Reader Comments on Aardvark Daily 10 October 2002
Note: the comments below are the unabridged
submissions of readers and do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher.
From: Peter Harrison For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Linux in Business With the use of Linux by companies such as Air New Zealand, the TAB, Government departments such as Housing New Zealand, and Banks like the TSB, Linux has really come of age in terms of providing real choices to the current market leaders. Linux is in second place in the race for servers of Internet sites. Apache, an open source web server, is the market leader web server on the Internet, with about twice the market share of the closest rival. For mail serving the open source Sendmail and other open source mail servers hold the overwhelming dominant share of worldwide email servers. Linux is now making a strong move into the corporate environment. A primae example of Linux advantage is the Linux Terminal Server Project, which allows companies to leverage their investment in older computers, allowing these older machines to remain productive for longer. Several companies in Auckland have already implemented, or are in the process of implementing terminal server installations essentially replacing their current desktop products. Apart from the cost advantages these companies are also reducing their exposure to hidden risks. Current desktop platforms have had major changes requiring upgrades to entire company IT infrastructures over the last five years. The licensing plans from the current market leader perpetuate risky and unnessasary upgrade schedules, providing little certainty for IT managers to plan for the future. By implementing a Linux platform you take back control of your upgrade schedule and license costs, eliminating both the risk of forced upgrades, and the costs associated with them. There is not much need to go on about the excellent security and stability of Linux, since these are well known by now in the IT industry. Linux is not simply a desktop and server OS either. It is now moving into embedded devices where it can be customised to fit into the constraints of the embedded devices being released. An example is the tablet PC's that are available for Linux - right now! This isn't to say that issues do not remain for Linux. There are issues porting legacy applications written in older languages to more modern portable languages such as Java. The current challange for Linux and the open source movement in New Zealand is the lack of accounting systems that are customised for New Zealand conditions. Of course, Linux is only a single element of the larger collection of open source projects. There are now alternatives for all major productivity software. The classic example is OpenOffice and StarOffice, which allow you to perform word processing, spreadsheets, presentations etc, but for a fraction of the cost of the market leaders, but with all the functionality and interoperability. For futher information about open source and Linux in New Zelaand please visit the NZOSS site at: www.nzoss.org.nz From: Peter For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: OSS Support I don't know about business, but my experience as a home user is that OSS has much better support and documentation than Microsoft. Free support is available 24/7 via newsgroups, project home pages, howto docs, and others. Linux also installs with more helpful documentation on your PC. Support is by volunteers so is patchy and limited by their availability and competence - still I've found it much better than equivalent support for MS products. Also, you can buy Linux support from international or NZ based companies. I won't name them as I'd probably unfairly miss some, but you could do a search or ask on the nz.comp newsgroup. As for suing someone when things go wrong, have you read the Microsoft EULA? Has anyone ever successfully sued MS for damage caused by the admitted faults in their software? (eg virus problems, security exploits, etc) I don't see any practical difference here. Linux isn't easy, because it is different for someone used to MS Windows. But I've found it better for home use, as it is more secure, reliable and configurable. From: patrick cain For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: newzealand.biz Some useless trivia: I work just down the road from the address you published as being attached to the newzealand.biz registration. I popped down to Marylebone High Street today. This is a right posh street with many expensive botique shops. The restaurant 'The Providores'Hit Reload For Latest Comments
run by the famous kiwi chef Peter Gordon is just a few doors down. And the fence featured on the site www.whatshouldiputonthefence.com is just around the corner! Unfortunately it didn't turn out to be some interesting business -- just a private postbox shop: www.oddboy.co.uk/nzbiz.jpg (postboxes are very uncommon in the UK - virtually everyone, including businesses, have their mail delivered direct to their address - wonder what this person has to hide). I didn't bother asking the shop who the box belonged to - not sure if they legally have to divulge that info. From: peter harrison For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Answers to Linux Questions: > And just where does the manager of a medium to large > company turn if they want to replace all their Microsoft > systems with OSS in a reasonable timeframe? There are several copanies in Auckland providing this service now - one of them my own. I won't mention it by name here - since this isn't an advertising space. > Who's going to provide the 24/7 on-site support they > currently get for their MS software? Are you kidding? When was the last time you tried to get support for MS products. As far as Linux is concerned you can get 24hr support by NewsGroups, LUGS, web etc. You can also purchase services from local companies, and even - if you are a larger company - the big vendors such as IBM, HP, Sun, and Oracle. > Who's prepared to stand up and take the blame when > problems occur? Okay - so how many people have take MS to court over their broken and insecure machines after a virus hits them due to a neglegent flaw in MS software? MS to not take the blame. In the case of Linux, if you have a IT service provider you can call of them to fix your problem. At least these companies have access to the source, so they can fix any problem rather than depending on patches from vendors. > Who can be sued when promises are broken and > expectations are not met? Once more - I don't think there are many cases of customers sueing MS - primarily because the EULA actually limits this. > What third-party technical training resources are > available to bring a company's own IT staff up to speed > with OSS tools and systems? Training providers in Auckland include Zombie, Spherion, Ammes and perhaps a few more. There was a ComputerWorld article a week or two ago about Linux training - and of course there are a huge number of Linux resources online for free, and many good books. > They say that many a fortune is made during a > recession/depression. I wonder if there's a really strong > opportunity looming here? Yes :-) I'm doing okay from Linux and Open Source. From: Nathan Mercer For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: disagree with your comments on Linux hardware requirements today Saw your comments on www.aardvark.co.nz on Linux vs Windows hardware requirements: "Switching from Windows to Linux will mean that many of those scheduled hardware upgrades can be deferred. Unlike Windows XP, Linux doesn't need acres of RAM, a mega-meaty CPU and a hard-drive the size of a small country" FYI according to the Red Hat 8 system requirements recommended is http://www.redhat.com/software/linux/technical/ 200 Megahertz Pentium 2.5GB hard drive 192MB for graphical installation Meanwhile the Windows recommend system requirements are http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/evaluation/sysreqs.asp PC with 300 megahertz 128 megabytes of RAM 1.5 gigabytes (GB) hard disk space Its nice to see that you have fair and balanced reporting on Linux vs Windows hardware requirements :) From: David Mohring For : Right Of Reply (for publication) Subj: Linux Vs XP hardware requirements Nathan Mercer, who BTW works for Microsoft , has quoted the *recomended* not the *minumum* requirements for Redhat 8.0, and does not mention that it is possible to create a Linux-based network of computers for peanuts. www.linuxworld.com/site-stories/2001/0823.xterminal.html www.ltsp.org/ From: Stan Low For : Right Of Reply (for publication) Subj: Windows XP recommended / minimum specs <quote> Meanwhile the Windows recommend system requirements are http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/evaluation/sysreqs.asp PC with 300 megahertz 128 megabytes of RAM 1.5 gigabytes (GB) hard disk space Its nice to see that you have fair and balanced reporting on Linux vs Windows hardware requirements :) </quote> He's kidding right???? XP running on 300 Mhz Pentium? And with 128 MB RAM!!!! That specs is barely enough for my current WinME laptop.
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