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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Low cost computing for small business - Comments wanted

From: Philip Hands
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Low cost computing for small business - Comments wanted
Date: 15 Apr 2002 13:01:02 +0100

On Mon, 2002-04-15 at 10:17, Daniel Hedley wrote:
> The problem:
> Computer software is too expensive for micro-businesses and charities to
> be able to take full advantage of modern IT.
> Microsoft's virtual monopoly on desktop computer software and their
> punitive license agreements mean that organisations become locked into
> endless upgrade cycles without reaping any real benefit.
> The proposed solution:
> To source or assemble a complete IT solution for microbusiness using
> low-cost hardware and GPL/GNU software.

That is too restrictive --- you should say "Free Software" and probably
use the Debian Free Software Guidelines:


as your criteria for judging what's acceptable.


> The obvious software choice here is Linux.  There are a number of more
> user-friendly distributions, such as Mandrake, Suse and Lycoris

SuSe is not Free Software, and so does not qualify for consideration
(Yast in non-free, and apparently SuSe USA is enforcing this fact by
insisting on per seat licensing --- this seems to be at odds with SuSe
Germany's more liberal "feel free to copy it" line, but the license is
non-free regardless)


> Corel WordPerfect Suite (not free but still quite cheap).
Comparing free with cheap shows you were thinking of the wrong sort of
free when you wrote that.  WordPerfect is non-free software, so doesn't
qualify for consideration.

> Web Browsers available include Mozilla, Netscape 6, Galleon, Opera and
> Konqueror.

Likewise, Netscape an Opera are non-free.

> The two big guns in Linux/XWindows desktop environments are GNOME and
> KDE.  Of the two, KDE is probably the friendlier and less "techie," at
> the cost of some performance.  Both environments offer Cut & Paste, drag
> and drop, and one-click printing.
> Laser printers are far easier to get working under Linux as they
> understand Postscript.  Many inkjets, particularly low-cost models, will
> not work at all.
> Backing up Linux is not as easy as Windows, but can be automated.
> Backing up personal files can be done in exactly the same way.

What's the normal way of backing up Windows?

I imagine that an approach like http://mkcdrec.ota.be/ would actually
provide a more useful backup than is normally available under Windows,
because I'd imagine that MS would be a little upset about a program that
produces install CDs from a live system.  With a friendly front end,
this might fit the bill.

Cheers, Phil.
Say no to software patents!  http://petition.eurolinux.org/

|)|  Philip Hands [+44 (0)20 8530 9560]    http://www.hands.com/
|-|  HANDS.COM Ltd.                    http://www.uk.debian.org/
|(|  10 Onslow Gardens, South Woodford, London  E18 1NE  ENGLAND

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