Converting MN Colleges to OSS

Anthony Yarusso tonyyarusso at
Thu Sep 20 03:37:35 BST 2007

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Aaron wrote:
> Hey all,
> I came up with an idea for a potential project that we could maybe
>  look into if people are interested.
> On any campus you visit in the Metro area (and I'm sure elsewhere)
>  they all appear to be using Microsoft Office to do their word,
> spreadsheet, and database processing. While this isn't inherently
> an issue, as I'm sure you are aware these pieces of software cost
> LOTS of money not only for the colleges that provide computers for
> the students to use but also for the students who in part pay
> tuition fees to cover the software and pay money for the software
> for their own personal use. Why increase the cost of higher
> education unnecessarily with it can easily and effectively be
> replaced with free and open source alternatives such as Abiword and
>  Open Office?
> Here's my idea, and if there is enough interest we can look into
> doing something with it. If I'm not mistaken colleges just like any
>  other business are looking to cut expenses, why not show them an
> effective way to cut their expenses with out loosing anything?
> Normandale (where I currently go) already has Firefox installed on
>  all the computers and is set as default browser, they obviously
> aren't opposed to open source software, we just need to show them
> that there are more options out there.
> Anyways, I thought I'd run it by you guys, if there is interest
> maybe we can make a plan, get a presentation together (made on OSS
>  yay!) and maybe show these guys the future.
> Let me know what you think,
> Aaron
This would be a fantastic tack to start in on.  My school (Saint Paul
College) also has Firefox on every machine, and within the computing
courses even uses Ubuntu for some things, but I haven't see OOo or
anything else of the sort in any of the labs.  Also, the University of
Minnesota runs Ubuntu on all machines in the Computer Science
department, and hosts a full Ubuntu repository mirror.

There were some folks in the Canadian team looking into university
stuff, but I don't know if anything ever came of it.
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