"It was desperation that drove Joseph Seward, the partner in
charge of technology at Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho, to
install Linux as its operating system. Previously, the firm
had been using a hodgepodge of operating systems: Windows 3.1 and
95 and Hewlett-Packard Unix, a commercial forebear of Linux. But
Y2K concerns led Seward to consider an upgrade: "We push paper,"
says Seward, "and we have got to be able to put out paper
"Apart from Y2K concerns, Linux is rock solid. Few viruses
affect Linux, and those that do don't have the devastating effect a
virus can have on Windows NT. There are several layers of
protection on Linux that a virus has to go through, while on
Windows, once a virus is in, it can go anywhere and wreak
"This switch made sense for Cummings McClorey in part because it
would not have to replace any of its PCs. Unique Systems plugged
network cards into the old computers and transformed them into
machines that were compatible with Linux. "You can stick the card
into any PC and instantly turn it into a Linux box," says Glenn
Jacobson, the president of Unique Systems."
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