> of Unix (subject to tender etc.,) The sysadmin when I talked to him, has
> talked blithely of running Windows 98 on the terminals. This seems very
This is silly. I have been (trying) to run an all-Win98 network of about 75
machines for the last two years. To cut a long story short, I'll say it is
> silly to me. Due to the general cluelessness of most of the prospective
> users, one can expect anything up to 100 boxes being down per day. in
> addition, there are all those problems of virii, stability, and security,
Exactly. Users ruthlessly installing every demo, game, shareware,
anti-virus and other software they can lay their hands on is the biggest
issue to stability and performance. And did I mention every single Instant
Messenger proggy on the planet ??
> not to speak of the costs involved. I am also under the impression that
> none of the flavours of Windows (unlike *nix) can be installed, reinstalled
> or upgraded over the network and that you have to be physically there to do
I believe that Win2k supports network installs. I cannot confirm this
though, but I'd advise you to check it out.
> it. Can anybody throw some light on this? It would be of some help to me in
> talking to the committee who are supposed to be overseeing this guy. Of
> course, no body in the committee is a techie either.
I'd first advise you to look into the appliations your users need. My guess
is : MS Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Internet Explorer, Outlook(Express). Some
groupware solution (maybe Notes) and probably some company specific
accounting/other system. These are probably all Windows and (maybe) DOS
based. Putting Linux on these nodes is not really a viable solution. My
experience has shown that AbiWord/StarOffice is not a replacement of
MSOffice for a common user. <Putting on asbestos suit> Linux is not easy
enough for 99% of common users to use. It's not just about difficulty in
learning new commands, it's about doing things a completely new way.
<sample tech support rants>
How do I print ?
How do I cancel my print ?
How do I print more than one slide per page ?
How do I see a page preview ?
MS XXXXX has that <insert feature/thingy here>... How do I do that?
Why are the fonts so ugly ?
How do I save this to a floppy ?
How do I access my home directory ?
How do I copy a file ?
This is only a few things I've had to listen to over the past two years,
mostly day after day. No one cared that every email they send goes via
sendmail on a linux box. But they do care if they are made to feel like
complete idiots in front of a new desktop. And simply emulating the 'general
look and feel' using a KDE theme, is not enough.
Here comes the hard part. If my list of applications above resembles your
requirements, then Linux is best supported to playing only a 'support' role
in your organization. I would recommend a Win2K PDC and BDC, with Win2k
Server/Active Directory. Use Win2k on all your desktops. The sheer level of control over the users desktop
alone is worth it's weight in gold.
Use Linux for all your other servers etc. Use Samba for everything but as a
Domain controller. But unless you are *damn* sure of what you are doing,
keep it off the desktop.
I would be really interested in hearing from someone who has run/seen a
complete linux environment on the desktop in a commercial environment (Not a
[War] is instinctive. But the instinct can be fought. We're human
beings with the blood of a million savage years on our hands! But we
can stop it. We can admit that we're killers ... but we're not going
to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to
-- Kirk, "A Taste of Armageddon", stardate 3193.0