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Home / Stories from the field

Open Source eRiding Takes off in Bulgaria

2003-09-07 10:54:24

Open Source eRiding in Bulgaria has been overwhelmed by the response from NGOs in Sofia - the capital of Bulgaria and its largest city. Over 30 NGOs including 2 Roma run organizations have applied for support moving their computers from proprietary and often unlicensed software to Linux. The government and several software corporations have promised a crackdown and stiff penalties for organizations and businesses using unlicensed software which is a violation of the Copyright Law in Bulgaria. But many organizations find the licensing costs too steep and regular upgrades and updates too difficult to
manage.33 organizations with over 150 staff and 160 computers will be served by the OSS eRiders in the next year. They had originally planned to serve 80 individuals with 80 computers but were so impressed by the demand they decided to expand their services. None of the groups they will support have ever had Linux on their machines. Red House and InterSpace has launched their own Linux distribution called ISLD (InterSpace Linux Distribution) especially tailored to those with very slow computers (64RAM). They are currently working on their own manual.
May 2003 will see the start of a series of lectures and workshops for NGO staff. The eRiders are well prepared with 2 phone lines for their help desk, an IRC chat channel, a support mailing list and special support e-mail address. Each NGO member will recieve 15 hours of training and will receive a Linux manual in Bulgarian and manuals in English.This marks the first attempt by eRiders to bring Open Source to their clients in such a comprehensive way.

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