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AFRIK-IT  May 1998

AFRIK-IT May 1998

Subject:

Re: idn.org and other informative web sites - panacea or Pandora's box?

From:

Dr Eberhard W Lisse <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Thu, 28 May 1998 14:00:46 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (101 lines)

Peter,

In message <01bd8a26$6636ce20$0b01a8c0@elmo>, Peter writes:
> >> Mr. Harris of USAID (or should I say a USAID Contractor?) ...
> >[...]
> >> And his statement about Tables loading is incorrect.
> >
> >Of course, he's USAID.
>
> Congratulations on sinking to a new low Dr. Lisse.  Quite professional.

Actually, I would not rpesume to pass me off as a professional IT
person.

I am just a Medical Practitioner in an African District
Hospital. (Though of course it's probably the nicest in Africa :-)-O,
I can let you have a URL of a very nice but largish picture of
Swakopmund :-)-O)

But a "professional", a consultant to USAID (and I was quite mellow
because he didn't post under the usual NGO disguise) really, really
should know better, don't you think?


> >> Dr. Lisse, Believe me when we say we use an NT Server over Apache or
> >> other UNIX servers because of cost and implementation decisions.
> >> Unfortunately, I do not speak CGI or PERL and we cannot yet afford
> >> to hire someone on staff who does.
> >
> >If that were the case you would NOT use NT and you WOULD use Apache.
>

> Why?  If the unix skills are available, then of course Apache is
> better on "cost and implementation".  However, an organisation may
> only have a system administrator with strong NT skills and zero unix
> skills.  In this case, forking out the bucks for NT Server (and the
> additional hardware) may be the better solution.

This is outright wrong!

Again, look at one of the many URL addressing this common
misconception http://gatekeeper.ugraf.com/unix-nt, a site which I was
pointed towards only the day before by the author of some map software
for Unix that looks very, very, very promising.

Administration of NT is much much more difficult then Unix.

Or rather administration of any system that *FORCES* the administrator
to use a GUI rather then a command line interface. If it comes to a
network with geographically dispersed servers it really becomes
messy.

My people believe you need an experienced Unix administrator because
you need to configure it via command line, eg changing config files
with an editor, whereas NT you just need to point and click and it
will come out right. So the "NT administrator" is actually usually a
windozer and comes fairly cheap in the short term.

And, believe me, I do know what I am talking about, I have access to
an NT network with three servers 30 and 350 kilometers away from
Swakopmund.

Nevermind that then DNS is broken, the mail system needs to be bought
(more expensive then NT itself by the way) and can not take any
serious workload, perl is not loaded initially and does not work
identically (there is a problem with a character used for command line
switches if I am not mistaken) making CGIs difficult to port, or that
the RDMBS crashes regularily, and the list goes on and on


The required expertise is much more expensive to acquire on NT, it is
usually done by way of sending someone to a certification course,
because now that one has invested into NT heavily one must make a go
of it.

Linux, FreeBSD or BSDI expertise can be developed very cheaply if not
free of charge. The doc comes with the system on CD and in some
packages in printed book form.

I know an elderly librarian who has never played with computers before
but wanted a web page and a connection to their UNESCO standard
library database (at the National Archives you can find their page at
http://www.natarch.mec.gov.na). She learned very quickly to recompile
the linux kernel to include the SCO support, get the CGI working and
so on, I was quite amazed.



No, in the context of this list, we should not be afraid at reading
abook, or a manual, loading a CD Rom and play with something like
linux until you figure it out.


el
--
Dr. Eberhard W. Lisse\         /              Swakopmund State Hospital
<[log in to unmask]>         *        |               Resident Medical Officer
Private Bag 5004       \      / +264 81 124 6733 (cell) 64 461005(h) 461004(f)
Swakopmund, Namibia     ;____/ Domain Coordinator for NA-DOM (el108)
Vice-Chairman, Board of Trustees, Namibian Internet Development Foundation,

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