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Toy Penguins and Male Egos Drove Linux Acceptance 548

An anonymous reader writes "Germany's local and city councils have been pioneering the migration from Windows to Linux. Now, one of the IT staff behind one move has revealed how they persuaded workers to accept the changes. Stuffed toy penguins and Linux t-shirts helped to create an open-source love-in at the council offices, and they got a senior chairwoman to demonstrate the new system to the troops. Male ego stopped anyone claiming that Linux was difficult to use, once they'd seen that the 'weaker sex' could master it :)"
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Toy Penguins and Male Egos Drove Linux Acceptance

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  • Re:Which one? (Score:4, Informative)

    by maulwurf ( 674080 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @03:44PM (#8251961)
    according to ct-magazine they are using SuSE-Linux. german article: []
  • Re:Which one? (Score:2, Informative)

    by jester42 ( 623276 ) * on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @03:45PM (#8251981)
    They are using SuSE according to this press release []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @03:47PM (#8252009)
    The whole series []
  • by TrevizeNet ( 732020 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @04:03PM (#8252197)
    "Use the damned software!". Really, I dont know why people seem to think they should have complete freedom on a computer at work. The company owns the machine, and the company chooses the software... so long as the company involved the proper employees in evaluating which is the best software(s) to use... thats it, end of story. Employees really shouldnt have a choice one way or another.

    To quote Mary Poppins "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down". People don't like change, if my boss told me that tomorrow we're going to start using black swingline staplers instead of the red one [] that I love then I would probably complain. I would complain less if the stapler replacement was given to me by an attractive brunette who bats her eyes. This company found a way to make a change without destroying overall morale, what's wrong with that?
  • by saforrest ( 184929 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @04:08PM (#8252256) Journal
    Glad to see Germany's just as progressive as it was back in the day.

    You know, maybe the fact that 'weaker sex' was in quotes means it was meant sarcastically?

    And hey, Germany was ahead of the game back in the Nazi era. They actually gave women medals for having babies!
  • Re:Which one? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @04:15PM (#8252326)
    It's SUSE not SuSE.

    Didn't you get the memo []?
  • Re:I hate male ego (Score:3, Informative)

    by monkeyfinger ( 683580 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @04:15PM (#8252328)
    It's not just me then.

    I went to the gym the other day to do some weight training and I wanted to get warmed up first. I decided that a gentle jog on the treadmill would get the blood moving. As soon as I started jogging a really pretty girl got on the treadmill next to me and started running and I ended running a lot faster and longer than I had originally intended to and my weight training suffered because of it.

    The worst part is that I knew exactly what I was doing, but I did it anyway.

  • by pyros ( 61399 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @04:29PM (#8252514) Journal
    I was sitting out on my balcony at my last apartment hanging out with a friend from out of town. And some woman, admittedly attractive, pulled up in her truck and started moving in to a nearby apartment with her friend. Now, my frined and I did happen to glance at them a couple of times, but there was no conversation of any sort between us and the women, nor were we talking about them. Out of nowhere, she yells over up to us (I lived on the third floor) "Don't worry we'll move it all." Then when my wife arrived with groceries, and my friend and I go to help bring them in, this woman says to her "so that's how you get them to help, you have to give them food!" Now it's one thing to actually ask for help, thinking your looks will help. But to just get mad at a guy for being in the vicinity without jumping at the chance to help is just bitchy.
  • Re:I hate male ego (Score:3, Informative)

    by el-spectre ( 668104 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @04:34PM (#8252559) Journal
    Until the last coupla millenia (centuries? decades?) , the primary social skill in our species has been dominance, usually physical. Most men are stronger than most women... we just carry these assumptions over into other fields. Old habits die hard.

    That said, if I have the choice, I prefer a female tech/mechanic/(fill in typically-male-job) because they tend to be the best, having had to overcome bias AND having had the guts to stick with it.

    Out of curiosity, are you the type of woman who is offended that they use pretty girls to seel beer, etc. ?
  • by wrp103 ( 583277 ) <> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @04:40PM (#8252626) Homepage
    To be fair, the 'weaker sex' comment isn't from the article, but from the /. blurb. In fact, the article uses the term "powerful women".

    The article does, however, mention male ego after having seen a woman use the system.
  • by blorg ( 726186 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @04:41PM (#8252636)
    SuSE is a logical choice given that it's a German company but this is part of a much larger [] move towards Open Source by the German government, which has been going on for some time now. They did a deal with IBM to let agencies buy IBM hardware and SuSE software at discounts competitive with MS. They are doing this, according to the Interior Minister, because "We raise the level of IT security by avoiding monocultures, we lower the dependency on single software vendors, and we reach costs savings in software and operation costs."

    The difference with MS is that while using SuSE, due to the nature of Open Source they are not tied to and reliant on a single vendor. This is just the latest town to so convert, albeit with interesting staff-persuasion tactics!

  • Arbeit... (Score:2, Informative)

    by boy_afraid ( 234774 ) <> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @04:43PM (#8252661) Journal
    Arbeit macht das Leben suss!!

  • by mattyrobinson69 ( 751521 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @05:38PM (#8253311)
    And dependency hell that exceeds .dll hell...
    Dependancies are resolved by programs like apt-get. Apt-get is available on red hat nowadays (and probably mandrake).
    And a very inconsistent and often difficult application install process...
    its pretty consistant - use rpm's for everything if you want to. If not ./configure ; make ; make install normally does the trick.
    And applications for general consumer and business use rather than just for developers...
    I'm a general consumer and i never use any other platform other than at/for college (vb is part of the course
    And driver / peripheral issues...
    unless people play with random hardware (which office workers etc do not, you dont get hardware problems - just check before you buy/download
    And remember, in the corporate world, the only people who are allowed to install are trained anyway - they can fathom out how to compile something - companies don't install new software every week, so its not as if there would be much research involved.
  • by Scrameustache ( 459504 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @09:37PM (#8255291) Homepage Journal
    The idea of women being the 'weaker sex' is a product of the 1000+ year old war on pagan goddess worship waged by the Catholic Church.

    Well, well, trolling against a religious group I see... I'm not in the habit of defending organised religion, but you're making my bullshit radar go off the chart.

    Women in ancient times were revered as sacred vessels of fertility. Constantine, later rulers and the Catholic Popes did their best to destroy the idea of goddess worship and make the women a secondary being, which was a major factor in shaping our society today.

    Yeah, next you're gonna claim that women had the right to vote in Athens huh?

    First of all, Judaism started a pogrom against godess worship 3 thousand years before that.

    Secondly, women have been considered the weaker sex in china and japan for aeons too, where they hadn't even heard of the Catholic church. Women in china and japan were forbidden from learning to write, so they had to make up their own "women's language". Hiragana and Katakana in japan, and I forget the name of the chineese one.
    What, did the catholic church pray for the heatens to embrace that woman-bellitteling you pretend they invented?

    And finally, the reason women are considered the weaker sex is because they are weaker. Is the roman catholic church also responsible for secretly weakening female olympians so that they would systematically achive lower performances than that of the mens? What secret roman catholic magic powers did they use to accomplish that? The gap has been shortening in recent decades thanks to illicit drugs and homone treatments (see the east-germany women's olympic swimming team from 1976 and 1980...scary!), but women still lift less, swim and run slower, etc.

    Jeez, using anti-sexism to spread racism...that's something.

Air is water with holes in it.