[PLUG] Self Analysis

Sriram Narayanan sriramnrn at gmail.com
Mon Feb 25 09:55:23 IST 2008

On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 7:42 PM, Nishit Dave <stargazer.dave at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 23, 2008 at 4:40 PM, Sriram Narayanan <sriramnrn at gmail.com> wrote:
>  >  of free time and of how shy they are about meeting other tech
>  >  enthusiasts.
>  I sometimes think LUGs take the tech enthusiasts thing too far -
>  scaring away lay users like me who are not interested in programming
>  languages or database administration, but in solving day-to-day
>  computing issues.  Usually happens when you have a large number of
>  students participating in the group.

You are so right.

What I've found interesting is to get the techies to apply their
knowledge to solve a problem.
I have a small business selling carpets and handicrafts. With the
grace of God, my business is now expanding, and I will be able to
offer employment to about 10 people. Each of these persons will use MS
Office and Internet explorer.

I don't have much money right now to opt for high end computers or for
licensed software. I'm considering hiring desktops and using pirated
copies of Windows and MS Office on those.

Are there any legal options available for me ?

I'm using a Foxpro 2.6 for DOS based application which is working just
fine. However, my old computer is about to die - the hard disk is
starting to make some clanking noise, and the computer hangs after six
hours of use. My hardware technician tells me that I should replace
this with a new computer. I do not want to put in too much money on
very high end systems and pay for a fancy GUI that I will never even
use. The technician tells me that Vista is good for viewing DVD
movies, but I already have a DVD player at home.

Are there any other options that my technician has not considered for me ?


We have one internet connection in the office, and this line is
connected to an office PC. So far, we've been using the PC on a turn
by turn basis. But sometimes, we have to ask the customer to wait too
long before we get a chance to send them an email. Our present
solution is to type the mails in Word, save the documents onto a
floppy, and to then sit on the internet PC and upload that document.

We're considering connecting internet access to one more PC as a short
term measure.

Is there any low cost ISP who can provide us with dedicated
connections to each and every PC that we have ?

(This was a case where the people hadn't heard of a LAN, or of
internet connection sharing, or of line bonding)
With real world problem statements like that, the tech folks would be
challenged to come up with an implementation where the costs, the
technology, the suport angle, etc, all have to be considered. It is
one thing to discuss abstract issues on a mailing list. It is quite
another thing to put together a concrete system such as a solution for
the above.

Tossing together a network with Ubuntu is no big deal - I do it all
the time. But then we're the techies. It's the non-techies for whom
such things are a big deal, and for whom seeing a solution materialize
in front of them would be very very mind-broadening.

I know an ex-insurance agent based in Pune who has quit his insurance
business and has started to offer solutions to people who have problem
statements such as the above. This person, Arun Tomar, is a PLUG
member, btw.

Perhaps future PLUG meets of CSLug meets could actually have an
exercise where people implement solutions to the above. People who
have never set up networks before could now actually setup networks.
And those who're wondering just how one makes money using open source
software would now get to understand that there is a market for
providing services.

-- Sriram

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