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November 14, 2003

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SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional Only $50 for Students, Teachers, Schools

SUSE Linux Has New Educational Discount Program

Mike Angelo -- 14 November 2003 (C)

SUSE Linux is doing its part to get students and schools, including elementary and secondary schools plus colleges and universities, to deploy and use Linux for their own use as well as for instructional use. That's particularly important because getting young people to learn and to use Linux is critical for the growth, development, and deployment of Linux. (Please see our article, Young People Are The Future of Linux.)

SUSE, to its credit, has been very active in promoting Linux in schools. Previously, in a Linux giveaway program that SUSE started in March 2001, SUSE gave some 2,500 boxes of SUSE Linux 7.1 to qualifying U.S. high schools. (Please see our article, SUSE Linux Free for US High Schools.) Incidentally, SUSE Vice-President Joe Eckert told MozillaQuest Magazine earlier today that the new SUSE education program does not affect the SUSE Linux giveaway program: It does not affect it at all -- this [new program] is add-on.

In September 2003, SUSE's Joe Eckert called our attention to a recent project in which SUSE donated 700 copies of SUSE 8.1 to Lehigh Valley Computers For Kids, which provides free PCs to students in Allentown, PA. (Please see SUSE and Computers for Kids in our article, Young People Are The Future of Linux.)

Effective 12 November 2003, SUSE put in place a new educational discount program. The new SUSE program offers substantial discounts to qualifying students, teachers, and educational organizations. Please see Table 1, below.

In this new, additional SUSE educational program, educational institutions plus qualifying individuals such as students, parents, and faculty people are eligible for the Linux product price discounts. The SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional Edition at only $49.95 for qualifying students, teachers, and schools is lots of bang for the buck.

Table 1. Comparison of educational and regular prices for SUSE Linux products.

Product

Student Price

Regular Price

Discount

SUSE LINUX Professional 9.0

$49.95

$79.95

38 %

SUSE LINUX Desktop

$399.00

$598

33%

SUSE LINUX Standard Server

$238.00

$449

47%

SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 8 for x86

$399.00

$749

47%

SUSE LINUX Openexchange Server 4

$499.00

$1249

60%

Based upon the SUSE - Education Program List of products/prices and suppliers. Link in Resources Section at the end of this article.

MozillaQuest Magazine is in the process of testing and checking SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional right now. This article is being written using AbiWord 1.99.5 and OpenOffice 1.10 Writer running on SUSE 9.0 Professional.

Open Source and Free Software Note

The GNU-Linux operating system and desktop as well as AbiWord, KOffice, OpenOffice, The GIMP, and so forth all may be downloaded from Internet sites and installed by you on a computer(s) by you, or anyone for that matter, at no charge to you.

What SUSE and other Linux distribution providers (LDPs) do is put the Linux kernel, applications, utilities, and so forth into a single package called a Linux distribution. Then they add their own installer and configuration utilities, printed manuals and electronic documentation, support options, pretty retail-box, and so forth to produce their completed distribution(s).

The LDPs carefully integrate all the different components of their distributions to make sure everything is well-integrated with everything else. They do lots of quality control testing to assure their distributions work well.

You could take the time and effort to download all the components that you would need to put together a nice GNU-Linux OS and desktop plus all the applications that you would like to use. However, considering the nominal $49.95 educational discount price tag for SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional, doing so would be an unwise waste of time and effort.

Microsoft Product Activation Note

GNU-Linux does not require any product activation nonsense nor does it require product registration.

If there were no other reason to chose a GNU-Linux OS distribution over MS Windows XP or 2003, not having to put up with the Microsoft product activation mechanism would be more than reason enough to chose GNU-Linux!

There are many reasons why Microsoft product activation is a bad thing. Discussion of all the bad and obnoxious things about Microsoft product activation is beyond the scope of today's article. However, a word of caution to anyone who is considering installing Microsoft Windows XP or 2003 on a computer system.

The Microsoft product activation mechanism that Windows XP and 2003 places on your system can shut down your computer until such time as Microsoft decides to let you use your own computer. In other words, Microsoft, not you, ultimately is in control of your Windows XP or 2003 computer system

There is something that you can do to counter the Microsoft product activation mechanism if it does shut down your Windows XP or 2003 system. Install a GNU-Linux distribution on your computer before Microsoft can shut you down. This is called a multi-booting configuration. If you use a current GNU-Linux operating system such as Conectiva, Mandrake, or SuSE, you can boot into Linux and then access all your files on the computer even though the Microsoft product activation mechanism has shut down your Windows XP system.

The product activation mechanism in MS Office 2003 is not likely to shut down your entire computer. However, it effectively can shut down MS Office 2003 and its component products such as Word, Excell, PowerPoint, and so forth. So in similar fashion to the MS Windows XP/2003 product activation mechanism, the MS Office 2003 product activation mechanism, puts Microsoft and not you in control of your office and productivity software.

Fortunately, AbiWord and OpenOffice have MS Windows versions in addition to GNU-Linux versions. So, when Microsoft's Office 2003 product activation scheme shuts you down, just open your MS Word documents in AbiWord or OpenOffice Writer, Excel documents in OpenOffice Calc, PowerPoint documents in Impress and so forth.

For more about why Linux is so much a better choice, please see our article Gaël Duval Tells Why Mandrake Linux Is Better Than MS Windows

To learn how to run MS Windows-based software and accessories in GNU-Linux, please see our article Crossover Office 2.1 Runs MS Windows Software on GNU-Linux Systems

AbiWord is a good Microsoft Word clone that comes with SUSE 9.0 Professional. OpenOffice, which also comes with SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional, is comparable to the Microsoft Office suite. OpenOffice includes Writer (word processor), Calc (spreadsheet), Draw (for drawing vector graphics), Math (for generating mathematical formulas), and Impress (for creating presentations).

Another nice office suite, KOffice, also comes with SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional. You also get The GIMP, an image manipulation program that is comparable to PhotoShop ($299 educational price), with SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional.

Altogether, SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional priced at only $49.95 for qualifying students, teachers, and educational organizations is a much better choice and more bang for the buck than buying or using Microsoft Windows XP or MS Office 2003. Here's why.

With SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional, you get the broad power and stability of the GNU-Linux desktop as opposed to the less stable, less powerful, and virus-prone Microsoft Windows desktop.

The GNU-Linux operating system and the applications such as AbiWord, KOffice, OpenOffice, The GIMP, and so forth that come with SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional are all Open Source or Free Software. That means that you can install them and use them on as many different computers as you like.

On the other hand, the applicable Microsoft greedy, end-user agreements (EULAs) taken together with Microsoft's horrible Product Activation system mean that you can install MS Windows on only one computer for each copy or license for MS Windows that you buy from Microsoft. With MS Office 2003 and its product family, you are restricted to installing Office 2003 on only one desktop computer and one laptop computer for each copy or license for MS Office 2003 that you buy from Microsoft.

The price of the Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition 2003, which includes only Excel 2003, Outlook 2003, PowerPoint 2003, and Word 2003 and no operating system is $149. For only $49.95, about one-third of that Microsoft Office $149 price-tag, qualifying students, parents, teachers, and educational organizations can get SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional, which includes the GNU-Linux operating system and desktop plus AbiWord, KOffice, OpenOffice, The GIMP, and lots more software.

Microsoft prices its MS Windows XP operating system, academic, product at $99. That's twice the price of SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional's $49.95 educational price. Plus with SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional you get not only the GNU-Linux operating system and desktop, you also get AbiWord, KOffice, OpenOffice, The GIMP, and lots more software.

So, here is how it adds up. With SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional you get the stable and powerful GNU-Linux operating system and desktop, AbiWord, KOffice, OpenOffice, The GIMP, and lots more software for only $49.95 with the educational discount. The MS Windows XP operating system and desktop academic version ($99) plus the Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition 2003 ($149) comes to $248 altogether, about five times (500%) the price of SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional with the educational discount at $49.95.

You get so much more for so much less if you buy SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional instead of the MS Windows XP operating system and desktop academic version and/or the Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition 2003.

In addition to AbiWord, KOffice, OpenOffice, and The GIMP, SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional includes all sorts of Internet tools (Web browsers, chat clients, e-mail clients, Web page authoring software, Apache Web server, etc.), multimedia software (audio and video playing and recording stuff, CD playing and burning software, and so forth), graphics software (imaging and photo editing programs, vector drawing applications, image and photo viewers, etc.), all sorts of games, and programming tools such as the GNU C++, Fortran, and Java compilers and lots more.

Putting things bluntly, if you are a qualifying student, parent of a student, teacher, or an educational organization buyer, you have to be just plain stupid to buy MS Windows XP or MS Office 2003 instead of SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional.


Books


The Business and Economics of Linux and Open Source, Martin Fink, Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-047677-3. $27


Linux For Dummies, 4th Ed., LeBlanc, Hoag, and Blomquist, Wiley, ISBN: 0-7645-1660-4. $30

Linux in a Nuthsell, 4th Ed., Siever, Figgins, and Weber, O'Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-00482-6. $40

Linux Kernel Development, Robert Love, Sams, ISBN: 0672325128. $45

The Linux Process Manager: The internals of scheduling, interrupts and signals, By John O'Gorman, Wiley, ISBN: 0-470-84771-9. $35

Linux Toys, Christopher Negus and Chuck Wolber, Wiley, ISBN: 0-7645-2508-5. $30


Microsoft Windows XP Unleashed, Terry Ogletree, Sams, ISBN: 0-672-32280-3. $50


OpenOffice.org 1.0 Resource Kit, Solveig Haughland and Floyd Jones, Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-140745-7. $40.


Peter Norton's Complete Guide to Microsoft Windows XP, Norton and Mueller, Sams, ISBN: 0-672-32291-9. $50


Running Linux, 4th Ed., Welsh, Dalheimer, Dawson, and Kaufman, O'Reilly, ISBN, 0-596-00272-6. $45

Understanding the Linux Kernel, 2nd Edition, Daniel P. Bovet and Marco Cesati, O'Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-00213-0. $50


Using Microsoft Office 2003 (Special Edition), Bott and Leonhard, Que, ISBN: 0-7897-29955-5. $40

Using Microsoft Windows XP (Special Edition), Cowart and Knittel, Que, ISBN: 0-7897-2627-0. $45


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