[lpi-discuss] LPI, Novell, and SUSE

ross e. brunson ross at brunson.org
Wed Jul 13 14:36:41 EDT 2005

On Mon, 2005-07-11 at 23:04 +0200, Anselm Lingnau wrote:
> Still I'm fairly 
> confident that if we do decide to produce a self-study kit we shall be able 
> to figure out a price that won't bother our existing customers and still 
> appeal to the target market. It might even compare favourably to what you are 
> charging :^) Anyway, I'm mostly a technical person so shall be leaving the 
> nitty-gritty details of selling the thing to our marketing and 
> customer-relation folks.

Agreed, and I do have some input into the kits, but they're not my area
of responsibility, and I definitely like to leave those details to the
people who get excited over costs per kit etc.

> Resources are of course always an issue, and in particular since our company 
> is a minute fraction of the size of the likes of Novell, we do not take on 
> commitments such as these lightly. As the person in charge I'm too much of a 
> perfectionist to let that happen ...

I'm with you there, at least in the areas that I can affect or have direct responsibility for.

> I absolutely agree, and I would love to be able to do something about that. 
> Unfortunately, as a small company we have to pay the salaries, rent, 
> electricity etc., and we can't just detail a dozen engineers and instructors 
> for half a year or so to produce the best self-study kit in the world.

Trust me, there is definitely something to be said about being small and
nimble, it doesn't take a Parliamentary Resolution to get things done,
but of course there's a lot of stress in being so small and nimble you
can quickly NOT exist, too. 8-P

> Just for the record, I would be the last person to keep anybody who is willing 
> and able to fork out the >$800 for a Novell CLP self-study bundle from doing 
> so. Whatever helps. However not everybody is as fortunate, and in the 
> meantime, a Knoppix CD is probably the most viable el-cheapo alternative if 
> you don't have a machine (or bunch of machines) that you can devote to Linux.

Hmm, remember how LPI doesn't do courseware?  I've long described over
the years how to get your LPI certification as being 3 tiers: 
 - First tier is to take a class of some kind from a provider
 - Second tier is to buy a CBT/Self-Study Kit or a BOB (bunch of books)
 - Third tier is to use the Web and other totally free resources

Everyone has access to the resources needed to learn, and trying to say
that something is TOO expensive when there are free or much lower cost
(as in money, not time and energy) is a little, er, socialistic in my

SO... there is a need for an "official" kit from the vendor, but as
we've seen in many times past, as competition comes online the prices
drop and quality usually goes up all across the board.  So if people
want lower prices for the official kits, someone really needs to develop
competing products.  Follow my twisted logic?

> > What distribution do you use to run classes on?
> Whatever the customer wants (within reason; we have gone off teaching classes 
> on SuSE 7.x or other vintage distributions). Being in Germany, most of them 
> prefer the various SUSE distributions, but Debian GNU/Linux has been gaining 
> some market share recently. 

I have used Red Hat pre-RHEL, along with Knoppix, now I use (of course)
mostly SUSE/SLES and Knoppix, which now with the whole UnionFS addition
to Knoppix it's possible to change and update the distro that booted
from the Live CD/DVD and it all goes away so they can practice it again.

> For LPI work, I must say I prefer Debian since it 
> seems closer to what the LPI objectives cover -- the newer SUSE distributions 
> tend to do »their own thing« in a bunch of places and need to be »dumbed 
> down«, while some software that LPIC requires isn't even part of the standard 
> setup. 

Try the installation option "zzz_all" which can be seen in the selection
dialog for setup, it literally installs ALL the software on the CD/DVD,
whereas the click-box installation method of selecting the different
package sets doesn't.  I've not seen a tool that isn't there, with that
installation all the software is there.  More to the point, what
software are you not seeing?

> Actually we've had LPIC workshops where people brought in their own 
> laptops with a variety of distributions, and it is always interesting for the 
> participants to find out about the distributions' differences and 
> commonalities. It certainly broadens the mind!

Right, but you have to draw the line somewhere or you start getting into
XT, jokingly what I call eXtreme Troubleshooting, and it all gets really
fragmented.  I like to get them through a particular distro with some
side-tracks, at the most two and then enable them along the way by
showing them the others, or giving them the ISO's to try them out.

> > Thanks for not
> > replying in flame-mode.
> Well, at temperatures exceeding 30°C outside it is quite hot enough around 
> here without extra flamage, thank you very much ...

95F here.


> Anselm

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