[Ubuntu PA] Fwd: Ubuntu help for a business

John Back johnaback at gmail.com
Mon Oct 27 01:00:20 GMT 2008


In reading over Steve's email I began to wonder why a person running a
business would divert significant time to become the CIO working a solution
to run his business using Ubuntu discussion groups.

Ubuntu is an excellent product but when one starts to run Windows based
business applications on top of Ubuntu the whole process can be difficult
and require countless billable hours to resolve.

Steve was already having problems with Windows OS and his business
applications. I would posit that adding more layers of complexity including
virtualization will have Steve ready to take a very long vacation.

I would put this project in the category of 'No good deed shall go
unpunished' and this project will drag Steve over numerous technical hurtles
and probably have him bad mouthing Ubuntu for both real and imaged problems.


On Sun, Oct 26, 2008 at 8:16 PM, Bret Fledderjohn
<freelancer317 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Ok, here's an interesting email.... Here's a guy who wants to move over his
> business to  Ubuntu (out near Pittsburgh)... Read over this and comment.  I
> want to talk to this guy about Virtual Box instead of VMware (especially
> considering the problems below).  Realistically, I think that he'll have
> more issues with CentOS than with Ubuntu (especially with hardware).
> But I want to hear from as many people as possible before I respond.
> In regards to the 6 mo. release schedule I will reinforce that he doesn't
> have to move up with each release and that the long term support releases
> are maintained for 3 years, so he doesn't have to upgrade (many businesses
> are afraid of frequent upgrades for the below mentioned reasons.)
> Overall, I want to give this guy a good reason to stick with Ubuntu (and
> Linux and OSS).  The more feedback the better!
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Steve Raslevich
> Date: 2008/10/26
> Subject: Re: Ubuntu help for a business
> To: Bret Fledderjohn <freelancer317 at gmail.com>
>  Hello Bret,
> I thought I would update you as to migrating my business from Windows to
> Linux Ubuntu. It has been a challenging and expensive learning experience to
> say the least.
> First, I contracted Codeweavers, the makers of Crossover, last month to
> attempt to get our main order entry system to run in Crossover (Wine).  I
> sent them the software for evaluation. A few days later they told me that
> their main programmer felt confident that he could get the application,
> Lotus Approach, to run in Crossover. I cut them two decent sized checks
> despite the fact that they do not guarantee success and that the money is
> not refundable if they can't make it work. Short story is, I should have
> spent the money on a nice vacation for two to Europe or the islands. They
> couldn't make it work. Actually, I sent them several windows applications
> that they could not get to work. I did receive a consolation prize for my
> investment, 24 Crossover licenses.
> During a conversation with the Codeweavers' sales manager, I asked if he
> could refer me to someone who could help me with Linux and Ubuntu. He
> referred me to a guy in Florida. At first, the guy in Florida was very
> responsive and interested in my project. However, as time went on, my calls
> and emails were gradually not being returned.
> I then continued to spend the majority of my spare time reading threads and
> searching for solutions. I was ready to give up and stick with Windows then
> surprising I found the website of a local company who has a certified RedHat
> programmer on staff. Last Friday, at $135.00/hr, this programmer came over
> for training and to help me install VMware. It was not a cake walk to
> install VMware. We had to look up posts on the internet on how to get VMware
> to install and run in Ubuntu 8.04. After finding numerous posts from users
> reporting their VMware stopped working when they upgraded Ubuntu from 7.10
> to 8.04, we found a post that explained what package was missing and a few
> files that needed copied over. It was so involved that I was unable to take
> notes fast enough so that I could duplicate the install process myself.
> I am not a programming guru however I am not totally computer illiterate
> either. If I am having such difficulty, I would imagine that other business
> owners would find migrating to Linux Ubuntu even more challenging if not
> impossible without hiring an IT specialist.
> One of my biggest issues with Windows is that every time there's an upgrade
> or a new release, something breaks. I was under the impression that Ubuntu
> was more consistent and did not follow this trend. Unfortunately the recent
> posts on how the last change from 7.10 to 8.04 broke VMware is extremely
> concerning and is causing me to reconsider if Ubuntu is the right choice for
> my business. It is starting to appear to me that Ubuntu is great for the
> computer hobbyist, someone who is really into writing code or to just sit
> there and serve files to windows clients.
> It is my opinion that if Ubuntu wants to promote and attract businesses,
> more consideration needs given to making Ubuntu more out-of-the-box ready
> for the average user. For instance, I had to do a lot of digging just to
> find out how to mount a network share at bootup. I found no instructions in
> the Ubuntu help files about creating a folder in the Media directory and how
> to add a line in the fstab file to accomplish this. I would imagine that
> mounting a network share is a basic need for many users and I found it very
> un-user friendly that I had to waist time searching the internet for a post
> that *correctly* explained how to do this.
> The local IT guy, that I just paid $405.00 (3 hours) just to install
> VMware, is suggesting I use CentOS, which is RedHat based, instead of
> Ubuntu. CentOS has only had (3) releases since 2002 verses Ubuntu that
> changes things every six months.
> The good news is that between some Linux based apps I found, the ability to
> run some of our windows apps in Crossover and the ability to run the
> remainder of the windows apps we need in a virtual XP OS within VMware, I
> have everything I need to completely migrate to Linux. I plan on making the
> change by the end of the year. Unfortunately, I am finding myself faced
> with a difficult decision. Stay with Ubuntu, which I have come to be
> somewhat familiar with and pay the certified RedHat programmer to come in
> and install VMware on all my Ubuntu machines, or switch to CentOS which may
> cost me even more learning time.
> Your feedback and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
> Additionally, if you have any direct contact with the people in charge of
> Ubuntu and it's releases, feel free to forward them this email.
> Best Regards,
> Steve Raslevich
> Bret Fledderjohn wrote:
> Hello Steve,
> I'm so glad to hear that you are converting to Ubuntu for your enterprise!
> The PA Local Community Team has some people out in your neck of the woods,
> however, I'm not sure what expertise level they are.  Our strongest base
> right now is Philly and Harrisburg.  There are a couple of people up near
> Erie as well, but their full time jobs are pretty time consuming.  Have you
> thought of a support contract with Canonical (the Commercial sponsor of
> Ubuntu)?  Also, I will say that you can post support questions real time to
> our irc channel (Freenode #ubuntu-us-pa) or in our forum (not real time)
> http://pennsylvania.ubuntuforums.org/  That is all free for you.
> If you give me permission, I will repost your email to our mailing list and
> to the forums, so that if there is someone in your area, they can contact
> you directly.
> There are also Linux Users Groups around which are excellent for technical
> questions and for reaching very talented and skilled people (many who use
> Ubuntu on a regular basis).
> As your company continues with this adoption, I'd love to hear more.
> Perhaps we can get get a white paper together, which would help the
> community, the more success stories that we can get the better!
> Regardless,  thanks for your interest, and please let me know if there is
> any other help that I can offer from my end (Harrisburg).
> Best wishes,
> Bret
> 2008/8/27 Steve Raslevich - Northern Sound & Light
>> Hello Bret,
>> I found the https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PennsylvaniaTeam  website which
>> indicates that your groups focus in on expansion of your projects to
>> schools, businesses and home users so I thought I would drop you an email.
>> I am looking for someone in the Pittsburgh area to help me convert the
>> workstations at my business from XP to Ubuntu.
>> I have been running Ubuntu on 2 Dell servers with great success for over a
>> year. They have been the file servers for a dozen or so WinXP workstations.
>> I have been currently experimenting with Ubuntu 8.04 on a few PC's at home.
>> However with running a business, I currently have limited time available to
>> experiment and learn how to make things do what I need them to do. I have
>> only learned enough to be dangerous and could really use some expert help.
>> Are you aware of anyone in the Pittsburgh area who may freelance that can
>> help me learn Ubuntu faster and help me configure the desktops?
>> Best Regards,
>> Steve Raslevich
>>  --
>> Steve Raslevich
> --
> - Bret
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