[K12OSN] Best approach to calm the school's administration about Linux?

troy banther troybanther at plateautel.net
Sat May 29 17:57:36 UTC 2004

Here are my selling points:

Windows, Macintosh, or Linux. No operating system is perfect or comes
without its own set of unique hassles. But Linux, by design, has more
strengths and less weaknesses as an operating system than other
platforms except maybe BSD. BSD is a little deamon to itself.

Security. While Linux is not absolutely immune to viruses it come
extremely close. The design model behind it was built with security in
mind. Security flaws, when found, are generally repaired within "hours"
of discovery not weeks or months.

Stability. As a PC support technician I dread the reboot cycle of
Windows. Even in XP, though reduced, it still exists. The BSOD, well,
good lord, don't get me started. Even in 2003 Server, from experience, I
dread making drastic changes for fear of taking down or crashing the
whole system for stopping or starting a needed service daemon.   

Power. Linux, even Fedora Core, is designed to bring the power and
flexibility of an enterprise-level server to the user. It can be used as
a personal or educational desktop, a business workstation. It can be
brought up as a "proof-of-concept" server for home, education, and
business purposes.

Licenses. I recently was invited to the "Southeast New Mexico IT
Exchange" hosted by Eastern New Mexico University. In attendance was
ENMU (my Alma Mater), Clovis Community College, New Mexico Military
Institute, Mesaland Community College, etc. There was also a beer-gutted
(no joke) regional sales rep from Microsoft as-well-as reps from Respec,
Ingegrity, etc.

Aside from the lousy 20-minute presentation he mumbled through, his
coverage of the licenses were clear. Keep a copy of your licenses and we
can make special deals with institutions - especially the K-12 market.
Only one other institution, not mine since we are a closed shop, were
looking into open source alternatives

Money. As an educational institution you are going to have to pay for
something. But software, new and upgrades, in Linux are almost "zero".
As I have read Mr. Marcel Gagne, in his book, Moving to Linux: Kiss the
Blue Screen of Death Goodbye!, say, "Free software for Linux is almost
an embarrassment of riches."

The largest fear for a school board, a business, or an individual is the
proverbial technological step into the unknown. The Redmond crew has and
continues to make billions in licensing fees off of this fear of change.
What they have learned in another operating system "can" be taken into
this new world of Linux.

Wow. It's amazing what eight hours of sleep will do to clear the mind
after a day of Windows installs.

Troy Banther, Avid Fedora Linux User
Live in Clovis or Portales, NM and need
work done on your computer. E-mail me.

More information about the K12OSN mailing list