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Compiere accomplishes its platform independence by using a Java-based client. So whether your business needs to support multiple OS's internally or through a partner supply chain such as in manufacturing or distribution , then here's a tool that can handle that. Compiere is also open source. However, you can purchase more robust versions and better support. It is available in standard or professional versions and the latter, as you might imagine, includes beefed-up support.

The pricing is based on an annual fee. If your organization works well in the open source arena and customization is what you want then the community edition will work very well. If you need an affordable solution with some support and additional functionality try the standard edition. Check out the offerings at Compieres site. So if the ability to generate reports from various databases is your challenge, here is the tool for you although if you have multiple database platforms you have a lot of challenges! Still, here is a single database reporting tool that you can use across all your various OS and database backend s to make life a little bit easier.

If you have a need for a cross-platform messaging and collaboration tool then Zimbra may fit the bill. Now Zimbra does not install on Microsoft Servers, but there is a virtual appliance in beta right now which can be used. Zimbra uses either an AJAX-based Web client for e-mail and calendaring or will natively support most e-mail client software. Picture the following scenario: You have a management team in New York that works primarily with Microsoft Outlook. In Miami you have a design team that is working on Macs and uses the AppleMail client.

Finally over in San Diego your development team is partial to Thunderbird. Let's throw into the mix your salesforce that is running around the country with a mix of Blackberry, Palm and Windows Mobile devices, and least I forget some of them also have the iPhone. Zimbra has you covered on all these fronts. All the clients will be fully supported by the backend server. The Web client will provide you with the full user experience whenever, wherever. The server has the ability to create enterprise mash-ups to allow users to simplify how they work.

If you need a messaging and collaboration software that will work across your organization then you need to look at Zimbra. Zope is a collection of cross-platform Web application, content management, intranet and portal servers. It offers the ability to add plug-ins to expand the toolset as well. Zope handles transactional and relational databases.

I was impressed with the list of organizations that are using Zope mostly because the first time I heard about it was while I was researching cross-platform tools for this list. This is a tool to consider especially if you host cross-platform servers with many different clients in your network. Flexibility and interoperability make this a serious player. I also was impressed with the resources available for Zope. Zope is open source which usually means you need to be proficient enough to handle issues yourself.

However, Zope has a huge library of documentation and support groups.

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Download and test drive Zope for yourself. If you need to hold Web conferences without worrying about which client or browser your audience is using. Then PresenterNet may do the trick. PresenterNet supports PowerPoint and Flash presentations and does for a reasonable flat monthly fee. One of the best features here is there is no setup, no client, nothing to download. This gives the IT admin two advantages: 1 there are no issues over what is being installed to the local machine; 2 PresenterNet is IDT compliant. So any user can easily join and collaborate in a Web conference with a single click.

InterActor's are technology that adds special graphics to permit you to request, view and even store onscreen responses from participants. You can request a live demo at Presenternet for free. If you need to send large files between cross-platform tools you should check out Civil Neitzen. When I say large files I am not talking about a couple of hundred megabytes. Civil Neitzen will allow you to transfer file sizes up to 4GB in size. In addition, you can also add encryption bit AES to the files.

Civil Neitzen allows you to transfer files between Mac and Windows systems. The client creates a secure end-to-end connection that will resume interrupted files and tracks transfers. Some of the pluses the company touts and I agree with them is that Civil Neitzen is free. If you have only a few users who need to transfer files even from Windows to Windows or Mac to Mac, here is a simpler and easy to manage solution.

Get Beta 8 here. This is, by no means, an exhaustive list but I hope it will help you. Do you have a good cross-platform tool that will help make managing a mixed environment easier let me know about it? Tell us about it by adding a comment or, if you are feeling shy, you can e-mail me my contact information is in my bio. Likewise Software's Likewise Enterprise Microsoft Subnet has previously written about the open source version of Likewise's Active Directory integration tool.

Wimba's Classroom 5. SharedPlan Software's SharedPlan Pro Need to manage a project that spans across offices, geographical locations, time zones, and oh yes So if you are concerned about your budget or your cross platform needs, check out SharedPlan 6. Compiere's Compiere 3. To do this I went out and downloaded a Windows 10 image. I assumed wrongly that it would give me the version pertinent to whatever the machine has on it, in this case, Professional.

It gave me "Enterprise" for whatever reason.

Whither Linux?

This was the second mistake. I then formatted the drive and reloaded Windows I thought everything was fine and dandy; you see, in the docs it says the machine should have the key bound to the hardware. Which I now know is utter bullshit, or simply software that just doesn't work. I should have known better than to trust this stuff. But I made a mistake, and now I was going to pay for it. After re-installing Creative Cloud from Adobe, all my JetBrains software, and tons of other things, I noticed a whole host of annoyances. Like the fact that the software cruft was still everywhere.

I didn't want this garbage. What gives? This was supposed to be a clean install. I kept digging about and installing things. So all the sources were broken, and the list goes on. I spent hours upon hours getting Windows 10 setup under the notion I'd be able to use it.

Then it happened. Windows reports that it is not activated. So I began the process of activation. I click on updates and such and tried again. I went through the loops of help documentation. Nothing was happening.

Comparing Linux and Windows Features - Linux in a Windows World [Book]

After trying every loop in the help docs that Microsoft provides, I was getting frustrated. Then I noticed what the fatal issue was. I somehow now had "Enterprise" loaded and a key for "Professional. I also didn't want to call in any favors because I wouldn't want others to have to do that. Whenever I show or teach, or record things, I want to be able to tell people exactly what I'm using and why.

Not that I "got the hookup" from inside Microsoft. I continued, at this point, over 24 hours into the loading, setup, and configuration of this machine and I realize that I don't even actually have a key. The Microsoft site didn't save the damned key, and I'm fighting with licensing to recover the OS and make sure that I can use it going forward. This vain hope of using Windows, of catering and shaping much of my workflow around Windows just so that I could have it for games, came from the initial report from Dell support itself that Linux just simply wouldn't work on the XPS 15 after I had spent 2 hours flailing around trying to install Ubuntu Linux on the machine.

For reference, here's the basic process I went through to get Linux on, but it appeared to fail by freezing up, throwing a bunch of kernel panics, and other miscellaneous nonsense. Either way I had given up and thought Windows 10 would be easier and had invested the time in it to get going. I even recorded this effort, which is moderately useful and has some good bits of information. But mostly just the installation failure and freeze ups. It was now the end of the weekend, I'd sunk all my time in this, and Windows 10 was now in the late evening of Sunday telling me I didn't have a legit copy of Windows.

I couldn't get a legit copy of Windows without going some secret back door deal and shelling out even more money for a full copy of Windows, or so I thought. I felt screwed, shorted, and simply fucked over by Microsoft and their misleading notions of how their own software works around Windows. Honestly, though, it wasn't the first time, and I hadn't felt this enraged with computers and software since the last time — almost a decade ago — when I used Windows and wrote primarily in Visual Studio not Visual Studio Code.

End State Condition 2: The wrong version is installed, Enterprise, instead of Professional, based on the download from the automated consumer download option from Microsoft. End State Condition 3: I was now stuck in a support loop with the docs. No option led to a resolution. End State Condition 4: There was no contact information or way to submit a ticket without paying more money. Consumer support failure. I was done. Even if the laptop became a very expensive paperweight, I was done.

Screw it. I'd fallen into kind of a technology depression from this Windows garbage again. I knew better, I told myself over and over again. Seriously, I've fought harder installations than this! I'd tried installing Red Hat 3. Ok, I'm going to calmly pick up this Mac here and start researching.

111+ Linux Statistics and Facts

I started finding lots of material about how the XPS 15 basically is plagued with poor driver support for Linux, but then with a few tweaks of keywords and Google-fu coming into play, I hit a few winners! That's when I started to climb out of this pit of despair and tweeted this. I'm live tweeting the reinstallation of Linux on this XPS I've just spent the last couple hours figuring out a way to get this done.

Here's the first details, in glorious Twitter threaded form. I thought, "Even if it takes until 4 am, there's no better way for success after this complete debacle with Windows 10 than to just say I'm going to live-tweet my efforts via all the hacks and tweaks on websites I'd just found right! But alas, I did, and into the installation I went! With the USB stick loaded same as I had done before in the video posted above in which the installation failed , I began.

The first step forward was to reboot and get into the BIOS v1.

This process, because of some oddity in the Dell keyboard, is easier to just press a bunch instead of holding down F I show an example in this short video in the tweet below, then selecting the right boot option once at the boot screen. That gets us to the boot and install Linux screen. Did I mention Ubuntu looks crazy nice on this 4K screen? Well, it does.

Real glossy! This is where things are kind of tricky. I need to "Try Ubuntu without installing" screen and it flashes by too fast. So a lot of fast button pushing ensues. Click, click, click, click, click, click. Like this, then hit "Shift" real fast, then hit "E"! It's like those console game secret codes!! Shown in the tweets below, the button pressing maneuver and the subsequent screen where the next setting needs to be made.

Ok, now set 'nomodeset' after the words 'quiet spash'. Which on the XPS 15 is nearly impossible cuz seriously see that little blur of white characters, yeah, those white characters, that's where the change needs made. Next up, save that and continue.

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Then press F10 and the installation screen will appear.