[nSLUG] Re: Any nsluggers in Valley?

Bob Ashley ashley at chebucto.ns.ca
Sun Aug 28 17:49:50 ADT 2005

Thanks, Donald. I like your kiosk idea. It's non-threatening. And your
precautionary approach to risk management is really smart. It provides for a
contingency cushion, a comfortable fallback while new users explore a new
desktop environment. 

I'm glad that you also sent up a red flag concerning OSS advocacy, that is, that
pushing OSS ought to be avoided. "Getting people [just] to think about the
alternatives and the cost savings", as you say, seems to be wise early step. 

Thanks for weighing in with suggestions. They add up to a useful checklist of
important things to consider. 

Bob Ashley

Quoting Donald Teed <donald.teed at gmail.com>:

> As with others, I wouldn't suggest sending people home with
> Linux install CDs to test drive open source ware. It could
> backfire into a general negative impression.
> If you want people to test drive Linux, I'd make it a kiosk
> type of environment - something like one of the internet terminals
> at the local library.
> I'd consider getting people to think about the alternatives and
> the cost saving of open source applications. Can Mozilla,
> Open Office and other applications run on Windows get them
> to consider the open source options, without losing the availability of the
> habitual applications? This allows exploration without the risk.
> There is money to be saved just in dropping applications
> such as MS Office. The flip side of that is to install
> Codeweaver's Cross Over Office on a Linux box so that
> familiar Windows applications can be used.
> Lastly, don't go into it like this is a mission of an open
> source advocate. If you show that the only thing you
> are interested in is promotion of open source, others will
> not have confidence that you have their business interests
> in mind. If their interests are not your highest priority,
> they may not trust your opinions.
> In my estimation, it comes down to balancing cost savings
> of using less commercial software and OS, within
> a plan that allows people to fall back to the old software
> if that is the only way to get something done.
> You have to realize that sometimes, a Windows client is the only
> package available for something. Even a technical
> giant like IBM has run into a wall trying to convert all of
> their desktops to Linux for this very reason.
> --Donald Teed
> On 8/26/05, Bob Ashley <ashley at chebucto.ns.ca> 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 
> > have
> > some discretionary authority, albeit
> > limited. Success for a small pilot might be defined as a single OSS 
> > desktop in
> > Town used regularly for functional work, but doing so minus the attendant 
> > costs
> > of proprietary
> > licenses. Part of the pilot might also include distributing free OSS to
> > employees/officials for their home machines and/or an OSS desktop in the 
> > adjoing
> > regional library, or in the local seniors centre.
> > 
> > I have a hunch that a small project, done really well, might get the 
> > Council
> > excited enough to spread the word a little. Would anyone here be 
> > interested in
> > a
> > citizen/techno advisory role?
> > 
> > I've submitted a short article to 'Municipal Open Line' the newsletter of 
> > the
> > Union of NS Municipalities, introducing basic OSS possibilities (a general
> > pro/con
> > overview), The Union have offered to publish it. All elected officials and
> > municipal
> > administrators as well as employees of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal
> > Relations receive this newsletter.
> > 
> > Of course, any nsluggers (and/or Dal cs students) interested in partnering
> > wouldn't necessarily need to be geographically near
> > by. Perhaps an online virtual Citizen's OSS Advisory Committee?
> > 
> > Any ideas, caveats, suggestions, criticisms most welcome!
> > 
> > Bob Ashley
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
> > nSLUG mailing list
> > nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca
> > http://nslug.ns.ca/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/nslug
> > 
> > 
> > 
> >


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