United States library support for Linux

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United States library support for Linux

Postby cr8rm8or » Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:45 pm

We have a group of 12 linux users in our local computer club. Several use audio books and digital online magazines obtained from the local library. We have found a way to make Zinio work for the magazines content. The public library in the state capital uses OverDrive Media app to download audio books but, it is Microsoft only.
I asked for help at the library and I was told they are aware of the problem with ODM and linux but cannot force the company to provide support for linux.
My question: How do libraries in other cities or countries support digital content for linux users?
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Postby oldpenguin » Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:14 pm

I was a librarian a while back.

tried making a comparison of PBS (Public Broadcasting Service)
to Linux, explaining GPL, free software foundation, etc, etc.
it was a waste of time and effort.

I even had to write instructions for Linux
to log onto the Library services. No one would touch it or even post it.
I am pretty sure state government works with commercial
entities because there is money in it. Linux, for an off the street user,
just doesn't understand that. Politicians go where the money is available.
Something "free" is just not in their vocabulary.

One area I note is that the lottery machines use Gentoo. So somewhere,
there are people, in state government, who recognize the advantages.

I just couldn't understand it. At that time, we were looking for magnifiers and
special themes for some of the visually impaired patrons. I pointed out
some of the features that came with Linux as a standard... But no... we spent
hundreds on software to <explitive deleted> around the microsoft desktop.

This had nothing to do with microsoft, but much more a mindset.

some ideas popped in my head, but I'll post them elsewhere.
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Postby Dutch_Master » Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:38 pm

Politicians will vote for the companies that supported them getting elected. There's a word for it, it's called bribery and IIRC completely illegal according to US regulations. Of course said politician will never admit he's bribed and will be adamant it wasn't bribery at all and his decision to award a large, long-term state contract was purely on grounds of the offers put forward, but he knows d*mn well who paid for his election and that they expect a "return on investment" including a decent profit margin. And later getting the highly paid honorary job at that company too :roll:

Welcome to Capitalist Democracy, the American Way :evil: :roll:
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Postby johnhudson » Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:41 pm

There is another problem; Linux sysadmins are in short supply and can get higher remuneration that those that only support Windows. Most government bodies cannot afford the higher salaries.
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:01 pm

Sorry, that last one is just a myth.
Any sysadmin worth his salt can manage Linux, many Windows sysadmins are overpaid, and propagate the "Linux is difficult" claptrap.
The only cheap sysadmins are those who got made the IT guy by default.

I and my team manage a mixed network of Windows, Linux and Mac computers, I also support all three in the field.
My daughter's partner is a database admin in a Linux only environment.
None of us are particularly highly paid.
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Postby Rhakios » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:51 am

Well exactly. Government bodies only tend to employ people who have the right qualifications on paper, and they're the ones who get paid the most.
One sees this also in companies who work for local government, lots of vocational qualifications demanded, experience and genuine ability are dismissed as irrelevant.
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:13 am

The most junior member of my team has a degree in computer science and 5 yrs experience as an Windows sysadmin.
He is loving the new challenges of field work and Linux.
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Postby guy » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:37 am

There is a strong herd instinct to moo loud enough to drown the opposition. The herd that moos loud enough gets to set the norm.

That instinct is based on fear of the unknown. And fear of the unknown is self-perpetuating because you avoid the unknown, thus ensuring it stays that way.

The only way out of this is to make it shiny. We all know and love shiny, so suddenly it doesn't seem so unknown any more, and in the blink of a moment it turns from fearful to desirable - from Moo! to Ooh!

That's what happened with Android Linux. I notice that media services are getting much better at offering Android players these days. I have great media compatibility - on my Nexus.

And I'm guessing it's why Google chose "chrome" as a brand identity, too. Want a crippled laptop that uses a frighteningly unknown OS and only works when you can get a connection? Moo! Noo! Want a Chromebook! Ooh, shiny! But what's that second word, "book"? If I were Google I'd stick Chrome OS on a 4G tablet and call it the "Chrome Plate."
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