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Old 11-25-2005, 02:15 PM   #1
zeventh zenze
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Birmingham trials Linux in 40 libraries


Birmingham trials Linux in 40 libraries

by Will Hadfield
Tuesday 15 November 2005

Birmingham City Council is converting the PCs used in its 40 libraries to Linux as part of a year-long trial of the open source operating system.

The council - the UK's largest - has commissioned an independent auditor to assess whether the trial demonstrates that using Linux and open source software represents better value than using Microsoft alternatives.

Birmingham is trialling Linux on more than 500 PCs as part of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's E-Innovations project to test open source in the public sector.

The PCs will be equipped with the Gnome presentation layer of the Linux operating system, the Openoffice productivity suite and Mozilla's Firefox browser.

The local authority has kept IBM's Lotus Notes 6.5 on the 500-plus desktops because library staff need to remain within the council-wide e-mail system.

Les Timms, Birmingham City Council's IT manager with responsibility for the open source trial, said, "The next phase of the project is to do a detailed study on the cost base, the long-term viability and how it integrates with our existing structure and security."

The IT department chose Linux using the Gnome presentation layer after inviting both library staff and members of the public to try desktops using different operating systems and presentation layers.

Timms said, "We had Mac, Microsoft Windows and best-of-breed open source configurations, including KDE and Gnome. We had 300 people using the PCs. The one they preferred was Gnome."

The Linux trial will run until the end of March 2006.
 
Old 11-25-2005, 02:18 PM   #2
XavierP
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This thread has been moved to the News and articles section.
 
Old 11-25-2005, 02:29 PM   #3
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interesting that they preferred gnome. i would have guessed that most windoze users would prefer KDE. maybe KDE is too windows-like, but not enough, so that it feels like a "cheap imitation" of what they're used to, while gnome is different enough to make them feel like they are using something novel?

as much as MS tries to fight it, i think that kind of "hypnotic spell" MS has over everyone is getting old -- the "honeymoon" is over -- and large and govt end users are going to start switching over to linux with increasing frequency. what IT dept. in its right mind wants to spend all that $$ to upgrade all the hardware just to run longhorn, when linux runs more than fine on what they already have?
 
Old 11-26-2005, 03:38 PM   #4
xanas3712
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That "cheap imitation" remark is a bit much. KDE has more customizeability than windows and is a very slick OS. I use Windows XP as well, and I have nothing against it overall but KDE is better than it in just about every single way. The only reason I even use Windows at all is gaming, it's definetly not because I have any preference for it as a window manager.

Anyway I imagine they preferred gnome because it tends to come packaged lighter than KDE. KDE can be pretty light (yay for gentoo ebuilds) but most distros package everything into it so it's perceived to be huge and bloated and slow. And who knows, it could just be that the IT director uses linux at home and likes gnome. There is nothing wrong with that at all. We all have our preferences.
 
Old 11-26-2005, 03:42 PM   #5
slackhack
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Quote:
Originally posted by xanas3712
That "cheap imitation" remark is a bit much. KDE has more customizeability than windows and is a very slick OS. I use Windows XP as well, and I have nothing against it overall but KDE is better than it in just about every single way. The only reason I even use Windows at all is gaming, it's definetly not because I have any preference for it as a window manager.

oh i agree, it can be quite slick. i just meant as a fresh, uncustomized install it can seem a bit cheesy before you fix it up.
 
Old 11-26-2005, 03:53 PM   #6
xanas3712
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Ahh, yeah, I got tired of the default pretty quick :P
 
Old 11-27-2005, 03:48 PM   #7
hackerarchangel
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This is a good thing, but only if it pans out... as in, If they are able to see it as a cost effective product. The whole idea is to prvide them with something that is cost effective, yet easy to use. Linux can provide both, if applied correctly. Also the fact that they 'might' have to upgrade the machines to accomodate Vista (Longhorn). I read somewhere, forgot where though, but apparently the high graphical specs for Vista are only for the ?Aeroglass? thingy. You can revert to an older look to get performance.
 
Old 11-28-2005, 07:56 PM   #8
xanas3712
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"If applied correctly" I agree with you on this, I just wish we could get the "applied correctly" portion to be a bit easier.

I say this as a gentoo user. I'm pretty comfortable with linux and the console (not as much as some but more than most non linux users anyway). Still, I think linux has a ways to go towards being easy to setup in an easy to use graphical fashion. You can do it, but it requires linux knowledgeable IT staff to get it working in this situation. If they are just running into it having heard of it a few times I think they may not find it to be a solution they like.

Of course, I hope that it does work out for them, I definetly do want linux to succeed. We need to break windows dominance wherever possible.
 
Old 11-30-2005, 09:03 PM   #9
hackerarchangel
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i also think that since MS is "trying" to get better at being where it is, helping them for the time being might not be a bad idea, wait, no, bad idea. Nevermind.....
 
  


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