[nSLUG] Re: Any nsluggers in Valley?

Chris Jordan cjordan at cs.dal.ca
Sat Aug 27 15:04:26 ADT 2005

In the past I have found using a live CD to demo functionality to be 
very useful in converting people to Linux :)

Jack Warkentin wrote:

>Hi Everybody
>On August 26, 2005 09:48 pm, Bob Ashley wrote:
>>I'm moving to Berwick next week. Any nsluggers in the Valley area? 
>>I'll be working for the Town office. I envision a small OSS
>>pilot project, maybe just a single desktop or two (like, say, my
>>desk!) to see if it piques office and council curiosity. The 
>>objective, of course, would be to save taxpayers' money, and to
>>raise consciousness about the OSS alternative. 
>I think this is a great idea but advise proceeding with caution. 
>People are notoriously unwilling to change without a very good reason 
>for doing so. The best way to gain acceptance of FOSS would be for 
>the customers of your project (ie council members and other council 
>employees) to observe that (a) it works and (b) it has definite 
>advantages over the M$ alternative. I would also suggest starting out 
>in a very low key manner without a lot of fanfare. It it's there and 
>it's working and people see that it's different and get to wondering 
>about it, then you can show them its advantages on a one-on-one 
>>Part of the pilot might also include distributing free OSS to
>>employees/officials for their home machines.
>Again, I would advise caution. Once a GNU/Linux system is installed 
>and working anyone who has used M$ Windows can use it (assuming the 
>system is running KDE or something similar). But installing and 
>getting everything working can be a real challenge.
>Example. I just bought a cheapy laptop computer at Zellers for $799. I 
>had a lot of trouble getting the sound card to work. The reason was 
>two-fold. First, the hardware detection software was picking the 
>winmodem up and setting it up as a sound card. Second, because 
>hotplug detected the winmodem before the proper sound card, udev was 
>assigning it device files dsp, etc, and the proper sound card was 
>assigned dsp1, etc. The sound programs all were trying to use dsp.
>I found a way to prevent the problem by listing the name of the driver 
>assigned to the winmodem in a "blacklist" file (that wasn't 
>documented except within the file itself) in the hotplug 
>configuration directory.
>I would guess it took me at least 20 hours to come up with this 
>preventative. (I don't call it a solution. A solution would be to 
>find a way of specifying that that particular device must be assigned 
>some specific driver.) Giving an inexperienced user a set of 
>installation CD's and telling him to give it a try could be 
>exceedingly frustrating for a potential devotee.
>Remember the hare and the tortoise and give it your best.
>(By the way, I still have not been able to get music CD's to play on 
>this machine. I am also having a great deal of difficulty getting 
>used to the 1024 x 768 resolution - the titlebar, menubar, toolbars, 
>etc, take up so much space that there is not enough left for the bulk 
>of the window. I plan on returning it to Zellers before the 30 days 
>are up.)


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