[nSLUG] Re: Any nsluggers in Valley?

Bob Ashley ashley at chebucto.ns.ca
Sat Aug 27 15:53:27 ADT 2005

Hi Jack. Like George, you open up some really good reasons for proceeding with
caution, thoughtfulness and quiet. All your arguments are persuasive, making a
great deal of sense to me. And it never hurts to double-underscore the
likelihood that changing an institutional culture may be a greater challenge
than changing the electronic toolbox. 

Getting great input like this from Jack, George, and Gerald is really important
because it's that form of citizen participation governments big and small could
use more of. 

Sincere thanks, 

Bob Ashley  

Quoting Jack Warkentin <jwark at eastlink.ca>:

> 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 
> basis.
> > 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.)
> Regards
> Jack
> -- 
> Jack Warkentin, phone 902-404-0457, email jwark at eastlink.ca
> 39 Inverness Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3P 1X6
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