How to reduce your remote island office computing costs

So you have decided to become a remote worker on a remote island. When someone rings your office in the UK, and are put through to your extension, they think you are in dreary Slough, and not a paradise island on the other side of the world.

You are also communicating with ‘Man Friday’ using licence free PMR446 two-way radios, with no call costs.

This blog article is however about (as the title suggests) saving money on your paradise island office computing costs.

Part of the cost of purchasing and running an office computer system, is the software licences. This adds to the purchase cost.

These licences include the operating system (usually Microsoft windows), and productivity software, such as word processing software.

One way to save money is to use what is known as ‘open source software’.

Open source software is produced mainly by enthusiasts, though many commercial organisations, such as Sun Microsystem, support it.

To download and install it is free. Companies involved in Open Source Software, such as ‘Canonical’ make their money by offering paid support and development services, though this is not usually needed for the small user.

The majority of the internet (hidden mechanics) actually runs on servers powered by Open Source Software, so it is a reliable and proven option.

For someone setting up a small office in a remote location, I would recommend ‘Ubuntu’ which is a version of the Linux operating system.

It is stable and easy to learn, and offers the desktop and laptop computer user with an alternative to Microsoft windows, which is very secure and virus resistant. I have used it for years to do HMRC tax returns online.

If you have an old computer full of viruses, then even better! Just reformat and install Ubuntu. Therefore rescuing the computer you were going to bin.

Of course you will also need an alternative to software such as Microsoft Office. Free Open Source Software, such as ‘Open Office’ is great, and free!

Right then remote workers, you now have a reliable computer system that is unlikely to need a ‘ computer repair technician’ to call to your paradise island at 40 quid and hour :-)

(c) Craig Miles 2014