16 Sep 2002 jono   » (Master)

Well, only a couple of days before I go to the USA on holiday with my family, but before I go I have had some thoughts.

To be honest, this has been brewing in me for a while, and a combination of work, band, TV, playstation 2 and other stuff has prevented me acting on it.

We all love free software. We all know free software is a good thing and it can do good things for the good people that use it.

Although free software is a good thing for many people, there is a key group of people that have not been directly targetted for using free software to benefit them: charities.

Charities are possibly the most needy of organisation for requiring costs to be cut and investments to be procured to benefit the charity. I think it is important that we direct our knowledge of free software to charities so that they make full use of it.

With this in mind I am going to do some work in this area and focus on how charities can invest in free software which can not only save them money but also get them out of the vendor lock in that plagues so many.

I am planning on doing some of the following to acheive my ambition of getting more free software in charities:

- identify the current IT needs and requirements of charities. Develop a paper on what these needs are and how they can be approached with the current catalogue of free software.

- determine the extend of use that charities rely on commercial software. I will also seek to determine the costs and licencing of this software. Put it this way - I doubt it is all free...and then there is the lock-in situation.

- Write a proposition paper on how free software can offer a solution to these requirements.

These are quite hefty goals, and I am by no means expecting these goals to be completed any time soon. I still have things to do as a student and other work to satisfy, but you know my intentions.

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