Some Benefit of Using Linux and Free Software Over Windows

I recently posted in DITG mailing list to encourage people to use Linux and free software. Here I would like to take my step toward this new approach to our Tibetan community by making awareness on Open source and their advantages on viruses, malware, spyware and offcourse on China spy network. I like to share some benefit of using Linux and free software. This has much more profitable over Windows.

A user who receives a copy of free software has the following four freedoms:

1. The freedom to run the program for any purpose.

2. The freedom to study and modify the program.

3. The freedom to copy the program so you can help your neighbour.

4. The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits

Richard Stallman: “Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of ‘free’ as in ‘free speech’, not as in ‘free beer’.

I learned the success story of India’s Kerala state for encouraging open source or linux in their state and their counting on open-source software to boost its IT literacy rate and various Open Source Initiatives have been taken by NIC kerala for effective use of open source for online applications. Now Tamil Naidu state is also diverting their way to open source and they embarked on a plan in January to put Linux in government offices, schools and villages, is making progress.

Our prime minister prof. Samdhong Rinpoche comments in the AP story said, “Digital security is expensive and difficult job” Yeah, surely it is expensive if the TGIE is to buy legit Windows licenses + legit software for all its computers but I would rather said it is not an expensive.

Tibetan Offices and Schools can derive huge cost reduction and gain flexibility by using Free Open Source Software (FOSS) tools. Here are some FOSS ‘equivalent software’ for common use and the associated cost reduction possible.

Description Windows Application Linux Application Savings
1. Operating System Microsoft Windows

RS – 7000

LINUX

Rs – Zero

Rs – 7000
2. Security: For this purpose one has to use any antivirus. i) Norton/ McAfee Antivirus, ClamWin, AVG Antivirus

Rs – 5600

Avast Home for Linux users

Rs – Zero

Rs – 5600
3. Scientific application:

i) Tools required for computer algebra

ii) Tools required for numerical computing

iii) Tools required for statistical analysis

iv) Verilog simulator for circuit simulations.

v) Electronic Design Automation tools

i) Maple, Mathematica

Rs-20000.00

ii) MATLAB

Rs-100000.00

iii) SPSS, Stata,EViews

Rs-8800.00

iv) Verilog

Rs-39800.00

v) Pspice

Rs-8000.00

i) Maxima, Axiom,Sympy

Rs-Zero

ii) Octave,Scilab

Rs-Zero

iii) R-project,PSPP,S-Plus Rs-Zero

iv) Iverilog

Rs-Zero

v) GEDA Rs-Zero

Rs.20000

Rs.100000

Rs. 8800

Rs. 39800

Rs.8000

4. Office Tools Microsoft Office Packages Rs. 9160 Open Office, KOffice, Siag Office

Rs. Zero

Rs. 9160
5. Multimedia

i) Image editing softwares

ii) Media and Music Players

i) Adobe Photoshop

Rs – 13960

Coral Draw, Coral Designer Rs. 6800

ii) Windows Media Player, Power DVD, Sonique Rs – 798

i) GIMP Rs. Zero

Inkscape Rs. zero

ii) MPlayer, Xine, Totem, Kaffeine, VLC

Rs. Zero

Rs. 13960

Rs. 6800

Rs. 798

6. Utilities:

i) CD writing tools

ii) Backup Tools

iii) Disk Manager

i) Easy CD Creator, Nero Burning ROM

Rs. 1200

ii) Veritas Backup Exec Cobian Backup, Norton ghost Rs. 2800

iii) Norton Partition Magic Rs. 2459

i) Arson, Eroaster, gcombust, K3b, XCDRoast Rs. Zero

ii) BackupPC, Bacula, Amanda, Veritas etbackup Rs. Zero

iii) QTparted, Gparted

Rs. Zero

Rs.1200

Rs.2800

Rs.2459

7. Publication Tools: i) Ventura, Cord

Rs. 25000

i) Scribus, latex

Rs.Zero

Rs.25000

If all above tools are used then the total cost reduction per computer is = Rs. 251377

Some common scenarios: If an institute uses the following tools: MS Windows, MS Office, MATLAB, Nero, Norton GHOST, SPSS and Norton Antivirus then the total possible cost reduction by Switching to LINUX based tools is:

7000+9160+100000+1200+2800+8800+5600 = 134560 INR per computer

If the school or organisation has a lab with 50 computers then the total cost reduction would be = 134560 * 50 = Rs.6728000

By using such software an educational institute not only saves lots of money in license fees but it also brings lots of other advantages too. some of these are:

1. You are not bound by restrictive licenses of proprietary softwares.

2. By using thin clients you need only buy minimum hardware leading to substantial saving in costs.

3. Many of the Linux distribution support old hardware with less resource. this means that you can still use the old Pentiums available in your Labs with low RAM too. you don’t always need very high end machines. see the Linux Thin Client project on how to use even Pentium 1 Machines with 8 GB hard drives as effective terminals.

4. You have a huge freedom of choice.

5. Computer Assisted Learning improves student learning.

Special distributions for educational purposes like Edubuntu are also available at www.edubuntu.org and other such as www.ofset.org/freeduc-cd (live CD for primary schools)

So, we must initiate Free Open Source Software to the Tibetan schools and I hope you will consider on the above cost reduction and flexibility by using FOSS tools.

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