There are many articles and replies which complain of the fact
that some shops will not convert to Linux because of lack of
something that can replace Outlook and its backend.
I doubted that, but I investigated. In 1999, I brought Star
Office 5.1 home from COMDEX, used it, and I knew that I had seen
something about scheduling services. I looked into (in the meantime
new version 5.2) Star Office and found indeed some comment on the
matter in the online help. Star Office Schedule and Star Office
Schedule server do the tasks that you know from Lotus or
The only problem is this: Schedule Server can not be downloaded
from the Internet, it is only on the CD-ROM. For me, this is a
little bit problematic because the CD only costs $10, but there's
an additional $25 in transport costs (if I order it on Sun's web
site) to transport it to Belgium.
The conclusion is this: shops and companies which depend on
office suites, with scheduling and groupware functions, should be
able to make the transition to a Linux shop fairly painlessly. I
know two users (my father and my wife) who like StarOffice much
better than MS Office. They find it more powerful and easier.
The hardware requirements for a workstation should be fair. I
run StarOffice here on a Pentium Pro 200 MHz. I have 128 Mb, but 64
Mb should be sufficient, especially if you take out all the daemons
that I run here and which are not necessary for a desktop
Creating a desktop system for an office environment should be as
doing a minimal install of Linux
read the Font Deuglification HOWTO
adding a TT font server (I use xfstt)
adding TT fonts (you are converting from a Windows
Add a minimal window manager. You should even be able to use SO
as the only program in the session, logging the user out if he
Provide for printing and fax services on a server
Of course, there should be some extra things (maybe a decent
print management system, which provides pausing of a job).
Documents should also be centralized so they can be easily
There must surely be shops that can be convinced to make the
switch using these tools.
Comments and suggestions are welcome, flames should be
redirected to /dev/null.
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