Education, RPI

Linux Install Fests at RPI

Luis Ibanez contacted me last week about obtaining Fedora media for a Linux installfest at my alma mater, RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.) Linux installfests such as this one are actually a great opportunity to expose more college students to Linux. You see, at RPI (since I was a freshman, actually :) ), there is a laptop program that requires all undergraduate students to have a laptop of at least a certain spec and also offers laptops at a great price for purchase through the school. Today and this coming Sunday are the student laptop distribution days.

How better to convince students to install more goodies on their new laptops by staking out a location near where the laptops are being distributed and helping them install a dual-boot with Linux, a Linux VM, or even a complete replacement of Windows?

So that is exactly what the RPI Center for Open Source, RPI ACM/LUG, and Open Source Software course students are doing today and Sunday. You can see the goodies I sent for the cause below. Since the RPI laptops are 64-bit, we made sure there would be 64-bit media available, but it’s also good to have 32-bit media available in case folks show up with netbooks, and live USB as well in case folks show up with netbooks that have no optical drive. I wish I could be there for the fun! If you’re an RPI student reading this and are interested, it looks like it’s going on in Lally 102. :)

Are there colleges near you with laptop programs? If so, you should consider helping to run a similar program there! It’s a nice way to volunteer and help spread Linux and might only take a few hours of your time.

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Linux Install Fests at RPI

  1. Any chance I’ll be seeing you at an RCOS talk this semester?

    Posted by Varun Madiath | August 27, 2010, 2:21 pm
  2. Thanks a lot to the people who actually did the heavy lifting:

    * Ben Boeckle (from Kitware, and an RPI graduate) prepared a lot CDs and dealt directly with the installations. Ben is also a Fedora packager.
    * Paul Ignatenko and Chris Thomas (from the RPI ACM/LUG) helped with the installations as well.
    * Cihan Caglayan (RPI student and intern at Kitware) helped posting fliers all across campus.
    * David Doria (RPI Grad Student) did the door-to-door promotion of the event in the classrooms where students were configuring their laptops
    * Professor Khrisnamoorthy connected all the dots with the RPI administration and logistics to make sure that we had a meeting room and that the event was coordinated with the ARC (http://www.rpi.edu/dept/arc/web/) who distribute the students laptops.

    and, of course, many thanks to you (Mairin), who responded with lightning speed to our request for Fedora installation CDs.

    I really like your suggestion of doing this in many campuses simultaneously. Maybe we could officially make the back-to-school week of August be “National Linux Installation Week” and promote the event in coordination with many local LUGs.

    For the record,
    the installation went smoothly on the ThinkPad T410 that most students are using this year.

    On Sunday (August 29) we will have a second Installation Fest, at the Student Union, room 3602, from 8:30 to 1pm.

    Posted by Luis Ibanez | August 27, 2010, 7:46 pm
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