View Full Version : Ubuntu Recruitment At School

April 13th, 2007, 11:44 AM
A couple of friends and myself have been deciding that one of these days, we're going to set up an Ubuntu and Kubuntu recruitment campaign at our high school. The fact of the matter is, we have decently coherent students here, so we're expecting at least a tiny amount of people to be interested. We're also in the process of working with the computer technician (also a FOSS, Linux-using enthusiast) to bring up an idea to the school board about opening a Linux-learning class or something of the sort. It's most likely not going to go anywhere, but at least we'll be able to do the recruitment campaign for sure.

Now, for the presentation, we're planning on setting up a table with an image of the Ubuntu and Kubuntu logos inside one another on a plain white tablecloth. On the table, we're going to have four laptops, as well as a desktop that's connected to a projector with which we'll be pointing out some of the fine points of Ubuntu and Kubuntu. Also on the table will be a stack of Free Ubuntu CDs and Free Kubuntu CDs for people to take, as well as a sign-up sheet to keep a log of those interested.

As for the actual speech, we were going to move from the description of what Free Open Source Software (FOSS) is, how it's effective in modern economy, and how it's a much better alternative to closed source software. We'll delve a bit into a joke topic about Free Open Cola (the now dead open source soft drink) as an example of how FOSS is effective. During this time of the Presentation, we'll have Ubuntu open on the log-in screen.

Afterwards, we'll tell people that a good example of FOSS is the Linux operating system. We'll pick up an Ubuntu CD and take it out of its case. "In my hand is possibly the best example of Free Open Source Software, period. The Linux operating system." My friend will then describe how a giant corporation doesn't make the system, it's the community that makes the system. We'll explain that Linux is broken into several distributions, and into several desktop environments, the most popular of which are Ubuntu and GNOME. At this time, we'll reboot the desktop and show people the default GRUB screen, highly pointing out the fact that people can install Ubuntu with Windows still there (because they're going to have to find out about the whole 'no games' thing eventually). We'll go to the log-in screen again and type in the user name and password. Before we log in, however, we're going to take a quick pause and explain the most basic differences between Windows and Linux. We'll go over the following points in this order:
The actual internal system and how it is formatted. We'll explain here that unlike Windows, which uses a lettered drive system, followed by System (Windows), Home (Documents and Settings), Drivers (Drivers), Programs (Program Files), and other such things, Linux under Ubuntu uses a non-lettered system, and things are shown as such:

At this time, we'll log in to Ubuntu, and immediately show off how nice it looks. Then we'll open up to the / folder. Here, we'll explain what /home and /media are. We'll tell them that the /home folder is a comparison to the Windows "Documents and Settings" folder, and leave it at that. We'll tell them then that unlike Windows, which shows the lettered drives and media such as mp3 players and such in the "My Computer" folder, which we'll explain is an equivalent to the / folder, Ubuntu puts all media devices in the /media folder once mounted. Then we'll toss in one of those auto-convincers (the, "Convenient, huh? *smile and nod until they do*" technique).

Afterwards, we'll explain to them that Ubuntu's made for two types of people. People that just want to use a computer, and those that like exploring and learning about their computer. We'll tell them that by default, Ubuntu's set up for the first group, and it gives the user only the essentials. We'll toss in an "Oh, we forgot to mention!" and then tell them how 99% of all Linux programs are Open Source, and how they work hand-in-hand due to a new installation method we'll tell them about "in a few minutes."

"Anyway, Ubuntu was made for two kinds of people. The second group of people were those that wanted to make more of their computer, learn it inside out, and are those that want to get involved in the Ubuntu community." We'll "Show Hidden Files" on the / folder to reveal the remaining folders. We'll tell the people to look through these folders only if necessary if they're of the first group, because they can seriously mess something up. But we'll then tell them that it's fun to mess things up in Linux because fixing your mistakes is something you can actually do, unlike in Windows.
It is at this point we'll describe to them the support factor. "So, you can screw things up. But... who do you call if you do screw things up? Not *myself* or *my friend*. Not Microsoft. Not Apple. Not Dell. Not any of those major corporations. Instead, you'll be able to ask a community of thousands of users for your help, and the best part? They're all willing to help. 99% of all problems asked about have been solved, and 90% of all problems have already been asked about.

So yes, Ubuntu'll have a learning curve, but the good news is that you'll have thousands of people backing you up if you ever run into trouble. And if you're just one of those people that don't like forums or support chat rooms, there's also an extensive documentation and Wiki full of information and that extra bit of support."
"Now, we're going to be truthful. After you get Linux installed, you're going to run into problems. 90% of them are going to be small problems that five minutes on the support forums will get fixed, but the other 10% are going to be things like hardware problems. Things that you probably won't be able to get fixed, or will take more knowledge than you can hold to fix it. That's why, while installing, you should keep your Windows installation.

Installing two Operating Systems on one computer is known as Dual-Booting. Dual-Booting is an effective way to open a path, and keep one for comfort. Now, assuming you had an 80GB hard drive, and you only have 20GB of it used on Windows, just pop in the Ubuntu CD, and click on Install on the desktop." At this point, we'll put an Ubuntu CD into the drive and reboot the computer into the Live CD. We'll open up "Install" and take them through the first couple of steps until we get to the partitioning step.

"On this screen, you'll see that Ubuntu's going to try to install on whatever remaining space you have. For our example, it'll try to install to about 55GB of your hard drive, leaving you with maybe 5GB more on Windows, and 55GB for Ubuntu. If you don't want this, go ahead and go to a smaller number, like 40GB. That'll make it even on Ubuntu and on Windows. 40GB each. Just remember, it's best to have a minimum of 10GB for Ubuntu for a reason that will be explained in just a bit. Even though you only need 3GB to install the system itself, other programs will come along the way that'll use up some extra space that you weren't expecting to be used up." (This section will seem a little more clear as we describe it using the sliding bar)
At this time, we'll reboot and go into Kubuntu for the first time using GRUB. "Now, this whole time we've only been talking about Ubuntu. But the Open Source Community is all about options, so why not have an alternative for the best operating system available? Actually, we're not changing the operating system, just the desktop environment. Ubuntu uses a desktop environment known as "GNOME" which stands for "GNU Network Object Model Environment." GNOME is one of many desktop environments, and is currently the most popular. But, depending on personal preference, it isn't necessarily better.

Following GNOME in usage is something known as KDE, the K Desktop Environment." At this time, we log in to Kubuntu. "As you can see, it's more similar to Windows, whereas GNOME seemed more similar to Macintosh. But slight appearance is where the similarities end. Ubuntu using KDE is known as Kubuntu." This is the point in time where I visit the K Menu and show some of the differences between Ubuntu and Kubuntu.
"Oh, I'm surprised we forgot to mention this beforehand! What I think is the most major difference between Windows and Ubuntu is the fact that Ubuntu can't catch a cold if it wanted to. Spyware? Nope. Viruses? Nope. Hours of crying because you can't get rid of that stupid Trojan? Nah.

As I was saying beforehand, Open Source Software and Linux go together hand-in-hand. We'll explain more how this works in a bit, but to have it make a bit more sense, let's explain the most common way files are installed and updated on Ubuntu.
"As compared to Windows, where Windows Update gives only security updates, and where you have to re-download and reinstall every program once there's a new version, Ubuntu uses an exceptionally better alternative system." It is at this time that we'll open up a terminal emulator for the first time, in this case, Konsole. "You'll be seeing a lot of this screen, mainly because this terminal emulator, this 'console,' is where you'll be going to install a majority of your programs, and to fix the majority of your problems.

The default console program in Kubuntu is this "Konsole." But... Konsole's not so great. I mean, Linux is all about productivity, so why not use a console program that you can use at the tap of a key?" At this time, we'll type into Konsole the following: 'sudo apt-get install yakuake'. "Going too fast? Let's slow it down a bit." I'll backspace to the beginning.

"On Ubuntu or Kubuntu, to install a program, or to change anything serious business, you'll need to be a 'Superuser.' The console command to be a superuser is 'su'." I'll type in 'su'. "Now, we want 'su' to 'do' something." I'll add 'do' to the end of 'su'. "'sudo'. This is a command you'll be using a lot, as the majority of console commands will require you to be a superuser to be able to use them.

But let's move on. On Linux, the majority of files you will install will be from the 'Repositories.' Repositories are places where things are held for you, in this case, programs. There are three different forms of repositories. "Main" repositories, "Multiverse" repositories, and "Universe" repositories.

The Main repositories are programs that are almost guaranteed to not screw up your computer. The Multiverse repositories are the programs that have future potential to be in the Main repositories but don't have a guarantee that they won't screw anything up. The Universe repositories are other programs, not finished programs, beta programs, etc. Using the Universe is taking a risk.

Now then, by default, Ubuntu and Kubuntu only have the Main repository enabled. This is alright, but enabling the Multiverse repository usually doesn't cause any problems. In this demonstration, we've enabled the Multiverse and the Universe repositories.

So, we've got 'Su' wanting to 'Do' something. Let's have Su grab a file from the repository. There are plenty of repository-grabbing programs, but the most used and default is "Apt-Get". So, what do you think we'll type in now?" Take a second or two to see if any responses are given, then type in "apt-get".

"'sudo apt-get'. We're going to have Su use the Apt-Get program to read through the repositories. But Apt-Get isn't doing anything yet. All we have is a superuser calling on a program. Let's have Apt-Get install a program in the repositories.

What do you all think we're going to type in now to install something?" Wait a second or two for responses, then type in 'install'. "'sudo apt-get install'. We have a superuser calling upon Apt-Get to install a program from the repositories. Makes sense, right?" Wait a second to see facial responses. "Now then, all that's left is the program we're going to install. In this case, we're going to install another terminal emulator. We're going to install Yakuake. So, what do you think we're going to type in this command to install Yakuake?" Wait a second for responses.

"'sudo apt-get install yakuake'." Press enter here to reveal the password entry. "And here, we type in the password. As you can tell, it's hidden completely, not even with dots." Wait for program to download and unpack. "Great, it's installed." Type in 'yakuake' into Konsole. Wait for it to open. "There we go. All set up." Close Konsole. "Yakuake will open up during startup, and all you have to do to get it open is press the F12 key on your keyboard." Press F12 several times to reveal, hide Yakuake.

"What happened while using this command was Apt-Get grabbed a bunch of packages (folders with programs in them) and depackaged them into the place where the program was to be installed. This may be seeming a little high-tech for you, but it's really simple once you get started." Open Firefox via Yakuake, hide Yakuake, and direct to http://www.ubuntu.com.
"So as we were saying, security. Since the majority of programs are distributed through packages that have been thoroughly looked through before put up into the repositories, malicious code is usually found and eliminated before anyone even has a chance to download it. And even so, the structure of the operating system internally makes it nearly impossible for any entry from an unsuspected program as anything that needs to install itself on the computer requires the superuser password. So you're pretty much safe."
"Think it's going to be tough to learn Linux? Nonsense! In this short period of time, you've already learned about 30% of what you'll need to know to use Ubuntu or Kubuntu! The rest is mainly figuring out the GUI settings. It's really simple, and spending just five minutes with it will show you that it's definitely better than what you're already using. In fact, spend as much time as you'd like with it. As we showed before, you can load into the OS to test it as you please as long as you have one of the CDs. If you're interested, just click the Install button. If not, just quit out and head on back to Windows or Mac. No damage done, try it again some other time."After this, we'll tell people that they are free to take the CDs home and try them. Moreover, they're free to take a look at the laptops which already have the system installed (two of the four laptops will have Ubuntu, and two will have Kubuntu.) Then we'll take questions, and finish up by giving them a link to the Ubuntu Counter at http://ubuntucounter.geekosophical.net/.

We're trying to keep the event within 35-40 minutes while still giving a fulfilling presentation. What do you recommend we modify with the presentation, with the event, to make it better? Also, I wasn't looking at our current transcript, so I pretty much milked the majority of the above, but that's all the topics we're going over for sure.

April 13th, 2007, 12:02 PM
Beryl would be a good way to get attention.

April 13th, 2007, 12:03 PM
Looks good - but please don't even bother with the terminal for installing stuff. It is a visual turn off, and it makes a casual observer uncomfortable. Just use the Add/Remove app, or use Synaptic. It's much more visually appealling, and you can still explain the need to input your password. You can show them how the same thing can be achieved using the console, but I would certainly avoid using the console to show off how to install software. You should probably use the console to show how programs are often 'front-ends' for console applications, and how powerful the console is, but I wouldn't rely on it as a key feature if you're trying to sell Ubuntu.

April 13th, 2007, 02:53 PM
Beryl would be a good way to get attention.

I'd be against showing Beryl to prospective linux users, especially if they are intelligent people. If you do plan to show it, I'd wait to the end and explain its an add-on and not a part of the default install - if you show it all the way through, many people will likely think, "Yeah, it looks pretty but I can tell its going to get annoying after awhile".
As for terminal access, I would definetly show it off but not into too much detail - just explain that it does offer greater control over what goes in your system but it isnt necessary to know all the commands and so forth.
Anyway, good luck. :)

April 13th, 2007, 08:28 PM
I'd be against showing Beryl to prospective linux users, especially if they are intelligent people. If you do plan to show it, I'd wait to the end and explain its an add-on and not a part of the default install - if you show it all the way through, many people will likely think, "Yeah, it looks pretty but I can tell its going to get annoying after awhile".
As for terminal access, I would definetly show it off but not into too much detail - just explain that it does offer greater control over what goes in your system but it isnt necessary to know all the commands and so forth.
Anyway, good luck. :)

You can have very nice beryl setups, just turn of the wobly windows and show them the cube, scale plugin and maybe some easy on the eye animations.

People usaully are impressed by simple things like easy theming. Grab some themes from gnome-look.org and show the people how you just drag them into the theme manager and activate them.

April 13th, 2007, 09:13 PM
Don't teach them any linux commands. They don't need to know it to know "Holy jeeze I want that."

You teach something to people who already have it, to people who want to learn.

You're not at that stage, you have to get them to want to learn. Make them want it, make them ache for it, seduce them into the ubuntu lifestyle.

Take out mounting (dude, I've been using ubuntu for a year and a half and I don't understand mounting), take out sudo (and I don't understand why it's su in other distros). As much as it is a lie, advertising is a lie. Don't say "You are going to run into problems." say "IF you run into problems, you wont need to surf for hours going to random places, or have to call paid phone support. Ubuntu has one, condensed spot for all your help needs, with the largest community of any linux distribution."

I don't know what GNOME stands for. I might care one day, but they definately don't.

Here's Daynah's list of points to cover...

-What the heck Ubuntu is: The sheer possibility of having a computer with something other than windows. Definition of Ubuntu. Make this part short because you want to get to the attention grabber quick. Maybe start this off with a question. "Did you know that you are not stuck with just the choice of monopoly-Microsoft, or overpriced-Apple?"

-Attention grabber: "You can have a computer do so much more. You can have a computer much more powerful. You can be the master of your computer, not have these corporations be the master of you." (during this part, the "do much more" have Beryl running. The show stopper. ...make sure it doesn't crash, please.) We're a generation of rebels, we don't like people controling us. That's a nice point to use against us in advertising.

It would be very cool if while using beryl, you don't talk about it. Just act like it's normal. Have it random effects (beam, fold, random fire) to keep them watching. But don't react. It's normal to you. You're used to it. Act like that. If anyone asks a question about it at the end, say something like, "Oh THAT! I guess I forgot, 'cause I'm so used to it. That's just another cool feature about Ubuntu. You can make it look like pretty much whatever you want to."

(After this point, I'm not going in order)
- Go into how easy it is to install. Use synaptic. Don't call it synaptic, that too big.

Instead of saying this, "Though many give Linux the rep of being difficult to install, just look how easy this is!"

Say this, "And watch as I install a program that allows me to look at what our universe looks like in 3D. Instead of having to surf around the internet for drivers, and dodge advertisements for hours on end, I just check the box right here and click apply. And there it goes installing!"

Don't ever refer to linux in the negative. It's always great great great! Perfect perfect perfect! It's some weird psychology advertising thing I learned in communications class. The only thing I learned in that class, in fact.

-Talk about how you can do anything you need to do for class on the computer. That's boring so just do it quickly. Remind them that since Ubuntu isn't under the reign of a big corporation, you don't have to buy some expensive office suite... or be illegal and steal it. A fully functional office suite comes fully installed with Ubuntu.

-"Ubuntu doesn't get viruses. There have only been less than 15 linux viruses (you should look that up cough) ever. Ever. On all of the computers inthe world. You personally have probably had more than that on your single computer. And then the big corporations make you PAY for software to get rid of them! No viruses. And if, on the off chance something does go wrong, Ubuntu has the largest community than any other linux distribution, and we're all in one place, so you know exactly where to get help. Go wandering on the net for help going to one place to another, all of the help, and tons of it is at one spot."

Remember, talk about Ubuntu in the positive, you're advertising. It's not when something goes wrong, it's if something goes wrong.

-If you're still a little nervous about Ubuntu, maybe you don't know how to back up, Ubuntu can share the same computer with your current Windows or OSX. Ubuntu isn't looking for money, so it doesn't try to eat your computer during the installation.

Then give away cds and if you can have live cds in school computers for students to try out, explaining without technicalities that "The school is not allowing us to save anything on the computers using Ubuntu until there is board permission." (which is correct)