A month ago I started a PhD at the KNMI (Dutch wheather and climate institute). Before this I worked as an workstation administrator at the KNMI. Now I am a user.
During my time as an administrator I wrote a few articles for the IT department. These were about the introduction of more free software, open hardware, the configuration management tool Puppet and a bit about the new GNU/Linux distribution. This entry is an update to the practical status of a few of these subjects.
At least the users of my department, Mondial Climate, are proponents of the introduction of free software. It seemed that my paper about free software was received well at a meeting between end users and administrators. Probably it will take a while before we can say goodbye to all proprietary software, but I believe that we will be making progress in the near future.
The open hardware issue is likely to be rediscussed as soon as new hardware is needed. At this moment the IT department has enough new workstations, unfortunately all equipped with Nvidia cards.
The introduction of the new GNU/Linux distribution goes slowly. I for one am already running the new distribution, with much more free, as well as up-to-date, software than any other user at the KNMI.