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Old 11-03-2005, 03:33 PM   #1
hbbtstar
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Writing an article for our tech newsletter on open source


Alright, as the resident Linux guy, I've been tasked with writing an article for our tech newsletter about open source alternatives. Problem is, I've never written an article, and I don't even know where to start. I was thinking of just covering the bigger alternatives (OS- Linux, office suite- OO, browser & email- Firefox & Thunderbird) and explaining why open source is often a good or even better alternative to the software they may currently be using. Any thoughts on this? Am I going in the right direction? I don't want to make it too technical, because the general student body probably doesn't know much, if anything, about tech stuff specifics.
 
Old 11-03-2005, 03:40 PM   #2
fouldsy
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What's your target audience - who is going to end up reading it? I'd go along with the idea of not making it too technical, but work out what you want to get across to those reading and how it's going to be relevant to them. If you're an educational establishment which I'm guessing you are, try to loosely explain any ideas your school/college has for open source in the classroom and campus, how it will affect them, any savings they can personally make, etc.
 
Old 11-03-2005, 04:41 PM   #3
hbbtstar
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I work for SOURCe- it's a branch of the IT department dedicated solely to answering tech calls and help from students. The newsletter we put out goes to the student body, and I was hoping to make it relevant to them through security and cost-effectiveness. Recently, we had an outbreak of the AIM virus/rootkit thing, and I want to show how it's much more difficult to get a virus/spyware on a Linux machine, and how all the open source alternatives I'm mentioning are free as compared to 100$ or more for flavors of Windows, Office XP, etc.
 
Old 11-03-2005, 07:31 PM   #4
DeusExLinux
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Sounds like a good idea..
If your goal is to preach the wonders of open-source you should do just that..
I wouldn't mention that "linux is better than microsoft" because those are just poor arguments.

But, if you talk about the great factors of Linux you might get your audience. Mention generalities (try not to use a lot of tech terms and loose your audience.. that happens to me too much.. ) Talk about how Linux isn't really suspectiable to viri, and other whatnot.. Free software which is generally at least as stable as windows alternatives, plus gets updated more...

Software choices.... etc..

If you want, I can edit it for ya when you are done (I am an English teacher...)
 
Old 11-04-2005, 04:11 AM   #5
fouldsy
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As Deus said, don't try to sell Linux to them directly, but maybe encourage them to try Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice, etc. under Windows first. This way, they can stick with Windows which they are familiar with, but have the extra security + functionality of open source software. For those then interested in extra steps, suggest they check out something like Ubuntu who will mail them a CD and is fairly user-friendly when starting out. Will make your life a lot easier too if you're not having to deal with a new virus/spyware outbreak every day!
 
Old 11-04-2005, 11:15 AM   #6
hbbtstar
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm going to start writing it today, and if you guys want I can post what I write and you can see it.
 
Old 11-05-2005, 01:10 AM   #7
DeusExLinux
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Sounds good
I'm looking forward to reading it!

And I agree, what I started with when I started in the open-source world was the GIMP, Open Office, and Firefox.. then came GAIM.. then I figured. Hey, I'm halfway there, why not use these in an open OS.. So I switched and have never looked back.

Just show people the way, they'll take it if they're ready.

and if not, at least they might have used some damn fine software.
 
Old 11-05-2005, 01:48 AM   #8
danimalz
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Focus on four messages initially to get thier attention, and repeat them often:

1) Linux can do everything windows can do, unless what you do is play games.

2) Linux machines do not get viruses.

3) Linux users don't pay for upgrades, MS Office, virus scanners, firewalls.

4) Linux users do not, ever, reboot.


At the end of your article, you should qualify these things by noting that while the above is true, it comes at the cost of having to learn just a little bit. Then explain that there is something called the internet - and on the internet lives the 'linux community'.
 
Old 11-05-2005, 06:48 AM   #9
XavierP
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And then, when it's written (ssuming you are allowed to post it up on a website), submit it to the LQ News section - Jeremy is always looking for original articles as well as news links.
 
Old 11-06-2005, 04:47 PM   #10
hbbtstar
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Here it is, in all its subpar glory!

http://home.comcast.net/~xand11235/opensource.sxw

I'm afraid I'm not much of a writer
 
Old 11-06-2005, 05:54 PM   #11
fouldsy
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Least that wasn't a link to a Word document Will read it properly when I'm more awake in the morning!
 
  


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