[Gllug] Gllug Digest, Vol 83, Issue 5

Richard LEGER richard.leger at gmail.com
Wed May 5 17:52:53 UTC 2010

>Message: 8
>Date: Wed, 5 May 2010 10:57:43 +0100
>From: James Courtier-Dutton <james.dutton at gmail.com>
 >Subject: Re: [Gllug] conversion from WinXP to Linux
 >To: Greater London Linux User Group <gllug at gllug.org.uk>
       <x2rad2655cb1005050257q404ece91l9f72abaf68a0a0b5 at mail.gmail.com>
 >Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

 >On 5 May 2010 07:54, t.clarke <tim at seacon.co.uk> wrote:
 >> Hi,
 >> we have a number of PCs in the office running XP  (and even a couple
 >> ME or 98 !) and I would like to convert them over to Linux.
 >> The big sticking points in getting people to accept something other than
 >> (at least as far as we are concerned) seems to be:
 >> a) replacement for Excel
 >> b) replacement for Word
 >> c) printer driver support  (we use Kyocera lasers)
 >> d) scanner support
 >> e) graphical ftp client

 >If your users are happy as they are, why change anythingh
 >If you still have Windows 98, you are probably using some rather old PCs.

 >If I was you, I would do a survey of what users actually do on their
 >PCs, and then classify the users into groups based on what they use on
 >their PC.

I would agree with this approach that consist of 1st proceeding to a survey
to know precisely the needs of your users.
Then I would look at the park of machine and see if old PC would need to be
replaced. If this is not an option, for better performance on old PC I would
avoid the use of Gnome or KDE and maybe take the orientation of Xubuntu
(derivative from Ubuntu but with Xfce interface... less ressources hungry :)
or Englightment (the next Ubuntu Netbook Remix shall be using it)... it may
be worth looking at it and testing it.

But before installing a full Linux OS, I would first choose cross plateform
application that I would first install as alternative to the users. Such as
Firefox instead of Internet Explorer, OO for office, FileZilla for FTP
tranfsert (event though Nautilius can handle FTP transfert...), etc...

This would make the switch to 100% Linux much more smooth... at least it is
the approach which is used and considered as best for moving toward full
switch from Windows to Linux in many article I read on the question.

Alternatively, you could install Linux in dual boot and let users try it (at
least a pool of beta tester from different profile use: operation, it,
accounting, hr, sales, marketing, etc...) and see what problem they would
encounter by using it. Well if also depends on the number of PCs you have to
handle :) This way they could always come back to Windows if needed.

You could also use a Theme that could make Linux looks much like Windows
(eventhough I would not recommend it, better user to get acquainted with
natural aspect :)

Also you need to look at what data are manipulated et what application would
be bottleneck. Some might not be easily replaced with an alternative that
run under Linux... MS Project or Intranet optimised for Internet Explorer...
eventhough now a days, IE8 is closing the gap an bring the gap and getting
inline with the use of web standards.

You need also to foreseen training and support aspect. If your user are not
very computer literate, then organising a training were they could try
confortably things out, and ensure that when in live in front of issue they
may encounter after switch they would always get proper support to help them
and re-insure them.

Getting support from other users to proceed to the move could also be an
asset to you.

As it was said already, with OO and MS Office doc, for basic use they shall
not be too much bottleneck. Maybe some layout issue here and there but
information would remain intact. But if there is macro in Excel documents
(often the case for accounting tables for exemple), this may be another
issue to look at...

For printing/scaning, you may also have a look at :
It might help in certain circumstances. Then there is always the possibility
to replace material with more Linux friendly equipment for couple of
pounds... so it shall not be a bottle neck.

If you decide to jump, I would be very glad (and certainly others too) to
hear from your experience on the matter.... could be an idea of presentation
for future GLUG meetings :)

Hope it helps somehow.
Working on such migration would be my dream job !
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