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On 4/18/12 10:05 AM, Tom Davies wrote:
Interestingly apparently many US government agencies and departments use Gnu&Linux for most
of their server-side and infra-structure but had to cave into users demands for MS on their 

MS has always been the choice for the OS in almost all cases, AFAIK, but the actual programs used varied widely years ago. My agency generally preferred Word Perfect as the word processor, but when (I think) a government wide survey was taken as to an across the board single word processing program to aid document sharing, WP lost out to Word. Lots of unhappy people in my agency who had to redo all their macros, templates, etc.

That surprises me not as far as the servers go. It seems the general impression of US Fed employees is they are, in general, not terribly bright in a lot of areas, where my experience is just the opposite. Especially the tech guys. They are well aware of the advantages of Linux.

The agency I worked for didn't use Linux on any servers, AFAIK. Not because they may not have wanted to, but the support load the tech people had to provide so far exceeded their abilities to do a good job, they were always making decisions in a direction of having everything the same, to at least try to give everyone the help they needed.

The problem, despite the big government hoopla, is there's just not enough human beings to do the job well for the tasks assigned. (Not going into the question of efficient operations, etc, as much of that is caused by people outside individual agencies, not the average employee.)

The average employee is prevented, intentionally, from having anything more to do with the servers other than using them to store their data on. I was a supervisor, and I was at my last unit for 5 years before I even knew I could do that. No one bothered to tell me I actually had access to the server's hard drives for file storage. Our unit didn't even have a dedicated IT position, it fell to the administrative officer (total department personnel size of 1) as one of many collaborative duties, and when he passed away, it was given to me as a similar collaborative duty. I was Chief of Maintenance (total dept. size of 3), as well as Environmental officer, Safety Officer, Fleet Manager, and I don't remember what else.


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