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Archive for October 9th, 2007

I would like to personally commend BYU-I for making the campus Linux and, Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) friendly. Linux has been around for a while now, but with such a small percentage of the market share between Windows and Apple, there hasn’t been much support for it. Fortunately, those times have changed, and now, its widespread use and support are growing around the world. Linux and its FOSS are rich, capable, and compatible, and therefore are viable alternatives to expensive commercial software. That’s why I’m very pleased to see BYU-I students and faculty supporting, teaching, and using it on campus.

I believe that President Clark has unknowingly achieved part of his “…lower[ing] the relative cost of education” imperative by allowing students to with help from the IT Department because students don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on commercial software, like Microsoft Office, to effectively learn and complete assignments. Now, faculty are suggesting OpenOffice, a free alternative to the spendy Microsoft suite of applications. Admittedly, there are some campus departments that don’t use FOSS, but that doesn’t mean Linux isn’t supported. Take Maple, the powerful mathematics program, for example. It isn’t free, but the company offers a Linux version of the software. This is the same case with many other departments as well. Alternately, some departments rely on Linux, such as the Computer Science and Engineering department who have a dedicated Linux lab with thirty plus computers inside. Even The Scroll recognizes the presence of the free Operating System (OS) as they have reported it in their paper for both local and world media coverage.

This campus is swarming with Linux and FOSS technology, and I would suggest to anybody interested in it to find a member of the BYU-Idaho Linux Society or talk with a friend. They would be more than happy to explain what it is, what it means, and where it’s heading. I support BYU-Idaho and their compatibility with Linux and FOSS, and anticipate that their support will continue to grow as students begin to adopt this free software.

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