Budgetary Motivation Propagates FLOSS

In my experience, wanting things to work in IT requires FLOSS. That’s all the motivations I needed but others are motivated financially because they pay a huge slice of their budgets for IT and that’s what’s most important. Some governments in Europe are having to slash budgets and some would much rather cut payments to M$ than fire people…
“These migrations took place not because of ethics, national laws or procurement rules. It was not in order to help local ICT service providers, or because of a decision to exchange electronic documents stored in the Open Document Format. The best motivation was the provincial administration’s announcement of plans to reduce staff costs by some 16 million euro.”

see Avoiding layoffs motivates South Tyrol province-wide switch.

South Tyrol is an autonomous region in northern Italy with ~half a million population. Apparently they can think for themselves and don’t need M$ to tell them what to do about information technology. Good for them. It’s no longer the case that one is never fired for choosing M$… 😉

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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31 Responses to Budgetary Motivation Propagates FLOSS

  1. dougman says:

    I know Windows users computers that will auto reboot at 0300 on Sunday morning, even when they dont want it to do so.

  2. oiaohm wrote, “us Linux people are not the most effective users of bandwidth.”

    GNU/Linux is a networked OS. It can do just about anything on the network. I like that I can move an image or a kernel over the network in a few tenths of seconds, a time hardly noticeable by humans. I’ve known users of that other OS who go for coffee while their PC boots.

  3. oiaohm says:

    bw us Linux people are not the most effective users of bandwidth. Rync, wget, git syncs all eat bandwidth.

  4. dougman says:

    I guess the resident troll isn’t aware of backups via rsync, or creating a local repository on the network, versus multiple machines pulling updates off the web.

    I get mine from mirror.umd.edu, as do other businesses.

  5. bw says:

    Hell, no! …

    So you cannot remember what it is that you do that takes such high data rates? I suspected as much.

  6. bw wrote, “20+ mbit/sec is not fast enough for your needs? “

    Hell, no! My OS is not sluggish. I can’t stand delay. I have that kind of bandwidth to the Internet.

  7. oiaohm wrote, ” Us Linux users don’t lose that stuff. It really does not take that long to grow to 100GB when you don’t lose stuff.”

    Interesting observation, oiaohm. I had not thought of that but it’s true. I’ve seen so many unbootable Wintel PCs and the consumer typically has no good backup at least in part and may just re-install the OS… whereas my Beast still has the data I put on its predecessor 8 years ago. Almost all the data I had on my last Wintel PC was lost when its hard drive was dropped on a runway. I did have lots of floppies but I don’t even know where they are now. In schools where I worked I offered to recover files if possible on crashed PCs but teachers usually only cared about documents they had personally created and had backups on the web or flash drives. All the stuff from previous teachers was likely lost. It was unusable anyway without a working index. I have recoll, MySQL and Swish-e keeping track of my stuff and I do have a few stacks of CDs… somewhere. I also use RAID which would have helped preserve stuff in case of some hard drive failures.

  8. oiaohm says:

    bw 100GB of personal data is not much. Between videos and photos I have taken over the years I have about 10 TB of personal data just in that. That is not tax details or emails or caches of stuff collected from the Internet.

    This is something common about Linux users bw. People running windows between updates and formats lose so much data. Us Linux users don’t lose that stuff. It really does not take that long to grow to 100GB when you don’t lose stuff.

    Yes I have hard-drive arrays just for personal data storage.

    Just to be scary I have filled 20+ mbit/sec in fact 100+mbit/sec Internet connection. Syncing virtual machine images to Amazon cloud. The more bandwidith you have bw you find ways to fill it.

    Insurance companies are surprisingly heavy bw. You are forgetting all the photos they archive of peoples crashes and smashes.

    Banks would be a possibility of being under 1TB of core data. Large insurance firms are in the multi TB of data storage. Images are expensive to store.

    bw robert has started in the past he is not on the main Internet areas. 20+ mbit/sec is not out where he is.

  9. bw says:

    My network bandwidth is not easily obtained wirelessly

    Good grief! 20+ mbit/sec is not fast enough for your needs? You need a 100GB database to get through the day? Pure hogwash and grasping for air.

    Can you name any function, no matter a function that people actually use, that has such requirements? You can watch 4 different HD videos and hit facebook at the same time while running your taxes and never get near any such limits on bandwidth.

    Where you even get 100GB of personal data I cannot imagine. Banks and insurance companies can get by with a lot less.

  10. oiaohm says:

    Robert Pogson interesting enough none of the desktop boards rated for 24/7 running have I found without ECC ram support.

    Some PC boards are only rated for 18 hours a day those don’t have good cooling on the power regulators on the board. Mostly due to like embedding Nvidia video card. Yes rate high for gaming complete crap for long life.

    bw he did mention one key advantage of a proper server room. Dust control. This does in fact extend life of harddrives.

    bw yes you might be able todo the same using a all windows machine. But there are issues. XP was more of a problem with its 10 access limits. Windows 7/8 with 20 access limit in the tcp stack not ad bad.

    Some tv’s and other devices are evil problem causing. Forgetting to close connections. So you can magically find our self out of computer connections.

    http://webplanetfreaks.weebly.com/1/post/2011/06/how-to-increase-20-internet-speed-in-windows-7.html
    This is a fun one. This is double sided evil.

    You take away the 20 percent limit and windows updates end up not applying. These stack limits is 1 of the major reason windows networking under performs. Like smart would be only apply the 20 percent limit when update software was running. But no Windows is not that smart.

  11. bw wrote, “You haven’t named anything in that tirade that cannot be done just as well with Windows on a completely wireless network.”

    My network bandwidth is not easily obtained wirelessly. Similarly the performance of my web-applications is superior to what can be obtained with that other OS at any reasonable price. Then again I don’t have to worry about what Tuesday it is or what malware is roaming the Internet.

  12. bw says:

    What clutter?

    That batch of cobbled up junk that you keep in the server room that you had to build in your basement. You haven’t named anything in that tirade that cannot be done just as well with Windows on a completely wireless network. And my TVs have wireless internet built-in, no need to fuss with a PC at all.

    And the 10 slot monstrosity that you aptly term Beast is apparently littering up the house as well, not having been relegated to the basement.

  13. bw wrote, ” What can you do with all that junk that I can’t do with a lot less expense and clutter?”

    What clutter? Jacks on the walls? That’s just it. There is no clutter. Every room is part of our IT world and we can do IT anywhere in the house on servers and clients. All my family are IT-literate more or less. When my children come to visit they are at home with IT. One does multimedia, another is a nurse/writer and another is the GoTo guy for a business developing web-sites: servers, databases and user-interfaces. They all bring their own devices and can use ours as appropriate. The only rooms without IT here are the bathrooms and my bedroom and they can be online wirelessly.

    Things I do that you may not are to have instant access to 100gB of data fully indexed and dozens of web-applications that I created/use for work and play. e.g. I have 100K books, a snapshot of Wikipedia, and applications of all kinds accessible from anywhere in the house on any client. e.g. When visitors come and we are sitting in the living room watching a movie on a multimedia PC, I can run and display the output of a ballistics programme on Beast in my upstairs office on the big screen. My home is one big PC. It’s part of who I am. It’s not clutter. It’s used every day in every way. Fans just are not necessary in most of it. Beast still has a couple of fans and I can hear them. I could put Beast in the server room but I do like to fondle him from time to time. The third iteration of Beast will be fanless, perhaps even with no spinning hard drives. Beast may be retired with his ten drive slots to the server room eventually.

    Our new patio should be finished in a week. One of the first things I will do there will be to check out the wifi signal. It might need its own access-point. The patio will see daily use but will really come to play when we have a big party. All the young people want to be connected all the time while I want to be able to watch the flowers, trees and grass grow.

  14. bw says:

    lol

    You build a server room and wire the house so that you are not distracted by the fans in your PCs? I am sitting here typing on a Dell laptop that I bought a couple of years ago refurbished for $400 on eBay. 15″, 500GB disk, 4GB RAM, i3 processor, DVD drive, Win7 Home (now Win8 pro for $39.99) and it is making zero noise. If it has a fan, it is not running. The bottom of the case is warm enough to sense, but that is the worst of it.

    I am connected to my Brighthouse Wi-Fi with its built-in interface and the speed test shows 22.8 mbits/sec download and 6.2 upload. Plenty fast for me and I do a lot of stuff.

    I have my desktop upstairs in the bonus room hard-wired to the cable modem and it is gigabit but I don’t notice anything all that different when I am using it. My wife’s computer is Wi-Fi, too, and is perfectly fine for Candy Crunch, email, and facebook.

    I have Visual Studio 2012 and earlier along with Eclipse for fooling around with Android apps.

    The desktop has a fan, too, but it almost never comes on. What can you do with all that junk that I can’t do with a lot less expense and clutter?

  15. bw wrote, “I might ask “Why?” You don’t appear to have any real use for such a thing. It can only be a hobby and that doesn’t need any economic justification anyway, so why the concern?”

    Hot whirring things don’t belong near me. I like to hear my thoughts. We have only 3 PCs left with fans. They could be retired in a year or two. We have gigabit/s and wifi all over the house and can add additional jacks any time and any place because the basement has suspended ceiling acoustic tile. IMHO, all homes should be built this way. We were lucky. Our basement was unfinished when we bought the house, so we were able to create a server room for stuff that matters but which we need to be off the beaten track. One huge advantage of a proper server room is dust-control. Humans are incredibly dusty/linty/hairy things. Servers, routers, and switches need to be protected from humans. I was in a school once where two hallway closets were put to use as rack spaces. Every time I opened the doors, I found a wall of lint dropped by students and pushed to the side and under the doors by their wakes through the air… Homes are not as busy as hallways of schools but much more likely to have carpet. My home has very little carpet for just that reason. We have marble, ceramic and wood everywhere, even in closets.

  16. oiaohm wrote, ” Funny enough is the right PC for a NAS is a entry level tower.”

    The key is the motherboard. Check out the memory bandwidths of any mobo made in the last decade. They are astronomical compared to the bandwidth of a single hard drive and both exceed 100 mbits/s networking which most users find satisfactory. Add ECC and multiple gigabit/s NICs and you are laughing. The CPU idles with all that DMA going on. Give it some web servery/databasery just for fun.

  17. oiaohm says:

    The big problem I have is that I can buy new PC parts for the price of a decent NAS. The reason for buying a decent NAS is lower power usage. But the lose in flexibility can be a deal breaker that out weight the power saving of a good NAS.

    Some people when I say converted PC would think I would be referring to random second hand.

    Remember you have server grade motherboards and desktop PC grade motherboards. Some desktop PC motherboards are rated for 24/7 running.

    So yes its convert the right PC. Funny enough is the right PC for a NAS is a entry level tower. It is sometimes cheaper to buy the correct one with Windows installed and format over. Why its cheaper. It comes from reliability point of view I am better to place the machine I want as a server on someone’s desk for 12 months before switching it to server role.

    New parts are most likely to fail in the first 8-12 months of operation then you get about 4 years of clean operation until failures start turning up again. This is why when people say old parts I start laughing. You want parts with some age on them for highly reliable servers but not too much age. I would not take like a 5 year old machine and make it a server without major overhauls. Cost today not worth it doing.

    This is the problem for servers I don’t want old historic crap. I also in a lot of ways don’t want brand new not tested either.

  18. oiaohm says:

    By the way there are some brands of NAS better than seagate. The better brands with update firmware beat the use your wifi router as solution.

    bw CuBox at 100 dollars without drive has more ram and faster cpu than the Seagate sub 100 dollar .

    This is the stupid problem the wifi routers have bigger cpu and more ram than seagate prebuilts. Yes seagate makes good drives. Seagate makes some crap NAS’s.

    bw $79 seagate NAS are crap. There is a Seagate NAS worth it salt. Seagate BlackArmor NAS 220 for 1. Yep $500 USD without drives Recommend Retail. Its debian convertible so if you have firmware issues you can turn it to a stock debian.

    This is the problem bw the decent nas’s are not cheep. Crap nas that will give you migraines some time in future are cheep.

  19. oiaohm says:

    bw rackcases surprising are not expensive.

    Proper server room setup does not take much space. I have one where a old hotwater system was.(change to solar the hotwater system is now outside so there was a open space. ) Server Racks support custom shelving. So it killed two birds with one stone holds a few private servers and provides shelving for other things.

    Old saying out of sight out of mind. Dank being moist shortens the life of your hardware. Dark maybe. Basements mostly no. Reason most Basements are not dry enough. Heat and ventilation are critical. But most important is dry.

    My den desk is built from 1 small Server Rack and 1 small filing cabnet (both the same height and 2 boards(one for desktop top and one for desk back). Not all server rack cases have top venting. Some have ducted to side. Quite liked thinking the desk built this way is on 8 casters and is fairly simple to move with only 1 power lead.

    Main reason My home Server is not still in that desk I do like to pack the monitor keyboard and mouse away in the bottom of the rack case and use the desk for entertaining. Yes the power lead also goes into bottom.

    Even if they get around to my side of the desk with the doors closed it still looks very plain. Just to be fun built this way you have 2 key locks one on filing cabinet and one on the server rack. bw yes it does prevent kids/pets from pulling out cables.

    bw with some careful thinking and planing like black rack case with black filing cabinet with black boards produces quite a nice looking desk. Yes I do have hole in board so cables can come up out the rack case. Yes this is a lockable hole.

    Thinking all the parts I described can get got quite cheep in the second hand market in very good condition. Even better if you have to move house the server rack is the transport box for your computer gear just like the fileing cabnet is. Unlike most desks this design does disassemble very dependable.

  20. bw says:

    My equipment is in a rack in a proper server room with a door, a floor, heat, light and ventilation. We have a gigabit LAN

    I might ask “Why?” You don’t appear to have any real use for such a thing. It can only be a hobby and that doesn’t need any economic justification anyway, so why the concern?

  21. bw wrote, ” Maybe you have a dank, dark basement where you can park that junk and play with it all you want.”

    My equipment is in a rack in a proper server room with a door, a floor, heat, light and ventilation. We have a gigabit LAN.

  22. oiaohm says:

    bw
    –A few TB on a wireless NAS appliance is all that 99.99% of people need anyway. How many videos, photos, and MP3′s do you own anyway?–

    I have had this in a business setting. A windows update installs changing windows security hand shake. Now the NAS is not connect-able. Problem is the version of Samba in the nas is 5 years old. No firmware update. What brand was this NAS Seagate. How old was it 2 years so it was obsolete when acquire new.

    You are in fact better off buy a router that you can flash with open Firmware openwrt.org and connect the hard-drive to it by USB. At least you can update Samba in these devices as Windows updates.

    Even using openwrt you still run into some authentication issues with Windows 7 and 8 that you would not run into on a converted PC. Why converted PC still has more modern Samba. Openwrt is about 1 to 2 years behind. But at least you can maintain that distance.

    Really bw you are out of your depth. You have not worked long enough with NAS to learn the key leason. NAS the most critical thing is means to update the bugger. Lack of means to update the bugger at some point your clients will have trouble connecting.

  23. dougman says:

    1-2TB?? Single device?? What happens when that drive goes bad, you lose your data! Feeble minded man trying to speak like he knows what he talking about.

    I offer anything from 6 to 180TB servers booting Linux, backing up multiple clients over rsync. The last server I built, I repurposed a bunch of IDE drives worked like a charm. 🙂

  24. lpbbear says:

    bLOwHARD shows why he deserves the name “bLOwHARD”: I have built my share of computers over the years, but not for maybe 20 years or so.”

    HOLY CRAP! In computer tech terms that is like admitting you had some skills……. back in the paleolithic era!

    And you have the nerve to come on here and claim you 133+n355 over people who are FAR more current than you are!!!!!!!!

    You are truly full of it!

  25. bw says:

    It’s not silly …

    Yes it is. Would your wife let you keep all that crap out in the open in the den? Maybe you have a dank, dark basement where you can park that junk and play with it all you want. We don’t have those things here, the water table’s too close to the surface and they would flood all the time.

    So we have to conserve the space for these things. Run all the junk box things you want if they are out of sight. An old guy needs a hobby after all. I have built my share of computers over the years, but not for maybe 20 years or so. Remember the Sinclair Z-80. I built an LNW-80, rounding up all the parts from surplus stores in town and soldered all the ICs into the mother board, got some EPROMS and copied the TRS-80 ROMs to them, and got it all working just fine with dual 5.25″ floppies. Used it for a couple of years until I bought a white box PC. Built a couple of PCs out of components, too. But the prices for stuff are so low these days that you are a fool for making anything like that yourself. Plus the old stuff looks clunky and makes too much noise. You’d think it was powered by steam.

    A few TB on a wireless NAS appliance is all that 99.99% of people need anyway. How many videos, photos, and MP3’s do you own anyway?

  26. lpbbear says:

    bLOwHARD exposes his lack of ability: “What kind of silly dweeb would ever go to the trouble of making their own? A nice, sleek unobtrusive unit like the Seagate for me. Not some clumsy home-spun contraption.”

    Perhaps your solution is perfect…..for a no talent incompetent fool such as you.

    As for the rest of us, since we actually know what we are doing, we’ll build it ourselves thanks.

  27. oiaohm says:

    bw really it shows your incompetence.

    Custom built nas have the advantage of software updates. Lot of the Seagate prebuilts you get stuck with out of date Samba and other parts.

    The so call home spin contraption is in fact the most secure choice.

  28. bw wrote, of making a NAS, “What kind of silly dweeb would ever go to the trouble of making their own? A nice, sleek unobtrusive unit like the Seagate for me. Not some clumsy home-spun contraption.”

    It’s not silly to put hardware and software to work instead of scrapping it every few years as users of that other OS do. A GNU/Linux NAS on a few years old PC can work really well, say, with ganged Ethernet ports and RAID. There are a few standard ATX boxes around which can hold ten drives as well, far beyond the typical cheap NAS. Further, it is not too difficult to extend a home-built NAS to also serve dynamic content, multimedia and databases/search.

  29. bw says:

    I said building a custom Linux NAS device is the best way to go
    Such terribly bad advice! No wonder your lame attempt at a business has failed. I bought a Seagate 1TB NAS unit for $79 on sale a year ago. Now the standard is 2TB with built-in wireless. Just set it some where out of the way and you can connect desktops and laptops to it and even over the internet when you are travelling. I suspect that it has Linux inside it, too, but who gives a hoot? It just works, like Windows itself.

    What kind of silly dweeb would ever go to the trouble of making their own? A nice, sleek unobtrusive unit like the Seagate for me. Not some clumsy home-spun contraption.

  30. dougman wrote, “In time, Windows will just utterly fail completely, leaving the world in a huge mess.”

    The worst mess will be on the hands of those who hang on until the bitter end. Those who have already migrated to GNU/Linux are laughing.

  31. dougman says:

    Today someone was asking me about storage server solutions.

    I said building a custom Linux NAS device is the best way to go, then we ended up talking about WHS and how it became the joke that it is.

    Turns out he lost a bunch of data on his WHS and was looking for alternatives.

    I have to wonder why people choose M$ to begin with especially knowing that M$ released something crap, then lets it die, leaving droves of people in a huge mess.

    In time, Windows will just utterly fail completely, leaving the world in a huge mess.

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