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Is Linux For Losers?
Forbes.com ^ | 06.16.05 | Dan Lyons

Posted on 06/19/2005 6:41:20 AM PDT by Willie Green

NEW YORK - Theo de Raadt is a pioneer of the open source software movement and a huge proponent of free software. But he is no fan of the open source Linux operating system.

"It's terrible," De Raadt says. "Everyone is using it, and they don't realize how bad it is. And the Linux people will just stick with it and add to it rather than stepping back and saying, 'This is garbage and we should fix it.'"

(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: bsd; linux
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1 posted on 06/19/2005 6:41:21 AM PDT by Willie Green
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To: ShadowAce; Ernest_at_the_Beach

Ruh Roh


2 posted on 06/19/2005 6:46:31 AM PDT by martin_fierro (Harsh not my mellow)
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To: Willie Green
" 'This is garbage and we should fix it.' "

This pretty much sums up most peoples approach to software written by others (i.e. what an idiot, I could obviously do much better).

3 posted on 06/19/2005 6:47:06 AM PDT by Paladin2 (Don't Tread on Me; Live Free or Die)
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To: Willie Green
" 'This is garbage and we should fix it.' "

This pretty much sums up most peoples approach to software written by others (i.e. what an idiot, I could obviously do much better).

4 posted on 06/19/2005 6:47:23 AM PDT by Paladin2 (Don't Tread on Me; Live Free or Die)
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To: Willie Green
Actually the proprietary Linux systems like Xandros, Linspire and SUSE are doing quite well. The latter two are sold at CompUSA.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
5 posted on 06/19/2005 6:48:53 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: martin_fierro
" 'This is garbage and we should fix it.' "

This also applies to most of what Mr. Lyons writes.

6 posted on 06/19/2005 6:48:57 AM PDT by Paladin2 (Don't Tread on Me; Live Free or Die)
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To: goldstategop

Actually the proprietary Linux systems like Xandros, Linspire and SUSE are doing quite well.
-----
Agreed -- I use the Suse distribution regularly for technical applications, internet surfing, servers, and other chores. Bill is, and should be worried about the growing market share of Linux...


7 posted on 06/19/2005 6:50:53 AM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: rdb3
Does this belong here?

Umm, probably just a translation error from the original Finnish...? ;-)

8 posted on 06/19/2005 6:51:18 AM PDT by SteveH (First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.)
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To: goldstategop
I don't use Linux anywhere, but as a DBA and CNA I am under the impression that Linux is very stable and is great for hosting databases. Isn't Novell about to go all-SUSE, running Netware NDS, basically, on SUSE-Linux hosts? Is the author a Microsoft mole?
9 posted on 06/19/2005 6:58:14 AM PDT by TheGeezer
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To: Willie Green

Uh oh, am I a loser from posting this from the old Dell PIII I got for nothing last week and then FTP installed SuSE 9.2 on for free?

In the MS world I should go out and buy Win XP for what, $200, and put it on a machine that might be worth $100? Sorry Bill, no way.


10 posted on 06/19/2005 6:59:36 AM PDT by machman
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To: Willie Green

The "does this belong here" source comment is fine. All programmers write stuff like that except, maybe, for pretenders who think they're god's gift to programming.

Mike


11 posted on 06/19/2005 7:00:21 AM PDT by mikegi
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To: Willie Green
BSD guys are a lot like Linux guys, except they have kissed girls. <

;->

12 posted on 06/19/2005 7:07:24 AM PDT by dread78645 (Sorry Mr. Franklin, We couldn't keep it.)
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To: Willie Green
De Raadt makes a rival open source operating system called OpenBSD.

So, Linux-bashers will come to all the wrong conclusions, not having RTFA. This isn't an anti-open source or anti-Unix piece. It's yet another round of the intra-Unix holy war, only instead of Debian vs. Red Hat vs. Mandrake vs. Ubuntu vs. yadda yadda, it's BSD vs. Linux.

13 posted on 06/19/2005 7:14:05 AM PDT by kezekiel
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To: Willie Green

Just a note: nowhere does de Raadt say that quote "Linux is for losers" unquote... this is a question posed by the author in a bid to get more notice. Too bad, since Forbes used to be far and away, above tabloid journalism.


14 posted on 06/19/2005 7:24:49 AM PDT by ikka
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To: TheGeezer
Way back when we used SCO on Intel we ran into Linus and watched the initial development around his core. It was fun back then to see Linux grow. To watch all the activity on the old IRC. I think this was about 1991.

After a few years Linux became a pretty stable OS. I've never had a kernel panic from a Linux box. We once had one old Slackware system with and external DPT raid array run without a reboot for almost 3 years. And it was under load all the time. The drives were constantly spinning.

FreeBSD is good stuff. We built some of out first firewall/NAT machine using it. FreeBSD is solid. So is the latest Microsoft server stuff for that matter.

Linux "arrived" a long time ago in Internet time. Heck the post office gas been using it for OCR scanning for YEARS.

15 posted on 06/19/2005 7:30:37 AM PDT by isthisnickcool (Get all the incumbents out of politics!)
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To: Willie Green
Microsoft's success is not so much on the quality of their product, but on being at the right place with the right strategy to dominate the market.

How Windows came to dominance is much like how VHS beat out Beta for the video tape format in the 1980s. While Sony's Beta was technologically superior to JVC's VHS format, JVC chose to license the use of this to all comers. Sony decided to keep Beta proprietary. While VHS machines proliferated and dropped in price, Sony Beta machine stayed expensive and rare.

Microsoft used the same open license strategy, while rival operating systems like OS2 and Apple stayed proprietary. Windows machines proliferated and dropped in price and Windows came to dominate the market. Upstarts like Linux have little chance of supplanting Windows despite Windows' flaws, because the switching cost for businesses currently using Windows would be too high for the benefit gained by using some other operating system.

16 posted on 06/19/2005 7:41:22 AM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: Paladin2
This pretty much sums up most peoples approach to software written by others (i.e. what an idiot, I could obviously do much better).

Or another way of looking at it: "A camel is a horse assembled by a committee." - Tom

17 posted on 06/19/2005 7:44:58 AM PDT by Capt. Tom (Don't confuse the Bushies with the dumb Republicans - Capt. Tom)
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To: Willie Green
Only a non Linux person would write this crap - probably on a mac with OSX - oh wait that **Linux** (free BSD at it's core). I've been using Linux in various forms for 9 years. Wondoze (which I beta tested from ver 2.0 on) can't hold a candle.

Happily posting with FC3 and KDE 3.4.1-1.0.fc3.kde using Kernel 2.6.11-1.14_FC3smp

:-)

18 posted on 06/19/2005 7:47:43 AM PDT by xcamel (Deep Red, stuck in a "bleu" state.)
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To: goldstategop

> Actually the proprietary Linux systems like Xandros, Linspire and SUSE are doing quite well.

Micro Center sells Tiger for $130, SUSE 9.3 for $100, and Linspire for $30-$100.

I was given a Dell PII with a wiped hd and downloded Knoppix 3.8 for it. Total cost, $0. BSD might be suitable for developers, but I have to say I'm very happy with my Linux box.


19 posted on 06/19/2005 7:56:59 AM PDT by cloud8
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To: The Great RJ
..Sony's Beta was technologically superior to JVC's VHS format...

This is the New York Times conventional wisdom.

"Superior." Consumers didn't agree. If they had, they would have switched.

The same applies to operating systems. When a better OS comes along, Windows will be dropped in no time. Superior for most consumers' needs, not experts' opinions.
20 posted on 06/19/2005 8:06:05 AM PDT by clyde asbury
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To: Willie Green

Linux is still a technical tool. With all the command line apps, config files, research on the web that is necessary, patches and hacks, there is no way Grandma or the average person is going to easily use Linux.

Windows XP, on the other hand, has proven itself as a user-friendly system. Millions of people have it and use it daily. NO command line apps and parameters to remember. No config files to configure exactly right. No internet research on how to do all that is necessary. Patches are a few simple clicks away, and with Automatic Updates, no clicks at all.


21 posted on 06/19/2005 8:21:31 AM PDT by shellshocked (They're undocumented Border Patrol agents, not vigilantes.)
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To: shellshocked

DU's are, in the words of Peggy Noonan, overeducated to the point they have lost all common sense. The other RATS are either too dumb to think on their own or living off those people are the only way they know how to make a living (includes DU's)

Operating System discussions are much like that. Either the arguments are so precise as to be irrelavent or they use a dumb operating system because they do not know better.

Use Common Sense and be practical in all we do and say.


22 posted on 06/19/2005 8:29:18 AM PDT by georgiarat
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To: Willie Green
From the Article in Forbes --

De Raadt makes a rival open source operating system called OpenBSD. Unlike Linux, which is a clone of Unix, OpenBSD is based on an actual Unix variant called Berkeley Software Distribution. BSD powers two of the best operating systems in the world--Solaris from Sun Microsystems (nasdaq: SUNW - news - people ) and OS X from Apple Computer (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ).

Actually, SunOS through 4.1.x and Solaris 1.x are BSD based. Solaris 2.x and onwards are AT&T Unix System V based.

23 posted on 06/19/2005 9:03:44 AM PDT by Lessismore
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To: dread78645
BSD guys are a lot like Linux guys, except they have kissed girls.

That's what I want to see - a BSD vs. Linux flame war. I'm seek of these MS vs. Linux flame wars

24 posted on 06/19/2005 9:06:05 AM PDT by vbmoneyspender
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To: vbmoneyspender

seek == sick


25 posted on 06/19/2005 9:08:36 AM PDT by vbmoneyspender
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To: vbmoneyspender

"seek == sick"


Been around Indians too long, eh? (haha)


26 posted on 06/19/2005 9:20:43 AM PDT by shellshocked (They're undocumented Border Patrol agents, not vigilantes.)
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To: vbmoneyspender

Yea, i used to hate seeing those ms vs linux flame wars. I remember when i visited colleges and went to see their cs departments the people there would go ranting and raving against microsoft moreso than they were propping up linux. Kind of reminds me of the Anybody But Bush campaign, they ranted and raved about how much they hated bush but didnt really prop up kerry.


27 posted on 06/19/2005 9:21:16 AM PDT by SDGOP
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To: Willie Green

Theo de Raadt has been a notorious prima donna with an attitude problem in the Unix world for many years. He not only engages in petty intra-Unix quarrels, but "his" OpenBSD stemmed from when he split it from FreeBSD because he most certainly didn't play nice with others. He likes to cause problems and strife.


28 posted on 06/19/2005 9:29:01 AM PDT by mjwise
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To: Willie Green
/* Does this belong here */

I've seen that comment in every codebase I've worked with. I've even written it myself. Means nothing.

Theo, stop whining. You sound like a Democrat. You need to content yourself with having written a fine OS. Unfortunately, another OS got the momentum and mindshare. The stars simply lined up right for Linux. That is all. It has nothing to do with technical merit. Getting your panties in a wad and crying "Not fair" isn't going to change this.

Yours truly,
ExDemSince92 - Loser, ESQ

---

This comment was brought to you by Slackware Linux 10.1, Mozilla Firefox, The Fluxbox Window Manager - And the letter 'B'
29 posted on 06/19/2005 1:17:36 PM PDT by ExDemSince92
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To: xcamel

probably on a mac with OSX - oh wait that **Linux** (free BSD at it's core)

---

BSD is most decidedly *not* Linux. At the end of the day, they accomplish the same things. They get there in totally different ways, though.

At the kernel level, MacOSX shares nothing in common with either one of them. It comes from a totally different school of thought.


30 posted on 06/19/2005 1:30:33 PM PDT by ExDemSince92
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To: vbmoneyspender

I'm seek of these MS vs. Linux flame wars
---

And we don't need no steeeenking badges either! ;)

As for the kissing girls comment in the article, I think dateless weekends are common in both camps.


31 posted on 06/19/2005 1:33:58 PM PDT by ExDemSince92
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To: Willie Green; All

The Forbes writer, much like this writer from Business Week, is concerned about the Linux GPL license written by rabid anti-American Richard Stallman (stallman.org). The BSD license is much more business friendly, and allows others to use that code without lawyers swooping down and attempting to confiscate your work.

http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/aug2004/tc20040813_1107_tc120.htm

A Big Fly in the Open-Source Soup

Linux is burdened with too much intellectual-property uncertainty for many companies to embrace and develop it further

The open-source movement has had a remarkable run of success that has seen software such as the Linux operating system and the Apache Web server emerge as major challenges to Microsoft (MSFT ). However, the movement is now facing a crisis. At its heart is a question that has been around from the very beginning: How does software owned by everyone and by no one survive in a world where copyrights and patents shape the legal landscape? The question is being forced on a number of fronts, and if open source is to play an important role in software's future, the issue will have to be dealt with decisively.

Linux, the most important piece of free, open-source software, began as the effort by a Finnish college student, Linus Torvalds, to create the functional equivalent of the Unix operating system, developed and then owned by AT&T. Intellectual-property questions about Linux came to the forefront after the SCO Group (SCOX ), which acquired the Unix trademarks, launched a series of lawsuits against alleged infringers of its rights.

POTENTIAL INFRINGEMENTS. The central case, a 2003 suit against IBM (IBM ), an important corporate promoter of Linux, has degenerated into a messy contract dispute with no intellectual-property issues left on the table. SCO's threats to sue companies that use Linux have almost entirely evaporated.

But now another problem has surfaced. Open Source Risk Management, a new outfit that indemnifies its customers against infringement claims, found in a review of Linux code that the operating system potentially infringes on 283 patents. Although IBM declared it would make no effort to enforce its 60 patents involved, some are held by Linux foes, including 27 by Microsoft.

The potential patent infringements pose no immediate threat to Linux. Such disputes typically take years to resolve, and courts rarely issue injunctions against alleged infringers. But the uncertainty is taking a toll. In the most significant response to date, the city government in Munich, Germany, has suspended a massive transition of desktop computers from Microsoft Windows to Linux, pending clarification of the patent situation (see BW Online, 8/9/04, "Will Legal Fears Freeze the Penguin?").

"ETHICAL POLLUTION"? Most patent disputes are settled with licensing agreements, but this is a tough course for Linux to follow. With no single owner, the closest thing it has to a central authority is the Open Source Development Lab -- but the organization has no way to pass any licensing fees on to users. Perhaps the best approach would be if major Linux distributors, such as Red Hat (RHAT ) and Novell (NOVL ), and companies for whom Linux is strategically important, such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ ), could set up a fund to deal with potential patent issues.

But open-source proponents also have to get their own intellectual-property house in order. The development of open-source software is increasingly dominated by corporate interests that, one way or another, want to use Linux, Apache, and other open-source products to make money.

But a slew of backers see open-source software as part of a social and political movement that's frankly anti-corporate. Richard M. Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and a man who commands enormous respect among software developers, argues in the essay Why Software Should Not Have Owners: "The system of owners of software encourages software owners to produce something -- but not what society really needs. And it causes intangible ethical pollution that affects us all."

MURKY MODEL. That view doesn't get a very sympathetic hearing at, say, IBM headquarters. But Stallman's thinking suffuses the GNU General Public License (GPL), a document that governs the distribution of Linux and many other open-source programs. The GPL not only requires that any programs licensed under it be freely distributed but also that any modifications made to the software, or any other software derived from it, are themselves automatically covered by the GPL.

Unfortunately, the GPL is hardly a model of clarity, and few disputes involving it have gotten to court, so case law has done little to clarify its meaning. This is causing reservations as more and more companies consider using GPL-covered software to develop either commercial programs or software for their own use. Apple (AAPL ), for example, rejected Linux as the basis of Mac OS X in favor of another open-source, Unix-like operating system called FreeBSD, largely because the licensing terms were less restrictive.

What exactly constitutes a "derivative work" automatically covered by the GPL? "The truth is we don't really know, and there are reasonable arguments on both sides," Jay Michaelson, co-founder of software company Wasabi Systems and a lawyer and a programmer, wrote in the May issue of the Association for Computing Machinery's journal Queue. "Some people argue that the GPL as a whole isn't even enforceable.... At the end of the day, the unfortunate reality is that developers should check with the companies' legal departments before proceeding with any GPL-related development because the requirements may vary on a case-by-case basis."

RELIGIOUS FERVOR. Bright as it is, the future of commercial open source might be considerably brighter if Linux and other programs went to a more commerce-friendly license with fewer complexities and ambiguities than the GPL. There's plenty of precedent. The BSD license, the Mozilla Foundation license used for browsers, and the Apache license all provide for free distribution of code and source code with fewer restrictions than the GPL.

That would be tremendously controversial in the open-source community, where the GPL sometimes seems more like an object of religious veneration than a legal document, but it would be good for all concerned.


32 posted on 06/19/2005 2:03:17 PM PDT by Golden Eagle
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To: EagleUSA

What do you think of the Suse distro? Was it easy to install, did it detect your hardware?
Suse is the one from Novell isn't it? I've been thinking of trying it, but they don't have the time bombed one that I could find to download like they had a while ago.
If they do, I'd appreciate a link.


33 posted on 06/19/2005 2:07:37 PM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: Lessismore
Actually, SunOS through 4.1.x and Solaris 1.x are BSD based. Solaris 2.x and onwards are AT&T Unix System V based.

Thanks for clarifying that.

34 posted on 06/19/2005 2:16:29 PM PDT by stripes1776
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To: mikegi

I would expect one of my coders to figure out if it really belonged there or not before moving it to production.


35 posted on 06/19/2005 2:17:47 PM PDT by gitmo (Thanks, Mel. I needed that.)
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To: Lx
Suse is the one from Novell isn't it? I've been thinking of trying it, but they don't have the time bombed one that I could find to download like they had a while ago.

That's because Novell is losing more money every quarter on their Linux adventure. According to CEO Jack Messman they may have to reconsider the whole thing.

36 posted on 06/19/2005 2:18:09 PM PDT by Golden Eagle
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To: Lx
You can download the "Novell Linux Desktop," which actually uses the Suse Linux Enterprise v9 codebase (rather than Suse Linux 9.x), and I believe that the only part of it that's "timebombed" is the auto-update

Mark

37 posted on 06/19/2005 2:19:49 PM PDT by MarkL (It was a shocking cock-up. The mice were furious!)
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To: The Great RJ; clyde asbury

What killed Beta was that you couldn't record an entire movie on it. VHS would let you and won out.


38 posted on 06/19/2005 2:21:36 PM PDT by gitmo (Thanks, Mel. I needed that.)
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To: gitmo

bump


39 posted on 06/19/2005 2:24:58 PM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Golden Eagle

Then what, sales of Netware are almost non-existent. Last dog and pony show I was at from Novell said they had enough money on hand to last several years at their current burn rate. This was in 2000 when people were asking if they were even going to be in business much longer. Notice their long term plans never mentioned something like actually selling a product. I ended up laughing in their faces.

I thought you were Mr. buy American? You want Novell to go out of business because they sell Linux?

BTW, they do most of their software development in India. Just try and use the latest version of Zenworks. By some miracle they might have fixed it but I'm not too hopeful.


40 posted on 06/19/2005 2:25:57 PM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: MarkL
You're right, found it:
http://www.novell.com/products/desktop/eval.html
Of course now I'll be accused of being a communist red Chinese collaborator.
41 posted on 06/19/2005 2:28:10 PM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: Lx
Then what, sales of Netware are almost non-existent.

Nope, sales of Netware are probably bringing in 20+ times what any sales of Linux are bringing in. No wonder, you yourself are looking for a free download, right?

Last dog and pony show I was at from Novell said they had enough money on hand to last several years at their current burn rate.

They do have lots of cash, mostly thanks to lawsuits against Microsoft. Doesn't mean they're going to throw that all away if Linux isn't a viable business model.

I thought you were Mr. buy American? You want Novell to go out of business because they sell Linux?

I don't want them to go out of business, what I want to happen is what Jack Messman the CEO said might happen - for them to declare Linux as a non-viable business. They could be getting close, based on his recent conference call after reporting their latest loss.

42 posted on 06/19/2005 2:35:33 PM PDT by Golden Eagle
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To: Lx
eval.html

Sounds like a time bomb.

43 posted on 06/19/2005 2:36:08 PM PDT by Golden Eagle
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To: Lx

Here's a recent report:

http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/stories/2005/06/06/story4.html?from_rss=1

Total Novell revenue, $297 million.

Total Linux revenue, $8 million.

Net result, $16 million loss.


44 posted on 06/19/2005 2:50:45 PM PDT by Golden Eagle
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To: Lx

Or even worse -- Amish.


45 posted on 06/19/2005 2:57:26 PM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Willie Green
"It's terrible," De Raadt says. "Everyone is using it, and they don't realize how bad it is. And the Linux people will just stick with it and add to it rather than stepping back and saying, 'This is garbage and we should fix it.'"

I wonder if he owns any MSFT stocks or he is about to recommend some new OS in which he's invested serious resources.

46 posted on 06/19/2005 2:58:14 PM PDT by Quinotto (On matters of style,swim with the current,on matters of principle stand like a rock-Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Golden Eagle
Nope, sales of Netware are probably bringing in 20+ times what any sales of Linux are bringing in. No wonder, you yourself are looking for a free download, right?

Which is saying what, not much. How many companies are actually looking at Netware VS Windows? Probably only companies that already have Netware. Just this last three weeks I was contacted by three companies that want to migrate from Netware to Microsoft Windows 2003.

So what happens if they declare Linux non-viable? They don't exactly have a lot of products to sell.

47 posted on 06/19/2005 2:58:30 PM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: Quinotto
I wonder if he owns any MSFT stocks or he is about to recommend some new OS in which he's invested serious resources.

Why would he do that? He has his own O/S already.

48 posted on 06/19/2005 3:03:57 PM PDT by Golden Eagle
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To: Lx
So what happens if they declare Linux non-viable? They don't exactly have a lot of products to sell.

Such is life when free software comes to town. All the minor players will probably be destroyed before it's over.

49 posted on 06/19/2005 3:07:38 PM PDT by Golden Eagle
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To: TheGeezer
I don't use Linux anywhere, but as a DBA and CNA I am under the impression that Linux is very stable and is great for hosting databases.

Yes, that is definitely one of its strong points and it is extremely popular for large-scale enterprise database systems. Linux scales well to very large hardware, has strong support for high-performance and scalable filesystems (XFS,LVM2,etc), and is well-supported by the vendors of the kind of hardware you use for large enterprise databases.

For big Oracle or Postgres installations, Linux will stay up and perform very well for as long as the hardware does. I've never had Linux fail on database servers, and many of the ones I deal with have been operating non-stop for a couple years. Solaris is another good OS choice for a database server, but it has fallen out of favor because Sparc hardware is a performance dog.

50 posted on 06/19/2005 3:15:22 PM PDT by tortoise (All these moments lost in time, like tears in the rain.)
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