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It was most the the difficulty in keeping MSwindows running that caused the switch. On any given day of the week, many of the expensive MSwindows machines were out of commission. They've had no downtime except for a burned out monitor and some ISP outages since moving to linux. The hardware is all second hand so the MS tax does not directly cause a problem.
Most patrons can't tell the difference or don't care, except that the linux machines are faster that what they're used to at home. One of the public terminals is designated as 'experimental' where new versions, distros, apps, or other tricks can be inflicted on the public (after being tested on the staff).
I will try to goad some of the principles into writing to newsforge.