What and Why

What is FreeDESK?

Well put simply it’s a request tracker. With it you will be able to log requests for someone to do something, keep and eye on them, update them and ultimately, once whatever has been done for whoever close them.

Why Develop It?

Primarily because I have to. I’m currently doing a MSc Advanced Computer Science at the University of East Anglia which has a rather large dissertation component where you have to undertake a fairly major project. I wanted to build such a system for a while and as it fitted the criteria chose it for my dissertation.

I’ve been in IT support for as long as I can remember, informally helping friends and family, formally through IT retail then as a helpdesk manager in local government before my sojourn to the Africas supporting IT over a massive area.

It’s useful in these circumstances to have a system to manage your jobs. The ones I’ve used have ranged from the excellent to the highly suspect excel spreadsheets or post-it notes on a board.

Most of the good systems are highly configurable but also highly expensive and I’ve always had the idea to build a system that can be used in IT support as easily as it can to track sick elephants in a game reserve and give it away for free.

Why Free? Aren’t You Living a Capitalist Dream in the Decadent West?

Free because I can. Free because there are numerous paid-for packages out there. Free because I want to make something hopefully some people will find useful and don’t want anything back apart from a nice glow inside and maybe a thank you email or two (as well as the completed dissertation of course).

As I write this now I am surrounded by virtual free stuff that people far cleverer than I have given me which is far more useful than any system I could put together. Though I’m actually typing this on Windows (commercial, boo) it’s going into WordPress (free), I’m sitting next to my laptop which runs Fedora Linux (free), can hear the hum of my development server running CentOS Linux (free) and will be posting this blog to a server also running CentOS. Developing the system this evening I’ve been coding with PHP (free) with gEdit (free) in gnome (free) and done some image manipulation with GIMP (free).

So why the heck not free!

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