Munich claims to be the IT capital of Germany. Is it a case of chicken versus egg? Did Munich’s migration to GNU/Linux stimulate local IT businesses or did local businesses empower Munich to migrate? Rather than worry about such things, both Munich and its IT system roll on.
Tag Archive for 'floss'
- Smartphones –
- Tablets –
- Legacy PCs – Dell sells a raft of legacy PCs with GNU/Linux to businesses right here in Canada but not a single one for consumers… HP will sell to consumers as well, but you have to dig a bit. The default page lists none. It shows “Windows 8 or other operating systems available”. Searching finds Ubuntu GNU/Linux however. The consumer has to want GNU/Linux before that happens… That’s not really offering to sell GNU/Linux. That’s reluctantly agreeing to sell GNU/Linux to persistent consumers who mostly do not even know what an operating system is.
So, where OEMs and retailers offer to sell FLOSS systems, those systems clog the channels with high volumes and where OEMs and retailers pay homage to M$, FLOSS systems languish with small shares. What’s wrong with this picture? It’s not a free market for legacy PCs. It’s long past the time when governments should have slapped this organized criminal behaviour to exclude competition from the market. There is no shortage of software that consumers want. There is no shortage of viable operating systems. OEMs could put Android/Linux or any other distro on PCs and they would sell like hotcakes. Meanwhile, OEMs and retailers are faced with huge stocks of systems with that other OS not selling. It’s clearly in the best interest of comsumers, retailers and OEMs to sell GNU/Linux. Why don’t they get on with running their businesses instead of M$’s?
“President Josipović also expressed his "complete support" for the government plans to implement open source and open standards in the public sector’s IT.”
see Croatia's President praises creative spirit of open source community
Croatia is a small energetic country with a bright future if they keep making such good decisions.
How refreshing when the leader of a country actually leads its people towards software freedom.
Free Software comes with a licence that permits the recipient to run the software without restrictions, to examine the software, to modify the software and to redistribute the software modified or not under these terms. It’s a beautiful system and the right way to do IT for governments, organizations large or small and for individuals. To try out Free Software I suggest trying Debian GNU/Linux one of the largest and longest existing distributions of Free Software.
“FUD withers in sunlight. It only works when people lack accurate information.”
see Groklaw – Happy 10th Anniversary, Dear Groklaw! Happy 10th Anniversary to Us! ~pj
How much FUD GROKLAW deflated:
- GPL is evil/unconstitutional,
- Linux was copied from UNIX operating systems,
- The world owes SCOG, M$, and lots of other parasites per user/user/machine, etc., and
- Software Patents are good for us…
I must say I felt terribly bad when SCO claimed Linux was theirs to tax. I didn’t fully understand the world of FLOSS in those days. PJ educated all of us with thorough research and detailed legal investigations. Fortunately for the world, the courts finally saw through the smoke and mirrors to the truth. Too bad they still haven’t seen through M$’s smoke, but that gives us something for which to live.
Thanks, PJ. You have done a lot of good work and documented everything so that the search engines can pierce FUD in seconds. Thanks.
I was just reading an advertisement for a product which is supposed to cut the cost of IT so that more resources can be spent productively. It contained this gem:
“According to Gartner, when looking at the total lifetime cost of building or buying a new application, on average 42% of the initial cost of the application is going to be spent, year after year, to maintain that app. Application maintenance is the real problem.
Drilling into that 42% we find that it breaks down into three major buckets. The first bucket is enhancing the application. The second bucket is maintaining the application, break-and-fix, etc. And the final bucket is all the operational costs – the people who run the help desk, delivering upgrades to operating systems and storage environments, etc. These costs are real. “
That description must be describing non-free software because the reality of using FLOSS is much different:
- The initial costs are much lower as upstream/distros have done a lot of the work of integration. A package manager (software that helps install and update all the software in the system) does much of the work and they’ve already done much of the testing.
- There is no ongoing licensing cost so most of the work remaining is creating/using content/data, productive work.
- Because open standards are followed, the cost of extending applications is less because the data can always be moved to another application.
Indeed, FLOSS solves most of the problems of IT and leaves the major part of the budget to creative/innovative work. Schools where I worked had almost zero budgets but with FLOSS a lot got done, limited mainly by imagination not effort.
I recommend using Debian GNU/Linux for the base of all IT. Debian has a huge repository and the best package manager around, APT. It is trivial to create a minimal installation of a computer or cluster and by importing a package-list one can install all the relevant software and nothing else in a few minutes. No requests for quotations, no budget-meetings, no delays. Just make it happen and try it out. You can always do it on existing hardware and move the application to some dedicated/specialized hardware later if you want. Everything is allowed by a FLOSS licence:
- You can run the software any way you want.
- You can examine it, the ultimate documentation.
- You can change it.
- You can distribute it or others can distribute it to you, modified or not.
That last feature of FLOSS software is absolutely wonderful. If you integrate a system with some application you can share it with others or have it shared with you at very low cost.
The major costs of using FLOSS are hardware and actual productive use not anything irrelevant/arbitrary. That puts more of your budget to productive use and gives you time to think. One school where I worked actually had a real IT budget for the first year of operation. Because we used FLOSS, twice as much stuff was able to be installed and the cost of operation was trivial. The school increased use of IT many times with no additional costs. Visitors from other schools were amazed because they were usually limited to one PC per classroom and one lab. We had in addition, multiple PCs per classroom, multiple servers, a gigabit/s network, ready access to printers, scanners, and cameras all for the same cost as the usual solution using non-free software. Those savings are real.
That’s pretty decent as many large organizations consider 80% the maximum share GNU/Linux can easily have of PCs in an organization. Of course that depends on the work that’s done but governments like Munich have diverse operations, everything from collecting garbage to managing land-use. I am sure they could get to 100% eventually but the effort of creating a replacement for a few non-free applications may not be worth their while. They could also find other ways of doing the tasks.
Munich reports all 15K PCs run FLOSS applications and 14K run GNU/Linux. Congratulations, Munich, for getting the job done despite years of political sabotage, FUD from M$ and “partners”, and no end of mud-slinging on the web. You triumphed over them all and now you have a robust and flexible IT-system and $millions saved.
see City of Munich – Current numbers
HP May recommend that other OS but they are glad to sell you whatever you want:
“Operating system Preinstalled:
Windows 8 64
Windows 8 Pro 64
see HP 255 Notebook Datasheet
I guess they noticed the slowdown in sales of PCs with a more limited choice. This is HP’s first notebook to be shipped with Ubuntu GNU/Linux. This is part of Canonical’s plan to take over the world.
I have often seen it in my career in teaching. A monthly contract is set and you go to work. At first, you are on fire making plans and setting things up, matching resources against objectives. It is easy to be motivated. Then reality (students) enters its ugly head and plans must be revised to fit reality, good or bad. It becomes the teacher’s task to motivate students who could care less about education and to guide the inspired learners in good directions. Then in the short days of winter, it is easy to be depressed about how things are going and to dwell on the failures rather than the successes. That’s when the good principal steps in and gives an encouraging example or remark. Teachers get fired up all over again responding to the current problems with creative means, doing more with less, getting a teacher’s greatest assets (students) fired up to solve the problems and being pleasantly surprised that impossible tasks become easy when approached differently.
It’s all about inspiration. An inspired person can do difficult things that others consider impossible. Like a fire, you cannot will the fire to grow you have to give it what it needs. It will grow naturally. Yelling at a fire does nothing. Punishing it by removing resources does the opposite of what is required. Rewarding it by dumping an excess of resources just smothers it. The same is true about inspiring people to do great things according to research published recently.
“If you want to help people perform well, make sure that they don’t have to worry about other stuff besides their work and give them positive verbal feedback about the work they do.”
see Motivation and Reward | Zwillingssterns Weltenwald
That’s a good rule to remember to encourage FLOSS developers and contributors to do great work. It’s also why detractors invest so much effort to make FLOSSies feel badly about their work. That reduces inspiration and disrupts productivity. It’s why trolls come to my site to disagree with everyone sharing news of good results in the world of FLOSS. It’s why I ban them eventually…
Look at the heroes of FLOSS. Some of them appear to work incredibly hard for many years with increasing motivation to do well without being paid on “piece work” or per unit of production. Compare that with the minions of non-free software who work for years and produce stuff like Vista or “8″, totally uninspired crapware, which users love to hate. Stuff that actually reduces the motivation of users and reviewers. It’s like those unfortunate souls whose only joy is to share their pain.
FLOSS is the right way to do IT. That’s why I recommend and use daily Debian GNU/Linux, a cooperative product of inspired individuals and organizations scratching their itches to succeed at producing great software. I used to use that other OS but it depressed me greatly by running slowly and crashing just at the instants we needed it to allow me and my students to succeed. In the whole world, over decades, that other OS has been depressing people by arbitrary rules in the EULA forced on people who find nothing else on retail shelves. Rather than abusing users like that FLOSS inspires them to do great things. That’s the right way to do IT, inspired, productive, creative, encouraged…
What do I make of this? For such large swings it can only mean some large organization was tweaking their operating systems. It looks to me that a bunch of GNU/Linux and “8″ systems were acquired and some “7″ systems were retired or replaced with XP… The bottom line is that in one month that other OS lost a couple of percents and GNU/Linux doubled to ~2.8%. Who could it be?
- Perhaps Dell pushed some Latitudes into schools,
- Maybe a few more school divisions have migrated to GNU/Linux, or
- Maybe, OLPC is having some success in Canada.
UPDATE I did another selection over a longer time-span. It appears to show a roll-out of GNU/Linux a month ago followed by another this month. Notice the heartbeat in XP and the serious decline of “7″. I think M$ is losing a big customer.
“Compal raked in over $5.6bn in revenue during the first quarter of this fiscal year, although its net profit was a measley $470,000 or so – a drop of over 37 per cent from the same quarter the previous year.”
see Notebook sales to surge, says notebook seller
What was M$’s take on that??? Probably more than $1billion and with a huge margin.
OEMs’ problem is not the hardware nor the volume. Their problem is M$ is a millstone around their necks. M$ has been getting a free ride for decades. It’s time OEMs installed Android or GNU/Linux by default rather than that other OS. Wake up and do the maths, Compal and friends. Retailers too should wonder why the product is not selling with all the advertising and shelf-space devoted to it.
“Bhuvan Krishna, General Secretary, Free Software Movement of India (FSMI), announced on the FOSSCOM mailing list that AICTE has finally agreed to remove the the mandatory clause from the notice on implementing Office365. The decision comes in light of concerns raised by some eminent politicians, free software supporters and people from the academia.”
see AICTE Backtracks on its Mandate to use Microsoft Office in Colleges
Good! M$ can work for a living instead of enslaving schools to indoctrinate students in the religion of M$. Globally, schools have been providing M$ with $billions of free training each year for no compensation at all. It’s time that stopped. Let M$ and its “partners” pay the full cost of selling their product.
“Contributing to the inertia are concerns about the cost and hassle of migration, the impact on users who have often grown up with the Microsoft toolset, and the perceived level of disruption that would arise from document compatibility issues both internally and when dealing with customers, suppliers and partners.
Of course the number of organisations that have successfully migrated to alternatives confirms that none of these things are showstoppers in practice, but when you have limited resources, a backlog of project work to be done, and resistance to change within the user base, you have to choose your battles wisely.”
see Office Software Checkpoint • The Register
After agreeing to allow M$, who sponsored the report, contact me, I found these interesting nuggets:
- 50% or more users in larger organizations use company e-mail, office applications, shared calendaring, contacts directory, audio conferencing and IP telephony.
- only e-mail and office applications are used that much in smaller organizations.
- 60-70% of organizations have x86 machines for nearly everyone.
- virtualization of desktops is used about 40% of the time by large organizations and much less by smaller organizations.
- most see no change from desktop-based applications in the near future but ~20% see a change to web-based applications.
- ~60% don’t care much about full functionality across all devices.
- ~75% of Office 365 users find it good enough.
Of course the document touts the prevalence of the “Windows PC” and that the majority consider other personal computers as accessories but we knew that already. The report is a description of the present not a prediction of the future.
I recommend anyone who wants freedom from monopoly to choose a different client OS, office applications, and cloud provider than M$. It’s amazing how much better the world of IT has become since the rise of GNU/Linux in education, government and business.