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IP Cops to target Linux end-users?
SCO.com ^ | May 12, 2003 | Darl McBride

Posted on 05/14/2003 2:29:38 PM PDT by Bobalu

Letter To Linux Customers SCOsource

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

May 12, 2003

Dear commercial Linux user:

SCO holds the rights to the UNIX operating system software originally licensed by AT&T to approximately 6,000 companies and institutions worldwide (the “UNIX Licenses”). The vast majority of UNIX software used in enterprise applications today is a derivative work of the software originally distributed under our UNIX Licenses. Like you, we have an obligation to our shareholders to protect our intellectual property and other valuable rights.

In recent years, a UNIX-like operating system has emerged and has been distributed in the enterprise marketplace by various software vendors. This system is called Linux. We believe that Linux is, in material part, an unauthorized derivative of UNIX.

As you may know, the development process for Linux has differed substantially from the development process for other enterprise operating systems. Commercial software is built by carefully selected and screened teams of programmers working to build proprietary, secure software. This process is designed to monitor the security and ownership of intellectual property rights associated with the code.

By contrast, much of Linux has been built from contributions by numerous unrelated and unknown software developers, each contributing a small section of code. There is no mechanism inherent in the Linux development process to assure that intellectual property rights, confidentiality or security are protected. The Linux process does not prevent inclusion of code that has been stolen outright, or developed by improper use of proprietary methods and concepts.

Many Linux contributors were originally UNIX developers who had access to UNIX source code distributed by AT&T and were subject to confidentiality agreements, including confidentiality of the methods and concepts involved in software design. We have evidence that portions of UNIX System V software code have been copied into Linux and that additional other portions of UNIX System V software code have been modified and copied into Linux, seemingly for the purposes of obfuscating their original source.

As a consequence of Linux’s unrestricted authoring process, it is not surprising that Linux distributors do not warrant the legal integrity of the Linux code provided to customers. Therefore legal liability that may arise from the Linux development process may also rest with the end user.

We believe that Linux infringes on our UNIX intellectual property and other rights. We intend to aggressively protect and enforce these rights. Consistent with this effort, on March 7, we initiated legal action against IBM for alleged unfair competition and breach of contract with respect to our UNIX rights. This case is pending in Utah Federal District Court. As you are aware, this case has been widely reported and commented upon in the press. If you would like additional information, a copy of the complaint and response may be viewed at our web site at www.sco.com/scosource.

For the reasons explained above, we have also announced the suspension of our own Linux-related activities until the issues surrounding Linux intellectual property and the attendant risks are better understood and properly resolved.

Similar to analogous efforts underway in the music industry, we are prepared to take all actions necessary to stop the ongoing violation of our intellectual property or other rights.

SCO’s actions may prove unpopular with those who wish to advance or otherwise benefit from Linux as a free software system for use in enterprise applications. However, our property and contract rights are important and valuable; not only to us, but to every individual and every company whose livelihood depends on the continued viability of intellectual and intangible property rights in a digital age.

Yours truly,

THE SCO GROUP

By: _________________________ Darl McBride President and CEO


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Technical
KEYWORDS: crybabies; fools; idiots; itsallaboutmoney; moneymoneymoney; riaawannabees; sco; showmedamoney; wahwahwah
Intellectual Property law run amok.... Kill IP! Kill Copyright! (I mean copyright beyond that espoused by the founders--> to promote advancement in sciences--> to secure to the auther a limited right..etc)
1 posted on 05/14/2003 2:29:38 PM PDT by Bobalu
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To: Bobalu
There's no Unix code in Linux, and SCO knows it.
2 posted on 05/14/2003 2:31:23 PM PDT by jdege
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To: jdege
After all these years I would like to know who is behind the suit. Only Microsoft can benefit.
3 posted on 05/14/2003 2:34:17 PM PDT by Dataman
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To: Bobalu
It would be pathetically sad if Microsoft is rescued from this threat by infighting among its competitors.
4 posted on 05/14/2003 2:35:46 PM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Bobalu
Note that SCO is not saying whether the allegedly offending code is in the Linux kernel, or in other software that is commonly shipped in Linux-based operating systems such as Red Hat.
6 posted on 05/14/2003 2:39:40 PM PDT by B Knotts
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: Bobalu
Watching IBM rip SCO to shreds will be amusing. Rule 1: Never get involved in a land war in Asia. Rule 2: Don't get involved in IP litigation against IBM.
9 posted on 05/14/2003 2:45:09 PM PDT by ThinkDifferent
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: Bobalu
IBM's formal response to SCO's claims:

IBM statement on SCO lawsuit

The SCO Group, the owner of the UNIX operating system, has filed a complaint against IBM in a Utah court. We have released the following statement to the press on this issue:

There have been many positive comments from every corner of the industry. One example follows:

"Since the mid-1990s IBM has listened to customers, increasingly aligned its products and culture with their demands, and invested significant money to support open standards. The press surrounding this lawsuit will likely drive that message home......In the eyes of customers and open source developers, IBM has the moral high ground as a defender of open standards and an advocate for platform interoperability." Steve Milunovich, Merrill Lynch

We will share any additional information as it becomes available.
11 posted on 05/14/2003 2:57:13 PM PDT by AgThorn (Go go Bush!!)
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To: DigiLinus
Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.


12 posted on 05/14/2003 2:58:17 PM PDT by Bubba_Leroy
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To: Bobalu
Here we go again. I spent many years as a UNIX sysadmin on a set of large telco mainframes. All machines had full source code. SCO's lawyers would argue that anything that I touch in a Linux environment has benefitted from my prior access to the UNIX source tree. Even though Linus created Linux without initial benefit of access to UNIX source, the kernel and utilities have been refined and improved by myriad people who did have access to the source.

Frankly, I think SCO has discovered that they are still uncompetitive in the marketplace. They can't innovate their way to a more favorable market position, so they resort to sending they lawyers out to hurt everyone else. I once recommended SCO as the platform for a MUMPS based application that my company distributed to over 750 military hospitals. If they persist in threatening people instead of improving their product, I won't even consider them as a candidate in the future.

13 posted on 05/14/2003 3:04:54 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: AgThorn
It's good to see IBM stand up to SCO. While AIX has always been an odd variant, it worked perfectly fine. I never really cared for the "smit" tool, but it helped the junior staff. It also reduced the number of phone calls for help.
14 posted on 05/14/2003 3:09:54 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: DigiLinus
Windows XP is great.

Sure if you don't mind random reboots, security holes, sluggish performance, Big Brother monitoring, enriching a monopoly, poor backward compatibility, fussy hardware requirements and vanishing user controls.

15 posted on 05/14/2003 3:17:23 PM PDT by Dataman
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To: Myrddin
I was also under the impression that Novell bought UNIX from AT&T, and before getting out of UNIX, Novell released UNIX into the public domain. It has been a while and my memory banks have been flushed so I'm not clear on the whole turn of events.
16 posted on 05/14/2003 3:20:39 PM PDT by AFreeBird
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To: Dataman
"Sure if you don't mind random reboots, security holes, sluggish performance, Big Brother monitoring, enriching a monopoly, poor backward compatibility, fussy hardware requirements and vanishing user controls. "

Oh, well, yeah, there is that.... <8-(
17 posted on 05/14/2003 3:26:03 PM PDT by Hegemony Cricket (We are not made of our abilities; we are made of our choices.)
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To: AFreeBird
Okay this might be what I was thinking...(From www.byte.com)

Novell Opens Unix
January 19 94 / News & Views / Novell Opens Unix
Dom Pancucci

Novell has transferred the Unix trademark to the international X/Open standards organization. The transfer, which was announced last October, when combined with other standards efforts, may yet result in multiple implementations of Unix that conform to a single specification.

Novell's transfer of the Unix trademark to X/Open is, said Kanwal Rekhi, executive vice president of Novell's Unix Systems Group, the next logical step for Unix. (In September, over 75 companies, including Sun, Hewlett-Packard, DEC, IBM, Novell, and SCO, agreed to adopt a single set of 1170 API calls.) X/Open will be responsible for certifying that vendors' operating systems meet the Spec 1170 definition of Unix.

The idea behind the common API is to let developers write to a single set of memory, file- system, and other kernel-level cal ls so that they need to do only a source-level recompilation to support another Unix platform. With multiple compatible implementations of Unix, vendors will then compete on the basis of price, quality, service, and reliability, or as X/Open's president and CEO Geoff Morris said, "a single specification, a single brand, and as much innovation as the industry can deliver."

The movement toward a unified Unix will continue throughout this year. SunSoft, IBM, and SCO officials say they expect to have versions of Unix that comply with Spec 1170 this year. But Morris said that the suite of software tests to verify Spec 1170 compliance will likely not be available until the end of the year. Until then, there is an interim specification that says companies must use USL operating-systems technology, conform to SVID (System V Interface Definition), and conform to XPG3 (X/Open Portability Guide) or XPG4.

Novell will not give up its right to license Unix System V source code to other vendors, but once the t est suites are available, Unix vendors will no longer be required to use Unix code developed at USL/Novell.

And I found this press release at Novell's site

Press Release

Novell Completes Sale of UnixWare Business to The Santa Cruz Operation

OREM, Utah -- December 6, 1995 -- Novell, Inc. today completed the sale of its UnixWare business to The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc. (SCO), finalizing an agreement first announced in September, 1995. Under the agreement, Novell receives approximately 6.1 million shares of SCO common stock, resulting in an ownership position of approximately 17 percent of the outstanding SCO capital stock. The agreement also calls for Novell to receive a revenue stream from SCO based on revenue performance of the purchased UnixWare business. This revenue stream is not to exceed $84 million net present value, and will end by the year 2002.

In addition, Novell will continue to receive revenue from existing licenses for older versions of UNIX System V source code. Also, Novell will receive royalties from SCO's licensing of its NetWare networking software, including NetWare Directory Services (NDS), for use in UnixWare based operating system products.

The transaction positions SCO to consolidate the UNIX System on the Intel platform. SCO plans to merge the SCO OpenServer Release 5 and SCO UnixWare product lines to create a standard high-volume UNIX operating system that contains integrated NetWare networking software. SCO has announced that the merged product will begin shipping in 1997. SCO has also announced that it will ship the next release of UnixWare in the first quarter 1996, and that this UnixWare product will include NetWare networking software to help customers integrate UNIX Systems with Novell networks.

Novell Contact:
Melanie King
(408) 577-6842

18 posted on 05/14/2003 3:41:30 PM PDT by AFreeBird
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To: Bobalu
Sooooo.... SCO couldn't get what they want from IBM, so they're going after the end-users?

Screw 'em.

They'll get a reputation like Microsoft if they don't watch out.

19 posted on 05/14/2003 3:59:02 PM PDT by TechJunkYard (via Tammy)
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To: TechJunkYard
They'll get a reputation like Microsoft if they don't watch out.

They don't care. I'm convinced the only way their actions make any sense at all is if they're trying to get IBM to buy them out. Fortunately it looks like IBM is refusing to play the extortion game.

20 posted on 05/14/2003 5:10:54 PM PDT by ThinkDifferent
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To: jdege
There's no Unix code in Linux, and SCO knows it.

Since Linux is Open Source, SCO could very easily put its money where its mouth is.

The fact that they aren't doing so speaks volumes.

21 posted on 05/14/2003 5:42:15 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws help support terrorism.)
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To: DigiLinus
Update: Linux TCO: Less Than Half The Cost of Windows
22 posted on 05/14/2003 5:46:52 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws help support terrorism.)
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To: John Robinson; B Knotts; stainlessbanner; TechJunkYard; ShadowAce; Knitebane; AppyPappy; jae471; ...
The Penguin Ping.

Wanna be Penguified? Just holla!

Got root?

23 posted on 05/14/2003 5:49:38 PM PDT by rdb3 (Nerve-racking since 0413hrs on XII-XXII-MCMLXXI)
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To: DanzigGirl
Why didn't they say anything before? I refuse to give up my Linux OS.

You go, gurl! ;-)


Doing bad things to bad people...

24 posted on 05/14/2003 5:52:24 PM PDT by rdb3 (Nerve-racking since 0413hrs on XII-XXII-MCMLXXI)
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To: DigiLinus
XP cost $100 to $200 per machine. Does anyone know how much unix cost per machine?

Clarify your question. Do you mean UNIX as in SystemV UNIX? Or Linux as in Redhat, Mandrake, etc.?


Doing bad things to bad people...

25 posted on 05/14/2003 5:54:20 PM PDT by rdb3 (Nerve-racking since 0413hrs on XII-XXII-MCMLXXI)
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To: AFreeBird
This revenue stream is not to exceed $84 million net present value, and will end by the year 2002.

This may explain the timing of the lawsuit. No point in trying to make money when a big chunk would go to Novell, but now that SCO can keep all of the money, they are getting aggressive.

26 posted on 05/14/2003 5:55:39 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: Bobalu
This should come with a laugh track.
27 posted on 05/14/2003 5:58:49 PM PDT by snooker
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To: A Fighting Liberal
Sun owns rights to the code and APIs that are under dispute. Sun bought licenses in the 90s that were good forever. They also got the right to use the UNIX trademark. So how does this work again?
28 posted on 05/14/2003 6:01:25 PM PDT by snooker
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To: snooker
Sun Solaris not Affected by IBM-SCO UNIX Licensing Dispute
3/10/2003 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. confirmed with its customers and partners that it has licensing rights to UNIX code, on which the Solaris[tm] Operating System is based for both SPARC and recently available x86 systems. In light of SCO's legal dispute with IBM over UNIX licensing rights, Sun announced it has absolutely no licensing issues with SCO today. Sun's previous licensing agreements give Sun complete UNIX IP rights in relation to Sun's operating systems. This makes the Solaris Operating System a safe choice for customers moving forward. With the Solaris multiplatform product line, customers can have a consistent Solaris environment from low-end x86 servers, up to hundreds of processors, in a SPARC mainframe-class system.

Sun confirms that:

* As part of a series of licensing agreements, Sun acquired rights to make and ship derivative products based on the intellectual property in UNIX. This forms the foundation for the Solaris OS that ships today.
* Sun's complete line of Solaris and Linux products -- including Solaris for the SPARC and x86 platforms, Trusted Solaris[tm], the industry's premier highly secure operating system, and Sun Linux -- are covered by Sun's portfolio of UNIX licensing agreements.
* Solaris and Sun Linux represent safe choices for those companies that develop and deploy services based on UNIX systems.
29 posted on 05/14/2003 6:06:19 PM PDT by snooker
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To: A Fighting Liberal
Sun is a hardware company, and a damned good one at that. You can even run Linux on Sparc machines. This is why Sun will be around for a long time.
30 posted on 05/14/2003 6:08:08 PM PDT by klute
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To: snooker
This article lays out some details for those wanting to know.

http://www.opensource.org/sco-vs-ibm.html

add laugh track here ....... SCO can't even die with diginity.

snooker
31 posted on 05/14/2003 6:10:26 PM PDT by snooker
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To: Bobalu
It seems a lot of companies are going around saying their stuff is free and then when it becomes popular saying, you have to pay us for it. This has happened with mp3 files, some gif files and now Linux. This is fraud, and the courts should not allow it.
32 posted on 05/14/2003 6:15:47 PM PDT by gore3000
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To: DigiLinus
Windows XP is great. Who needs unix/linux? I have used many versions of linux. Its really getting better with each version released. My main concern is cost per machine. XP cost $100 to $200 per machine. Does anyone know how much unix cost per machine?

Let's put it this way, if one could barter with intelligence as if it were money, you wouldn't be able to afford it.
33 posted on 05/14/2003 6:16:20 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: Bobalu
The GNU Public License (GPL) is a "viral" license. If a firm has its code included in the kernel and then distributes it, it is now "open source".

So now SCO has chosen to "suspend" Linux distribution after the fact?

Yea, right.

The only way to explicitly avoid GPL and be protected by "Copyleft" is to have one's application access services through a designated library (glib.c). Richard Stallman (and lot'sa IP attorneys) are very clear on this point.

</geek speak>
34 posted on 05/14/2003 6:19:07 PM PDT by Stillwillin
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To: A Fighting Liberal
Before Linux bothers Microsoft, it'll kill Sun.

They won't have to. Linux is already hurting Sun's propriatary OS business, just like it is hurting SCO. That's why Sun has partially got on the Linux bandwagon. Probably the biggest threat to MS is IBM pushing Linux on an equal footing with Windows.
35 posted on 05/14/2003 6:49:45 PM PDT by frosty snowman
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To: walkingman
Bloated and behemothic back in the very early 90's when I dealt with them.

Still is. In '98 I thought their 'Enterprise' OS was a BSD link-farm with a thin coat of System-V wax.

36 posted on 05/14/2003 6:54:12 PM PDT by dread78645
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To: jdege
There's no Unix code in Linux, and SCO knows it.

Correct, there is no Unix code in the Linux kernel. The Linux kernel is a Unix clone without any propriatary code. Though the code in question may be something in the "Linux Environment" (i.e., outside the kernel) in one of the distributions that is being sold. Hard to say since SCO hasn't laid out any specifics about this yet.
37 posted on 05/14/2003 6:56:21 PM PDT by frosty snowman
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To: Bobalu
Totally Bogus News. This did NOT happen. Yet.

IBM and Red Hat Inc. today announced a partnership under which IBM will license Red Hat to develop and maintain IBM Linux, which Red Hat will also be free to distribute as Red Hat linux. The move follows a recent lawsuit filed by SCO Group, which alleged that linux contains unlicensed code from AT&T Unix, which it has purchased.

IBM has a fully paid, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual license to Unix which it acquired from AT&T prior to the purchase of Unix by Novell, Inc..

"Whatever components of AT&T Unix might be in IBM linux, they are covered by our blanket Unix license. We look forward to working with Red Hat to distribute IBM linux worldwide," said an IBM spokesperson.

Red Hat übergeek John Whatisname said, "I guess this means those lawyers who bought SCO for the IP play are hosed. Too bad."


38 posted on 05/14/2003 7:07:42 PM PDT by Nick Danger (The liberals are slaughtering themselves at the gates of the newsroom)
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

To: frosty snowman
Probably the biggest threat to MS is IBM pushing Linux on an equal footing with Windows.

It's worse than that. IBM is pushing Linux on all of its hardware that Windows won't run on at all. The PCs are still being shipped with XP, for now.

But consider that every Unix server replaced with Linux is still a loss to Microsoft, because they'd sell at least 3 or 4 server licenses for Intel servers to replace one Unix box. MS is kaput in the server room and they know it.

And now Linux is intruding on the desktop.

Microsoft's worst enemy is its own licensing practices. Particularly where small business is concerned, the costs are spiraling out of control, and these guys are waking up to the fact that if they don't get out NOW it's going to be much more expensive in the future. MS is more likely to cut the big corporations a deal to keep them locked in, but they're going after the small guys with license audits and three-year upgrade cycles.

MS has no choice, really. Their market is saturated and nobody wants to keep buying the same old stuff over and over. MS is moving toward a subscription-based revenue generator, and that's why they're pushing DRM and.NET and Palladium. Once they can control the customer's access to his own data, he must keep paying up or he's out of business.

40 posted on 05/14/2003 8:50:05 PM PDT by TechJunkYard (via Nancy)
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To: DigiLinus
I bought Lycoris Desktop/LX (developer version) for $40. You can get the consumer version for $30 (if you want support), or you could download it for free.

OpenOffice.org: FREE
Mozilla: FREE
CodeWeavers Crossover Office: $50. buy it ONLY if you NEED MS Office or certain Windows apps.

It depends on what you want the computer for. From experience, Lycoris is good enough that my father could probably use it with only an hour's worth of handholding or so.
41 posted on 05/14/2003 8:56:42 PM PDT by Windcatcher ("So what did Doug use?" "He used...sarcasm!")
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To: Nick Danger
IBM has contributed lots of code to the kernel hackers, for both s/390 and Intel flavors. Everyone at IBM who touches open source code has received extensive training on the GPL and the various Unix licenses.

With all of the lawyers and management oversight entrenched throughout IBM, you'd better believe they would not be associated with Linux if they saw any liability whatsoever.

42 posted on 05/14/2003 9:01:09 PM PDT by TechJunkYard (via Nancy)
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To: gore3000
This has happened with mp3 files, some gif files and now Linux. This is fraud, and the courts should not allow it.

Indeed, in many of these cases I think it can be shown that the "owners" of these materials deliberately delayed giving any notice of suspected infringement for the purpose of allowing their materials to become highly-entrenched standards.

43 posted on 05/14/2003 11:13:27 PM PDT by supercat (TAG--you're it!)
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To: Windcatcher
Codeweavers also offers a module called Crossover Plugin.~$25.
CrossOver allows you to execute Windows web browser plug-ins in Linux.Highly recommended.
44 posted on 05/15/2003 5:01:38 AM PDT by Stillwillin
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Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

To: Dataman
Windows XP is great.

Sure if you don't mind random reboots, security holes, sluggish performance, Big Brother monitoring, enriching a monopoly, poor backward compatibility, fussy hardware requirements and vanishing user controls.

I have fully patched XP Service Pack 1 on about 20 machines at work. None have crashed yet, not once. I know it when a computer crashes because it holds up production. This is in a manufacturing environment with 24/7 up time and no reboots because operators work 8-10 hours and leave. Some of these machines may get rebooted once every couple of months mostly becuase we patched them.

About the monitoring. Get this tool:

XPAntispy

Not sure about backward compat, but then again, I'm only using stuff written for 95 or later. Printer drivers and such are an issue, that's true. Fussy hardware? 128mbs of ram, but otherwise, I've put it on some PII-233s and it works first time.

Not sure what you mean about the controls, but there are two things you need to do when you sit down to a fresh install of XP.

Set the theme to "windows classic" and set the start menu to "Classic Start Menu". At that point it's almost virtually identical to 2000.

It's not sluggish and I use both 2000 and XP every day. I write code on my XP machine and install the EXE on 98, 2000, and other XP machines. No fuss no muss.

One thing it does best is East Asian Language support. The IME in 2000 is close but it's perfected in XP. Since my machines have to support Japanese Shift JIS data natively, I had to go to English XP because running Japanese NT/2000/XP is a nightmare when you don't speak a word of it and you get error messages. This was a major headache for me to support. XP made the problem go away!

Front of the house, XP all the way. Back of the house, I wouldn't support it for a second. Your favorite Linux/Unix varient is much better suited to the tasks and can handle massive loads without crashing. Our 2000 servers don't crash, but they tend to get rebooted and patched frequently. Our Suns tend run months on end with nary a tech sitting down at it to do something short of backups.

I sorta despise the draconian muscle Gates brings to bear, but XP is a nice OS for end users.
46 posted on 05/15/2003 4:30:14 PM PDT by Malsua
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To: gore3000
You can download Linux without any cost. Or you can buy it on CD.
47 posted on 05/15/2003 4:47:51 PM PDT by Clara Lou (Terrorists are wimps.)
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To: Clara Lou
You can download Linux without any cost. Or you can buy it on CD.

I have been using it for over a year and I love it.

48 posted on 05/15/2003 6:27:53 PM PDT by gore3000
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To: frosty snowman
Probably the biggest threat to MS is IBM pushing Linux on an equal footing with Windows.

Yup, IBM gives Linux what many big companies say they need to take it seriously - a company that will service it for them.

49 posted on 05/15/2003 6:39:44 PM PDT by gore3000
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To: A Fighting Liberal
Haha. There are more things than just CPU power. Believe me, I have lots of things running on Sun that I would not trust on the windows machines crashing around me. Free your mind. Get the big picture.
50 posted on 05/15/2003 6:46:13 PM PDT by klute
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