Who are openGW?

openGW is a software development team, the Lead Developers being Ryan Gosnold and Michael West (where the team gets its name from).

The team originally appeared in the Open Source community in late 2003 / early 2004, back then the team was called Westnold Developments.

Their first open source adventure was Barnix (later known as DebXPde), this was developed whilst Ryan and Michael were studing at Barnfield Technology College. The idea for DebXPde came from their Linux lesson during their Foundation Degree and it was apparent that a number of the students just weren't grasping the Operating System. The aim of DebXPde is to make an easy to use version of Linux for your average computer user.

The Development of DebXPde ceased in early 2005 due to lack of available time to develop the distribution. Ryan and Michael had become involved in what would be their next open source project.

A local IT company had a customer who was opening a Internet Cafe but had a very small budget for the computer hardware and software. Ryan and Michael were approached and asked if they would be able to provide a open source solution therefore providing a saving on Operating System and Software licensing costs.

The team built a solution based on Gentoo Linux that ran 20 thin clients from the Gentoo server, application such as OpenOffice were used to provide word processing and spreadsheet capabilities, Firefox for internet browsing and KDE as the desktop environment. The KDE desktop and start menu were modified to make it as easy as possible for the users. An application called Direqcafe was used to allocate the users time and log them off when their allocated time had elapsed.

Using the thin client solution allowed further saving to be made on hardware as the client workstations did not require Hard Disk Drives. The cafe opened and the pair were able to see your average or infrequent computer users, using Linux with ease.

After the cafe was completed the pair did not work on any open source developments or solutions instead focused on completing their Foundation Degree's and establishing thier careers.

In the early part of 2011 the pair began looking through the DebXPde forum to find there had still been a small amount of interest in the project throughout the 6 years of inactivity. This prompted them to re-establish the development and launch openGW.

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