Free Linux and OpenOffice - even if your email address doesn't end in .edu - (was Re: OT: Microsoft crazy academic deal)

Roy J. Tellason rtellason at
Sat Aug 30 14:04:34 CDT 2008

On Saturday 30 August 2008 14:48, Tony Mori wrote:
> First off, you're a bit late, as that entire conversation came and went
> over a week ago, but that's OK, I'll go with it...
> ----- Original Message ----- >
> <Devil's Advocate Mode>
> > Linux $0, *BSD $0, $0.  And you don't have to be a
> > student or teacher.  It's the same price no matter what TLD your email
> > address is behind.
> I would disagree with that - nothing is free. My time is worth something,
> and unless you are volunteering up your free
> time to support, it ain't free.
> Second, I work for a multi-billion dollar company, and there is NO WAY on
> this earth any minutely-responsible IT department is going to run ANYTHING
> unsupported in a production environment, especially with SOX and other
> requirements.
> That being said.... Yearly support+maintenance for my RHEL server is $798
> per server... My Microsoft yearly fees for support+maintenance on my Windows
> servers is $710 per server in our True-Up agreement.
> That is CORRECT - costs me less for Windows

Not _that_ much less,   though.

> > Infact, some will even send you the install CD's for free incase you
> > can't afford the network bandwidth.
> >
> > Note that this is 2008 and current Linux Distros are very very
> > friendly.  Infact, it's a lot easier to install Linux than it is to
> > install Windows these days, and they do support most hardware out there
> > without futzing with drivers, and they'll work just fine with older
> > machines - no need to buy a new computer every time MSFT puts out a new
> > rehash of its malware.
> There is NO WAY on this earth I am putting Linux on my wife's laptop, and
> the kids machines. First off, Linux is awesome geekware, but it is NOT for
> the masses - I'll throw the little NetBooks out there as examples.
> Put the Asus EEE PC with Linux next to version with XP / Vista, and there
> is NO comparison - it even LOOKS like a cartoony toy.

Well,  I have a machine out in the kitchen here that my other half,  her son,  
and my two oldest grandkids (both 18YO girls) use as a matter of course,  
with little problems.  If there's a question or an issue they can just ask,  
which they do,  once in a while,  but they're pretty good at figuring things 
out,  too.

> Second, that would completely handicap my and my kids abilities to play
> online games because, well, there ARE NONE for Linux..
> At least not anything good

There are a few things they've tried to do that don't work,  yeah.  Of 
particular obnoxiousness is some site apparently made by Electronic Arts,  
who I used to have a hard time with back in the c64 days.  I'd call 'em:

"Hey,  this system won't load _your_ software,  what's the problem"

"The disk drive needs to be properly aligned."

"I just aligned the drive."  (We did a lot of those...)

"The disk drive needs to be properly aligned..."

and it never got any further.

Nope,  it won't load and run *.exe files,  for sure.  Which I see as a good 

> > There's really no excuse to use that nasty Redmond trash anymore.
> Well, if you want to interoperate in the REAL business world there is...
> If you want REAL support, there is.. don't even TRY telling me that my wife
> should go on forums / UseNet for support - get REAL!
> If you want to be able to game online, there is..
> If a simpleton needs to take their linux laptop/desktop for fixing, there
> is (Circuit City / Best Buy / Tiger / CompUSA / Etc..)


> Maybe in a mom-and-pop shop, but any serious IT organization is NOT going
> to run free stuff without some (outside the company) support.
> If they are, someone needs to get fired. That is NOT fiscally responsible
> and is, in itself, a SOX gap.
> Now, please don't get me wrong - I love linux / FreeBSD and the like...
> I started with 386BSD 0.1 back in 1994, and Linux back then as well, when
> it was just a boot+root floppy.
> I have my share of Linux servers in the office, and the have 60GB+ Oracle
> databases on them, and yes, they have RH support plans,
> and I have a few Linux boxes at home, but, the answer to EVERYTHING, it is
> not.

It is for me.  :-)

Member of the toughest, meanest, deadliest, most unrelenting -- and
ablest -- form of life in this section of space,  a critter that can
be killed but can't be tamed.  --Robert A. Heinlein, "The Puppet Masters"
Information is more dangerous than cannon to a society ruled by lies. --James 
M Dakin

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