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Maria Winslow

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Jim Willis, director of e-Government Services for the Rhode Island Office of the Secretary of State, was a consultant for the state when he implemented an online database using open source tools. The ability to use open source technologies was a condition of his hiring, and the state has benefited as a result of his leadership. Putting Linux in Plain ViewThe first project Willis undertook was an online rules and regulations database available to the public and other government agencies. It was the proof that open source tools could deliver value for less. The whole project was delivered for $40,000 with Willis working alone part time for four months. Because the new online database faced the public, it was the perfect test for open source value. Willis was promoted to director of e-Government after the next election of a new Secretary of State, and he took on the rol... (more)

TCO Comparisons: The Real Story

There has been some controversy recently over a Microsoft-commissioned TCO (total cost of ownership) study claiming that the long-term cost of Windows is lower than that of Linux. It's time to clear up the confusion. TCO PrimerLet's start with the basics of TCO. When we talk about measuring the total cost of ownership, it is important to understand what that measurement will actually tell us. TCO is defined as the total cost of a particular item over its useful life. It includes the cost of acquisition, maintenance, support, and disposal. In short, it includes everything you will... (more)

How to Keep Your Options Open

Some organizations will find that they are able to make wide use of open source software, while others will find only limited suitable migration candidates. Some of the discrepancy will be due to differences across industries. Industries that tend to make conservative technology decisions, for example, are likely to have more legacy systems that are difficult to migrate. But even within the same industries, technical managers will find a range of potential migration scenarios. The differences in experience will depend on the platform-neutrality of the applications in use. Those ... (more)

Linux.SYS-CON.com Q&A with Lead Developer of Joomla!, Andrew Eddie

In September, core developers of Mambo, the popular open source content management system, announced a fork of the project, called Joomla!, with virtually all active participants following the fork. I caught up with Andrew Eddie, lead developer of the new Joomla!, to find out more about the decision to fork the Mambo project, and to find out how things are going so far. LWM: I'll start with the hard question first: What led you to the decision to fork Mambo? Andrew Eddie: Forking is a very serious decision to make and one that I and the team did not take lightly. In the words of... (more)

Evaluating the ROI of Open Source on the Desktop

When people hear that open source software is often free and overall cheaper than proprietary solutions, they're intrigued. But how much cheaper is another question. What other costs are involved? This article examines the budgetary impact of migrating corporate desktops to open source solutions. This is one of many areas where open source can positively impact IT budgets. Classifying Desktops The first step in evaluating the license savings on the desktop is to determine which desktops in your organization are candidates for migrating to Linux, OpenOffice, or both. Step One: Inv... (more)