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:
• GNOME Do - application launcher
• pyRenamer - mass rename files easily
• Inkscape - vector drawing program
• Scribus - Desktop Publishing software
• Tux Paint - children's bitmap editor
A selection of fonts
• Filezilla - FTP client
• Firefox Add-ons - a range of useful add-ons
• Dia - Flowchart diagram editor
• Freemind - Mind mapping software
• 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