James Barrett on 19 May 2010 12:36:32 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] (OT) Philadelphia Wireless

On Wed, May 19, 2010 at 12:20 PM, Mike Leone <turgon@mike-leone.com> wrote:
> On 5/19/2010 12:09 PM, Edmond Rodriguez had this to say:
>> Back on topic maybe?
>> I've used library services at times and it was helpful, but the imposed
>> time limits have always been frustrating when I did so. I always
>> wondered why they didn't get more machines and increase their time
>> limits.
> Because of ...
>> Machine Cost?
> That's usually why.

Although a library can get away with using banquet tables, adequate
computer-desk-like furniture is rather expensive.  Also take into
account the cost for maintaining the hardware.  It costs a lot more
over years to maintain 20 machines as opposed to 5.  Printers are
probably the most expensive, although it is not difficult to charge
money for each print to offset the cost for ink.

I was at the local library a couple weeks ago to print out and fax a
time sheet for work.  The librarians were talking about where to buy a
replacement for a broken mouse.  They eventually looked in a drawer
and pulled out a good one that they had forgotten about.  I thought to
myself about how last year at work we threw out about 150 perfectly
good sets of keyboards and mice because they were left over from an
old project, no longer needed, and taking up too much space here in
the lab.  My local library would have been more than pleased if they
were given 10 or 12 sets.  It would have probably held them for the
remainder of the lifetime of the current hardware.  That will stick in
my mind for a while...

Licenses for MS software are very cheap for non-profit organizations.
$16 for MS Office '07 makes the price almost negligible when compared
to buying it off-the-shelf.  Same for the Windows7 upgrade, at only
$8.  Sure, Linux is free, but without mentioning all its other
attractive and useful qualities (scalability, stability, versatility,
speed and compatibility with older hardware, security and community),
just saying that "Linux is free" is really not going to get many
non-pofits to put the commitment, time, effort, and money into making
the jump.

James Barrett
Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --        http://www.phillylinux.org
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