View Full Version : need suggestions for apps to show people who have never used Linux

November 29th, 2008, 10:18 PM
Not sure if I've put this in the right place, sorry if its not (would have placed in education but didn't think it was important enough) Firstly I'll give you some background. I have submitted an application for a grant from the Ontario Ministry of Education to build a small network of computers in my high school that will run Linux in order to spread awareness of it (the money being for the computers themselves, some teachers have said that our local school board is pretty narrow-minded so they probably would not allocate computers for that, so I simply went over their heads, directly to the ministry). Assuming my application is accepted, I and a friend of mine would set up the lab and invite people to come and have a look. What I need is suggestions for apps to show people (mostly students, but hopefully some teachers). I've got a few already (the standard ones obviously, plus compiz-fusion, pidgin, wobbly-windows in gnome etc) Most of the people coming will have grown up on Windows, so I'm looking for apps that are cool, unique and will really make people want look into Linux more. some suggestions that would make the ministry and school administration happy would be good too, namely ones that do things involving learning and the betterment of students' education

November 29th, 2008, 10:22 PM
Blender and Vim ;) oh, and LaTeX too

November 29th, 2008, 10:26 PM
Compiz-fusion definitely. Get a wide range of effects going, and put a nice theme on all the systems. People get attracted by shiny things. Depending on the amount of computers you plan to have, I would install a variety of Distributions on them (ie. Ubuntu, Kubuntu, OpenSuse, PCLinuxOS) to show how flexible Linux is and how much choice people have. As for more apps, I would also demonstrate the Gimp and OpenOffice, to show how there are alternatives out there for commercial applications (Photoshop & MS Office). Pidgin is a good one, maybe even virtualbox. It might give people a reason to try Linux.

November 29th, 2008, 10:48 PM
Being that it will be in an educational environment I suggest one computer running Edubuntu. Also having both Childsplay and Gcompris (both educational applications for a younger age group than you are in - but nevertheless good for showing to teachers and school board members [pretty narrow-minded they may be -but I imagine they will still be able to understand free]) installed on all computers.

November 29th, 2008, 11:22 PM
kutos for your drive!

just another idea, but most school computers tend to be outdated espically with windows moving to vista and foward.

You may mention to your school or admins that perhaps their servers could use an update, but to save money perhaps an apache server? Im working on my boss, as windows server 2000 is in need of replacement and he's looking at a 5 grand + bill for the software!!! with the choice of 5,000 or free.... it's certinally somthing to think about.

anyway as for apps,

I agree with open office as a linux answer to microsoft office.

and edubuntu would be a great choice for the main distro, as it will have most of the school apps you would need...

compiz is awesome for the eye-catching, you might put in screenlets for the weather or news or whatever... you dont really need it but I think it just sets it apart.

November 30th, 2008, 04:11 PM
can i just bump this thread whenever? are there any obscure rules that i should know about?

November 30th, 2008, 08:20 PM


Oh, and I love Phun:

November 30th, 2008, 08:23 PM
Compiz Fusion

December 2nd, 2008, 03:09 PM
For any disk burning/ripping/copying show them K3B.

cairo-dock/AWN or kiba-dock with the physics turned on.:lolflag:

Also try Elisa Media Centre as an alternative to M$ Media Centre

Reconstructor to show how to make a live disk of your system to take with you anywhere.

December 2nd, 2008, 03:12 PM

chucky chuckaluck
December 2nd, 2008, 03:18 PM
make sure you include apps they might be using most and may have used in windows, like firefox, thunderbird, vlc, and apps that are equivalent to what they use in windows, like gimp, amarok, xkill for gamers, etc.

December 2nd, 2008, 03:39 PM
xkill for gamers

Just gamers???

Personally i'd try and get my hands on the life cycle costs of a Windows PC once you factor in licenses for all the software, etc. Then work up how much the same cost is for the Linux PCs (make sure you include retraining and support costs). You might also want to mention thin clients, which could save them a lot of money on hardware and simplify maintenance. You might want to run your numbers past someone who's run a similar project through to completion.

The people who actually control the budgets are more likely to be impressed by a solid business case than by "kewl" software. From a demonstration standpoint all you really need to do is display the ability to do everything a Windows PC would. Anything else is just lipgloss.

December 2nd, 2008, 03:53 PM
LMMS (http://lmms.sourceforge.net) <-- For budding musicians ?