Austin teacher threatens to sic cops on Linux group because "No software is free"


96 Responses to “Austin teacher threatens to sic cops on Linux group because "No software is free"”

  1. Antinous says:

    As a Windows user, it just makes me think more seriously about switching to a different OS. Maybe she really is a provocateur.

  2. Sean Grimm says:

    Hahahaha! If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone going off like this about something they don’t have proper perspective on well…I’d have a lot of nickels.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I work in the local school district here in NJ, and while I am a fan of FOSS (I use it in my graduate studies, and I was a supporter of Red Hat before their IPO, contributing enough to get on their Friends & Famlies list for the IPO), but I think Cory nailed it with this simple line:

    I think it’s more likely that she just doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about

    Many, many (too many, IMHO) teacher suffer from a startling lack of curiosity, akin to the ostrich with the head stuck in the sand.

    It’s unfortunate the HeliOS Organizer went overboard in his response, that really does nothing but likely cause the teacher to hold on to her position even harder. I don’t think there is any great conspiricy, except that she maybe believes her career is inextricably tied to MS and their products.

    I work in IT for a school district, and we’d love to work with Linux (we already support Windows and OS X on desktops), but we take our lead from the teachers/curriculum heads, not our own personal whims. We have offered to support Linux on user’s desktops, but they stil feel it is inferior, and understand, we have about 1,400 PCs and MACs in our district (plus servers), and our license for every MS product we use comes out to less than $70K/year, and that includes not only desktop and server OS (on the PCs), but also MS Office for every user (PC and MAC), SQL Server, Windows Server 2003 and 2008, etc. Cutting MS out of our district would save about $65K/year, but with a $75M budget for our district, it wouldn’t make a serious dent, and we’d likely spend a serious amount of time defending our decision to use (what is perceived as) inferior software by many in our community.

    The single greatest thing holding Linux adoption back in school districts is, in my opinion, the lack of a curriculum for computer usage designed around using Linux/OpenOffice/and other FOSS. You need to have textbooks that are based on Linux/OO/FOSS to displace the books currently used in MS-centric classes.

  4. samu says:

    I along with many others tried Live CDs during college, but I didn’t install.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wow this teacher should have turned the “carnival” encounter into a lesson about free and open source software instead of making herself look like a complete fucktard who clearly should NOT be teaching any generation especially the next!

  6. Anonymous says:

    umm, what’s the difference between being “brainwashed” and “she just doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about and has received umpty-million “piracy is terrorism” messages from the school board and the BSA”?

  7. Metronicity says:

    Hmmm…you pick up on the teacher’s spelling of confrence but you lead with “An teacher in Austin”. Tut tut.

  8. gollux says:

    She’ll be working at setting Texas education back to the 50s next, demanding that the local robotics club be shut down because the’re improvising by using found parts to manufacture their robots instead of corporate approved Radio Crack Kits. After all it might involve some of that DMCA bruising reverse engineering by taking parts out of a washing machine and using them in a non-Whirlpool approved manner.

    Just sayin’

  9. Takuan says:

    wow, Peggy Hill finally got full-time.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I don’t suppose her threat to research whether something illegal was done could have been carried out before making an ass of herself. Not in America, I guess. Particularly not in Texas.

  11. EH says:

    “I am not sure what you are doing is legal.”

    Gee, ya think?

  12. arkizzle says:


    I thought it was super-subtle reference to an hero..

    If it’s true, she just commited internet suicide.

  13. gilesbowkett says:

    Can we organize a letter-writing campaign to clue her in? Anybody interested, e-mail me, Seems like a waste of good traffic having all this attention on the problem and nobody waking her up. Let’s raise money to send her “Open Source For Dummies” or some shit.

  14. Adam Weiss says:

    Such a brilliant troll. Use your heads, people.

    Who other than a Linux zealot posing as a “clueless luser” would write lines like these:

    “I admire your attempts in getting computers in the hands of disadvantaged people but putting linux on these machines is holding our kids back.

    This is a world where Windows runs on virtually every computer, and putting on a carnival show for an operating system is not helping these children at all.”


  15. winkybb says:

    @#25 – yeah, I’m kind of tempted to call bu!!$!+ on this one. Seems a little contrived to me.

  16. halfcaptain says:

    @ #6: lulz

    But yeah, unlike the HeliOS dude’s tinfoil hat response, it’s more likely she’s just a dumb or grossly uninformed lady. Teachers are bombarded with the same amount (or more?) of frenzied, hyperbolic anti-piracy ads as the rest of us, after all.

  17. unicornsfillmewithdread says:

    It doesn’t surprise me at all that, with all the linux user groups, this story invloves helios. Whether it’s true or not.

  18. Dead Air says:

    Yeah, it does read like a parody, but then there are people in real life who behave like parodies too.

    I just hope when she tried Linux in college she didn’t inhale!

  19. Shelby Davis says:

    Wow–my highschool did, and I believe still does, have Linux and only Linux on every computer in the lab.

    They did it to save money (which was very tight) but it didn’t limit the kids (c’mon, every one of them has Windows or Mac at home) anymore than having Spanish classes limited their English ability. It pushed them to be proficient (or at least familiar) with multiple OSs.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Crazy people are super awesome. Thanks, Texas!

  21. Chuck says:

    >This is a world where Windows runs on virtually every computer, and putting on a carnival show for an operating system is not helping these children at all.

    OH NO! I’ve damaged my prospects in life by using LINUX!

    I’m DOOMED, I tell you. DOOOOOOOOOOOOO … uh, wait … hold on…

    I just remembered: my laptop is a DUEL BOOT, with WINDOWS on the other side!

    There’s hope! THERE’S HOPE FOR ME YET!

  22. mhlaxp says:

    After I graduated from college in the late 70s, I didn’t know what to do. I was unemployed and couldn’t afford my apartment anymore, so on a whim my friend Dan and I joined the peace corps.

    We were stationed in South America, in this little village in the middle of nowhere. When we got there, we couldn’t believe our eyes. Everywhere, there was Linux, just occurring naturally. The tribe, primitive as they were, used Linux for a lot of every day things, like browsing and keeping track of finances, and ceremonial shit like making slide shows. Well, Dan and I, we had only tried Linux in college at a party, but we both had some pretty good memories of it. So a couple of times a day, we go out and we’d use Linux.

    It started out slowly at first, just to relax and check some websites, but soon it was basically all we did, all day. I mean, this was some really good Linux, not the shit that people hand out at parties here, but hard core, balls to the wall straight up Linux. It blew our freaking minds, that these people live out here with Linux every day and actually accomplish anything.

    I guess my point is, we’ve all tried Linux at some point, and sometimes we go overboard, but you can’t base your life round Linux. Yeah, it was fun in college, but if we all used Linux we’d be no better than those poor uncivilized South Americans. That’s something we just can’t afford to expose our children to.

    So I ask you, talk with your children about Linux, and tell them to just say no. Tell them that real computer users can get by without Linux, and while it may seem nice at first, in the long term they’ll regret ever using it. Make sure they learn the facts from you, or they’ll end up learning for themselves. Teach them to just say no to Linux.

  23. EeyoreX says:

    “Sure, she doesn’t believe that free software exists, but…”

    No buts. The buck stops right there.

    Seriously, if she works in a computer lab, teaching kids about the very basics of computing, and really doesn’t know where Linux comes from or what you are allowed to do with Linux, then she is either ignorant or frightingly stupid.

    This is not an issue about wich OS is the best or whatever, this is an issue about general competence.
    Would you want this woman teaching your kids? She might condition them to use the lid of the dvd-burner as a cup-holder.

    This is really SO much worse than that entire “intelligent design” debacle. Because you may very well still live a fruitful and profitable life while beliving that God created dinosaurs some 6000 years ago. But accurate knowlege about computers is essential to a modern person.
    Won’t somebody think about the children!

    We really need to get Linus Thorvalds on the phone with this persons employers. We’re all geeks here, it should be doable.

  24. dragonfrog says:

    The poor dear, she probably thought she was getting away with something in college, running a pirated copy of Linux.

    82 comments, and nobody has made a joke about education students – come on, people! I expected worse of you.

  25. manicbassman says:

    “Duel Boot” it’s true… you have to install Windows first then Linux… do it the other way round and Windows will replace the boot sector locking you out of Linux unless you’ve got a rescue disc with which to fix things back again…

  26. Stephen says:

    I don’t think she was crazy, or stupid, or a troll. I don’t think she was brain washed. I think she’s a bully and a thief and in a better world she’d be prosecuted. But teacher’s who are bullies is all too common and all too accepted by society.

    The way to make this better is to spend more money on our schools and hire better teachers.

  27. Scott Bieser says:

    There seems to be some un-written law of the Internet that whenever an example of public-school teacher incompetence comes up, somebody will declare that “we need more money to hire better teachers.”

    Is if there were some vast pool of more-competent teachers sitting around just waiting to be offered $75k per year before they’ll go to work.

    In 1985, in Kansas City, Missouri, a Federal Judge ordered that taxes be raised to build state-of-the art schools with state-of-art programs and raise teacher salaries an average 40 percent. The district budget more than tripled after 3 years. The result after 12 years was no improvement in student scores or graduation rates and the same incompetent teachers enjoyed the 40 percent higher pay.

    Today, KC news stories relate continuing problems with student scores and graduation rates, compared with school districts in the rest of the state.

    The problems with the public schools are political and structural, not monetary.

  28. asuffield says:

    “Duel Boot” it’s true… you have to install Windows first then Linux… do it the other way round and Windows will replace the boot sector locking you out of Linux unless you’ve got a rescue disc with which to fix things back again…

    Actually, you can boot linux with ntldr, it’s just not documented.

  29. key says:

    Only lusers use Linux.

  30. Sekino says:

    The snide and aggressive response from the HeliOS guy is kind of unnecessary.

    What possible excuse does Ken Starks have for being such a jackass? He’s our problem.

    She wasn’t exactly gentle either and she shot first. Being a total ignorant doesn’t mean you can spout attacks at people and expect they’ll be nice to you in return. She could have expressed her concern and asked for information before jumping on them with all the weight of her self-righteousness (without even making the slightest effort in doing a minimum of research herself- a teacher!)and threatening them.

    He answered appropriately to a totally rude and arrogant approach. Ignorant/arrogant people don’t learn- that’s why they are ignorant and arrogant. They only understand two concepts: Bully people who are smaller or stupider than you OR leave the bigger, smarter people alone because you can’t take them on. HeliOS just made it clear she was out to lunch and damn lucky to have her job. People like her are too full of their own crap to comprehend a gentler response.

    Now if only a little bird could report about their meeting after the holidays…

  31. noen says:

    Remember, these are the sorts of people who thought McCain was too liberal and that Huckabee is a socialist.

  32. Falcon_Seven says:

    I work with ‘highly qualified’ teachers all day long. Many of them lack what is commonly referred to as ‘basic common sense’. Believe you me, the bell curve is weighted towards the lower quartile when it comes to everyday capabilities. Many of them I would not let alone with my own child in the same room. This incident only serves to bolsters my personal observations -and those of many of my colleagues.

    If you are a parent with children of school age, you should be very concerned for your child’s safety while at school as well as the quality of their education. Out of the hundreds of individuals that I have worked with or made professional acquaintances with in over a decade-and-a-half of supporting technology in education, I could count the ones I would trust with children and are truly proficient at the trade on one hand.

  33. AGF says:

    @ #35 posted by mhlaxp – WIN!

    I suspect the email is real. Truth is often stranger than fiction.

  34. ill lich says:

    Some people “just don’t GET it”, example:

    The company I work for reissues old school hip hop recordings. One of the label owners that we signed a reissue deal with, a REAL old-school guy, often calls up to complain about “getting ripped off”– he thinks there are thousands of websites selling illegal downloads of his albums. When I ask for examples he cites and ebay, not realizing that these are essentially the same as a record store or flea market, selling actual physical copies, new and used, of his old albums. Then he will cite iTunes and eMusic, where we have accounts to sell his downloads for him. He has been brainwashed by news reports about “illegal downloading” into believing that “if my albums are up on the INTERNET then something illegal is going on!”

  35. spokehedz says:

    This is why America’s schools are so terrible. Teachers don’t even know things, or think for themselves. They just repeat whatever garbage they hear, and think it is fact.

  36. Chuck says:

    >Only lusers use Linux.

    Ah. There’s the key to stopping the free software movement…


    (Granted, it used to be that anyone who could use a computer was deemed a loser. But, dammit, we obviously have to make some concessions here.)

  37. mdh says:

    Scott @71 – Is if there were some vast pool of more-competent teachers sitting around just waiting to be offered $75k per year before they’ll go to work.

    Yep, here I am, sitting and waiting for education to be a respected profession. Until then I’ll make money using my chemistry degree to clean up hazardous waste (whihc actually DOES pay my bills).

    We’re here Scott, now get behind us.

  38. zydeco100 says:

    Looking at the Twitter feed on the guy’s blog page, it looks like the bullying is going both ways now. Way to project a professional image, internet.

    Text received: can I call u? response: I guess who r u? received:Karen response:k. Talked with her twice that day. Tearful, frightened.

  39. mdh says:

    This is why [comment boards] are so terrible. [commenters] don’t even know things, or think for themselves. They just repeat whatever garbage they hear, and think it is fact.

    fixed your thing, spokehedz @ 75.

  40. JoshuaZ says:

    Lionel, it is called belief overkill. When humans decide to believe something they will frequently convince themselves that all the arguments favor only a single direction. It is a very common form of error in reasoning.

  41. mcsey says:

    Ha ha ha you silly wabbit, no one told you *nix is for kids!

  42. mdh says:

    Particularly not in Texas.

    Two Words: Peggy Hill.

  43. BradB says:

    The whole story sounds pretty bogus. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet — regardless of the OS that opens it for you. Activate your crap-detector plug-in.

  44. Psymiley says:

    Oh. Right.

    So that would mean I’d be forced to collect royalties for all the apps i’ve written for people and general public?

    “Free software is only free if your time is worthless.”

    Absolute tosh! Since when has furthering of education or therapeutic pastimes been worthless.
    Infact, writing a piece of free software for someone in most cases is more productive and rewarding than watching tv or reading the average book.

  45. davevontexas says:

    Unfortunately, I did my time in the AISD, and the only thing those guys are really good at is moving lots and lots of cash from property taxes into the bank accounts of textbook publishers. That’s about it.

    A few excellent examples notwithstanding (my Hemingway fanboy English teacher, my black chemistry teacher who dressed up as “Soul Witch” on Halloween and a couple of others), near as I can tell, students are lucky if mediocrity is all they have to put up with from their teachers.

    I fired off an email to the office of the Ombudsman at AISD. If this whole thing’s a hoax, I guess we’ll find out; somehow, I doubt it, though.

  46. 13strong says:

    Sorry, but can we not hold up this one US teacher’s response as indicative of the attitudes of all teachers?


  47. 13strong says:

    The snide and aggressive response from the HeliOS guy is kind of unnecessary.

    This teacher is demonstrating nothing but ignorance, and a misplaced trust of brands that is common nowadays.

    Instead of spouting conspiracy theories and superiority, why don’t this local pro-LINUX organisation offer to meet with the teacher, and give her a demonstration of LINUX? Teach her how it has progressed since her college days, how it operates as an open-source, community enterprise, and show her how much better than its rivals it can be?

    If these guys really care about the success of LINUX, they’d be converting, not chastising, this teacher.

  48. Anonymous says:

    “No software is free.”

    Uh, someone better notify the the Ubuntu folks and tell them they’re living a huge lie, I guess?

  49. JamesMason says:

    #34 – “my laptop is a DUEL BOOT”

    I have no clue, but is that the way you spell it? My guess is all that fighting could shorten the life of your machine.

  50. lalo says:

    Ok… having never lived in the US I may be misinterpreting your systems and laws… but…

    Why does everybody repeat her claim that she “confiscated” the CDs? This is clearly stealing, not confiscating. I doubt a teacher has authority to “confiscate” CDs, even if they were illegal. At most, she could have detained the disks and the student and taken the matter to someone with authority (police, principal, whatever). Or, if the scene happened in her class, she certainly has the authority to detain whatever she feels like is disturbing class, but then return it after the class is over.

    Why didn’t the student simply go to the police as soon as possible and report his CDs stolen?

  51. palindrome says:

    The religious overtones of these arguments are interesting. I mean, Mr. HeliOS sounds like a missionary whose proselytizing skills are weak complaining to one of his fellow missionaries about how the ignorant heathens will burn in hell.

    Look, some people just aren’t going to see it your way.

  52. lionelbrits says:

    The teacher seems to be complaining about two things here. One, the implication that piracy had occurred, and two, the implication that Linux is somehow inferior.

    If either of these criticisms were a sure thing, why include the other? Why does the teacher need to bolster his/her argument?

  53. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how this teacher would have responded if the student was running Paranoid Linux. She’s likely a Vista4Schools supporter.

  54. spazzm says:

    And then she voted!

    Let’s hope, for the sake of our species, that she has not procreated.

  55. bfarn says:

    “Mr. Starks, I along with many others tried Linux during college and I assure you, the claims you make are grossly over-stated and hinge on falsehoods.”

    Sounds like a line from Reefer Madness, dunnit?

  56. OM says:

    …Actually, I’ve an old friend who’s on the AISD board of trustees, and *they* want to know who this bim is who wrote the letter. Apparently they want to have a talk with her about running her mouth off like that, although some who’ve read the letter suspect the same thing some of you do: it’s a troll attempt by some schmuck.

  57. Dillenger69 says:

    I suppose, technically it’s not free. There’s all the time and effort put in to coding it. Then there’s the time effort and resources put in to the infrastructure to enable the running of software. The computers, the power grid, the telecommunications networks.

    Top it off with my favorite line … “Free software is only free if your time is worthless.”

  58. Chuck says:

    >#34 – “my laptop is a DUEL BOOT”

    >I have no clue, but is that the way you spell it? My guess is all that fighting could shorten the life of your machine.


    I was so busy injecting make-believe dumb into my comment that I accidentally threw in some real dumb.

    I’ll tell my fingers to proofread their efforts next time.

    Or maybe I’ll set the Linux and Windows sides of my laptop to battle one another and make my comment completely real.

  59. shmengie says:

    sh’s s stpd, ‘ll bt sh’s ht!

  60. gabrielm says:

    “I along with many others tried Linux during college”

    That made me smile. Perhaps he is confusing “linux” with marijuana or homoerotic experimentation?

  61. Keith says:

    I tried Linux once during college but I swear, I never compiled the source code!

  62. alowishus says:

    God, I hate our school system. And most of its teachers, too.

  63. OM says:

    “Why didn’t the student simply go to the police as soon as possible and report his CDs stolen?”

    …I had a second grade Luddite excuse for a teacher who used to confiscate what she called “ConTRAband” and refuse to give it back until the end of the school year. While I never had the bitch take anything of mine – we had our own war over her being very anti-NASA in the middle of the Moon Race – she did take quite a few things like Hot Wheels and packs of Life Savers if she found them in students’ possession.

    …What I found after I’d moved to another school was that she’d pulled this on a student whose father was an attorney, and instead of cowering in fear of the old bat the first thing he did when he got home was tell his pop that she refused to give the contraband item – never did find out what it was – back until the end of the school year. The father went to the school the next morning, and in front of all the kids in her class he made it clear that he was going to press charges if she didn’t return all of the confiscated items by the end of the day. She had the right to confiscate if they disrupted the class, but as it turned out she was performing desk searches without warning, and had quite a few items in her desk, some of which had been collected two or three years *earlier*.

    …As you might expect, the old biddy balked at the demand at first – “this is *my* class and I’ll run it as I see fir” was her retort – but eventually relented to avoid the legal hassles, and she gave back all the toys, gum and whatnot to her current batch of unfortunate kids at the end of the day. She reportedly never pulled her desk raids again, but for several weeks after the incident she was significantly more bitchy than she normally was. However, the kids had seen her put in her place once, and enough of them got their parents involved in the matter enough to eventually convince her to retire a couple of years early.

    …The real surprise is that this was the 1968-1969 school year, back in the era when teachers were supposed to be 100% right especially when they were 110% wrong, lest they lose their “authority”. Go figure.

  64. mgfarrelly says:

    You got the headline wrong.

    “Local Teacher Steals Discs From Students, Sends Threatening Letters, Currently in Custody.”

    I think this teacher, and others like her, would be very scared in my library. We run ubuntu on a number of patron computers and have a sign offering a free copy of the OS to any patron who provides a disc or storage device to copy it.

    But we’re librarians. Clearly, we’re evil.

  65. Anonymous says:

    Now, Cory, don’t go blaming the school board automatically. Some of us are trying to guide our schools toward switching to Linux and OpenOffice. But, as you notice from the last 8 years, change takes a while.

    Eric (board prez, not in Texas)

  66. Antinous says:

    And Austin is the progressive city.

  67. padster123 says:

    Ah – that’s what happened to Sarah Palin.

  68. LightningRose says:

    “Texas Education” is an oxymoron.

  69. Anonymous says:

    I work at a local community college… in Texas. I fear for the future!

    Our students can barely understand how to use Microsoft Word, much less get online to use our e-learning system.

    Now I know why!

  70. Jonathan says:

    This is so insane it’s wonderful. Almost too perfect, may even be some sort of prank.

  71. Phikus says:

    TX Rock@14: Too true. (Hi neighbor!)

    Kieth@8 & MHLAXP@35: Ftw!

  72. Anonymous says:

    I agree the guy’s response to the teacher’s suspiciously ignorant attack was bad but i think mine would have been worse.

    Is there anything the Linux Community can do to support him or his organisation? It sounds like he does an excellent job probably with little reward or encouragement. Clearly someone that deserves our respect and admiration. He has mine, the student too.

    I think we should remember Ghandi’s “An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind” and pity the teacher for her ignorance. Sadly ‘free’ and ‘supportive’ seem perhaps increasingly unlikely in this world these days so it’s good to see a teacher trying to help prepare her clients for the world outside. I pity her.

  73. tx_ROOK says:

    I live in Austin and love it here!

    Sadly, it’s incidents like this that remind me Austin is still located in the middle of Texas…

  74. duncan says:

    WOW… no such thing as free software!!! What are we going to do with all the FREE open source software…

    She still believes that there are no free lunches in the world…

  75. Ugly Canuck says:

    Antinous, if so, then there would also be a survival/evolutionary advantage to it as well.
    It’s better to be wrong and alive, than right and dead.

  76. robulus says:

    The HeliOS organizer kind of goes off the rails in his response, implying that the teacher’s been brainwashed by her union to support Microsoft because they get donations from Microsoft. I think it’s more likely that she just doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about and has received umpty-million “piracy is terrorism” messages from the school board and the BSA.

    Bit of both. She’s clearly familiar with linux so she’s not that clueless. Maybe she only used it from a command line, but then why didn’t she notice the pretty GUI on the PC?

    • Antinous says:


      She complains that using Linux instead of Windows will turn the students into disadvantaged children. It wasn’t about piracy.

  77. John A Arkansawyer says:

    The teacher is out of her field of expertise and thus has an excuse for being ignorant. Given the amount of propaganda she gets loaded on her on the subject, I’d even say her ignorance was excusable.

    What possible excuse does Ken Starks have for being such a jackass? He’s our problem.

  78. bwcbwc says:

    MGFarelly: Glad to see you’re keeping up the libertarian tradition of the ALA. Too bad the NEA doesn’t have the same philosophy.

  79. dalziel_86 says:

    If you follow the links to the original version of the e-mail, you’ll see that her issues are less batshit than they appear. Sure, she doesn’t believe that free software exists, but her chief complaint seems to be more based on the argument that teaching kids to use Windows is much more useful. That argument has flaws, but it’s less blatantly insane.

  80. cholling says:

    The headline should read, “HeliOS, BoingBoing Feed Troll.” Some organization got an email claiming to be from a “local teacher” who has never been identified by her real name, who can’t spell, and who has provided exactly zero pieces of evidence supporting her claim to be an actual teacher. This non-story gets picked up by the blagosphere and given a far wider audience than it deserves because it confirms people’s prejudices about non-Linux users, anti-Free Software activists, and/or Texans. Move along, there’s nothing to see here.

  81. noen says:

    Domesticated cattle always believe those outside the fence are evil.

  82. Oren Beck says:

    Fear is a sign of being considered a credible threat.
    Linux clearly has potential for making students independent of teachers.
    Which might account for this teacher feeling Linux as a threat.
    An autodidact also is less likely to be brainwashed or misled by propaganda.

  83. robulus says:

    Hey Antinous, well that argument is kinda sorta valid, although well flawed IMO. But when she says:

    “At this point, I am not sure what you are doing is legal. No software is free and spreading that misconception is harmful…I will research this as time allows and I want to assure you, if you are doing anything illegal, I will pursue charges as the law allows.”

    It definitely reads like she thinks the software is pirated.

  84. Anonymous says:

    At the end of the day, most teachers are not only not tech savvy, they are certainly not Open Source aware. Which is what it is. However, the certainty in which she states her clearly wrong case is what is so disappointing. She does not conduct any independent research, let alone 5 minutes on the web. What exactly do they teach now-a-days?

  85. asuffield says:

    Sure, she doesn’t believe that free software exists, but her chief complaint seems to be more based on the argument that teaching kids to use Windows is much more useful. That argument has flaws, but it’s less blatantly insane.

    I would like to emphasise that this is “less blatant” and not “less insane”. I am quite tired of hearing this bandied about.

    Let’s assume your teacher is 40 years old (reasonable average, if they start in their early 20s and retire at 65). When they were at school (let’s say 25 years ago, so that’s 1983), what was the prevalent operating system? Oh hey, that would be SysV unix, which is a Linux ancestor, and anybody who learned SysV will have absolutely no trouble applying their skills on modern Linux-based systems.

    Want to teach the kids something that’s going to last throughout their life? It’s not going to be Windows XP, that’s already obsoleted. Not going to be Vista either. Anybody who claims that is clearly either not thinking or acting from ulterior motives. The unix platforms are the only ones which have stood the test of time (teach them macosx or BSD or Solaris for all I care, just so long as it’s a unix platform).

  86. Pantograph says:

    Antinous, I understand completely.
    It is the way we OSX users think of kids learning Windows. We shouldn’t look down upon them of course, but they will never know the joy of wearing a black turtleneck sweater.

    Some of them even believe Comic Sans is an acceptable typeface.

    It makes one’s hornrimmed glasses fall off.

  87. strumpet windsock says:

    No software is free. wow.

    And evidently a lot of people come with their cages hard-wired in, too.

    debian/fedora/knoppix criminal

  88. singingsoftly says:

    In the office I used to work at I spent weeks trying to explain to my boss and coworkers that open source software (in this case Openoffice) meant open for development and not that if you used it people could access your files. Seriously. They thought “open” meant people could access your computer through it. It was the most frustrating thing ever and I actually had to just give up, they wouldn’t buy it. There are people that just don’t understand how anything works.

  89. DeWynken says:

    Ah..whatever happened to the days when computer and keyboarding teachers sullenly glared at the 23 morons they had to try to teach, and spent their free time sipping gin in their cars in the parking lot..

  90. arkizzle says:

    For the AISD it’s as simple as running a cross check of teachers named Karen and students named Aaron..

    Hmm.. rhymey.

  91. grimc says:

    After the teacher in Connecticut (or was it Delaware) had to plead to that insane pr0n malware charge, is it that surprising any teacher would overreact to anything having to do with computers?

    I’m not saying she’s right, by any means, but that story has got to have put the fear of internet jesus in teachers.

  92. bill streeter says:

    Yeah MicroSoft donating money to unions … that will be the day …

  93. HeruRaHa says:

    Bwahahah I’ve been beaten to it, but I have to say I almost lost it on that “…I along with many others tried Linux during college…” line. I almost have a hard time believing this is real after that…

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