Packages, iTALC and SystemImager
There are two software packages that I would really love to work with, that I think most anyone in my situation would really love to work with, but they don't have .deb packages of the latest versions and the versions available from the Ubuntu repositories are far too old to be useful (all requests for support are answered with "first of all, you need to be using the latest version").
iTALC is one - Intelligent Teaching and Learning with Computers - which is a classroom management tool in the Big Brother tradition, which gives a simple, intuitive interface for the teacher to be aware of what their students are up to, and also give them a few remote control options that are pretty cool.
The other is SystemImager, which I've mentioned here before is a utility for installing and updating large numbers of identical computers (such as the 300 or so workstations I'm trying to manage).
Now, one of the great things about Ubuntu is the Package Management it inherits from Debian. I really dig apt-get and Synaptic. The only real problem with it is that most small free software projects (ok, generalizing based on personal experience here...) only seem to provide their releases in Red Hat's .rpm package format as well as in source.
While I have trudged my way through installing SystemImager from source on a server, with great hand-holding help from Andrea on the SystemImager mailing list, I really would rather not install stuff from source on the workstations. So, the other option would be building .deb packages from source on the server and installing the .debs on the workstations.
Only problem is, I have no experience with any of this. Compiling SystemImager from source was my first real compilation ever, and I wouldn't even know where to begin...
I was directed to http://www.debian.org/devel/, which unfortunately flies right over my head. I could beat my head against this for a while in order to figure this stuff out, but I really am hoping someone might be able to direct me to a simpler HOWTO that assumes a little less experience and hand-holds me through the process. Anyone?
P.S. It's my understanding that using alien to convert .rpms to .debs is not really a great solution. Anyone have experience with this?
powered by performancing firefox