[Gllug] It is not Microsoft

Lesley Binks lesleyb at pgcroft.net
Fri Jan 9 15:50:15 UTC 2009

On Fri, Jan 09, 2009 at 02:35:55PM +0000, Ryan Cartwright wrote:
> Sorry just catching up on some of this..
> 2009/1/8 Lesley Binks <lesleyb at pgcroft.net>:
> >> Chris Bell wrote:
> >> Hello,
> >> I have been trying to persuade my local Ealing Council to provide help
> >> for new users of Unix compatible Free Open Source Software, and the only
> >> real response has been that it is not Microsoft, so no. There is no help
> >> provided for any other system.
> and ...
> >> The council has provided courses for many years through the "Adult
> >> Learning" and Ealing Library services.
> >> The Hanwell Community Centre (a listed old school building, once attended
> >> by Charlie Chaplin) is about to undergo a 2,000,000 renovation, and Ealing
> >> Council has also set aside 350,000 to convert five? of the largest and best
> >> classrooms to a Microsoft Only "Learning Suite", to be used by Council staff
> >> during the working day but be available to others at other times.
> >>
> >
> > A number of activities spring to mind....
> <snip>
> >
> > 3. Ask for room in the Hanwell Community Centre. Don't expect them to
> > divert one of their five flagship classrooms.  These have been earmarked
> > by people in the business of computer provision for their deployment.  That
> > business - whoever it is - may have a track record of IT classroom
> > provision and also have the ear of the deciders at the council.   Find
> > out who that business is and where and how they operate in terms of
> > getting the business in.  Look at what is provided and think how much
> > the local Linux community could provide of that or would it be better
> > to provide something different?
> This sounds like a really good suggestion to me. By providing an
> alternative  - not necessarily a competitor - you could demonstrate
> any "demand" and/or benefit for using free software to the council.
> Don't forget that it has to be perceived to be a benefit by the
> council not just by those of us who know better.
> Just out of interest: you seem quite determined to change the
> council's mind. Other than your preference for Linux is there a reason
> to force them to drop MS for this project? What I mean is that if you
> can demonstrate a training facility/suite that has demand - and just
> happens to use free software - would you have a better chance of
> success than trying to change the heading of the tanker that is Ealing
> Borough Council?
> I'm currently in an email conversation with somebody who has set-up a
> community suite of half a dozen Edubuntu desktops and a Fedora server
> for people to use to learn computer/web skills etc. One of the
> knock-on effects has been the way different sections of the local
> community are now getting together through the project. The whole
> thing cost £1300 to set up and now that it is shown to be working the
> council are more interested. They did support the project from the
> start but from a greater distance shall we say. The guy running it
> gives 6 hours a week to the project.
I'd be very interested to know how they got accomodation for the
desktops.  Where was this user space set up and how do they fund the
costs e.g. electricity, broadband ?

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