Linux for Microsoft Windows Users: #3

MozillaQuest has the third article in a series of articles ‘…designed to help Microsoft Windows users better understand and use Linux, and Linux software…

Last time, in Linux for Microsoft Windows Users: #2 – Getting Started with The Linux MS Windows-Like Desktop , we used the KDE Wizard in Caldera’s OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4 to make the Linux, K desktop look and feel pretty much like the Microsoft Windows desktop. Today, let’s get the K desktop running in Red Hat Linux 7 and then make it look and feel more like the Microsoft Windows desktop.

Or, if you like you can follow along in this tutorial and use it as a guide for creating your own customized Linux desktop skin or theme. Then in our next session, let’s get down to business using the K desktop to start and to run programs. Incidentally, this tutorial article should be helpful if you want to customize or re-skin the K desktop in other Linux distributions, also.

IHC: Prospects Iffy for Powerhouse Alliance

Internet Health Care is reporting on behemoth IBM, Pfizer and Microsoft’s alliance to: ‘sell products enabling physicians to collect and access clinical and financial information at the point of care…However, the timing of the initiative and the key players involved give pause to the chances of success, says Richard Watson, research associate for S.G. Cowen Securities Corp., a New York-based investment firm. “We haven’t seen adoption rates that indicate widespread acceptance of hand-held devices by physicians,” Watson says. “Is there potential? Yes. In reality, is there demand at this time? It doesn’t appear like it.’ Editor: And if they did it with free and open source software, would their chances improve?


Charlotte Business Journal has an interview with RedHat executive Bob Young who thinks an economic downturn is beneficial for RedHat and that its customers are in control of the technology: ‘…The reason it’s better is not because it’s better or faster or cheaper. But, for the first time, the customer has control over the technology. All we were doing was bringing the software industry into the 21st century. Well, technically, given the feudal nature of the software industry, where the vendor controlled the customer, we’re actually bringing it into the 17th century. Free markets were supposed to be about freedom. Wal-Mart can’t dictate to you the price you’re going to pay for a toaster. If they overcharge you, you’re going to Kmart…

Europe Far Ahead in Healthcare Open Source

Minoru Development Corp. president Brian Bray on the OpenHealth list writes: ‘…For the benefit of North American readers, you should be aware that many countries in Europe are already far ahead of your wildest dreams in the adoption of open source. For many parts of the public service here, it’s not a matter of “if”, or even a matter of “when”, but a matter of “how”. Health care is closely tied to the public sector in most parts of Europe.

Some concrete examples for our Spirit travels:

Dave [Scott] heard a minister of the economy for one of the smaller member states talk at length about the advantages of Zope for public administrations.

Some specific administrations have entirely switched to open source and are now giving talks on how to do it.

The CIO of a hospital information systems vendor (integration and outsourcing) that Joseph [Dal Molin] and I spoke with indicated that virtually all of her customers (about 20 hospitals) were planning the transition to Linux in two years time. She was worried about how whe could bring her staff up to speed.

My feeling is that a lot of health care system vendors are starting to plan their transition to open source — either proprietary products on Linux or releasing their product line under open source licences.

Some concrete examples of “early adopters” on this list are Nautilus/Odyssee (Page is in French) and GT.M.

One of the big tasks of the Spirit project is to visit vendors, care delivery organizations and policy makers to educate them about open source. Part of the transition is releasing their existing code under open source licences. We offer a seminar from for this. It is our goal to increase the base of open source health care software by this means.

You can help by pointing us at the best opportunities (or pointing them to us). We will be making all the briefing materials public as soon the Spirit site goes live, so that you can use the same information in your presentations if you want.