[Linux-aus] What a waste!
leon at cyberknights.com.au
Wed Oct 1 19:21:01 UTC 2003
I speak for myself, not for the excellent organisations of which I am a
member, and quote from this article:
> People mistakenly refer to Linux as 'free' software because it can
> be freely altered and distributed. Yet while the software itself
> is free, the cost to maintain and upgrade it can become very
Tom, you've got that last bit completely bass-ackwards. Linux is not
always free to purchase, but it is very rare for the ROI to be other
than a big improvement on MS-Windows - which to cut through a lot of
bulldust is what it would be replacing in Massachusetts.
I charge half as much again as a typical MS-Windows technician for my
Linux work, and I'm so busy I have to turn people away because the
Linux-based results are so much better than any proprietary ones
they've ever seen.
The ROI results for OpenOffice.org, the office suite that MA will be
replacing MS-Office with, are even more astounding. Fetch a copy of
OpenOffice.org 1.1 yourself and try it out. Proper crash recovery, no
viruses, scads of extra features including PDF and Flash output, and
getting even better while you wait.
Both of these products are examples of one of the strongest forms of
Open Source, the GPL or "Free (as in speech) Software".
> It is ironic that Massachusetts, as the only state remaining in
> the lawsuit accusing Microsoft of antitrust violations, is
> creating its own state-imposed monopoly on software.
If it's a monopoly, you should be able to name the company or political
force which is in control of it. Can you?
Not a hope! Open Source is not a brand, it is not a production line, it
has no office, no secretariat, no board of directors, no legal
department, no shares.
Open Source is people. Lots and lots of people. People combining their
efforts and building on each other's work instead of hiding and WASTING
it, or working to destroy each other as proprietary software makers so
Massachusetts' actions will not form a monopoly, they will BREAK an
existing, entrenched, CONVICTED monopoly. Microsoft and their lackeys
claim to only want a level playing field, but on any modern playing
field they are the 800lb gorilla and everyone else is a capuchin
underfoot. Is that fair?
Should we stand back, as we have been doing, and let all of the
corporate capuchins be crushed in the name of "free market" and
> most studies conclude that acquisition costs represent only 5 to
> 10 percent of total cost of ownership. Maintenance, training and
> support are far more expensive with open source than proprietary
Go and have a look at who FUNDS those studies (and if not directly, then
have a look at the organisation's biggest customer), and then have a
little think about who the government WASTES most IT funding on.
Then go and read some real studies. Perhaps some which include the costs
of fighting viruses and worms, perhaps some which count the cost of
regular crashes, lost data and lost privacy. Not even the esoterica of
trying to count the WASTE in re-invented wheels, a WASTE which CAGW
seem particularly hostile to.
You've been duped, Tom Schatz, and the quicker you wake up to having
been suckered, the less damage will be done - to you, and to those you
If you do not recant swiftly, you will be written off and backwatered as
irrelevant "opinion for hire" (like Citizens for a Sound Economy, the
Alexis de Tocqueville Institute, the Cato Institute, and so on).
The very words and phrases you chose - like "communist" - to hurl at
Massachusetts IT department could have been ripped out of a Microsoft
PR statement; they resonate with the same feelings, attitudes and
Start thinking for yourself! Start fighting the immense government waste
which spending on proprietary software represents. Money spent on
making Bill Gates richer is WASTED, has to be spent again and again as
new versions roll out. Money spent on tailoring and growing Open Source
Software to suit Massachusetts is an investment which will yield not
only for MA, not only for every American state that follows in their
footsteps, but potentially for every administration and business in the
Even if you never understand this, even if you oppose the new paradigm
with all of your might, it will succeed as surely as life itself
succeeds in reclaiming denuded soil. Anyone wanting to give FOSS a push
these days has to run.
http://cyberknights.com.au/ Modern tools; traditional dedication
http://plug.linux.org.au/ Committee Member, Perth Linux User Group
http://slpwa.asn.au/ Committee Member, Linux Professionals WA
http://linux.org.au/ Committee Member, Linux Australia
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