The Need for Reliable and Affordable Computing


I am an avid computer fanqie have worked with and appreciated the many computing advances that have taken place over the last 20 years. But it has been a love-hate relationship. Wonderful advances in technology have been accompanied by an increasing amount of time just trying to keep things running. Great new programs have been introduced and improved, but sometimes there is just too much to learn to get the job done.

We have welcomed the magical world of email and the web, yet through the back door have come the uninvited guests of spam, viruses, and spyware. There have been significant advances in computing speed, however they often result in difficult hardware and software upgrades, and a financial burden trying to keep up.
Clearly, some of the progress in the computer world has actually made things more difficult.

And it doesn’t stop at the office. At home for years I have heard the same plaintive cry: “Dad, the computer’s not working.” Which often has meant more time I didn’t have to keep things running.
A personal computer can cost a school or business as much to maintain and support–usually much more than the original purchase price. It can cost as much to deal with a single virus or spyware attack as it would to replace the entire computer.

Because of these expenses, some organizations (unfortunately) have just given up and have accepted less-than-adequate performance from their PCs. But it doesn’t need to be that way. Basic reliable and affordable computing is available for under $200 per computer per year (really). When I first discovered the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP), it was like seeing magic–imagine a Pentium 166 computer, that would otherwise be relegated to landfill, running programs at the speeds as fast as today’s most current computers.

I hope that you feel some of the same excitement that I did as you discover this great technology. Welcome to an exciting world: the world of “Linux”, “Thin Clients,” and “Open Source Software.” While you may not know what those terms mean, they ultimately represent a more reliable and more affordable computing experience than most people.  Complete school, lab, or business networks can be set up in less than a day and can provide years of inexpensive computer use.

Existing computers can be converted to high-speed workstations. Popular software programs like OpenOffice and Firefox run fast and effectively. There are no operating system or software licensing fees, no costly upgrades, and no viruses or spyware to worry about.

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