Today is a great day
I think I just got my first win as an Open Source Evangelist. A very meaningful win, at least for me.
Yesterday, one of my uncles called me for some help. It seems that his home-work PC was behaving in a very weird way (for a Windows box, of course). I tried to help, but by phone is very difficult. So we agreed I should drop by his work today to talk to him personally, and lend him an old Win98SE CD.
His computer got a virus. BugBear I guess. But I couldn't tell it for sure. He then asked me how I was handling the internet virus at home, and if I was having trouble with them. "I don't", was my answer, "I'm using Linux at home".
My uncle got curious. He said he was thinking of using Linux, but was afraid of not being able to do what he does, or send - via email - proposals in a format everyone could see.
Perhaps this is the best time to explain what my uncle do for living. He has a small company who makes measurement instruments, like pHD readers and stuff, from the design of a box, to the chip programming. Everything.
I answer his question. I told him that he could use Open Office, so he could still write/read .doc, .xlt and all MS office suite files. And he could still do emailing in the Windows way with KMail or Ximian Evolution.
But my winner was when I told him about gcc. He was already willing to see this "Unix Wonder" when I told him the advantages of working with the gcc compiler. For I guy that uses C and Assembler every day, this argument was irresistable.
Not to mention the financial aspect of the switch. He have about twenty employees (or even less) that actually use computers, so he won't have to expend tubes of money with training. Plus, he'll be free from MS-Windows/Office costs (upgrades, new OS, etc...). For a small company, this is a great deal.
I invited him to show up in the weekend to play a little with my Linux box. I'm pretty sure that the virus affected PC will be restored as a Linux box. A test one. And probably will leave it in his office for a while.
If everything goes right, with time, he'll be using only Linux in his company. And all his employees will be exposed to Linux too.
Not bad for an Observer, hah?