[Grrltalk] Re: [Techtalk] What do you all think?

ellie ellie at mn.rr.com
Fri Nov 16 12:34:24 EST 2001

On 11/16/01 4:42 AM, "David Merrill" <david at lupercalia.net> wrote:

Hello, all.  I work in a school and am in a situation similar to that of the
writer who wanted to convince the academic colleagues to use Linux.  All of
our servers at my place of employment were Mac's, and my supervisor told me
quite seriously that it was my job to become a Mac enthusiast.  I have
gradually been adding Linux to our network, all the while allowing it to
make itself indispensable.  It succeeded effortlessly in doing this. I run
Netatalk on PC hardware, and people in my work environment just accept the
server in chooser and have no idea what machine they are using.  Our web
caching server died, and I replaced it with a Linux box (PC hardware, not
PPC).  Suddenly people, including my supervisor, were noticing an
improvement in the speed of their web browsing.  My supervisor was surprised
to find out how successfully filtering was working with SquidGuard.  The
best part to him was that it was free.  Most educational facilities do not
have large amounts of money to spend, so the cost of Linux is usually a
major selling point!

> On Fri, Nov 16, 2001 at 08:58:55PM +1100, Emma Fox wrote:
>> pmurphre at indiana.edu wrote:
>>>> Any suggestions on how to convert supposedly
>>>> intelligent academics from the dark side of the force are welcome.

>>> they should be able to pick up something like KDE or GNOME
>>> without much trouble--don't you think?
>> :) I definitely think they could.  I think everyone's right, it's just a
>> matter of removing the fear of something new.  And combatting the idea
>> that if it's not paid for it must be no good. :(
> I hate to go against some elements of the Linux crowd, but Linux is
> not yet as easy as Windows. Within some areas it is, which is an
> improvement from my early days when configuring X was a rite of
> passage. But we still have a ways to go, I'm afraid.

I believe that anyone could use KDE or Gnome.  (My 7 year old child can use
BlackBox, so it would be frightening to think that an adult would find Gnome
or KDE out of reach.)  I've never had to configure X when installing
Mandrake; the GUI install did it for me.  I think that Mandrake is easier to
install and get working than any Windows workstation.  The driver support is
great, and everything works.  People don't really set up their own
workstations in the workplace anyway.  Since installing software on work
machines is generally discouraged and not supported, there wouldn't be a
reason why people would need to learn to compile and install software.  I
believe that most anything that the "average" user does can be done on
Linux.  Print quality is still a really big drawback in my opinion.  This is
the thing that stands in my way of trying to get individuals to try Linux on
their workstations.

It is pretty easy to sneak Linux into the server side of the workplace and
to allow it to advertise itself, but it would be harder to sneak it on to
workstations.  Making it visible and showing that it works helped me to
persuade at least one person to begin to make a switch.


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