Fwd: [lug] Remote Healthcare Training for the Developing World pilot - advice needed!

Gail Austin gail_austin_co at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 25 10:02:11 MDT 2008

David: Many thanks!! RE how to back up my borrowed PC, I am going to take your advice and not try to partition the drive. I'm gonna try using True Image to store an image of the drive on a dedicated external drive I have here and our server in Richmond. Fingers crossed.
Thanks VERY MUCH for the firewall guidance!! While the pilot PCs are not intended to be connected to the Internet & there's no internet in these villages, who knows what might actually happen once we get back on the plane (such as clever visiting doctors who decide to use their cellphone data service to access the web via the PC)? So I'll keep your firewall advice & make sure that's in place.

Thanks again!

--- On Wed, 9/24/08, Davide Del Vento <davide.del.vento at gmail.com> wrote:

From: Davide Del Vento <davide.del.vento at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Fwd: [lug] Remote Healthcare Training for the Developing World pilot - advice needed!
To: "Boulder (Colorado) Linux Users Group -- General Mailing List" <lug at lug.boulder.co.us>, "Gail Austin" <gail_austin_co at yahoo.com>
Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2008, 5:39 PM


I don't have complete answers, but here are my $0.02

>> So do you think Ubuntu would be a good fit?
Yes. Ubuntu is very easy to install, update and manage. Seriously it's
easier than windows, for example because the additional software you
install (e.g. Apache) is automatically configured and get automatic
updates, unlike windows (where you get updates only for the operating
system and not for all the other software you install, which you also
need to configure by hand). To be fair, this is a feature that almost
all the linux'es have, not only Ubuntu.
It might be tricky to install the drivers for exotic hardware, though.

>> I have an extra PC to use as a
>> sandbox on the condition that I restore it when I return it. I'm
thinking of
>> using Ghost to back up the PC on an external hard drive (removing all
>> and data except Windows itself), and then partitioning the PC hard
>> into Windows and Ubuntu partitions (Windows so I can run Ghost to
restore the
>> PC when needed), then installing the recommended stack for Moodle and
>> itself (assuming all this even *fits* on a PC...), then try installing
an open
>> source assessment tool (trying each application out after installing
it, esp
>> Moodle and the assessment tool, to see how much of what I need done
they can do
>> out of the box).
>> Having said all this, I've never partitioned a hard drive in my
life, but
>> there's always a first time...
>> Does this sound reasonable to you?

Since you never did things like that, I think that a better idea for
you would be to remove the (untouched) current HD, putting in a new
one and install Ubuntu+everything on there. Then, sure, you can
install Moodle locally and that's easier than install it online, where
you barely have control on the machine where you are installing it,
and so you have to deal with lot of tricks to bypass the hosting
"security settings".

You will need apache+php+mysql (or postgresql) but it is incredibly
easy to install and configure them in Ubuntu (you just push a button
for each!)
If you ever will connect such a machine on the internet, I strongly
recommend to setup a tight firewall, which can be done typing what
follows on the command line:

sudo apt-get install ufw
sudo ufw default DENY
sudo ufw enable

Everything surely fits very easy on a cheap laptop, but I do not know
exactly the requirements of the software stack and the specs of the
ultra-low-cost PC.

The big answer I do NOT have, is if Moodle provides all the features
you need, but I think you can find that on their website.


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