I want to thank everyone who responded to my first message. I have read
every message, and learned a lot, had a few laughs, and enjoyed the
discussions about proselytising for Linux. And I have followed and will
follow many of the ideas and suggestions. Last night I downloaded the trial
version of IBM Websphere Homepage Builder, and there are some very nice
features in it. I'll probably buy it. I probably will be dual booting for a
while yet, but I am on my way, and not looking back.
My personal reason for wanting to move to Linux only platform if possible is
mostly because I am sick of seeing blue screens, sick of MS's buggy
software. I've always been a power user, running several apps at once,
trying new things, so I always manage to crash my machine. I am currently
running amd athlon 1.3 with 512mb memory, two 40g hard drives, a decent
video card etc., so it shouldn't be hardware limitations.
The other reason I am interested in this is that I do a lot of work with
small companies and charitable organisations. Typically they run a mixture
of old and new machines, 5 to 50 on a site, running several versions of
Windows (95,98,ME,maybe even 2000). Some have networks, but some have been
getting by with sharing files on floppies and zip disks because they have
been scared off networking by the high quotes they get from people trying to
sell a high end NT server they don't need. And quite often, they are running
illegal copies of MS Office 2000, because they have to be able to
collaborate on documents, databases etc. and they couldn't afford copies for
every machine. Now with XP, Microsoft has figured out how to force everyone
to pay big and often for the right to collaborate. These kinds of
organisations are looking for a way out. They are willing to go through some
pain to find a viable alternative.
In short, I think it is a good time to talk to people and companies about
switching. People don't use windows instead of linux because it is easier,
but because they know it. Everyone has wasted time, screamed (inside at
least) and torn hair about escaping from blue screen death. There has got to
be Another Way - and having just had my first look at a modern Linux desktop
during the past few weeks, checking out only a few of the productivity apps,
I think it is close to being available and viable for anyone who wants to go
Email: steve at itx.ie <mailto:steve at itx.ie>
From: ilug-admin at linux.ie [mailto:ilug-admin at linux.ie]On Behalf Of Steve
Sent: 22 November 2001 00:12
To: ilug at linux.ie
Subject: [ILUG] Small office project
I am a new-ish Linux user. I manage a leased linux web server, and I have
recently "SuSEd" my home and office - an old computer is set up as internet
gateway and server - four other machines are dual booting SuSE - windows
workstations - all running SuSE 7.3. Two are mostly used by my kids, who
actually enjoy the games a lot. However, we seem to be stuck. There are
still too many things that we can't do (or haven't figured out how to do) in
Linux that we can do well in Windows. Trouble with printing, and fonts in
Star office have driven us back to using windows even for basic
stuff..though my kids at the start wanted to use linux for everything!
Has any body ever explored or laid out -step by step- the route to take to
wean a small organisation (or even a home network!) away from Windows and to
a totally Linux - open source solution? Actually, I don't mind including
some commercial software if it fills the need...
The requirements as I see it would be:
1. Network setup - including file sharing between computers and setting up
an internet gateway.
2. Office suite - migrating to star office or ??? > yet still be able to
import from /open /export to MS files - I know this is available, but
haven't figured out how. Is there a star office migration guide? And what
about font and print troubles I've had?
3. Setting up a shared database - I am a pretty experienced Access user and
know how to set up shared access databases splitting the 'front end' from
the tables - I also use MySql a lot in web sites - but I don't know how to
set up something that will do the same thing as Access does on a lan.
4. Desk-top publishing? You need to at least put out newsletters or
5. Wysiwyg web development - I am a Dreamweaver Ultra-dev power user, so
until Dreamweaver is ported to Linux or I can find and learn another
solution, I may be hung on Windows. This probably isn't an essential
requirement for the small office project, but some easy web design program
could be useful.
I'm sure some of you have been through this already, but I am stuck.
Also, this is not just for me. I know of several... and I'll bet there are a
lot more... small companies, organsations and charities that would love to
migrate away from thier current dependance on rag tag mixtures of windows
versions and probably some illegal software to a workable linux office - if
only they could be shown how. Is anybody out there doing this? Would anybody
out there like to collaborate and work out how to help people do this?
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