LTSP: DEVELOPING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN DEVELOPING COUNTRY (A Case Study of Nigeria)

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ABSTRACT

Rasheed Ayodele, Akintunde. 2010. LTSP: Developing Information Technology Systems in a Developing country. A Case Study of Nigeria. Bachelor‟s Thesis. Kemi – Tornio University of Applied Sciences. The Unit of Business and Culture. 74 pages. Appendix 1.

This Thesis work is focused on the implementation of Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) with a view to providing a very effective and affordable Information and Communication Technology for the Nigerian educational and business sectors. It is meant to make Nigeria relevant in the business world. Information Technology could be regarded as the „life-blood of the world economy‟ today. Meanwhile, an average stakeholder, in the developing countries, is financially constrained to be able to afford the required facilities for information technology. The research work involved an exploration of the development and operation of LTSP, which was basically invented to ease the cost of Information Technology to make it affordable for everyone. It also involved the establishment of facts about LTSP and making suggestions on how to improve on its operation.

The work is essentially meant for the developing countries, using Nigeria as a case study. Nigeria has been endowed with highly talented individuals in every facet of technological ideas and innovations, the ability of Nigerian institutions to undertake in-depth research is often hampered by lack of appropriate technological resources caused, majorly, by financial constraints for their acquisition. This work is targeted at resolving this problem by proffering an affordable and highly effective technology to them.

Exploratory research method was employed to carry out this work, while the basic technique adopted was an informal and open discussions held with some people that possess vast knowledge in LTSP operation. These options had been engaged to enhance my in-depth knowledge and technical know-how of the LTSP. It involves its painstaking studies and understanding.

The major output of this work is the identification and acknowledgement of an easy-to-use, highly economical LTSP server which will afford the less-privileged and developing countries the opportunity to be part of the information technology world. This will, in effect, enhance rapid economic development in these countries.

Keywords: LTSP, ICT in Nigeria, LTSP Set Up, LTSP Booting process


TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT
FIGURES

1          INTRODUCTION
1.1   Motivation and Background
1.2   Objectives
1.3   Structure of the Thesis

2          RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND METHODOLOGY
2.1       Research Topic and Questions
2.2       Research Method and Limitations
2.3       Expected Outcome

3          ICT IN NIGERIAN CONTEXT
3.1   ICT in Nigeria (From Educational and Business Perspectives)
3.2   ICT in The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Nigeria
3.3       Cost consideration
3.4       The non- windows issues
3.5       The Digital Divide
3.6       Anticipated Problems of LTSP Usage in Nigeria

4          LINUX TERMINAL SERVER PROJECT (LTSP)
4.1       Background and Introduction
4.2       Multi-User Terminal/ Server Computing
4.3       LTSP as an alternative to Conventional Computer Networking System
4.4       LTSP Terminal/ Server Computing

5          LTSP PROSPECTS, BENEFITS AND LIMITATIONS
5.1       Prospects of LTSP
5.2       Benefits of LTSP Terminal over Conventional Server/ networked Computing
5.3       Advantages of LTSP
5.4       Limitations to the use of LTSP
5.5       LTSP success stories

6          SETTING UP LTSP
6.1       Software and Hardware requirements
6.2       LTSP set up Distribution requirements
6.3       Installation process
6.4       The Boot Process

7          DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS
7.         1   Results
7.2       Implications for future research
7.3       Concluding note
REFERENCES
APPENDIX


1. INTRODUCTION

1.1      Motivation and Background

The impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), in today‟s world economy, can not be overemphasized. The educational sector has also not been speared. Indispensability of ICT has impacted positively on the quality and quantity of learning and research in the various institutions of learning, especially in the developed world. Needless to say that ICT improves learning through its vibrant, interactive, flexible, and appealing content (Kwache 2007, 1).

Technology has once been referred to as “a valuable mode of literacy and creative tool for learning”, and it was also said that access to information, electronic collaboration and ability to communicate clearly using technology are foundational needs for school communities (Petersen 2008, 1). A basic knowledge of ICT in education is essential to remain relevant in rapidly changing technologies (Iloanusi & Osugwu 2009, 1331). In recognizing the criticality of ICTs in economic development, the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD) conducted a study on the linkages between ICTs and development, between 1995 and 1997. The resultant effect of this study was the introduction of digital divide on global development agenda. (Afolayan 2010.)

It is also wise for educational institutions to be equipped to provide basic computer training for modern life. This could be achieved through the provision of computer labs, which are one of the most popular Information Technology infrastructures for technical training in the primary, secondary, and Tertiary institutions. (Martinez-Mateo & Munoz-Hernandez & Pe‟rez-Rey 2010, 1.)



However, establishing a computer lab may be too expensive in terms of both the initial purchase and subsequent maintenance costs. Economic situations of most educational institutions in developing countries may be a constraint for them to set up a computer lab. Some may not even have at all due to unaffordable costs. Hence, it is worthwhile to carry out a research on a cost effective, efficient, and high performing information technology system. (Martinez-Mateo & Munoz-Hernandez & Pe‟rez-Rey 2010, 1.)

This Thesis therefore, deals with the input of Linux Terminal Server Project (henceforth, LTSP) in its capability to meet all the above stated qualities in the improvement of Information Technology in today‟s world business economy and education. This Thesis is carried out with a view to alleviating the problem of Information Technology in developing countries, using Nigeria as a case study with particular reference to The Polytechnic, Ibadan.

This work is necessary to ascertain the effectiveness and affordability of LTSP. If adopted, it could make the developing and underdeveloped countries equal to the developed countries in the world of information technology today. It was innovated for use in environments where a large number of computers are needed and strict economical constraints prevail. (Russo & Lamanna & Baldoni 2003, 1)

It is crystal-clear that Nigeria is yet to have a place in the history of Information Technology; this is due to its poor financial state and literacy level. The imperativeness to invent an affordable and effective Information Technology has also been established (Ogunsola & Aboyade 2005, 8). Hence, this thesis work is carried out to identify the ways by which LTSP, which is of very low cost and high performance (CIO 2003, 130), could elevate Nigeria to the much desired position in Information Technology.

LTSP is a free and open source project, instituted by Jim McQuillan, along with some others, to reduce costs and improve productivity by giving everyone access to technologies and knowledge. It allows many people to use the same computer at a time. It only entails running thin client computers in a GNU/Linux environment. (Gnome 2003.)

LTSP is a package, specifically designed for Linux, which allows the connection of lots of low-powered workstations, otherwise known as thin clients, to a Linux server. It is designed to use minimal hardware for the workstations. It affords people the opportunity to use computers without having to purchase expensive ones. (Jean Jordan 2005 4.)



LTSP was to be my presentation topic during my Introductory Project course, and since then, I have been motivated to carry out more research on it to establish its usefulness for my country, Nigeria because it is said to be highly cost-effective, easy to maintain, requires much reduced power and generates low heat (Rijal & Bhandari). Therefore, it...

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