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I fumed and railed when the Los Angeles Unified School District declared they would standardize on Microsoft software. That meant I had to start using Word instead of Word Perfect, among other changes. I wondered how it was that this came to be.

I was educated on this general subject by a lady who was the Cisco rep. Under the supervision of the District's Specifying Electrical Engineer, who was responsible for preparing specifications for all projects put to public bid, I had prepared specifications for LAN switches using a modestly priced line of switches and was at the office of one of the commissioned engineers for a project meeting regarding one of the bids.

I was introduced to a sales rep for Cisco, call her Cisco Sue, who informed me that the District was standardizing on Cisco. News to me. When I told her that I had prepared specifications according to the directions of the District she responded that she would go and sit on the desk of Dave, the head of the Business Services Division, of which Architecture and Engineering was now a part, until she got what she wanted.

The next development was when LAUSD's Information Technology Division sent a representative over to Architecture and Engineering with a new spec that they had prepared. It called for a higher end switch from Xylan, now Alcatel. After meeting with other district personnel who had hands on experience with the District's Wide Area Network, A & E decided to adopt the ITD spec and I cleaned it up a bit.

A war ensued with LAUSD officials who only knew what Cisco told them against ITD and A&E. Eventually I was directed not to express any opinion as to the proper switch to use and Xylan sued the District to get the right to sell the specified switch on District projects.

Years later I was describing this fiasco and complaining also about Microsoft to a group of architects who shared an office with an engineering client. One of these architects laughed and told me that his housemate had been the Microsoft account executive who had gotten MS established as the sole productivity software used in the District. I have still to find out whose desk he sat on or how much, if any, money changed hands.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Dec 5th, 2011 at 05:18:21 PM EST

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