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Linux Starts to Find Home on Desktops

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the baby-penguin-steps dept.

Businesses 364

WSJdpatton writes "The much-hyped notion that Linux would be a viable alternative to Windows to run desktop and notebook PCs for corporate users seemed dead on arrival a few years ago. But the idea is showing some new vital signs as companies look for cheaper alternatives to Microsoft products. The Wall Street Journal outlines several firms that are reaping savings and stability on their workplace desktops by rolling out Linux distributions. 'Auto maker PSA Peugeot Citroën last month said it will start using Linux on 20,000 of its workers' PCs. Novell Inc., which sells a version of Linux and is supplying it to Peugeot, says it has recently signed up several large U.S. financial institutions that are installing Linux on some employee PCs. Sales of Linux PCs are showing a really nice uptick at Novell, says Ronald Hovsepian, chief executive of Novell.' Not everyone is a convert, though. 'The State of Illinois recently consolidated its IT systems onto Microsoft software -- and has no interest in using Linux, says Paul Campbell, director of the state's Central Management Services department. "We don't have time for science projects in state government," he says.'"

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364 comments

Don't have time (5, Funny)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334443)

'The State of Illinois recently consolidated its IT systems onto Microsoft software -- and has no interest in using Linux, says Paul Campbell, director of the state's Central Management Services department. "We don't have time for science projects in state government," he says.'

Apparently, they don't have time for security either...

Re:Don't have time (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18334527)

Or stability.

Re:Don't have time (4, Interesting)

randall_burns (108052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334603)

What do you expect from a state where dead people voting [google.com] is a cherished local tradition?

Re:Don't have time (5, Funny)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334693)

I heard that dead people prefer genuine Microsoft Windows(tm) to Linux by almost 4:1.

Re:Don't have time (2, Funny)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334871)

More evidence that WGA is not for the customer, because in many cases in Illinois, the customer is dead.

Re:Don't have time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18335439)

Mod +1 for FunnyInsightfulHistoricalPoliticalRemark

Re:Don't have time (4, Insightful)

GoMMiX (748510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334639)

Honestly, it's amazing Linux has the adoption level and interest that it does given the influence a corporation the size of MS has. Really, it wouldn't be surprising to see MS spend hundreds of millions on lobbying and campaign donations.

MS also donates software (and otherwise, I'm sure) heavily in districts where people of political influence reside.

It's sad, but I don't question that a good level of MS support in the government is simply bought - one way or another.

Mr. Campbell would be wise to word his MS preference carefully, as the voters of Illinois' citizens may feel their tax dollars should go to science projects that could save them tens of millions. Monies that could be put to good use for education in low income areas, real estate I'm well aware Illinois has in great abundance.

Windows can be as secure as Linux (2, Funny)

wiredog (43288) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334653)

Not by default, and not as easily, but just as secure.

Re:Windows can be as secure as Linux (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18334811)

Cutting the network cable doesn't count!

Re:Windows can be as secure as Linux (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335223)

Not by default, and not as easily, but just as secure.

I disagree. For a normal person/environment, this is not the case. Out of the box, the average Linux distro is more secure than Windows Vista. If you put work into Vista you can make it about as secure from a technology perspective as the average Linux install, but you can't change the malware ecosystem which targets Windows more and presents it with more threats, making the overall risk on Windows greater. Also, for more secure, managed environments you can utilize SELinux or something that provides more fine grained control than Vista can offer in a usable environment unless you have access to the Windows source code, which normal people don't.

So if you're aiming for a level of security that is sort of middle of the road, then you can (with extra work) get Windows to the same state as the average Linux install, but you'll still have a higher risk. Further, if you're aiming for something above and beyond that, Windows just can't achieve some of the security layers that Linux can, so it will always be a bit behind.

Re:Windows can be as secure as Linux (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335243)

Not by default, and not as easily, but just as secure.

This is not even remotely true. Linux is inherently more secure than Windows by design, at least if the security-related features are actually used (and I'm not even referring to selinux, for which there is no Windows analogue.) And on top of that, security holes in Linux are typically fixed much faster.

I do not agree that it is possible to make Windows as secure as Linux unless you're not even turning the Windows machine on. And even if it were true, with the same amount of effort put into both, you could still stay far out ahead with Linux.

Re:Windows can be as secure as Linux (1)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335285)

How is this "informative"?

Citing the methods would be "informative". As it stands, this is an opinion - one not shared by everybody in the security industry, I suspect. Shared by many in the security industry, perhaps, but not all.

Re:Windows can be as secure as Linux (0, Redundant)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335427)

All you have to do to achieve this security is turn the windows machine off.

Re:Don't have time (3, Insightful)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334703)

Linux isn't a magical fairy security and stability wand. It's a also a massive paradigm shift in formats and IT training. The statement is totally valid- corporations have the resources to interopt alternative workstations into their network in order to try things out and make a shift. State governments don't have time for BS. Microsoft's out of the box solution for them likely has been working and will continue to- they are probably correct that it's cheaper for them than Linux.

Windows Server has been gaining popularity lately with good cause- it's a product that's quickly improving.

Re:Don't have time (4, Insightful)

nagora (177841) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334825)

Linux isn't a magical fairy security and stability wand.

Frankly, compared to Microsoft, pretty well any alternative is a magical security wand.

State governments don't have time for BS.

If only...

Windows Server has been gaining popularity lately with good cause- it's a product that's quickly improving.

I've been hearing that tune since Windows 2.0 came out. Lost interest long ago.

TWW

Re:Don't have time (2, Funny)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334855)

Linux isn't a magical fairy security and stability wand. It's a also a massive paradigm shift in formats and IT training.

Windows isn't a magical fairy security and stability wand. [Securing] Windows is also a massive paradigm shift in... IT training.

Re:Don't have time (1)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334947)

But they've been using it for quite a while now...

Decent IT departments have no problems with MS.

Re:Don't have time (5, Insightful)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334981)

Decent IT departments have no problems with MS.

Decent IT departments have no problems with Linux either.

Re:Don't have time (1)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335167)

That's irrelevant in this case since they're not switching to Microsoft, but rather staying with Microsoft. The point is that solid IT is the difference between a secure system and an insecure system, not the OS.

Re:Don't have time (0)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335335)

That's irrelevant in this case

If it's irrelevant, then why did you feel the need to make it a point in the first place?

The point is that solid IT is the difference between a secure system and an insecure system, not the OS.

Oh right, because the OS that a system is running has absolutely NOTHING to do with the security of the system...

Re:Don't have time (4, Insightful)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335413)


All of which is bullshit because the moron at the Illinois state office said, "We don't have time for science projects..." - which is a clear demonstration that he has no clue what he's talking about when it comes to Linux and therefore isn't a competent IT person.

The bottom line for any IT department should be just that - the bottom line. And Windows is KNOWN and DEMONSTRATED by industry statistics for being detrimental to the bottom line because of the costs of licensing, the cost of unreliabiliy and downtime, the cost of insecurity, the cost of complexity, and the cost of vendor lock-in compared to UNIX in general and Linux in particular.

COMPETENT IT organizations will choose that software which over time will be cheaper to own and operate. Training costs are a small part of that effort - and would not be a problem had not INCOMPETENT IT organizations chosen to lock themselves into Microsoft products.

Re:Don't have time (1)

stuntpope (19736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335499)

Wrong, decent IT departments have problems with MS pretty much every day of operation, in a large enough organization. Maybe they don't have problems *fixing* the problems (which I doubt), but they incur high maintenance and support costs due to the vagaries of MS products. While they may have a staff with a high degree of expertise in putting out fires, does that warrant keeping something so prone to figuratively bursting into flames?

Re:Don't have time (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334991)

What a load of crap. The Ilinois state government is as bloated as they come. They are much more well positioned to toss a few non standard items out there to test the extent to which they can "save the taxpayers some money" regardless of if it would or not than almost any company. Hell, they could impliment the project several times like they have so many others. remember, Illinois is the poster child for nepotism and cronyism. The Directors statement is correct though. They don't have time for experiments in the State government. It cuts into their graft and corruption schedules.

Re:Don't have time (1)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335057)

What does a characterization of the state government have to do with the cost-viability of switching the entirety of their system to Linux?

Re:Don't have time (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335489)

I believe it was you who said the "State governments don't have time for BS". I beged to differ with that opinion. They are eminently positioned for BS. The only one better positioned for BS is the federal government.

Re:Don't have time (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18334743)

"We don't have time for science projects in state government," he says.'

Apparently, they don't have time for security either...

Or even time to evalutae what the options are before making a decision! Nope, just blindly make the M$ plunge and then claim that you some how saved money even though you never bothered to evaluate what the other options are and therefore have no idea as to their actual costs and don't really know if you did save money or not... (pauses to catch breath)

I think today my company will announce that we are switching over to Amiga, and it is going to save us billions of dollars. Because we don't have time for sci-fi conventions!

Re:Don't have time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18334779)

But they damned sure have time to WASTE the tax-payer's hard earned money on the expensive M$ products AND the huge amount of wasted IT labor expenses to keep insecure/broken designs running. Typical government lap dogs at work.

Re:Don't have time (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18334977)

Is this the same person??

  CMS DIRECTOR RESIGNS
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The head of a powerful Illinois government agency resigned today after a sometimes-rocky tenure.

Paul Campbell's resignation from the Department of Central Management Services takes effect immediately. He had been director for nearly two years and was assistant director before that.

A spokesman said Campbell will become a vice president at United Health Care.

Central Management Services is the agency in charge of most state purchasing and hiring. Its influence has expanded under Governor Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY'-uh-vich).

But state auditors have repeatedly found management problems there, from paying improper expenses to overstating the results of cost-cutting.

The agency's hiring procedures have also been scrutinized amid questions about whether Blagojevich has awarded jobs based on politics.

Re:Don't have time (1)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335463)


This gets score zero why? The poster is a complete newbie here? Or the Windows shills are out in force again...

This post demonstrates exactly what I said above - this Illinois state guy is clueless as to Linux and has no idea what he's talking about.

Re:Don't have time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18335095)

And, they're getting wined and dined by the lobbiests, too. I'd hate for that perk to disappear, too.

The luxury of wealth (2)

atomic777 (860023) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335185)

While perhaps not the richest or largest state in the union, Illinois still has an economy nearly the size of the Netherlands [wikipedia.org] and can afford to throw money away on Windows. The rest of the world, meanwhile, will continue to innovate with OSS and leave the US with bloated, expensive systems to maintain

The Illini Case Study (or Lack Thereof) (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334453)

I am severely impressed with Illinois' capability of assessing a situation so quickly & flawlessly. They already claim an annual cost savings of U.S. $2.1 million [microsoft.com] [proprietarily locked DOC warning] for five years ($10.5 million total) by using Microsoft's technologies! Why am I impressed? Well, they didn't even have to try anything else out to discover this! If they did, this case study doesn't show any of it. That document (if you read it) only makes claims but backs it up with nothing. I laugh at the very idea of it being titled a "Case Study."

You know, where I work, if you make a statement like "would save our company $10 million" you kind of need to make a business case. A large part of the business case is having micro experiments & demonstrations & data to present to back up your business case. In fact, it's a lot like the scientific process where you present facts that prove your argument. Granted, it's not required to be that rigorous but you usually have to get those to agree with you through this.

If I were a tax paying Illini and that document was the only thing persuading me that my government should use Microsoft products, I would bitch. That's just me, though. I think precisely what this Joseph Campbell needs to do is a "science project" as he calls it. For some reason they're avoiding a "business science project" and I'm really questioning his motivation for circumventing that.

Re:The Illini Case Study (or Lack Thereof) (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18334525)

You know, where I work, if you make a statement like "would save our company $10 million" you kind of need to make a business case.

You don't work for the government, do you?

Re:The Illini Case Study (or Lack Thereof) (1)

M-G (44998) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334607)

Well, they may very well be saving money vs. their old setup. But the real issue you failed to consider in looking at their analysis is how much money MS contributed to the campaign of the person who hired the person in charge.

Re:The Illini Case Study (or Lack Thereof) (2, Interesting)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334613)

So they replaced "IBM Lotus Notes, Novell GroupWise, and Microsoft Exchange Server, with multiple versions of those systems in use" with a single state-wide Exchange site license. Once you factor in the licenses, admin salaries, and redundant servers, you might get to $2.1 million a year.

Re:The Illini Case Study (or Lack Thereof) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18334661)

They are saying they are saving $10.5 million by using this new Microsoft solution instead of the previous solution, which was based off of Novell Groupwise. They decided to dump Novell because they are transitioning to Linux and most likely the current Groupwise offering with go unsupported which Novell makes the switch. Presumably they already made a business case. I'm sorry they didn't share it with you, but you don't make the decisions. Get a grip. Taxpayers don't have a say in every purchasing decision the government makes.

By the way, there are plenty of other examples of people switching to "M$". In fact, Microsoft's server and enterprise business has been booming. Check the last few 10-Q filings.

Of course you will get modded up, and probably already have a karma bonus and I will be modded down, but thats the way it works around here I guess.

Re:The Illini Case Study (or Lack Thereof) (2, Insightful)

Gryle (933382) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335045)

Taxpayers don't have a say in every purchasing decision the government makes.
Why the hell shouldn't we? As far as I'm aware of, the govt is using our tax dollars to pay for it right?

Re:The Illini Case Study (or Lack Thereof) (1)

teh_chrizzle (963897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335107)

As far as I'm aware of, the govt is using our tax dollars to pay for it right?

no, they are using corporate kickbacks. your tax dollars go to pay for the stuff that the corporations don't pay taxes to support.

Re:The Illini Case Study (or Lack Thereof) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18335119)

Uh, because its not feasable? How would it work, we have a referendum every time a government agency wants to buy urinal cakes? You elect your leaders to supposedly represent you. You don't have a direct say. If you want a direct say, go work for the government or get elected. Sorry.

Re:The Illini Case Study (or Lack Thereof) (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335377)

Because we elect the government officials to do those things for us. They can't take the time to consult the plebs on every thing. What you do, if you feel they are betraying your trusts, is you get a recall vote going and dump their ass on the street. If the position is an appointed one, recall the elected official who has hiring/firing authority over the position if they do nothing. If you can't get the signitures to do a recall, then the rest of the citizens don't agree.

Re:The Illini Case Study (or Lack Thereof) (1)

texaport (600120) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334729)

I checked first with the Microsoft Ministry of Trvth for an official position paper on the subject. I am now more confused than ever but I still remain an unmoved, unclean, unconverted unbeliever.

Re:The Illini Case Study (or Lack Thereof) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18334877)

Apparently Mr. Campbell is also clueless as to what a 'science project' is, as well as not knowing anything about computers, operating systems and/or governments, etc.

Any idiot who uses M$ junk for mission critical stuff is more inline with the 'mad scientist' type of thinking...or perhaps junk science, if they are using M$ junk.

If I were in Illinois, I'd be calling for a replacement for Mr. Campbell from my local representatives, as a starter. Then get someone who knows what they are doing/talking about in there to start open sourcing systems like the rest of the planet. Mr. Campbell is simply an excellent example of a dinosaur. Perhaps he should do a science project on that, dinosaur thinking.

Re:The Illini Case Study (or Lack Thereof) (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18334921)

Quoted text from here: [state.il.us]

Paul Campbell began his career as an Investigator for the Internal Revenue Service focused on reducing financial fraud.

Unnecessarily subsiding a monopoly using taxpayers money, could well be considered fraud.

He later served as a Special Agent for the Office of the Inspector General, General Services Administration, investigating public corruption.

Let's not ask why he never looked at alternative suppliers in his current role.

As an attorney, Paul worked as an Assistant State's Attorney in Illinois and in private practice at Piper Rudnick concentrating on commercial and business litigation matters. In 2001, after earning his M.B.A. at Northwestern University, Paul also served as Piper Rudnick's Knowledge Partner. He joined CMS as Assistant Director in February 2003 and was named Director of the Department in June 2005. Under Paul's leadership, CMS continues to achieve savings and enhance services as it implements new technologies, reduces waste and rethinks many of the administrative operations of the state.

Where's the scientific data to support that claim? Where are the case studies?

In light of this guys comments and history, IL residents should complain to their governors office. I'm sure Campbell would happily consent to an audit to ensure everything is above board.

Re:The Illini Case Study (or Lack Thereof) (3, Funny)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335187)

1: buy MS software
2: decide to do a "case study" on "total cost of ownership"
3: recieve massive discounts from MS.
4: publish the difference between 1 and 3

everybody wins!

Ouch (3, Insightful)

Stephen Tennant (936097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334479)

"We don't have time for science projects in state government," he says.

I felt that one hit my balls.

Re:Ouch (2, Insightful)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334593)

Why, are you a scientist at one of the U. Illinois schools that is apparently closing down unexpectedly after this announcement?

seems fair (4, Funny)

teh_chrizzle (963897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335465)

seeing as how science projects rarely make time for state governments.

perhaps the linux community needs to reach out. you know what might do the trick is yet another repackaged ubuntu distro that caters to some cultural minority. maybe you can call it illinibuntu or just dabuntu.

And we all know how efficient State Government is! (3, Insightful)

coolmoose25 (1057210) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334485)

Even though I prefer Windows to Linux, it is not much of an endorsement when the uber-efficient State government endorses your products...

So that explains it. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18334499)

""We don't have time for science projects in state government,""

That's why they never bothered to find out how so many dead people were able to vote in Chicago elections.

Re:So that explains it. (1)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334619)

No, you got it all wrong. Due to the condition of the soil, which may or may not have anything to do with queers building landing pads for gay Martians, science projects in Illinois state government invariably lead to hordes of brain eating zombies rising from the grave and voting Democrat.

State government exists to pay monopoly rent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18334529)

> We don't have time for science projects in state government

Your employers (the public) may overrule you on that one kid.

Microsoft and Corporate Welfare (1, Interesting)

randall_burns (108052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334539)

What is especially interesting here: despite the fact that Torvalds arrived in the US on an H-1b visa, on average, open source companies are much less likely to use that program than Microsoft and its allies. Why does Gates [vdare.com] need that program so much when his strongest competitor doesn't? Personally, I think the program as it is now structured is corporate welfare [vdare.com]-and subsidization of incompetence. If H-1b were curtailed significantly, Linux would be moving onto the desktop faster.

Re:Microsoft and Corporate Welfare (1)

ZoOnI (947423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335089)

The reason Microsoft needs H1B visas is because most Americans don't want to work for the company as the pay/stock options are weak and the hours are long.

Washington State is very behind in green card processing, so as a side bonus M$ takes the H1B immigrant workers waves green cards in front of their faces and then has indentured workers for up to 5 years.

During those 5 years they can work the snot out of the immigrants with out fear of them going else where.

Science Projects? (4, Funny)

andy314159pi (787550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334571)

"We don't have time for science projects in state government,"
They are too busy streamlining service at the DMV to install Linux.

Re:Science Projects? (1)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334765)

You probably meant that in jest, but to be honest, service at the DMV has been streamlined. Substantially.

The last time I went for a license renewal it took a grand total of 15 minutes, start to finish. Not 5 years ago that had the potential to be an hour-long process, possibly more at the extremely busy Chicagoland DMVs.

Linux discovers the trash can (0, Troll)

The_Abortionist (930834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334615)

Soon after being installed and tried, Linux ends up in the trash can and Windows right back on the computer.

The reason? it's all about the interface. And I'm not talking just about the GUI.

Linux's forte is running vending machines, watches, calculators, etc.

Re:Linux discovers the trash can (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18334667)

Same place your mother got banged up, same place you were born and left for.

idiot.

Re:Linux discovers the trash can (2, Insightful)

Gryle (933382) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335175)

What interface are you referring to then?
The biggest drawback to Linux is that it requires a modicum of intelligence to learn. God forbid anyone should have to expend effort in an attempt to learn something new these days.

Re:Linux discovers the trash can (0, Flamebait)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335317)

Why should they spend the effort? Most people want their computer to work like their TV, or their Playstation. They don't want to have to think about it. If you want them to expend effort on it, then you have to give them a good reason to do so.

80% Solution - Printing? (0, Troll)

ThOr101 (515492) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334645)

I still have a hard time as an administrator to get things like HP Printers to work with Linux. When I do get them working, I run into strange things like not being able to print out a landscape PDF in portrait.

Or trying to use third party print servers with linux.

Anyway, I think for 80% of the stuff that people do, Linux is a great choice. But everytime I run into a printer or a scanner, I find the area that Linux lacks, and can't compete against windows.... yet.

Re:80% Solution - Printing? (1)

zootm (850416) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334721)

I still have a hard time as an administrator to get things like HP Printers to work with Linux. When I do get them working, I run into strange things like not being able to print out a landscape PDF in portrait.

This could explain why the version of Ubuntu I'm running (Feisty, the development branch) has had (I think; I'm at work at the moment) an extra control panel added which is HP-branded, specifically for their printers. It seemed strange at the time but if HP printers require some crazy non-standard software I guess that makes sense.

Re:80% Solution - Printing? (1)

ThOr101 (515492) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334821)

Really? It does. That's cool.

I don't mean to single out HP as the culprit here. I think my problems were a combination of cups, hal, and HP. I didn't keep the printer on all the time, so I think the USB target was moving. On top of that, I never quite figured out how to solve the battle between A4 and 8.5 X 11. A different driver seemed to help.

Now it prints, but cups gets back a "Pen Mismatch Error". Even though it is a laserjet. ;-)

So it isn't just HP. Also, kudos to the crew working on the printers. There are so many of them out there. Also reverse engineering the drivers can't be easy either.

Glad to see companies like HP stepping up to make this a little easier.

Re:80% Solution - Printing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18335071)

"I don't mean to single out HP as the culprit here. I think my problems were a combination of cups, hal, and HP."

It isn't. I had a bit of a time trying the supposedly well supported Brother HL-1650s. Took me awhile because the docs suck and whatever was being sent was hosing hubs. When I got it to work through trial and error, it's fairly impressive for basic printing.

However, I can't get duplex printing to work or to switch to a different paper stack (I have the hardware option for the 2nd tray). What is nice is that there are a rather large number of comprehensive web sites documenting support or no on Linux, but details are lacking--stuff like you mention (landscape, switching to legal size in the stack) isn't clear and the little options in the GUI don't work either.

All in all, I still use my XP box for printing. I haven't given up, but Ubuntu 6.10 was as a step backwards from 6.01 and there are other concerns still to be cleared up.

Re:80% Solution - Printing? (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334993)

I still have a hard time as an administrator to get things like HP Printers to work with Linux. When I do get them working, I run into strange things like not being able to print out a landscape PDF in portrait.
Either you're using very, very outdated printer software (*ahem*redhat*ahem), or you're using applications that aren't designed to work with modern Linux printing software like CUPS, hpijs, gnome-cups and KDE printing support. Whether inkjet or laser, I haven't had such problems with any HP printers in a very, very long time.

Re:80% Solution - Printing? (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335287)

I have a problem on Ubuntu Edgy with my Laserjet 2100. It does not align properly. I've been too lazy to look up the alignment info, because it's not really that important. But it is very stupid. The system claims to know the kind of printer I have. It recommended a driver for the device. Why is it not printing on the page?

Re:80% Solution - Printing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18335005)

And I find just the opposite. Been running a lab for several years using cups. Even prints out how many pages per user, costing, etc. Far, FAR better than anything I have seen for windows labs. I'll never use windows again, thank god. You need to get out more...:-)

Re:80% Solution - Printing? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18335177)

I have the exact same problem with Windows. Every time I try to hook up an HP printer or scanner, it fails. When I try to hook it up to linux, it just works. Even when I get things to work on windows, they just stop working after awhile and I have to reinstall everything. My favorite is that Windows XP only supports a single USB scanner at a time.

Re:80% Solution - Printing? (2, Interesting)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335183)

I also like how you install the Gimp but don't get any printing support by default so have to install Gimp-print later. (I think that may have even required unmerging and remerging the Gimp proper... it's been a while.)

What sort of image program doesn't have printing support out of the box?

Well... (1)

manx801 (698055) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334675)

"We don't have time for science projects in state government," he says.'"
of course not. That is only for the federal government. Virtual Case File anyone?

It's true (4, Informative)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334687)

I dual boot Ubuntu Edgy Eft with Gnome and Beryl. I can play WoW with it, listen to my mp3s with it, surf the web with it, watch YouTube with it, read/write email with it, do office stuff etc...the only two things I'm not doing with Linux yet are watching DVDs (I tried that earlier tonight and had some weird problems) and using my webcam...and the latter is only because I haven't bothered to install the drivers yet.

I haven't completely weaned myself off XP yet, but I'm working on it. I advocate Ubuntu though to anyone who wants to find out for themselves that desktop Linux, even though it may not have been in the past, is now a genuinely viable reality.

Re:It's true (4, Funny)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334773)

I can play WoW with it, listen to my mp3s with it, surf the web with it, watch YouTube with it...the only two things I'm not doing with Linux yet are watching DVDs
Sounds like Ubuntu is all ready for use by state government employees then, except for that pesky DVD problem.

But are they still paying the Microsoft Tax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18334695)

Did those 20,000 PC come preinstalled with Windows? Will the next generation of 20,000 PC come preinstalled with Windows, only this time to be wiped and replaced by Linux on the first day?

Unless big PC manufacturers (the ones able to sell in volume) offer Linux or No-OS as an option, Microsoft isn't impacted: they will just collect their Vista money from this company a few years down the road.

Re:But are they still paying the Microsoft Tax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18334929)

system76 [system76.com] is your friend.

Microsoft lipstick (1)

psyph3r (785014) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334759)

I believe that Microsoft is more of a Customer based experiment than anything else. Microsoft goons have already brainwashed him. Otherwise i would have to severely doubt his intelligence

This is regrettable (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334787)

[...]"We don't have time for science projects in state government,"[...]

Attitudes like these are surely regrettable. No wonder the USA, once the champion of innovation and skill is way behind Asian countries.

If I were this man's boss, I'd simply ask him to withdraw that statement. I even wonder whether he's on Microsoft's payroll.

Linux has found a home on my laptop (4, Insightful)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334813)

I've dual-booted for a long time, but it's only been recently that I started spending more time in Linux than in Windows. (And the shift was both dramatic and quick. In a single day, I went from less than 20% of my time spent in Linux to over 80%.) This is mostly due to the proliferation of Web 2.0. The latest version of Exchange's Webmail means that I no longer need to use Outlook, and Open Office is a more than adequate substitute for Office. There are a few internal web-apps that claim to require IE, but Greasemonkey has been letting me repair the worst of them. (BTW, I would love to have a way for User Agent Switcher to recognize certain URLs as needing a special string, instead of me getting an error page and having to change the string manually.)

Don't have time? (1)

crashley (687791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334865)

The state workers probably demanded the state implement MS. They wanted the extra break time during reboots.

New distributions are helping a lot the process (2, Interesting)

gusmao (712388) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334879)

I was having a conversation with a friend exactly about that in this past weekend. New distributions are finally managing to be easy to install and use, offering to the user every software they may need to replace windows'. I installed Ubuntu for the first time about a week ago, it took about half an hour and the installation was flawless. No hard questions, every device properly recognized and configured, wireless network perfectly functioning, sweet. Of course there are lots of room for improvement, but it's never been so close

I've never believed that linux would take over the desktop market, but now that exist distributions that may grandmother can install and mantain by herself and with corporations and governments pushing it more and more, every incentives for non-nerd people to adopt linux are in place.

Linux is getting there, slowly (5, Informative)

sco_robinso (749990) | more than 7 years ago | (#18334911)

As a windows System Admin (although I run Ubuntu personally), I can finally say that Linux is starting to get there, albeit slowly. I would definately say that linux is ready for a corporate IT envrionment.

It's still going to take a bit of time before it's fully ready for the home desktop though. I use 802.11 wireless as a perfect example of that - amongst the 'warm and fuzzy' distro's (SuSe, Ubuntu, Mandrake, Lycoris), I have yet to be able to set up a system where there wasn't a fairly significant amount of rigmoral to get something as simple as wireless with basic encryption running. It wasn't really 'hard' for me to get the wireless running, but in each case, it required editing of text files, and typically no less that 7 or 8 CLI entries. Linux has come a long ways, even in the past 2 or 3 years. I think Ubuntu is a great example of a good, easy to use OS. However, there's still a few dark and nasty corners of Linux which need polishing before it's ready for the masses. And let's not mention games and brand name apps which only run under windows.

Overall, it is exiting to see and watch. For the first time ever in the past few months, I've been able to recommend Ubuntu to begginner and novice users, as an easy-to-use alternative to Macs or Windows, with a straight face.

Re:Linux is getting there, slowly (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335125)

IIRC Ubuntu Feisty is supposed to have a new network manager to make this easier. I'm in the middle of attempting my upgrade right now or I'd tell you if it's true or not.

Re:Linux is getting there, slowly (1)

sco_robinso (749990) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335315)

Yes, I've also heard that. 7.04 (Fiesty Fawn) is touting much better support for 'consumer technologies' and such out of box. I've heard wireless and Beryl are supposed to be getting big boosts because of this. Ubuntu's wireless support isn't horrible out of the box, but there's no WPA support, not to mention no GUI front-end for said WPA support. Having to edit configuration files and fire off a series of commands to get something as simple as wireless working is not a good thing for an easy-to-use distro. But let's hope there's indeed improvement in Fiesty.

And don't even get me started on the giant gong-show of installing beryl and getting it to work properly on various cards....

I am indeed looking forward to 7.04.

Here we go....AGAIN??? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18335031)

How many times will you Linux freaks come back with this same idea? I've heard this time after time going back at least to 1999. "We're starting to make progress on the corporate desktop!"....then 2 years later...nothing! Just another push to pretend you're relevant. This is just another "rise and repeat" exercise from a socially irrelevant group of people who wish so dearly that they were relevant. For crying out loud Mac has made a bigger come back and progress when it was on the brink of death then Linux has made its entire existence. When will you come to a sad truth that no one cares about you or Linux????

Said it before... (0)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335099)

OSS is not solely about cost. It's about freedoms. you may not want to develop OSS software yourself, but I'm sure you benefit from the interoperabilities and forks of OSS projects.

You choose free software because it gives you the freedom to use your computer the way you want.

It's very superficial to claim that the money savings is the only reason to switch to OSS from proprietary software.

Tom

Re:Said it before... (3, Insightful)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335275)

Talking about freedom isn't going to fly when making a business case though. Freedom is a great reason to use FOSS, but if you want to get your boss adopted, you have to frame it the right way. Instead of talking about "freedom" as a concept, you ask him how he feels that Microsoft could change their software and make you lose your data, with no way of getting it back. Or, in my case, when evaluating a proprietary product, I could say "Well, this open source one does everything we need, its free, and the big bonus is that if we run into problems with it, we can take that source and work around it. If we use proprietary product X, we'd have to beg them for features." This is actually something I argued.

To be quite frank, software freedom is kinda an out-there idea for a lot of people not closely associated with FOSS or computers in general. Dropping that on their lap is likely to put them off. If you can frame it in a way that illustrates exactly how it benefits them without bringing all the emotional baggage that typical FOSS screeds carry, then you will be a lot more successful.

Thats why people talk about cost a lot. Its a very effective trojan to get FOSS into businesses.

Re:Said it before... (1)

Gryle (933382) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335363)

True, but I really doubt the government cares about "the freedoms of software." For them, the bottom line is the important thing.

Re:Said it before... (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335497)

You choose free software because it gives you the freedom to use your computer the way you want.

I want to use my computer as a point-of-sale workstation that is robust. Free software can't help me with that. What you're saying is only true if you can find an app that does what you need it to do.

No Standby/Hibernation = No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18335357)

Laptop companies do not provide proper power modes support for Linux. I highly doubt IT wants to support the lack of standby/hibernation on all the laptops. Any real laptop user rarely turns off the laptop unless entering a plane.

That's true (1)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 7 years ago | (#18335421)

That's true. I have installed Debian on my grandpa's computer last friday, and another three Debians at my school today.

More Debs coming, there are still almost 15 machines left! ^_^
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