linux digest, Vol 1 #712 - 14 msgs

Chris McClement chrisis at
Wed Apr 24 20:30:02 EST 2002

On Wednesday 24 April 2002 06:24 am, you wrote:

> Message: 5
> From: Alex Satrapa <grail at>
> Subject: Re: debate about Free software for the ACT Government
> At 09:43  23/04/02 +1000, Doug Palmer wrote:
> >Benefit of being able to make proficiency in something part of the job 
> >criteria.

The problem starts before you talk about support staff requiring A+ type 
certification -- the "International Computer Driver's Licence" should 
effectively be renamed "The International Microsoft OS/Apps User's Training". 
 There are universities that have replaced their "Intro to Computers"-type 
courses ENTIRELY with the ICDL curriculum.

> Compaq produced the A+ certification, which is a level below a MCSA (I'm 
> not sure I'm usign the right words here).
> Red Hat have produced the RHCE, but I'm not sure that this would be 
> suitable for someone you want to stick on level 1 helpdesk.  The Linux 
> (Open Unix-Like) world needs something similar to the A+, so that people 
> can be confident that the staff they are hiring for level 1 helpdesk will 
> actually be useful. 

Isn't there something now called the "Linux Certified Professional"?  It 
supposed to be distribution independent...

> >Cost of installation.
> 1 windows box = 8 hours. 2 windows boxen = 16 hours.  It's a linear scale, 
> since you have to sit in front of the box, shuffling CDs and clicking 
> dialog buttons all day.  God forbid you install one of the service packs 
> out of order, 'cos then you have to start all over again.

Windoze can be configured to do unattended installations.   And I don't think 
they are any more complex to implement than automated package installations 
with Linux/etc.  Also, our Tech support team had a 2 hour turnaround time on 
full /unscripted/ re-installations (oh, and a lot of that was making the 
re-installed box /look/ (favourites, screensavers, crap etc) just like it was 
before we nuked it, to placate Lusers).  The last bit to add is that the team 
had a practise of starting an installation, clicking the first few "nexts", 
then starting the next installation, hopping back and forth to click 
whichever "next" was demanding a click.  Anybody who sits staring at a status 
bar incrementing deserves to.

> >Cost of outages.
> I've only had outages on my Linux boxen when hard drives, motherboards or 
> power supplies fail.  My windows boxen suffer random problems, mostly due 
> to applications misbehaving or altering registry entries they really 
> shouldn't be altering.

I installed Redhat 7.1 just the other day, all of Redhat's workstation 
defaults, including gnome, and when it was done, opening my home directory on 
the gnome desktop generated a fault - it would open the window, close the 
window, re-open, re-close etc for as long as I left it.  That's a pretty 
random problem.

I'm not for a minute claiming that Windoze isn't as faulty as it is, but 
suggesting that "random problem" isn't proprietary to  windoze. ;)

> >Reliability of application software (The Linux kernel may be solid as a 
> >rock, but most application software on both platforms crashes 
> >distressingly often.)


> I don't remember the last time I had to reboot my Linux mail server due to 
> a failure in Postfix, Apache, Zope, Tomcat, Netscape, Mozilla, ...
> My Windows desktop has to be rebooted three times a day thanks to Microsoft 
> Messenger, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Word.

This is comparing apples with oranges -- a mail server not falling over is 
very different to a desktop falling over, especially when considering one of 
the differentiating factors would be the amount of daily user interaction on 
each box... ;)

Having said all of these things, I remain a NT-reared sysadmin doggedly 
pursueing the transition to Linux.  For all the difficulties I'm facing 
learning how to do what to do in Linux, I can see a.) the potential power it 
lets you get to and b.) the ethos of the linux community that FAR surpasses 
anything that's spawned by MS.

Plus you guys earn more ;)


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