Westminster Computer Lab WIKI

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Purpose of Computer Lab WIKI

A wiki (pronounced "Wick ee") is a website that allows for collaborative editing and information sharing. The purpose of the Westminster Computer lab WIKI is to show how Seneca college donated computer equipment to help community-based education, and to promote the concept of open-source software...

Background of Donation Recipient (Westminster United Church)

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Westminster dates from 1837, when a Presbyterian congregation was organized at Orangeville. The United Church of Canada was organized in 1925 with the union of Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational churches. The Westminster congregation was formed in 1948 when St. Andrew's United and First Avenue United joined. The church was completed in 1879 by Zion Presbyterian and was used by St. Andrew's United until renamed Westminster in 1948.

Westminster has a proud tradition of supporting music and the arts, and also provides programs for the Orangeville community.

Listed below are a few of the programs at Westminster:

  • Clothing Depot
  • Celebration Choir
  • Westminster Bells
  • The Westminstrels Men's Choir
  • Prayer Shawl Ministry
  • Youth Group
  • JAMM
  • Al-anon Meetings
  • Boy Scouts

Purpose of the Computer Lab


The primary purpose of creating the Westminster Computer lab was to provide a Computer Lab to support the members of Westminster as well as the Orangeville community.

Primary Focus of Computer Lab:

  • Westminster Youth Group
  • Sunday School Activities (CE)
  • Westminster Congregation
  • Church Events (eg. Summer Camp)
  • Booking / Rental Opportunities:
    • Homework Club (provincial Funding)
    • Community-Based Events
    • Community Training and Education
    • Other Opportunities

Computer Lab Facts


Here are some facts about the Westminster Computer Lab:

  • Computer lab was designed to provide users with full computer usability at a low setup and maintenance cost.
  • Computer network setup via LTSP (Linux Terminal Server Project) to allow ease of maintenance and administration.
    • Administrator only has to install / update software on main server instead of maintaining software for each workstation, or "ghosting images" on each machine to keep system up-to-date...
    • Linux system has automatic and free security updates and does not require anti-virus sofware. Linux system runs free and effective firewall protection...
    • Diskless Workstations (a.k.a. "Thin Clients") are hooked up to a central server. In the Computer Lab, it is not necessary to have workstations use the hard drive. The hard-drives were removed from the workstations to be used with other computer systems in the church. Other computers that contain hard drives allow the option of "Dual Boot" (i.e. boot Ubuntu Linux from machine or boot from the network).
    • (Diskless) Workstations can run applications from the main server or run applications from diskless workstation (eg. memory cache)...
    • Current server (Pentium IV 3.4 Ghz, 3 GB RAM, 80 GB hard drive) can support up to 15 diskless workstations. Ability (in future) to sync multiple servers to expand to larger number of workstations (if required)...
  • Use of Linux (Ubuntu) operating system and open source software provides free software for the computer lab now and into the future.
  • Computer lab (in final phases) will have an estimated worth of $20,000.00 but it only cost an estimated $250.00 to setup and that includes the cost of room renovations!
  • Most equipment was donated or reused. Truly, a recycling success story!
  • Current computer lab configuration should last 5 years at very low cost (based on performance over 4-5 years from Parkdale and Emery Collegiate high-schools, Toronto, Ontario)
  • Extra computers are reserved in case a workstation fails (estimate: 1 CPU per year).
  • A backup server and backup routine will ensure minimum disruption. Just swap (switch) servers if required ...
  • Computer lab can be sustained indefinitely. Terminals (thin clients) can be donated in future by congregation, or by other organizations.
  • Computer Lab (in the future) will be administered by youth / volunteers trained by Murray Saul.
    Great volunteer job experience – looks good on a resumé...

Downloadable Media from Grand Opening (February 21st, 2010)

[ N/A ] Video Presentation (Presenter: Murray Saul, Videographer / Producer: Justin Williams)


  • Original format of video was designed to have "an argument" take place between "Real Murray Saul" and "On-Screen Murray Saul". Video has been altered to remove that beginning sequence and title credits added at the end of the video presentation...
  • Video was filmed by Justin Williams. Justin edited and produced video presentation using the open-source non-linear editing application called Cinelerra. The Westminster Computer Lab also contains various open-source multimedia applications such as Cinelerra, Audacity, Rosegarden, etc...
  • For the church service (grand opening - Feb 21st, 2010) all presentation media including youth presentation was created using open-source software on the Linux OS platform...

[ pdf ] Slide Show Presentation (created with open source software contained in Westminster Computer Lab)

Demo Account Posters (Used to demonstrate that various accounts can be created for various purposes):
(created with open source software contained in Westminster Computer Lab)

  • [ pdf ] Youth Group
  • [ pdf ] Adult Congregation Member
  • [ pdf ] Kids
  • [ pdf ] Graphical Studio
  • [ pdf ] Audio / Visual Studio
  • [ pdf ] Community Education
  • [ pdf ] IT Tech Support Training

[ N/A ] Additional Media from Grand Opening



[ Ubuntu Guide ] Murray Saul's Ubuntu WIKI

[ Westminster Online Computer Lab Manual ] HOWTOs, Technical Info, Teaching Resources, etc

[ Westminster Teaching Resources ] Lesson Plans, Curriculum Design, Mind Maps

[ Educational Software (Kids) ] - Growing List of applications for Primary / Junior

[ Educational Software (High-school / College) ] - Growing List of applications for Secondary / Post-Secondary

[ pdf ]- Catalog of Free Software for Schools (Australia)

[ html ] - Case for Open Source Software to be used in Schools

Technical Information

[ What is Ubuntu? ]

[ What are "Thin Clients"? / What is LTSP? / What is Edubutu? ]

[ Maintaining a Computer Lab (LTSP) ]

[ ltsp.org ] Main Website LTSP Website