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Old 09-10-2007, 08:06 PM   #1
SlowCoder
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Poll: (Without the poll) - How is Linux used in your workplace?


People on my team prefer to stick with Windows servers. However, I have 1 Linux server running Mailman, and a Linux box under my desk that I use to do things I can't get Windows to do. I would love to convert most of my servers to Linux, but most of the applications (K-12 education) require Windows services. Of course, all of the clients are Windows too.

Gimme some good news. Show me how you use your Linux at your office. Tell me about your implementations and triumphs!
 
Old 09-10-2007, 08:34 PM   #2
choogendyk
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Actually, we're higher ed. We do everything for departmental servers with Solaris (including stuff like DNA sequence analysis). But all our firewalls and routers are OpenBSD. Our Solaris servers handle print serving and file serving for both Windows and Mac desktops. We run Samba, Netatalk (for appletalk), and have custom scripts for holding and accounting for pages on color printers. We also handle all the mail, web, wiki, database, backups, etc.

All of that should be directly transportable to linux. It's all open source stuff. We happen to like Solaris and Sun SPARC Enterprise servers. But the software is not specific to Solaris, we just grab the versions available for Solaris or compile it ourselves using gcc.

Also note that there are plenty of K12 environments that are Mac.

So, what is it that you are being told requires Windows? Maybe we should address that and the alternatives.
 
Old 09-10-2007, 09:26 PM   #3
weibullguy
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Don't work in eduction, but here goes. We use Linux to develop embedded software, design circuit card layouts, design avionics systems for your favorite commercial and military aircraft. I personally use Linux at work to analyze failure data and model our products, but I'm the only one. If our kids aren't using Linux in K-12, we're not preparing the next generation of Americans to pick up where us old farts leave off. If the "Computers" classes in your district are anything like the ones around here we're gonna have a whole bunch of PowerPoint experts in 5-10 years, but no one who knows how to do anything useful with a computer.
 
Old 09-10-2007, 10:05 PM   #4
SlowCoder
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Originally Posted by choogendyk View Post
So, what is it that you are being told requires Windows? Maybe we should address that and the alternatives.
We have educational applications that have windows based server back ends, some of which also require MS SQL Server, and will not work with MySQL, etc.

We have some web based applications available, but even some of those require IE, as they were coded with Windows users in mind, and with little or no thought for other browsers.

I have previously attempted to wine some of the local applications, but they don't function properly in some cases.

People think Outlook is the greatest thing since sliced computers because of all its functionality (calendars, scheduling, notes, etc), even though they still only use it for email and contacts.
 
Old 09-10-2007, 10:08 PM   #5
SlowCoder
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Originally Posted by weibullguy View Post
If our kids aren't using Linux in K-12, we're not preparing the next generation of Americans to pick up where us old farts leave off. If the "Computers" classes in your district are anything like the ones around here we're gonna have a whole bunch of PowerPoint experts in 5-10 years, but no one who knows how to do anything useful with a computer.
Yep, I realize this too. But Windows is so engrained, and people are very entrenched in their ways. They don't care to try anything new, and to make a change means getting the support of the top guys, which, for this type of thing, doesn't happen easily. And quite frankly, I'm tired of trying.
 
Old 09-11-2007, 07:32 AM   #6
Hangdog42
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Since I'm self-employed, I'm not sure I'm a good example, but here goes. The company runs five computers, two Slackware, one Ubuntu, a Mac and XP. One Slackware is my laptop and daily working machine and runs the usual sort of productivity software like OpenOffice, Thunderbird, Firefox, etc. The other Slackware box is a server that hosts our CRM, document management system and serves occasionally as a test system for websites. The Ubuntu box is an ancient thing with an external USB drive that serves as a remote backup system. The Mac is around because my business partner is a Mac fanboi, and we need an XP box to run our accounting system (our accountant insists on Quickbooks) and a software package from one of our clients.

To be honest, using OSS has allowed us to consider doing a TON of stuff that we otherwise couldn't. We're looking at setting up an online course by using Moodle, and we're active in a local business group and I'll probably host a Joomla site on our server.

One very interesting trend I've seen is some of our clients becoming much more OS neutral. I've seen a couple of instances where companies (without our prodding) have decided to spend significant resources to move their software off of Windows only. Customers are definitely looking hard at being tied so closely to Windows, and they are reacting to that pressure.
 
Old 09-11-2007, 07:59 AM   #7
weibullguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowCoder View Post
Yep, I realize this too. But Windows is so engrained, and people are very entrenched in their ways. They don't care to try anything new, and to make a change means getting the support of the top guys, which, for this type of thing, doesn't happen easily. And quite frankly, I'm tired of trying.
Unfortunately, at least in our school district, the budget for technology is so large that there is no incentive to even consider FLOSS alternatives. Elementary, middle, and high school get new workstations every 3-4 years. They're not getting the parts from NewEgg and having the IT folks put 'em together to save a buck either.
 
Old 09-11-2007, 03:23 PM   #8
Micro420
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I work in research and we use Linux servers for file sharing (SAMBA and NFS), grid computing clustering for data analysis, Xen virtualization, secondary DHCP/DNS, VPN routers, and SSH/SFTP.

We still are mainly Windows based systems because I work with various job roles such as administration, scientists, and students. Having a Windows Server makes it very easy to deploy out group policies to my XP workstations.
 
Old 09-11-2007, 07:18 PM   #9
Jorophose
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@weibullguy: The worst thing is, schools that don't spend much one year, get less money the next. (At least here)

That said, I hope to run my own small business, and it's going to be all linux. =)
 
Old 09-11-2007, 07:43 PM   #10
SlowCoder
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@weibullguy: The worst thing is, schools that don't spend much one year, get less money the next. (At least here)

That said, I hope to run my own small business, and it's going to be all linux. =)
This is quite true. Even if we DO spend all our money, we're lucky to get the same amount the next year. My partners and I did a presentation, showing how computer leasing (75K/year) could save the school $50K over the course of 3 years by cutting out the cost of repair and man hours to keep existing systems going, we were turned down ... or rather ... a decision has not been made and the matter has been placed to the side. So, we're doing our best to keep Pentium 333MHz computers running, replacing parts, worrying about newer software not working, etc. when we could have newer computers, AND be saving money at the same time.
 
Old 09-11-2007, 07:47 PM   #11
SlowCoder
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Originally Posted by weibullguy View Post
Unfortunately, at least in our school district, the budget for technology is so large that there is no incentive to even consider FLOSS alternatives. Elementary, middle, and high school get new workstations every 3-4 years. They're not getting the parts from NewEgg and having the IT folks put 'em together to save a buck either.
Lucky dog, you! We tried the Newegg approach, but they didn't bite. We showed how we could build new machines at lower cost, but they didn't like the fact that the machines wouldn't have 3 year warranties. As far as parts, we cannibalize when we can, and purchase parts through our parent college, as we're not allowed to use resources like Newegg.
 
Old 09-11-2007, 10:01 PM   #12
Dragineez
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Data Forensics

Linux is one, of many, indispensable tools for data forensics. I use it for this, and on cases I'm quite sure you've read about in the news. There are many, very costly, Windows suites for this. Most are based on their FOSS equivalents (dcfldd for instance).
 
Old 09-11-2007, 10:35 PM   #13
jtshaw
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We use Linux for development with very few exceptions are running or porting all our products to the Linux platform. The pervious platform of choice was OpenVMS.
 
Old 09-11-2007, 11:03 PM   #14
Astol
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I have just changed our win2000 servers to 2 Red Hat Enterprise servers. one is a file/proxy/BDC and the other is a PDC & manages logons and a bit of backups. all of my client PC's are Win2000/XP. everything works well, but had a few small hiccups setting it all up. at home, i have a winXP and Fedora 4 box, for which i do different things, mostly just browsing the net and such

works out quite well, and usually, if you know a few other people that have a good knowledge of Linux, the you dont need formal support. although, using Windoze, you're probably used to that...
 
  


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