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Re: [K12OSN] 2nd Draft - letter to schools

On Sat, 2003-10-18 at 18:07, Bill Kendrick wrote:

> School administrators and faculty, as well as government officials,
> have the opportunity -- and fiduciary responsibility -- to consider Open
> Source software in place of more expensive, less reliable, and more
> restrictive products.

This is still open to uncertain mis-interpretation.  I suggest avoiding
the topic entirely.

> What is known as the 'Open Source' software movement began over 20
> years ago as a formalization of the tradition of sharing information
> that computer programmers had been doing since the 1960s.  Software
> that is released under an Open Source license is available freely to
> everyone.  The human readable source code behind the program is
> available, permitting any interested user to fix bugs, add features,
> and even create completely new software based upon the existing code.

yes, all good, but IMO, too much "talk-one-the-cereal-box" - your reader
may not actually get to the read the next bit, which they MUST read, or
your point is moot.

The remainder is bloody good.  I really enjoyed reading it.  

Make this the start point of your Document.  Find somewhere else to make
your other points.  Best Regards, Steve.

> Open Source provides to people an ability to share ideas and work
> together freely.  It is much like the publication of research for free
> discussion, criticism, verification, and further extensions -- a method
> that works well for physicists, doctors, and others involved in the
> advancement of science.  This process is ideal for software
> advancement, too!
> In fact, Open Source software is being embraced by schools,
> governments1, corporations2, and individuals all over the world.  The
> Internet itself has always been built on such open software, but today
> more Open Source software is being created for non-expert users,
> including teachers and children.
> Along with cost (it's free), the Open Source model has a number of
> other advantages over commercial software:
> * Extensibility
>   Authors of Open Source software are often amazed at the kinds of uses
>   other people come up with for their work.  Apple recently replaced
>   Microsoft's Internet Explorer in Mac OS X with their own web browser,
>   based on an existing Open Source program.  IBM took the Linux
>   operating system and made it run in a wrist-watch.
> * Security
>   Because the source is available for peer review, bugs and errors are
>   found more easily.  Open Source software has a very good track record
>   for having its problems repaired quickly.  (Even if the original
>   creator of the software is unable or uninterested in fixing it, others
>   are free to do so -- to the benefit of all of the users.)
> * Interoperability
>   Open Source software does not just mean programs for Linux!
>   Countless Open Source programs are available for Windows, Mac, Unix,
>   and other operating systems you've probably never heard of!  They run
>   on all sorts of hardware, from the ubiquitous Intel-compatible PCs, to
>   hand-held PDAs, to multi-million dollar mainframes.  And nobody likes
>   software that won't work with other software; the Open Source movement
>   is also about open file formats, that can be used anywhere without
>   paying royalties or dealing with patents.
> * Control
>   Open Source, like Linux, can't be controlled by a single company.
>   You are not at the mercy of a single vendor. There is no forced
>   upgrading, and no pay-per-user licensing policy.  Your school is freed
>   from the obligation of tracking license certificates, and freed from
>   the risk of audits for improperly licensed software.  Open Source
>   provides true free-market products -- an alternative to monopoly.
> My name is Bill Kendrick, and I'm with the Linux Users' Group of
> Davis, a non-profit group dedicated to the promotion and support of
> the Linux computer operating system, and to 'Open Source' software in
> general.  I would be happy to sit down with you and tell you more, if
> you are interested.  Feel free to contact me via e-mail at:
> bill newreedsoftware com; call me at home: (530) XXX-YYYY; or explore
> our website at http://www.lugod.org/.
> Aside from LUGOD, I am also involved with a non-profit organization in
> Arizona, and with them, have created a number of educational Open
> Source programs for children.  Later this month, I will be holding a
> hands-on demonstration of one of them at the Davis Food Co-Op (Sunday,
> October 26th from 11am to 3pm).  I would be more than happy to answer
> any questions then, as well.
> For now, I will leave you with a small list of some useful Open Source
> software -- for Windows, Linux and Mac -- that you can download today,
> and begin using on your computers tomorrow:
>   [ Celestia, OpenOffice.org, Tux Paint, Tux Typing, Wikipedia blurbs ]
> Thank you for your consideration, and enjoy
> William Kendrick
> --- end paste ---
> Sounding better? :)
> -bill!
> bill newbreedsoftware com                           Got kids?  Get Tux Paint! 
> http://newbreedsoftware.com/bill/       http://newbreedsoftware.com/tuxpaint/
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