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Books Linux Business Media Software Book Reviews IT Linux

Moving to the Linux Business Desktop 211

Raymond Lodato writes "For a number of years now, I've been playing with Linux at my company. My laptop is dual-boot, and I've been trying to steer away from Windows as much as I possibly can. Most of the books I've read have been geared either to running Linux as a server, or as a personal workstation. The gap has been filled. Moving to the Linux Business Desktop, by Marcel Gagné, covers what you need to know to successful run Linux as a business workstation." Read on for the rest.
Moving to the Linux Business Desktop
author Marcel Gagné
pages 696
publisher Addison-Wesley
rating 9/10
reviewer Raymond Lodato
ISBN 0131421921
summary Very valuable guide for business user of Linux.

M. Gagné, a writer for The Linux Journal, does not assume you're going to use any specific distro for Linux. He gives instructions and examples for the most common ones: Fedora (Red Hat), Mandrake, SUSE, Debian, etc. KDE is the primary desktop, but GNOME is covered fairly well, too. I have to admit that, as a long-time Red Hat user, I was well entrenched in the GNOME world. However, after reading Marcel's book, I've make KDE my default environment, and I've been very happy with it.

This book is broken up into three major parts: Getting to Know Linux, Administration and Deployment, and The Linux Business Desktop. Each part is packed with information in an easy-to-follow format. In fact, I found it hard to just read and not fire up my Linux to follow along.

Part One (Getting to Know Linux) covers the essentials of installing Linux and customizing your desktop. As I remarked earlier, Marcel covers multiple distros. He includes instructions on how to install using Mandrake, Fedora Core 1, and SUSE. For those of you who just can't wipe Windows from your hard drive completely, M. Gagné covers setting up a dual-boot environment clearly enough that you will be able to have the best of both worlds.

The second part (Administration and Deployment) assists in setting up a fully functional business environment. In Chapter 7 (Installing New Applications), Marcel covers the various installation programs available across the distros. SUSE's YaST2 installer, Mandrake's urpmi, Kpackage (from the K Desktop Environment), rpm (the shell program), dpkg (Debian's package manager) and apt-get are all covered. In addition, he gives a clearly written explanation of how to build from source (The Extract and Build Five-Step -- page 124) that dispels any anxiety a newbie to Linux might have.

The next chapter covers the device support in Linux. When I started using Linux, device support was spotty at best. Now it's tremendously improved. Marcel shows you the basic of Linux's support. He then goes on to explain about network and Internet connections. Unfortunately, there is one major piece of errata in this area of the book. During his explanation of the difference between Class A, B, and C IP addresses, the information for class A was inadvertantly switched with the class C info. I've been informed that the errata is corrected on his website ( and in future editions of the book. Outside of that one unfortunate error, the rest of the book is pretty clean.

Later chapters dig into the topics of Backup and Restore (the most important and most underutilized functions), printing, email, web servers, file sharing (both Windows-like with Samba and Unix-like with NFS), thin clients (server-side and client-side) and desktop remote control. He even includes a chapter on installing and configuring LDAP (something rarely written about, but becoming more and more important).

The third and final part of the book covers the usual business applications. Email, arguably the "killer app" for office environments, is addressed first. Focusing on KDE, Kmail gets the lion's share of the coverage, with Evolution following behind. Desktop organizers come next, with Korganizer the favorite and Evolution (again!) nipping at Korganizer's heels.

The web-browsing chapter focuses on Konquerer, KDE's jack-of-all-trades application, and Mozilla. Most notably, significant coverage is given in the next three chapters to OpenOffice and its basic applications Writer, Calc, and Impress. For working with images, digital cameras and USB scanners are covered, with The GIMP as the preferred image editor. On-demand contact via instant messaging and video conferencing rounds out this marvelous book. Kopete and GAIM are discussed in depth for the IM arena, and GnomeMeeting for the VC work.

As with most Linux books, a CD is supplied. However, this book does not give you a specific distro for installation. Instead, Marcel chose to include a branded copy of Knoppix, the CD-bootable Linux. The idea is to let you play around with the various aspects of Linux using Knoppix before committing yourself to the actual installation.

All in all, this is a valuable book, covering most of the areas a business user wants to address. Notably lacking was coverage on how to try to run Windows applications under Linux. At the top of the review, I mentioned I keep trying to steer away from Windows as much as I can. Unfortunately, I usually have a couple of applications that I need but don't come in a Linux version. Even though VMWare, Win4Lin, and Wine were mentioned briefly, I would have liked to have read some examples of running a Windows application using them. In addition, the major snafu with the IP address space marred an otherwise excellent book.

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Moving to the Linux Business Desktop

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  • by sneakers563 ( 759525 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @02:34PM (#10515495)
    Has he dropped his annoying French chef schtick? Or is it all "Good morning, monseiur! Zo, we are perhaps interested in sampling ze business desktop of linux, are we? We have several tasty items on ze menu today!"
  • However, this book does not give you a specific distro for installation. Instead, Marcel chose to include a branded copy of Knoppix, the CD-bootable Linux.
    So it is giving you a specific distro to play around with: it's giving you Debian GNU/Linux. In fact, you can do a HD install of it and have a fully functional Debian system with OO.o, Moz, and other things installed fairly quickly.
  • How we did it... (Score:5, Informative)

    by CodeWanker ( 534624 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @02:41PM (#10515595) Journal
    Our IT folks made the time to get a Linux business productivity system in place (in parallel to their regular support of 2K/XP) so they could 1) demonstrate it to people (the compatibilities and the look and feel) and 2) package it up so our non-IT folks could be set up and supported easily. And re-set up when they broke something. If you hire IT people who actually like what they do, it makes this kind of thing a lot easier. Most of our departments are still MS, but the ones that have switched like it and aren't going back.
  • No specific distro? (Score:5, Informative)

    by wolfemi1 ( 765089 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @02:42PM (#10515608)
    ...this book does not give you a specific distro for installation. Instead, Marcel chose to include a branded copy of Knoppix, the CD-bootable Linux

    No specific distro? Knoppix is a specific distro (based on Debian) which can be installed on a hard drive! Last I heard, all you had to do was type knx-hdinstall at a prompt, but that may have changed since I used it.
  • Linux workstation (Score:2, Interesting)

    by monk2b ( 693792 )
    I have used a linux workstation for work since 1999. I have noticed vast improvements since redhat 5.2. I now run redhat 9.0 and love the openoffice apps as well as xine which had to be added after install. I have always felt linux was ready for the office, I now feel linux is ready for the home.
    • Depends on which home. Many home PC's are used as gaming systems and until the vendors start supporting Linux, you won't get the mass conversion (and yes, I'm aware that some vendors do support Linux, but people will want all the popular titles). For the email and office like use, sure Linux can replace the operating system. Users will just expect a comfortable interface to protect them from really knowing how the OS works.
      • I have used a linux workstation for work since 1999. I have noticed vast improvements since redhat 5.2. I now run redhat 9.0 and love the openoffice apps as well as xine which had to be added after install. I have always felt linux was ready for the office, I now feel linux is ready for the home.

      I agree with you. Two years ago, my partner and I quit our gov't jobs and opened our own law office. We use Red Hat 9.0 but will probably move to Suse 9.1 shortly. Anyway, my business partner is NOT compute

  • Cost of Training? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ch-chuck ( 9622 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @02:44PM (#10515641) Homepage
    Sure, Linux can work fine as a business desktop for those who want to use it as such. What about the working stiff's in the accounting / secretarial pool that could care less, know enough Windows 2K/XP to get the job done and would need a 2 week special high intensity training course for dummies to learn where all their new tools are? These are people who would rather be fishing or watching the soaps, secretly despise having to work at all in an office, dream of winning the lottery, and resist change or having to learn something different, worry about being able to transfer these skills to other offices that are likely Windows based, etc.

    Just playing Bill's advocate here.
    • False assumption (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @02:50PM (#10515718)
      The people you call working stiffs certainly wouldn't need a 2 week special high intensity training, that's just ridiculous.

      You make it sound as if a secretary typing letters all day in MS Word would need to go through a boot camp from hell in order to be able to do the same in Writer and that is simply laughable.
      • You sound like you've never dealt with supporting secretaries.

        The hell that was raised by merely moving from Office 97 to 2000 would be inconsequential next to moving from 2000 to Writer.
          1. You sound like you've never dealt with supporting secretaries.

          Secretaries exist? I thought they were phased out at the end of the last century.

          (Not including professional assistants, cabinet ministers, ... or other positions that take substantial skill above the traditional secretary work of taking notes/boiler plate letters/answer phones.)

    • by Anonymous Coward
      hat about the working stiff's in the accounting / secretarial pool that could care less

      That's so 1990s... I work with banks (deal with the network security) and one after another of my clients have switched to thin-client desktops where all they need is a compliant browser. Imagine their surprise when I showed them instead of that brand new $800 Wyse unit, or $1200 Dell PC, a Linux thin client did the same job and actually used the old Windows PC they were planning to throw away (actually, most PAY peopl
    • Um. Don't give them Linux. It's that easy. No one said you couldn't operate a mixed environment.

      My personal experience is that Linux works very well for general knowledge workers The people who come in at nine, leave at five, and couldn't give a rats arse what they're running. They call it "the new system" and are just as au fait with it as they were with Windows. Which is pretty much not at all.

      There's absolutely no gain to be had to migrating somewhere like accounts on the other hand. Sage Line 50 has n
    • These are people who would rather be fishing or watching the soaps, secretly despise having to work at all in an office, dream of winning the lottery,

      Are you talkin' to ME?

    • These are people who would rather be fishing or watching the soaps, secretly despise having to work at all in an office, dream of winning the lottery...

      Does this not describe anybody here (I assume I can substitute any non-office-related recreational activity for "fishing")?

    • In terms of their jobs, the users you highlight would probably spend 95%+ of their time in the following apps:
      - IE
      - Outlook
      - MS Word

      The amount of training required to transition them to e.g. Firefox, Evolution and OO.o would be minimal. I suspect that the user-perceived difference between e.g. Outlook and Evolution is about the same as between two successive releases of Outlook, and nobody gets "software version upgrade" training. Hell, if it makes it any easier, rename Linux's "start menu" entries for t
  • Review of the review (Score:2, Informative)

    by B1ackD0g ( 660299 )
    I think that this is one of the better reviews I've read on /. lately. Lots of good info on what to expect and not expect and what's covered and not covered. Makes me want to spend some of my hard earned SAF (Spousal Approval Factor) points and check this out myself.
  • Good resource (Score:3, Interesting)

    by erick99 ( 743982 ) <> on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @02:47PM (#10515683)
    The book sounds like a good resource, I'll take a look at it at Borders this week. I just did my first Linux install, ever, last night on a spare computer I had here at home. I ended up using Ubuntu, which is a Debian flavor distro. It works really, really well. I was surprised that it found the shared resources on the MS workgroup on the wired/wireless LAN here at home. I would like to find a good book to help me understand Linux, from a decidedly beginner starting point. So, when I look at this one I'll flip through some others. Suggestions are welcomed.
    • Usually anything from O'Reilly [] specifically Matt Welsh's "Running Linux" and "Linux in a Nutshell". Both books will help you become more than capable in basic sysadmin of a Linux box, especially in a mixed home network like yours. Also, check the web as there is a ton of documentation and online editions of books that you can download for free. I usually start here [].

      A quick search on google gave me this one [] which looks helpful.


      this may be a down and dirty way to understand linux from the ground up. but it covers the basics. it sure helped me out after a few years of running slackware (since 4.0 anyhow)
  • by physicsphairy ( 720718 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @02:47PM (#10515687) Homepage
    The problem with using Linux when the people you work for generally use Windows is, of course, being compatible with them. Linux has come a long way in this regard: OpenOffice reads Word documents flawlessly; gnumeric reads Excel spreadsheets; Ximian Evolution is the perfect replacement for Outlook; etc.

    The one business application that isn't so well worked out is PowerPoint. OpenOffice's Impress is wonderful by itself, but it doesn't do so good with reading Microsoft generated powerpoints, especially with fancy stuff in them. I had to give a presentation recently on what my team did for the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge, and I had to transfer the presentation to some long-outdated Mac powerbook to work with it because OpenOffice would just freeze when I tried to read the file.

    On the otherhand, I haven't had any trouble reading OpenOffice .ppt files in PowerPoint, so it's really only a probablem if you need to import something from another machine.

    But otherwise, I don't see any advantage windows affords. I mean, if I have critical data on my machine, the number one issue for me is going to be stability, which is not one of windows' strongpoints. (And no, Rome Total War is not a business application. :p)
    • by metlin ( 258108 ) * on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @02:54PM (#10515767) Journal
      And you forget the most important advantage -

      When stupid users open that latest Funny.exe file, nothing happens! For that one reason alone, I think a Linux destktop would rock.

      But the advantage of Windows is more psychological and social - there are jobs where if you put, 5 experience working in MS Excel would get you the job - however, people would not know what OpenOffice is at all. So, from that point of view, people may not really like switching over. It's got to be a gradual process, where they are first acquainted with the fact that an alternative exists, and then move on.
      • This is an arguement I hear a lot, but to be honest, what your staff put on their future CVs is not a serious consideration for any business. It's nice, but I don't see it as a reason to compromise the stability, security and supportability of your IT infrastructure.
        • True, I agree with you in all entirety. However, it's a vicious circle - people personally have a lot of trouble taking to non-MS products, especially after they've been used to MS products. When you hire someone and give them a non-Office product, they will complain to the fullest possible extent, and sometimes their complaining is quite justified since Linux is a very different operating system from Windows.

          They have trouble understanding paths - one user could not understand why she did not have C:\ - a
        • Pull out the "Help Wanted" section from your metro Sunday paper. Talk to the director of the business outreach progran at your local community college. MS Office skills are marketable.
    • The thing that we couldn't get a replacement for is MS Project, since there appears to be no freebie program that can read project files. We ended up using crossover office to run our project licenses, which is ok but not very desireable. Other than that the transition is going well, with Open Office working fine. Rather than evolution we are looking at thunderbird, since it runs on both linux and windows.
      • What, if anything do you use for calendaring, etc?

        You might find Imendio Planner [] interesting. Some clever chap came up with an XSLT file to convert MS Project files to Planner files []. Of course, there is no 1:1 mapping between the two programs. :)

        • We use an ok calendar you can find out more about here [].
          Evolution didn't seem to have any group calendar (at the time) and we were using some custom peice of junk software riding on top of Exchange (which we are trying to stop using as soon as possible, another reason Evolution wasn't a great choice). The biggest problem so far has been getting data out of a microsoft only format into something other programs can read (no suprise there). Thanks for the info we may have to look at the planner stuff, though we
    • The problem with using Linux when the people you work for generally use Windows is, of course, being compatible with them.

      Odd that really. If you have a mixed shop with Linux, MacOS X, Solaris, and *BSD everything plays very nicely together. It is very much Windows that is the odd one out here - very much Windows that doesn't play nice with everyone else. That means that should Windows actually lose some real market share and not, by default, be the absolute dominant force that everyone else is forced
    • Flawlessly? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Mikmorg ( 624030 )
      I'd be careful where you use that word. I'm an advocate of OOffice, but it does have its downfalls.

      Open Office does not read word documents flawlessly. That I can attest to, for sure. Where I work, we discussed the possibility of switching over to open office, but the reasoning behind getting skrewed out of even more money from MS (alot more), was because ooffice did not convert doc and xls files correctly.

      This wonderful suite is very unfortunately, not compatible enough to be used in a corporate situa
  • by Tie_Defender ( 753637 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @02:53PM (#10515746) Homepage
    Funny that you mention Gagné's book, because my friend relied on it to switch his small buisness over to linux. After using it to aid him through his quest away from the world of windows, he has become a very satisfied linux user. So far hes saved over $2k by switching to linux from windows 2000. He and I are working to get his apache server up now for his new website. :)
  • by RealAlaskan ( 576404 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @02:58PM (#10515804) Homepage Journal
    If there is a fulltime sysadmin to set it up and keep it going, there is no reason not to have a Unix desktop, and it might as well be Linux. The few must-have applications that are Windows only can be run from a Windows server in the basement. I've seen that done, and it worked.

    At home, where there isn't a system administrator to take responsibility for everything, something like OSX might make more sense for some people. For a business large enough to have that fulltime system administrator, it seems hard to justify not going with Linux.

    • The few must-have applications that are Windows only can be run from a Windows server in the basement. I've seen that done, and it worked.

      Yes and no. Terminal Services can be very useful in a Linux environment, but not all applications work this way, and crucially, it's EXPENSIVE. You generally need CALs (Client Access Licences, pretty cheap) and TSCALs (Terminal Services Client Access Licences) which COST MONEY. LOTS.

      If you've got a business that can afford it, great. However it has the potential to ser
  • Yeah, right (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Corson ( 746347 )
    I've been using Linux as a desktop for a few months now and I can tell that, if all your business partners use Linux, then you don't need another OS. If some of them use Windows then you need Windows. The rest is propaganda, or marketing, or whatever you wish to call it.

    Come to think of it, I believe the problem is rooted in two fundamental beliefs of the open-source world. Number one: "Release early, release often" -- personally, I prefer to focus on productivity, rather than on backward compatibility is

  • by Erore ( 8382 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @03:25PM (#10516177)
    This sounds like a rehash of his previous book, Moving to Linux: Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye.

    Which wasn't a bad book. But, I don't like people milking something by putting a slight editorial slant on it "for business" and making a new book out of it. Still, I'll have to check it out. I need a good book to give to people switching to Linux and this one, because it is newer and hopefully improved with feedback from readers, should be better than the previous one.
  • I keep reading how Linux is ready for the businees and the first question that comes to mind is emulation or hosting an OS seems to be a requirement at any level other than the most basic, e.g., email and word processing.

    The second question that comes to mind is at what level is this statement being made? I've yet to read comments that go further than email and a spreadsheet? I don't see comments where Crystal Reports is substituted for zzzzz software or Gold Mine is replaced with this or that.

    It would se

    • I agree. Our business rarely uses Office apps. That's irrelevant for us. Most IT people seem to think that "business" means cube farms in a big company that do nothing but push paper. Our business relies on 2 critical windows apps, both of which don't have anything even close to equivalent to run on Linux. And since they're critical, I'm sure as hell not going to try to run them in VMWare or Wine as some sort of kludge, because even if they do happen to work 100% (which I kind of doubt), you just lost
  • ...and I'm not talking about selling stuff on eBay or programming shareware at home. Are there any *real* business owners (one with employees, that pays rents, has a building(s), etc.) here that can comment? I feel like these kinds of topics are simply flooded by college kids who have no clue, whatsoever about "Linux on the business desktop". I know there's no way our small company (5 employees plus myself) could swing it. How about other business owners?
    • We are an engineering firm with about 30 employees. Before I was hired it was almost 100% microsoft (with four solaris and linux servers). Since then we have migrated the entire engineering staff from windows to linux and nearly all of the tools they use (Cadence and crap like that). The front office staff are staying in windowsworld for now (since they get microsoft docs from clients, that probably isn't gonna change) and some of the servers (mail, file sharing etc) are still waiting to be migrated. The en
    • Hi

      We are a business with 100 employees worldwide. Agree it is difficult.

      What is making you say "no way" for your business? A small business ought to get uite far - what is holding it up? Bookkeeping apps maybe?


      • Bookkeeping apps maybe?

        Yup. Bookkeeping, and since we're a retailer, also off-the-shelf point of sale (I say off-the-shelf because I invariably have somebody chime in with "Home Depot uses it"). It wouldn't just be an OS switch, we'd have to change the entire core of our business. Even then, there's no Linux expertise on staff, so it would cost thousands just to get stuff set up and configured. Maybe, maybe if we had 100 people, and maybe one or two Linux guys, maybe I'd consider it, but then the boo
        • As someone else pointed out, SQL-Ledger is good for bookkeeping.

          I think you may be missing one of the key advantages of open source for business software. If SQL-Ledger isn't exactly what you want, then you're free to pay the author (or anyone else, for that matter) to make it *exactly* what you want. If you need features X/Y/Z, then he can implement them in *exactly* the way you specify.

          When you count the true costs you're currently paying for bookkeeping software, you might well come to the conclusion
  • As I discovered from switching parts of our company over to linux, Linux for Business, is largely a human problem.

    There are basically 2 types of people in my company: there are those, when presented with all the facts and numbers that Linux will save us a lot of money, still insist that they want to hold on to their Windows machine, even if it means they need to start maintaining their own laptops. And then there are those simply and don't care one way or the other what OS we use (or don't know the differe
  • by R3 ( 15929 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @05:50PM (#10517963) Homepage
    Recently I sat with my CIO for a little chat re: possibilities of moving our 1000+ desktops from Windows to Linux. Being in a law firm, we made a checklist of apps that our users would not be able to function without. The regular document-churning and groupware apps were easy to replace (OpenOffice, Evolution and such), but when we got to time and billing (currently using Carpe Diem) and document management (DOCSOpen) we couldn't find anything comparable on Linux side. The concensus was that we are not quite there yet - 2-3 years down the road, maybe, but not right now, at least not for the company of our size.
  • I would think (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wobblie ( 191824 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @05:59PM (#10518071)
    that ldap would be central to this book. How are you going to manage user accounts with linux desktops without it? One could still use NIS (which is easier), but that doesn't play too nice with windows. With samba/ldap/linux combo, you can truly have a multi protocol auth server with everything stored in a directory. What does the author reccomend as an authentication system?

    the main issues to me with linux desktops are:
    * authentication system (needs to be cross platform), meaning pam and ldap
    * automounter (for roving home dirs, etc)
    * nfs

    You says everything was "server oriented" but that's how it should be - if your linux desktop isn't centrally managed you're doing it wrong.
  • by mwillems ( 266506 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @06:32PM (#10518372) Homepage
    I think Marcel's books are inspiring and I buy and read them, and act on them. Recommended!

    Having said that, my company is a good example of Marcel's target. We are small (100 people in 4 countries) and techie (we have competent and motivated Linux techs, managed by me, a CTO who likes Linux). And yet we have not rolled out large numbers of Linux desktops.

    Why not?

    1 - User resistance. Cries and shouts from users and "We do not have time for that now" from techs. I think this is a simple one to overcome and that is my task - management needed.

    2 - Apps. Our accountants use Quickbooks. Graphics guys use Photoshop. And so on. This is the real killer.

    The OS is solid, Security is great - better than Windows. The only problem is that while 90% of the apps are fine - OpenOffice is perfect; media players can be installed and they work - the remaining 10% are showstoppers for 80% of the people.

    Take me as a typical business example. Look at my laptop. Follow me from A to Z: My apps are:

    - Various Canon digital photo apps for my 20D camera. Digial Photo Professional and the CR2 reader. No alternative: I need a Windows PC.

    - CorelDraw - I guess I could find an OSS alternative... not as good but just about doable.

    - iPod software: perhaps there are OSS alternatives but if so I doubt they are very good, and in any case they will need much time to get them working.

    - Mozilla: OK in LInux too

    - OpenOffice: same!

    - Nero: alternatives available

    - PGP: same

    - Photoshop: no alternative at all. Photoshop is not available under Linux and nothing else comes close in the photography world.

    - Quicktime: I imagine I can read Quicktime files in Linux, probably; no big deal anyway really.

    - Ixdirect CRM: can run under Wine if we put our minds to it.

    - MSN messenger: alternatives and clients available in Linux.

    - Realplayer: can I play Real media in Linux? No idea but I imagine perhaps so?

    - Outlook Express; no problem.

    So, Photoshop (please do not suggest Gimp comes even remotely close!) and the Canon software and maybe the iPod software - that is all - but all that is a real showstopper. As long as there is no Photoshop for Linux I will not move my laptop.

    And 80% of my company have some such killer app that runs only on Linux.

    That's where we are. If the US court had shown some balls and forced MS to spilt OS from apps, by now we would have had Office for Linux and hence also all the other apps for Linux. Since they had no such balls, we will be in this limbo-land for years to come. Pity.

    I wil get on and move the 20% (e.,g. helpdesk staff, shipping staff), anyway...


    • You can run Photoshop using CrossOver. There are a ton of apps that aren't ported yet or may never be ported - for these, Wine is the only way forward.
  • .. that Gagne has written this book without any of the cute chef/cuisine/cooking metaphors he uses in his magazine columns.
    It makes his columns unreadable for me.
  • Sounds to me like someone's been watching too many Clint Eastwood and John Wayne flicks lately. That's excellent market research don't you think? What's next a comment that they'll pry SCO's IP "from my cold dead hands"?

    Yeaeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaa a! !!!
  • At my company the critical enterprise desktop hole is in shared calendaring. Does the book address this at all? Several companies I've spoken to with regard to desktop linux have remarked that this has been the major missing piece, and has kept them stuck to Exchange/Outlook.
  • You save about $5 if you buy it from Check out the book from my affiliate link [].
  • A really useful way to run a legacy Windows app is VNC (eg - run a windows system headless, and install vnc server on it. If you're on a LAN, you won't notice that it isn't local. If you put the windows box on a private network, you can even forget about windows updates (which is really useful when WindowsUpdate crashes every time you want to run it!)

    Tips: do play with vnc settings, eg disable windows wallpaper, choose 256 colours if that's OK, disable compression if the windows system is slo

Civilization, as we know it, will end sometime this evening. See SYSNOTE tomorrow for more information.