Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-edu (146 mails)

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Re: [suse-linux-uk-schools] OSE Conference
Phillip Deackes wrote...
> It really isn't about proselytising at all - here am I, a committed
> user at home, who would love to deploy LINUX at school, but who doesn't
> know how. I have asked for help right, left and centre, but apart from
> rather vague responses I have nothing concrete. I have posted here,
> privately, in the UK.comp.os.LINUX newsgroups, other mailings lists and
> elsewhere. If I can't move forward, then those who know and care little
> about LINUX will never be brought on board.

I was going to start by saying, "I am using LINUX at home and I'm a convert
but..." The truth is that I was never in the other camp but had always been
looking for a workable cheap alternative. LINUX reminds me of the time,
several years after I built my first home computer (HEX keyboard and 1K of
(static) ram) when the UK ruled the world when it came to home PCs & writing
software, and people would ask, "but what can you do with it", I never gave
them the true answer which was "nothing useful". You could sort of word
process, sort of use spread sheets, sort of switch lights and motors on and
off, sort of draw things, sort of run AI programs, you certainly couldn't
impress anyone - other than other geeks, then a certain BG (allegedly) stole
DOS from someone, and out of the mire came a system that was actually of
some use to business and the real world. LINUX takes me back to those heady
days of home computers, loads of fun, cocking a snoop at everyone, but
actually of little use to the general public or general business - why?
Well, Two reasons 1) it's too techie - today, people expect to shake it out
of the box, plug it in and switch it on - sorry, but that's the way it is.
2) there's not enough suitable (open source/free) software out there yet.
Both of these problems have hit Philip and many many others. Yes of course
you can do all these wonderful things, and people have, to varying degrees,
but at a cost.

No one in management (without technical expertise) is ever going to put his
arse on the line and plump for something that's free (must be a catch)
against something that's over priced (must be great). After all, if NT falls
over and the payroll is late, he is blameless 'cus half the world has also
paid through the nose for the same kit, and they MUST be right, mustn't
they, because they wouldn't waste money?

Philip is right, what we need are case histories, actual examples of how to
do things, but not with Mickey-mouse bits of software (I don't mean that the
software is Mickey-mouse in it's execution (pun intended) but in it's
suitability, 15 different e-mail programs is of no use, I want one that is
smooth, seamless and effortless) - "we give our kids crappywrite for
word-processing and if they don't like it tough" ain't good
enough, sorry but we need appropriate, world-class software and it's a fact
of life that Word is that [never yet seen WordPerfect work properly on a
windows platform (may be great on LINUX)]. Adding users in bulk has to be
seamless. As much as we hate MS, RM etc their stuff works now, maybe not as
we would like it, or at a cost that is acceptable, but it works.

The sad truth is that world-class software, that meets international
standards of exchange and the demands of business comes at a price - and
business WILL pay that price because they believe that they are paying for
reliability and protection. High prices comfort them, they charge high
prices for their goods and expect to pay high prices for other peoples -
Zero prices make then uneasy, it implies that maybe their goods could be
supplied for nothing - LINUX just puts spanners in their works! - now, if we
were living in China...

So how is LINUX going to assure management of it's capability, and convince
business that it will not mean the end of the (capitalist) world?

The truth is that LINUX doesn't care, it's not in competition with any other
OS. It's only motivation is the ego of it's writers and that of it's

(sorry if this is disjointed, I was networking someone's machines over the
phone while writing! - see no time to learn all the fancy bits that LINUX
has to offer!)

PS. I'm installing a LINUX server into one of our prep schools over the
summer! :-)

Kind Regards
Adrian Wells

P.S. Please use
as the preferred address.
Contact me on...
ICQ 10436503
----- Original Message -----
From: "Phillip Deackes" <gsmh@xxxxxxx>
To: <suse-linux-uk-schools@xxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday 10 July 2000 17:40
Subject: Re: [suse-linux-uk-schools] OSE Conference

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