Open-Source Transition: Initial Thoughts

Since I sent in my proposal to transform the library to open-source to central office before Thanksgiving break, nothing has officially changed. What has changed is that I no longer run Windows or Mac OS X except when I need to run Alexandria to administer the library’s automation system (the server is OS X 10.5 and can be administered via a Windows program). I am running Ubuntu 9.10 exclusively and here are my experiences with it as a production level system.
I want to start by looking at how it compares with the list of programs that I frequently use. The list of open-source, free-ware, and proprietary programs that I use daily on this post.

Can Ubuntu do 100% of the tasks I need to do 100% of the time? No, but it is not logical to expect it to in an environment that is as entrenched in Windows and proprietary programs as most school systems. However, it can do 95% of what I need it to do 95% of the time for 100% less money. Plus, the philosophy behind the operating system and most of the programs is more in line with the way that I believe software should be distributed. If you have any questions or comments about a specific program or function you would like to know if Ubuntu can handle, please let me know in the comments. If I don’t know, we can ask the Ubuntu forums where there are a ton of helpful people who are patient and helpful with even new users.

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