Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ubuntu rocks walmart and education

I am a big fan of open source technologies especially in the realm of education. Because open source technologies are free to use, many people mistakenly assume they are inferior in quality and support. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. For example, the $100 laptop program runs on a modified open source distribution of linux. Moodle is used in schools and universities world-wide and it is a free open source Learning Management System that can be scaled from 1 user to 50,000 users. Open Office is a free open source office suite, which is quite comparable to the expensive and market dominating MS Office Suite.

The desktop computer has been dominated by Windows and challenged by Apple (You the know the commercials, I am a PC...I'm a MAC). However, is it possible that a free open source operating system can compete with the big dogs? Well, with the huge shift in the wide-scale use of web applications and the ever increasing role of the google online empire, an open source operating system might be in a prime position to really compete in the market. Plus, it helps to get a boost from the biggest retail store in the world, Wal-mart. Recently, Wal-Mart announced that they will be selling a $200 computer running the Ubuntu Linux Operating System. For those curious about Ubuntu, Mike Kudela, instructional designer for BGSU, wrote an informative article about Ubuntu for the BGSU distance learning newsletter, titled "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC, I'm an Ubuntu?"

I have a passion for spreading education in underdeveloped areas in the US and around the world and I think open source can play a major role in connecting the human netork and Ubuntu computers would be a great way to get the ball rolling. Thanks to Brian Childs for sending me the links to this info.

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