[rescue] Compaq Proliant 8000

Charles Shannon Hendrix shannon at widomaker.com
Sat May 1 11:54:14 CDT 2004

Fri, 30 Apr 2004 @ 14:28 -0400, Dave McGuire said:

> >This won't happen until the alternative gives the people what they like
> >about a Windows PC, and for the same price.
>   Agreed.  But the alternatives have been there for quite some time.

Oh, I know... but I've had really bad luck getting people to try 

But there are small victories.

Months back I was in a woman's office and she couldn't get a Word
document to load.  Her cubicle mate was a programmer and he had Open
Office running, on a clandestine dual-boot Linux setup.  I chatted with
them both a bit and soon the offending document was loaded just fine in
Open Office.

This was a M$ file that would not work in a M$ program, running on 
an alternative, and I hope it made an impression.

Sometimes you have to do things one at a time.

A local UNIX geek goes into CompUSA stores and puts UNIX advertisements
and local UNIX user group notices in the Windows sections.  He has
stickers and brochures pre-made for it

> >The average joe doesn't give a damn about the rest of the picture,
> >because they wouldn't understand the explanation in the first place.
>   Agreed.  Because the average joe is willing to use a tool without 
> learning the first thing about it.  This is the root of the problem.

So, how do you get them to change?

I don't expect them to become experts.  I can't tear my car down and
rebuild it, at least not with more effort than I'm willing to do.

But at the same time I did spend a lot of time learning to drive
properly and learn enough of how it worked to get along better than most
other drivers.

So clearly you can become an expert user without intimate knowledge.

How do we get that kind of training to happen with computers?

It used to happen by default, because you couldn't use one otherwise.

> >I think Apple is currently the only company doing that.
>   And agreed yet again.  We're on a roll, here.

Dangerous territory... :)

> >There aren't enough "Sun U60s" to supply the market, and most people
> >would feel that was a downgrade.
>   Now that is just plain silly.  

Nah, context confusion is all.  I'm having a hard time noting where I'm
talking about grassroots changes versus large installs.

If this sort of thing has caused confusion elsewhere, my apologies.

>   True there aren't enough to go around, but there are enough to      
> teach people the difference.                                          

Right, you can make a lot of changes at a grassroots level.

For example, a guy was shopping in CompUSA and he started talking about
his Windows LAN server.  He had to replace it about every two years
because "server duty is really hard on a machine."

Briefly: Instead of arguing with him, I sold him on the idea of using a
rescued UNIX box to do the job.  I told him he didn't have to pay me (it
wasn't much anyway) until it had served for a month with no errors and

He was pleased simply because it ran without needing him.

I have no idea what happened after that, but I'd like to think that's
one IT manager who now has some idea how different things could be.

The problem I've found is when you are competing with those
multi-hundred or multi-thousand unit PC installs.  Businesses are very
well entrenched with M$ there, and they are also really funny about

Some local geeks and I have put rescued or even new machines in here and
there, but large numbers haven't happpened.  There are only a few I've
personally been able to talk into trying, and then the per-unit costs
from workstation resellers scared them off.

Not that I've given up: several of us would like to make it a business,
just noting that it has been a hard sell.

Ironically, I have installed more rescued equipment than I have stuff I
bought specifically to sell.  It's nice to see them get more use.

> And the people who would consider them a "downgrade" are clueless
> anyway.

I'm not disagreeing with you.

However, the average user *is* clueless.  If the U60 doesn't have great
video, they'll complain.  It's memory bandwidth, SCSI bus, and CPU won't
mean a thing if it can't put up the pretty pictures up as fast as their

Remember the idea is to present them with something better which will
also look/feel better to them.  That will sell them on the idea.  Save
your technical presentation for IT, and hope they more savvy than the
users... :/

Note: I'm not saying there are no graphics cards for the Sun that are

With regard to perception:

Why do you think Apple spends so much time writing graphics code that
eliminates flickering?  It makes people think the system is better, even
if it actually slows it down.

Of course, sometimes it *is* better, since flickering might indicate a
problem... like redundant events in X.

shannon "AT" widomaker.com -- ["I want this Perl software checked for
viruses.  Use Norton Antivirus." -- Charlie Kirkpatrick]

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