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Moving to the Linux Business Desktop

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the darn-tootin dept.

Books 211

Raymond Lodato writes "For a number of years now, I've been playing with Linux at my company. My laptop is dual-boot, and I've been trying to steer away from Windows as much as I possibly can. Most of the books I've read have been geared either to running Linux as a server, or as a personal workstation. The gap has been filled. Moving to the Linux Business Desktop, by Marcel Gagné, covers what you need to know to successful run Linux as a business workstation." Read on for the rest.

M. Gagné, a writer for The Linux Journal, does not assume you're going to use any specific distro for Linux. He gives instructions and examples for the most common ones: Fedora (Red Hat), Mandrake, SUSE, Debian, etc. KDE is the primary desktop, but GNOME is covered fairly well, too. I have to admit that, as a long-time Red Hat user, I was well entrenched in the GNOME world. However, after reading Marcel's book, I've make KDE my default environment, and I've been very happy with it.

This book is broken up into three major parts: Getting to Know Linux, Administration and Deployment, and The Linux Business Desktop. Each part is packed with information in an easy-to-follow format. In fact, I found it hard to just read and not fire up my Linux to follow along.

Part One (Getting to Know Linux) covers the essentials of installing Linux and customizing your desktop. As I remarked earlier, Marcel covers multiple distros. He includes instructions on how to install using Mandrake, Fedora Core 1, and SUSE. For those of you who just can't wipe Windows from your hard drive completely, M. Gagné covers setting up a dual-boot environment clearly enough that you will be able to have the best of both worlds.

The second part (Administration and Deployment) assists in setting up a fully functional business environment. In Chapter 7 (Installing New Applications), Marcel covers the various installation programs available across the distros. SUSE's YaST2 installer, Mandrake's urpmi, Kpackage (from the K Desktop Environment), rpm (the shell program), dpkg (Debian's package manager) and apt-get are all covered. In addition, he gives a clearly written explanation of how to build from source (The Extract and Build Five-Step -- page 124) that dispels any anxiety a newbie to Linux might have.

The next chapter covers the device support in Linux. When I started using Linux, device support was spotty at best. Now it's tremendously improved. Marcel shows you the basic of Linux's support. He then goes on to explain about network and Internet connections. Unfortunately, there is one major piece of errata in this area of the book. During his explanation of the difference between Class A, B, and C IP addresses, the information for class A was inadvertantly switched with the class C info. I've been informed that the errata is corrected on his website (www.marcelgagne.com) and in future editions of the book. Outside of that one unfortunate error, the rest of the book is pretty clean.

Later chapters dig into the topics of Backup and Restore (the most important and most underutilized functions), printing, email, web servers, file sharing (both Windows-like with Samba and Unix-like with NFS), thin clients (server-side and client-side) and desktop remote control. He even includes a chapter on installing and configuring LDAP (something rarely written about, but becoming more and more important).

The third and final part of the book covers the usual business applications. Email, arguably the "killer app" for office environments, is addressed first. Focusing on KDE, Kmail gets the lion's share of the coverage, with Evolution following behind. Desktop organizers come next, with Korganizer the favorite and Evolution (again!) nipping at Korganizer's heels.

The web-browsing chapter focuses on Konquerer, KDE's jack-of-all-trades application, and Mozilla. Most notably, significant coverage is given in the next three chapters to OpenOffice and its basic applications Writer, Calc, and Impress. For working with images, digital cameras and USB scanners are covered, with The GIMP as the preferred image editor. On-demand contact via instant messaging and video conferencing rounds out this marvelous book. Kopete and GAIM are discussed in depth for the IM arena, and GnomeMeeting for the VC work.

As with most Linux books, a CD is supplied. However, this book does not give you a specific distro for installation. Instead, Marcel chose to include a branded copy of Knoppix, the CD-bootable Linux. The idea is to let you play around with the various aspects of Linux using Knoppix before committing yourself to the actual installation.

All in all, this is a valuable book, covering most of the areas a business user wants to address. Notably lacking was coverage on how to try to run Windows applications under Linux. At the top of the review, I mentioned I keep trying to steer away from Windows as much as I can. Unfortunately, I usually have a couple of applications that I need but don't come in a Linux version. Even though VMWare, Win4Lin, and Wine were mentioned briefly, I would have liked to have read some examples of running a Windows application using them. In addition, the major snafu with the IP address space marred an otherwise excellent book.


You can purchase Moving To the Linux Business Desktop from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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Wow... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10515451)

A slashdot book review without any glaring grammatical errors... this has got to be a first!

Re:Wow... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10515546)

However, there is a spelling error. Can you find it?

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10516661)

this has got to be a first!
Post, too.

aarr hh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10515463)

aasa ddd aasas
fffff

Easy to do (1)

genner (694963) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515487)

I've been using linux as a desktop at work for
months now. Didn't even bother to dual boot. I
have everything I need

Re:Easy to do (4, Insightful)

greechneb (574646) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515638)

Yes, but not everyone has everything they need right there. In my company it is almost impossible since we have windows only software that we can't port, or use wine for (believe me I've tried) This is for the banking industry. So until there is a way to make that work, I've done what most places have done, put linux in the server room.

Re:Easy to do (4, Interesting)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515674)

Well, I've been in a similar situation.

However, the department I was in was almost entirely into *nix development, but we would have to do some kinda stuff related to Windows from time to time.

We also learnt that it's quite useful for you to have some kinda virtual machine like VMWare [vmware.com] on your box, to boot into alternate OSes. Really really useful.

And the problem is that it's really hard being in the development industry with only Linux -- sooner or later, you're going to run into some client who'd ask you for development on the Windows platform. And it's not as simple as saying, sorry, we don't do Windows :-)

Re:Easy to do (2, Insightful)

greechneb (574646) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515870)

Yea, unfortunately we can't afford to buy 200 copies of vmware, plus the os licenses, plus the fact half the people would be clueless as to what they were doing. Maybe one of these days....

Re:Easy to do (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515955)

That's the problem. Rather than have 200 copies of VMWare plus the overheads, it's easier to dual boot into Windows. Not to mention the technical support problems that would crop up among other issues.

Useful as it may have been for us, for most people, VMWare would be an overkill.

It really sucks, I remember the time when VMWare used to actually free. We showcased running Linux off Windows off Linux and a few applications based on that, on a 500 MhZ processor. Ah, those were the days :-)

Re:Easy to do (1)

xmp_phrack (795665) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516310)

We also learnt that it's quite useful for you to have some kinda virtual machine like VMWare on your box, to boot into alternate OSes. For even a home user VMware is great. Even supports running OS from physical disk in addition to virtual drive. For cost reasons, I'm going to evaluate XP and Virtual PC.

Easy *except* for... (3, Insightful)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516622)

Let's not forget, te focus here is "business desktops". Not "development desktops". That means we need 100% interoperability with a variety of MS document formats, including:

- Word
- Excel
- PowerPoint
- Project

Word and Excel are mostly there, but PPT is iffy, and I'm not aware of anything for the OSS desktop that is 100% (or even close to that) interoperable with Ms. Project. If someone can point me to solutoins to those two problems (PowerPoint, Project), especially if there are free or reasonably priced, well supported versions for both Linux and OSX, we'd be down to 3 WIndows users within a week (from 10-12).

Re:Easy *except* for... (0, Troll)

Milo of Kroton (780850) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516774)

Excel is mostly not here. If never used office XP (German version leasts) then can see that perchance Excel is not as good cloned like with Word has done. Unfortune, but trues. PowerPoint is not great to begin with. What can OS developers and developerin do?

Re:Easy *except* for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10516909)

Excel is a lot farther there than Word in my experience. Try the lastest dev build of OpenOffice. You'll see what I mean.

Re:Easy to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10516687)

Exactly. Not everyone has everything they need. The missing Linux apps from that were critical to my previous company were
  • a bunch of video games that people played when they were bored or frustrated with work, or when the boss was away.
  • an antivirus program that IT said "had to be running on all computers"
In the new company it's not as much a problem because people seem to care enough about work that they're usually working instead of playing warcraft.

Re:Easy to do (1)

Yiliar (603536) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516701)

Even easier -- have one of your existing Winows 2000 or 2003 servers allow for a few remote desktops. Problem completely solved. About twice a week I have to run some stupid windows based app that the persons who wrote it don't even know its IE specific, or is Active X based, or whatever. I do this: rdesktop -g 1152x900 server_IP (my laptop is 1400x1050 so this fits nicely) Log in, do my thing and log off. Takes less than a minute, usually, for what I have to do. Easy Peasy

But the real question... (4, Funny)

sneakers563 (759525) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515495)

Has he dropped his annoying French chef schtick? Or is it all "Good morning, monseiur! Zo, we are perhaps interested in sampling ze business desktop of linux, are we? We have several tasty items on ze menu today!"

Re:But the real question... (2, Funny)

jurv!s (688306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515824)

If he says "mes amis" one more time... why I orta

Schtick? (-1, Redundant)

miketo (461816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515505)

No mention is made of Gagne's "French chef" schtick that clogs his Linux Journal column. I'm hoping against hope that Gagne decided to ditch the schtick in favor of delivering clean, clear prose.

Anyone else seen the book and confirm or deny the presence of schtick?

Knoppix is Debian-based, right? (3, Informative)

codergeek42 (792304) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515519)

However, this book does not give you a specific distro for installation. Instead, Marcel chose to include a branded copy of Knoppix, the CD-bootable Linux.
So it is giving you a specific distro to play around with: it's giving you Debian GNU/Linux. In fact, you can do a HD install of it and have a fully functional Debian system with OO.o, Moz, and other things installed fairly quickly.

Linux is fine on the business desktop (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10515561)

until you do realize you can't print to the latest laser printer your boss bought because it's simply not supported by any driver on linux

'business' ? not yet

Re:Linux is fine on the business desktop (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10515874)

I give up. Is it still possible to find laser printers that don't have HP PCL6 or PostScript interpreters?

I can't remember the last time I saw printer that couldn't handle one of PCL and PostScript.

Re:Linux is fine on the business desktop (3, Informative)

andfarm (534655) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515932)

Most businesses I've seen use networked HP Laserjet printers for their laser printing. These printers are just about as standard (and Linux-compatible) as you can get. No drivers (other than a network card driver which you should already have) necessary.

Ummmm.... (5, Insightful)

temojen (678985) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515921)

You seem to have confused "laser printer" with "cheap inkjet printer". I've never had a problem with a laser printer not working on Linux.

Re:Ummmm.... (1)

ricotest (807136) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516150)

Especially as most printers are networked and therefore easily handled by CUPS or some similar tool.

Re:Ummmm.... (3, Interesting)

ProfaneBaby (821276) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516591)

Most laser printers work, yes.

It's the oddities that cause problems. For example, we have a check-printer here that comes with windows drivers, and despite spending a LOT of time (even had RedHat support try), we were unable to get Linux to cooperate...

When the CFO can't print a check, you can't use Linux on his desktop (or his assistant's). You can, though, put it in engineering (depending on the company, in reception, and in many of the administrative offices).

The key, we've found, is to do it department-by-department rather than company-by-company. Transitioning individual departments allows for easy bookkeeping, still saves money, and allows for the occasional exception due to application/hardware lockins.

Re:Linux is fine on the business desktop (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10515950)

Don't forget the fact that being free is the only thing OpenOffice.org has going for it. Everything else sucks, even after 4 years.

Gimme a break (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10516027)

Linux works just fine with most "business" laser printers. Two seconds of Googling will also show you what is compatbile with Linux hardware-wise. Is that such a difficult concept?
Informative my arse.

Re:Linux is fine on the business desktop (3, Informative)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516215)

until you do realize you can't print to the latest laser printer your boss bought because it's simply not supported by any driver on linux


Run that one by me again. You're saying that after going to the hassle of Linux migration the IT deprtment isn't going to spend the 1 minute required to heck if the new printer they would like to buy is supported?

And then ignoring that issue for a minute - you said "laser printer". I think you're confused. It's the inexpensive home desktop inkjet printers that don't work with Linux. Pretty much all laser printers speak either PostScript (which any UNIX based OS has zero issues with, no extra drivers of any kind required) or PCL which again Linux has no problems with. I dare you to find any decent laser printer that doesn't work flawlessly immediately with Linux.

Jedidiah.

Re:Linux is fine on the business desktop (2, Informative)

ComputerSlicer23 (516509) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516821)

HP makes any number of LaserPrinters that don't do PCL/PostScript in hardware. They are done in software. I'm not going to claim they are decent printers. They are mostly single user, small user group type printers. The HP 1012 (not claiming it's decent).

I know I bought a printer about 5-6 years ago that was the same thing built by somebody else (Sony I think?). It used a SourceGear driver. The ghostscript guys said they'd actively write a driver for it's language because they were such nice printers. Unfortunately, they never released the specs, and the printer line died shortly there after. It actively advertised that is did "PostScript", but the problem, was it did PostScript in software, not hardware.

I believe we have two 3500 series color laserjets that don't do PostScript, or PCL that anyone around here can figure out. We can use Samba to queue from them from Linux, but you have to use the Windows drivers. It uses "JetReady" according to the specs on the HP website.

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF06a/1897 2-236251-236268-15077-f51-315862.html [hp.com]

That is a decent printer, and it doesn't work with Linux at all. Let alone immediatly or flawlessly. What do I get for successfully completely the dare?

Oh, and you can't say it's not a decent printer because it doesn't do PCL or PostScript, that's cheating. So yes, you still actually have to read the specifications to see if they will work with Linux. Our Admin wasn't paying attention. I normally wouldn't either, because it was an HP printer. They have always done PCL in hardware. However, a friend of mine warned me after picking up a 1012 not too long ago to be on the lookout.

Kirby

Re:Linux is fine on the business desktop (2, Insightful)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516227)

Any laser printer that doesn't support a sensible set of printing protocols (postscript, for example) does not belong in an office. It's fairly hard to find one, but if you're looking for something that will be absolutely no use to anyone, look no further than the Epson Acculaser C900 [epson.co.uk] . One of our clients bought one of these for their accounts office, where they have a high printload. Once they realise how much it would cost them, they sent it into the MD's office (which does very little) and replaced it with one of these [hp.com] . Since then, the Epson has broken down twice.

Kindly recommend to your boss that any money saved by buying cheap GDI printers is lost very quickly in maintenance and consumables.

Re:Linux is fine on the business desktop (1)

lilbudda (625254) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516696)

You could if it were HP ;-)

Active Directory (1)

lilbudda (625254) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516733)

my only issue using Linux in a corporate environment is not being able to add easily to the active directory domain.

Re:Linux is fine on the business desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10516769)

Bill Gates??? Is that you???

Unserious (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10515573)

Excuse me but where does Linux have a 'business Desktop' ? KDE is quite close to a 'business Desktop' though made by volunteer people. GNOME again is usless stuff and whoever uses it in the business can't make serious business.

Re:Unserious (2, Informative)

codergeek42 (792304) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515628)

GNOME again is usless stuff and whoever uses it in the business can't make serious business.

Wrong. Novell's Ximian Desktop [novell.com] is completely GNOME-based. And you're telling me that can't make money for a huge company like Novell? ...

Re:Unserious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10515676)

look closer at [novell.com] .

Re:Unserious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10515752)

How we did it... (4, Informative)

CodeWanker (534624) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515595)

Our IT folks made the time to get a Linux business productivity system in place (in parallel to their regular support of 2K/XP) so they could 1) demonstrate it to people (the compatibilities and the look and feel) and 2) package it up so our non-IT folks could be set up and supported easily. And re-set up when they broke something. If you hire IT people who actually like what they do, it makes this kind of thing a lot easier. Most of our departments are still MS, but the ones that have switched like it and aren't going back.

No specific distro? (5, Informative)

wolfemi1 (765089) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515608)

...this book does not give you a specific distro for installation. Instead, Marcel chose to include a branded copy of Knoppix, the CD-bootable Linux

No specific distro? Knoppix is a specific distro (based on Debian) which can be installed on a hard drive! Last I heard, all you had to do was type knx-hdinstall at a prompt, but that may have changed since I used it.

Re:No specific distro? (1)

zoloto (586738) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516410)

It changed.

knoppix-install

Re:No specific distro? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10516629)

OT, but seeing as my story got rejected. Knoppix 3.7 is out (kind of), a copy was distributed with the German PC-Welt magazine. It's in German but you can use lang=whatever as a boot option as normal. Has nifty new firewalling, and a 2.6.7 kernel. http://www2.hs-harz.de/~u17462/knoppix/knoppix_v37 .iso [hs-harz.de] is the ISO file, I'm sure you're capable of finding trustworthy md5's yourself with Teoma or Google. Do that site a favour and try the http://www2.hs-harz.de/~u17462/knoppix/knoppix_v37 .iso">Coral Cache [slashdot.org] first. I can't imagine why this news isn't appropriate for at least the 'Linux' section, but there you go.

Re:No specific distro? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10516714)

Ooops bad HTML, this link should work [nyud.net]

Re:No specific distro? (1)

r3lody (800999) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516923)

My own personal opinion: the Knoppix supplied on CD is more for playing with Linux than for installation. The difference is that other books will supply a 2- or 3-disk set with the complete distro, source and binary, specifically for installation. This book's Knoppix CD was specifically for getting used to Linux. That was the distinction I tried to make.

Linux workstation (2, Interesting)

monk2b (693792) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515624)

I have used a linux workstation for work since 1999. I have noticed vast improvements since redhat 5.2. I now run redhat 9.0 and love the openoffice apps as well as xine which had to be added after install. I have always felt linux was ready for the office, I now feel linux is ready for the home.

Re:Linux workstation (1)

Jim_Maryland (718224) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516017)

Depends on which home. Many home PC's are used as gaming systems and until the vendors start supporting Linux, you won't get the mass conversion (and yes, I'm aware that some vendors do support Linux, but people will want all the popular titles). For the email and office like use, sure Linux can replace the operating system. Users will just expect a comfortable interface to protect them from really knowing how the OS works.

Re:Linux workstation (1)

monk2b (693792) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516506)

I did'nt take into account gaming. I am not a gamer, but I do understand that the vast majority of the games out there that are blockbuster don't run on linux. I agree it was an oversight on my part.

Re:Linux workstation (1)

yahwotqa (817672) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516088)

Linux has been living in my home for some 2 years now already. Me and my father are both linux-positive and my sister and mother are about equally happy with linux, as they used to be with windows. This is of course after setting up their accounts properly, which took few "this doesn't work for me" calls. Praise the ssh, I was able to fix it from my dorm computer. :) Of course, YMMV, it all depends on the people.

Re:Linux workstation (1)

monk2b (693792) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516600)

I too have been using linux at home. I have been on linux at home since 1998. I am OS agnostic so I do see the benefits and shortcomings of all OS's. I do, however really, really like using the command line to move and copy files instead of dragging and dropping. I just meant that most novice users would not like linux at home until recently.

Re:Linux workstation (1)

yahwotqa (817672) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516788)

You can "drag and drop" files on linux as well - think KDE or Gnome. When I asked my sister if she feels comfortable with konqueror for disk browsing, she said it's even better than "the thing that was there before" :)

KDE rocks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10515625)

Looks like people and business is moving away from GNOME and moving towards KDE these days. Shame if you think something bad :)

Re:KDE rocks. (1)

texnologos (585883) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515908)

There are a lot of high quality apps for gnome, way better than some kde apps. Evolution is working and excels but that has never been the case for kmail. KDE is very nice (I have been using for the last 3+ years) for my desktop needs, but it's even better with gnome apps.

Re:KDE rocks and I tell you why. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10516079)

Evolution might be a nice example but that's the only example (maybe Gnumeric too). We are talking about real live applications for companies, industry and science and there is the biggest gap within GNOME. Only KDE is filling here.

KTurtle [kde-apps.org] for Logo stuff.
Quanta Plus [kde-apps.org] for Web development.
QTIPlot [kde-apps.org] for plotting stuff.
Chemical equitation [kde-apps.org] for Chemical courses at school and university.
NeuroScope [kde-apps.org] for neurogic things e.g. in hospitals etc.
Klusters [kde-apps.org] for neurological stuff also for hospitals etc.
KMobileTools [kde-apps.org] for cellphones.
Quantum GIS [kde-apps.org] for Geographical stuff.
Umbrello [kde-apps.org] for UML, Klass diagramms etc.

and many more applications like KDevelop, KOffice and so on. There are countless of usable and needed tools for KDE if you look on kde-apps.org a lot of the stuff available on KDE (with impressing quality) is absolutely missing on GNOME. So why should I use a Desktop Environment that lacks true usable applications while I can find everything on KDE ? GNOME is nice but needs years to solve all it's architectual issues and then offer programs with rapid development and maintainance.

Re:KDE rocks and I tell you why. (1)

texnologos (585883) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516301)

I think that evolution is the only option if one is to choose. Kmail is quite unstable. However the lots of nice gnome software out there as well. Let us not forget gimp. Also mozilla is also heavily gtk based not to mention gaim, and gnomemeeting. KDE is better with some of the gnome apps. Nothing wrong at that.

Re:KDE rocks and I tell you why. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10516605)

Actually no, GNOME is not offering any real live applications for science, industry and students. Sure you are permanently keep refering to Evolution here but Evolution is a PIM. One of many tools that people require. A Secretary or Project leader might have a huge use of Evolution like managing their contacts, schedules and so on. But an IT professional who has to do UML based diagrams for his customers has no use of Evolution. Another one has to do presentations using a Presentation app like KPresenter even he has no use of Evolution.

I am talking about true life scenarios here and not programs that an ordinary homeuser would use. GAIM, XChat, GnomeMeeting are nice and KDE offers alternatives as well but they are not really practical in a money making business. They are only usefull for communication but not for production that get's them money.

There are plenty of GNOME applications but none of them of high scientific quality that I would like to recommend people. I do come from the GNOME camp and spent a couple of years with GNOME so I know what I am talking here. It's not that GNOME is unknown to me but also knowing about professional development I can say that GNOME lacks a good architecture to develop applications.

GIMP and Mozilla are by the way pure GTK+ applications they have nothing in common with the Desktop GNOME (which I was refering here). Mozilla also exists for KDE using KDE libraries but this doesn't really count.

XChat, Gaim, GnomeMeeting, Rhythmbox, Totem, Evolution and so on are nice but not what people within companies, research, science and information technology is requiring.

From your reply I have the feeling that you must be quite young (maybe beginning 20 or 22) I would urge you to visit 8 semesters computer or computer and economics science at an university. Before I went to university I had similar ideas like you but that got changed once confronted with real life and real life applications and scenarios. Stuff that gets you money in the pockets and right now KDE is leading here (from Open Source perspectives) of course real scenario companies still prefer Windows.

Cost of Training? (4, Insightful)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515641)

Sure, Linux can work fine as a business desktop for those who want to use it as such. What about the working stiff's in the accounting / secretarial pool that could care less, know enough Windows 2K/XP to get the job done and would need a 2 week special high intensity training course for dummies to learn where all their new tools are? These are people who would rather be fishing or watching the soaps, secretly despise having to work at all in an office, dream of winning the lottery, and resist change or having to learn something different, worry about being able to transfer these skills to other offices that are likely Windows based, etc.

Just playing Bill's advocate here.

False assumption (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10515718)

The people you call working stiffs certainly wouldn't need a 2 week special high intensity training, that's just ridiculous.

You make it sound as if a secretary typing letters all day in MS Word would need to go through a boot camp from hell in order to be able to do the same in Writer and that is simply laughable.

Cost of [beatings]? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10515845)

"Just playing Bill's advocate here."

Hi, Bill's advocate. Your fly's open. :)

Seriously let's say one's going instead from a Unix/linux based business desktop TO a windows desktop with all you've said otherwise being the same.

Does that change your answer?

Re:Cost of Training? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10515898)

2 weeks in training to save 10+ years worth of licences. Bill can hire better advocates than that.

Re:Cost of Training? (1)

widderslainte (121941) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516029)

Problem is those "working stiffs" in accounting may have accounting software that isn't written for linux.

Re:Cost of Training? (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516444)

and just who says you HAVE to move everyone over to Linux in one fell swoop??? keep a few ms-windows machines for running "legacy" applications on if you find those "legacy" applications don't run using WINE [winehq.com] or CrossOverOffice [codeweavers.com] .

My last publishing outfit I worked at still has some old 386's running dos 3 for some old wordprocessing apps so they can read in files written ages ago on those packages and then save them out into a friendlier format for recovering the text.

By the way, this product looks rather interesting for running legacy apps on Linux thin clients [codeweavers.com] ...

Just not true anymore (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10516065)

hat about the working stiff's in the accounting / secretarial pool that could care less

That's so 1990s... I work with banks (deal with the network security) and one after another of my clients have switched to thin-client desktops where all they need is a compliant browser. Imagine their surprise when I showed them instead of that brand new $800 Wyse unit, or $1200 Dell PC, a Linux thin client did the same job and actually used the old Windows PC they were planning to throw away (actually, most PAY people to take them, secure wipe the drive, etc.)

Banking apps, finance apps, etc. are increasingly going web-based for interface. Those that aren't are losing interest in the financial circles.

Linux does just fine - actually, I'm concerned Microsoft won't be able to match the value and their thin-client inherits the nightmare of IE and its security issues.

Re:Cost of Training? (2, Insightful)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516346)

Um. Don't give them Linux. It's that easy. No one said you couldn't operate a mixed environment.

My personal experience is that Linux works very well for general knowledge workers The people who come in at nine, leave at five, and couldn't give a rats arse what they're running. They call it "the new system" and are just as au fait with it as they were with Windows. Which is pretty much not at all.

There's absolutely no gain to be had to migrating somewhere like accounts on the other hand. Sage Line 50 has no Linux version, has problems with Citrix, and isn't wineable. Same goes for most banking apps.

A 90% Linux, 10% Windows environment is still considerably more supportable than a full Windows office.

Re:Cost of Training? - You make me laugh! (1)

elrick_the_brave (160509) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516775)

Uhh.. in my experience of almost 10 years in IT, I have almost never seen a comprehensive training system for users at any company.. some apps yes.. but really it does not take much to bring basic functionality to folks with applications. They just need to know how to do their job: read/write e-mails, read/write documents, read/write excel spreadsheets, contacts, appoints, and the presentation software.. that's one thing I am not sure linux is up to yet...

Re:Cost of Training? (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516905)

These are people who would rather be fishing or watching the soaps, secretly despise having to work at all in an office, dream of winning the lottery,

Are you talkin' to ME?

Sorry.. (1, Insightful)

Uhh_Duh (125375) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515643)

If you need a book to do it, the gap has not been filled.

Re:Sorry.. (5, Funny)

AvantLegion (595806) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515665)

There are tons of books on sex, and those gaps get filled every night.

Re:Sorry.. (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515996)

"There are tons of books on sex, and those gaps get filled every night."

I have yet to see book titled "how to have sex for the firt time in 100 easy steps" which is what these Linux books tend to be.

Sorry..Twinkies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10516342)

"Were's the cream filling?" takes on a whole new meaning.

Re:Sorry.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10515720)

Yeah, there aren't any books on moving to the Windows desktop.

Re:Sorry.. (1)

kmb (56194) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515797)

But a huge number on using it. Sorry, the original argument doesn't hold.

Re:Sorry.. (1)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516597)

How efficient are Windows users without books and training? Step into the trenches of user support and find out.

Review of the review (2, Informative)

B1ackD0g (660299) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515659)

I think that this is one of the better reviews I've read on /. lately. Lots of good info on what to expect and not expect and what's covered and not covered. Makes me want to spend some of my hard earned SAF (Spousal Approval Factor) points and check this out myself.

Re:Review of the review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10515927)

I disagree. I need a review to carry information which tells me if the topics are covered in sufficient depth. How does the book describe working through PROBLEMS?

For example, many of us were caught in the recent past by dual-boot "bugs." Once you educate yourself, the "map" function solution is obvious, but how to work your way through a dual-boot screwup is the kind of real-world practical knowledge that would make a book like this valuable.

Same thing with: "he gives a clearly written explanation of how to build from source (The Extract and Build Five-Step -- page 124) that dispels any anxiety a newbie to Linux might have."

A LOT of Linux books describe ./configure ---> make ----> make install. What would give his book added value would be if it went beyond the usual explanations and addressed what to do when something goes wrong.

Let's say you set up your libraries incorrectly, or should be using ldconfig or something and don't know about it or haven't learned how? So you're trying the standard Extract and Build Five-Step, but you're getting compilation errors and so, compiling software on your Linux box is not working for you. What do you do then? What do those arcane compiler errors mean? It is really hard for a newbie to figure such things out. We don't need another surface-level book, but one which helps a newbie through the problems they are most likely to encounter.

So, does his book have this kind of meat, or not? What differentiates his book from the pack and would make me want to run out and buy it, or recommend it to my newbie business friends who are trying, with difficulty, to make the move? With respect to the author, THAT is what I want to know in a review.

Good resource (3, Interesting)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515683)

The book sounds like a good resource, I'll take a look at it at Borders this week. I just did my first Linux install, ever, last night on a spare computer I had here at home. I ended up using Ubuntu, which is a Debian flavor distro. It works really, really well. I was surprised that it found the shared resources on the MS workgroup on the wired/wireless LAN here at home. I would like to find a good book to help me understand Linux, from a decidedly beginner starting point. So, when I look at this one I'll flip through some others. Suggestions are welcomed.

not beginner books, but should be mentioned.... (2, Informative)

p.rican (643452) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516647)

Usually anything from O'Reilly [oreilly.com] specifically Matt Welsh's "Running Linux" and "Linux in a Nutshell". Both books will help you become more than capable in basic sysadmin of a Linux box, especially in a mixed home network like yours. Also, check the web as there is a ton of documentation and online editions of books that you can download for free. I usually start here [google.com] .

A quick search on google gave me this one [freeprogra...ources.com] which looks helpful.

Re:Good resource (1)

zoloto (586738) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516658)

www.linuxfromscratch.org

this may be a down and dirty way to understand linux from the ground up. but it covers the basics. it sure helped me out after a few years of running slackware (since 4.0 anyhow)

Great work; Almost there. (5, Interesting)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515687)

The problem with using Linux when the people you work for generally use Windows is, of course, being compatible with them. Linux has come a long way in this regard: OpenOffice reads Word documents flawlessly; gnumeric reads Excel spreadsheets; Ximian Evolution is the perfect replacement for Outlook; etc.

The one business application that isn't so well worked out is PowerPoint. OpenOffice's Impress is wonderful by itself, but it doesn't do so good with reading Microsoft generated powerpoints, especially with fancy stuff in them. I had to give a presentation recently on what my team did for the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge, and I had to transfer the presentation to some long-outdated Mac powerbook to work with it because OpenOffice would just freeze when I tried to read the file.

On the otherhand, I haven't had any trouble reading OpenOffice .ppt files in PowerPoint, so it's really only a probablem if you need to import something from another machine.

But otherwise, I don't see any advantage windows affords. I mean, if I have critical data on my machine, the number one issue for me is going to be stability, which is not one of windows' strongpoints. (And no, Rome Total War is not a business application. :p)

Re:Great work; Almost there. (5, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515767)

And you forget the most important advantage -

When stupid users open that latest Funny.exe file, nothing happens! For that one reason alone, I think a Linux destktop would rock.

But the advantage of Windows is more psychological and social - there are jobs where if you put, 5 experience working in MS Excel would get you the job - however, people would not know what OpenOffice is at all. So, from that point of view, people may not really like switching over. It's got to be a gradual process, where they are first acquainted with the fact that an alternative exists, and then move on.

Re:Great work; Almost there. (1)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516404)

This is an arguement I hear a lot, but to be honest, what your staff put on their future CVs is not a serious consideration for any business. It's nice, but I don't see it as a reason to compromise the stability, security and supportability of your IT infrastructure.

Re:Great work; Almost there. (2, Interesting)

nizo (81281) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516007)

The thing that we couldn't get a replacement for is MS Project, since there appears to be no freebie program that can read project files. We ended up using crossover office to run our project licenses, which is ok but not very desireable. Other than that the transition is going well, with Open Office working fine. Rather than evolution we are looking at thunderbird, since it runs on both linux and windows.

A bit OT, but it has to be said (0, Offtopic)

TimmyDee (713324) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516141)

At the risk of my karma, here I go. . .

Linux is a great idea for the desktop, but everything to which it aspires has already been accomplished by Apple with Mac OS X. You get a *nix based desktop OS, an open core, a raft of compatibility through standards adherence, and almost as many OSS projects. On top of that, industry standard apps like Office and Dreamweaver and Photoshop all run on Mac OS X -- not some spin off. Plus, it's wicked easy to setup and deploy. I worked for a small liberal arts college managing their Macs. All of them. I could easily handle the deployment and administration of 800 computers myself.

If the goal is to get away from MS (and Office), Mac OS X can help ease the transition. Until OpenOffice becomes everything you need, you can use MS Office. Once OO does the trick, drop MS Office like a bad habit!

Yes, there is also the issue hardware, but companies cycle their hardware relatively frequently. And what about the price? Even Linux Insider had something to say about that:

http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/36120.html

In the end, Mac OS X does what Linux is still struggling with -- making *nix desktop computing and administration easy.

Re:Great work; Almost there. (2, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516293)

The problem with using Linux when the people you work for generally use Windows is, of course, being compatible with them.

Odd that really. If you have a mixed shop with Linux, MacOS X, Solaris, and *BSD everything plays very nicely together. It is very much Windows that is the odd one out here - very much Windows that doesn't play nice with everyone else. That means that should Windows actually lose some real market share and not, by default, be the absolute dominant force that everyone else is forced to be compatible with... well, all of a sudden that lack of playing nice is going to look very bad for Microsoft. It's all about mindshare. Right now MS has it, but a little slip can cause a dramatci change.

Jedidiah.

Flawlessly? (2, Insightful)

Mikmorg (624030) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516384)

I'd be careful where you use that word. I'm an advocate of OOffice, but it does have its downfalls.

Open Office does not read word documents flawlessly. That I can attest to, for sure. Where I work, we discussed the possibility of switching over to open office, but the reasoning behind getting skrewed out of even more money from MS (alot more), was because ooffice did not convert doc and xls files correctly.

This wonderful suite is very unfortunately, not compatible enough to be used in a corporate situation :(.

Linux in the workplace (5, Informative)

Tie_Defender (753637) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515746)

Funny that you mention Gagné's book, because my friend relied on it to switch his small buisness over to linux. After using it to aid him through his quest away from the world of windows, he has become a very satisfied linux user. So far hes saved over $2k by switching to linux from windows 2000. He and I are working to get his apache server up now for his new website. :)

Re:Linux in the workplace (3, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515960)

So far hes saved over $2k by switching to linux from windows 2000.

What did your friend think the 2000 in "Windows 2000" stand for?

Re:Linux in the workplace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10516267)

And no doubt the office users and businesses switching to Linux will spend 10x that much continually updating Linux packages, acquiring Linux packages, figuring out which of the 1000 varieties of Linux packages is worthwhile, training/re-training. Not to mention patching and re-patching as the inevitable bugs come to light in the various Linux kernels and packages. Most of you don't get it. You prefer Linux because you're enamored with something you can get your teeth into and see the source code of. You have this misperception that it's more secure. GET A LIFE and pull your heads out of the Linux sand, read some of the unbiased security papers by respectable groups/people. The speed by which packages are released/kernel revisions occur does not promote better security, only more bugs. The real costs of ownership of Linux in a productive environment are still not known. "Free" doesn't really mean economical.

You MIS/IT/IS geeks who think you know it all are costing industry millions in undocumented expenditures with your poorly researched, unilateral decisions to "switch". Linux is an okay server OS kernel, but it's no where near ready for the desktop or office primetime.

Linux continues to thrive because most people are very short-sighted and all they can see is the immediate low-cost of Linux (unless you buy a supported distro), fear of continued worms/viruses (not realizing that Linux is just as or more susceptible), OpenOffice works (sort of) but interoperability between "office" packages is not nearly as complete. Microsoft is likely to be around for awhile, which of the supported Linux providers/supporters do you think will still be here in 5-10 years? SCO? (wrong) Suse? (already dying), Red Hat? (wrong), Novell? (ha). One has to wonder if the community enthusiasm for Linux isn't more to promote job security than anything else. Hope you like the climate in India.

Safe under the assumption that no one reads at 0 and -1.

No coverage of JDS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10515795)

It is easily the most "business-friendly" distro out there...

No reason not to use Linux for business (2, Insightful)

RealAlaskan (576404) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515804)

If there is a fulltime sysadmin to set it up and keep it going, there is no reason not to have a Unix desktop, and it might as well be Linux. The few must-have applications that are Windows only can be run from a Windows server in the basement. I've seen that done, and it worked.

At home, where there isn't a system administrator to take responsibility for everything, something like OSX might make more sense for some people. For a business large enough to have that fulltime system administrator, it seems hard to justify not going with Linux.

Re:No reason not to use Linux for business (1)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515889)

I am hoping to take my part-time counseling practice full-time within the next year and I cannot afford all of the licenses/app software from the Windows world so I am planning on having an all-Linux office. It will only be a few computers to begin with but, hopefully, I can handle it. There are good local resources for support and I don't mind paying someone now and then to help out with that which is just too far over my head.

Re:No reason not to use Linux for business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10516275)

The few must-have applications that are Windows only can be run from a Windows server in the basement. I've seen that done, and it worked.

So what happens when you actually need to use these must-have applications? Go down to the basement and do your work? Not all work is done on the server. The article mentions dual-boot, so I'm sure they aren't just talking about servers, but workstations as well.

Re:No reason not to use Linux for business (1)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516484)

The few must-have applications that are Windows only can be run from a Windows server in the basement. I've seen that done, and it worked.

Yes and no. Terminal Services can be very useful in a Linux environment, but not all applications work this way, and crucially, it's EXPENSIVE. You generally need CALs (Client Access Licences, pretty cheap) and TSCALs (Terminal Services Client Access Licences) which COST MONEY. LOTS.

If you've got a business that can afford it, great. However it has the potential to seriously reduce any costs you may save by switching to Open Source, which for many businesses is a large mitigating factor in choosing to migrate in the first place.

THINK (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10515841)

PROPOSITION 911
U.S. citizens have a reason, a right and a responsibility
to demand the whole 9/11 Truth from George W. Bush.

Proposition 911

An initiative to factually establish, and effectively compell official public response to the confluence of the following justifications that U.S. citizens could rightfully claim as reason to pressure the press to press the president to present the "9/11 Truth" (i.e. Facts relating to the under-examined topic of Bush's 9/11 failures and fortunes.):
REASON - The case for probable cause to compell the 9/11 Truth from Bush.
RIGHT - The constitutionally-guaranteed citizen Right to the Truth in Government.
RESPONSIBILITY - The duty to verify that the U.S. has NOT been comandeered in a covert coup d'etat by a powerful and profoundly corrupt Bush family network.

Whereas, since 9/11 was the best thing that could have happened for the Bush administration, it is dangerously illogical and ill advised to leave unresolved, the issue as to whether the situation is coincidence or conspiracy. The de facto operating assumption of most Americans is that 9/11 was just a convenient coincidence for Bush. Closer examination of the issue reveals probable cause to conclude otherwise. The following facts and analysis reasonably constitute a compelling case to be made for demanding that this issue be embraced and advanced as legitimate news.

THE CASE - Team Bush possessed the means, method and motive to enable 9/11 Fulsome perspective on Bush begins with his family history in business and government involving defense, intelligence, energy, Saudi rulers and deceptive practices as described by Kevin Phillips, in his book, American Dynasty - Aristrocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush. It paints a portrait of a family which could possess the means, method and motive to allow the attackers' success, knowing it would justify pre-existing plans for war profiteering.

EXHIBIT A - Agenda: Proof of Premeditation of Profit Motives
The Project for a New American Century(PNAC) is a think tank founded by Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and other Bush Administration officials. Precisely one year prior to 9/11, on page 51 of a policy paper titled Rebuilding America's Defenses, PNAC accurately predicted that advance of their agenda would only accelerate after a "catalyzing and cataclysmic event...like a new Pearl Harbor.

EXHIBIT 'B' - Behavior: Gross negligence of duties as Commander-in-Chief
The video clip made famous by Michael Moore, shows Commander-in-Chief Bush inaction in the class room. He was the only human who could have authorized use of military force against domestic commercial aircraft. Interestingly, the command chain for those orders had been re-routed April 2001, to go through Donald Rumsfeld, who was also apparently oblivious to the meaning of black smoke streaming from the twin towers. Bush failure to perform on 9/11 and ever since, in his duty to seek answers and accountability for the many mysterious breakdowns, is simply suspect.

EXHIBIT 'C' - Cover-up: The pattern of secrecy is a clear and present danger
Not only did Bush not try to find and fix the flaws and failures that enabled 9/11, but the administration actively undermined investigation, stone-walled and covered-up. The Bush White House whitewashed the 9/11 Commission and discouraged investigation at every step that it could. The administration also over-classified the 9/11 Congressional inquiry report, redacting 28 pages about 9/11 plot support by Bush associates in Saudi government, as detailed in a book by Senator Bob Graham.

RESOLVED,
That, the People of the United States who challenge the official story of 9/11, hereafter referred to as Team Truth, having just cause for concern about the state of the Union, hereby declare as justified, this exercise of the 1st Amendment Right to petition the government for a redress of grievances with George W. Bush and his administration, regarding his refusal to discuss or disclose facts relevent to the events of September 11, 2001.

That, Team Truth, in order to justify this exercise of political will, based upon substantiation put forth herein, do ordain and establish our legitimate possession of the reason, the right and the responsibility to challenge the official "9/11 Story".

That, The foregoing course of action is necessitated and justified by the steadily-emerging potential for a scenario of significant consequence to the national interest. The probability for this crisis situation increases with every day that the Bush administration refuses to disclose details about 9/11, which can reasonably be construed as indicating the incrimating nature of the details. It is imperitive that the citizen public know the whole Truth about the events of September 11, 2001, with regard to their relationship to the foreknowledge, failures and fortunes of the Bush administration. Since citizen access to Truth in Government is contingent upon the will of the press to fulfill its function as the "fourth estate", then mainstream media must be called into account as to their respective reactions to this proposition.

THE REASON
That, The 9/11 Commission Report concluded that U.S. 'National Security' failures were a major factor that enabled 19 perpetrators to achieve such stunning success on 9/11. The panel also points out that there has not been a single disciplinary action in connection with any of these extraordinary breakdowns of national defense and law enforcement. It is reasonable to conclude that, since accountability is a top-down-the-ranks management dynamic, then in lieu of any 9/11-related discipline, responsibility should ascend the command chain, ultimately arriving at the desk of the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. President, George W. Bush (GWB).

That, This perspective that GWB is responsible for 9/11, plus the widely acknowledged fact that he is exploiting 9/11, makes clear that it's not only fair, but also necessary to conduct a performance evaluation with a fulsome perspective on 9/11's significance to the nation. Such analysis should give appropriate consideration to the idea that GWB holds a solemn 9/11 'responsibility', inseparable from and of a comparable degree to the 'authority' that he derived from 9/11. It is fair to conclude that responsible White House response to such easy infiltration of the continental United States by political adversaries willing to die to make their lethal point, must necessitate identification and correction of three major factors in 9/11:

1. National security failures that enabled the attackers to succeed.
2. Foreign policy failures that motivated the attackers to succeed.
3. Secrecy policy failures that prevented detection, allowing the attackers to succeed.

The Commander-In-Chief, who presided over 9/11, should have led the quest to find and fix these flaws and failures at home and minimize provocative policy abroad. However, that scenario could hardly be much further from the truth. Even Bush-appointed 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean acknowledged such Bush administration resistance to investigation that the "9/11 Families" had to overcome. Remarking about the four 9/11 Widows known as 'The Jersey Girls,' he affirmed, "I doubt very much we would be in existence without them." [NYT .04.04.01]

That, speculation as to why the White House would impede investigation could well begin with logic offered by GWB himself; that topic-avoidance implies guilt. On April 29, 2004, GWB and Dick Cheney were 'interviewed' by the 9/11 Panel at the White House, in a session criticized by the New York Times for its excessive secrecy. After the interview, while talking to reporters in the Rose Garden, GWB had the perfect opportunity to put an end to suggestions that their secrecy was suspect, but all he said on the matter was, "If we had something to hide, we wouldn't have met with them in the first place!" GWB and Cheney had only agreed to the meeting under political pressure after credible accounts by former White House officials that GWB ignored terrorist threats before 9/11. Since it was well known that they had actually avoided the panel for months, the fact that Bush 'spin doctors' couldn't think of anything better is revealing; as is GWB's refusal to answer to the very next question posed to him in the Rose Garden, "Don't you think the 9/11 Families deserve to have a transcript or be able to see what you said?" Since GWB was willing to risk the political ramifications of such blatant disrespect to the 9/11 Families, it is reasonable to conclude that whatever the '9/11 Truth' is, it is likely to be quite incriminating.

THE RIGHT
That, the fundamental philosophical foundation of the United States, articulated in documents such as The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution, is predicated upon essential ideas such as self-evident Truths and Unalienable Rights. For example, the first amendment guarantees the right to an unrestricted Press and citizen freedom to petition the government to redress grievances.

That, based on the founders passion for the liberty of truth over the tyranny of deceit and appreciation for the dynamics of democracy, one could reasonably conclude that "Truth", per se, belongs among these Rights which define a democratic repuplic. Since democracy depends on citizen access to Truth - all facts relevant to the discharge of duties in public office - it must not be denied by any form of tyranny. Therefore, it is fair to conclude that implicit in the basic citizen Rights, which were left open-ended to be amended, is the Right to Truth about the state of the nation.

That, It was only about a century after Roger Williams was bannished by the Puritans in Massachusetts for ideas about "Liberty of Conscience" and seperation of church and state, that the United States was founded upon those very same principles. So, it is likely the founders steered clear of the delicate issue of defining "Truth", in order to achieve consensus and proceed. But they likely visualized that there would come a time when the democracy would need to define "Truth" in a governmental sense, so that it could be guaranteed as a Right. The time has come that we, the People can and must recalibrate Truth in a way that can be guaranteed.

THE RESPONSIBILITY
That, Truth is not only a citizen right, but a responsibility that comes with democracy's citizen-sovereignty over government. As the ultimate authority in a democracy, citizens have a responsibility for the actions of their elected officials. Upon bestowing the authority imbued in public office, all citizens in turn, accept a share of the responsibility to ensure that the authority is not being compromised by corruptive influence in between elections.

That, as a rule, if suspicion is reasonably suggested by bigger picture perspective about patterns of behavior, including a constellation of circumstances that reasonably resemble those commonly observed with criminal complicity, then the matter must be addressed. Due diligence should be practiced in pursuit of either proving suspicions false or impeaching, investigating, indicting, prosecuting and sentencing criminals.

That, citizen ability to fulfill the responsibility to exercise this right to the Truth is dependent upon professional journalism, also known as the "press". To fulfill its function as "the fourth estate", the role of the press includes its own responsibility; to gather and report "Truth" about matters of government, including all relevant information pertaining to the honorable discharge of duties in public office.

THE REDRESS
That, whether or not it applies to 9/11, it may prove prudent to compell the Congress to promptly draft, adopt, enact and invoke a "Truth in Government" Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This measure must provide for a mechanism of mandamus as a means to address apparent abuses of powers. The act should create legislative authority that would, upon establishment of probable cause, enable Congress to overcome claims of Executive Privilege and compell full disclosure of details being withheld by the President and the Cabinet pertaining to performance in the discharge of duties, as an legal instrument to be formally known as "Executive Challenge".

THE CONCLUSION
Therefore, this proposition and supporting documents serve to establish reasonable probability that Team Bush is hiding a 9/11 Truth to which the American people have a Right. These arguments constitute the basic case establishing 'probable cause', which justifies demands that Team Bush consent to promptly provide full, sworn and public disclosure of the '9/11 Truth, the whole 9/11 Truth and nothing but the 9/11 Truth.' Bush failure to do so can reasonably be contrued as further proof of cover-up, which is a fairly accurate indicator of criminal activity. The prospects for it increase when combined with the other questionable Team Bush behavior patterns.

Given the validity of this contention and the gravity of the scenario presented herein, it is justifiable to expect the press and other relevant agencies to respond. Those that officially maintain that the proposition possesses a truth-value of 'false' should post credible documented evidence supporting that position for public perusal on its web site. Until the veracity of its basic premise is successfully challenged with evidence that conclusively contradicts the contentions, Proposition 911 should be accepted as accurate and actively advanced in news reporting activities.

PLEASE VOTE:"TRUE" - APPROVE OR "FALSE" - OPPOSE

Home | Open Letter | Proposition 911 | Contact | Vote/E-Lists | Response

WFTL-LUG (2, Informative)

toremini (817222) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515862)

Check out Marcel's linux mailing list: http://www.salmar.com/mailman/listinfo/wftl-lug
Definitely worth a try for the mailing list lovers. I used to subscribe, but not anymore, I don't have any more time.

Running Windows apps (1)

IcyHando'Death (239387) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515866)

That this book doesn't cover running Windows apps under Linux is a glaring omission. It's a rare shop indeed that can operate without need of any Windows apps at all.

Yeah, right (2, Insightful)

Corson (746347) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515872)

I've been using Linux as a desktop for a few months now and I can tell that, if all your business partners use Linux, then you don't need another OS. If some of them use Windows then you need Windows. The rest is propaganda, or marketing, or whatever you wish to call it.

Come to think of it, I believe the problem is rooted in two fundamental beliefs of the open-source world. Number one: "Release early, release often" -- personally, I prefer to focus on productivity, rather than on backward compatibility issues. Number two: "Don't tell us what to develop, or how to develop it" -- sure, but if you don't develop software that addresses unmet needs of the business world then business will look elsewhere.

Re:Yeah, right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10516656)

Come to think of it, I believe the problem is rooted in two fundamental beliefs of the open-source world.

i think windows is the one being rooted.

Pirated Copy of Windows is Better (1)

Dante Shamest (813622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515992)

It's free and it works great! =)

A Rehash of Moving to Linux: Kiss the Blue Screen (3, Informative)

Erore (8382) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516177)

This sounds like a rehash of his previous book, Moving to Linux: Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye.

Which wasn't a bad book. But, I don't like people milking something by putting a slight editorial slant on it "for business" and making a new book out of it. Still, I'll have to check it out. I need a good book to give to people switching to Linux and this one, because it is newer and hopefully improved with feedback from readers, should be better than the previous one.

bizne4tch (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10516770)

Accoun`7s for less
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