[oclug] Responsible Civic Sector I.T. expenditures.
legault.randy at sympatico.ca
Thu Mar 21 15:49:39 EST 2002
I do my part to advocate. Some of the PHBs are starting to wake up to this.
There is still a low signal to noise ratio on the merits of free software in
Add my voice, here and elsewhere to those who have seen a better way forward
through cooperation rather than competition. Free software harnesses a
worldwide meritocracy of coders. Using peer-review and community
accountability free software produces better product for lower cost. Unices
including Gnu Linux, BSD variants, Darwin, etc. support a far broader range
of hardware recycling machines that M$ had written off as unsupportable. A
486 is still a powerful tool with 'nix. With MS it just won't go.
Keep on shouting it. People have a right to know the value proposition.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Pat and Lee Ann" <pgillil at cyberus.ca>
To: <letters at thecitizen.southam.ca>
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2002 2:29 PM
Subject: [oclug] Responsible Civic Sector I.T. expenditures.
With our local hospitals facing allegations of software piracy, it is time
for our civic sector organizations to make responsible decisions about their
information technology spending.
Tasked with providing essential services to our community and facing heavy
budget cut-backs, our civic sector is defenceless against piracy allegations
justified or not. Public organizations lack the funds and resources
required to properly monitor the legal status of every program on every
machine in their systems yet the same resource deficiencies only increase
the probability that software of dubious legality will make its way onto
their computers as workers bring from home software their organization
cannot afford to provide. This makes settling the alleged piracy claims
before the courts become involved the cheapest option for the accused public
sector organizations. This option creates a revenue stream for a few
corporations at great expense to the public purse, but at little cost to the
We cannot afford to lose public funds better suited to providing health
care, education and other civic services to repeated software audits and the
implied threats of even more costly legal action. Further our civic
organisations must break the endless cycle of software upgrades which then
demand un-necessary hardware improvements simply to stay current with some
software company's constantly changing idea of compatibility. The major
players in the software industry are moving toward an even more costly
licensing scheme that will change software acquisition from a one time
expense to an on-going rental where the same product must be paid for year
It is past time our Hospital boards, School boards and other civic service
providers look to Open Source software, free of costly licenses and audits,
for their technology needs. Linux, FreeBSD, Mysql, Apache and a host of
other Open Source operating systems and applications have enjoyed great
success in the professional technology community for their low to no cost,
their reliability and their security. Our civic organisations must built
upon this success not because of any ideological or technophile appeal but
because it makes sound economic sense. Is our responsibility to the
patients in our hospitals without proper beds and our school children packed
into portables or to the shareholders of a few already very profitable
33 Perth Street, Ottawa, Ontario.
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