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Re: Saving Corporate Money with Linux

High Plains Thumper wrote:
> "Rex Ballard" wrote:
> > One of the reasons that Linux has found it's way into so
> > many servers and desktops was because Linux is usually a
> > "petty cash expense" instead of a "capital asset".  Often,
> > even when the software is purchased from a retailer, it's
> > even under the $75 price that mandates a receipt.  The PC
> > it is installed on, has often already been depreciated to
> > $0, or has been declared "obsolete" by Microsoft, even
> > though it's only in the second year of it's 5 year
> > depreciation cycle. The company can't throw them away,
> > because these are still valued capital assets, and they
> > have to pay for environmentally safe disposal. It's
> > actually cheaper to send the fully functional PCs to
> > Africa, Brazil, or China, than it is to turn them over to
> > someone who will "shred" them.
> >
> >> http://www.aegeon.com.au/go/article/reduce-software-licence
> >> -costs
> IT costs are overhead expenses that cut into corporate profit.
> It is not unreasonable to consider that the operating system
> should also have a 5 year cycle.
> However, I have observed 3 year upgrade cycles, too.  Toward the
> end of the 5 year cycle, we see that the hardware no longer can
> keep up with the software upgrades.

It would be nice if the IRS could figure this out.  On the other hand,
it's not unusual for UNIX and Linux servers to remain functional for as
much as 10 years. www.fanying.com features two 486/33 machines running
FreeBSD.  These machines are over 15 years old.  They have been graded
to SCSI RAID storage, and are mostly used for static web pages, but it
is pretty functional.

> In order to make hardware affordable has tended to decrease the
> quality of PC's.  In one case about 8 year ago, I saw how Maxtor
> hard drives on a Dell big buy were starting to crap out on the
> 4th year of the cycle.

We also have some other challenges.  Newer machines typically have much
faster processors and cooling has to be active, using cooling fans.
Dust and friction can reduce the efficiency of the cooling system,
allowing the chips to overheat, but even these can last for several
months, even years.

In addition, hard drives have much higher densities and much higher
rotational speeds.  The norm these days is 7200 RPM drives, and often
these are enclosed.  Even with titanium platters and nickel plating,
the effects of heat, friction, and poor cooling can result in a drive
failure in 3-4 years.  One of the most commonly sold "upgrade
components" is hard drives.

>  IT department was replacing Maxtors on a
> regular basis.  That was an additional expense both material and
> labor wise.

I can just imagine the cost of lost work, lost productivity, and so on
Very often, vendors push the envelope.  Even when this happens, the
flaws tend to be corrected quickly.

Even the exploding batteries are being recalled and replaced as quickly
as possible.

Still, it's not that uncommon to see PCs that are 5-8 years old, and
many of those machines do remain functional - but not with their
original Windows software.and not with their original owners.

> Hence it may seem that some industry is not keeping up with the
> times by stretching their PC upgrade cycles, but it is
> necessary.  Those costs chip away at the unrecoverable overhead
> expenses.

The problem these days is that we are now seeing "disposable" computers
that are doing well to last a few MONTHS.  Windows XP upchucks because
of viruses, spyware, or DLL hell, or some malicious upgrade that
backfires, and suddenly the computer is a "throw away".  Why?  Because
it costs more to fix the current system than it does to just replace

I can't think of too many better ways to close "technology gap", and it
seems to be doing extraordinary things for the proliferation of Linux.

> This is where Linux can extend those PC's life and make them
> useful again.  Not everyone requires the bleeding edge
> applications.

The gaps are closing quickly.  If someone came out with a really good
project manager that worked well with generic databases or CVS, we
could see a dramatic move to Linux.

> --

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