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Fast broadband makes a difference to entertainment but hardly necessary for employment, communication or accessing public services. Unless the government has plan to put high end tech jobs out in the depths of the Scottish highlands I would have thought that 4 MBps would do just fine. I struggle to see why I should subsidise some farmers access to NetFlix.
Who commissioned this report again? Any danger of the LSE coming to the conclusions the client wanted?
My experience was that it was best to buy standard mid range kit (IBM, or Dell Poweredge servers in tower cases worked just fine) and then invest in some physical infrastructure and climate control. It was generally straightforward enough to find a secure corner of an office and put install a small self contained rack with a UPS or two. Or even better get someone to wall up a corner of an office and put in an aircon. That kind of skill was in plentyful supply.
Lugging around some serious kit in that kind of environment would give me sleepless nights. The chance of it getting dropped, rained on or stolen is just too high. (We had a couple of laptops stolen while I was there, and you aint going to be happy chap if you come back to your hotel one night and find your server has gone walkies.) I advise you try and travel with what you need, preferrably a run of the mill inconspicuous laptop and find a secure base or two for your servers.
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You have hit the nail on the head.
I work for a small company where we recently considered moving to Linux on our workstations. The Operating System was not an issue, but the cost of retraining our staff to use OpenOffice out-weighed any benefit we might gain. Taking even half a day to train a busy executive would cost the company more in lost time and productivity than we could ever hope to gain in savings through licencing costs.
Meanwhile at home I have switched to OSX without any drop in productivity (well apart from time wasted playing with all the pretty widgets) because I can use Word with no time spent relearning the system. Someday I will try iWork but I am just too busy right now.
Microsoft may create a version of Office for Linux, but it will be after they have lost the battle for the desktop not before.