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Re: Teaching Using Octave

From: Michael Creel
Subject: Re: Teaching Using Octave
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2005 17:22:00 +0200
User-agent: KMail/1.7.2

On Friday 15 April 2005 17:06, Steve C. Thompson wrote:
> > ... it is currently better to teach a Windows user to use Linux, and
> > then teach Octave using Linux.
> I agree with this.  If it were me, the first day of class I would hand
> out Ubuntu CDs and tell the students to go home, install GNU/Linux, and
> get to work.  However, this isn't practical, I know, and somewhat
> draconian.
> So the question is, how do you get them to use GNU/Linux?  On a Linux

That's easy. Give them homework and a lot of long, pre-written Octave 
functions that they either use or have to translate.

> lab on campus?  This doesn't necessarily exist.  A lab next to me,
> running Solaris, is administered by the academic computing people;
> getting Linux and Octave on these machines would be really hard.  Does
> the instructor have to do some wrangling to get a Linux lab set up?
> Does he have to do it himself?

Well, I have used remastered Knoppix CDs in the past. I put Octave, etc., on, 
as well as my stuff, and they can work just by booting the CD. This works 
pretty well. Currently we have dual  boot computers for the students, so I'm 
not using live CD's for teaching right now.

> The other alternative is to have the students install GNU/Linux on their
> machines (back to free CDs).  There are problems here as well.  The
> student has to be quite motivated and willing to change their ways.
> They might be resentful if things don't work perfectly smoothly (which
> they never do).  They might ask you during class, ``How do I set up my
> email,'' ``How do I get the ssh-thingie to work?''
> Michael, I like your basic idea, but can you give more details one how
> to implement?

You can get an out-of-date CD at
This has a link to an ISO image that has Octave 2.1.40 or so on it. The 
current parallelknoppix has Octave 2.1.69

Cheers, Michael

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