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A CIO's View of Ubuntu

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the sweet-spot dept.

Businesses 308

onehitwonder writes "Well-known CIO John Halamka has rigorously tested six different operating systems over the course of a year in an effort to find a viable alternative to Microsoft Windows on his laptop and his company's computers. Here is CIO.com's initial writeup on Halamka's experiences; we discussed their followup article on SUSE. Now CIO is running a writeup on Halamka's take on Ubuntu and how it stacks up against Novell SUSE 10, RHEL, Fedora, XP, and Mac OS X, in a life-and-death business environment." For the impatient, here's Halamka's conclusion: "A balanced approach of Windows for the niche business application user, Macs for the graphic artists/researchers, SUSE for enterprise kiosks/thin clients, and Ubuntu for power users seems like the sweet spot for 2008."

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Well known? (3, Insightful)

Nick of NSTime (597712) | more than 7 years ago | (#20061967)

I've never heard of him.

Re:Well known? (0)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062001)

FYI: Results 1 - 10 of about 64,500 for "John Halamka". (0.13 seconds) [google.com] . Seems pretty well known if you ask me...

Re:Well known? (5, Funny)

jimbug (1119529) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062087)

Results 1 - 10 of about 142,000,000 for jesus [google.com] Not as famous as Jesus!

Re:Well known? (2, Funny)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062157)

Results 1 - 10 of about 28,400,000 for tom + myspace [google.com]

Nor Tom, from Myspace.

Re:Well known? (5, Funny)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062561)

none of them are as famous as me [google.com] : Results 1 - 10 of about 2,230,000,000 for me. (0.09 seconds)

*rimshot*

Re:Well known? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20062905)

and to finally end this..
noone as famous as I [google.com] am: Results 1 - 10 of about 3,800,000,000 for i [definition]. (0.03 seconds)

You're right! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20062945)

Nobody is as famous as you! [google.com] Results 1 - 10 of about 3,090,000,000 for you. (0.05 seconds)

Even Time Magazine confirms it! [time.com]

Re:Well known? (2, Insightful)

Nick of NSTime (597712) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062177)

Did you know who he was before you read the article or Googled him?

Re:Well known? (5, Funny)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062361)

Did you know who he was before you read the article or Googled him?
As a matter of fact, yes. I recognized his name from this article [slashdot.org] .

Re:Well known? (0, Redundant)

Pogue Mahone (265053) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062363)

Results 1 - 10 of about 64,500 for "John Halamka". (0.13 seconds) . Seems pretty well known if you ask me...

Almost as well-known as I am:

Ergebnisse 1 - 10 von ungefähr 67.300 für pogue mahone.

;-)

Re:Well known? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20063145)

Hmmm... I think I will try some random names in Google...

Results 1 - 10 of about 4,630,000 for Jacob Smith [google.com]

Results 1 - 10 of about 1,460,000 for Cheryl Johnson [google.com]

Results 1 - 10 of about 1,290,000 for Samuel Travolta [google.com]

Results 1 - 10 of about 519,000 for Susan Hannover [google.com]

Results 1 - 10 of about 34,400 for bathilda bagshot [google.com]

Results 1 - 10 of about 203,000 for east australian orange ringed octopus [google.com]

By your logic, "John Halamka" must be more obscure that the "East Australian orange-ringed octopus", but more well known than "Bathilda Bagshot."

Re:Well known? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20062031)

A much smarter approach would be to use the Linux variants, with Ubuntu as the standard desktop and only install a properly sized Windows (and Citrix if needed) Terminal Server for the people who require Windows software. That way you have one point of maintenance/patching and can roll Windows applications to any Linux/MAC user you need to.

Re:Well known? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20062131)

Not only that, but the article is also poorly written IMO.

FTA:

With Linux, Google and Apple beginning to threaten Microsoft's desktop dominance..
Excuse my ignorance, but how does Google threaten Microsoft's dominance on the "desktop"?

Re:Well known? (1)

sveard (1076275) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062173)

The only thing I can think of is being a strong firefox supporter. And maybe the Google Desktop search thing.

Re:Well known? (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062451)

Excuse my ignorance, but how does Google threaten Microsoft's dominance on the "desktop"?

Ginux is in development and will be ready for a public beta soon.

Re:Well known? (3, Insightful)

ak3ldama (554026) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062359)

And you sir, are the metric by which all peoples popularity is measured.

Re:Well known? (1)

Hokie06 (986634) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062523)

I've never heard of him.
Now I finally know who the world revolves around. Thanks for clearing that up.

Re:Well known? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20062607)

Neither have I. But maybe if TFA have given us his Slashdot ID, I could have remembered him.

A genius! (5, Funny)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062003)

This man is a genius! Obviously the main problem for CIOs switching from MS to linux is: What happens to the saved licensing costs? You don't want it cut from your budget because that will make you less important...

So this guy's answer: replace it with 4 different OS's! That's 4x the support staff! Might even require a budget increase! And headcount, oh more of that lovely headcount!

I suspect once this idea gets out it really will be the year of the linux desktop!

Now, I just have to figure out if I'm joking or not. I know I don't usually end every sentence with an exclamation mark...

Re:A genius! (1)

omeomi (675045) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062043)

So this guy's answer: replace it with 4 different OS's! That's 4x the support staff! Might even require a budget increase! And headcount, oh more of that lovely headcount!

Realistically, many companies that employ graphics people already have both Macs and Windows users. And I wouldn't think SUSE and Ubuntu are really all that different from a support perspective. Not sure why he thinks OSX is better for researchers, though. I tried looking at the article for more information, but I'm not going to wade through 17 pages of ads...

Re:A genius! (4, Interesting)

good soldier svejk (571730) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062343)

And I wouldn't think SUSE and Ubuntu are really all that different from a support perspective. Not sure why he thinks OSX is better for researchers, though. I tried looking at the article for more information, but I'm not going to wade through 17 pages of ads...
Having been part of this evaluation process, I can tell you that Ubuntu is much easier to support, but Novell offers far better enterprise support (including developer resources) for Suse, which is more important for the applications he proposes. I won't speak for John, but my guess is he thinks OS X is better for researchers because it it runs all the unixy apps the researchers require and even in its most wild and wooly user installed form is easily supportable by our existing resources. You can read the first article for more information. As John points out in the article, we have no control over what researchers buy with their grant money anyway. Except for a few "power users" who prefer GNU, there is pretty much concensus among researchers that OS X is the best platform for them. At any rate my experience here has been that there is no net cost to supporting OS X since our marginal cost for supporting Macs is lower than Windows boxes. OTOH, it probably isn't as good for kiosk workstation applications because of the lack of low end hardware options. In that application, where distributed support is a small fraction of cost, the best route is to keep capital cost to a minimum, which means GNU.

If you don't want all the annoying ads, click the "print" link and read it on one page. That is what I did.

Re:A genius! (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062725)

Having been part of this evaluation process, I can tell you that Ubuntu is much easier to support, but Novell offers far better enterprise support (including developer resources) for Suse, which is more important for the applications he proposes.


Hmmm. Teah, enterprise support from Canonical is lacking, IMHO. OTOH, Ubuntu has all of the same enterprise and developer features that SuSE has. OTOH, from in terms of systems administration, Ubuntu currently lacks some of the slick tools that are and have been a part of YaST, such as the graphical LVM (logical volume management) tools. Not that Ubuntu doesn't support LVM, and the text-mode installer certainly works great with LVM, but YaST is just a better all-around admin tool than anything in Ubuntu. Plus, Ubuntu doens't have any analogue to Red Hat's Kickstart or SuSE's YaST when it comes to creating standard workstation or server configurations for automatic installation.

OTOH, it probably isn't as good for kiosk workstation applications because of the lack of low end hardware options.


Um, Mac Mini [apple.com] . Admittedly, the price of $599 seems too expensive for 'low-end' hardware, but it's diminuitive 6.5"x6.5"x2" size seems to be tailor-made for kiosk applications.

Re:A genius! (4, Interesting)

Ichoran (106539) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062943)

As a researcher, I think it depends on the field.

If you need to run specialized commercial software for data capture or analysis, you need Windows. Very few companies support anything else. Those that do (e.g. National Instruments) offer only a subset of their tools which aren't well integrated into the platforms.

If you just need a computer that is pretty and powerful and you don't have to worry about, you need OS X. Stuff just works; you can forget about the computing and focus on the research.

If you are in research that involves computation or statistics, you need Linux. The standard tools are more powerful and flexible than anything you can find under Windows, and the headache of getting these to work on a Mac more than offsets the slightly smoother interface in some areas.

And from what I've seen, researchers' preferences in these fields tend to follow the needs above. (People who are mostly interested in data collection/hardware interface generally prefer Windows, biology researchers generally like Macs, bioinformatics folks like Linux, etc..)

Re:A genius! (1)

OptimusPaul (940627) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062519)

I know that the medical research field has a lot of mac users. I wouldn't say it dominates or is even a majority, it was a long time ago when I observed this. Could be that many of the large university research institutions tend to support mac users as well. Again, I don't think apple is dominant here either.

Personally, and this is speaking as a long time Mac user who also uses windows and linux, I don't think it really matters what OS you use as long as you can find the applications you need, or you can create the applications you need. That's actually kind of how I got into linux, I had some ambitious goals for some wild product/project ideas and no applications existed for it. So I was going to have to create the applications myself. I choose linux simply because it was new to me and free. I have yet to really get anywhere with those goals, but I'm glad that I took the time to play with linux.

Someday I predict more people, and not just nerds like me, but general business users, artists and senior citizens will be able to use any platform without having to take a class or read a book. <rant>I think that the OS should be more transparent, and merely a mediation layer. I think they have become too bloated with "features" that should be provided outside of the OS.</rant>

Ummm... go mustangs.

Re:A genius! (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062579)

"Not sure why he thinks OSX is better for researchers, though"

I would guess that, when the researchers in question were in school, Apple owned the education market. They got used to Apples, and Apples are what they are used to. And if their researchers are anything like the ones I've dealt with, hiring extra staff is far easier on the organization than listening to the bitching, pissing, and moaning that ensues when a medical researcher doesn't get his or her way.

Think of it this way - they've been indoctrinated in the "doctor's are gods" attitude by their traing, but their people skills are so poor that they prefer to work for less pay as long as they can be relatively isolated. But tehy are still cranky and bitter about it.

Come to think of it, that describes a lot of the attitudes ascribed to programmers here...

Re:A genius! (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062155)

I suspect once this idea gets out it really will be the year of the linux desktop!

2008 is gonna be the year of Windows, OS X, SuSE and Ubuntu on the desktop!

Seriously, though, it seems that what he's calling the difference between SuSE and Ubuntu is actually the difference between KDE and GNOME. At a minimum, it's the difference between their default desktop configurations. I'm not sure I'd trust this guy as a Linux expert, however "well-known" he may be.

Re:A genius! (1)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062303)

Seriously, though, it seems that what he's calling the difference between SuSE and Ubuntu is actually the difference between KDE and GNOME. At a minimum, it's the difference between their default desktop configurations. I'm not sure I'd trust this guy as a Linux expert, however "well-known" he may be.
I don't think he's claiming to be a Linux expert. Moreover, his target audience is not Linux enthusiasts who are trying to pick the best distro. His audience is other corporate-types who want to know how these operating systems work "out of the box." That one can customize any Linux distro to act like any other is not really the point--the discussion is about how much functionality (and retraining costs, etc.) corporations can expect if they migrate from one OS to another.

Though I don't agree with every single point he makes, I find the discussion remarkably fair and balanced. You'll notice, in fact, that the analysis mentions more than once than some of the problems encountered, or features available, would be there on any Linux distribution, not just the ones tested.

Re:A genius! (3, Interesting)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062403)

"I'm not sure I'd trust this guy as a Linux expert, however "well-known" he may be."

Sigh...

The whole point is that he is NOT a Linux expert, just like the other 99% of us out here in userland. Just like 95% of us are not Windows "experts". Allow me to clue in the 1%:

1) I don't care about KDE and Gnome either, nor do I care to know.
2) I don't want to be an "expert" at either system, but that doesn't mean I can't form opinions about how well something works for me or my organization.

It sounds like the Ubuntu folks seem to get what a large portion of the Linux community refuses to see - most end users don't care about esoterica. We just want it to work reasonably well. Not even perfect - just reasonably easy to use. Hell, I'm ready to make the switch to Ubuntu, but for my slavery to Quicken. But the other distributions? Meh. I ditched the command line with Dos and Win3.1 - my memory s crowded enough without having to emmorize command line switches for operations I don't do every day.

Re:A genius! (3, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062543)

The whole point is that he is NOT a Linux expert, just like the other 99% of us out here in userland.

No, but he's a CIO publicly holding forth on the suitability of one Linux over another for certain applications based on the failure to understand that you can change the desktop environment! Maybe I'm a Linux snob but that seems like a striking lack of understanding. It's not like he was complaining about the lack of some obscure functionality and I chimed in with "its fixed in CVS so stop spredding FUD you M$ a$troturfer"!

Re:A genius! (2, Informative)

good soldier svejk (571730) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062769)

No, but he's a CIO publicly holding forth on the suitability of one Linux over another for certain applications based on the failure to understand that you can change the desktop environment! Maybe I'm a Linux snob but that seems like a striking lack of understanding. It's not like he was complaining about the lack of some obscure functionality and I chimed in with "its fixed in CVS so stop spredding FUD you M$ a$troturfer"!
No, he actually understands the situation much better than you. For one thing, he knows that the default desktop environment in Suse is not KDE, it is a very customized version of GNOME. However, for purposes of this evaluation it didn't matter to him how customizable GNOME is. The important question was how the two distributions performed without massive re-engineering. Otherwise he might as well have started with Debian itself. I believe he made that clear in the article. Hence he concluded that the default GNOME config in Ubuntu was much better then the default implementation in Suse, and the default package management in Ubuntu was far better than the equivelent in Suse. He knew he could make either GNOME install behave as he pleased. I have actually seen him use gconf. He also knew he could install apt-rpm and all the OpenSuse repositories and make Suse's package management more like Ubuntu's. This is why we have distributions, to optimize GNU/Linux for specific niches. If we were just going to start with a ablank slate and customize everything to meet our need we would all be running Debian.

Re:A genius! (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#20063005)

For one thing, he knows that the default desktop environment in Suse is not KDE, it is a very customized version of GNOME.

No, I hadn't known that. Is it really "massive re-engineering" to get it to work like the Ubuntu default? I hadn't objected to his point about package management, which certainly is a major barrier between one distro and another, but had thought that customizing a GNOME or KDE desktop is easily within the capacity of any IT department that's going to be capable of subsequently maintaining it. If that's not the case for Novell's version, then I'm mistaken.

Re:A genius! (2, Insightful)

AeroIllini (726211) | more than 7 years ago | (#20063073)

I ditched the command line with Dos and Win3.1
I agree with your post, I just wanted to share a bit of wisdom that I shamelessly stole from someone's sig.

DOS is like Unix in exactly the same way that a Pinto is like an aircraft carrier.

For your job, the command line is not very efficient, and a GUI is better. For a sysadmin, whose job involves lots of scripting and configuration, it is essential - and MS-DOS doesn't even hold a candle to what's possible in bash.

But you're right... Linux fanatics can't expect everyone to edit xorg.conf by hand and apply diff patches to rebuild their wireless drivers. Regular people need GUIs, and hand-holding scripts. Power users want bash scripting and piping. Different tasks, different tools. We can't neglect either.

Re:A genius! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20062301)

Joking you may be, but those were very close to my thoughts as well. Most businesses I have worked for are out to make money and any time not treading toward that goal is a huge waste and tantamount to lost revenue. That being said, I can only imagine trying to present such a plan to a committee of corporate execs - (you should have heard the howls when a change to the "Office Suite" was suggested - and this was from Office 2003 to 2007!). A plan to go with multiple Linux desktops would get shot down from every aspect that would be considered: usability, training, support, audit and compliance, etc etc. The costs involved would quickly outweigh the (this is cool!) gains and I doubt that a valid argument exists that would convince management that this is a good idea.

heh (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062005)

it sounds like part of it was that he likes gnome better than kde for his own use. i wonder if he knows he can run either on whatever distro he would like. -- i know there was more to it than that, but i thought that was an interesting facet of the description.

Re:heh (3, Insightful)

good soldier svejk (571730) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062507)

it sounds like part of it was that he likes gnome better than kde for his own use. i wonder if he knows he can run either on whatever distro he would like. -- i know there was more to it than that, but i thought that was an interesting facet of the description.
His analysis of the interfaces is spot on. Suse hasn't shipped with KDE as the default environment for years. It uses a very customized GNOME which functions a lot more like Windows. For instance, by default the main launcher shows your most recently used apps. It looks different every time you use it. Also the management tools, some of which are GNOME and some of which are Yast panels, are not consistently placed and can be difficult to navigate. He thought the default Ubuntu GNOME implementation was much better laisd out. And he knows you can change either one to look like whatever you want, but why should he have to when Ubuntu gets it right in the first place?

However, the big difference between the two distros is that Yast sucks and Synaptic, aptitude and friends are great. That also comes up in the article.

Slashdot Users: (0, Troll)

alfs boner (963844) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062027)

I would never socialize with a Slashdot user! Sorry guys :(

(you only have yourselves to blame.)

Re:Slashdot Users: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20062285)

And I, for one, welcome our new asocial overlord.

WTF? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20062029)

Macs for business?!?!? ROFLMAO

Mod parent funny! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20062035)

Suse for thin clients. Hilarious.

almost everything is "niche business application" (5, Insightful)

boguslinks (1117203) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062075)

For the impatient, here's Halamka's conclusion: "A balanced approach of Windows for the niche business application user, Macs for the graphic artists/researchers, SUSE for enterprise kiosks/thin clients, and Ubuntu for power users seems like the sweet spot for 2008."

The problem is, people have been writing Windows-specific business apps for a long time, and MS Office itself is a critical business application in corporate-land. The overwhelming majority of computer users at every company I've been at has been somewhat-to-very nontechnical folks running Office and other Windows-specific software.

So, Halamka's analysis is not encouraging.

Re:almost everything is "niche business applicatio (1)

nothing now (1062628) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062117)

use wine and ditch office.

That's what I was wondering. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062143)

MS Office. What are they going to do about that?

Run it via WINE?
Run it via Citrix?
Use only the functionality common to MS Office and OpenOffice.org?
Another option?

There are lots of different ways to do it, but which of them is he taking and why?

Re:That's what I was wondering. (2, Insightful)

boguslinks (1117203) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062419)

MS Office. What are they going to do about that? Run it via WINE? Run it via Citrix? Use only the functionality common to MS Office and OpenOffice.org? Another option? There are lots of different ways to do it, but which of them is he taking and why?

I don't know what Halamka's approach is... but I know exactly what the approach of the PHBs will be - continue to buy and use Windows.

Re:That's what I was wondering. (2, Insightful)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062813)

For the Mac users, of course there are four options: Mac Office, Windows Office via Parallels or VMWare Fusion, standard OpenOffice.Org, and NeoOffice (native Mac port of OpenOffice.Org). I use the latter and have zero problems exchanging files with MS Office users.

I work at a very large IT company whose name is a household word (not Microsoft, but I used to work there, too), and we have a heterogeneous environment: Windows machines make up the majority of the network, our mail is on Exchange, and there are a lot of Mac, Linux, and BSD machines, especially among the engineering departments. I also have Mac Office, but never use it anymore; I find I prefer OOo. I use Entourage for Email,and while it has a few quirks and is not a native Exchange client, I find that in most respects I actually prefer it to Outlook; going back to using Outlook after learning Entourage would really suck. In fact, I prefer it in all respects.

Of course, what they *could* do about MS Office is chuck it completely. Keep Windows where it makes sense, but move away from Microsoft applications. The cost savings would be huge. Or, they could not to it but start planning it, and could probably extract large price concessions from Microsoft if they scrap the plan. The cost savings would still be huge.

Re:almost everything is "niche business applicatio (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062799)

MS Office itself is a critical business application in corporate-land

Not everywhere and not every user even in Microsoft-centric customers. OpenOffice is quite capable for the vast majority of users. And so many productivity apps are going online, just doesn't seem to be the show-stopper it once was.

I'd mod the author's distribution. I'd use Ubuntu on the desktop for most users, Mac for the advertising and graphics people, and set up Windows as kiosks for Windows only applications.

Even a three OS mix sounds like a lot, but Windows would account for more service calls than the other two put together. I can look at the trouble tickets for this customer a mixed Mac/Windows environment and the service calls for Windows run 3 to 1 higher. Once the Macs are set up and working right, trouble is rare. Business customers notice that kind of thing. Replacing the enterprise desktops with Mac might be cost prohibitive, but replacing them with a Mac/Ubuntu mix is not.

Having your cake and eating it too ... (3, Interesting)

timholman (71886) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062111)

For the impatient, here's Halamka's conclusion: "A balanced approach of Windows for the niche business application user, Macs for the graphic artists/researchers, SUSE for enterprise kiosks/thin clients, and Ubuntu for power users seems like the sweet spot for 2008."

Sweet. And with my Macbook and a copy of Parallels, I can have them all.

That's the beauty of virtualization on the Intel Macs. You cease worrying about which OS is the best compromise; you simply use the best OS for the task at hand.

Re:Having your cake and eating it too ... (1)

tomshaq (1018286) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062353)

That is exactly the reason behind me recently getting a macbook. kudos to apple for swallowing some pride and opening their hardware to their competitor's software. I think it will help them as a company, because, after all, they are mostly in the hardware business. Now, I'm not interested in running Windows on my mac, but dual booting linux is certainly a huge selling point for me.

Re:Having your cake and eating it too ... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20062425)

God how I love denying requests to buy overpriced Mac hardware from Apple loonies like you and then revel in the look on your faces when you get the standard company laptop like everyone else...

Sorry clown, companies aren't interested in wasting money on platform fanboys. Businesses are for grownups to get work done.

Re:Having your cake and eating it too ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20062921)

you simply use the best OS for the task at hand
companies aren't interested in wasting money on platform fanboys
Uh....

Re:Having your cake and eating it too ... (2, Informative)

good soldier svejk (571730) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062585)

Sweet. And with my Macbook and a copy of Parallels, I can have them all. That's the beauty of virtualization on the Intel Macs. You cease worrying about which OS is the best compromise; you simply use the best OS for the task at hand.
Actually, Halamka agrees with you. But he also needs a subnotebook and Apple doesn't make one. For work that requirement outweighs his preference for OS X. All this laptop needs to do is basic business stuff like email and presentations, and Ubuntu is more than good enough at that. At home, he uses a big clunky Macbook (see previous articles).

Re:Having your cake and eating it too ... (1)

JeremyGNJ (1102465) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062591)

Yes, thats a good idea...spend extra money on a MAC and then EVEN MORE money on additional OS's to run ON the MAC, and hire more people to support it!

Re:Having your cake and eating it too ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20062657)

It's better than that; you have to have people to support Mac, Windows, 2xLinux AND one or more people specializing in Parallels to arbitrate the fist fights between the Mac support and other OS support people. Is that bug: a Mac Bug? a Windows Bug? a Parallels Bug? Lots of opportunity for hundreds of e-mails to be written when MineSweeper doesn't work exactly perfectly.

Re:Having your cake and eating it too ... (-1, Troll)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062645)

That's the beauty of virtualization on the Intel Macs. You cease worrying about which OS is the best compromise; you simply use the best OS for the task at hand.

So can my PC. But its cheaper. And has more power.

Neener.

or just use Windows (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20062151)

Windows works fine for all the apps listed, not just apps that don't run anywhere else. You Zealots really love finding people who will tell you what you want to hear.

Re:or just use Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20062801)

Lunch is over in Redmond. Get back to work.

Ubuntu? Power users? (1)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062185)

I suppose that, when you open a terminal session, every Linux distro is for "power users", but what makes Ubuntu really shine, is that you don't have to be a power user.

I also like Ubuntu because much of the maintenance can be done through the GUI.

The real question is: how much of the maintenance can be done remotely? Being a Linux distro, I have to imagine that most, if not all, of it can.

Re:Ubuntu? Power users? (1)

bakuun (976228) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062289)

The real question is: how much of the maintenance can be done remotely? Being a Linux distro, I have to imagine that most, if not all, of it can.

Of course you can configure and maintain the system remotely, as long as you have the necessary software (basically an ssh server and a text editor..)

It is based on Debian, of course, which really shows when you work with it from the console. I've been running ubuntu for some time now on a server of mine (I'm relatively new to linux) but have never had to install some sort of gui environment. What I do, I do by simply connecting to it by ssh.

Re:Ubuntu? Power users? (5, Interesting)

cerelib (903469) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062295)

Ubuntu still contains most of the command line maintenance utilities. So if you learn how to use them, you can do remote administration. On the other hand, as long as your network latency isn't horrible, you can use the GUI tools remotely. This can be done using either VNC or X. I use X clients remotely all of the time from my Windows laptop using Xming, an X Server for Windows. Just make sure you use port forwarding in your SSH session and you are good to go.

Re:Ubuntu? Power users? (1)

my $anity 0 (917519) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062739)

I upgraded my home computer from school from Edgy to Fiesty with no trouble.

Everything can be done remotely.

Re:Ubuntu? Power users? (4, Informative)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#20063031)

I have a hard time imagining why you would think there could be things that could not be done remotely.

As others have pointed out, you can do a lot of things (I would say every kind of maintenance) remotely over SSH. That basically allows you to do everything that doesn't require a graphical user interface. If you do need the graphical user interface, you're in luck, though. One of the hidden strengths of Unix [inglorion.net] is that GUI is provided by X [x.org] , which can be accessed over the network. A convenient and secure way to do this is by tunenling it through SSH (try ssh -X user@host xterm, for example). Even if that isn't enough (e.g. because you're on a machine without an X server), you can even access your desktop through RFB [wikipedia.org] .

Of course, you can't perform any maintenance that requires physical access to the machine remotely. However, in all my years working with *nix systems remotely, I have never needed physical access.

CIO.com doesn't want us to read the article (2, Informative)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062197)

Good freaquin' googly.

CIO.com sure has a hardon for online ad revenue. Seventeen pages for one article, the article itself taking up only 1/3 of the page real estate for each page. Talk about a pain in the ass to read.

It's bad enough that nobody in Slashdot reads the actual articles. The next time I see a link to a CIO.com article, I'll just skip trying to read it, and go right to throwing down a random opinion based on the Slashdot summary.

Re:CIO.com doesn't want us to read the article (1)

tsstahl (812393) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062269)

... go right to throwing down a random opinion based on the Slashdot summary.

Oh yea, that is original. And that is going to make you stick out around here how?

;)

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Re:CIO.com doesn't want us to read the article (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062347)

Oh yea, that is original.

Are you implying that there are already Slashdot readers who don't take the time to read the actual articles? I'm shocked. Shocked!

Sorry, couldn't resist

Understandable indeed.

Re:CIO.com doesn't want us to read the article (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062601)

Wait....y'all actually read the summary? I click reply as fast as possible and rant about whatever I'm feeling like. Bonus points if it actually is related to the subject.

Re:CIO.com doesn't want us to read the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20062323)

"go right to throwing down a random opinion based on the Slashdot summary."

You must be old here!

Re:CIO.com doesn't want us to read the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20062331)

The next time I see a link to a CIO.com article, I'll just skip trying to read it, and go right to throwing down a random opinion based on the Slashdot summary.

What? why base it on the summary? I got one up on you pal. I post without even reading the summary. All my posts are based on nothing more than my pet peeves, biased opinions, vested interests, and slights done to me, real or imagined, mostly imagined. Lemme see how ya beat that!

Re:CIO.com doesn't want us to read the article (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062393)

Lemme see how ya beat that!

Uhhh... I'll mod down the next post you make, without even looking at it! Or without even knowing it was yours! Hah! Then I'll go make disparaging comments about you on some random Digg post.

Man, I need to get outside.

KDE vs GNOME (0, Offtopic)

12357bd (686909) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062251)

Halamka preferred Ubuntus user interface to SUSEs because it was simpler and more straightforward, but he notes that SUSE might be more appropriate for workers used to Windows.

The FA seems to ignore the existance of different GUIs, is not SUSE vs UBUNTO, is KDE vs GNOME.

Is my opinion that KDE should be used instead of GNOME for a linux based windows replacement solution.

Re:KDE vs GNOME (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20062463)

What the hell is "UBUNTO"? Some sort of Ubuntu variant that makes you look like a moron?

Re:KDE vs GNOME (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062847)

Or there's "UBENTO", which has the user interface designed after a small Japanese lunch in a lacquered box.

Re:KDE vs GNOME (5, Informative)

kernelpanicked (882802) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062697)

I'm not sure how you got modded insightful but SUSE Enterprise, which is what was used, defaults to GNOME. So it's GNOME vs. GNOME here.

Not a realistic scenario (1)

MeditationSensation (1121241) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062255)

Companies like to standardize on one OS/vendor, not have a bunch of variables like this.

Re:Not a realistic scenario (4, Insightful)

duplicate-nickname (87112) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062663)

Exactly. Most IT departments are already support 2 or 3 versions of Windows on 4 or more hardware platforms. Throw in the occasional Mac for the graphic artists and support is already becoming tough. Now add in 2 more flavor of Linux (not to mention 2 or more versions of each), and you have a real nightmare.

We're not just talking about supporting the OS, but also the business applications that would run in each of those environments. Sure more things are going web based, but 75% of what we do is still on desktop applications.

Re:Not a realistic scenario (3, Insightful)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062849)

You are correct, companies do like to standardize. However, RTFA. The conclusion addresses your concerns.

Halamka's plans to support three different desktop operating systems may sound crazy. After all, the decision flies in the face of standardization, which seeks to decrease costs and complexity. But deploying different operating systems makes sense for the enterprise his IT group is supporting. "Hospitals and academic medical centers and universities are like the United Nations," he says. Just as you can't force all the diplomats at the UN to speak English, Halamka can't force all of his users to use the same OS. He realizes they have different computing needs and some, such as the researchers at the medical school, have their own grant money that they use to purchase whatever computers they want. The "multicultural" computing environment that CareGroup and Harvard Medical School maintain may become more common as Linux-based operating systems improve and as IT departments bump up against tech-savvy users who increasingly bring their personal devices into the workplace. Standardization may one day become a relic of the corporate IT's crusty past.
Standardization may be good for some, but technological diversity may be better for others. Afterall, your employees should use the best tool for the job. That may be Windows or it may be Linux. Also, the more enterprises start mixing OS's, the more demand there will be for them to communicate with one another. This means a higher demand for open standards. While most of the savings of standardization is from only needing an IT staff with a knowledge of one system, another big chunk of it is from not having to make many different OS's and devices play nice together. If it became expected that your IT staff have a working knowledge of all of the most popular OS's, then standardization starts saving less and less money over a diverse IT environment.

Re:Not a realistic scenario (1)

Mr. No Skills (591753) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062909)

Small companies do, Larger companies start to think about specific needs of departments and might branch out to purchase the right thing for the right job.

John is a CIO in a large teaching hospital network. The group runs enterprise apps, remote employees, clinical staff, physicians, the business side of a hospital, and the university people. It's not a surprise that one contract with Dell can't handle this.

Where I stopped reading (5, Funny)

textstring (924171) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062277)

"The only other problem Halamka ran into was with MIDI music".
I can not take this man seriously anymore.

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20062299)

17 pages? What the hell. This kind of ridiculousness should be banned from slashdot

Neglects that small multi-billion dollar niche... (0, Flamebait)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062349)

...we call gaming.

Can anyone confirm? (1)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062377)

According to the article, one of the main issues with Linux was Evolution:

Evolution, his e-mail client, took six minutes to start up. ... Novell's SUSE engineers created a patch for Evolution that makes the application start more quickly, in about 20 seconds.
6 minutes? 20 seconds? Is that true? I use Thunderbird (on Kubuntu), and it starts up in a second. I can't imagine waiting that long for an email client to load up. What is it doing that takes so long? Is this typical behavior for Evolution?

Since this was one of his major complaints with Linux (and it's a valid one: six minutes is much too long to wait!), it seems like it's something that should be fixed ASAP if it is a widespread issue.

Re:Can anyone confirm? (1)

elrick_the_brave (160509) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062475)



I'll tell you what he is doing... he's storing 5GB of presentations and all the joke videos he's been sent.

Dear lord if SOX has taught us anything is that you can't keep that stuff!

Lol.

Re:Can anyone confirm? (5, Interesting)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062531)

I don't know about evolution specifically... hell, my little blurb is coming from a windows world, but I figure programmers are programmers and they tend to make the same mistakes.

For example, if your firefox directory is read only, it takes MINUTES to fire up. Allow write access, it loads in a handful of seconds. Doing a little digging, it seems it is trying to open all of these config files for read/write... and when it fails, it tries a few more times. Then some of them get copied to $temp$ so that they CAN be opened for read/write, even though YOU LIKELY WON'T EVEN BE WRITING TO THEM. All it would take is a "if CantOpenConfigFileWithReadWrite(...) OpenConfigFileForReadOnly(...);"

And I use firefox as an example, but just about every application seems to have the same issues. This may be where Evolution is at.

Re:Can anyone confirm? (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062587)

I find the 6 minute thing hard to believe, I would have thrown my laptop off the desk a dozen or so times by now if I was waiting 6 minutes (actually this did happen once and I about lost my freaking mind...Evolution starting up caused the system to hang and lock up at 98% CPU...turns out that it was actually an infinite loop problem in part of the perl that spamassassin uses during an Evolution startup...This all stemmed from an update that didn't recompile the appropriate dependancies.)

The 10-30 seconds Firefox takes to come up sometimes is enough to irritate the bejesus out of me on some days. Evolution does tend to take a bit to come up, 20 seconds seems pretty long, I would say mine usually comes up in 5-10 tops. The main thing to remember is that Evolution isn't just an email client, it has all that calender hoohah and palm syncing and integrated whatnots much like Outlook. Outlook is not exactly a quickstart email app either compared to simple pop/imap email clients.

Re:Can anyone confirm? (3, Informative)

good soldier svejk (571730) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062879)

6 minutes? 20 seconds? Is that true? I use Thunderbird (on Kubuntu), and it starts up in a second. I can't imagine waiting that long for an email client to load up. What is it doing that takes so long? Is this typical behavior for Evolution?

Since this was one of his major complaints with Linux (and it's a valid one: six minutes is much too long to wait!), it seems like it's something that should be fixed ASAP if it is a widespread issue.
It is a real issue. Evolution's Exchange connector basically does not cache anything locally. There is a setting for it, but it doesn't work. Based on Halamka's recommendation, Novell has written a caching patch for Evolution and submitted it to the upstream code tree. They also patched a bunch of other bugs he identified. So Evolution/Exchange users can thank Halamka for finally getting this fixed. I have tested these patches and they work.

Re:Can anyone confirm? (3, Informative)

jc42 (318812) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062883)

6 minutes? 20 seconds? Is that true? I use Thunderbird (on Kubuntu), and it starts up in a second. I can't imagine waiting that long for an email client to load up. What is it doing that takes so long? Is this typical behavior for Evolution?

Well, I've experimented with Evolution off and on for some years, on various chunks of hardware, and I'd say it is typical. Whenever you tell Evolution to do something, you can go to the kitchen, make coffee, and be back with a cup before the results are on the screen. After a while, you're really wired ...

Maybe there's some config problem that's wrong everywhere I've tried it, but I haven't seen enough clues to diagnose the problem. If anyone knows, especially if you have some fixes, you might try contacting the Evolution folks and tell them that this is a major barrier to getting their toy widely adopted.

It's not just me, either; I've mentioned this to a number of people who've tried Evolution a few times, and they report the same molasses-like slowness.

African language? (0, Troll)

BritneySP2 (870776) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062465)

Ubuntu is an African word...

Is there African language?

Re:African language? (1)

blindd0t (855876) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062835)

Sure, there are plenty of African languages: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Africa#Languages [wikipedia.org]

Re:African language? (2, Insightful)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 7 years ago | (#20063097)

As I'm sure you are aware, the GP meant is there a language called "African", and I believe the point was that calling Ubuntu an African word is like calling "arigato" an Asian word, or "merci" a European word - I share the GP's distaste at the general tendency (particularly in America) to consider Africa as a single entity, particularly given that this tendency seems to apply *only* to Africa.

But then, that's just how I see it.

Re:African language? (2, Informative)

zeromorph (1009305) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062903)

Is there African language?

No.

There are a lot. It's not even one family. Really a lot! [ethnologue.com] (Every red dot a language.)

What is probably meant: It's an African concept [wikipedia.org] . This notion is not restricted to one language/speech community and in that sense (sub-Sahara) African.

Skip Windows (0, Flamebait)

toby (759) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062477)

Why bother with Windows when there is OS X? The Mac is not a "niche" platform for "graphic arts/multimedia". Get your heads out of the 1980s/1990s, people.

It's the most productive platform for anything, including your grandmother.

Windows is over. Its brief and lucrative (for some) flare of popularity was a result of other people's crimes, other people's choices, it's time to freakin' move on.

Re:Skip Windows (1)

n0dna (939092) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062577)

User #759

Wow. You're one old-school troll.

FWIW though, 90% Market share says you're wrong.

Troll.

Re:Skip Windows (1)

snarfusmaximus (899082) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062721)

Market share doesn't necessarily represent quality - just look at McDonalds!

Re:Skip Windows (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 7 years ago | (#20063131)

Original poster says "Windows is over," though. I somehow don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.

Re:Skip Windows (1)

syntaxeater (1070272) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062675)

How can we argue with that? It's a legitimate question, how can we? The unwavering passion was there, you just forgot to make any valid points.

Re:Skip Windows (1)

huckamania (533052) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062737)

Everytime the Mac gets to be about the same price as it's competition, I keep looking for the next OS upgrade from Jobs. OSXI is going to be the bomb and the macites will happily line up to pay for the priveledge. Besides, the new mac is going to have 50% less buttons.

Just wait, it's coming...

Re:Skip Windows (2, Insightful)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062791)

By "niche" application, I'm pretty sure he's talking about legacy Windows and DOS apps that would need to be recoded to run on another OS, not common commodity applications such as your typical office suite.

If the cost of recoding the apps is more than the cost of maintaining Windows, they're going to maintain running Windows. They'll cut back to however many Windows boxes they need to run those niche apps. Maybe a Citrix server, something like that.

They give Apple hardware and OS X to the graphics people because that's who'll benefit from them most, not because no one else can use them. Any secretary might work fine in Office on Mac, but if she could just as well use Linux or has to use Windows because of some niche app, there's no reason to spend the extra $$$ on Apple solutions. Apple's expensive. Maybe less so than MS given the management overhead and security headaches. But up front it looks more expensive because you have to buy premium grade hardware, not barely sufficient low-end hardware, and for your grunt-level workforce that seems wasteful.

They give Linux to everyone else, because everyone else can work with Linux apps just fine. It'll run on anything, no vendor will bully you, and it's Free.

Re:Skip Windows (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062827)

Users are most productive on the platform they know. Users know Windows today. Training people for any other system doesn't usually pay off.

Many companies run on cheap desktops because they have lots of people doing advanced stuff from the business' point of view, but trivial in terms of computer hardware. Apple doesn't HAVE cheap, non-multimedia basic office computers, so replacing those with Macs are expensive.

Windows is over. Its brief and lucrative (for some) flare of popularity was a result of other people's crimes, other people's choices, it's time to freakin' move on.

...wishful thinking alert. If you could kill the trinity of Internet Explorer, Office and Outlook/Exchange then maybe. Firefox and OO.o is making progress but they're not exactly dazzling the market.

Formal operating systems evaluations? (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062535)

From the article:

"Halamka's month with Ubuntu concludes his formal operating system evaluations. What follows are the details of his experience running Ubuntu and his plans for his company's enterprise desktops and laptops moving forward. Will he finally replace Windows forever with OS X or Linux? You'll see..."

Funny, I didn't see any Bell-LaPadula models or ACL2 proofs, or anything other than some user's opinion clouded by the random crap that happens to every user of every OS.

This is not a job for a CIO (2, Insightful)

crevistontj (1032976) | more than 7 years ago | (#20062643)

As a pc support guy in a biggish company, I'm REALLY glad this guy isn't making decisions here. Supporting Windows, OSX, SUSE and Ubuntu, and getting it all to play nice together would be a nightmare. He is too far removed from the support folks to make a decision based in reality. CIOs should not be spending their time testing and selecting OSes. If that's what he's interested in, he's in the wrong line of work.

Re:This is not a job for a CIO (2, Interesting)

Ichoran (106539) | more than 7 years ago | (#20063139)

Supporting four platforms and getting them to play nicely together if you are starting with a large base of one platform where everything that works has been done without regard to using other platforms. Switching to a multi-platform solution would be a nightmare, especially when the original base is commercial ("Vendor lock-in"). As a business strategy, it wouldn't make sense to switch.

But supporting four platforms when you start off with that as your goal is not as much of a nightmare. We have the same thing where I am, and other than occasional recurring problems involving Windows not understanding that everything else is not also Windows, the support is actually better than if it were a one-platform area, since each platform is used in that area where it does best.
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