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