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(Self) Introduction

Hi, folks

My background is first in applied math&CS, then in stats, after which
I started working for the Marine Research Institute in Iceland.  First
this involved setting up a computer system (this was back in '83 where
we sensibly chose Unix, Ethernet, TCP/IP and hooked into Internet's
predecessor), then modelling and modelling advice, on to theoretical
issues in population dynamics of fish stocks and in recent years
I've been involved in annual advice on how to utilize the marine
resources in out waters.

I'm still quite heavily involved in all decisions concerning software
and hardware and have a certain vision in this context.  I would love
to be able to use the same software on my desk as on my laptop and to
use the same OS for heavy duty number crunching as for presentation

I simply want a decent piece of OS w/software which does not depend on
Microsoft's shaky and virtually useless OS.  We've found, however,
that there is a present no real answer to things such as the
Word-Excel-Powerpoint trio or the highly flexible copy-paste
functionality in MS Windows.  Hence we're stuck with PCs+MS Windows
for now -- I'd like to get rid of them and get back to decent
operating systems that work!

Oh, and I think GUIs are overrated !-)

I do, however, (1) think it essential that we get some of the most
popular PC packages' functionality onto something like Linux and (2)
to me it is clear that the greatest shortcoming of Unix OSs has been
the difficulty of OS mods - I have and maintain my own Sun and believe
me that it is a major hassle when I come to an irregular update and
can't for the life of me remember how /etc/printcap or other system
files work.  Out of our 120 staff I am not sure that any other
non-computing staff would be able to have a Unix machine and maintain