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* Posts by Chemist

1821 posts • joined 24 Mar 2010

Whitehall and Microsoft negotiate NHS Windows XP hacker survival plan

Chemist
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Re: Why are we paying for this?

" Look at the Munich farce - It cost them ~ €30 million more to migrate to Open Source than to update Windows"

You have mentioned this before (again & again) , no evidence other than MS supplied 'evidence' whereas Munich ave been quite open about it. No-one believed you then and no-one does now.

BTW didn't you get your post bounced a week or so ago for repetitive trolling ?

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Friends don't do tech support for friends running Windows XP

Chemist
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"Its ram usage would just shoot up, for no good reason that I could see until the machine gave up and hung"

Can't imagine what this was. I've used Linux versions for file/print/media serving purposes since the mid-90s and never seen anything like that. In fact my file/print server has only failed once in all that time and that was hardware (MB capacitor). The current physical machine is a dual-core Atom (for low power as it runs all the time) with 2GB memory - apart from a little hardware upgrade and reboots for new kernels/OS versions it's been running non-stop for 3+ years. I've never even heard of nfsd behaving like this - anyone else ?

As for arcane installation requirements I've just upgraded 1 netbook, 2laptops, a desktop and the fileserver to OpenSUSE 13.1 without any issues apart from a systemd related issue with CUPS (now solved). The install to one laptop was to a new quad core i7 from a USBLive pendrive and took 7-8 mins.

Now I'm not an IT prof. and I can understand a business wanting a prof. supplied solution but I can't imagine what sort of cowboys supplied your system.

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Open MPI hits milestone with FORTRAN-ready 1.7.4 release

Chemist
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Re: Fortran, indeed

"Fortran has it's limitations"

Whilst I'd never write anything completely new in Fortran one of it's big advantages is that there are masses of very-well debugged programs/routines that are readily available to use & modify.

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CERN outlines plan for new 100km circumference supercollider

Chemist
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Re: Why not space?

"Why not space?"

WHAT ! You do realise that the whole structure is inside electromagnets - are you going to put those in a complete ring round the earth ?

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UK spooks STILL won't release Bletchley Park secrets 70 years on

Chemist
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"I wonder what kind of computing industry we would have now if they hadn't kept this secret for so long?"

Well, given that by 1948 Manchester Uni.had developed the 'Baby' which was stored-program and all-electronic I don't think it held anyone up long - indeed the speed of improvement was impressive with the full Mk1 being available by 1949 and a commercial version from Ferranti by 1951

Incidently Turing wrote the third program for the 'baby' which was for long division.

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Life support's ABOUT to be switched off, but XP's suddenly COOL again

Chemist
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Re: @Chemist

"unsafe non-Web Internet addresses."

Whilst I agree that you do still need a mechanism. Normal updating of a Linux distro would seem to me to be one of the less risky behaviours

I think it unlikely that just running an update mechanism as root and everything else as a user will result in harm. The real no-no would be running a desktop session as root and behaving like a user

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Chemist
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"Anyone using Linux who has to do system admin work that involves (as it all too often does nowadays) network access"

Network access != "browsing internet" For installations and upgrades I'm running the process (Yast in my case) as root but I'm browsing any necessary extra info as a normal user Yast is going to predefined repositories, IF these have been tampered with well that's a very different matter

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This THREESOME is a HANDFUL: It’s the Asus Transformer Book Trio

Chemist
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Re: Linux

"What software were you using for the difficult stuff?"

Lots of in-house & academic stuff for protein modeling and structural database searching, conformational analysis and docking. Commercial stuff like Schrodinger products like Maestro, Glide, Jaguar.

This was ~8 years ago, much was only available for Unix/Linux and often needed to run 24-96 hours flat out

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Chemist
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Re: Linux

"any business or domestic using Linux "

Let me introduce myself then - 6/7 (one's in pieces at the moment) netbooks/laptops/desktops spread over 2 homes and a motorhome - all run only Linux - none apart from one second hand laptop have ever had Windows installed - my latest laptop came £65 cheaper for not having Windows. From another post earlier today :-

"I'm writing this on a brand new laptop bought on-line from a UK company (quad -core i7, 8GB, 1080 matte screen) and I got it £65 cheaper by not having Windows installed. The case is a little naff but the screen ( ~15") and performance is gorgeous. OpenSUSE 13.1 installed in 8 minutes from a USB live distro and EVERYTHING works. Only Intel graphics but that is easily good enough to watch 1080p/50 video with cpus ticking over. Renders 1080p/50 video at ~1.7 mins per min of video (H264) with all 'eight' cores averaging about 80%"

Before I retired from a major pharma I had one big powerful dual Xeon Linux workstation with 3D graphics for the difficult stuff and a Windows desktop for the corporate grief - I was not alone - 200+ people in the same company had the same/similar set-ups.

You remind me of the people here who say things like "no-one need to upgrade anymore, even old hardware is sufficient to run a browser and a word-processor". Except some of us need as many cpu cycles as we can get.

In that vein many people, in absolute terms use Linux, every day and in every way, professionally and domestically and almost all of them have chosen to - not had if foisted on them by the PC suppliers.

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Windows 8.1 becomes world's fourth-most-popular desktop OS

Chemist
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Re: Charity PCs

"while the issue with Linux is stability."

WHAT !

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Chemist
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Re: Is 'popular' the correct word?

"and Windows 8 comes pre-installed" - I take your point esp. if people buy from a big retailer but I'm writing this on a brand new laptop bought on-line from a UK company (quad -core i7, 8GB, 1080 matte screen) and I got it £65 cheaper by not having Windows installed. The case is a little naff but the screen ( ~15") and performance is gorgeous. OpenSUSE 13.installed in 8 minutes from a USB live distro and EVERYTHING works. Only Intel graphics but that is easily good enough to watch 1080p/50 video with cpus ticking over. Renders 1080p/50 video at ~1.7 mins per min of video (H264) with all 'eight' cores averaging about 80%

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Unmanned, autonomous ROBOT TRUCK CONVOY 'drives though town'

Chemist
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Re: They all come with a robotic arm

"So they can pay the Dartford crossing"

NOT for much longer though !

http://www.highways.gov.uk/our-road-network/managing-our-roads/improving-our-network/the-dartford-thurrock-river-crossing/

The Dartford - Thurrock River Crossing

Intro­duc­tion of remote payment

From Octo­ber 2014 there will be changes to how you pay to use the Dart­ford cross­ing. You will no longer stop at the cross­ing bar­ri­ers to pay the charge, instead pay­ment will be made:

online

via text

on the phone

at retail outlets

So they'll need robot fingers to punch the phone ( not whilst driving!)

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Snap! Nokia's gyro stabilised camera tech now on open market

Chemist
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"You're still going to get jerky video recording ..."

Not sure what you mean - my Panasonic video camera outputs 1080p/50 video to an SD card without losing any frames & that's ~~3MB/sec coming off the camera admittedly already compressed to .MTS format (Codec: H264 - MPEG-4 AVC (part 10) (h264))

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Elderly Bletchley Park volunteer sacked for showing Colossus exhibit to visitors

Chemist
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"heroic codebreakers of Bletchley Park"

innovative, hard-working, painstaking, exhausted, essential and lots of other positive adjectives - yes but heroic ?

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Boeing bent over for new probe as 787 batteries vent fluid, start to MELT

Chemist
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Re: Yea! Boeing "fixed" the problem!

"euphemism from last year"

A long time ago I had a fume-cupboard that wasn't performing properly. The engineers came along, tinkered with the motor, ducting and switch gear and then proclaimed that "it was working safely only the 'smell' was escaping into the lab."

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Clink! Terrorist jailed for refusing to tell police his encryption password

Chemist
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Re: Not "complying" is the crime, not the results of complying.

I've got lots of files on all my computers that are NOT encrypted but are pure binary and for which I potentially have no idea what program other than a hex editor can read them. Some of them might be ( they are not BTW ) encrypted files that have been obfuscated by various means and would just look like pure binary until de-obfuscated.

Much of the scientific software I use generates (HUGE) pure text files as output but some does indeed generate (HUGE) binary files without any headers to indicate what they are if the filename is changed.

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Microsoft buries Sinofsky Era... then jumps on the coffin lid

Chemist
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"entirely new Windows"

Wish I'd had £1 for every time I'd heard that before - I could have bought my own supercomputer by now !

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Virgin Galactic's supersonic space ship in 71,000-ft record smash

Chemist
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"btw, the X2 flight reached nearly 112000km (69000 miles)."

That figure is VERY wrong - by 1000 fold. presumably from translating m -> km & then converting to miles.

From Wikipedia :

"The spacecraft coasted to apogee at an altitude of 367,442 feet (111.996 km), well in excess of the X PRIZE target altitude. It also broke the record altitude of 354,200 feet (107.96 km) for a rocket plane, set by the X-15 in 1963.

After apogee, SpaceShipOne reentered the atmosphere in its feathered configuration, and then changed to gliding configuration at 07:57. SpaceShipOne then glided back to the spaceport, deployed landing gear at 4,200 feet (1.28 km), and landed safely at 08:13. White Knight then landed at 08:19."

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Boffins claim battery BREAKTHROUGH – with rhubarb-like molecule

Chemist
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Re: Woah

"Chemist, I don't quite understand what you said."

Well as an example a hydrogen fuel cell isn't just a 'cell' filled up with hydrogen - hydrogen is supplied as necessary from an external tank. In this case the lower energy waste product product isn't saved to be recycled. But with other chemistry it's entirely possible. Conceptually the water produced could be subject to electrolysis in the same cell and the hydrogen stored.

Even in a lab solutions can be pumped around one half of a cell with a ion-permeable membrane to keep the moving solution away from the wrong electrode . On an industrial scale equipment is available on a modular basis that can be moved by a fork-lift and can be used to generate a number of materials by electrochemistry on very large scales. Chlorine is nowadays produced this way using a superacid membrane (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nafion) that avoids the disasterous use of mercury

In electrochemistry at the anode things are oxidized and at the cathode they are reduced - with sufficently stable materials the whole thing can be reversible

With the right materials this could easily act as an energy store. What the efficiency and by-product profile might be is the real question.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_battery

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Chemist
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Re: UNENDING GRANT RESEARCH BAIT-AND-SWITCH

"all "storage batteries" are limited to ~ 1.5 volt of Direct Current "

I think you mean "all LEAD-ACID ........ " I think you'll find the voltage depends on the chemistry of the battery.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrochemical_series

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Chemist
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Re: Woah

"This sounds like basically a fuel cell that is rechargeable"

Fuel cells are rechargeable that's really the point. Big tank of higher energy material going through cell to tank of lower energy material + electricity. Run the process in reverse (preferably) to recharge the high energy tank.

Oddly enough many years ago I used such a flow process ( in reverse) to deprotect an antibiotic intermediate with the by-product being a quinone

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Chemist
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Re: Thermal stores would help too

"hydrogen generation and reconversion was 85% efficient in the early 90's"

Hydrogen generation by electrolysis is not very efficient at all. Could you also explain how the spare oxygen can sig. increase the burning efficiency ?

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Anatomy of a 22-year-old X Window bug: Get root with newly uncovered flaw

Chemist
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Re: AC 12:33

"Hardly going to present the fact that they are a waste of money are they"

And your authoritative reference is ...........?

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Dell confirms Chromebook for Blighty

Chemist
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"... Ubuntu benchmarks"

Linux != Ubuntu

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Two white dwarfs and superdense star. Yup, IDEAL for gravity lab in the sky - boffins

Chemist
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Re: Waitwhat

"But gravity is exchange of momentum via virtual photons"

Never come across gravity being described that way only the other fundamental forces. AFAIK the fundamentals of GR are that the 'force' of gravity is a result of spacetime itself being curved by mass/energy.

As there is no accepted quantum gravity theory AFAIK, the exchange of virtual particles ( which does derive from quantum theory) in a gravity-inducing sense is speculation.

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Chemist
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Re: Waitwhat

"General relativity holds that energy exerts gravity? Am I reading this correct?"

Simple answer seems to be yes ! Energy is one of the factors in the Einstein gravity equations along with mass The curvature of spacetime (=gravity) depends on its mass & energy content.

Mind, what do I know, I'm a chemist. Einstein : "The trouble with chemistry is that it is too difficult for chemists" !

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Skype's Twitter account, blog hacked to spread anti-Microsoft messages

Chemist
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Re: Skype for linux?

"then doesn't try to get a return on investment won't be around for long. Like it or not Linux is a VERY small percentage of the desktop / laptop platform (Skype works fine on my Android), so doesn't make much sense, especially when you are aiming to integrate with Office / Lync, which will bring you in a lot of money."

Main message is not to put your trust/future/business in hock to any one system.

( I say this as someone with £6.53 in my Skype account and no other MS dependence )

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How the NSA hacks PCs, phones, routers, hard disks 'at speed of light': Spy tech catalog leaks

Chemist
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Re: Ok, not so quick and easy

"And from where do you think we will obtain trust-worthy hashes?"

That American gov.agency responsible for security ? -Oh wait ..

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Torvalds: Linux devs may 'cry into our lonely beers' at Christmas

Chemist
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Re: Oi Mr AC!

"@Chemist Happy Holidays to you too, sir."

Really enjoyed the rants, Trevor, magic.

Don't give yourself RSI over the AC though - it's not worth it

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Chemist
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Re: And cry you might

"About the only place Linux has any traction is in super-computing, but there you have a team of PhDs to fix the brokeness of it all. Not something the typical user has access to."

Like the Altix UV which runs standard SUSE Enterprise Linux.

Ref :http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/15/sgi_altix_sales_hadoop_prefabs/

"and expand from its own variant of SUSE Linux to a machine that can run standard SUSE Linux Enterprise Server or Red Hat Enterprise Linux as well as Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 R2.

SGI has been making a lot of noise lately about how Windows Server 2008 can run on its Altix UV 100 and 1000 machines, and in fact, the UltraViolet hardware scales far beyond the limits of that Windows OS at this point. The Windows kernel sees the"

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Chemist
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Re: And cry you might

"Really, are these pro-Linux/anti-MS responses supposed to be sound, unbiased opinions? Jeez."

I think given his history we are more entitled to question AC's bias. I don't know what you're problems are but I ran through the 'problem' stage of Linux in the mid-90s, since then, mainly sticking with one distro (on bare metal) at home and RH professionally I've had very few. Some hardware is best avoided as the manufacturers don't release sufficient info to write good drivers but generally almost everything works (for me) and without the need to hunt for drivers.

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Chemist
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Re: So

"Fast forward five years and its STILL not finished."

Of course it's bl**dy finished, as much as any OS ever is, new hardware, bug fixes, new security threats, new paradigms

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Chemist
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Re: Oi Mr AC!

"If the software was available for Unix then Linux was not a necesity."

No, but the change from SGI Unix to x86 Linux saved a fortune

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Chemist
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Re: Oi Mr AC!

"Not bad for a joke OS."

I worked for a large pharmaceutical company - in our dept. we had ~250 Dell dual Xeon workstations with 3D graphics hardware/ LC specs. for visualizing proteins etc. Linux was necessary as the software suppliers for most of our protein modeling programs ONLY used Unix/Linux, but also the workstations were hammered by some of the software, running 100% cpu overnight or weekends or on one memorable occasion 5 weeks ! and Windows just wasn't reliable enough (this was ~W2000 era). we also had several Linux farms for the big jobs 1024/2048 nodes.

Indeed not bad for a joke OS

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Chemist
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Re: Oi Mr AC!

"You realise with your bigoted anti Linux rants, you are just making yourself look stupid?"

He does it all the time- he's probably the most down-voted individual on the Register. (this in spite of being leader of a large IT group ! )

I agree with you about the FUD. All my machines run Linux, netbook, laptop, server and 3 workstations, all install without problems, the two printers, one a laser the other a scanner/inkjet all work fine using the standard drivers under CUPS, the wireless cards/3G dongles all work, the touchpads work really well, sleep ditto, the accelerated graphics work. Multiscreen is a breeze.

This week we bought a HD Freeview recorder with WiFi which can use DLNA. - I installed minidlna server on this old laptop in a couple of mins., changed a few lines of config. and all the photos/videos on the laptop appeared on the TV and by including a few links to directories all the server's videos/photos where there too.

Have good Xmas everyone

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DisARMed: Geeksphone's next high-end mobe to pack Intel x86 inside

Chemist
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Re: Android.. on x86?

"I wasn't aware Android was compiled to run natively on x86."

Yes, there's a port - I had it running on a VM for a while when my wife bought a Nexus 7

http://www.android-x86.org/download

http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/intel-atom-x86-image-for-android-jelly-bean-43-installation-instructions-manually

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Munich signs off on Open Source project

Chemist
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Re: that's the point...

"French police are moving to a Linux distro of their own"

I liked the quote in the article below :

"Moving from Microsoft XP to Vista would not have brought us many advantages and Microsoft said it would require training of users," said Lt. Col. Guimard. "Moving from XP to Ubuntu, however, proved very easy. The two biggest differences are the icons and the games. Games are not our priority."

arstechnica.com/information-techhttp://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2009/03/french-police-saves-millions-of-euros-by-adopting-ubuntu/nology/2009/03/french-police-saves-millions-of-euros-by-adopting-ubuntu/

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Chemist
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Re: "boring to the rest of the readers."

"A different AC here."

Thanks for that. We must wait for the final report from Munich although no doubt there will be just as many arguments about that.

I liked Destroy all Monster's post

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/2057972

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Chemist
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"o end up with what is effectively a crippled desktop compared to a current Windows based solution - and they still can't support 30% of their apps on it!.."

Crippled desktop in your less-than-humble opinion.

It's NOT 30% of the apps, it's that 30% of the desktops need SOME Windows apps - may only be one. Anyway I'm not going on responding to an AC ( yes just the one) because it's like punching fog and I'm sure is boring to the rest of the readers.

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Chemist
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"And 5% not done yet, so fully 30% still require Windows after ten years"

No, 30% might require SOME access to Windows programs, 10% might require Windows on their desktop.

70% are just using Linux/OO etc.

Are you a Munich ratepayer ? or just a concerned citizen, or ???

I'm a Linux user professionally, and personally, I care not about MS, but I do care when misinformation is spread around

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Chemist
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"but of course doesn't highlight the many more that have to use Windows desktops via Citrix"

Oddly enough AC it did - 15% using virtual solutions and 10% Windows - Having Windows on a desktop machine needs to be justified.

Anyway why does it matter to you - are you a Munich ratepayer ?. I judge the overwhelming view of the posters/voters goes against your arguments - must be all Linux supporters - oh wait they are only 1% of population - must be Microsoft haters then - yep that might be another 90%

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Chemist
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Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

"t doesn't include the cost savings of migrating to updated Microsoft products,"

Ha,ha,ha

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Chemist
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"30 million OVER budget"

They didn't - it's only MS and one rather biased AC that is suggesting they did.

see http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/2057907

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Chemist
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Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

"o it's unclear to me if the savings are annually or for the whole project."

I think it's the whole project, but they are supposed to be publishing up-to-date results soon.

The French police are claiming 2 million Euros/year in savings

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Chemist
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Re: PCs

"Wonder where they got the PC without Windows."

I think if you are buying 70000 it's not a problem. Indeed I know several companies in the UK that will sell you one, £70 extra if Windows is included.

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Chemist
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Re: that's the point...

"1000's of councils across Europe"

Not just councils, of course, The French police are moving to a Linux distro of their own. They've currently installed on ~40000 desktops and are intending to reach ~70000 by next year.

I thought this quote from the project leader in Munich was also telling :

""Windows has developed from a pure PC-centred operating system, like Windows 3.11 was, to a whole infrastructure. If you're staying with Microsoft you're getting more and more overwhelmed to update and change your whole IT infrastructure [to fit with Microsoft]," according to Hofmann, whether that be introducing a Microsoft Active Directory system or running a key management server.

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Chemist
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"f what you claim is correct, that is frankly utterly staggering."

Why ?

I've seen the time-line on a Munich doc but can't find it at the moment but from memory the bulk of the desktop moves took place rather recently (~3 years ?)

Yes it's on the document :

http://www.muenchen.de/rathaus/dms/Home/Stadtverwaltung/Direktorium/Strategische-IT-Projekte/LiMux/Dokumente/Praesentation_LiMux_engl_web.pdf page 6

Looks like they spent 2 years getting people onto OO, then 2 years pilots of the linux system (1), then roll-out from 2011.

(1)Until the end of 2008, each of the city's departments will have a "LiMux germ cell". These are groups of 30-50 workstations that will be migrated to the LiMux client. Even in departments that are sceptical towards the migration, this helps the IT staff to become familiar with the software. This approach also allows the LiMux project team to learn about the specific technical requirements of each department, and address them before the full-scale roll-out of the software.

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Chemist
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"up a decade long project"

Although a decade is often mentioned it looks as though although the decision was made ~2003 actual implementation as opposed to pilots didn't begin until ~~2007, ran as a rolling process whilst maintaining the full council services and indeed had been intended to take quite a time.

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