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NewsForge: Secretaries use Linux, taxpayers save millions

Aug 13, 2001, 17:15 (26 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robin Miller)

[ Thanks to Anderson Silva for this link. ]

NewsForge provides an in-depth look at the Largo, Florida Linux/KDE deployment, where over 400 city employees are using KDE daily:

"Walk into the Largo, Florida, city hall and look at the two computer screens behind the reception desk. Instead of the typical Windows "Start" button in the lower left-hand corner, they have a KDE "Gear" logo, as do almost all of the 400-plus monitors on Largo employees' desks. Receptionists, administrative assistants, and division fire chiefs here all use Linux instead of Windows, and most of them don't really notice one way or the other. But the elected officials who are responsible for Largo's IT budget certainly know about and notice Linux, because using Linux instead of Windows is saving the city a lot of money.

One of the great anti-Linux screeds we hear is, "The secretaries will never be able to figure it out." If that is so, then Largo employee Judy Judt must be one of the world's smartest office workers. She is sitting at her desk, happily accessing an online city directory that lists all employees, vendors, and other important contacts, using a simple Rolodex-like program that is running on top of an attractively-themed KDE 2.1.1 desktop. Then Judy moves to WordPerfect to check a document she's been working on -- by unshading an already-opened program window. "I like to keep them shaded like this," she says. "I know it's just habit, that it's really the same as keeping them in, what do you call it, the little bar at the bottom of the screen, but I like to do it this way on my computer."

Sysadmin Dave Richards, who is standing next to me as I watch Judy work, is quick to correct the nomenclature: Judy does not technically have a computer of her own, he says. She is using an NCD thin client that accesses a hefty server running Red Hat 7.1. Judy can move to any other desk, use her logon name and password on that desk's terminal, and Voila! That desktop suddenly becomes "her computer," right down to her favorite KDE theme and beach-photo wallpaper."

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