Thoughts on OSS ZW

Neil neil.coetzer at
Thu Apr 9 12:54:29 BST 2009

Hi Simpson,

Granted, setting up dialup is still painful on Ubuntu most of the time.

As far as any development tools that require Windows, my personal preference
is to run Windows within a virtual environment on top of Ubuntu. At the end
of the day for many of us, it's about stability and security. Having to
reboot a Windows machine twice a day is not for me. 

However as you said, it's not for everyone and other people's opinions do
have to be respected. However, since this is an Ubuntu mailing list and not
a Windows mailing list, I think we can get away with being a little biased


-----Original Message-----
From: ubuntu-zw-bounces at
[mailto:ubuntu-zw-bounces at] On Behalf Of Simpson Moyo
Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2009 9:48 AM
To: nyasha chihanga
Cc: ubuntu-zw at
Subject: Re: Thoughts on OSS ZW


I totally agree with Nyasha.

I have a linux server for my home network that runs ubuntu 8.10. It is my
file server, domain controller, and develoment server. And it works great...
i wouldnt change that setup even if microsft server 2008 went open source..

But on the other hand... an ubuntu DESKTOP is not very practical for most
people. You need to take into consideration that not everyone has an IT

Good examples...

Case 1:

My sister is a writer and i setup ubuntu on her laptop...

N.B. This is a person that just uses Microsoft Word and IE... Nothing

Anyway... back to the story.. I setup ubuntu on her laptop... and she dials
up from home... and it is not easy to setup a dialup connection on ubuntu
for a non technical user... She had to come back to harare with the laptop
so i setup a dialup for her and even i had to google a solution... She
eventually went back to XP.

Case 2:

I installed ubuntu on my laptop and wanted to use it as my primary
development OS... It was a total pain.... It took upto 2 weeks to get it to
work the way i wanted. and even then some of the tools there were not as
good as the windows tools... For the sake of productivity i had to revert
back to windows...

So in short what i am trying to say is this. I dont think Windows is better
than Linux... Nor do i think Linux is better than Windows... I think that
when one wants to install an OS they need to look at what they want to be
using it for and if it will be practical to use in that environment/setup.

We need to be open minded. Lets not let our ignorance blind us. There are
many areas where windows slam dunks linux hands down! same applies to
Linux... There are also many areas where windows has nothing on linux...

We are intelligent individuals... Lets lets look at things objectively...
linux is not for everyone and everyhing nor is windows for everyone and
everything... thats why none of them have 100% market share.

My $0.02

Simpson Moyo

On 4/8/09, nyasha chihanga <rgchihanga at> wrote:
> How are you everyone
> This is an interesting topic i thought i will reply to. The question 
> we should ask ourselves is that; if a student sleeps in class during a 
> lesson, who is at fault? The tutor or the student?
> I think the tutor is at fault because the lesson they are giving is 
> not relevant to the student's current position and if it is, then 
> tutor is not making it interesting enough to keep the student awake. 
> This is how it applies to all of us who think linux is the best 
> operating when you want to argue or propose linux as the best option 
> give relevant solutions that can overcome the current problems a user 
> is having with VISTA as the competitor this should not pose a big 
> problem. This can be extended to enterprise problem's for larger 
> companies give them solutions to their problems not what platform they 
> should be running on because it is better they really do not want to 
> hear all about that, they do not mind how you implement the solution, 
> but do care about the costs, support, training and if their problems 
> are going to be solved. The other thing do not make linux look like it 
> needs too much technical knowledge to use or like something that's out 
> of this world tell the prospective convert that its like windoz and it 
> becomes interesting.
> The obstacles to Linux is that most people do not have the broadband 
> to get the free software from and hence zimbos will not see the reason 
> to try it out or migrate because pirated windows software is more 
> readily available than broadband.
> If the piracy issue is tackled by the government and jail terms 
> attached to activities associated to piracy then you will be able to 
> overcome this issue and have a long queue of zimbos wanting your services
> The way to go is to provide relevant business or personal solutions 
> and Windowz will lose hands down. DO NOT SHOOT DOWN WINDOZ provide 
> solutions to problems.
> Regards
> Nyasha
>> From: ubuntu-zw-request at
>> Subject: Ubuntu-zw Digest, Vol 23, Issue 8
>> To: ubuntu-zw at
>> Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2009 12:00:42 +0100
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>> Today's Topics:
>>    1. RE: Thoughts on OSS ZW (Neil)
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>> -
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Tue, 7 Apr 2009 16:55:24 +0200
>> From: "Neil" <neil.coetzer at>
>> Subject: RE: Thoughts on OSS ZW
>> To: "'ubuntu-zw'" <ubuntu-zw at>
>> Cc: team at
>> Message-ID: <20090407165336.87BBE1A7F3C at>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>> KT! Nice to see the passion there dude!!! I can see it must have been 
>> a very heated "debate" :)
>> Unfortunately, it's a bit like trying to get someone to change their 
>> religion.. It's not likely to happen very easily. Also, as I've said 
>> to you before, the majority of guys who put down open source (or 
>> Linux/Ubuntu in general), aren't arguing because they're passionate 
>> about Windows, but normally because they're intimidated by Linux :) 
>> At least that's normally been the case in my experience. So my advice 
>> is: instead of getting angry with people for their closed-minded, 
>> closed-source opinions.. Feel sorry for them instead! I guess some 
>> people are born for Linux and others are born to be button monkeys 
>> hahahahahahahaha.
>> So ya, I doubt it was passion driving his argument.. More likely a 
>> defense mechanism due to feelings of inadequacy at being intimidated 
>> by a superior operating system :) It's the same as a person watching 
>> a movie.. It might be one of the best story plots in history, but if 
>> someone doesn't "understand"
>> it, they'll say the movie was bad. Same principles I think.
>> I do agree with you though, that those with an "open source vision" 
>> for Zim are few and far between. However, all that means is that we 
>> will have greater satisfaction when that vision is realized, and when 
>> confronted by the ignorance of people who don't know any better, that 
>> should only fuel our passion even more to go out there and educate 
>> more people! And of course, the Freedom Toaster will play a huge role 
>> in this too, especially if we get the publicity we're hoping for. In 
>> the spirit of Ubuntu, we just have to try our hardest to educate 
>> people and cultivate an open-source "national attitude". We have to 
>> accept that we will face resistance and try to be patient and even 
>> respectful of other people's views. but it sure ain't easy, is it? 
>> Ok, ok. I'll make an effort to stop calling them button monkeys.
>> The fact is, open source WILL gain a solid footing in Zim - simply 
>> based on cost factors, it is inevitable. Our job is only to speed up 
>> the process.
>> As
>> we all know, Zim really does face an IT crisis and has been facing it 
>> for some time. At the end of the day open source (and specifically 
>> Ubuntu!!) has greater potential than any proprietary software to play 
>> a significant role in rescuing the country from that crisis. Just 
>> because it's free.
>>   _____
>> From: Kalpesh Thaker [mailto:luminary06 at]
>> Sent: Tuesday, April 07, 2009 12:25 PM
>> To: ubuntu-zw
>> Cc: team at
>> Subject: Thoughts on OSS ZW
>> Hey guys,
>> just some thoughts.... i had a huge discussion with the one guy here 
>> at the office about why ubuntu cannot be compared to windows.. and of 
>> why ubuntu wins hands down even before the discussion has started.
>> purely because ubuntu is free, and the developers working on it, do 
>> it as an open source project, rather than as a marketing tool...
>> 90% of the other persons argument came down to the availability of 
>> windows and its programs and of how easy it is to use in general. And 
>> of how much better it looks...
>> so,,, i asked the same dude, how much he paid for windows, he said he 
>> got it for free...and that he downloaded it off the internet.
>> piracy!!!! WTF!!!!!!!??? how can you argue of how windows is better 
>> than ubuntu, if you pirated it!!!!
>> hahaha! im sorry but i just find it very ridiculous....that someone 
>> can argue so "passionately" over something that he legally could be 
>> jailed for!! hahaha..i completely freaked out...i just cant stand to 
>> talk to such people....
>>  Seriously though, windows guys will never win this argument.. over 
>> which is better.
>> considering you can run an ubuntu machine at nearly 100% of windows 
>> type average usability....
>> and never have to pay for software.... far as im concerned, 
>> there is no argument.
>> the second argument, and i can call it an ARGUMENT (yes, some swear 
>> words did show themselves), is of how he shot down the freedom 
>> toaster being a waste of time.
>> see, this is where i lost it......
>> i gave him three problems, and wanted him to answer them, being a 
>> microsoft stooge...
>> this is a scenario of around 80% of our fellow zimbabweans, a 
>> situation which is real on the ground in our present time.
>> 1 - the average user will never afford to buy a computer.
>> 2 - the average user will have to rely on other parties to provide 
>> them with the "IT education" they will need for a job.
>> 3 - the average user will never afford to buy broadband or even a 
>> dialup connection, in any case dial up is limited for software 
>> procurement.
>> so....what were his answers?????? unsurprisingly, a dumb ass look on 
>> his face.....
>> okes, the sad reality is that we are in this open source fight by 
>> ourselves in this country... our OSS visions are held by only us.
>> and as such, we will have to uphold this vision as a "loco team" as 
>> well as an "open source community". Its very clear after the chat 
>> with this fool, that no one really cares about the fellow on the 
>> street. Guys like this are very oblivious to anything else out there, 
>> because they can get everything for free, whether its legal or not. 
>> They just dont care....its time like this, that makes me realise just 
>> how much BSA could gain from coming to a country like this, and 
>> believe me, they will come. Just a matter of time.. thats all.
>> He said he had used ubuntu for 2 months, and called it quits thereafter.
>> so
>> i asked him how long he's been using windows, and he said most of his 
>> life.
>> This is the problem, you cant use ubuntu for 2 months, and then 
>> expect to know and understand how it works... unless this dude used 
>> ubuntu for 5 years, and windows for also 5 years, i would value and 
>> respect his opinion.
>> Believe me, i know everything there is to know about windows, i've 
>> used it also for a long time in my life, purely, because i didnt know 
>> there was a worthy alternative. BUT, there is an alternative..
>> and people need to know about it.
>> unfortunately,  this is what we will experience in our quest to bring 
>> open source out into this country.
>> my answers to the above questions, were as follows:
>> 1 - remove the cost of the OS (microsoft) then deal with bare metal 
>> hardware prices. it is sad, that the price of a computer can be 
>> driven up to 70% more than the basic hardware cost, because of 
>> software licensing. Microsoft are very clever, in that they have made 
>> alliances with brand computers, whereby MS OS's come bundled with the 
>> machine, whether you like it or not, and remember, office suites and 
>> antivirus are sold seperately!
>> 2 - If the relevant person can have his own computer, he will be able 
>> to invest as much time into learning IT as they want, without paying 
>> anyone or anything (besides zesa of course). Like most of us, they 
>> may discover a hidden talent within the IT underworld, and that could 
>> lead them to a job, and an income. With room for individual 
>> expansion...
>> i.e you can be a sadza chef who knows how to setup exim, you will 
>> then get a hungry customer walk in, talking about how shitty 
>> microsoft exchange can be, you could suggest using exim to him, give 
>> him a few pointers on how to implement it, before you know it, you're 
>> an IT manager at that same company, driving a mazda bt50 double cab.
>> 3 -  the answer to this???? OUR BELOVED TOASTER!!!!!!!!!!!!! end of
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