175,000 USB keys: the good news and the bad news

Posted in Mandriva, English, Products at 6:02 pm by François Bancilhon

175,000 is a large number. It’s what you get when you add 130,000, the number of all high school fifth graders (seconde) to 45,000, the number of first year apprentices in Ile de France (the Paris region).
The “conseil général d’Ile de France”, i.e., the body that runs the Paris Region (10 million people) has decided to award a nice present to all of them: they will all receive a USB key with a bunch of open source applications. The news were officially announced …. The budget for the operation, i.e., what it will cost the tax payer is 2.6M€ ($3.38M). The official bid is not out yet, but we know enough to understand what the story is.

It’s a USB key, with a set of open source apps, that operates as a mobile desktop. This means you stick the key into a computer anywhere, you run OpenOffice from the key without actually installing it on the machine, you work on your files, you remove the key and you take the file with you to the next computer you will use. If you’re a student, you work at school in the lab, then you go back home or to a friend’s house or to the library and you keep working with the same environment on your data.

So this is good news: the region is investing in open source. It is doing something usefull for the kids.
The bad news is it all runs on Windows.
This was a great opportunity to get Linux in everybody’s hand. If you look at the problem the other way around: given 2.6M€ to spend, what should you do with it? they had the opportunity to issue bootable USB keys just like the Mandriva Flash, that was the perfect mobile desktop, the perfect opportunity to give a 3D desktop to every kid.

I hear the arguments, I’ve heard them already: “we should move people slowly, give them the opportunity to get use to the application first, then to the OS, not everybody is ready for Linux, we should be careful…”. In this case, I don’t agree, we are talking teenagers here, let us trust them, they are smart, they like technology, they like new stuff and they are versatile.
We need to work on the other regions, to see whether one of them will make a smarter move.


Mandriva at the Fanny’s Party!

Posted in Mandriva, English, Products, Event, Fun, Mandriva Linux 2007 at 4:04 pm by mily

On tuesday 24th Mandriva was at the Fanny’s party. It’s a party organised monthly by Fanny and meant to make geeks of all boards meet around a drink and high tech novelties.
During this party various brands bring and present their new products so the guests can test them.

That’s how dozens of people gathered all evening long around Mandriva’s table in order to see the new distro: Mandriva Linux 2007. The 3-D destop was particularly succssful, everyone wanted to see the cube roll and they all left with their share of Mandriva goodies.
Our table

Christopher and Damien, but also many more Mandriva employees such as Céline and Warly, made demonstrations al might long and answerded tquestions from teh guests but also from TV since the channels NRJ 12 & Canal + stopped at our table to make interviews. Stars are among us now!

Mandriva should then have the priviledge to be on TV, on the TNT network (NRJ12) and in the show called « Tentation » on the Canal+ channel. We don’t know exactly when it’ll air yet, so stay tuned!

Various other brands were present that night. Besides Mandriva Linux 2007, the guests could discover the latest Palm, the brand new Nokia mobile phones, a new magazine named Digital World and they got to win numerous presents during the drawing of lots traditionnally held at the end of each Fanny’s party.

The ambiance wax very casual, the venue (La Suite) was very nice and we were all very satisfied with our night. Going back to a Fanny’s party will be a no-brainer!

View all the pictures on Mandriva’s Flickr Photo Album.

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