Success Stories

Linux Desktop Multiplier and Win4Lin Pro Reduce Costs of Point-of-Sale Terminals

Birchwood Art Gallery was always running into virus and spyware infections when they were using Windows 98 and Windows XP. Birchwood Art Gallery now runs Novell's secure SUSE Linux Desktop with the Linux Desktop Multiplier. Win4Lin Pro Desktop allows them to run Simply Accounting on Linux. Read more »


Birchwood Art Gallery – based in Winnipeg, Canada – specialises in fine art reproductions and original artwork by a wide range of Canadian and international artists. On their web site and in their gallery, you will find artwork, sculptures, prints and books from hundreds of artists.

Lyn Chercoe and Carole Solmundson, Birchwood Art Gallery's owners, have earned a reputation for customer service excellence since 1993 and sell art on-line all over the world.

The Challenges

As a small business, Birchwood Art Gallery was looking for ways to reduce their technology costs while continuing to support their business processes and customer service focus.

Birchwood Art Gallery needed to find a more cost effective way to:

  • reduce the costs of their retail point-of-sale terminals (hardware, software, maintenance)
  • run their DOS-based art gallery POS application, Framer's Assistant
  • leverage their existing investment in Simply Accounting, a Windows-based accounting application
  • reduce costly downtime caused by virus and spyware infections with Windows 98 and Windows XP
  • set up public-access computers to showcase their art inventory and profile their web site

The Solution

Birchwood Art Gallery's IT consultant, Mike Ducharme, recommended Novell Linux Desktop as a low-cost, full-featured Linux desktop operating system. To fully leverage the Linux Desktop, he recommended the Linux Desktop Multiplier (powered by Userful), a software add-on that allows multiple users to share a single computer. Win4Lin Pro Desktop was installed to allow Birchwood to run Simply Accounting on Linux. DOSEMU, which comes bundled with SUSE Linux, handled the DOS-based Framer's Assistant point-of-sale application quite nicely.

"Birchwood Art Gallery was always running into virus and spyware infections when they were using Windows 98 and Windows XP. Even with up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software, the systems were still getting major infections on a monthly basis, resulting in costly downtime until they were cleaned up," said Mike Ducharme.

"The security of Novell's SUSE Linux Desktop provides peace of mind to their staff," continued Ducharme, "allowing them to carry out their work activities without fear of virus or spyware infestation. Additionally, the Linux Desktop Multiplier cut the hardware costs in half and Win4Lin Pro Desktop provided Windows compatibility to run their Simply Accounting package."

The Results

By only having to buy an extra monitor, keyboard and mouse for each terminal, Birchwood Art Gallery was able to reduce their hardware costs by half. They also saved on software costs, maintenance costs and other peripheral costs like electricity.

Birchwood was able to use Win4Lin Pro Desktop to leverage their existing investment and training in Simply Accounting. DOSEMU allows them to run their DOS-based Framer's Assistant POS application on Linux. They were also able to use the bundled OpenOffice software rather than having to purchase Microsoft Office XP.

The Desktop Multiplier also allows Birchwood Art Gallery to maximize the processing power of a single PC and extend SUSE Linux' inherent security, stability and speed advantages across multiple users.

Go to the Birchwood Art Gallery web site.
Go to the Linux Desktop Multiplier page.
Go to the Win4Lin Pro Desktop page.

Birchwood Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Linux Point-of-Sale Terminals.

Lyn Chercoe and Carole Solmundson, Birchwood Art Gallery's owners.

Desktop Multiplier with Win4Lin allows Birchwood Art Gallery to run Windows-based accounting application on Linux.

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