Subject: Re: support for a small US college going GNU?
From: "Karsten M. Self" <>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 14:12:14 -0700
Tue, 19 Jul 2005 14:12:14 -0700
on Tue, Jul 19, 2005 at 06:35:01AM -0400, robin ( wrote:
> Erich -- the New College IT guy -- emailed me and I sent him my phone 
> number. I assume he'll call at some point. I have several 
> friends/sailing buddies who teach at New College, plus my 
> recently-departed editorial intern/assistant was a student there.

...and a few NewsForge stories to boot, no doubt ;-)
> My intent is not to become a FOSS salesperson (yes, I know all the usual 
> pitches and can point to all well-known research material) as much as to 
> put him in touch with local business, academic, and non-profit 
> (professional) Linux users, some of whom are IT managers for 
> high-profile local businesses. I'll also introduce him to the famously 
> Linux-using IT dept in Largo, FL, one county north of here. Largo claims 
> the lowest IT expense of any FL local government as a percentage of 
> total city revenue and per city employee.

Sweet.  Speaking of NewsForge stories....  An update might be due...
> There are barriers, though. One is natural human conservatism. 

IMO this is the single largest.  The most significant factors being the
humans in question, and the level of conservatism.

> I'm trying to switch from KDE to Gnome and not finding it all that
> easy. I'm also trying to learn how to use MS Office for some studies
> about what kinds of formatting will and will not survive transitions
> to and from OOo, and figuring out the new (to me) office software is
> even harder than the desktop change.  I think about some of the
> non-computer-lover  New College profs I know, and, well.... I dunno.

...all of which are reasons why I'd strongly recommend staging
transitions with software first and OS later.

Note that with an "unmanaged" X server (IIUC the Xming server, based on
Cygwin's X, can do this), you can also start introducing GNU/Linux apps,
served from a GNU/Linux server, on the legacy MS Windows desktop,
launched via icons or menus, before making the transition.  My
experience is that X apps on MS Windows involves less cognitive
dissonance than MS Windows apps under WINE.  In particular, the graphics
quality is better.  Creative drive mapping and Samba usage can also make
common storage points (particularly network file shares) largely
transparently available to both local and remote apps.

Is anyone aware of a tool which allows single Windows apps to be
launched remotely but be viewed directly on the local desktop, without
some sort of "framing" interference (e.g.:  VNC, rdesktop, etc.)?

> We'll see how it all goes. I think Eric Jahn, who singlehandedly 
> maintains the entire (Linux-based) IT infrastructure for the local 
> United Way and most of its affiliated charities, will be more credible 
> than any of us. 

Sweet.  That's street cred.

> On the other hand, Florida elected officials tend to have big "For
> Sale" signs around their necks and Microsoft has not been shy about
> buying. On the gripping hand, Florida is in a chronic budget crunch
> and politicians here are always looking for ways to do things cheaper.
> Even Congresswoman Kathy Harris (R-unearned wealth), whose nominal
> geographic district includes New College, and her staff have started
> asking about potential savings with Linux and FOSS.

One of the points I've been making, low-key, locally, is that it's quite
possible that local government's near the  top  of its budget cycle, not
the bottom.  "This is as good as it gets".  Plan accordingly.

> Always interesting.... and there's always a story to be written no 
> matter how things play out...

Aha!  Ulterior motives!  Thought so ;-)


Karsten M. Self <>
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
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