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Comment I am doing the same for my college. (Score 1) 497

I admit I was lucky because this teacher was having problems setting up linux on the IBM servers, and I did it for him and got the chance to migrate the software environment for the whole college to *nix based platform.

My approach is this:
1) Provide a dual-boot environment for machines that concern the teachers, so they are not pissed off and at the same time the eager ones can check out the OSS alternative.
2) For students, provide a complete and customized OSS environment, the necessary software for lab work and if its totally inevitable, see if Wine can do the trick, and if not, then stick to Windows, so you are not hampering with the syllabi.

How I am going to persuade them (the students/other teachers):
1) Exposing their existing problems (reformatting, slow speeds, useless anti-viruses and the general disgust these things evoke).
2) Show them the stats and examples for OSS achievements and its increasing adoption rate across the world. Probably demonstrate clustering, and how these things get attention.
3) The money issue, which doesn't really concern them, as its not out of their pockets that the money is going, but the administration. But no risk in trying.
4) Fancy stickers and posters of tux etc.

1) I have observed students really don't participate much, windows at home, windows at not much curiosity or willingness to play with the software. So by introducing OSS, that might change.
2) Contributions to the OSS world. The interested guys will play around, find bugs, do testing etc.
3)You gain experience, and the happy feeling. :)
4)Eliminating the redundant issues and the security risks, obviously.

1) The learning curve, depending on how well you customize the OSS and provide for some easy-to-understand, straightforward documentation.
2) The inertia factor, obviously. Well, if people start talking about it, undergrads et al, that could take care of it.
3) Availability of software, For eg, we here, have got used to Rational Rose, Maya and such, so providing alternatives (which are as good/user-friendly) for these is definitely an issue.
4) Troubleshooting the problems. Well, you just gotta be there when they arise. Probably training a few friends, undergrads might help too...spreading the information basically.

Comment Re:I think it has passed already. (Score 1) 696

Talking about that little rant: Good marketing is not possible in the absolute sense until the GPL/LSB/FSF etc. have guidelines for that too. The number of distributions and the huge number of associated opinions about those won't allow for a central marketing theme (for example, Guideline 1. Don't use cheap phrases like "windows-like" on your main description page at least, advertise about the distribution and not if its windows-like with windows wallpapers! Guideline 2. Make them understand things in an easy way, don't go on talking about that enhanced rth1287986 wireless driver that the dev team got working on the front page....and so on...). But then that's one of the consequences of OSS, it gives you the right to do and say whatever you want to...even if it sends out wrong impression or misconceptions about the system. And good service could be achieved by just providing a link for the forums/discussions/mailing list (which everyone does) but filter out the unnecessary stuff, find out the redundant queries and get rid of them, better forum layouts...things like those.

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