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91 comments

Open != Oracle (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33086214)

Oracle is the most destructive overlord in the tech business.

Good (5, Insightful)

slaxative (1867220) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086284)

I don't see why they would not want to make their OS more readily available by allowing other hardware vendors to sell their OS. This makes good business sense.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33086680)

All it needed was commitment from Dell not to sell devices with competing linux distros. How venerable of Oracle, we don't see through this.

Re:Good (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 3 years ago | (#33087978)

Because if Joe Smoe Computer starts selling Oracle Linux and their hardware and support is crap it reflects poorly on Oracle. With Sun out of the picture, there are only three Enterprise hardware venders left: IBM, HP, and DELL. And Oracle sees IBM as a direct competitor. So that leaves HP and Dell.

"Demonstrates..." (4, Insightful)

John Whitley (6067) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086318)

demonstrates Oracle's commitment to openness...

[Pause for evil laughter omitted]

...and will provide Dell and HP customers with new levels of support...

Re:"Demonstrates..." (2, Interesting)

TheDarkPassenger (1840942) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086352)

Oracle makes Apple look open.

Re:"Demonstrates..." (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086508)

Oracle makes Apple look open.

They also, amazingly, make Apple look bad at sales/marketing. I've worked on dozens of projects that used Oracle as their database, and of them, I would say one actually needed something that expensive/heavyweight. The rest could have done just as well with something cheaper or most likely free-as-in-beer. Instead they were paying Oracle a boatload of money for software and spending another boatload of money on Oracle DBAs who largely performed tasks that were handled by developers on projects using other databases.

Re:"Demonstrates..." (1, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086706)

I really can't see much of a use for something like Oracle. Either you are writing a small/medium sized application where something like MySQL/PostGres would do just fine out of the box, without any modifications, or you are doing something really large, which you end up writing your own custom storage solution for, which does exactly only what you need it to do, and is very finely tuned. Even large and busy sites like CraigsList use MySQL and other free products to handle their data.

Re:"Demonstrates..." (5, Interesting)

afabbro (33948) | more than 3 years ago | (#33087006)

I really can't see much of a use for something like Oracle. Either you are writing a small/medium sized application where something like MySQL/PostGres would do just fine out of the box, without any modifications, or you are doing something really large, which you end up writing your own custom storage solution for, which does exactly only what you need it to do, and is very finely tuned.

Perhaps, but most shops find it's cheaper to license Oracle, DB/2, etc. than to write their own storage system from scratch, particularly if they need high multiuser concurrency and MVCC.

Even large and busy sites like CraigsList use MySQL and other free products to handle their data.

Craigslist does not have to manage a very large single image database. The data that appears for San Francisco does not have to be in sync with the ads that appears for Chicago. I imagine all of the ads for San Francisco (probably their biggest city) could fit in memory for a MySQL database. It's just easily compressable text and ads are short. Also, they don't keep more than 7 days. Given those requirements, MySQL is easy.

Facebook does not really use MySQL but rather MySQL they've rewritten to use as a backing store for their gazillion memcache servers.

At the other end of the spectrum, Amazon and telcos use Oracle, primarily because they need one consistent data image everywhere. Banks, airlines, shipping companies, etc. use DB/2 on the mainframe or Oracle for the same reason. If Facebook misses a post or doesn't update your home page, who cares...if a bank allows a payment because it's not looking at an up-to-date view of an account or Amazon 500 copies of a book when it only has 450 in stock, that is a problem.

Oracle also has better features for minimizing or eliminating downtime for maintenance, recovering from user errors, disaster recovery, etc. And frankly, Oracle performs better under high workloads and scales further owing to better design. For now.

Oracle is overused perhaps but it (and DB/2) still do things the free versions don't. The free versions are catching up...Postgres is at about Oracle 7 or 8, depending on which feature you look at. I do think they'll eventually catch up, but it's silly to say there is no use for something like Oracle.

BTW, what drives overuse of Oracle is not laziness or tradition but scaling down of big solutions. Company X develops solution Y for $GIANT_CUSTOMER. They then sell it to smaller customers but have only tested it on Oracle, so smaller customers use Oracle. Vertical integration dictates software (and to some extent hardware) architecture in many cases.

Re:"Demonstrates..." (1, Troll)

Unordained (262962) | more than 3 years ago | (#33088150)

If you need good MVCC (busy OLTP environment shared with reporting, long-running transactions, multi-table reports, etc.), I'd recommend Firebird (or Interbase) or PostgreSQL. Interbase essentially pioneered MVCC. My experience with both Oracle and MS-SQL has been that they didn't really grok MVCC very well, and their hacks to back-port it aren't nearly as good as a DBMS built with it in mind. Oracle requires that you preconfigure INITRANS "just right" and it's not pretty if you don't. MS-SQL doesn't really push that it even supports transactions, let alone MVCC, though it does (2005 was messy, 2008 does a little better;) by default, MS-SQL still uses the writers-block-readers model. When I talk about MVCC, Oracle and MS-SQL DBA's usually don't even know what I'm talking about.

Re:"Demonstrates..." (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 3 years ago | (#33089128)

My experience with both Oracle and MS-SQL has been that they didn't really grok MVCC very well, and their hacks to back-port it aren't nearly as good as a DBMS built with it in mind.

Oracle has done MVCC since 1983 (Oracle 3). The original academic work on MVCC was 1981ish. Saying that the current version of Oracle (11) has back-ported hacks to support MVCC is ridiculous.

Re:"Demonstrates..." (1)

Unordained (262962) | more than 3 years ago | (#33090308)

Would you prefer kludge? Oracle certainly didn't lose its locking (writers-block-readers) nature when they added it -- which I didn't say was recently. Their implementation is still limited compared to other good MVCC implementations, and they really don't seem to care, nor encourage anyone to use it. Seems they treat it as something only a niche market needs -- which may very well be the case, considering the number of large-scale apps that weren't built to use it, and were never upgraded to either, and are still the reason they make money. Nothing wrong with that. So maybe hack is too strong a word. "Clean" wouldn't be, though.

Re:"Demonstrates..." (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33088274)

or Amazon 500 copies of a book when it only has 450 in stock, that is a problem.

Or you verb from your sentence, that is a problem.

Re:"Demonstrates..." (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#33090672)

Facebook does not really use MySQL but rather MySQL they've rewritten to use as a backing store for their gazillion memcache servers.

Erm... wait... what?

Wouldn't that be, the software they've written in front of MySQL that knows how to use memcached? I don't see why you'd have to touch the MySQL code itself.

At the other end of the spectrum, Amazon and telcos use Oracle,

Interesting, because Amazon also does Dynamo [allthingsdistributed.com], which is very decidedly not Oracle.

Re:"Demonstrates..." (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 3 years ago | (#33087054)

Craigslist is neither large nor busy. Try a stock brokerage for example or Wal-Mart inventory management systems that runs off POS data if you want large and fast. Oracle is an Enterprise class database and it's massive overkill and a waste of money to use it for small environments. Plus it doesn't HAVE to be a web site to need Oracle. Products like SAP and other systems that do a lot of data manipulation and/or calculations but are not used to drive a website also use Oracle. You can buy one copy of Oracle and set up as many different schemas that are essentially desperate databases as you want which makes it nice to "share" among different organizations. Yes, using Oracle can be PITA dealing with corporate Sales, the CEO, pricing models and to get it tuned but it does a very good job.

Re:"Demonstrates..." (4, Interesting)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33087154)

Oracle is a very real threat to the open source community or Commercial Linux vendors in general. They have been rebuilding the Unix cathedral with an old guard dominance of Unix knowledge and development. Try finding any information for free on their websites. Now couple that with vendor lock in...

- Dan.

Re:"Demonstrates..." (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#33090628)

I can see a few places where it might make sense, because if you have the kind of load to need Oracle, it may be cheaper to pay for Oracle and a DBA to develop something completely custom.

But you don't necessarily need to -- there are all kinds of storage engines out there already, free and otherwise.

Re:"Demonstrates..." (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#33090598)

I've got to second that. It's not just that most of the projects which use it don't need it, it's that it's a kludge on top of a kludge on top of a kludge that makes IBM's zOS look good.

It's not just that DBAs perform tasks which would otherwise be done by developers or sysadmins. It's that Oracle seems to almost actively encourage the DBA as a profession. A trivial example is the autoincrement column -- even sqlite has one built in, but no, on Oracle, you have to create a sequence first, then that primary key column, then a trigger that inserts the next value from the sequence.

And it's not just the database. The kind of products Oracle tends to acquire seem to be structured to encourage huge apps, any one part of which can be managed by an entire department. I'm just finishing up a project in ADF for the summer, and I've had to use seven distinct languages (a conservative estimate) to do it, woven into a stack as many layers deep.

And you'll have to implement hundreds of random hacks [github.com] to bring it up to the level of what you get for free with other, competing products, and at the end of it all... My application crashed WebLogic.

No, let me say that again.

My application made WebLogic segfault.

WTF? The entire fucking stack is in a JVM, except the Oracle database itself. How do you segfault that? Unless they're running native code somewhere to optimize it, which would be really sad, considering it takes longer for my app to spin up (once WebLogic is running), and takes at least four to five times as much RAM, as a comparable Ruby on Rails app. But comparisons aside, I managed to segfault WebLogic with application code. I wasn't doing anything that tricky, I just slightly misconfigured ADF...

So not only are they huge, bloated, make-work products, in the sense that their entire purpose seems to be to create little niches of niches of jobs supporting this Enterprise-Level Shit, but it doesn't fucking work.

Yet they sell like hotcakes, because they're enterprisey, whatever that means.

I don't think they're good at marketing in the traditional sense. At this point, I really, honestly, truly suspect blackjack and hookers are responsible for these kinds of business decisions, because I can't see a rational agent wasting that much time and money doing it so horribly wrong.

Re:"Demonstrates..." (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33123308)

I don't think they're good at marketing in the traditional sense. At this point, I really, honestly, truly suspect blackjack and hookers are responsible for these kinds of business decisions, because I can't see a rational agent wasting that much time and money doing it so horribly wrong.

I don't know that I'd go that far, although, Oracle, if this is true? I can be bought.

Somehow business decision makers have gotten this idea that Oracle is the best database and that serious businesses all use it. That, if they're a small business, that if their business is a success they'll need Oracle anyway, so why not go with it from the start? It would be a vote of no-confidence to try to cut corners on their database. (None of this makes sense to me, I've just heard some variation of one of these points a number of times when innocently asking my clients, so, why did you pick Oracle?)

Your observation about encouraging DBA as a profession is spot-on. At the places I've worked that were using SQL Server or MySQL, basically, there were few DBAs for many projects -- it was expected that developers would do all your basic database creation, write queries, define constraints, write procedures, etc. themselves and that DBA time was reserved solely for very DBA-ish tasks like the more complicated optimizations, data footprint/location on physical disk (there's probably a more concise name for that that I've forgotten), backups, etc. Compare that with the Oracle projects where, as you say, there are many more DBAs per project and DBAs are dicking around with things like setting up autoincrement primary keys.

Re:"Demonstrates..." (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#33133600)

Actually, at the moment, I'm developing this application (for an internship!) without the aid of a DBA or any such thing, which means I'm doing my own autoincrement primary keys.

It also means I have the (possibly unique) perspective of trying to develop the full stack, and seeing just how much useless duplication and make-work there is.

I guess I didn't realize it was quite as bad as you suggest -- that the DBAs were doing autoincrement primary keys. What I suspected, rather, was that the sheer amount of dicking around it takes to even get Oracle to run acceptably (installing WebCenter and ADF both require altering some initial default values), and the actual DBA-type tasks, actually take a significant amount of time, because there's actually that much less that the DB can do to make your life easier.

It's the ultimate extreme of configuration over convention, where even the conventions are mysterious cargo-cult invocations of commands that nobody understands, they just know you have to run them to make it work.

I mean, I actually developed several SQL files, including triggers and stored procedures in addition to table and sequence creation -- all of which were considered legitimate bits of source code, which I stored with my project, and which I spent days developing, debugging, and refining.

And what I discovered was, if what you're describing is accurate, the typical Oracle DBA exists in the Ruby community only as a library call [datamapper.org], or more rarely, a script [theamazingrando.com]. Which made me all the more frustrated that no such library call or script exists in ADF, only lots of point and click GUIs.

Repeating yourself with a mouse isn't really any less gross than repeating yourself with the keyboard, especially when it results in thousands of lines of XML.

Re:"Demonstrates..." (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 3 years ago | (#33092706)

Are you kidding? Oracle makes _DEC_ look open. Apple's not even playing the same sport.

However, I'm not sure it necessarily follows that they'll close up Solaris. As far as Oracle is concerned, the OS is basically a complementary component. Nobody is going to pay, for any operating system, anything resembling the kind of money Oracle likes to charge. But you do need the OS in order to run the Oracle software stack, so it's complementary to (i.e., goes with) their main product line. Arguably, it is in Oracle's best interests to commoditize the OS, because that enhances the market for and/or helps sell the products on which Oracle makes their money.

The traditional thing to do, which would also work from a purely sales perspective, is to throw the OS in "for free" with any purchase, in much the same way that the car dealership gives you a free tank of gas (value: $20) when they sell you a new vehicle (value: $10000 or more; their commission on that: at least $500, often rather a lot more, plus the chance you may bring the car back to them for repairs later).

But leaving it open accomplishes more or less the same thing (the salesman can still list the OS and its features as benefits of the whole package) and has the added benefit of improving the OS and making it more attractive to a significant percentage of network administrators. The only downside is that another vendor potentially can also sell a competing product on the same platform (and thus their sales people can ALSO list the OS and its features), but that's purely theoretical in this case. Microsoft sure doesn't seem likely to sell SQL Server for Solaris any time soon, and no other competitor I can think of really seems dangerous to Oracle, at least for the present. They *bought* MySQL, and while Postgres is a pretty decent database product from a technical perspective, it doesn't have the kind of name recognition value or mindshare or corporate infrastructure behind it that would be needed to turn it into a viable competitor for Oracle in the "let us know you're interested and we'll fly a team of six salesmen out to visit you for a week" market segment where Oracle scores the bulk of their revenue.

So yeah, it's true that Oracle isn't generally very open, but I'm not sure Solaris will ever been in the same category for them as their main product line in that regard. Solaris could remain open without significantly altering Oracle's core business strategy, IMO.

Multiple personalities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33086336)

I seem to remember, that a few weeks earlier, Oracle yanked HP's deal to resell Solaris. Now they're reinstating it?

Re:Multiple personalities? (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 3 years ago | (#33087598)

are you sure this wasn't the EDS deal to resell solaris ?

when i was working for EDS, we and Sun were prety much in bed. after the acquisition by HP things began to sour a little betwen HP and sun.

now that sun is oracle, well... a completely diferent ball game. it's one thing to turn away from a nearly broken company 20 times smaller than you, but oracle is as big (at least in terms of market cap.) as HP, and they have a direct competitor to IBMs DB/2, something that HP lacks.

Or more likely... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33086340)

Demonstrates Oracle's willingness to try and avoid US Governmint investigations into how they are very anticompetitive. Bottom line, if Oracle is doing it believe you mean it is because they have a motivation to make money or avoid losing it or PR.

Re:Or more likely... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086412)

Demonstrates Oracle's willingness to try and avoid US Governmint investigations into how they are very anticompetitive. Bottom line, if Oracle is doing it believe you mean it is because they have a motivation to make money or avoid losing it or PR.

er... so, if Oracle refuses to sell their OS (Solaris) to a HP, who makes a competing OS (HP-UX), that's anti-competitive behavior?

Re:Or more likely... (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#33087988)

A company that bases all of it decisions on trying to make money, trying to avoid losing money and PR?

OMFG! Call Obama! There must be and end to this NOW!

Why can't you be intelligent? Oh. Thats right AC.

Hey, Dell (1, Interesting)

Dracos (107777) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086348)

If you really want to demonstrate your commitment to openness, let us buy laptops with Ubuntu.

Re:Hey, Dell (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086424)

Why?

The Ubuntu laptop would end-up being more expensive (no subsidies from desktop adware or MSN). You're better off buying a cheaper, subsidized laptop with Windoze, and then wiping it with Ubuntu Linux.

Re:Hey, Dell (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33087092)

Linux on a laptop is typically less of a "sure thing" than Linux on the desktop has become. Laptops have oddball setups and such that sometimes just don't work well with Linux. Given the much more limited ability to replace an individual component that isn't supported, it's also much more necessary to get all your components working out of the box.

Even for laptops that do seemingly work fine, you'll have other odd issues (such as significantly reduced battery life - this issue is actually the reason why despite running Ubuntu as my desktop OS, I'm still running Windows on my laptop).

Having a vendor selling a laptop specifically with Linux at least means that they've picked a model where everything will work right. Better than the crapshoot of picking a random one and hoping that all goes well.

Re:Hey, Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33088638)

"mod up, brother!"

Specifically, the three horses of the apocalypse for laptops are: Display, Trackpad, and WiFi. These might work, and they might not. It's a crapshoot selecting a new laptop for Linux use.(*) Sure, you can check online to see who's running your distro on that laptop, but there are so many bloody laptop models, that it's actually kinda hard to find someone using the exact two or three new laptops you're checking the sale prices on at your local big-box.

Yeah-yeah, sure you can spend a little more, and wait, and select a more specific model. But the point is people mostly don't -- which means for most people who buy laptops, Linux isn't a good option.

And even if that triplet work, there's no guarantee one or more won't fail on the next distro upgrade. (ie, with either Hoary or Ibex one popular Dell laptop went to max 1024x768 from 1280x960. Just the sort of thing that sends the Linux-curious right back into the Windows embrace.)

* - You can't test display with Ubuntu LiveCD. You have to install the bloody thing to find out video is a Fail.

Re:Hey, Dell (1)

speedeep (456168) | more than 3 years ago | (#33090250)

Consider running powertop and making the changes it suggests. Typically this irons out unexpected power drains with little user pain (answering Y/N.)

Re:Hey, Dell (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33087368)

Except that companies routinely choose incompatible hardware; case in point, my Dell laptop shipped with a broadcom network card (this was not in any way indicated when I purchased the system) and I had to use ndiswrapper for literally two years before there was a compatible driver. If they were to expand their line of Ubuntu laptops, that would mean better compatibility -- at least we would have some assurance that they won't put random junk into our systems.

Re:Hey, Dell (1)

orient (535927) | more than 3 years ago | (#33088856)

With Mandriva, all the hardware on my Linux unfriendly HP tablet (Broadcomm wireless included) worked from the very beginning - that is during the setup process. This made me switch the tablet to Mandriva.

Re:Hey, Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33087894)

While not a laptop, I paid *less* for my Dell Vostro 200 ST *without* a MS OS. It took some time but I managed to convince Dell to sell it to me with a copy of FreeDOS: Dell Vostro 200 Windows Tax Free in Mexico [johnbokma.com] for less.

Re:Hey, Dell (1)

DMoylan (65079) | more than 3 years ago | (#33089366)

i would rather pay an extra 100 than have ms count one more licence for their shitty os sold. it costs them nothing to make that windows licence. you're not getting a physical product like a cd or manual.

if they were selling their product below cost like their xbox consoles and buying the product and nothing else cost them money then yes i would buy it.

yes i hate ms that much. hey it's slashdot! :-)

ymmv

Re:Hey, Dell (1)

JordanH (75307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33089398)

Do you have inside information concerning the subsidies, because that's privileged information. I'd be surprised if the adware and MSN pays for the OEM Windows license, but maybe I could be surprised.

I do recall that netbooks used to be cheaper without windows. I think MS has since struck arrangements that make this no longer possible, but that's the way it used to be.

Re:Hey, Dell (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#33089792)

That is short term thinking, and only perpetuates the problem.

The long term solution is to bite the bullet, pay a little more and run the others out of business.

Re:Hey, Dell & HP! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33086486)

It't not just Dell. I bought an HP dv8t Quad edition (core i7) for $2018.99 a few months back. After loading Linux on it, found out the ONLY way to update the BIOS is via Windows7. The ACPI in the BIOS that shipped with the laptop is severely broken, but because they have tied the BIOS update to the Windows 7 OS I have no way to update the system. I for one will NEVER buy another HP product again!

Re:Hey, Dell & HP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33086578)

A person I know would have this to say of you: "Dee de deeeeee you thought it was a good idea to buy an HP?"

Re:Hey, Dell & HP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33086734)

Yep, I should have looked before I leaped. On the Dell laptops I was always able to pull down a new BIOS from dell and burn it to an ISO 9660 CDROM and flash from that, or a floppy on my first DELL laptop. I had no idea that HP would be so short sighted as to lock the BIOS update down to Windows 7 only. It just blows my mind. Other than that (not so little item) I realy do love the laptop so far and Linux (CentOS 64bit) just screams with the 8G of RAM. But I just cant see giving my money to a company that only does Linux on a few server platforms when more or less forced to do so.

Re:Hey, Dell & HP! (2, Interesting)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086792)

HP is horrific. Of the 5 or 6 HP computers that I have owned or have performed "family tech support" for, each and every one of them has failed within a month after the end of the warranty period.

One of them was struck by lightning a month after I got it, it didn't matter that HP's warranty didn't cover it as an act of god because my surge protectors warranty definitely covered it. HP claimed that it was not struck by lightning, but instead someone had drenched it in soda, they offered to "fix it" at a cost higher than its original retail cost. I refused and demanded a refund, they refused and returned the disassembled laptop. I eventually got it mostly working again after soldering a few wires into the power plug that was scorched by electrical arcing... Until a month after the original warranty expired and it bricked itself.

Re:Hey, Dell & HP! (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086838)

>>>HP claimed that it was not struck by lightning, but instead someone had drenched it in soda

Do they hire monkeys for repairmen? I don't see how they could reach that kind of conclusion, if there's no soda present.

Re:Hey, Dell & HP! (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086878)

Exactly. That is just how ridiculous their service was. It was an outright and unquestionable lie.

Re:Hey, Dell & HP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33087080)

They do. My experience with HP tech support has been horrible. I bought 3 year extended warranty on my laptop, after a year of use, (just after the base warranty would have expired), my LCD connector was loosing contact even though it was firmly in place (opening/closing the lid slightly would sometimes black out the screen.) I sent it in , they said it was a problem with the graphics card.. when i got it back, they replaced the MOTHERBOARD and managed to remove the built in card reader I paid extra for. Another month of waiting and I got it back with faulty Wi-Fi. as in it behaved like the LCD did. intermittent disconnection of the antenna itself as it would not be able to detect the hardware at all. I sent it back again and by that time its taken 6 ish months to send it back to them 3 times (they wont just let you send it back.. you need to go through hours and hours of waiting on tech support, emailing them, calling them) to get a response. then you gotta wait for them to send you the box, then you send it in and pray it doesnt get lost in their repair area. then when you get it back, expect that they fixed one problem and introduced a different one. eventually they gave up, a more senior manager called me up to speak in person, offered a brand new laptop so they could chop mine for parts. definitely wont buy another HP again. that said, the replacement laptop hasnt failed after 2 and a half years. its ironic, i gave up buying from dell because mine bricked literally 40ish days after the warranty expired. i expected more from HP.. but apparently not. TLDR: dell bricked after 1 year warranty, bought HP with extended, tech support screwed up 3 times, got offered new laptop.

Re:Hey, Dell & HP! (1)

orient (535927) | more than 3 years ago | (#33088886)

The 3 HP laptops I bought broke a total of 5 times during warranty - in the first year.

Re:Hey, Dell & HP! (3, Insightful)

T5 (308759) | more than 3 years ago | (#33092260)

Same deal with a Samsung netbook that I purchased because of its semi-ruggedness (NB30). Out of the box BIOS was junk (ACPI problems, as usual, manifested as dropping keystrokes due to odd, periodic, momentary machine stalls), and the BIOS updater runs only under Windows. You can't even run the BIOS package (.exe) on another machine and manually extract the BIOS - updater recognizes that it's on a different machine and refuses to run.

Contacting Samsung was an exercise in futility. Tech support kept insisting I run the .exe and also told me that I needed to make sure that I installed the battery level monitor .exe beforehand. The tech support person could not grasp that I was running Linux, not Windows, despite my best efforts to persuade them otherwise. Unbelievable.

My mistake was not making this a dual boot machine, just to keep Windows around for such work. It's become standard operating procedure for me now to dual boot any machine that's likely to need a BIOS update (Dell, to their credit, is not one of these vendors). And with the tendency of vendors not to include CD/DVD restore media, I'll have to use some other install media to reinstall Windows just to perform what should be a simple BIOS update.

Re:Hey, Dell (1)

hAckz0r (989977) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086748)

First, its not Dell or HP that is being "Open", its Oracle. Oracle is Open to the idea that you buy their specific brand of software, which btw is not Ubuntu in any case.

Dell and HP still have to answer to MS because of market volume and legacy contracts, but with Oracle (possibly trying to be the new 800 lb gorilla in the OS market place) that might just change. That will still be tough, because Solaris is still a knitch market, and Linux is too competitive, with too much variety to choose from.

Re:Hey, Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33092616)

If you really want to demonstrate your commitment to openness, let us buy laptops with Ubuntu.

Except I don't want Ubuntu. If I got one with it, I would just wipe it and put Debian on it. It's nothing personal against Ubuntu, I just don't like Splash screens, NetworkManager, or default GNOME very much. (Nothing personal against them either, just not my style.)

On my main computer, I have Debian Squeeze installed. Except when I installed, I purposely started small and built it up from a command-line minimal install, with just what I wanted. Hence, it has no sound server, just ALSA, no NetworkManager, and runs XFCE. So basically, no preinstalled solution will work for me. I just need working components and then will install the OS myself.

Friend/ employee hates Oracle (4, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086404)

I have a friend who works for Oracle. He's constantly bitching about them and their disorganization. He's trying to find someplace else to work, even if it's the Evil Microsoft. Wow. Must be really bad, if he's willing to do that!

Re:Friend/ employee hates Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33086586)

Cool story, bro.

Re:Friend/ employee hates Oracle (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086622)

This is typical of most large companies. I heard the same thing from a friend who worked at Sun ~5 years ago. It's the same way with HP, according to some of my colleagues. IBM too.

Re:Friend/ employee hates Oracle (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086798)

I think for him the shock is that Sun was not *as* disorganized as the new Oracle (which bought him out).

Quote: "In the Sun Solaris group, meetings moved right along and no time was wasted. In the Sun Cloud group, it depended on who ran the meeting. Under the new Oracle management, every f'ing meeting is a waste of time."

Re:Friend/ employee hates Oracle (5, Interesting)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086840)

Oracle swallowed up a company that acquired a company that bought a company that had a technology I needed to use. I called Oracle and tried to find someone, anyone, who knew anything about how I could purchase it. Nobody had ever heard of either the product or the company. Finally after hours of searching I found the entire thing available fully functional for download deep inside Oracle's labyrinth of twisty little web pages, all alike. The text had disclaimers that you had to purchase a license to use the software. I called back and tried to find someone, anyone, who would let me pay for the software. No luck. I'm testing it now, but I don't know if I can use it in production. Neither does anyone else.

Re:Friend/ employee hates Oracle (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33087584)

What's the product? I could do some digging on the intranet and maybe come up with something...

Re:Friend/ employee hates Oracle (4, Funny)

CoreDump (1715) | more than 3 years ago | (#33089790)

So, you use Solaris? Me too. And looking at alternatives now. It's a shame really, as the most stable gear I've run has been Solaris on Sparc.

Re:Friend/ employee hates Oracle (2, Insightful)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#33089944)

Solaris isn't what I was talking about, but yes, as it happens I run several file servers on Solaris. Best. System. Ever.

Re:Friend/ employee hates Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33091240)

I swear, I've seen this comment before. This, or something startlingly similar. It showed up on another article about Oracle several months ago, IIRC. Am I going insane, or is this some kind of weird Oracle abandonware pattern showing itself?

Re:Friend/ employee hates Oracle (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 3 years ago | (#33089722)

Most people I hear from really enjoy working for Microsoft. It's their customers who are angry with them :)

Oracle sucks. (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086418)

Sun allowing Oracle to buy them was the biggest mistake ever.

Oracle is taking a once great company and flushing them completely down the toilet.

Re:Oracle sucks. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33086592)

To be fair, Sun was doing a fine job of flushing themselves down the toilet without Oracle's help. Oracle has just reached for the plunger...

Re:Oracle sucks. (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 3 years ago | (#33093172)

No. No no no.

Oracle is taking the utterly destroyed guts of a once great company and trying to decide what the hell to do with it.

Sun was dying. Jonathan Schwartz, may Satan piss on his corpse when he dies, spent his entire tenure trying to gut the company of technological value and sell it off at a profit. I guess he should be happy that he succeeded, but I hope he lies awake at night (on his bed of money!), haunted by the fact that he killed the last pure Unix company in existence. His greed heralded the end of Unix.

To Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33086430)

Just relicense OpenSolaris under the GPL and let it die already...

Oracle Managment (2, Funny)

helix2301 (1105613) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086440)

This is another example of great management by Oracle. They want to sell a server product so they team with HP and Dell this is a great move. This idea did wonders for Red Hat and Suse I hope it does the same for Oracle. Plus since HP and Dell already ship Linux I am sure they will be happy to ship Unix.

Ubuntu Linux? (2, Interesting)

Mizery De Aria (554294) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086460)

Demonstrates their openness? Didn't Dell recently stop offering Ubuntu Linux? Perhaps this is related to why Dell stopped offering Ubuntu Linux? X_X

Re:Ubuntu Linux? (5, Informative)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086684)

That is not true. [computerworld.com] Granted, they don't have many [dell.com] but they do offer ... three... but that includes a desktop system with Ubuntu 10.04. Which was released pretty recently. Which means they are still actively doing stuff with Ubuntu over there at Dell.

Re:Ubuntu Linux? (1)

Jerry (6400) | more than 3 years ago | (#33095782)

A couple days ago I did a count of the number and kind of computers offered by DELL that come with Ubuntu pre-installed. Dell offered, when I counted, a total of 32 different laptops and, surprisingly, 32 different desktops. Only 3% of their desktop offerings and 6% of their laptop offerings ran Ubuntu pre-installed. I also noted that the customization offerings were much less with the Ubuntu. With friends like Dell, Linux needs no enemies. That's why I say that Dell offers Linux so that Microsoft can point to them when people accuse it of being a monopoly.

Comparing an Ubuntu XPS7100 with its Windows counterpart I noticed the Ubuntu offering was only $20 less, but it had fewer customizations, and those that were offered weren't of the caliber or range of those offered for the Windows machines.

This is why, when folks buy a DELL but with the intent of running Linux, they buy the hardware and customizations they want using the more generous Windows offerings, and then either dual boot with Windows or REPLACE Windows with Linux. Thus, Windows gets the "retail sales channel count" but Linux gets the machine. The Windows purchaser continues to shell out even MORE cash for adequate AV software, cdrom burning software, firewall software, office software, graphics software, etc... The Linux user installs all of that software from their repository at the same cost of their distro - 0$. The result? Windows machines continue to be added to Windows bot farms in the tens of thousands. While Windows servers comprise only 16.6% of all Internet servers [securityspace.com], they serve 99% of all spam and malware. OpenSource software, running on 76% of all Internet servers, account for a fraction of a percent of malware. This is why, as Steve Ballmer noted 18 months ago, that Linux is their main competition and its desktop market share has exceeded Apple's.

As the economy continues to stagnate, people are without jobs or are in low paying jobs, and money is tight. I have had nearly a couple dozen people who have been running Windows for years call me up and say they've heard about Linux and ask me to install it on their computer. These are friends who've asked me several times in the past to restore their Windows boxes to running condition again. Since installing Linux (usually PCLinuxOS or Kubuntu) the only calls I get are "what printer should I choose?", or "This pop-up says my computer is infected with Windows viruses! What should I do?" I laugh and tell them to ignore it. Only one, who couldn't find a Linux version of the kind of software he was using, returned to Windows, but he uses Linux in dual boot to surf the web and do online accounting and buying.

Re:Ubuntu Linux? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33111488)

Our anecdotal evidence differs in the latter part of your post. I've had problems with having people use Linux. Certain functionality just doesn't work smoothly, at least with the distros I tried some people out on; specifically: sound, video (both DVDs and flash-based), and printing. The printing issue is primarily just a driver issue, granted, but that's hard to explain that the need to buy a new printer ;) I did get it working after a while. The DVDs and flash-based thing? That took some time to find the right libraries that needed to be installed (libdvdcss2 ... but had some quirks for whatever reason), and flash video was very jerky if full screen. That could be a video driver issue ... which is another issue :P

It's depended a lot on hardware.

Right now, I am trying out Ubuntu 10.04 on a laptop as a "test drive," and after configuring (which took a LONG while on my connection at home ... to get all the required packages to do normal things like watch a DVD or a Flash-based online video [e.g., hulu]). It's working out far, far better than 9.04 was.

Yes, I know there are other distros than Ubuntu. I use a variety :) But at the moment, 10.04 has worked pretty well...

Bottom line, for me, so far: it's still getting better, but I'd say it's not quite ready for most of the people I know, anyways.

And there's always the issue if iPods. sigh. Or my Env3 for that matter - I was not able to use that with Ubuntu.

never get used to this (1)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086510)

Maybe I'm getting old, but I just can't get used to hearing things like Oracle Java and Oracle's Solaris.

Can they please just keep the old Sun name for me and just keep the revenue.

Re:never get used to this (1)

TwiztidK (1723954) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086696)

Maybe I'm getting old

I'm 18, so I'm still considered to be relatively young by most, and even I cringe when I hear/see Sun replaced with Oracle.

Re:never get used to this (4, Insightful)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086728)

Don't worry - I suspect you will not have to hear things like that for long. Give it five years, and those products will likely have died a slow, lingering death under the stewardship of Oracle.

Re:never get used to this (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086806)

I hear that. Last week I was setting up a machine at home for Java development (I'm doing .NET work professionally right now, but I've also done years of Java dev and might well go back to it for a future project, so I like to try to keep my hand in) and seeing the Oracle logo on Java installers broke my heart.

I used Sparcs in school and I've had a soft spot for Sun since, even when they did stupid things. Oracle I've never liked and years of working with the Oracle database and/or Peoplesoft have not improved my opinion.

Re:never get used to this (1)

larien (5608) | more than 3 years ago | (#33089416)

I upgraded the firmware on one of our servers in June and was slightly shocked when the OBP banner said "Copyright Oracle Corporation" where it used to say "Sun Microsystem"... the rebranding continues apace...

No more hardware (1)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086518)

I guess this is further confirmation that Oracle doesn't care to do much hardware stuff outside high end SPARC stuff.

Re:No more hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33086564)

Heh. Believe what you like, but that's emphatically not true. Ask your Sun rep for an NDA if you don't believe it.

Re:No more hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33091626)

Been there, done that, waste of time. Even after they brought in heavy artillery, it is pretty clear that Oracle has no clue what customers like us actually want from them. The fact that an NDA was required just underscored the point.

We just took delivery on the first of a few hundred servers from another vendor. We'll be putting Linux on these to start transitioning off of Solaris, after several successful pilots. We'll miss Solaris, but we won't miss the uncertainty or the long delays in getting technology out the door. [We weren't dumb enough to switch to OpenSolaris, which was clearly more about Sun appearing to be open source ready than actually doing it.]

Re:No more hardware (1)

captrb (1298149) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086744)

I don't think that is true. I think they realize that they will be leaving opportunities on the table if they require their customers to run Oracle hardware. There are too many "HP shops" and "Dell shops" that don't stray from their vendor. Oracle still wants to sell their OS+Database combo's even if they don't get the hardware for the triple-word-score. One of Sun's greatest mistakes was not understanding the importance of customers with heterogeneous environments. And yet oddly, being "open" (before it was "open source") was their gig... integrating lots of different stuff on one server, where before it was single vendor or dedicated server.

Why? (1, Interesting)

acalltoreason (1732266) | more than 3 years ago | (#33087142)

Why bother selling a box to and everyday user that has Solaris on it. WE run several Solaris servers at my job and they are a pain in the ass. Don't get me wrong, it is a nice OS, but its really hard to get used to and I just don't see a regular user getting used to it. They should go back to Ubuntu or Debian, at least those are somewhat intuitive. Then again, you need to have some proficiency with computers t use either Debian or Ubuntu and anyone with that proficiency would just install it themselves.

This news will be a boone to CEOs wanting to ... (1)

Jerry (6400) | more than 3 years ago | (#33095476)

throw more of their money at Larry Ellison so he can buy more fighter jets and luxury yachts.

It will also assure their continued lock-in to one of the most expensive pieces of proprietary software sold. That "Premium" support they mention... will it be as good as their current support? My son, the Oracle dba, hsa abandon Oracle's paid support in favor of the open Oracle forums, where support is faster coming and better. That doesn't stop his bosses from continuing to throw money at Oracle for each CPU (not server) their database runs on.

Lock-in is a rut, similar to a grave, but open on both ends.

Doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33099018)

You can see by the few comments to this story - no one cares.

Good bye, Sun/SPARC/Solaris, it was fun while it lasted.

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