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Bacone College Stays Cutting Edge With OpenOffice.org - page 3

Sound Strategy

  • March 11, 2004
  • By Rob Reilly

As it turned out, the younger Duncan had a few tricks up his sleeve. He had some experience with OpenOffice.org and Linux and decided to prove that Open Source not only worked, but would not be that hard to implement.

One day while Dr. Duncan wasn't looking, Rob loaded OpenOffice.org on his father's Windows laptop and set it up so that it started when MS Word was selected.

The inevitable "What's on my laptop?" question soon came over the phone.

But by then it was too late--the elder Duncan was off on a road trip to take care of some school business. He had no other choice but to see how OpenOffice.org performed first hand.

It performed so well, Duncan picked it up without a hitch. He then knew that he had his new package of office suite applications.

Educational faculty and staff are always more apt to make a change if they have a roadmap to follow during the transition. That roadmap came in the form of a couple of books from Hentzenwerke Publishing.

"OooSwitch: 501 Things You Wanted To Know About Switching to OpenOffice.org from Microsoft Office" was a 300-plus page book that literally discussed everything that a staffer could ever want to know about OpenOffice.org.

"Linux Transfer For Windows Network Admins: A road-map for building a Linux file and print server" covered setting up Windows and Linux based desktops to work with Linux file and print servers. The book also showed how to replace a Windows domain controller with a Linux server.

While the books looked like the perfect answer to Bacone's textbook needs, buying copies for every student, faculty, and staff member on campus wasn't in the budget. Young Duncan, the Business Management student, used some of his schooling to work out a licensing deal with Hentzenwerke and put electronic copies on one of Bacone's web servers. The complete texts could then be accessed by anyone on the campus, via the web.

"Adding the textbooks made the difference with acceptance by the staff, faculty and students," Rob Duncan said.

With the problem of selling upper management and then educating the school on OpenOffice.org behind them, the team then turned its attention to the actual implementation of new software and machines.

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