The HeliOS Project is now.....

The HeliOS Project is now.....
Same mission, same folks...just a different name

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Monday, April 13, 2009

A Linux Migration in Process

Stu Weineke knows the advantages of using Gnu/Linux in the Enterprise...he is right in the middle of it. However Stu is in a unique position. He's not their "IT Guy". Stu is the Facilities Engineer.

This author would be led to believe that, given the data I have been given, Stu is light years ahead of their "IT Guys".

Stu fixes things where he works. Now he's fixing their computers.

It all started when someone from the rarefied air of management asked Stu if he could make them a map of their campus. They had no idea of what to expect. Take equal parts of OCD, Knowledge of free software and the pure love of creating something and this is what you get.

It's an svg file so firefox is going to render it huge...might wanna consider loading inkscape for this one. Conversely, this article appeared in LXer just yesterday. How synchronicity-ous is that?
Just right click, save file as, and go from there.

And I can make up words...I'm a blogger with no claim on being very smart.

My email inbox was fairly inundated with requests to see Stu's work a bit closer so after taking some of the more sensitive data out of it, he shipped us the original svg file that started the whole thing.

The whole thing?

Stu says that the "tech guys" that laughed at him earlier have been replaced with more knowledgeable folks that actually have a clue. The previous guys, when asked to provide an application that could render svg's, told him to use MS paint.

Stu says he can have this organization migrated to Linux in 3 years.

It's a big organization...and I believe him. They were impressed with this fantastic piece of work...that they didn't have to put out one dime in software costs to get it done....some substantial software costs none the less. What they should have been impressed with is the "computer" he did it on.

A Micron Trek2, PII
300 with 192Mb ram, 20G hard drive, loaded
with Debian Etch.

Any tech department uses these particular laptops abundantly doorstops. Stu was able to create this campus map fully on this machine....with GNU/Linux and free software.

A computer that should have been retired to a museum long ago.

We're going to watch the progress, setbacks and hopefully the ultimate migration of this company to GNU/Linux and Free Software.

Stay Tooned.

All-Righty Then


Adam said...

Although cost of free software is a nice benefit, one should focus on the freedom it provides as well. One should also focus on the higher quality of the software.

kozmcrae said...

I gave up watching toons when I was 37 ;-) but I will definitely "tooned" to see stories like this one. Thanks Ken.

Anonymous said...

Tell Stu to look into If he's setting up the company with Ubuntu based systems it's easy to get LTSP running (lots of help on IIRC freenode ltsp#) and then have simple servers and run the rest of the organization on thin clients (or old repurposed fat clients with drives removed).

Then it's centralized support, lower overall client pc hardware requrements, and if users destroy a client pc another can be plugged in and the user is back on line in minutes.

Lee Ball said...

One of the problems I've came across in the past is that although that SVG map is very pretty, its not upto CAD specifications and won't qualify if you were going to use them as plans for something for example.

I'm assuming that wasn't the purpose of this drawing though.

Anonymous said...

You obviously did not follow the link the author provided to the initial story. No, it was not intended for anything but use within the be put on the walls.

However there are two FOSS/GNU Linux applications that will produce a product up to CAD specs...I am thinking that is your intention, to say that there are not. We use both of them in the place of AutoCad here in our shop hand haven't missed it once. Or the pricetag...or the restrictive license.

What you miss is the fact that this work was done on a computer that should have hit the bottom of a dumpster long ago. I am sure your blazing fast new computer and Microsoft Vista could run a CAD program to produce something fancy. The fact is that a piece of junk was able to do this is amazing. That is the point of the story, not splitting hairs.

A point obviously missed some anyway.

Ruth Martin-Sayer said...

I don't think Lee was saying anything other than what he said. I don't think Lee is a Microsoft Vista user either, not reading the blog of helios. Maybe anonymous users should take a step back and read again before they post. He was just making an observation.

In that light, I do work for a commercial drafting shop and we stopped paying license fees for AutoCad in 2005. We now use an open source solution that meets our needs and gives us all but the rarest of features. You need those, you are in a specialized field and you deserve to pay through the nose. Small shops like us though have been freed from the exorbitant price tags and lockdown licenses.

Ruth Martin-Sayer

Jose_X said...

Trailblazing with Linux.

Bring the "secret" out into the open through an impressive composition or accomplishment. Help make a very positive impact in the lives of many.

And learn from the fires of others.

BTW, two thumbs up to what is regularly featured on this site.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, another proof that Linux is a hardware savior :) Keep it up H :)

Anonymous said...

I need to chime in on this. I work for my state and you would not believe the Microsoft Mindset here. We do the majority of the printing for the office of the attorney general and often make things such as Stu produced. Many of us have approached The PTB and shown them how they can save money, time and even more money. The licensing fees they pay to MS have to be outrageous.

Instead, they tell us that MS has been in the business too long and is the authority on software.

Andrew Magnus - Austin said...

Although cost of free software is a nice benefit,Ken told me the story of a recent conversation with RMS. Apparently they are conspiring to bring him to Austin to speak at a High School. RMS gently corrected Ken on his use of Linux and Open Source. Ken has partially capitulated by mentioning the correct way of putting it in print at least once, although it is fairly awkward in spoken form.

He told me that if he mentions his car, he is unlikely to refer to it as a Chevrolet every time he mentions it but will refer to it as Chevy. The same with Linux. I personally don't feel any need to succomb to peer pressure here and I will refer to it as Linux because that's what I want to do. Freedom is only Freedom as long as I use your idea of correct language? I don't think so.

Ken does well to placate his detractors by doing a once-a-publication mention of GNU/Linux and Free Software. I think folks should take what they get here.

@ Adam. Ken's reference to Free Software did indeed encompass the philosophy, not the cost. That should have been obvious by the context.

Andrew Magnus - Austin

Anonymous said...

its not upto CAD specifications and won't qualify if you were going to use them as plans for something.

Absolutely incorrect. I am a Architectural Planner for the city of Tucson and we accept svg renders on a daily basis. I don't know where you get your information, probably Wikipedia.

SVG format has been used by several Arizona cities for two years now.

Chad said...

I think that we might consider a gift for his efforts in telling us about this huge project that he is documenting. (maybe replacement of his computer)
I'm glad to read that the "MS paint" clowns have been removed. Send him kudos!