Good News – My Favourite Supplier is Now Pushing Linux

Well, Android/Linux actually. I get mailings. Today, I received an ad with 7 Android/Linux thingies prominently displayed. No “recommend that other OS” anywhere to be seen. Of the 7, probably 3 are gadgets of which I have written here or would be useful to an old man with poor eyes, including the ASUS eeePad. These guys, NCIX.com, have been supplying me with parts for PCs I have built for nearly 15 years to avoid M$’s tax and only rarely did they have a Linux box, just a netbook or two. Now they advertise them. Amazing. Times are changing.

Rather than just reading the ad, I went to the site and did a search for “linux”. An ASUS eeeBox for $229 was second on the list! A bit further down the list was a USB GNU/Linux installer… followed by an over-priced HP thin client running GNU/Linux on board, and a mess of Linux-compatible devices and NAS devices. I went to the site’s search box again and entered “android”. 10 products came up from five different OEMs.

It could be better but at least it is straightforward to find stuff unlike Dell. Retail shelf-space for Linux. What a novel concept. Think it will sell a few units if consumers can find them? You bet.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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29 Responses to Good News – My Favourite Supplier is Now Pushing Linux

  1. oldman says:

    “The point, “oldman”, is to back up your words. Would you consider the scenario you outlined to be ethical advice coming from a Microsoft trained System Administrator?”

    It wasnt advice Mr. Chapman, it was an observation based on experience.

    IN fact I think the bozo heading the munich forced conversion effort who referred to his user community as “happy Slaves” has ethical problems of his own.

    And BTW I am am trained in BOTH Linux and windows system administration. As I have posted in many places, I have been working in BOTH environments for my entire career.

  2. Richard Chapman says:

    The point, “oldman”, is to back up your words. Would you consider the scenario you outlined to be ethical advice coming from a Microsoft trained System Administrator?

  3. oldman says:

    “Is that what you would recommend people do if you were in a similar situation “oldman”? You’ve mentioned it several times now. It would certainly seem to be your course of action.”

    And what is the point if your question Mr. Chapman? To discredit me in some way for positing what might be a truth?

  4. Richard Chapman says:

    “I am willing to bet that if you could get direct access to computer users in munich, you might be surprised to find quite a number using surreptitious or with local management blessing usingcopies of the Microsoft Office suite instead of OpenOffice.”

    Is that what you would recommend people do if you were in a similar situation “oldman”? You’ve mentioned it several times now. It would certainly seem to be your course of action.

  5. see a presentation from 2008.

    They will use thin clients to access that other OS, various apps in the interim and finally they will have a GNU/Linux thick client. I think that’s silly but that’s what they planned. If you use thin clients as an interim solution, you should stick with them for superior performance.

  6. Contrarian says:

    I don’t see where they have to sneak anywhere. The report is that as of January 2011, there are 5000 LiMux workstations and still 10000 Windows workstations. Everyone is supposed to be on OO, except where they have to use MSO for compatibility with others though. No mention of thin clients. You have to admit that the project was not the “One, Two, Switcheroo!” that it was originally billed as.

  7. They are using thin clients. I don’t think M$ can sneak in.

  8. oldman says:

    “All the apps are now FLOSS. It is only the platform underneath that needs changing.”

    I am willing to bet that if you could get direct access to computer users in munich, you might be surprised to find quite a number using surreptitious or with local management blessing usingcopies of the Microsoft Office suite instead of OpenOffice.

    It would deem to me that that would go along way to explaining why munich hasn’t used as much of its training budget, eh Pog?

  9. 8 year old computers are plenty fast enough for a lot of IT. Essentially, very little has changed in data-entry, typing, clicking, screen resolution, etc. since PIII. The reason that people using that other OS keep feeling pressure to upgrade is that M$ keeps making the OS larger and swapping slows things down. Essentially, none of that bloat is necessary. Many 8 year old machines can be converted to thin clients and run until they die.

    How is the migration of Munich far from done? They have converted everyone to using OpenOffice.org and a FLOSS browser. All the apps are now FLOSS. It is only the platform underneath that needs changing. What is taking lots of time is that they are changing the whole IT setup in the process. More is going on besides the migration. That is stuff they likely would have changed even keeping the old OS. They centralize IT now.

  10. Contrarian says:

    They are apparently now talking about a final count of some 12000 pcs being eventually converted to Linux and the balance using Windows. How many pcs are there in Munich today anyway? I would think that the number 14000 would have increased a lot in 8 or more years as it has elsewhere.

  11. Contrarian says:

    The most favorable treatment of the Munich project seems to be found at:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LiMux

    It is undisputed that the whole thing started in 2003 and 8 years later is a long way from completion. I wonder about the state of the art there. Since they have only converted some 3000 to 5000 of the original 14000 pcs to Linux, are they still using NT4 for the rest? Are they still using 8 or more year old computers? That seems sort of backward, but maybe they are saving money. They will need it to continue paying the power bill for all those CRTs connected to all those ancient computers!

    From the tales being told in other blogs that it is pointless to reference here, it would be hard to point to Munich as a way to run an IT business, even for a government with a captured audience.

  12. oldman says:

    “Have they seen any budgetary problems? Nope.”

    And how many of their people still running windows are
    surreptitiously using Office Pog?, and now many offices have gotten

    “Anyway, licensing per PC has gone away forever and they can manage everything quite nicely with local resources.”

    An be forever cut off from any real advances in software, but then the cheap jack charlie mentality doesnt care about user productivity.

  13. Munich was under-budget last time I checked. They had spent only a small part of their retraining budget by the time they had fully implemented FLOSS applications. At this stage it is hard to separate the costs of migration from the normal costs of operation because they are combined. I think Munich can manage its own budget. Have they seen any budgetary problems? Nope.

    According to Google Translate,
    “In June this year, decided the City Council now provides: “The IT LiMux project until 2013 extended and the Projektbud- to get the estimated multi- resource of 5.9 million € he- increased. The extra expense is covered by the 2012 and 2013 and leads not to a greater burden on the city’s budget, as all reference rate and own businesses, the extended Tertre action and support from existing budget fi- nanzieren. “

    They are happy with how things are going. All the heavy work has been done; converting 21000 templates to work with OpenOffice.org was the biggest, but with the lock-in gone anything is possible. Anyway, licensing per PC has gone away forever and they can manage everything quite nicely with local resources.

  14. oldman says:

    “Too many willing slaves run IT.”

    That it a pretty ignorant statement Pog. Our shop and others like it implement the platforms that are required to support that applications that have been chosen by the organization. We dont have the luxury of of talking about “that other OS” and declarying it “junk”

    IF an application requires a windows platform, then windows is implemented and supported.

    IF an application requires a Linux platform, then Linux is implemented and supported.

    It that simple in the real world.

  15. Contrarian says:

    “There’s an ill wind blowing from Microsoft.”

    I don’t subscribe to such thoughts myself. OTOH, I would not shed a tear if WPF and XAML were to become back burner items. As I said previously somewhere around here, the “real” code for networking and data management is not changing with .NET and it is only the presentation layer that is affected by all this. They are used to paradigm shifts anyway and should not have much problem with yet another “better way”. They get to re-do a lot of fluff and continue to be paid for the educational experience.

    “Too many willing slaves run IT.”

    It is convenient to label anyone who adopts a plan that runs counter to the FOSS parth line as “locked in” or “slaves” depending on whether or not you want to cast them as victims or as just thoughtless. The issues are far more complex than that. As far as Munich is concerned, it seems to me that they are still struggling with making the changes that were thought to be so simple and that they have been the victims of a parade of incompetents who have burned through their IT budgets with little real progress being made. If I were a civil authority decision maker and were presented with the story of Munich as an example of adopting Linux and FOSS in general, I would run the other way.

  16. No doubt M$ is run by a selfish bunch but the key to their empire is not money but power. Imagine what any tyrant could do with a billion passive or willing slaves… All Ballmer has to do is to command the sheep to send money and they do without thinking. Ballmer is very careful never to deal directly with consumers, for instance, because they would be disappointed. Ballmer has hundreds of willing slaves running retail and OEM operations dealing with consumers and taking any flack. M$ has layers of trained monkeys cheering at all levels purging any thought of independence.

    For example, I just read some IT plans for a USA state government. Even though the folks have carefully researched GNU/Linux as an option, they can find no way to escape lock-in. They know GNU/Linux is faster, cheaper, more reliable but they cannot stand the pain of migration even for those benefits indefinitely. They have thousands of perfectly good computers they scrap after 4 years just because that’s what M$’s software demands. They then take a huge hit disposing of the machines. They have 850 IT people to manage a system with 14000 PCs… They know they could manage with an order of magnitude fewer people yet they cannot make the change. They are planning to spend $100 million over the next few years digging a deeper hole… It’s a sad use of taxpayers’ money. Really. People laugh at Munich with a similar size operation run by far fewer people getting the job done for much less money.

    Too many willing slaves run IT.

  17. Richard Chapman says:

    There’s an ill wind blowing from Microsoft. It seems Microsoft has one allegiance: Money. Anyone who has yet to make their millions from Microsoft and is dependent on the company for their daily bread should understand their place, last.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jun/14/microsoft-windows-8-developers

  18. Contrarian says:

    “Does anybody have any idea what the code base for WP7 is?”

    Anyone with a use for it would, I think. A complete development system for WP7 apps is available from MSDN for download at no charge, including the needed parts of Expression Blend. MSDN and other sources are rife with tutorials and walk-throughs that show how to do it. If you have any skills in this area, give it a try.

    As to “not dependent on .NET in any way” I do not quite understand what you mean by that. Just about everything being done today in regard to Windows compatible applications software is .NET aware and takes advantage of the .NET System functions and managed code. That would seem like a dependency in my mind, but you might explain how there could be some difference in meaning.

  19. Richard Chapman says:

    Gee Dave, I have no need or desire to download any code but if I did I sure wouldn’t take any advice from you.

    Contrarian, that sounds like a very educational experience working with Microsoft code. I hope the people you left behind were not dependent on .NET in any way.

    Speaking of code, last I heard Vista weighed in at 40 million plus lines of code. I don’t think it would be possible to squeeze that much code into a smart phone. Does anybody have any idea what the code base for WP7 is?

  20. Contrarian says:

    “Thirteen million lines of code is hard to ignore.”

    It’s pretty hard to find the time to read it, too. Unless you own and operate a company that is making and selling smart phones or tablets or something similiar, there really isn’t much of a purpose in having it, in my opinion.

    I don’t think that FOSS has much meaning at that level. If you are a device manufacturer and you want to use Windows and you ask Microsoft, you can get whatever source you need along with some pretty extensive help as did Nokia recently.

    I used to work for a major software company that provided Windows compatible applications for commercial users. We even competed head to head with Microsoft in some product areas. We had complete access to whatever source that we needed for developing and testing our products and could get as much help as we needed in understanding it, too.

    It was all under NDA agreements, of course, but the source was available and the help was available and both we and MS benefitted from the experience. MS customers got enhanced performance products to use with their Windows servers beyond what Microsoft offered themselves and we got hundreds of millions of dollars in profits from selling the products to Windows server operators.

    We sold similar products at similar prices for a variety of Unix environments, including AIX, HP-UX, and Solaris. Our introductory product was shipping in the box with RHEL, too.

  21. The Other Dave says:

    “Thirteen million lines of code is hard to ignore. But somehow you manage to do it Dave and “oldman””

    It sure is. Let me know when you download the thirteen million LOC for Android 3.x.

    Oh, what’s that you say? You can’t find it? Well, that’s because it’s closed source.

    Boo hoo, waaah!

    🙁

  22. Richard Chapman says:

    Thirteen million lines of code is hard to ignore. But somehow you manage to do it Dave and “oldman”. You put your blinders on every time you discuss Android. “Nope, nope” you say. Can’t be open source. Must be anything but open source. But the 13 million lines of Linux kernel code are open source. It must be tough on you, Android being such a big hit and all. And with Linux being the foundation of it, well that must give you a bad case of the hives. Maybe total denial is better for your health “oldman” and Dave. Just don’t expect to be letting up on it any time soon.

  23. oldman says:

    “What are you blathering about?”

    As you well know Pog, the rest of Android is not pure FOSS – it is under the apache license. there is also the fact that the code for 3.x is still unavailable to anyone outside google.

  24. Kolter.Online says:

    I always liked NCIX. That’s where I bought my Popcorn Hour a few years back. it runs Linux

  25. see http://android.git.kernel.org/

    That’s Linux under there… The source is open and you can use, examine, modify and distribute the source code so it is FOSS.

    What are you blathering about?

  26. The Other Dave says:

    Second link is incorrect. Android is not Linux, nor is it FOSS. Android is closed source.

    Thanks for playing, please try again.

  27. Contrarian says:

    “Now they advertise them.”

    I took a look via the link that you included and all that I find when you click on “Desktop PC” or “Notebooks” to see what they are offering, all I am seeing are Windows 7 machines. Where are the Linux machines? I was wondering if they sell Linux at a lower price than Windows from other sources such as Dell or HP.

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