Linux support, sales, and migration
Linux is an operating system (think an alternative to Microsoft Windows) developed largely by volunteers, with an enormous range of free software available for it, and which we fully support. The Linux advantage means:
- Low cost. Most distributions of Linux are available for nothing at all. That means no per-seat or per-user licenses; just burn a CD or create a USB stick and install it on as many computers as you like (or get us to do it for you!).
- Open source. The code for Linux and nearly all software that runs under Linux is publically available. This means more reliable code because of peer review. What's more, you will never be locked into a single vendor.
- Industrial-strength reliability. Linux will run for months, and even years, at a time without needing a reboot.
- Security. Linux does not get viruses. There is no spyware or adware for Linux.
- Enormous amounts of free software. Thanks to amazing package management tools, these can be installed without even needing to open a web browser to download them -- everything from office suites, to web servers like Apache, to enormously fun video games like Sauerbraten can be installed with a few mouse clicks.
While it has traditionally had a reputation for being hard to use, Linux has come leaps and bounds in the last half-decade or so in terms of usability and hardware support. There is also a whole wealth of free support options such as forums, mailing lists and so on.
Nevertheless, for the same reason our many clients don't want to support their Windows installations themselves, you might want a guaranteed, paid-for support service for their Linux systems. At AJ Computing, we can handle that for you, whether that means one-time call-outs or long term support contracts. Contact us to discuss your requirements (or in an emergency).
Many businesses and individuals have at least heard of the Linux option, and find the combination of renowned, industrial-strength reliability and low-to-free cost (especially the lack of per-seat licensing). We can advise you on hardware support and how to migrate your existing data from other systems. A few scenarios:
- A room full of obsolete computers that need upgrading: No problem; Linux will run on obsolete computers. With a typical number of machines, we can save you hundreds on Windows licenses and thousands on computer hardware by switching them to Linux. (We've successfully run Linux on basic-specification computers from 2001; our web developer runs Linux on a computer made in 2005, and we only recently retired a server that we used to test our websites before we put them online: a 200mhz Pentium from 1997!)
- You want to switch a few computers to Linux: No problem; we can help you integrate Linux systems into Windows environments to make them work seamlessly with each other. Want to integrate Linux mail servers, or Linux file servers into a Windows environment? We can do that for you.
- Ditching Windows altogether and migrating to Linux: We can help you with that too. If you need help with migrating your data into open source systems, we can do that for you. Even if that requires writing custom software to help you migrate you from legacy systems, we're more than willing to do that for you, too. Contact us.
Linux PCs, servers and laptops
Some of the options which AJ Computing can supply, install and support:
- Linux based PCs and laptops, either those pre-installed with Linux by the manufacturer, or, to widen the range available, simply choose any new computer and we can install Linux as an alternative to Windows.
- Custom Linux PCs configured to any available specification, with Linux preinstalled as the operating system - saving the cost of purchasing a Windows license for your new computer.
- Pre-built Linux servers. Pre-built servers often have no operating system giving the ideal base to install Linux as your server operating system and saving large costs compared to Windows Servers. Custom Linux servers can also be designed and assembled according to your needs.
Linux netbook support
Yes, we support Linux netbooks too! Netbooks - which are simply small portable laptops designed primarily for wireless communication and access to the internet - are becoming very popular. Many manufacturers install Linux on these laptops to reduce costs (and because Linux has the advantage of running faster on the lesser spec machines). The downside is that not everyone is familiar with troubleshooting the few common Linux problems, with which we can help you. We can also teach you the basics of using the operating system, installing software, and so on.
(A common problem is that some suppliers say that the "Linux operating system is not compatible with mobile broadband dongles.". This is not so (even if it is tricky to get them to work), but many people will give up that point thinking there is no way forward to get their broadband 3G/GSM dongle to work. Instead, contact us and we can resolve the problem for you.)