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Setting up a mobile workshop

In the process of setting up an Open Source media training company, I've bought eight old Dell laptops (they are Latitude C640s, probably six years old?).

Dell C640

In the process of setting up an Open Source media training company, I've bought eight old Dell laptops (they are Latitude C640s, probably six years old?).

The hard part is setting up all the software, network, preferences etc. Hats off to sysadmins who do this full-time with a multitude of users. Now that everything I do is multiplied 8 times over, I'm starting to get wise and avoid the fripperies of digital life. No games! No chat! No messing about!

The plan is to set up the laptops with wifi PC Cards, and then use my netbook Acer Aspire One as the web server, possibly using mobile internet to provide internet access.

The exciting part has been compiling a list of software that I’d like to install. As the remit is “creative courses”, it’s quite a wide range:

Accessories
GNOME Do - application launcher
pyRenamer - mass rename files easily

Graphics
Inkscape - vector drawing program
Scribus - Desktop Publishing software
Tux Paint - children's bitmap editor
A selection of fonts

Internet
Filezilla - FTP client
Firefox Add-ons - a range of useful add-ons

Office
Dia - Flowchart diagram editor
Freemind - Mind mapping software

Programming
Geany - text editor
Processing - programming environment for artists
Pd-extended - graphical programming language for realtime art

Sound & Video
JACK control - audio connection kit
gedit supercollider support - adds supercollider support to the gedit text editor
Audacity - audio wave editor
Ardour - Digital Audio Workstation
Rosegarden - audio and MIDI sequencer
VLC Media Player - multi-format audio player