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Make the transition

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In an article on CNN about Obama's plan to "computerize the health records, industry wide" they mention a lack of highly skilled IT personnel to maintain these systems.

Let me summarize what I think they mean and what I think they can and should do.

When they refer to a lack of highly skilled IT personnel they really mean a lack of the sheer number of idiots with a Microsoft certification it takes to run an IT shop.  If they would really make an effort like other countries have (Germany, China I'm looking at you) to transition away from Microsoft we would find a plethora of highly skilled personnel who actually enjoy their jobs enough to want go to work each day, enjoy giving back to the community they are a part of (Obama should be all over that!) AND all while using fewer resources, lower costs of operation because of the lower resources costs, and an incredibly more stable and inherently more secure system.  Linux isn't just about ideals, it really is better in terms of stability, longevity, security, faster updates, faster patches, faster development cycles, and it isn't just a few people who benefit when Linux and the GPL are used; everyone gets to particpate and everyone gets a piece of the pie!  
 
A larger number of "highly skilled IT personnel" are required in their example due to the pure lack of knowledge many of them possess.  They want Windows Admins, which means they want someone who doesn't know what they are actually doing, but people who know what button to click if things are working.  Once we make the transition to an open source platform, we not only lower the cost of software, zilch the cost of the OS, increase the value and life of the hardware and gain a massive community of support but we also get to employ IT personnel who are truly highly skilled in their profession, IT people who should be the ones running the servers, IT personnel who should be making more money with their increased knowledge and increased value.
 
End Users can also benefit if we transition the desktops as well.  No longer will every government building be tied into a Microsoft License Agreement, instead they will be able to deploy the completely free (as in NO COST and as in OPEN SOURCE) and amazingly useful OpenOffice.org and no longer worry about compatibility across offices or versions.  They will lower the costs as well with the majority of users who require a PDF creator, no longer do they have to purchase an expensive copy of Adobe Acrobat, OpenOffice.org has a built in PDF creation tool!  Because the bulk of software development is moving to web based solutions, the majority of End Users can also be transitioned to Open Source desktop operating systems. 
 
"But Chad, think of all the jobs we will lose if we put Microsoft out of business with your awesome ideas!"  In case I didn't make it obvious, there are plenty of jobs for all the Microsoft-trained monkeys.  With the increased number of actual skilled IT professionals at work we will be able to afford to go out to eat more.  The increase in demand for eating out will create jobs where Microsoft employees and those trained to use Microsoft products will feel right at home, pushing buttons on an open source driven "Point of Sale" terminal at Burger King!  Because we know they will eventually become confused without the Start button or Clippy there to save them, we will also need to hire technical writers to help implement little widgets they can click to find out what that button with the letters T-O-T-A-L mean.  
 
In case I missed my point above:  If we transition to a more inherently secure, more stable, and more valuable OS government wide we will be able to more easily, more quickly, and for a lower overall cost move to a fully digital health records system in the time Obama has put forth.  Go Linux!

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 23:11