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LINCProject.org: Building An Open Source Office

May 24, 2003, 04:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Arif Mamdani, Amanda Hickman)

"This article is meant for people who are interested in deploying open source software in Grassroots Organizations. It should be of particular interest to non-profit technology assistance providers working with small resource-strapped organizations. Grassroots organizers, as well, may be interested in our overview of what it takes to bring open source into their own organization.

"The Low Income Networking and Communications (LINC) Project of the Welfare Law Center has helped over 40 low-income led organizing groups use technology more effectively. When we learned of Microsoft's decision to discontinue support of their older operating systems, including Windows 95, we began to explore the idea of using GNU/Linux, a free operating system that works well with older computers. With or without manufacturer support, we were also troubled by frequent crashes, prevalence of viruses and other problems associated with Microsoft Windows. LINC set out to test the viability of building an open source office in the hope of improving our ability to provide stable desktop systems on donated computers.

"GRO, or Grass Roots Organizing, is a Missouri community based, non-profit organization with 300 dues paying members (about 75% low-income), 4 Staff people (2 half time) and an annual budget of nearly $200k..."

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