[Ubuntu PA] Fwd: questions about OSS usage at NTR
kevin.valentine at gmail.com
Tue Jul 15 01:39:23 BST 2008
I posted a question to the Ntr_Staff mailing list about the use of OSS
at NTR. Specifically about the use of Ubuntu (see way down below). Steve
Feldman gave a sobering and well phrased reply. I thought I should
forward it here for potential discussion. I believe we're addressing
items 2 and 3 by making a presence at NTR regularly. Can't say much
about 4. Haven't used lin/win modems. Just know that some are supported
by Linux (linmodems.org)
What I really want to focus on is item #1. It seems that NTR must cater
to the needs of their pirating clients. I'm sure they didn't intend for
it to sound this way but aren't they condoning software piracy. I
understand they're just being practical. If they know their clients are
going to install pirated MS Office to replace OO when they get home,
then why not send them home with Ubuntu so they can replace it with
pirated Windows? At least they'll get to see Ubuntu for a little while.
Heck, some may even keep it on there.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Ntr_Staff] questions about OSS usage at NTR
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2008 11:34:56 -0400
From: Steven Feldman <steve at ntronline.org>
Reply-To: NTR Staff <ntr_staff at listsrv.ntronline.org>
To: 'NTR Staff' <ntr_staff at listsrv.ntronline.org>
References: <f1a29efa0807120936g58f56787t51c4a622ba7c94c0 at mail.gmail.com>
I can't speak for the images in its current state, but it's been my
intention and responsibility to give the images a thorough review and
keep up with maintenance (hopefully I’ll be able to start that soon). My
main goal will be to ensure all software is up to date and legitimately
distributed by us. Of course, open source will best serve our needs
there, followed by freeware when necessary, and reluctantly the windows
OS licenses which we have to pay for.
Ubuntu is a fantastic distribution – I’ve been using it myself for a
couple of years. But a few things make it suboptimal for our images at
1. Compatibility with peer-owned software is limited. Wine is great but
is not automatic or fully compatible. It’s my understanding many of our
customers look for a pirated copy of MS office as soon as they get the
machine home. They also expect to be able to pirate other media
applications, games, etc. Further, I have little expectation of our
clientele to be sympathetic to the legal & ethical issues surrounding
2. With limited peer use of linux, there is one less significant support
system available for new PC users. As we can expect much of our
clientele to be new computer users, new internet users, and sometimes
even have poor literacy, typical methods for acquiring knowledge about
linux are less readily workable.
3. Knowledge & support in NTR is currently inconsistent.
4. Software Modems. We use a terribly large and unreliable variety,
linux doesn’t always play nice with ‘em.
I’m well aware these are mostly surmountable problems, and I’m also
aware of most of the good reasons for using ubuntu or other linux
distros. Lowering our costs and potentially reducing support
requirements for some of our placed machines would be huge. Of course,
the principles behind OSS & the Ubuntu developers are not lost on a
socially-minded non-profit like NTR. BUT.. such work is relatively low
priority compared to other current responsibilities, I have no choice
but to decline for now and reconsider in the future. Macintosh computers
don’t move well at NTR for mostly the same reasons.
I’d love any input from our staff or volunteers.
Tech-Redi at NonProfit Technology Resources
1524 Brandywine St.
Philadelphia, PA 19130
From: ntr_staff-bounces at listsrv.ntronline.org
[mailto:ntr_staff-bounces at listsrv.ntronline.org] On Behalf Of Kevin
Sent: Saturday, July 12, 2008 12:37 PM
To: NTR Staff
Subject: [Ntr_Staff] questions about OSS usage at NTR
I know the NTR staff is most likely too busy to fully address any long
winded questions right now but I just wanted to throw this one out
there for you to think about. I continue to be very curious about the
use of Open Source Software (OSS) at NTR. I have many questions but
I'll start with just one for now - and it's heavily loaded ;)
What does a Linux distribution like Ubuntu require for NTR to use it?
Put another way, what is Ubuntu lacking?
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