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Re: Debian in the Federal Government

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Roberto C. Sanchez wrote:

> It turns out that the response in cases like that is one of two things:
>  1. we'll pay up and get the licenses current
>  2. we can do without it
> Though, my understanding is that at state and local levels
> (universities, community colleges, etc) the idea of using free software
> alternatives is much more accepted.  Where I did my undergrad, GSView
> was on every windows machine on campus, just to point out one instance.

At university in my city they (the IT department guys) do not mind using
free software, and even use free operating systems on servers. However
there is a difference between being a free software enthusiast, and an
engineer working on an insanely large network, trying to keep things

At universities software comes at a fraction of all the other IT
expenses: computer hardware, routers, cables, printer toners, repairs,
etc. And do not forget all sorts of academic discounts from MS. So there
is almost no difference price-wise.

As I have already mentioned, we do have free software. But mostly due to
lecturers requesting legal software for their students to work with at
home. Some examples: Eclipse and Free Pascal for programming classes;
GNU R for statistics; GCC for programming AVR microcontrollers;
OpenOffice.org in conference rooms, just in case somebody might need it.

Also administrators of local departments are more or less free to
install additional software they like, as long as it legal. Some choose
free software, while others install crap like WinZip and reinstall the
OS when it expires.

Noticed something missing? Yes, no free operating systems on desktops.
The main reason for this is that MS is the way it always was, it is a
tradition, they use it at home, they know how it works. And by "they" I
mean everybody, not just the IT guys.

That does not sound like a good argument? Well think about it: would you
really be that happy if somebody told you that you must drop Debian for
some other system you know little or nothing about, AND you still have
to make sure everything works, AND do your regular job at the same time.
I certainly would not...

As for the "somebody to yell at" argument, well... that sounds like a
myth to me. Never heard of anyone contacting a software vendor when
things break. I could be wrong on this one, though.

Yes, I do work there. And this seems to be going a little off-topic...

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