15 votes

Three months in: running a law firm on Linux

6 comments

  1. [6]
    mtset
    Link
    This came across my feed today over lunch; I think it's an interesting contrast to the chorus of Tildes voices saying that free desktops are "incompatible with average human beings" (setting aside...

    We are now three or so months into the world of running decoded.legal, and doing legal work, exclusively on Linux, so I thought I'd write about it.
    [...]
    It might look a bit different, and take a few days to adjust, but I've been very impressed by just how easy it is to use desktop Linux for common, everyday, office tasks. Yes, there's always the challenge of using something different, but it may not be as big a change as some might think.

    Do [I] recommend it? Well, so far, it's working well for us.

    This came across my feed today over lunch; I think it's an interesting contrast to the chorus of Tildes voices saying that free desktops are "incompatible with average human beings" (setting aside what we might think of lawyers), that it's "very hard for people who want their shit to just work" and that they will "never have mass-market appeal."

    8 votes
    1. [5]
      corleone
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I think there's a general consensus that Linux is more than adequate for regular office work. The exception would be jobs requiring unsupported hardware or specific software that is not available...

      I think there's a general consensus that Linux is more than adequate for regular office work. The exception would be jobs requiring unsupported hardware or specific software that is not available on Linux. But I read the article, and I think it is probably relevant that the author describes himself as an "Internet, telecoms, and tech lawyer".

      5 votes
      1. [4]
        mtset
        Link Parent
        Yeah, a similar discussion occurred on HackerNews, the conclusion (at least for me) being that "tech lawyer" is a huge field - every business needs lawyers, and the biggest businesses today are...

        Yeah, a similar discussion occurred on HackerNews, the conclusion (at least for me) being that "tech lawyer" is a huge field - every business needs lawyers, and the biggest businesses today are tech companies.

        I think there's a general consensus that Linux is more than adequate for regular office work.

        It is not my experience that people on Tildes agree with you.

        2 votes
        1. [3]
          corleone
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I find that odd! I see lots of criticism towards Linux, but there are lots of criticism towards every major tech project as well. If you pose the question as "Do you think Linux is adequate for...

          It is not my experience that people on Tildes agree with you

          I find that odd! I see lots of criticism towards Linux, but there are lots of criticism towards every major tech project as well.

          If you pose the question as "Do you think Linux is adequate for regular office work?", I'm confident that the vast majority will say "Yes".

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            Greg
            Link Parent
            I think there are two very distinct ways of looking at/thinking about it: is Linux adequate for regular office work? In my opinion, yes. Would I deploy it in an office? Yes. Would I recommend it...

            I think there are two very distinct ways of looking at/thinking about it: is Linux adequate for regular office work? In my opinion, yes. Would I deploy it in an office? Yes. Would I recommend it to an individual user, say a student, for those same tasks? Probably not.

            Linux has a lot of places where you can fall off an immediate cliff from "end user UX" to "developer UX". Combine that with people's general reticence to change, the fact that anyone slightly more techie they'd rely on for basic help probably only knows Windows, and the fact there may well be one or two genuinely insurmountable compatibility bumps along the way, and you've got a recipe for unhappy users.

            Deploying machines in an office, offering proper training, having an actual IT person on hand to fix the real bugs and guide people through the confusing bits so they know for next time, and forcing them to look at it as a clean slate rather than "my laptop used to do X and you broke it", seems totally viable to me.

            10 votes
            1. mtset
              Link Parent
              Yes, I agree with this tbh. I gave my boyfriend a T430s with Xubuntu on it in college and he never complained once, until the screen died 5 years later.

              forcing them to look at it as a clean slate rather than "my laptop used to do X and you broke it", seems totally viable to me.

              Yes, I agree with this tbh. I gave my boyfriend a T430s with Xubuntu on it in college and he never complained once, until the screen died 5 years later.

              5 votes