services, and aims to raise the profile of FOSS in Victoria and work
with other similar organisations across Australia.

Contact: Con Zymaris
Phone: 03 9621 2377
Fax: 03 9621 2477

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