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A Miniature Linux Office Solution (Mini ITX)

Feb 24, 2011, 16:34 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Gene Alexander)

"Back in January of this year (2011) I was on-site at one of our local client offices setting up yet another Microsoft Windows XP system for a dedicated use. That PC is there just for running the United Parcel Service (UPS) WorldShip™ software for the client to enter UPS shipments off-line then batch upload them at the end of the day. Of course that software "requires" a Microsoft operating system to run. (As an aside, It irks me that people have to buy a Microsoft license just to run software like this. When are major companies like UPS going to realize it is in their best interest to create this "free" software they give away to their customers and make it available to run natively on Linux? Please do not start with the "use WINE" comments. If I wanted "Windows" software I would use a Microsoft OS. So would most Linux users, I would bet.) When I was finishing up with the shipping system the office manager asked me about setting up a dedicated system for sharing scanned versions of all their client files. They want to reduce the time it takes to look up client information in their several thousand or so paper client records. I told her I would get some prices together and send her some quotes for that.

"If you are a Linux administrator for a Linux/SAMBA file sharing system in a mostly Microsoft based LAN you likely already have an idea about my plan. I put together prices for some dedicated Network Attached Storage (NAS) drives. I also put together a price for what I call our Miniature Office Server or Miniature Desktop PC. A system we build around a Mini-ITX board using motherboards from two different manufacturers and Lian-Li Mini-ITX cases. This system is installed with a limited selection of Linux distributions depending on which motherboard is needed for the end-user's desired purpose. In this case I chose Mandriva as it is my personal favorite and the end-user needs a relatively easy to use and configure Linux distribution."

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