Course: 26 students receive certificate for attendence of Basic Linux System Administration Course.

26 system administrators received a certificate for attendance of the Basic Linux Administration Course. The courses where giving during 2008 and 2009 by local company Suares & Co. The courses where largely based on LPI 101. Students included employees from Fatum, Digicel, Selikor, C.O.R.E, Secnets, Phit, E-commerce park, Customs of the Netherlands Antilles, BAB and the Directorat of the Ministry of Finance.

Linux Certificates received by 26 System Administrators.

Linux Certificates received by 26 System Administrators. Photo: Rilley Ignacio

19 September 2009 – International Software Freedom Day.

This year, for the first time, Software Freedom Day was celebrated in Curaçao. Foundation Stimul-IT and Suares & Co NV joined forces to organize this event on Saturday, 19th september 2009.

Minister of Telecommunications Mr. Maurice Adriaens received the First Curaçao Open DVD from Ace Suares. The DVD contains Open Source Software, Open Content (Free video, music and e-books) and some readers (pdf) about open source and free software.

Photo: Max Martina

Photo: Max Martina

About 20 people attended the event, mostly people from local and national government. One guest came from Bonaire, a neighbouring island and part of the Netherlands Antilles.

  • 15:00 Opening by Minister of Telecommunications Mr. Maurice Adriaens
  • 15:20 How can software be Free? by Ace Suares, Suares & Co Open Source Solutions
  • 16:00 OpenOffice – how to save money and be more productive, by Ricardo Lochan, Stimul-IT
  • 16:20 Break
  • 16:35 Short film/documentarie about Free Software.

More info on Software Freedom Day International
SFD in The Netherlands
SFD in Trinidad & Tobago

Jobs: Function at local telecom company, with UNIX/Linux experience

Tusotra has a postion for a ‘HBO’ or ‘WO’ Telecommunications, Electronica, Telematica or similar study:
– some knowledge of UNIX and LINUX
– good knowledge of Windows and Office
– some knowledge of IP protocol
– some knowledge of wireless networks as GSM or 3G preferred
– good service attitude

More info: TUSOTRA,
T. 5999 465-6914 of 465-6915
F. 5999 465-6916
W. www.tusotra.com
E: info@tusotra.com

"Why BI-Hive is using Open Source", an interview with Kencurth Richardson

Measure your performance with open source

Kencurth Richarsson, owner of BI-Hive, uses Open Source SoftwareEvery businessman or woman cherishes his or her best clients. No matter the size of the company, it is of the greatest importance to know who they are, what their needs are and how to keep them satisfied. BI-Hive provides software that help businessman and woman achieve this. And because the Business Intelligence tools of BI-Hive are based on open source, they are affordable and reliable. “With the touch of a button, you get an overview of your performance in the past year, financial reports or best client top ten”, says Kencurth Richardson, founder and owner of BI-Hive.

Data warehousing

The company name refers to a beehive that is swarming with Business Intelligence expertise instead of bees. The letters BI stand for Business Intelligence. Richardson: “We help other companies to develop, implement and manage software solutions for information processes. We are also involved in quick scans, audits, training, testing and web-based software development, but our core business is business intelligence data warehousing.”

A data warehouse basically is combining data from multiple and usually varied sources into one comprehensive and easily manipulated database, Richardson explains. “Companies use a lot of applications that are not linked to each other. Plain text documents or excel spreadsheets and not linked to other information systems within the company. By making a copy of all this information structuring it an integrating it in a data warehouse (centralized database) companies could obtain a bigger picture of their business and users could have easily access of this information if they are authorized.”

The next step is using Business Intelligence Tools to extract information from this data warehouse, such as information about the best clients or the performance during the past six months – basically anything that is measurable. “A phrase I often use is If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’‘, Richardson says. “When you measure your performance, it is easier to manage your business by taking the right decisions.”

Lower treshold

BI-Hive uses open source Business Intelligence Tools. “These open source tools make it easier for small and medium sized companies to compete with larger companies. Large companies often use licensed software, proprietary software, that can be expensive. With open source the threshold has become lower. Smaller companies now can use these tools to manage their companies. Imagine you launch a campaign. With a touch of a button you will know whether you had some benefit from this campaign.”

BI-Hive’s website gives further examples. Depending on which information is stored in the data warehouse it is even possible to monitor sector development, economic trends and consumer behaviour. “It all depends on what is useful for the company, what it needs now and what it needs ten years from now. There are small and medium sized companies that don’t use any tools, because they have no need for it. They have not reached that stage and want to keep information unstructured. Although that will be very time consuming and there are tools to improve efficiency for those companies as well. People often don’t know that efficiency can be improved.”

Richardson doesn’t only offer open source and open standard software, but also licensed software. The reason for this is that he used to work for two international companies, being Oracle Netherlands and Logica. “I can offer Oracle based services because I have the knowledge. And I don’t ask my customers to choose exclusively for open source software or for licensed software. Companies can also decide to use open source for only some applications. Open source and licensed software can co-exist in harmony. Most open source software is based on Java, which is platform independent (and became Open Source in 2009). In the end, the return on investment (ROI) is the most important for the client. But the investment in open source is always less, so the return comes sooner.”

Misunderstandings

Richardson says that one of the issues about which there still is a lot of misunderstanding is the compatibility with other software. “I’m not saying that all open source software is mature. Some programs are still being developed. But there is a lot of software that is solid, reliable and useful. There might be a million pairs of eyes all over the world looking at the code, trying to fix bugs. This in comparison to a group of employees in the research department of a company that sells licensed software.”

BI-Hive for instance uses the Business Intelligence Tools developed by Pentaho. About 8.000 people contribute to the development of Pentaho’s software, which generates revenue by offering technical support on a subscription basis. ”Matured open source software is reliable and has good support. The availability of support is very important when choosing all software, licensed or open source. The difference is that with licensed software you will have to pay for support in addition to a license for every employee that uses the software.”

A second myth is that people need to know much more about computers and have more technical knowledge when they use open source software. This indeed is a myth, Richardson says. “Open Office is almost similar to Microsoft Office. Any document from Microsoft Office can be read with Open Office. Open Office is also compatible with both Microsoft and Apple. Some features might be different, but using them can be learned easily. Once you have taken that step, you will experience that Open Office works perfectly. Furthermore, Open Office uses open standards, which means any document you write can still be read ten years from now. Because Open Source won’t disappear and is here to stay. We can choose to resist and struggle for some time, but in the end we will have to deal with it.”

BI Hive Caribbean BV
E-Commerce Park Unit B03.2
E-Zone Vredenberg
P.O. Box 3672
Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles
E-mail: krichardson@bi-hive.com
Website: http://www.bi-hive.com
Telephone: +599 9 524 4483
Article written by Otti Thomas, Two Sides Media

"Why Caribbean Motors is using Open Source", an interview with Edwin van Bochove.

Caribbean Motors Company BV has come a long way since its used a hard copy paper filing system to register spare parts and accessories for the Dutch DAF cars, that were used by employees of the Shell Refinery on Curaçao. Nowadays the company uses a terminal system to keep track of all nuts, bolts, pistons and hub-caps for Mitsubishi. The departments for sales, service, parts and accounting are all automated and even the mechanics use diagnostic software on their laptops to locate the cause of problems. Most of the software is based on open source.

Caribbean Motors is using Free Software

Caribbean Motors is using Free Software

Caribbean Motors Company is one of Curaçaos largest car dealers and importers. It has sold Mitsubishi cars since they were introduced on the island in 1973. In 1998 a new office and showroom were build at the Jan Noorduynweg. Four years later service stalls, tire sales, a computerized wheel balancing service and a auxiliary generator were added. It currently employs about fifty people who sell and service all the latest Mitsubishi models. Sedans as the Lancer, the Galant and the Eclipse, but also SUVs, trucks and buses.

From Commodore 64 via IBM S/36 to Linux Terminal Server

Mr. Edwin van Bochhove

Mr. Edwin van Bochove, the Parts & Information System Manager, has worked for Caribbean Motors Company BV for more than twenty years. He studied car mechanics rather than IT, but became fascinated by computers en programming. When his brother bought a Commodore 64 in the early eighties, he soon recognized the possibilities to use it for an electronic filing system. Eventually, in 1986, Caribbean Motors Company BV decided to replace its paper filing system with a so-called minicomputer, the IBM S/36. “I saw the potential of the minicomputer but also the limitations. It could perform a lot of things, but somebody had to write the necessary programs. I took several training courses and was able to write some add ons for the existing software.” In 2001 Van Bochove was involved in the process of switching from the old system to new Dealer Management Software running in a Unix-environment with pc clients. Eventually a terminal server based system was introduced.

The current system is based on two large linux servers, stationed in Van Bochove’s office, and about thirty terminals. Van Bochove was already familiar with open source software for quite some time. Ten years ago, he was looking for a email program that could be used by everybody in the company and he chose the program that is currently known as Thunderbird. “It is free and comes with features comparable to those of Microsoft.” Then, a couple of years ago, Van Bochove realized that the computer network of Caribbean Motors needed a major update or full replacement. He got into contact with Edwin Constancia of FIT-IT Solutions. “I was impressed because he was talking about a lot of issues I was familiar with and wished to implement. Constancia had a professional experience with these issues and had done a similar project at another company. Our decision to close a deal turned out to be a good decision.”
Van Bochove is happy with the so called thin client system that has been in place for about a year now and in which all software is running from a server. “Every new employee, every new user, can start working within minutes. We just place a thin client. And we can easily replace a broken machine with a new one. Also, the terminals are more durable and they hardly require maintenance. In the past I was trying to keep up maintenance on many computers, something that really wore me out sometimes. Now, only the server and the backup server have to be updated.”

Power Failure doesn’t mean loss of work!

There are more benefits from the current system. Power failures do occur on regular basis on Curaçao. Two large batteries keep the servers running and give Caribbean Motors enough time to start their own generator. “As soon as the power has returned, everybody can continue where they left off. No data has gone missing.”
There are also some disadvantages. For some employees it takes some time to get used to open source programs such as Open Office, Van Bochove says. “It is no problem for people who only used the basic features of Microsoft Office, but there is a problem for the real power users – the people who linked all kinds of data and sheets in Excel, the people who used shared workbooks possibilities. They really had to get used to Open Office. The same happens with new employees who are not familiar with Thunderbird. People who used to work with schedules and other features of Outlook need some time to find and use the same features of Thunderbird. It would be great if there was some temporary support by professionals, who could help us with the transition to Open Office. Help with problems for which solutions have already been found.”

But on balance, the benefits are far larger than the disadvantages. The largest benefit might be the lower costs. “Most software we use is open source. We only need a licensed Window 2003 server for some software people still use.” Another licensed software package Caribbean Motors uses is designed specifically for car dealers and importers. “Since we are on an island, Caribbean Motors is not large enough for the software used by large importing companies, but we are too large for the software used by most car dealers. A English software house has exactly what we need. But it is expensive licensed software for which there is no alternative yet. We are glad the costs for the other software is limited.”

Interview by Otti Thomas
Caribbean Motors Company BV
Jan Noorduynweg
Website: www.caribbeanmotors.com
Telephone: +5999 888 8080
For more info: e.vanbochove@caribbeanmotors.com

Papia Digital about Open Office, Sat 18 Jul, 14:00

On Satuday  July 18th, 14:00 (GMT -4), the popular Radio Show ‘Papia Digital’ will have an item about Open Office, and Open Source in general.

Presentator Percy Pinedo will interview a guest about the upcoming Open Office courses with Solveig Haughland, who will come to Curaçao in August.

More information on the website of Papia Digital, which transmits via Z86  on AM 860. The show was originally planned 11th July, but got postponed due to the Little League Games!

Presentation: Business Intelligence for Small to Medium sized businesses

During the “Marshe pa Empresario”, organised by the Curaçao Chamber of Commerce, 22-24 April 2009, a presentation titled “Business Intelligence for Small to Medium sized businesses” was held. Kencurth Richardson, owner of BiHive, delivered insight into the world of Business Intelligence (BI).

BiHive uses Open Source in most or all of its products, from the Linux Operating System, through MySQL and KETTLE to Pentaho and OpenWorkbench.

Job: PHP Programmer at Spin Webdesign

Spin webdesign is looking for a PHP Programmer.

New Website: www.fit-itsolutions.com

FIT IT Solutions is active on Curacao since 2007 and specializes in Virtualization, Server Based Computing and Open Source. FIT is not against Closed Source but believes Open and Closed Source can be integrated, depending on the specific situation and budget.

FIT believes that Open Source can reduce costs for Small and Medium Businesses.

See the website of FIT IT Solutions (Dutch).

COSA – Foundation meeting of the Curaçao Open Source Association, part four

On Monday 6th of April 2009, the fourth preparation meeting of the Curaçao Open Source Association took place. The bylaws where discussed, as wel as the Program for 2009 and the general purpose of COSA. About 8 people attended.

More information: kencurth@gmail.com