examples of free software in the public administration

Alex Hudson home at alexhudson.com
Wed Feb 14 08:22:01 UTC 2007

On Wed, 2007-02-14 at 04:40 +0000, Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:
> Brighton, UK  (there was an article about this collapsing, but apparently it
>                didn't)

Eh, I've never heard of a project in Brighton :D

The was supposed to be a roll-out in Birmingham libraries - that was the
scheme that collapsed. They spent more than €130,000 more on the free
software solution than a proprietary upgrade would have cost, and the
report says the scheme wouldn't ever have recouped that cost:


They were supposed to setup 1500 PCs, with a €600,000 budget (roughly),
but only managed to setup 200:


There was a technical report available at some stage, which was
hilarious (they couldn't get floppy drives to work, and ended up writing
scripts to control them - users ended up complaining because the scripts
were deleting all the data on the discs...). 

There was a roll-out of StarOffice at Bristol, and although I've read
online that it "failed" I think that was simply confusion with the
disaster at Birmingham - it was a very different situation. They made
big savings moving 5500 desktops to StarOffice, because they previously
weren't using a standard Office suite - they had a mix.



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