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Re: [vox] Open Source savings - Letter to Sacbee
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Re: [vox] Open Source savings - Letter to Sacbee

Letters like that are cool, but unfortunately ineffective. If you're going to preach open source, you need to take little steps. Quite frankly, NOBODY is gonna just install Linux onto their computer right off the bat. (well, ok.. ALMOST nobody)

If you want to really to promote Open Source.. now is really the time to do it. Here is a plan of action that won't take much money, but will have a very STRONG impact.

Since there is no money in the State of California for ANYTHING, its hard to beat free. I suggest that the club take donations in the form of 1-spindles of CDR's, 2- Labels, 3- CD mailers, 4- Stamps, and 5- Time.

Say we target 250 distributions.

We send them to ALL of the Elementary, Middle, and High Schools in the immediate area, then fan out AWAY from the Bay Area (who in theory have more money and are more ingrained by MS. Also, the outside areas will have a bigger funding crunch and would probably be more likely to go to an Open Source solution.)

Have a nice letter written explaining that the club understands the funding problems and we have a solution to "save them money", administrative types always respond to that.

How they ask? OpenOffice.Org... its not Linux, but its a first step. Hook them on OpenSource first, when it penetrates, the OS could be next. In the letter, do the math for them.... $100 per copy of MS Office at educators prices. And thats every 2 to 3 years (MS updates you know). So in theory, using OpenOffice.Org will save them $200 per machine, every 2 to 3 years. in ten years, that could be as high as $300-400. If they have 50 machines, say at $350 in ten years, thats $17,500!

Include a distribution of OpenOffice.Org on a CD, with a very professional looking label on it (for credibility sake).

Make sure there are the names of the officers, contact information, and phone numbers in the letter so they don't think its some kind of virus or something. I'm sure at the minimum it will get installed by quite a few school administrators. Hopefully, it will become part of their "cost solution."

Although we're not pushing Linux specifically at this time, prominently have "Linux" scattered all over the letter. ie... "LINUX users group..", "had its beginnings with the Linux users, but is now available for Microsoft platforms as well as Apple OS X.." and on the disk it self... "Microsoft version... MacIntosh OS X version... and Linux version.." Subliminal marketing at its best. Embed the concept of Linux now so that it will recall into the administrators memory later. Remember, they can receive the same cost benefit over Windows with Linux... so they could potentially save $35,000 across ten years. Wow... and their hardware requirements won't go up as radically so they only need to upgrade their computers every five years instead of every three years. So one computer cycle less every ten years. How much is that? At about $1000 per machine, $50,000 every ten years, on top of $35,000 for software.. WHOA!! $85,000 on 50 systems!

I've actually been giving out OpenOffice distributions to clients for some time now. If anyone wants to start something like this, I will donate the first spindle of 100 CD's to the cause and some duplicating time.


At 04:46 PM 1/18/2004, you wrote:
On Sat, Jan 17, 2004 at 07:20:27AM -0800, Donald Childs wrote:
> Saw this in this morning's SacBee/Letters to the Editor
> Open Source savings
> http://www.sacbee.com/content/opinion/story/8115977p-9048089c.html

Cool!  Thanks for the pointer, Donald (and welcome to the lists).

I wonder if Paul (author of the letter) is involved with any of the LUGs
in the area, or if he knows about them?  Anyone know who he is?

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