Management Linux Fears…
If your my friend, and lots of you that read this are (all 2 of you), you know I love Linux and Open Source software. I have been using it for a long time and I wish it was exclusive use, but vagaries on the job prevent this from happening. Anyway, I recently was given a new Lenovo T60 Thinkpad for my work laptop. Once it got to my hands, I proceeded to do as I always have and resize my partition with Edgy’s installer and installed Ubuntu Edgy. As always, Ubuntu recognized everything on the fly and just frickin flew on this machine. I always talk about Linux when the subject comes up or when I find something that works real well with it and told my boss how well the new machine worked with it. Then the questions came….does anyone else know how to do this, is there anything PC Network support can do to make recovery easier for you….what happens if it doesn’t work….etc. Well, what he did not know is I DO have it dual boot and always do and I already talked to PC network support and in general, they are ok with it. In the last year, I have maybe called PC/Network support maybe 3 times and most of this was miscellaneous hardware failures (all covered under warantee). NEVER had a issue with the warantee support and if the hard drive goes belly up, I told him whatever they do to get it back to Windows only is 100 percent FINE by me. Luckily, he bought it.
Now I have assuaded the fears, but what if this happens to you when you try to use the tools you want/need/like to use? Well, try working through it like I did. Unlike most people, I don’t need support 99.9 percent of the time. Point that out to your boss. Rest assured, when I call support, it’s broke. It needs fixed and it’s not the software that did it.
Then I would also present a scenario like this….what if Microsoft updated the Windows Kernel and broke a device driver? Can’t happen? Well, you’d be wrong. The best thing with Linux is when something like this happens, it has likely happened to someone else as well and you can find a fix.
Installation time on my Ubuntu install took LESS time then my Windows setup. Now I did not even have to install Windows, but I did have to install all of the apps I use that are not on the default image. After instaling Windows updates and applications, I had about 2 hours into it thanks to the reboots some of this stuff requires. In Linux, if I wanted to install a new version of Open Office, I can and I don’t have to reboot. Try that with Microsoft Office!
Also, the more I am in the Windows world at work, the more I see some IT “policy” created as a bandaid for a bad OS. Windows is ridden with holes as big as a Mac truck and alot of this is all for the sake of making it easier for the user. Sometimes the holes are made worse because PC support reps want to be able to find out what the issue is when people aren’t around so they don’t use Windows user accounts. They also make bad decisions about giving users administrative rights. Virus scanners, spyware scanners and more are all because Windows and Windows Admin training itself is just broken.
Lastly, I did this thing that it amazes me more “tech savvy” don’t do….I learned to use the tool! If something breaks, I Google it. My first thing I do when something on Linux breaks is scour the Internet for the answer. Some people treat thier computers like cars. I don’t. I don’t like to have to pay to get this cool new piece of software. Am I against paying for software? No, but it amazes me what some developers out there will ask for simple programs that don’t hardly do anything.
It’s all just FUD. Now all you have to do is master the art of persuasion. Show your boss how good Linux is and how efficient you can be using it and then just maybe the Microsoft wool will be pulled from his eyes.