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In my experience, its not uncommon for professionals here to spend $3,000 or more on a telephone system that delivers no more service than $300 worth of off-the-shelf AT&T Speakerphones.
We decided not to start gnome on that machine in the future and devote all available ram and processor cycles to serving the network. The monitor, keyboard and mouse were removed.
I'm using the Emperor Linux laptop (Lenovo & Ubuntu Breezy) for all work now.
We've also added egroupware for shared calendar and contacts lists over our samba network. Also excellent. Egroupware appears to have potential for coordinating and centralizing other shared data (e.g. time records).
Port forwarding is set up from the dsl modem that acts as a router for the office.
Ubuntu 5.10 with Linux kernel 2.6.12-10-386.
Open Office 2.0
Ubuntu is installed on my desktop and though XP Pro is installed on another partition, I do not need to boot it and have not booted it for most of the last quarter of 05.
Firefox was inexplicably failing to load pages when used with Linux. It was a problem under both Mandriva and Ubuntu but not a problem under XP Pro. It did work fine with Ubuntu Linux on my home machine but not my office machine. The two machines use different ISPs but are otherwise substantially identical.
The problem was ridiculous but driving me nuts. Some kind souls on Ubuntu forum posted the fix which was distressingly simple. Now all is well in my Firefox world.
Our goal is to banish M$ from our office forever and ever. We want to be liberated from M$. We need a kludge for this calendar sharing problem to do it.
Here's the problem:
The linux desktop in my office is now networked so that our office machines interact basically the same way they used to under the peer-to-peer Windows XP setup.
I used the simplest smb.conf setup I could find and set my directory permissions with this command:
chmod -R +rwx home/
That directory contains all of our forms and matter files and can be browsed by the Windows XP machine that my secretary uses.
Why? Because its impossible to relax enough to leave my office computer powered up when I go home unless I feel reasonably good about the firewall. If the machine is not powered up, then I have to stop working on all three projects after I leave the office.