W. Chris Shank on 13 Sep 2004 22:01:02 -0000

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RE: [PLUG] More critique of Linux desktop

>From someone who has been running a "Linux" business for over 2 years I can
sympathize with both sides of the arguments here. The conclusion I've come
to is that Open Source software (whether it's Linux, Open Office, Mozilla,
what have you) isn't for everyone. Most people just want their computers to
work and be easy to use and be compatible with the rest of the world. That's
it. For that mindset, Windows is generally easier. However, the thing to be
aware of is that everyone has different perceptions of what is acceptable
for each of these requirements. For some, Windows is even too complicated.
For others, RealPlayer is the "standard" media format. For others still
Outlook and Word are the computer and everything else is a black hole in
their understanding and perception. The trick (and difficult and expensive
part) is to understand where your users are and what they are willing to
accept. Oh, and one universal that all of these users understands is money.
So never discount the cost argument, whether it be upfront costs or down the
road future "upgrade" costs. Everyone understands them - they have all been
burned by the costs at some point or another. 

My lesson running a Linux company has been that to most users the thing on
their desktop is the computer. But the reality is that for most businesses,
the thing on the desktop is just a window to the real computer. Find a
balance between what they want and need and what you can live with and
support. I can say from the support perspective, a 100% linux environment
(desktop and server) is hands down FAR FAR FAR easier to support than the
equivalently setup Windows systems (setup = email, office apps, internet, &
biz speciality app). Sooner or later the rest of the world will realize this

Anyway - regarding Act! - try Sugar CRM (www.sugarcrm.com) it's open source
but also includes support from the company behind it.

Oh yeah - and I'm sorry if my top post is bad form. I never realized there
was a netiquette involved in posting a message. Also, I happened to be in
Windows XP right now testing something on Outlook, so if the text is screwed
up - sorry.


-----Original Message-----
From: plug-admin@lists.phillylinux.org
[mailto:plug-admin@lists.phillylinux.org] On Behalf Of Howard Bloom
Sent: Monday, September 13, 2004 4:52 PM
To: plug@lists.phillylinux.org
Subject: RE: [PLUG] More critique of Linux desktop


-----Original Message-----
From: plug-admin@lists.phillylinux.org
[mailto:plug-admin@lists.phillylinux.org] On Behalf Of Ed Martin
Sent: Monday, September 13, 2004 4:40 PM
To: plug@lists.phillylinux.org
Subject: RE: [PLUG] More critique of Linux desktop


Actually I thought being called a Nuts Zealots Kooks was offensive. And I
also run a consulting business and have been for the last seven years. I
think you are a narrow minded user. If you where really solutions driven you
would be finding ways to get your clients away from being a target to
mainstream virus/ worm programmers.

Since you pointed out that there are no programs to replace Act! I
corresponded with a few folks and it seems a similar CRM package could
possibly put together with off the shelf open source components.
This is called doing something about it and not being a spectator.
Spectators watch and complain when you lose. Doers get it done.

I am taking the high road and I'm going to do something about it. Because
that is what this group is for. I invite you to help if you can put you
pessimism beside and look for a solution.

If not then please don't respond I really do not need anyone bringing me
down when I'm trying to find solutions to issues at hand.

Ed Martin

My reference to kooks, nuts and zealots was not my view, although from the
threads, I do believe that this list has more than its fair share of
zealots.  That reference was how "we" and yes I include myself here, are
looked upon by the mainstream computing public.  People who write for most
of the magazines see "us" as kooks and zealots and I'm afraid that I can't
deny the last remark.

There is a perception that Linux "kooks" are much like Vegans or PETA
people.  Not only should we not eat meat, but we should not own animals
either.  Let them all run wild.  Many on this list have made it clear that
my use of Linux is unacceptable since I don't use it 100 percent.  

The public perception is correct.  Many here are unreasonable and would
rather force their beliefs upon me.  I choose what OS I will run and where.
When I have a client with a need I made a judgment whether Linux or MS is
the solution.  I have been excoriated for even thinking that Microsoft is

I was told to leave the list.  Hey, if you don't like the policies of the
USA - go find another country to live.  Don't you see the similarity?

So, if my reference to kooks and zealots offends, accept my apology.  To all
of you who are true kooks and zealots, my apology does not apply.


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