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Old 07-09-2004, 08:48 PM   #1
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Minnesota
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 65

Rep: Reputation: 15
I'm a student at a small midwestern college.

I've read the stories in your magazine, but I never thought them to be true until this happened to me.... Oh wait, wrong site....

I'm an engineer at a small manufacturing company in Minnesota and as those of you who work in small business know, each worker tends to wear a lot of hats. Since I've been something of a computer hobbiest, more times than not, I'm the IT guy at the shop. Small businesses also tend to be a little tight on the purse-strings when it comes to budget items, such as computers & software, with some good reason. After all, you don't always need the latest greatest hardware or software when what you have still works and is doing the job.

A couple months back, things started to get a little out of hand WRT Microsoft Office documents. We run a mix of PC and Macs, but with Microsoft's habit of trying to force users of their products to upgrade to the latest version of Office by changing document format with each and every software revision, we were in a corner. Too much of my time was spent trying to backwards-translate e-mailed documents from the latest version of MS Office to something our machines could read and or print. Everyone was getting increasingly frustrated with the situation and it was starting to impact our effectiveness.

Parallel to this was a growing uneasiness with MS Windows security. The owner was quite aware of the recent virus and worm problems on the web, along with spam issues. There was a fear of what if a destructive virus, or spyware, managed to do damage to our business systems.

On possible solution was to drop roughly $1500 to $2000 USD on a new computer with XP, MS Office for XP, a commercial firewall, virus scanning software, etc, etc.... With the economy still in the toilet, this wasn't going to happen.

I made a proposal to make a partial switch to Linux with a target budget of ~ $150. The Fedora Linux distro was free, came with Open Office, firewall, etc... and would run quite well on a used PIII-500. The result? The used computer running FC2 & Gnome continues to get compliments. It's interface has proven to be intuitive enough for Mac users to navigate plus it doesn't crash. Open Office has worked flawlessly, as has Firefox & Thunderbird.

Switching to Linux has meant less work for me, better productivity, a savings of over $1000 & a very happy business owner.
Old 07-11-2004, 03:25 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: New Delhi, India
Distribution: Fedora 7
Posts: 1,305

Rep: Reputation: 45
I feel genuinely happy for you mate. Great going.

Hope you get more and more people into Linux. And you can ask for araise since you saved to company big bucks

Old 02-06-2005, 12:38 PM   #3
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Minnesota
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 65

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15

Thanks Lala, I'll be sure to bring it up whenever they get around to giving me a review.

Well, the economy has gotten a little better, and we've started to update some of our systems. but the interest in Linux in our company has continued to grow!
We've had mixed results trying to use WINE to get some of our older DOS & Windows programs to run in a Linux platform, but Linux has found a solid niche
in our OS Mix none the less. This next week, we'll be bringing in high speed internet thru DSL, and we have a Devil Linux firewall box ready and waiting.

Otherwise, we also have three Linux boxes, two boxes running FC3 and one running Yellow Dog (old G3) ready and waiting for the high speed connection. The plan at the moment is to only allow internet access to the Linux network for security reasons. Being a small biz, we don't want to have to waste time or recourses trying to
make Microsoft boxes safe or secure on the Internet, which would be a constant struggle. A screen window can't keep out the rain! Being able to plug in the Linux boxes and more or less not have to worry about exploits, viruses and other malwear is a huge plus.

We've also been able to easily share our networked laser printer and set up file sharing between Linux and Windows using SAMBA. Speaking of printing, one thing i didn't mention earlier was the additional cost saving from our initial FC2 install. We didn't need to get an extra printer for it since it came with drivers that would allow it to print directly to our HP Office Jet fax machine. This was more or less a short-term fix just to get it up and running, but it was impressive that Linux came with a wide array of drivers.

Our next project is to investigate and evaluate some CAD programs for Linux. We'd like to go all Linux there as well.
Old 02-06-2005, 01:06 PM   #4
LQ Guru
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Blue Ridge Mountain
Distribution: Linux Mint 17, Debian 8
Posts: 7,863

Rep: Reputation: 311Reputation: 311Reputation: 311Reputation: 311
"We've had mixed results trying to use WINE to get some of our older DOS & Windows programs to run in a Linux platform, but Linux has found a solid niche"

For old programs that will work on pure DOS without Windows you should try DOSEMU. DOSEMU works far better than WINE simply because emulating DOS is far simpler than emulating Windows. I have used DOSEMU for 4 years to run some DOS programs I wrote about 15 years ago and it works well enough that I never have bothered to rewrite the old programs into native Linux code.

Steve Stites
Old 02-06-2005, 02:11 PM   #5
Senior Member
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: New Delhi, India
Distribution: Fedora 7
Posts: 1,305

Rep: Reputation: 45
Hi gulo. This has turned out to be some success story! Anyways, about CAD on linux, I am sure you would do a google search by sometime back a friend mailed me the following link.

This is very old, but I find it an interesting read.



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