11 December 2011

Intransitive Deployment

"For our second paper (1000 words) you will do research on the use of open source software such as Linux in a culture that is unfamiliar to you. This could be a unfamiliar country or a social group your are unfamiliar with in your own country. Examples might the adoption of Open Office by the government of Singapore or the use of Linux in Russian non-profits. Make sure to talk about the following issues
  • Why did this organization/group adopt open source software?
  • Have they continued to use it, if so what did or did not go well?
  • What changes needed to be made to either the software or the organization and how did they manage these?
The purpose of this paper is to look at how new software is adopted in a organization or a group, and what open source software offers as opportunities and costs. Make sure to look at the reasons they picked the software and what problems they encountered adopting the program. Usually the adoption of new software comes with a few issues that may or may not be planned for like training costs and time." 

What follows is the rough draft which i submitted as complete, Word-2010 was my real-time editor, here is what i wrote in two hours the night before it was due, a historical-nerd-fiction:

Linux: A Deployment in Foreign Markets
M. J. Banks
CINT 108 Linux Fundamentals
Fall, 2011
Instructor: ##
December 10, 2011

Using the experience of Fedora and its open source availability, feeling ushered toward the communal development of the software, the skillset to administer the operating system successfully was achieved, and later the skills to be administrator for network topologies. My ambitions grew commercial and an accounting program was developed for my system to track and calculate proceeds from a ski resort, after having success I decided to market my version of the software and make it proprietary, I called it SKIBUM. Further my ambitions have grown, initially the software did not sell but the opportunity has arisen to implement and expand in a community in the southern Patagonia region of Argentina. The skiing industry is booming during august and I decided to take advantage of the situation and implement my design for their resort system, but the major drawback was that the local language is Cymric (Welsh).

As I do not speak the language of Chubut, Argentina, I was forced to hire a technician from the area to help me with their transition from analog to digital, which did not go well when I was there and ill-fated when I was not. Their original intent was met quite fortunate after discovering my system through word of mouth, met with the fact that it did was not free they soon lost interest, having seen it work successfully in my corner of the world they asked if there would be development of the software into Welsh, of which they and I hoped, it successively did not garner attention for two years. SKIBUM received periodic updates and redesigns over the next year or so, no longer under my development but by a team of developers funded by the profits it helped and continues to procure for me and my resort operations where English is the desired language, further demand proved in successfully opening it to other markets with larger populations utilizing foreign languages.

The Patagonian towns were still not willing to pay for permanent language and specified technical support nor had they found investors willing to redesign the intricate desktop interface that they increasingly desired, not willing to take the financial loss to my return on investment, I decided to do the next best thing, what I might have done firstly to expedite their woes, I decided to release SKIBUM under an open source license while still retaining the patents for myself. Instead of selling the rights and moving to other interests, I had found it free and it could be for others, the community had embraced new users thus it was my turn, most importantly beneficial was that open source allowed the comprehensive knowledge, and, allowed the development of the increasingly desired operating system, had it been copyright to someone else it would have been not mine to give and I felt it was my time to pay-back the interest I have enjoyed.

It mostly seemed good karma to help other ski bums, the highly neglected system was adopted by the Patagonians interested and development began, the community was slow to support the transition, but the participants involved were pleased and took a special affinity, soon over the language barrier they would begin to alter it for payments requiring a currency exchange. As the US dollar is widespread here at home, in Patagonia is a Chilean or Argentinian peso, its conversion includes a 2 dollar interval we don’t use and a cup of cappuccino might cost you 800 pesos so the regularly changing exchange rate needed to be an easy input.  With the right amount of financial interest and operational intrigue the adaptation became more fluent and no longer on a permanent hiatus in that region, I still owned the license as I said so if they were to sell it I would turn a dime all in all. The other development came whereas I had been selling commodities in packages or generalized day passes and figuring the overhead costs at my discretion, they were devoted to making the program adept at tracking mass inventory lists by the same utility that it had been used for accounting all the while. These items included, personalized tourist keepsakes, skis and snowboards, accessories, food, lodging, transportation, private property rental, and anything else you can imagine a “ground up” operation would need, which includes a payroll. They became so adept at improving and promoting the software that they became my Argentinian developer team, they’ve called themselves the “Cymraeg Riders” development team, so called by the allusion to the word writers, the development has expanded the target investor demographic and given the opportunity to implement a Russian-English speaking sales team.

Different distributions are being developed for proprietary license commercial interests, each with the SKI- precursor followed by bum in each language designated, and each version has a name for its complexity. The original SKIBUM became, SKIBUM-Snowbunny, a simple accounting program, the operating system itself is an intricate desktop experience, similar to Apple, having an application centric interface, depending on how many modules and which are used affects the name of the distribution. In recent weeks the development of a touchscreen controlled interface for the newest kernel version (?).0 is being compiled for the recent advancement of computer tablets in the market, considerations are to reflect the negotiated devices that will endorse our software running on their devices, it will not be open source as the wireless transmission control protocols being developed independently from open source technologies as a new proprietary encryption, and will be distributed under the name SKIBUM-Blackdiamond.

I made decisions that in ways improves the efficiency through the use of technology and earned a reward in the process, it all may be temporary or infamous, turning a niche accounting program into an open source application that abetted the interest of like minds to the convenience of many others, as bookkeeping began losing the race to smart phones a capital idea was ready to exploit new advantages without resistance or missing the opportunity. The market has chosen to acclimate and if they don’t have to make tourists it likely will advance, developers can enjoy and students can students and explore, just as the original developers have endured thanks to the nature of open source. The OS can live forever in the world of hacker, code junkies, and possibly even specifically designed proprietarily for actual hardware devices in mass distribution.  Once the tenure expires hopefully it will have changed lives for the better and helped others to do the same.