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Re: What can I do with six new publicly available computers?

On Tue, Sep 20, 2005 at 10:40:38AM +0200, Mitja Podreka wrote:
> Hello
> I would like to ask for some advice. I just need some basic guidelines 
> as I'm quite new to Linux and never took care of more than one computer. 
> I will then google around for details or ask in a separate thread. Some 
> link would be greatly appreciated.
> I'm taking care of six new computers running Linux in a (also new) 
> multimedia centre. All of them are publicly available and anyone can use 
> them. Now users can just surf the web, but I want to offer them more. If 
> someone needs to write texts and do other things, I would like set-up a 
> user account for him, so he can do (almost) all he wants.
> Now the questions:
> 1. I was thinking to take one computer, make a file server (maybe also 
> web-server) out of it and replace it with an old one running as thin 
> client. Is there some other way of making a users /home/user directory 
> available regardless of which computer he is using?
> 2. In the centre we do a lot of video editing using Premiere on window$. 
> I know some Linux video editing software but the problem is that just 
> one computer is powerful enough to do the job. If I make cluster out of 
> few computers then the thing would be strong enough. The thing I'm not 
> sure is: can I use a normal software or it  should be specially made for 
> clusters?
> 3. If I make cluster out of all six computers I would get some kind of 
> mini-supercomputer. Question: can computers work in a cluster and at the 
> same time one of them is used for surfing the web and another one is 
> used for video editing, thus in need of more resources?
> 4. If someone has some other idea on how to use this six computer I 
> would realy like to hear it. In the centre we are trying to promote 
> Linux and other Open Source software and make resources we have as 
> useful to the people as possible.
> thanks
> -- 

> Mitja Podreka
> http://mitja.kizej.net

Where are you located? (What part of the World?) What is the culture
and level of education of your intended audience? Can you find,
locally, a Linux Users Group whose members can offer local support?
Is support for languages other than English important to your
organization? What languages? The 'distribution' of Linux that you use
should, of course, be Debian, and most of the computers should have
Debian Sarge/stable installed. (You and your local user community can
consider Etch/testing on a few machines after you have seen some
pattern of useage.)

Clusters of Linux computers are very common, but they require that you
have a level of computer sophistication that I don't detect in reading
your email.  I am not expert on video editing software, but I would be
surprised if any video editing package that wants to be taken seriously
did not already support running on a cluster. (Excepting, of course,
stuff for the Windows market where really awful software wants to be
taken seriously.)

Give us some idea of the hardware configurations of these computers,
ram, harddisk size, clock rate, video display monitor spec.s, etc.

Paul E Condon           

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