debate about Free software for the ACT Government

Anthony Wesley Anthony.Wesley at
Wed Apr 24 09:27:45 EST 2002

Alex Pollard wrote:
> The ACT Labor party might soon hold an informal public debate about replacing
> Microsoft and other closed-source software in the ACT Government with Free
> software.
> I suppose we're interested in suggestions for venues and times, and possibly
> even participants. Are there any certifiable Microsoft Engineers out there
> who'd like to volunteer? :-)
> You can send ideas to luke.ryan at
> Alex

This is a topic that I have been personally involved in for many years - the tradeoff between MS / Linux on the Desktop. I have
been doing Linux 
programming / tech support since I came to canberra  in 1993 and was introduced to Linux by Tridge :-)

In the end, I have had to accept that most of my clients need to run MS on the desktop, either because they want to run an
application that is MS only, or because they exchange data with other places that require MS apps to read/write/create it. (Most
of my clients would happily switch to Linux if possible, but so far that has not proven feasible). I dislike this, and complain
loudly to all who will listen.

After much investigation I have settled on Linux for all infrastructure (mail/samba/apache/firewall/ppp/ etc etc) and desktops
as Linux + VMware (running win98 or 2k).

The end-user still sees MS via vmware, and there are some very nice options for disaster / virus recovery (shutdown and discard
all disk changes made during this session etc) that are provided by vmware.

If there are apps that the client wants to run under Linux, then they can minimise or close down vmware, and voila! they have a
Linux system.

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