Linked by Howard Fosdick on Sat 24th Nov 2012 17:52 UTC
Editorial Do you depend on your computer for your living? If so, I'm sure you've thought long and hard about which hardware and software to use. I'd like to explain why I use generic "white boxes" running open source software. These give me a platform I rely on for 100% availability. They also provide a low-cost solution with excellent security and privacy.
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The main quibble I have is that the quality of entry-level stock components has gone down over the years and the failure rate has gone up. Unless you either have a great relationship with a local hardware dealer (and these are becoming increasingly difficult to find) or have someone on staff who can invest the required time and effort to ensure that you're sourcing good components, this business strategy could wind up soaking up an awful lot of otherwise billable time.

The only other issue I would raise is that using desktop Linux as part of a small-business IT strategy, even a business that does IT, is going to require more training than most computer users are going to willingly undertake. Most computer users--including IT professionals-- are basically like most automobile users. They know how to put in gas and use the steering wheel and are otherwise quite content to remain in ignorance of technology they depend upon.

Although the actually usability gap between Windows 7 and the most popular currently Linux distros is virtually nonexistent, stuff happens. When stuff happens in Windows, people shrug and accept it. When stuff happens in Linux, the typical response is a tirade about how crappy Linux is. Even if you're in a position to insist that your consultants are Linux-knowledgeable, I foresee needing the one box running Windows (probably w/a QuickBooks license) for whoever is answering the phone and keeping the books.

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