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A heartening open source story

Yesterday the chief scribe was scrolling through his Twitter feed when up popped the following tweet from Mark Taylor, CEO of Sirius IT:

Our newest recruit, Linda, in Admin and Finance, had never used an Open Source desktop before yesterday. She’s not noticed a difference yet.

A further tweet from Mark revealed that Linda assumed it was just a cool new version of Windows! (How great is that? Ed.)

Mark went on subsequently to disclose that Sirius uses Debian for its desktops, but with a few tweaks of their own, plus integrated with OSS backend.

This our minds, this just shows that lots of the reasons given for not adopting free and open source software are not reasons at all, but excuses – and some of them quite pathetic too (e.g. “our staff will need retraining to move from MS Office to OpenOffice”). Your opinion may differ: if so, comments are open below. 🙂

3 Responses to A heartening open source story

  1. Chris Francis May 12, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    This was a report back i had from suggesting open source desktop to a retiring colleague who had only previously used enterprise provided kit:
    I installed the latest version of Ubuntu (10.04 LTS) when I bought my first personal PC about a month ago. I have used work machines with various versions of Windows over the last 20 years. This was my first machine that I bought myself and my first move into open source software so it was a bit of a bold step. The Acer laptop came with Windows 7 already installed but without office software, anti-virus, etc. So rather than pay for all this, I down-loaded the Ubuntu system instead. I was encouraged by a colleague at work and would probably not have done it otherwise. I found the down-load and install very easy and had no problems with this at all. It has taken me a little time to get used to the look and feel with many things being in different places. I am not a natural PC user by any means and do not have the just-try-it lack of fear that my children have but I am now used to slightly back to front feel of the operating system. Open Office has been very easy from the beginning and is just like using Windows or IBM software.

    I have now used it with my printer and camera and drivers just seem to appear. I have down loaded a few other items (e.g. for playing music) and again this has been easy. The one area where I ran into trouble was attaching it to my home wireless. This took a time trying to find the right menu item. Having done so, again it was easy to use and is now very stable. I have not tried taking it out on the road to a cafe yet so don’t know how that will work.

    Overall, it is very stable. I like the speed with which it re-starts though I hardly need to do that at all. The update manager works well, keeping versions of the system up to date very simply. The help screens are a bit complex and often use a language I am not familiar with and this is a struggle at times. Otherwise it is as simple as can be – it just runs. I am very pleased with it and my wife now thinks I am a computer wiz.


  2. Steve Woods May 12, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    Hi Chris

    Thank you very much for your wonderful testimonial – much appreciated.

    As regards taking the laptop on the road, I use mine all the time all over the place and have hardly ever encountered any problems in connecting to strange networks.

  3. MJ Ray May 13, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    That’s good and pretty much what I’d expect. The last obstacles are a few bad eggs from wireless and video device makers and things like the rubbish BBC iPlayer that we need 3rd party alternatives for. Other than that, most things – especially printers now – seem slicker under GNU/Linux.