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Re: question

On Wed, Aug 27, 2003 at 04:16:13PM -0400, Thompson-Laurin, Harriet wrote:
> Specifically, I am to find information regarding Debian regarding:
> 	Cost 

How much does 7 CD-Rs cost down your way?

> 	Market share

Why?  You should use something because it fits your needs, not someone

> 	File Processing

'sed' works for me.  'rm' is a little more efficient, but results in
occasional data loss.

> 	Programming capabilities

I'm not aware of any OS which is capable of programming.  However, Debian,
like most Unix-like operating systems, has a very wide selection of
languages which you can use to program the system.

> 	Availability of application software 

Over 10,000 packages and growing!

> 	User interface


> Then I am to apply this information to a scenario in which a company is
> "facing the dilemma of upgrading the desktop PC's to run either Windows XP
> Professional or Linux platform (Debian)".  In the teacher's scenario, the

How is that a dilemma?

di*lem*ma (n.)

1. A situation that requires a choice between options that are or seem equally
unfavorable or mutually exclusive.
2. (Usage Problem.) A problem that seems to defy a satisfactory solution.
3. (Logic.) An argument that presents two alternatives, each of which has the
same consequence.

> following was provided about the mythical company's current hardware:
> 400 pc's running Windows 95/98 with a Pentium CPU, 64mb RAM and 2Gb hard drive and below or equal to 300 Mhz.
> 350 pc's running Windows NT with a Pentium 2 CPU, 128 RAM and 4 GB hard drive
> 150 pc's running Windows 2000 with a Pentium 3 CPU, 256 RAM and 20 GB hard drive
> 100 pc's running Windows XP with a Pentium 4 CPU, 256 RAM and 40 GB hard drive.

Well, if the company goes all XP I can tell you that it's up for 750 new PC

> I was able to find on your site that Debian works with the older Pentiums,
> but no reference to Pentium 4, so that is my primary concern.  In this
> college case study, would the Pentium 4's need to be downgraded to Pentium
> 3's in order to run Debian?

Think about this for a moment.  Windows runs on all grades of Pentium (well,
crawls, for the most part), including P4s, with the one kernel.  Debian runs
on P1 to P3 fine with the one kernel.  Would it be a stretch to say that
it'd work nicely on a P4?  Probably not.

> Of course, any other information would be helpful.  It does appear that

Something that may sway your opinion on which to go for is
http://www.infrastructures.org/papers/bootstrap/bootstrap.html.  It is
possible to do something along these lines for a Windows-based network, but
take it from someone who's tried it both ways, it's a damn sight easier for
a Unix network.

Also, one thing you've totally left out is servers.  They're the meat of the
system.  If you've got a complete set of Windows servers and can't touch
them, you'd probably trash the P1s and replace them, and install Win2K on
everything else (XP is a dog - there's nothing else to say for it).  No
point putting ultra-reliable desktops in if you're going to have to reboot
them 4 times a day because the servers keep dying.

If you're either replacing the servers, they're running a Unix-like, or you
don't have any (how does that work with 1000 PCs?) then it's a much more
open question.

Also, if you want to talk to the people who actually do this shit for a
living, try debian-consultants@l.d.o.

> there are quite a number of available application packages for Debian,
> from the website.  I gather than the Unix/Linux/Debian marketshare in
> total is estimated at 5%, but I also need to obtain marketshare for just
> Debian by itself.

You've got no hope of getting accurate figures, for either Linux as a whole
or just Debian.  Problem is: there's no reason for anyone to share the fact
they've got a Linux box running the office.  Even more so for Debian,
because, unlike commercially oriented distros, it *has* no boxed set sales,
so you can't even extrapolate from that nugget of info.

But market share is a hokum anyway.  You use market share figures when you
don't know what hell you're doing, and want to be able to lay the blame on
everyone else when it screws up: "But, but, but, everyone *else* uses it!".

Analyse the fit of the system for the company involved based on what each
option can do for the company.  Incidentally, you'll need a shitload more
knowledge than you think you will to make a complete decision - and then
comes the fun and games of designing a transition plan (for whichever option
you choose) which won't leave the whole company hanging effigies of you in
the hallways.

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Your homework for tonight is http://www.goldmark.org/jeff/stupid-disclaimers

- Matt

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