Linux in the news
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Linuxnewbie.org is a site dedicated to helping those who are transitioning to Linux from proprietary systems. Look to this site for an increasing collection of newbie-oriented information.
Notes on libre software is an extensive and growing document on all aspects of free software. It is available in both English and Spanish.
Section Editor: Jon Corbet
April 22, 1999
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Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 11:32:41 -0600 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Maurice Hilarius <email@example.com> Subject: An article:Linux won't have its day yet In a recent article at: http://www.canoe.ca/MoneyColumnsRowan/mar31_rowan.html You (Mr. Geoffrey Rowan of Shandwick Canada) wrote some comments that we felt demanded a response: Hello sir. We recently read your article with great interest. We do, however, wish to respond to some of the comments contained therein. Such as: "In fact, there are very few true anarchists on the Linux bandwagon. You'd have to classify most of the fervent supporters of the new operating system as hopeful opportunists. These are people who see a pyramid scam-like possibility and want to get in quickly, make some money and get out before everyone else realizes that the Linux base will never expand broadly enough to support the kind of market it needs to become something other than a niche technology." We feel a need to respond to this comment: We have built and supported Linux based computers for a wide variety of clients for over 4 years. These clients include organisations in Canada such as the University of Alberta, University of Toronto, Queens University, University of Western Ontario, Telecommunications Research Labs, the Alberta Government - Dept. of the Environment, the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and so on. In the private sector we sell to various corporations, including San Francisco stores ( 113 stores Canada-wide) and CN Rail. In the U.S. we supply the U.S. Navy, the Department of Commerce, the NOAA/ATDD weather satellite organisation, The National Institute of Standards and Technology, Stanford, MIT, and others. The list is FAR more extensive than this, but we feel that this small selection demonstrates the scope and quality of our client base. We believe that our clients are competent, and not likely to be "taken in" by some sham. They have bought Linux systems from us for years, and continue to do so now, in ever-increasing numbers. We do not "foist this off" on them, they come to us and ASK for these products. Simply put the concept you have stated in your article is untrue, unfair, and verging on slanderous. We look forward to your response, and hope that a retraction and correction may be forthcoming, in at least as public a forum as the original article. Best regards, Maurice W. Hilarius NEW! Telephone: 01-780-456-9771 Hard Data Ltd. NEW! FAX: 01-780-456-9772 11060 - 166 Avenue email:firstname.lastname@example.org Edmonton, AB, Canada - T5X 1Y3 http://www.harddata.com
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 12:01:24 -0400 From: Jeff Hecker <Jeff_Hecker@dpc.senate.gov> To: email@example.com Subject: Some more comments on NT vs. linux Greetings, I just finished reading Hajo Smulders' <firstname.lastname@example.org> comments in LWN. I've heard similar comments from others. I'd like to suggest that these comments indicate a basic misunderstanding as to what an operating is supposed to do -- at least in my opinion. Hajo says, "I get a Blue Screen Of Death about twice a week; but that is usually because of my own stupid programming." Unless Hajo is writing kernel modules or device drivers, what kind of stupid programming crashes an enterprise-class, high-end operating system? One of the main functions of an operating system is to separate various programs from interfering with each other and with the OS. Hajo's program might crash, but it should't take the entire system with it. I have similar experiences with NT. Our office runs some software which is (so far) only available on NT. On a good week, the system only crashes once. The "fault" is with the application which has a runaway memory allocation error in certain circumstances. The "responsibility" is with Microsoft Windows NT to keep that application error from crashing everything else running on the system. The all-too-common workaround to this problem is that people don't run more than one application on an NT box -- and justifiably so. Microsoft sales staff even use its unreliability as a sales tool -- "If NT isn't reliable enough to run your two programs at once, then buy two!" And people do. I run both NT and Linux servers at two locations. The server I mentioned above sometimes runs for days without dying. Other lightly loaded NT servers running only file and print service sometimes run for weeks at a time before failing. The Linux systems, which run everything under the sun, run for months without interruption, and then its usually a power failure. The current uptime on the Linux machines is about 260 days. And the las restart was for a disk installation. Microsoft's products might be be more colorful and have more sound effects, and have more lemming sales staff pushing it, but when it comes to reliability, there is no comparison. Jeff Hecker Washington, DC
From: Craig Goodrich <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: NT vs Linux on Insanely Fast Hardware Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 10:13:13 -0500 Fellas, OK, there's been an awful lot of flaming (inevitable and regrettable on the 'net) and serious discussion of Mindcraft's Linux/NT benchmarks. The consensus seems to be that Mindcraft was reasonably honest and fair but that tuning parameters for Linux and its associated software on such high-end equipment is hard to come by. I read about you guys showing off at some Linux trade fair your cybernetic Godzilla that built the 2.2 kernel in something like 45 seconds, with memory and FWSCSI that started in Santa Clara and stretched to somewhere around Albuquerque, and quad Xeons whose heat output could handle a small Minneapolis suburb in February. So I'd assume that if anyone knows all there is to know about tuning enormous Linux servers, it's you. How about getting together with Mindcraft (or some NT-oriented OEM) and rerunning the benchmark, so at least both the Linux and NT communities would have some more realistic numbers on which to base their advocacy, flames, and (oh, yes, I almost forgot) actual purchasing decisions? And, incidentally, how about having some documentation guy pick the brains of your best engineers to come up with a central source for Linux server tuning information? Thanks, Craig Goodrich ============== Freeing software is a good start. Now how about people? http://airnet.net/craig/g4c
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 15:11:49 -0300 From: Leandro =?iso-8859-1?Q?Guimar=E3es?= Faria Corcete Dutra To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Free Software. Is it Worth the Cost? I understand Douglas Boling is writing for Micro$oft, who does not love free software. But that gives no right to him to write such blunders. "If intellectual property isn't property, then just what is property? Why not just give away cars, houses, and everything else?" Intellectual property was never property in the sense of goods. It is a concession in form of patent or copyright to explore something you created for a limited time, so that you would have some incentive to continue creating. The difference between goods property and intellectual property is that ideas (or software) carry negligible copying costs. There is no logical reason to create scarcity where naturally there's none. "If they actually succeed in making software free, no one will be willing to employ them to create a product with no value." In fact, most money in the software industry is made in support. This won't disappear with free software. "If software is free, why does it matter who takes credit for it?" This is for fairness, a greater value in any ethical system than success. Also, it is for the practical purpose of highlighting the role the GNU Project has in the success of GNU/Linux in particular and free software in general. "I'm not saying that Stallman is anticapitalist, I'm saying the whole free software movement is." That is a lie without fundament. I'm part of it, and I'm "capitalism-agnostic". Capitalism was never a value in itself, it is just a natural social system that happens to foster (to some degree) freedom and prosperity. And nothing in the free software goes squarely against neither capitalism nor its founding values freedom and prosperity. "I just want the folks who write that software to be paid—and paid handsomely—for writing it." This is obvious. Even Richard Stallman gets paid for writing software, as well as many others in the free sofware movement, and they write only free software. If you are still using your logical capacities after so much richness ambitions brainwashing, you will see that free software will kill at most 20% of the revenues of the software industry, while creating great value for everyone else, improving the availability of technology to poor people and countries, and providing a much better -- and open -- foundation for the software maintenance and service industry, as well as for the content industry which depends on reliable, useful software! -- Leandro Guimarães Faria Corcete Dutra Brasil http://www.terravista.pt./Enseada/1989/