A departement moving to Linux...

Charles Curley charlescurley at charlescurley.com
Fri Feb 17 14:29:33 MST 2006

On Fri, Feb 17, 2006 at 11:09:59AM -0700, Bryan Sant wrote:
> My department at work is moving to Linux (SUSE 10) on the desktop.
> All of our laptops are being upgraded, and the new ones are coming
> with SUSE 10 installed.  I'd say that only about 10% of the engineers
> here were running Linux on their old laptop, but everyone will be
> running Linux now.
> A few thoughts I've had:
> 1) This is the first real first-hand case of an organization adopting
> and pushing desktop Linux that I've experienced.  I am very proud that
> we are not adopting for
> religious/political/counter-culture/I'm-a-way-31337-H4X04 purposes,
> but because it is genuinely better for our needs.  I'm glad that we're
> switching for "capitalistic" reasons instead of "socialistic" reasons.

This, of course, is the sort of reason that will most appeal to bean

> 2) I find myself about as resistant to a forced distro of Linux as I
> am to forcing the use of Windows.  I've been running the pre-installed
> SUSE 10 on my new laptop, but I don't like it that much.  I used to
> like KDE -- then I ran Ubuntu with the later releases of Gnome -- now
> I don't like KDE.  SUSE has the Novell Desktop (Gnome) but GTK/Gnome
> is an afterthought in the SUSE world.  Anyway, I'll be rebuilding my
> system with breezy soon.

Can you not run Gnome on top of SUSE?

> All of the former Windows people seem to really Like SUSE/KDE
> though, so I'm an exception.  I know that I'm out-of-line here.  It
> makes perfect business sense to standardize on a single
> distro/vendor to reduce support costs and increase the overall
> knowledge-base with that flavor of Linux.  I support the approach...
> But I think it's great for *everyone else*...  Just not me :-)
> 3) I'm one of the biggest Linux proponents here, but I still find it
> unsettling that we are FORCING the engineers here to run Linux even if
> they don't want to.  Some (a surprising minority) would rather run
> Windows because that's what they are most effective with.  Frankly I
> agree that they should have a choice.  Am I a freak for not stoning
> those who don't want to run Linux?

Well, IBM has been running a pilot program to convert employees'
desktops to Linux, but strictly volunteers. What they are finding is
that the volunteers tend to be the early adopters, and they become so
enthuiastic about Linux that the laggards decide to try it. The EAs
become inadvertant Linux evangelists. Then it's Fred in the next cube
over recommending it, not some IT weenie, which is much more
powerful. I don't have current figures, but last I looked, IBM had
more than 15K employees using Linux.

On the other tentacle, SUSE went whole hog, no choice. I have not seen
any results from their conversion effort.

Want me to come in & give my one day course on using OOo? Or maybe one
day on OO, the next on Linux? You can pay for it out of the money you
saved on SW licenses? Your colleagues and your bean counters will love
you for it.

> All of these guys and gals moving over are engineers (read technical),
> but I was surprised at how trivial the transition was for most (and I
> work with some SERIOUS Windows-weenies).  But even the biggest
> Microsofties, were able to adapt in just about no time.
> Anyway.  Just something to think about.  Linux is on the march.
> -Bryan
> /*
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> Don't fear the penguin.
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