Educational CyberPlayGround ®


The NSA has uploaded source code to GitHub to help IT admins lock down their networks of Linux machines. The open source code is called SIMP

From: Linus Torvalds <>
Thu, 20 Oct 2016
The underlying bug was patched this week by the maintainers of the official Linux kernel. Downstream distributors are in the process of releasing updates that incorporate the fix. Red Hat has classified the vulnerability as "important."

Information Assurance Directorate
Confidence in Cyberspace

2015 Tips and Tricks Securing Linux Servers - Best Practices & Troubleshooting


Q: What's the deal with Linux?
A: Okay, I give up! Please talk Linux to me, Is this a new word for you? THINK Operating System.

It's about the brains in your computer that tells all the software what to do. It is about the operating system and all the software programs that work with the operating system you have installed on your computer.


DEFINITION of Open Source

Linux = their operating system is free.
History of Open Software - CopyLeft
Nobody owns the code with "open source" software. You can still find the original kernal for download. The complete source code of many Linux kernel versions dating back to 1991 is freely downloadable from; you can download the very first release (or view the release notes), the first semi-stable version (release notes), or the 1.0 release.

Free software movement started in 1983 by Richard Stallman. Freedom and community are the moral goals of software freedom.

Schools Use Linux

What do Schools need to know in order to evaluate changing to using Linux. This is the tricky part . . .

Are you going to focus on the product?
Are you going to focus on the process?

Schools are leaving Microsoft products and going for Linux Products. It's all about what kind of brains you want inside the box you call a computer. Do you want scary Microsoft brains or wonderful Linux Brains?

It's about what kind of software you use to make your computer work. Do you want to be able to fuss with the code and make the software do what you want or do you always want to have to "buy" it from microsoft and find out that you are really only licensing it and what the MS procedures are.

This decision about which operating system that is in your box ---- decides . . .

  • how much money you are spending for everything from now on
  • if you own the software you bought or really only rent it
  • if you can make your computer software do what you want it to for your needs, or if you are stuck with using the software the way it is
  • how many security problems you have or don't have
  • how many security fixes you need to get or never need to worry about again
  • how secure your system is or isn't
  • Microsoft Office 98, 2000, and XP pay licensing fees
  • Microsoft licensing terms for volume license purchasing with Microsoft is like you are renting,not buying the software.
  • Plan on paying for the rental use of Office every year from now on, and your fees will be based on the TOTAL number of computers you have. Old or new, it doesn't matter. And if you decide after
    renting to ditch microsoft, you end up with NOTHING.
  • When you stop paying your Office rental bill, you have NO RIGHTS to any of the software, no matter how much money you've sunk into the software up to that point.
  • Example - a school district can spend over $400,000 on MS Office products in every upgrade cycle. If you can save $35,000-$45,000 THE FIRST YEAR this money could pay for professional staff development.
  • In short, it can cost you more to STAY with Microsoft Office than it will cost you to MOVE off Microsoft Office to another package.
  • Another Way A School Can Save Money is To Go Wireless
  • Is your focus on using the tools for yourself (your own office) or what you teach others to do with the tools (getting them ready for the workplace)?
  • Tip - Use Wine (Windows emulator) for compatibility for Windows program you have to have.
  • Setting up HPC system from scratch The Rocks clustering package from the University of California at San Diego makes it easy to build and maintain a high-performance compute cluster with off-the-shelf hardware.

Technology | teachers | open source | linux

Teaching Teachers to Make Web Pages

Vendor charges $29 a year for a site.
Assumption: You think is reasonable cause of the amount of man hours and web space at your local site will be used up.
Reality: Let's say my school has 20 teachers in it. That's almost $500 a year going out the window to (don't forget to investigate if there are any privacy issues)
Reality: We're talking about something that's extremely simple to do and once done will need little or no maintenance. Disk space isn't going to be an issue, these novice teachers are going to be writing megabytes worth of homework assignments.
Reality: There are many free software solutions to allow computer novices to create web pages (we'll ignore similar packages which implement such things as a full-blown online school) -- the only thing the teachers will have to know how to do is to cut-and-paste and/or type.
Reality: Most schools have a 24/7 Internet line and have a 386 or better computer they can spare. Toss a copy of GNU/Linux on that machine along with the school software and for far less than $500 a school could set their own site up.
Worse Case Scenerio:
Let's say that it'll take the tech a full day to set the OS and school web site up. Techs might be paid $20 an hour (about ~$40K/year). That's $160. Let's say it takes 1/2 hour per month to do maintenance on that machine (the only thing that would need to be done is to install GNU/Linux security updates and perhaps to run an occasional backup), so that's $120/year. So far we've got a total of $280/year to support an unlimited amount of teachers versus $480/year to support 20 teachers on In addition, you have complete control over your in-house GNU/Linux solution -- it's owned by the taxpayers so there's no worrying about going bankrupt, being bought up by a larger company, or changing their privacy policy.

School System
Ed Tech's

Content Management Systems - What to do about school websites. Technology facilitator impliments Content Management Systems - database backed websites used by school systems - 56,000 kids and 3,600 teachers. Includes no cost solutions for school district. Advantages (school employees don't need to know anything) vs disadvantages (open source software knowledge, sql, training, server php, mambo, security, restictive templates, Technology has made it easier to do things than to do them right)

  • A free UPnP A/V Media Server for Linux Universal Plug and Play UPnP-enabled audio/video network The goals of UPnP are to allow devices to connect seamlessly and to simplify the implementation of networks in the home and corporate environments. would be expected to comprise one or more media servers, for example, a central multimedia archive for movies, photographs, music etc, media renderers through which the media is played and a control point or universal remote-control unit that automatically sets up the data streaming connection between the media server and media renderer. A complete home network would require a control point in every room or preferably a portable control point (like the Philips iPronto universal remote-control unit) that can be carried between rooms. If the media renderer is a portable player (for example an MP3 player), it could be automatically configured into the network anywhere in the home.

LinuxChix is a community for women who like Linux, and for women and men who want to support women in computing. The membership ranges from novices to experienced users, and includes professional and amateur programmers, system administrators and technical writers.
Wikichix Founded in response to discussions of systemic gender bias in Wikipedia and the inability of a number of women to contribute to those discussions, WikiChix is a wiki and mailing list for female wiki editors to discuss issues of gender bias in wikis, to promote wikis to potential female editors, and for general discussion of wikis in a friendly female-only environment.


MetConnect, New York City's Free Internet Service Provider

More Free Stuff

Microsoft Grant


The Internet Society discussion list:
Description of list: "Discussions on software as a public good. Free software and open source software applications on third world development and Internet access. Open standards for interfaces and communications." - Linux Weekly News


PIONEER - ERIC RAYMOND Author, Philosopher, President Open Source Initiative

What is the difference between Napster, Gnutella, and GNUnet? GNUnet was designed with security in mind as the highest priority.


Defense Department Issues Open Source Policy By Thor Olavsrud June 3, 2003
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) last week distributed a memo putting open source software on a level playing field with proprietary software when it comes to use within the department, though the memo also warned that those using open source software (OSS) must comply with "lawful licensing requirements" and be aware of what those licenses entail.