Sunday, 7 January 2007

Linux @ WorkPlace

Companies need to make profits and not losses from their infrastructure. How do you achieve this if your machine crashes every now and then? How does your employee focus on his work if every other week a computer geek is lingering on his machine trying to remove the deadly virus or a secret spyware from his machine? How is the company profits meant to rise if the amount you pay to maintain the company infrastructure is huge? How?

Companies stick to Windows because they have never known of any other option. They have always been taught that there is one Windows and thats it. No one told them of options to the Windows. No one probably ever asked, "Is there a Doors too?". There is a Gates as we all know, but no Doors or Walls(There is Larry Wall and his Perl). No one really knows except the community.

The major requirement in the companies are Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Accounting, Emails, IM, printing, filesharing, and thats it. It hardly ever goes more than this. You don't need to buy a licensed copy of Windows to work on all these stuff. Not that I am advocating piracy which is common anyway in most part of the world and the main reason for Windows success, but I am pointing you in a direction that is entirely different. The best option out there is Linux, and I say this by experience.

Linux comes shipped with all the softwares you would require for your office environment. OpenOffice 2.0 is distributed as part of all major distros. Some also come with Abiword and KOffice. Some GNome distros ship gnumeric which is a spreadsheet like Excel. There is already a plethora of word processing packages that do not require you to learn any coding as the popular myth goes. The GUI of Linux is also very intuitive and easy to learn.

As a case study, let me speak of the place where i worked earlier. The systems used in the entire organization were either Windows 98 or XP. I was the only one using RHEL 3.0 and my teammate later asked me to install one for him(I installed RHEL 4.0). So we had two linuxes, which were more of an envy for all the people in the organization. As we used to leave our machines locked, no one could access them. If ever we ask them to use it, they would get awestruck at whats in front and leave sayng I dont know how to operate it. It was just their mind playing games.

I realized this one fine day. The peon in my organization had some work to do. But there were no machines free for him. My friend was on leave. He asked if he could use the machine. i said try and logged in for him. Thats it. I carried on with my work. 10 minutes later when I turned my head towards him, he was working on Mozilla Firefox, opening our company's internal application processing orders(which was his duty). I gave a pat on his back and explained him that people who held a higher post were reluctant to use this stuff but he did it without any help.

We later installed two more machines using Ubuntu and the employees were handling it smoothly. That was a success.

So if you plan to have huge savings in your organization, switch to Linux... SLOWLY..

Slowly <--Remember this keyword. A sudden switch over will have reactions and fingers pointing at you. But a slow switchover will have people dying to use the new system. Create Envy by frequently pointing out the benefits that you are having.. Have fun.. The work becomes a better place.

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