Re: Back to the Dark Ages.

Subject: Re: Back to the Dark Ages.
From: Sandy Harris <pashley -at- storm -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 16:30:06 -0400


Mark Emson wrote:
>
> A few weeks ago there were several posts regarding software EULAs and how
> 'some' people are tempted to bend the rules. Well it seems that for my
> employers the bullet may be just a little too big to bite.
>
> A big shake up in the IT dept and a survey of our licenses has revealed how
> easily software migrates from machine to machine. Hmm....X number of
> machines and Y number of licences.
>
> "OK say IT if we haven't got a licence the software gets removed."
> "Whaaagh! we say. How can we work if we haven't got the tools?"
> "OK say IT, we'll go and get more licences.......BLOODY HELL!... How
> much!... They can do without."

Have a look at www.stay-legal.org, an entire website dedicated to info
on how to get rid of proprietary software and replace it with free
stuff.

> "Right then, say IT. Here's the deal. We're going to remove most of your
> PCs. Here, have this pencil and paper. Write out your drafts and pass them
> onto the typists who'll put them into print. If you really can't work
> without a PC we'll be leaving one machine in each office that will be loaded
> with every bit of software we own. You can book yourself a time slot and do
> your work then."
>
> This is not a joke. My company is seriously thinking of taking this step
> because of the asrtanomical cost of kitting out each PC with all the
> software we need to do the job. ...

There are exceptions -- I don't know of an open source product that could
readily replace Framemaker or Visio for a serious user, for example -- but
in general (at least in my experience) Open Source software is not only
cheaper than the commercial stuff. It is also better designed, better
written and often better supported.

Of course, the costs aren't zero, not by a long shot. Support has costs,
both in your own IT dep't and for external contracts.

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