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Re: Major interview

Just a small thought about one of Jose's comments.

At 06:30 PM 9/6/99 +0200, Jose C. Lacal wrote [in part]:

>Also, Microsoft has been very successful in _convincing_ millions of
>people (educators included) that they _need_ to upgrade to the latest
>and greatest Microsoft OS, _whether their existing OS still gets the job
>done or not_ I mean, I take my hat off to Sir Bill for his Marketing
>skills. But, do schools really need to scramble for funds to buy new
>Pentium IIIs with 128 MB RAM just to tun Windows 2000 when a 386 with
>Win 3.x does 99% of the same job at NO extra cost to the school?

I think this is a bit overstated. I'm a big fan of working to keep older
equipment productive ... but I wouldn't dream of asking people to use '386s
as full-featured desktop workstations unless financial pressures were
severe. Based on the experiments I've been doing here this summer, I doubt a
'386 (in a Linux setting) can even function decently as an XTerminal. (My
son did just buy an old '386 for US$8, so maybe I'll have the chance to test
this guess soon.) Even '486s are better used as Xterminals (or in non-GUI
applications) than as full-fledged desktop machines.

In fact, what schools have today is the real opportunity to upgrade their
desktops quite cheaply. New low-end systems (the Emachine series is a
familiar example) do offer good functionality in a Windows setting at
moderate cost (US$400-500 per seat, if old monitors can be reused). Beyond
that, I'm looking forward to the imminent availability of quick-install
desktop-oriented Linux distributions that convert this class of machine from
Windows to Linux in a few minutes.

------------------------------------"Never tell me the odds!"---
Ray Olszewski                                        -- Han Solo
Palo Alto, CA           	 	         ray@comarre.com