[Ubuntu PA] questions about OSS usage at NTR

Brian Stempin brian.stempin at gmail.com
Mon Jul 21 01:40:56 BST 2008

> 3. Knowledge & support in NTR is currently
>   inconsistent.
>   My time there has shown that while that
>   may be true,* willingness and desire is there*.

(bolding by me)

I don't know that I agree with this.  DISCLAIMER:  I only went once or
twice, so perhaps my judgment was hasty.

The reason that I was driven away from this while project was because I felt
like there was a pretty heavy resistance to *any* change...including
offering help for their Windows stuff.  The reason this resistance was such
a deterrent for me was because the reason seemed to be based on inertia, and
not a technical roadblock.

Here's what goes through my head when reading this list:
*Issue 1*:  Why is this needed?  What are these customers going to do, buy a
$70 machine, and then go to Best Buy to purchase Duke Nukem Forever?  What
kind of Windows-only stuff could they possibly need?  The purpose of these
machines are to educate and empower the community.  I can't possibly think
of a reason why not being able to run Windows-based software would impede
*Issue 2*:  The targeted audience's ability to access technical assistance
with *anything* is probably pretty limited.  Being underprivileged (or
non-profit in the case of the companies that receive machines from NTR)
makes it extremely difficult to access live help, even when it's free.
Without the internet, the only really good source that most of these people
have is NTR, not only due to their technical ability but also due to their
physical location.
*Issue 3*:  This is the only truly legit reason that I've seen so far.  I
can't disagree with it.
*Issue 4*:  Correct me if I'm wrong, but no one's advocating that NTR
release ONLY Ubuntu, but rather to make it an option.  If it has a Winmodem,
then install Windows on it.

So, to sum it up, I think that 3 out of the 4 reasons are, at least
somewhat, "just there".  I think that the real reason is a combination of
Issue 3 and the thought that "what we do works, so we don't need to fix it".

I think the real issue lies within the fact that they're uncomfortable with
any change, not in a technical debate.
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