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Recommended Software Stack
 
Did you know?
Linus Torvalds is the creator of Linux. He is Finnish.
 
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Computer Sales & Service
 


 

Farious Net Solutions strongly recommends customers follow our standard software stack when configuring their computers in order to maximize their productivity and minimize their downtime. A software stack is defined as a set of software that works together to achieve a specific goal. We have four configurations outlined below that include our recommendations.

Configuration #1 - Windows Workstation

Windows shines as a workstation and as a client on a network. Its strengths include a large amount of available programs and mindshare amongst its users (your employees). Its downsides, including instability and security woes can be partially overcome by implementing the following software stack:

  • Office Package - Microsoft Office comes immediately to mind when customers ask about office packages on Windows, but OpenOffice is a strong contender and much less expensive. It is Farious Net Solutions' recommendation that customers move to OpenOffice as soon as possible and utilize Microsoft Office only on legacy documents (and perhaps on only one computer) in order to break the costly upgrade cycle pushed by Microsoft.
  • Web Browser - Farious Net Solutions recommends that customers not use Internet Explorer which is packaged with Windows by default. Mozilla is a much better alternative because of its history of security, standards compliance and configurability.
  • Group Collaboration - Customers should consider utilizing a web-based collaborative environment instead of using
  • Email - Mozilla also includes an email client which is more than adequate for most users. It is our recommendation that customers utilize this to read their email. It is specifically recommended that customers refrain from utilizing Outlook or Outlook Express for reading their email due to the products' history of insecurity and a proprietary lock on its configuration and storage files.
  • Virus Protection - Norton Antivirus is Farious Net Solutions' choice in virus protection software. It is absolutely imperative that this be kept up-to-date.
  • CD Burning Software - Nero Burning-ROM is the best CD-burning software available for Windows today. It is specifically recommended by FNS that customers not install Adaptec DirectCD (which comes with many new machines and CD burners) or other packet burning software on their machines because of the difficulties that we have encountered with this class of software.
  • Business Accounting - Windows has many business accounting packages available, but they are all sub-par. Quickbooks is the most popular and thus the easiest to get support for (although it is a poor product, in our opinion), so we grudgingly recommend utilizing this for your business' accounting.
  • Page Layout - Adobe InDesign is by far the best page layout program available for the Windows environment. If you are going to be doing any brochure layout, we recommend you install this program.
  • Image Editing - Adobe Photoshop is the premier image-editing program available for the Windows operating system.

 

Configuration #2 - Windows Server

Farious Net Solutions strongly recommends not utilizing Windows as a server because of Windows' inherent problems with viruses, its history of poor security and difficulty we have encountered while patching and upgrading the system. The only reason any company should ever consider a Microsoft product as a server is when a specific application or server needs to run in a Windows environment in order to function. In this case, it is strongly advised that Windows only be used on a secondary server and never as a mission-critical piece of your business infrastructure. Farious Net Solutions' recommended software stack on a Windows server is as follows:

  • Virus Protection - Norton Antivirus is Farious Net Solutions' choice in virus protection software. It is absolutely imperative that this be kept up-to-date.
  • File Server - File serving is done natively in Windows, but it is Farious Net Solutions' recommendation that this not be utilized.
  • Print Server - Print serving is done natively in Windows, but it is Farious Net Solutions' recommendation that this not be utilized. Instead, a hardware print server should be installed on your network.
  • Web Server - It is highly recommended that web serving be done by Farious.net, Farious Net Solutions' Internet serving and high-speed networking partner, instead of being done in-house.
  • Email Server - It is highly recommended that email serving be done by Farious.net, Farious Net Solutions' Internet serving and high-speed networking partner, instead of being done in-house. Please seen below under "Groupware Server" for more information about Outlook.
  • Groupware Server - It is highly recommended that customers not utilize Outlook to perform their groupware functions. Outlook locks customers into a proprietary data format and is only somewhat compatible with third party email clients. Once a customer is has their contact lists and calendars in Outlook, they will not be able to export them (except through a very laborious process) and utilize a less expensive third-party alternative.

 

Configuration #3 - Linux Workstation

Farious Net Solutions recommends that companies not utilize Linux as a workstation at this time due to its immaturity and lack of applications. The only exception to this rule is companies who employ a large number of programmers or who only need to have access to a very specific set of applications. In this case, the following software is recommended:

  • Office Package - OpenOffice is the number one recommended software package for Linux users. It combines a familiar interface and a great price ($0) with the ability to interoperate with Microsoft Office.
  • Web Browser - Mozilla is highly recommended as the web browser used on a Linux desktop. It is highly standards compliant, cross platform and has a large installed base already.
  • Group Collaboration -Aethera is recommended as the native groupware application for Linux. However, you may wish to utilize a web-based groupware package running on a Linux server instead because it is cross-platform and more mature.
  • Email - Mozilla also includes an email client which is more than adequate for most users. It is our recommendation that customers utilize this to read their email.
  • Virus Protection - Linux is relative immune to virii, so no virus protection is necessary at this point in time.
  • CD Burning Software - K3B is the best CD burning software for Linux.
  • Business Accounting - There are currently no good business accounting packages for Linux.
  • Page Layout - There are currently no good page layout programs for Linux.
  • Image Editing - The Gimp is by far the most advanced image editor available for Linux. It can perform all of the functions that any basic or intermediate level user would need.

 

Configuration #4 - Linux Server

Linux is an ideal server for small businesses. It combines speed, economy and bulletproof reliability into a neat and easy-to-administer package.

  • Virus Protection - Linux is relative immune to virii, so no virus protection is necessary at this point in time.
  • File Server - In a mixed Windows/Linux environment, Samba is the best file server available. It will appear to all Windows clients as if they are talking to a Windows server.
  • Print Server - Print serving can be done in Linux using either lpr or CUPS. It is, however, FNS's recommendation that this not be done and instead a hardware print server be installed on your network.
  • Web Server - It is highly recommended that web serving be done by Farious.net, Farious Net Solutions' Internet serving and high-speed networking partner, instead of being done in-house.
  • Email Server - It is highly recommended that email serving be done by Farious.net, Farious Net Solutions' Internet serving and high-speed networking partner, instead of being done in-house. Please seen below under "Groupware Server" for more information about Outlook.
  • Groupware Server - Many different groupware servers are available for Linux. Please contact FNS to determine which is best for your network and your specific needs.