Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How to Transition a Windows Shop to Linux

As those who know my computer preferences well are aware, I'm a big advocate of the Linux operating system along with a host of free and open-source software solutions(F/OSS). By using these tools, I think I've been able to build a small business with minimal cost and I have a much better network and resources available to me. Plus, it is rock solid. While I've watched others dealing with a variety of problems related to their Windows servers crashing, my Linux box chugs happily along (I even did an upgrade on it with minimal fuss).

With my new job, I'm now faced with a major challenge. They are a Windows shop with a mix of servers running locally and some hosted, including their major ERP package. Although I've only been working there for about a month, it looks like the overwhelming majority of people confine their work to using e-mail(via a web interface), a web browser, and office productivity suites (e.g. MS Word or Excel, some Powerpoint sprinkled in). There are a few people using tools like MS Project and Visio (and they have a license for Project Server, but I can't tell that they are actually using it). I'm guessing the corporate communications employee is using some graphic packages and some desktop publishing, but I'm not sure what yet. And our fraud investigator, who also manages security, has some apps for creating employee id badges and access cards for doors. Beyond those, I'm not sure there is anything else in use (granted, I haven't even attempted a census of applications yet).

Based on that, it looks like the overwhelming majority of the employees have no need for the Microsoft stack that everyone is effectively issued (Windows + MS Office). No doubt there will be resistance, but getting the majority to accept a switch should be "do-able". Especially when you see the organization is paying in excess of $35,000 per year for all their Microsoft licenses (roughly 110 users plus the supporting servers). I haven't done the analysis yet, but instinct tells me a good Linux desktop with OpenOffice.org, Firefox and maybe even Thunderbird(for those that want an actual e-mail client like me), would be a lot less expensive.

How to Transition a Windows Shop to Linux

As those who know my computer preferences well are aware, I'm a big advocate of the Linux operating system along with a host of free and open-source software solutions(F/OSS). By using these tools, I think I've been able to build a small business with minimal cost and I have a much better network and resources available to me. Plus, it is rock solid. While I've watched others dealing with a variety of problems related to their Windows servers crashing, my Linux box chugs happily along (I even did an upgrade on it with minimal fuss).

With my new job, I'm now faced with a major challenge. They are a Windows shop with a mix of servers running locally and some hosted, including their major ERP package. Although I've only been working there for about a month, it looks like the overwhelming majority of people confine their work to using e-mail(via a web interface), a web browser, and office productivity suites (e.g. MS Word or Excel, some Powerpoint sprinkled in). There are a few people using tools like MS Project and Visio (and they have a license for Project Server, but I can't tell that they are actually using it). I'm guessing the corporate communications employee is using some graphic packages and some desktop publishing, but I'm not sure what yet. And our fraud investigator, who also manages security, has some apps for creating employee id badges and access cards for doors. Beyond those, I'm not sure there is anything else in use (granted, I haven't even attempted a census of applications yet).

Based on that, it looks like the overwhelming majority of the employees have no need for the Microsoft stack that everyone is effectively issued (Windows + MS Office). No doubt there will be resistance, but getting the majority to accept a switch should be "do-able". Especially when you see the organization is paying in excess of $35,000 per year for all their Microsoft licenses (roughly 110 users plus the supporting servers). I haven't done the analysis yet, but instinct tells me a good Linux desktop with OpenOffice.org, Firefox and maybe even Thunderbird(for those that want an actual e-mail client like me), would be a lot less expensive.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Bloody Tail: Reloaded

As you know from my last post, our dog recently had a bad incident occur in which he suffered a pretty severe injury to his tail. Unfortunately, things did not go well for him as a result of his visit to the emergency vet. Things took a decided downturn on Halloween - kind of appropriate considering the bloodbath he created in our house. Personally, I think he was mad because he had to stay in the house instead of being able to check out all of the trick-or-treaters that came by our house. In an effort to get back at us, he decided an appropriate response would be to slink off somewhere and work the staples out of his cut, exposing the wound anew.

So it was off to our regular vet for my wife with the dog in tow. Now, our vet was none too happy with the work done by the emergency vet. Worse, the cut had not really done any healing and was even getting worse with some flesh dying. So, it was time for some stitches to try to tend to it a little better. The result of that was a cone on the head for poor Zeus as seen in the pictures below.





A Bloody Tail - Zeus looking sad thumbnail
A Bloody Tail - the tail in question thumbnail

A Bloody Tail - Zeus takes a walk thumbnail


Click on thumbnail for larger image.


A Bloody Tail: Reloaded

As you know from my last post, our dog recently had a bad incident occur in which he suffered a pretty severe injury to his tail. Unfortunately, things did not go well for him as a result of his visit to the emergency vet. Things took a decided downturn on Halloween - kind of appropriate considering the bloodbath he created in our house. Personally, I think he was mad because he had to stay in the house instead of being able to check out all of the trick-or-treaters that came by our house. In an effort to get back at us, he decided an appropriate response would be to slink off somewhere and work the staples out of his cut, exposing the wound anew.

So it was off to our regular vet for my wife with the dog in tow. Now, our vet was none too happy with the work done by the emergency vet. Worse, the cut had not really done any healing and was even getting worse with some flesh dying. So, it was time for some stitches to try to tend to it a little better. The result of that was a cone on the head for poor Zeus as seen in the pictures below.





A Bloody Tail - Zeus looking sad thumbnail
A Bloody Tail - the tail in question thumbnail

A Bloody Tail - Zeus takes a walk thumbnail

Click on thumbnail for larger image.