Submissions for Linux.Conf.Au 2006  have now closed, and as promised, here are the abstracts I have submitted.
Setting up Ubuntu Linux as a kiosk browser in a school library
After Linux.Conf.Au 2005 I had a set of Ubuntu CDs and a problem. The library where I work had taken a set of their unused Windows NT4 staff network computers containing sensitive data and added them to the student network. All these computers were ever going to be needed for was accessing the web based library catalogue and occasional Internet access, and I needed a project, so I converted them to Linux.
In this seminar, I will detail what I did to setup Ubuntu Linux and lock down the settings so that it wasn’t going to be tampered with. I will talk about the rotating message screensaver and the script behind it, and what I did to make it easy for the library staff to change the messages when they needed to. I will show exactly how I made it impossible for standard users to do anything they shouldn’t be able to do.
I will be delighted to show people what I did, I’m proud of it as it was my first attempt at locking down Linux like this, and I would love to hear feedback on how I could have done this more efficiently.
The Library staff are delighted about how well these computers work now, and I’m delighted that Linux is slowly taking over the school I work at, even if the education department aren’t!
Helping Windows users migrate to Linux
Windows is currently the dominant operating system, but a lot of Windows users are interested in seeing what all the fuss about open source and Linux is. These users often don’t know how to “get” Linux or what the difference is between proprietary and Open Source software.
In this seminar, I propose to examine the many different ways that computer users (primarily Windows users) can be introduced to Open Source software, and even be migrated to Linux.
I will run through my favoured methods of introduction, including slowly showing them what open source software is capable of, and dumping a Linux distro on them so that they can teach themselves.
I will also run through the different ways that Open Source evangelism should be approached for the many different skill levels and types of computer users out there.
I would also, as part of all of the above, examine how user’s dependence on Windows can be diminished.
All of this will come from my own personal experience in showing people Open Source software, integrating Open Source solutions to do the jobs previously being done by proprietary software, and my own experiences in chucking myself in at the deep end of many unfamiliar Linux distros.
Is the Linux Firewall Distro facing extinction?
For many years, Linux has been distributed in the form of firewall distros, designed to turn older, redundant hardware into a dedicated protective device for your network, but with the proliferation of SOHO routers, the primary users of Linux Firewall Distros, home networks, appear to be turning away from the computer in the corner concept.
SOHO routers are becoming more flexible, more powerful and more attractive, they are small, light and easy to install, but are they viable competition to Linux Firewall Distros? Or are they just a partner product, also providing a level of protection? And what threat do they pose to the ongoing success of Linux Firewall Distros?
In this seminar, I aim to answer these questions and provide my reasons for believing that Linux Firewall Distros will live forever, due to their power, cost, ongoing distro maintenance, standard architecture and ability to modify by the end user.
I will also show why I believe Linux is the future of security products for all users, and potentially the infrastructure of the internet.
I will draw on my experience with network security in both home and corporate environments, as well as my experience being involved with the ongoing support and development of Linux Firewall Distros.
Well, now comes the fun bit of waiting until the 20th to 30th of this month to see if one of my submissions have been accepted. If one of them is then I will be off to Dunedin for LCA 2006, otherwise, I suspect I will be firmly planted on Aussie Terra Firma.