[Linux-aus] Education Expo letter
sridhar at dhanapalan.com
Sat Jul 15 14:31:06 UTC 2006
At the Education Expo, we took photographs of various people with our Tux
(played brilliantly by Terry Dawson). The intention was to e-mail copies of
those photos back to them. I thought it would be a good idea to accompany
each e-mail with a message about Linux and free software. I'll quote the
message I have written, below. Any feedback would be appreciated.
We met at the Education Expo on 24-25 June. I was a representative of the
Linux Australia stand. As we promised at the show, please find enclosed a
copy of your photo from the event.
For further information on who we are and what we do, please read on.
WHAT IS LINUX?
Linux is a operating system for your computer, not unlike Microsoft Windows or
Apple Mac OS. Unlike those two, Linux is built with a collaborate development
model. The operating system and most of its software are built from the
inputs of volunteers, companies and governments from all over the world. Most
Linux software is built in a similar manner.
The operating system and software are 100% free in cost, and everyone has the
freedom to contribute to its developement. Because of this co-operative
development model, everyone can benefit. Because of this, we like to call it
Free Software, or Socially Responsible Software.
Linux has many benefits, including speed, security and stability. You are far
less susceptable to viruses and spyware on Linux.
HOW DOES LINUX IMPACT AUSTRALIA?
Many Linux developers and users are based in Australia. When you support
Linux, you are supporting Australian innovation and employment. There are
studies which show that as much as two thirds of Australia's current account
deficit is ICT (Information and Communications Technology) related. We could
significantly reduce that by not unnecessarily purchasing software from
HOW DOES LINUX IMPACT GOVERNMENT, BUSINESS AND EDUCATION?
Many groups in the government, business and education sectors use Linux as a
means of cuting costs. It allows them to create products that they would not
otherwise be able to make. Small business makes the bulk of our economy, and
Linux enables them to compete on a world stage by allowing them to draw on a
wealth of free software upon which to build their products and services.
Larger corporations and organisations use Linux extensively as well. To give
* Pixar (Films like Finding Nemo and Cars were made with Linux)
* Dreamworks (Films like Shrek were made with Linux)
Schools around the world are shifting to Linux. There is plenty of free
software designed for schools and education. Linux allows them to make more
efficient use of tight IT budgets. There is no need to purchase expensive
software, or new computers. Linux runs well on older machines.
I DIDN'T PAY FOR MY SOFTWARE, IT CAME WITH MY COMPUTER.
If the software came with your computer, then you most certainly paid for it.
Software can make up to a quarter of the cost of your computer.
WHERE CAN I GET LINUX?
There are many distributions, or variants, of Linux. For ease of use, we
recommend Ubuntu: http://www.ubuntu.com/
Ubuntu can be downloaded and burnt to a CD, or if you prefer it can be shipped
to your home for free: https://shipit.ubuntu.com/
DO I HAVE TO REMOVE WHAT IS ALREADY ON MY COMPUTER TO USE LINUX?
No, you do not. Ubuntu, for example, comes in a 'liveCD', which allows you to
try Linux before you install it. Simply place it in your CD-ROM or DVD drive
and reboot your computer. You will get a fully graphical interface that you
can experiment with. If you like it, you can install it to your hard drive by
double-clicking on an icon on the desktop. A graphical installation programme
will guide you through the process of putting Ubuntu on your computer. You
will have the choice to install Ubuntu alongside Windows. This allows you to
select the operating system you want every time you turn on your computer.
You do not have to erase anything.
WHAT SOFTWARE CAN I USE ON LINUX?
The following is a table showing the equivalents in Linux to many Windows
If you are not ready to switch to Linux right now, there are Windows versions
of some Linux software available at http://www.theopencd.org/
Note that since you are still using Windows you will not gain the main
benefits of Linux, like security, stability and speed. However, you will have
the benefit of getting used to Linux applications before making the switch.
WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION?
If you would like to know more on how Linux can be of benefit to you, visit
The Linux Australia site [http://www.linux.org.au/] has information on local
user groups. For Ubuntu-specific help, try the official fora:
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"I'm the commander - see, I don't need to explain - I don't need to explain
why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the President.
Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't
feel like I owe anybody an explanation."
- US President George W. Bush, Washington Post, 2002-11-19
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