[rant] Re: debate about Free software for the ACT Government

Richard Cottrill richard_c at tpg.com.au
Wed Apr 24 19:00:18 EST 2002

Small, narky point: With a bit of work Windows installs can be scripted more
or less identically to UNIX installs. Arguments over Ghost vs. apt (and
similar) is comparing apples and oranges. apt vs. MS<software distribution
service which I forget the marketing drivel for ATM> is a fair comparison;
Ghost vs. Partition Image is comparing like with like.

My housemate runs Entourage on OS X; no viruses yet. He uses Microsoft
because "that's what came with the computer; so it must be more reliable and
better tested". I despair.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: linux-admin at lists.samba.org [mailto:linux-admin at lists.samba.org]On
> Behalf Of Alex Satrapa
> Sent: Wednesday, April 24, 2002 1:46 PM
> To: Anthony Wesley
> Cc: linux at lists.samba.org
> Subject: [rant] Re: debate about Free software for the ACT Government
> The following is a bunch of random thoughts that I just *had* to release
> into the wild for the enlightenment of other subscribers ;)  None of my
> rant is supportable by hard facts yet, I'm pretty much just airing my
> opinion and looking for people to shoot holes in it.
> At 09:32  24/04/02 +1000, Anthony Wesley wrote:
> >What _is_ important are issues about tech support costs, flexibility to
> >adapt to changing situations , ease of recovery of data or
> systems after a
> >disaster etc etc
> >
> >This is where the real cost of ownership comes from. From personal
> >experience, Linux is way ahead of MS in these areas.
> IMHO, the fastest and simplest way of reducing the TCO of a Microsoft
> desktop is simply to stop using Microsoft Outlook (or Outlook
> Express) - I
> have no idea of how virus-friendly Entourage is yet.  You
> instantly reduce
> the probability of trojans and virii proliferating through your network -
> resulting in much less time lost to cleaning up after virii, and
> significantly reducing the risk of SirCam style document leakage.
> When it comes to mass rollouts of new desktops, a Unix-like system has to
> be the way to go.  ABS is currently having major problems rolling out
> desktops, since simplistic tools like Norton Ghost can't cope
> with the fact
> that some users need development tools, and others don't.  With a package
> management system like dpkg and the apt utilities (not to mention
> specific
> policies about what gets installed where), different classes of desktop
> installation could be defined by package lists, rather than disk
> images.  Much easier to maintain, since the tech support and systems
> administration staff not longer have to deal with DLL Hell, and software
> packages are clearly defined.  Even better - remote administration of a
> Unix machine won't waste bandwidth.  Your 100Mbps network will last into
> the next decade, since you won't be wasting it with Windows
> Terminal Server
> or PC Anywhere traffic.
> Sticking with an Open Unix-like O/S also means that the ACT Government
> won't be forced to upgrade their software every two years - which is
> Microsoft's new licencing policy.  Since it takes as long as two
> years get
> all the software working and staff trained on a new version of the O/S,
> Microsoft's licencing is damaging to any organisation, in terms of extra
> costs and lost productivity.
>  From the political point of view, switching to an Open Unix-like O/S (is
> there some easier way of saying 'Linux, *BSD, Hurd or Darwin'?) would at
> least indicate that the ACT Government is serious about its tech-friendly
> statements.  Continuing to use Microsoft Word to produce press releases
> about technology parks in Canberra is hypocritical.  One has to wonder
> whether Australians are still in charge of the country, or if it
> is in fact
> run by Billy G and Stevie B.
> Thanks for bearing with me :)
> Alex

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