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202 comments

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First post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5144944)

This first post's for Soviet Russia, hot grits, and petrified Natalie Portman!

ahhhhh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5144946)

I lost it

fp (-1)

cerskine (202611) | more than 11 years ago | (#5144947)

fp!!!

frist spot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5144948)

frost spit

Killing my karma (-1, Redundant)

bahamat (187909) | more than 11 years ago | (#5144949)

First post

YOU FAIL IT! (-1)

Trolling Thunder (639121) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145163)

How does it feel to be such a failing failure? You failed it and now you are a world class failure.

YOU FAIL IT!

I'm at LinuxWorld this very moment! (-1, Troll)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5144950)

Posting from my Treo 300...must say the booth babes are really hot this yr...RedHat booth was cool, so was the OSDN one...lots of freebies..worth the trip.-AV

Re:I'm at LinuxWorld this very moment! (4, Funny)

cscx (541332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5144962)

must say the booth babes are really hot this yr...

Yeah nothing like one look at Jon 'maddog' Hall's Santa Claus beard to get the ladies' panties in a bunch.

Re:I'm at LinuxWorld this very moment! (-1)

cerskine (202611) | more than 11 years ago | (#5144969)

got jpegs?

Re:I'm at LinuxWorld this very moment! (3, Funny)

mschoolbus (627182) | more than 11 years ago | (#5144970)

must say the booth babes are really hot this yr

What are these "booth babes" you speak of? There are none of them in my basement... =P

Re:I'm at LinuxWorld this very moment! (3, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 11 years ago | (#5144988)

What are these "booth babes" you speak of? There are none of them in my basement.

See, thats what you get for using the wrong distro. Booth Babes (tm) being non GPL are not avilible for download and can be found in binnary only form with licensed copies of Linux.

I call karma whoring BS! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5144995)

Just look the troll's history [slashdot.org] .

Re:I call karma whoring BS! (1)

mschoolbus (627182) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145128)

I call karma whoring BS! Just look the troll's history [slashdot.org] .

I knew [slashdot.org] there wasn't a such thing as "Booth babes"...

Cold here (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145151)

Temperature: 5 F / -15 C

Not related to LWCE but interesting considering it's 1:30 PM..middle of the day. You'd think having the sun out in full force would warm things up but it isn't. I was outside and inhaling that air froze my nostrils together.

fp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5144959)

fp?...

On start buttones. (1, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 11 years ago | (#5144960)

Bastard sales people, using the OS they know to present cross platform software, that's not right.

Re:On start buttones. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145706)

To bad slashdot doesn't have an "insightful, in a sarcastic way" mod. Oh well, I'm an AC so I can't mod you anyway, but I thought it insightful.

This has changed (3, Insightful)

Achmed Swaribabu (642441) | more than 11 years ago | (#5144971)

I used to fly over to meet with other peoples and make lots of new job contacts at the Linux World(TM) but the climate has changed so much for the past few years and it's now all big business.

For the linux hobby person it may seem like a good things but for those in the know it is not. Big business come in and take over just like they do the Internet and the small hobby person lose all rights. Big business no care about the regular linux geek, they care only about the money.

This another reason why I make the big move to FreeBSD. This where the next big success come from as Apple already understand.

Re:This has changed (3, Insightful)

slugo3 (31204) | more than 11 years ago | (#5144999)

Big business no care about the regular linux geek, they care only about the money. Business is pretty much based on a simple formula. Maximize profits with a minimum of expenditure. It always surprises me that this surprises people.

Re:This has changed (1)

battjt (9342) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145403)

Yah. I heard someone say that "somecorp is only doing that for the money" like we should be surprised. Duh. Most of what I do between 8 am and 5 pm is for the money. Would my employer want it any other way?

Joe

How bout a big glass of STFU! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145044)

Whine, whine whine. what a fscking blowhard.

Re:This has changed (4, Insightful)

aborchers (471342) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145253)

This reminds me of people who suddenly decide their favorite band sucks because they achieve commercial success.

Yes, big businesses care about money. It's what they do. We should be happy to see big businesses going into OSS/GNU/Linux because the technology has built-in safeguards against being co-opted by "business" in its license and development model. The businesses can buy into it and advance it, but they can't compromise and close it off. They have to play by the OSS rules just like everyone else.

I for one am more interested in seeing OSS fulfill its potential to revolutionize the industry than having it remain a marginalized toy for the geekier-than-thou. I welcome IBM et al to the table because I recognize they are the ones who will make Linux vision viable in the mainsteam.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding you. If so, please clarify what you really meant...

Re:This has changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145264)

Troll. I'm surprised you didn't try to start another US vs. EU battle.

Re:This has changed (3, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145315)

ROFL... That's hilarious, Tarzan.

"Big business no care about the regular linux geek, they care only about the money. "

You just figured that out?

We want Linux to be a success - but we don't want businesses associated with it.

FreeBSD the next big success.. Hahaha..

Dude you need to bottle and sell that shit.

Re:This has changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145350)

Are you a consultant or a hobbyist?

Do you want to be successful and stay in business, or just screw around with things that beep?

Or are you just another goofy troll?

Re:This has changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145562)

This post stinks of trolling. High user id, obviously intentional grammar errors, generic thought. I also find it interesting that you have a Muslim first name (incorrectly spelled*) and a Hindu Last Name. Were your parents a Romeo and Juliet type couple?

*Ok. Sometimes Ahmed is spelled Achmed but not commonly. It is pronounced like it has a 'c' which makes it suspicious.

Re:This has changed (4, Insightful)

MrResistor (120588) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145571)

That has to be the stupidest "switch to BSD" arguement I've ever heard.

Big business come in and take over just like they do the Internet and the small hobby person lose all rights.

RTFLicense. It is impossible for Big Business to come in and take over, removing the rights from the little guy, under the GPL. That's why so many people hate it. Under the BSD License, however, that's it's not only possible but expected that Big Business will gobble up the code and lock it away from the little guy. That's the entire basis for all the "BSD is more Free than GPL" arguements.

If that's your reason for switching to BSD, you're an idiot.

Are you on CRACK ? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145583)

I read with interest about how you feel the Linux word has sold out, but at the risk of veering away from the main topic (the sell-out) I just wonder about the wisdom of taking an open-source approach in general.

Sure it may look good on paper, but I wonder if these guys have thought about the opinion of the general public of Open Source/GNU/Linux etc.

I have been involved in the marketing (dirty word I know!) of software and hardware to non-technical people for a number of years. The consultancy group I work for numbers many of America's top blue-chip electronics and software corporations among its clients, I have over 11 years experience of marketing, and 4 years experience of software development (VB) and systems administration (NT 3.51), in addition to a marketing science qualification from one of America's top business schools - so it's safe to say that I know what I am talking about when it comes to computers and marketing.

I have been keeping an eye this forum for quite some time now, as part of my daily intelligence gathering, I find the robust exchange of views, and technical arguments make an interesting diversion from some of the other corporate bullshit I have to deal with in my working day. I also read corporate intelligence reports from the Gartner group, Forrester, the Meta group, and Olsen Online Business Intelligence Services. Slashdot has often proved to be far more accurate when it comes to the technical details,and I am often amazed at the incredible levels of intelligence and insight shown by its readership, some of whom demonstrate a knowledge of Linux and Operating systems far in advance of anyone I have ever met, even in the IS department of major corporations. For this reason, I feel I should contribute my 2c to the debate about the future direction of Linux and the whole Open Source movement in general.

I feel I can do my bit for the Open Source community by offering (free of charge) some of my hard-earned knowledge straight from the bloody trenches at the front-line of tech-Marketing. Normally I would be paid over $4000/day for my perspective, but Slashdot - this one's on me. You people can think of it as my small and unworthy attempt to "give something back" to the Community.

Why Linux/Open Source has an image problem in major US Corporations and what the community can do about it. Like any movment, political or religious, Open Source/Linux has its Leaders, High priests and Gurus. These high profile individuals represent the public face of the organization. Like it or not, these people are associated with the product in the eyes of the buying public. One of the first things the Linux movement must do in order to gain acceptence by middle-America and Joe-and-Jean Sixpack and their 2.4 kids, is to develop what we in the Marketing profession call a "Happy Face".

When Joe Sixpack drives past a McDonald's, he associates it with the smiling face of Ronald McDonald the clown,and quality food served quickly. When he is choosing a collect-call company, the smiling face of Al Bundy (of TV's Married with Children) springs to mind, and when he thinks of fried chicken in large capacity bucket-like containers, it is the image of the happy-go-lucky avuncular Colonel with his associations of good old Southern hospitality that sticks in his memory. (In marketing terms this is known as a "positive association". Because the image puts the consumer into a "buying-receptive" mental state).

GNU/Linux and Open Source lack any kind of "Happy Face". Now this in itself is not a problem, were it not for the fact that Linux has several extremely high-profile advocates who are the exact opposite of "Happy Faces" in that they invite negative associations into the consumers head and put him/her into a state known by Marketers as "passive-aggressive sales-message rejection" (In layman's terms they don't want to buy the product).

Now, I will not lower the tone of the debate by naming names. I will give a few brief profiles and community members will know who I am talking about.

In reverse order of harmfullness we have the laconic, dour nothern European. Not known for his sense of hunor, and with far too many nights spent
coding when he should have been out partying he creates an image of Linux as the OS of choice for "friendless geeks who never got laid". (note - I do not subscribe to this viewpoint, but trust me some of my focus group members do).

Then we have the good old gun-toting libertarian self-proclaimed open source guru. Although M.R. studies show that 78% of PC owners show right-wing bias this person is too wacko and off-the scale for them. He alienates them, and in the worst case scares them that they risk being physically harmed if they don't agree with his fundamentalist libertarian "philosophy".

Finally we have a bearded Communist hippy. Do I need to say any more ?

So the normal consumer associates Linux with a sucicidal friendless nerd from some godforsaken corner of Northern Europe, a plainly insane right
wing lunatic, and an "alternative lifestyle" Communist throwback to Woodstock with a facial hair problem. Is it any wonder that time after time, the message comes back from my focus groups that Linux is for wierdos ?

Here are a few example comments from a focus group session from Q3 2002 in response to a question about their attitudes to Linux and open source
software, you'll get the general idea.

"Linux - that's that geek system right ?"

"I tried Linux but it was too hard for me to install, then that guy flamed me on the newsgroups"

"I don't want any Open Source software because it is written by communists and I am concerned about security"

"My boss says Linux was written by Communists and Gun-Nuts"

"Linux is used by Communists who hate capitalism and Microsoft"

"Open source software cannot be any good because it is written by college students and hackers."

"Linux is not compatible with my USB peripherals"

"I would like to try Linux but my buddies would think I was a Commie"

"Linux users are all wankers"

I could go on and on with these genuine responses, but I think I've illustrated my point well enough. Linux has a serious image problem.

What to do about it is more problematic. Open Source proponents and Linux advocates are fiercely independent and proud of their alternative stance.
They see any form of marketing as "selling out to da man" or "not groking it" or becoming a "suit" Any mention of money or financial rewards is
derided, and developers are supposed to be content with "Kudos" from the community. Whilst this might be ok at college, or if you are tremendously wealthy, it cuts no ice with Joe Sixpack who was raised on Microsoft and associates Bill's millions with the quality of the software his company puts out. From the focus group again:

"If Bill (Gates) is worth that much money he must make the best software in the world."

"Microsoft must know what they are doing - the whole world uses their software."

"The best programmers work for Microsoft - they have the most tech-savvy hackers there."

"Microsoft spend millions on their software I think it is the best in the world. (referring to IE5)

"It just works. period."

Again the message is clear: Microsoft is winning the hearts and minds not only of Joe Sixpack, but also Juan Sixpack in South America, Bruce and Sheila sixpack in Australia, Jean-Paul Sixpack in France, Jeroen Van der Sixpack in the Netherlands, Nkwele-Olamu Sixpack in West Africa, Mohammed-Al-non-alcoholic-Sixpack in Iran, Kulwant Chandrasekhera Sixpack in India, and Boris Sixpack in the Russian Federation.

Their message is powerful, international, and presented relentlessly with no internal bickering and bitching.

What can be done ?

There are no easy answers. The Linux/Open Source community has proved unwilling or unable to accept critisim (even constructive criticism such as this) gracefully, preferring to mount foul-languaged assaults on the personal integrity of anyone who steps out from the party line.

I offer no easy solutions, however here are a few pointers:

1) As a damage limitation exercise Linux/GNU should appoint itself a "Marketing Spokesperson". This person would be the "official face of
Linux/GNU/Open Source". First and Foremost, they would wear an expensive suit, especially when talking to the press or when dealing with
high-profile major corporation with deep pockets and $$$s to spend. I realise this is ridiculous from a technical perspective, but with my blend of
tech-savvy and marketing exprience, I realize the importance of presentation over technical merit. It goes against the grain of the community, but if we are to become the next Microsoft (and why else would we be in this game if not to win it at all costs), we must fight them on our battleground, but with the same weapons they use against us.

2) The Penguin logo MUST go ASAP. Although it seemed "cute" and funny at the time, in the eyes of the corporate MIS department it just looks
juvenile. Linux needs a new logo, preferably one of those kind of eliptical ones with a swoosh that in the eyes of the public can mean one thing: Hip
and cool DOTCOM Corporation. The logo should be bland, yet robust, non-controversial yet ahead of the curve, and toned in serious businesslike
colors such as gray, silver, and white. It should transcend culture and religion to be internationally recognized like the Coca-Cola image is all over the world.

3) Downplay RMS, Linus, ESR, etc. They are technicians with zero understanding of the general public, or of software consumers in general. Indeed many of them only write their program for themselves to "scratch an itch". This is hardly the way to gain public acceptance. And their alarming character flaws scare the punters away.

4) Direct X - A MAJOR stumbling block on Linux's road to world domination is the lack of Direct X support for Linux. This trivial omission means that most games will not run on Linux. Linux could gain 1000's of new games by simply implementing the DirectX api. This is a no-brainer. Kernel support for XML would be a big performance booster too in the B2B and B2C application area, and would make Linux buzzword compliant for XML.

5) Finally FOCUS GROUPS. Before you think about starting that new open-source project, (be it a new web browser like Mazola, or simply a new front-end for the cdplayer application) Get a focus group together. Use a few minutes of your non-tech-savvy friend's time. If you don't have any friends like that, try your folks, or your grandparents. Ask them what they would like to see in your new program. This way, you will gain "market perspective" on the likely acceptance of your product by the "normal people" of the world.

thank you for your time, I hope my insight has been useful, and I agree with the guy who posted about bands, you either like a band or you don't, you don't stop liking them because they gain success.

You linux people whining about the sell-out are just playa-hatas. Don't hate the playa, hate the game!

He's absolutely correct... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145643)

The marketing guy is absolutely correct, and I have another point about Linux, which is that more thought needs to be given to the naming of the distro's if Linux is to penetrate the coporate sector with any true degree of success.

As a professional consultant for a major Fortune 500 software company, I've recently gotten involved in the whole open source phenomenon as started by Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman with the release of the GNU/Linux operating system (or is it Linux? I'm not too sure on this point).

Anyway, after having compiled a report on the commercial viability of open source as an alternative to closed source in the e-commerce/b2b world, I've become quite interested in Linux myself, and thanks to a handy Corel Linux distribution, consider myself to be someway to becoming a "guru" as people here like to call themselves.

Anyway, my point is that Slackware, as a distribution, doesn't give out the professional image that Linux is trying to gain at the moment. On one hand, you've got respectable players like Red Hat, Corel and SCO pushing Linux's corporate image to new levels of respectibility, but on the other hand you've got a distribution named "Slackware", hardly the name your tech-savvy CTO wants to represent a core part of their enterprise solution.

The whole name seems to give the distribution a half-assed, "slack" even, image, surely not one that's in anybody's best interest, whether they be the average long-haired Linux sysadmin or a suited CTO looking for the next big thing. And this image taints all of Linux.

No, whilst Slackware may produce a decent distribution, they definitely need to think about a name change to ensure continued acceptance in the increasingly corporate-driven Linux market.

They need to ditch the 'geek talk' too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145711)

As someone with years of experience in the marketing world, I am constantly amazed at the willingness of the Linux users, the Linux Documentation project and other bodies to pollute the acronym space with their content free "TLAs".

Basic marketing 101 (and an undergrad course in psychology) would tell them that the normal person is only capable of remembering approximately 7 items of data in their short-term memory, but now we have to remember HTTP, HTML, XML, XSL DTD, PHP, SSL, DSL, ADSL, ISDN, Pearl, etc etc etc

This is a text book example of the tail wagging the dog from a marketing perspective.

I have been following the standardisation of the linux for many many months now (with a view to deploying it in the enterprise as a scalable n-tier refactored agile architecture, but one thing has become clear, E-commerce will NEVER become popular so long as there are so many confusing acronyms involved. The guy in charge of marketing Linux absolutely MUST work to reduce the number of acronyms. One possible solution would be to merge those protocols which are not all that different. For example, why not merge XML with SGML ? (they could call it XSGML or SXGML or perhaps XMSGML), they seem to address the same problems. Or would that be too simplistic a solution for their pampered elitist ivy-league minds to comprehend ?

If something is not done URGENTLY, and I mean URGENTLY, Linux (and other more experimental derivatives such as FreeBSD) can never hope to be taken seriously as an e-commerce platform by the people who count - the accountants.

The miracle of Linux is that anyone actually runs it at all, considering one seems to require a masters in computer science to install it! (contrast this with NT4 which was so easy to install, we let our receptionist upgrade her own machine).

As usual my "open source" advice is free. Hopefully this time my valuable advice will be taken into account the next time the Linux hippes smell an acronym brewing.

The solution is clear. The federal government should produce legislation covering the use and introduction of acronyms to the computer science lexicon, in much the same way as the Academie Francais controls which words enter the French language. Its the only way we will ever get a handle on this issue, and the only hope if Linux is ever to gain a foothold in the enterprise.

Re:This has changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145657)

This another reason why I make the big move to FreeBSD. This where the next big success come from as Apple already understand

Well, if it gets too successful and business again takes over, where will you move next?

Thanks Robin! (2, Funny)

NaCh0 (6124) | more than 11 years ago | (#5144984)

Do we get Batman's report too?

Re:Thanks Robin! (1)

Robinn (590048) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145230)

No, Batman's busy.

Re:Thanks Robin! (1)

Batmann (590046) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145242)

Yeah, I'm busy. Robin has the password to the bat computer, so he should be able to post the blog on his own. I'll have my batpager on, but only use it for emergencies.

The linux clan (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5144985)

Were the linux clans with long beards, bald heads, beer-gutted bellies and bare-feet (optional) out in force?

Dell not selling Linux laptops (3, Interesting)

ibennetch (521581) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145005)

from the article: whichever distribution they [Dell] chose, it seemed most customers wanted another one...

This is a genuine problem in buying a laptop (as I understand it) -- not only do they have to pick a distribution (Debian, RH, etc) but also the role the computer will be fulfilling. If I'm going to be putting in a firewall, I don't want all kinds of other junk (web, mail, ftp servers, for instance; or games; or word processing programs) installed. If I'm getting a desktop for my use home office use, i don't want any type of server but I need the word processing programs -- how can they configure a computer properly? This isn't as much of an issue in the Windows world because most software costs money. The only real exception to this is RealPlayer, AOL, etc that come with the computer, and then we complain about the junk that is on our computers...

So, anyone have any thoughts on how companies like Dell can ship Linux computers, keeping in mind that in general only their more advanced users want Linux; and those people don't want any extra cruft on their systems?

perhaps (2, Interesting)

greechneb (574646) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145049)

They need to offer a choice of distro disks when you customize. To make this work, they would have to have a distro already installed, just a base one, perhaps stick redhat on there, with a typical install, just to make their lawyers happy. Then let the buyer do what they want. Selling PC's without an OS installed would be a good way to make them lose their priveleged status with microsoft.

Probably not the best solution, but it was the best I could think of right now.

Let's see if I understand that correctly.... (1)

Penguin Follower (576525) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145171)

They need to offer a choice of distro disks when you customize

They didn't give you the disks when you ordered a laptop with Linux? Or am I misinterpreting what you typed?

Your idea is a good one, except for the fact that there would be some newbies wanting to get into linux and a base install (interpreted as minus XFree86) wouldn't get them very far. Newbs like GUIs. (Generally speaking). Most people I know don't run servers with X (I'm not saying it doesn't happen) Then again, who runs a server on a laptop?

I think it's a good idea (5, Insightful)

siskbc (598067) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145200)

To solve both problems, just put on the most bloated, user friendly, eye-candy-licious version of Redhat or whatever they have. This solves the M$ lawyer issues and the newbie issues. Anyone who's used linux for a while is just going to wipe the damned thing and reinstall anyway.

Basically, linux users want two things when they buy a laptop: First, linux drivers for the hardware. Second, saving some cash by not paying for windows. The rest is irrelevant. Sure, throw in a CD of the latest linux version that the buyer wants to save them the download, whatever.

clarifying (1)

greechneb (574646) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145353)

base: meaning typical install, sorry for the confusion there

As for the disks, the system comes with redhat with a typical install. However, when you buy, you get to choose what install disks you want; redhat pro, redhat personal (subtract $40), debian(subtract $70), suse (same), mandrake pro(same)

You get the disks you want, wipe out the preinstalled distro if you want, and start from scratch. This gives the user a choice, if they really care, they'll install it anyway, plus the distro you want gets part of the profit.

Re:perhaps (1)

bwalling (195998) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145526)

They need to offer a choice of distro disks when you customize. To make this work, they would have to have a distro already installed, just a base one, perhaps stick redhat on there, with a typical install, just to make their lawyers happy.

I think this is a good solution. However, I think the problem with it is the users. The thing I can' get over is the people that are bothering to complain that it should be Debian instead of RedHat. What the Linux users need to do is buy the damn thing and install their own. They need to recognize that what they are really wanting is a laptop with Linux hardware support and no Microsoft tax.

The whole "I want SuSE instead of RedHat" thing is pathetic. Take a good thing when it is offered.

Re:Dell not selling Linux laptops (3, Insightful)

Milo Fungus (232863) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145142)

If you want a laptop that runs Linux, chances are you know how to install the OS yourself and have used it elsewhere. I can see two distribution possibilities:

  1. Include Linux drivers for all of the hardware and let the user install their own distro.
  2. Choose a distro (any distro) and preinstall the most commonly used options for what the average consumer uses that machine for. Include the full distro on a CD-ROM with all options so that everyone can install whatever they want. Those who want another distro can put the CD with their stash of AOL disks.
I prefer the first option. It's cheaper and less wasteful. But some people want to buy a computer and just have it run at first bootup. Those people would prefer the second option. Perhaps Dell could let consumers choose between the two. Trying to cater to everyone in such a diverse crowd is just impossible. People who want Linux generally know how to install/uninstall options (especially if something like RH 8 is used). And it's not too hard to just do a clean install.

Do this for desktops too... (1)

gosand (234100) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145288)

Include Linux drivers for all of the hardware and let the user install their own distro.

I prefer to build my own systems, but if Dell offered your option 1 for desktops as well as laptops, I would maybe go for one. Why not just offer a "blank machine" and include a CD of drivers (Linux and Windows) for all the hardware.

Even at work, our IT department installs what they want on a machine anyway before anyone gets it. I can't believe that it is easier for Dell to sell a machine with nothing installed instead of with nothing.

Re:Dell not selling Linux laptops (4, Interesting)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145427)

What I would want from Dell and their competitors is not necessarily pre-installation of Linux on a laptop, but rather, sufficient assurance of what is in the machine so that I can buy with confidence, knowing that all the components are supported (or, if not, providing some hint as to whether this situation is expected to change in the near future). I'd prefer if the hardware manufacturer just gives enough information to allow the community to support the machine.

One way that this could work is for the company's websites to say "While we don't support Linux on the Gruntmaster 9000, here's a link to some pages run by our customers who are using it successfully". A company that does this might soon find itself with enough Linux customers that true support is economically feasible.

What's unacceptable is the common practice of changing some important component of the system without changing the model number, presenting a nasty surprise to the customer when he finds out that it doesn't work, contrary to six-month-old reports he read on the web.

Also, I'd like to see the Linux press do more evaluations of currently popular laptop brands for Linux compatibility. Yes, I know, if you aren't PC World the manufacturers don't send you their latest models for free. But we could be doing better.

Re:Dell not selling Linux laptops (1)

auferstehung (150494) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145558)

Also, I'd like to see the Linux press do more evaluations of currently popular laptop brands for Linux compatibility.
We need some covert operatives to take a copy of their favorite Linux LiveCD distro (Knoppix|LNX-BBC|Gentoo) down to their local Staples|Best Buy and then report back here.

Re:Dell not selling Linux laptops (1)

petrim (533715) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145433)

But some people want to buy a computer and just have it run at first bootup.

I thought this was exactly why it was such a big deal whether Dell or similar sold computers with Linux preinstalled: it would get people like my father to consider using Linux. He wants to buy a tool, not something he first has to fiddle with for a couple of days.

I agree that many of us will never be happy with any configuration Dell would make for them.

I, however, could be happy with a nice, working bare-bone install of any distro, if there was an easy GUI for choosing what more I want to have installed to my machine from the bundled DVD.

Re:Dell not selling Linux laptops (1)

HogGeek (456673) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145203)

Why not install the LSB sample implementation (not dist specific) and then allow the customer to customize it from there?

Seems the most logical to me... But what do I know, I'm just a UN*X geek

Re:Dell not selling Linux laptops (2, Interesting)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145241)

The article mentioned a sysadmin who bought Dell hardware but immediately wiped off the installed Linux and put Debian on there. The important part of buying Linux hardware is not the preinstalled OS (after all, there is no licence to worry about) but the fact that, because it ships with Linux, you know that all the hardware is supported.

Therefore if Dell sold Linux laptops with Red Hat on them, plenty of people would buy them and immediately install Mandrake. They wouldn't be as happy as if Mandrake were preinstalled, but it's a whole lot better than buying a laptop full of cheesy Winhardware. Also, don't forget you wouldn't have to pay for a copy of Windows you don't use (unless the vendor has restrictive agreements with Microsoft).

Re:Dell not selling Linux laptops (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145269)

need to set it up in sucj=h a manner, when the person boots it asks them what they want, then auto-configs it.
However, it would seem to me that if you wont to set up any type of server, you need to at least, have a clue. So set it up with just desktop options, leave the rest up to the user.

Re:Dell not selling Linux laptops (1)

gregRowe (173838) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145282)

The problem is that supporting multiple distros is a support nightmare. How many Linux newbies do you know that say "such and such a piece of hardware doesn't work on Redhat 8.0 but works on Suse 7.whatever"? Most newbies don't understand that if the hardware is supported by the kernel it will work with any distro.

So to support multiple distros Dell would have to test *each* distro which would cost a fortune to them.

I'd like to see Dell laptops with hardware that is gauranteed to work with a certain linux kernel. Dell could (in huge bold blinking red letters) alert the customer that it will work but it is up to the customer to configure their own distro.

Greg

Re:Dell not selling Linux laptops (1)

Bauguss (62171) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145291)

What it sounds like Linux needs is a user friendly post installer. That is after a distribution is installed, on the first boot, it asks the user what programs they would like loaded (mozilla, galleon, apache, etc).

The choice to install this post installer could be installed during configuration by the distributor (dell). That way it can be left out of the normal slashdot user install who picks their packages during configuration.

Re:Dell not selling Linux laptops (1)

intnsred (199771) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145589)

GNU/Linux systems do have uninstall routines -- and they work quite well in removing packages.

I don't buy your point. It also fails the Windows comparison test -- do these companies create custom installs for Windows? No, they do a generic one. That's all what GNU/Linux people are asking for.

What people want is a GNU/Linux install with a kernel that supports the devices in the machine. That's what the manufacturer should do if they want to claim Linux support.

Supporting multiple distros is a no-brainer: Create a bare-bones install for each supported distro, include the CDs so that users can add other packages that they want to add, and it's done. Supporting 4 or 5 distros would take one person a week per distro per machine model (that's being generous) to set up the base install. After that's done, it's just a matter of blowing it down to the machine -- an automated procedure.

Re:Dell not selling Linux laptops (1)

MrResistor (120588) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145703)

This is a genuine problem in buying a laptop (as I understand it) -- not only do they have to pick a distribution (Debian, RH, etc) but also the role the computer will be fulfilling.

What a stupid problem.

The solution is pretty stupid as well. Build a basic install for each distro for your master disk, which then gets cloned and installed just like all the other customizations you can have done when you order a Dell (yeah, cloned, you don't really think they pay people to sit around and install software, do you?). Then you ship the distro CDs with the machine and the user can add or remove what they want (I don't know about other distros, but it's pretty damned easy to add or remove packages in SuSE, and I very much doubt they're that far ahead of the pack).

Linux is Linux is Linux. The various distros have only minor differences, and those differences should only be a problem for the most brain-dead of Process Engineers. The only real problem they could expect is with drivers, in which case that's in Dell's court anyway.

IBM seems to have a good approach, though. They ship Red Hat by default, and if you want something else you have to pay extra. That seems like a perfectly reasonable approach to me.

What I'd like to ask the hardware vendors (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145006)

Why the heck did they get rid of the reset button? I don't need it for linux, but for all the windows machines, its a pain. Did they think they could save $.10 on each PC by not including a freakin reset button?

Re:What I'd like to ask the hardware vendors (2, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145218)

Why would your windows machine need a reset button?

And before you respond with the typical 'it freezes and crashes wah wah', stop and think the cause of the crashes/freezes could very well be because you've been trashing the filesystem when you cycle power on it like that.

How else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145289)

how else is he supposed to restart a machine that is locked up so tight that even CTRL-ALT-DEL won't work?

geesh - I know that, it even happens on win2k, and that has a journalized file system - shouldn't really screw it up that much, should it?

I have to agree, bring back the reset!

Re:What I'd like to ask the hardware vendors (1)

arkanes (521690) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145578)

On my laptop, as with most laptops, the power button IS the reset button - press it once, and it's a reset, hold it down for [3,5] seconds and it's a hard power off. The simple reset uses whatever that power control standard is (ASCAPI? Whatever.) to send a message to the OS, which decides whether or not to shut down, hibernate, or reboot.

Confused in Buffalo (-1, Offtopic)

unterderbrucke (628741) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145007)

"Robin's Report From LWCE"

but rob limo wrote it?
confusing...

Re:Confused in Buffalo (1)

CharlieO (572028) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145440)

That would be the slashdot username/nickname roblimo (one word) formed from an amalgum of Robin Miller (his name)

Re:Confused in Buffalo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145662)

ROBIN IS A GIRLS NAME!!!
OMG OMG OMG
A GIRL ON /.???

~udb

Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.
Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

Re:Confused in Buffalo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145707)

Wrong. It is not an amalagram.
He had/has a limosine business on the side.

Take the 2 points away.

The Windows (1)

DenOfEarth (162699) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145008)

It seems to me that it's kind of lame to be presenting software that's supposed to be running on Linux at a Linuxworld conference on a windows machine. I guess people must trust those sales guys when they tell them that it runs fine on Linux.

But, the fact that they are making cross-platform software in the first place bodes pretty well for the open source effort. Here's hoping to an eventful 2003.

Idiot salesdroids! (2, Interesting)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145235)

"I guess people must trust those sales guys when they tell them..."

LOL LOL LOL!

If these companies claim that they can do "multi platform" they need to be showing "multi platform". Demonstrating your wares on the dominant OS defeats the whole purpose.

These sales idiots should be fired.
And the guy that hired them.
Then get some sales people who are bright enough to be trained up on *nix.

Dirty heathens.

Re:Idiot salesdroids! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145696)

They are showing server products that run on Linux. Who cares what their desktop is running. In my opinion (and 90% of the rest of the world's opinion) Windows is still a better desktop solution and PowerPoint is still the best Presentation software. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. Linux = Server. Windows = Desktop. Mac = Doorstop.

Agree w/ Robin (-1, Troll)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145021)

He wrote "At least HP had a laptop in their booth running Linux. Yes, folks, this is the first time I have seen a laptop in an HP booth with Linux on it -- or at least mostly on it; the person who brought it said its sound didn't work (with Red Hat 8.0, and he didn't care because he was only using it to demonstrate printers.)"...I agree and am equally disgusted with this...most presentation and slide shows seem to be done w/powerpoint rather than soffice..perhaps a sign that linux still isnt easy enough for the avg person..well i should get going..crowds are really getting tight now and i want to visit a couple more booths b4 a late lunch..-AV

Re:Agree w/ Robin (4, Funny)

peterpi (585134) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145102)

"I agree and am equally disgusted with this...most presentation and slide shows seem to be done w/powerpoint rather than soffice..perhaps a sign that linux still isnt easy enough for the avg person."

So who are you disgusted with?

  • The average person (for being so thick)
  • The open source effort (for not making the software easier)
  • I'm not disgusted, you insensitive clod!
  • Nobody; I'm just upset with the situation.
  • CowboyNeal arranges my presentations

I say #6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145454)

YHBT [slashdot.org] .

MS in "doesn't like linux" shocker! (2, Interesting)

peterpi (585134) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145024)

From the article

"Not only that, an IBM employee I know personally gave me quite a rant about how I (and other journalists) ought to badger the people in Microsoft's booth unmercifully. "They're only here to tear down Linux," my IBM buddy said. "They hate Linux. They want to ruin us all. They don't belong here."

Gosh, who'd have thought it; a software company isn't fond of the competition.

I have a sneaky feeling that the Microsoft staff might have been told to expect a load of shit from fanatics.

Re:MS in "doesn't like linux" shocker! (1, Insightful)

small_dick (127697) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145134)

How correct is it to refer to federal criminals as "competition"? Would you refer to a drug dealer down the street as "competition" to your children's educators?

Let's not forget what Microsoft has done to a once-thriving and innovative industry...they destroyed it by violating federal law on repeated occasions. Stac, IBM, Novell, Sun...this was not "Competition"...this was hardcore felony behavior. Do a web search.

Linux only runs on a small fraction of PCs. Until about 30% of computers sold have zero Microsoft products running on them, then as far as I'm concerned, the damage will not have been undone.

This IBM dude certainly has a point. MS should not be at Linux shows, just like the local drug gansters shouldn't be at PTA meetings. The people at Linux shows are trying to correct a terrible wrong done to the market, not via the courts or the law, but via freedom. They deserve a chance.

Re:MS in "doesn't like linux" shocker! (3, Funny)

peterpi (585134) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145182)

You so just justified my last sentence.

IT Market Fosters Vendor Dominance (3, Insightful)

reallocate (142797) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145376)

Stuff and nonsense. Fanaticism like this keeps Linux from being socially acceptable. Who'd want to be identified with people like this? It's like getting emotional about toasters.

By the way, three of the 4 companies you site as being destroyed by MS are still in business.

Yeah, MS has a near-monopoly on the PC desktop, and like every other successful business it behaves in its own best interests. But, if you're old enough to recall the late '70's and early '80's, you'll remember that prior to the wedding of the IBM PC architecture with that of DOS (which, by the way, has always been available from vendors other than MS), the PC desktop world was flooded with different and incompatible hardware and software standards. What ran on a Commodore didn't run on an Apple. What ran on an Apple wouldn't run on a Kaypro. Etc., etc. This wasn't an issue for the hobbyist market, but it was for the business market. That market wants to be able to buy compatible hardware and software from multiple vendors. Hence, their desire for standards (they don't care about the ssame standards that exercise develpers).and their problem with the multiplicity of Linux vendors. Standards tend to foster the growth of only a few big vendors. Microsoft's dominance was inevitable, even if they'd behaved themselvs.

Re:MS in "doesn't like linux" shocker! (0, Flamebait)

sheldon (2322) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145417)

Irrational Zealot small dick is.

Re:MS in "doesn't like linux" shocker! (1)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145532)

He's just 'overcompensating'.

Re:MS in "doesn't like linux" shocker! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145675)

Those of us older than 12 remember when IBM was the big bad monopoly. Ask your daddy about it after he finished wiping your ass.

Re:MS in "doesn't like linux" shocker! (2, Interesting)

gosand (234100) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145224)

Gosh, who'd have thought it; a software company isn't fond of the competition. I have a sneaky feeling that the Microsoft staff might have been told to expect a load of shit from fanatics.

Part of me wishes they would be chased out of there with torches and pitchforks, and the other part of me wishes that they would be completely ignored, with nobody even acknowledging they are there.

Re:MS in "doesn't like linux" shocker! (1)

6 (22657) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145628)

We were.

Oddly we didn't get much abuse at all. Instead we got awarded best interoperability solution for our Services For Unix product.

SFU's home page at Microsoft. [microsoft.com]

Re:MS in "doesn't like linux" shocker! (1)

pizza_milkshake (580452) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145713)

I have a sneaky feeling that the Microsoft staff might have been told to expect a load of shit from fanatics.

exactly. i think it'd be better if everyone just avoided them -- it would be more boring for them and it would show a little class on the side of Linux users.

A long road ahead for linux (1, Interesting)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145026)

This excerpt from the article is rather interesting I though.

"An awful lot of hardware vendors that push Linux on servers seem to feel it's just fine to have lots of Windows screens on the computers."

Sure, in an ideal world your sales people would also be very comfortable with the product and target platform. But the platform is Linux.

The answer this [booth sales person] gave: "Well, our software runs on all platforms -- Linux, Windows, AIX, Solaris... I'm a sales guy, not an engineer, so I don't know how to run Linux and I stick to Windows 'cause that's what I know."

Indeed it is. But I bet if you gave him OS X, he'd be fine with it. Linux as an OS, well that's a different story now isn't it?

OS X R00lZ D00D.

Holly batshit fatman..... I mean. (3, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145034)

Robin: Holly Beowulf Clusters Batman! There's a start menu on that guys computer.

Batman: That's right my spandexed teen sidekick. It would seem evil is afoot. Start menus are found in windows, windows are something you look through, you also look through MySQL datasets, datasets like the list of blond jokes I downloaded this morning, jokes are like riddles. THE RIDDLER HAS INFILTRATED THE TRADE SHOW!

I want to wake up in the city that never sleeps (3, Funny)

Chocolate Teapot (639869) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145082)

...That's enough for tonight. It's after 11 p.m. here in New York, time to hit the sack...
Wimp! You should be ashamed of yourself.

In case it gets slashdotted. (-1, Redundant)

tps12 (105590) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145090)

Wednesday January 22, 2003 - [ 08:18 PM GMT ] Print this Article
Topic - GNU/Linux

- By Robin 'Roblimo' Miller -
I'm posting this LinuxWorld missive a little after 2 p.m., and I'll add to the post later today and tonight. Since most specific product announcements are being covered by others or have companion press releases we're running verbatim, please check our NewsVac section for that kind of thing. In my show diary, I will give you personal impressions of what's going on here, and if you have any specific areas you'd like me to cover tomorrow and Friday, please let me know (through comments on this story). Update posted 11:10 p.m. Wednesday. See below...
Advertisement
Click Here! Click Here!

Financial Services are hot-hot

Two years ago a friend of mine thought a seminar or conference about Linux and Open Source for financial service companies -- like banks, stock brokerages, and mutual funds -- would be a good idea. It flopped. Today, at at LinuxWorld, there's a sign in front of the room where the first seminar in the "Financial Services Summit" is being held that says:

Due to overwhelming response, the LinuxWorld Financial Summits are first serve, first seated sessions

The place is full of managers and IT types from banks and brokerage houses, and IT consultants that cater to this industry. Part of this is no doubt the New York location -- the Jacob Javits Convention Center is only a 15 or 30 minute cab ride (depending on traffic) from Wall Street.

But you didn't see this crowd at previous New York LinuxWorlds. NewsForge readers have noticed articles about brokerage houses and banks adopting Linux. Well, just a few minutes ago a reporter from a New York daily newspaper was sitting at a computer next to the one I'm using in the show press room. I wasn't trying to be nosy, just stretching my back and neck a little, and I happened to notice that he was typing notes about Linux and Wall Street.

It looks like Linux is going to be be coming to a bank or brokerage near you Real Soon Now -- if it's not there already.

Why do I see so many "Start" buttons?

For some reason an awful lot of hardware vendors that push Linux on servers seem to feel it's just fine to have lots of Windows screens on the computers they use in their booths to run slide shows or demonstrate their products. Personally, I have always thought this was silly. I actually asked a booth person for a company I will not name, "Does this mean you show Linux desktops at Windows-oriented shows?"

The answer this person gave: "Well, our software runs on all platforms -- Linux, Windows, AIX, Solaris... I'm a sales guy, not an engineer, so I don't know how to run Linux and I stick to Windows 'cause that's what I know."

At least HP had a laptop in their booth running Linux. Yes, folks, this is the first time I have seen a laptop in an HP booth with Linux on it -- or at least mostly on it; the person who brought it said its sound didn't work (with Red Hat 8.0, and he didn't care because he was only using it to demonstrate printers.)

All other laptops visible in the HP booth ran Windows. Desktops and server terminals were a mixed bag, with a majority of them running Linux.

We'll give IBM good marks here: they had more Linux visible on laptops and desktops than any other major hardware vendor I saw at the show.

Not only that, an IBM employee I know personally gave me quite a rant about how I (and other journalists) ought to badger the people in Microsoft's booth unmercifully. "They're only here to tear down Linux," my IBM buddy said. "They hate Linux. They want to ruin us all. They don't belong here."

Update @ 11:10 p.m. US EST

I walked around the show floor a bit, then went to an interview appointment with several Dell execs, then out to supper with some friends. Now I'm back in my hotel room, typing this...

Talking with Dell about Linux

My first real question boiled down to, "When will I be able to buy a reasonably-priced Dell laptop with Linux on it?"

Brent Schroeder, Dell's director of engineering and Linux strategy, said the company had already tried to sell laptops pre-loaded with Linux, and that they had sold poorly. I pointed out that they were high-priced laptops with many mandatory options, including a built-in three year service contract, rather than the low-cost units Linux users were likely to buy.

His second answer was that Dell's big problem with selling Linux laptops -- and desktops -- was that whichever distribution they chose, it seemed most customers wanted another one; that if they settled on Red Hat, they'd get calls for SuSE, you might say, and if they chose SuSE, they'd get screams about not offering Debian, and so on. All this more or less boiled down to Linux users not being able to make up their minds and all demand one distribution and set of software packages. When that happens, sure, Dell will talk about Linux, okay? If, that is, they see enough demand to make it worth their while.

Carol Gittinger, a Dell corporate marketing person, said she monitors online forums, including Slashdot "and responses on the news sites" to gauge the depth of Linux demand fo laptops and desktops from corporate customers. She allowed that she saw some demand, and was aware that many customers bought Dell computers and immediately installed Linux on them, but echoed Schroeder's comments about how it is impossible to please all Linux users all of the time, so Dell was not likely to start selling user-level Linux computers until there was more Linux standardization.

I suggested that Dell needn't support a dozen different Linux distributions, just make sure drivers were available, so perhaps they should just sell Linux-compatible hardware, if only so the sysadmins taking care of the Linux servers Dell is hot to sell could use Linux-loaded Dell products to administer them.

"Servers" is the big word for Dell at LinuxWorld, and they were happy to get the conversation back into an area they wanted to push instead of answering questions about laptops. So they spieled me about how Dell servers, running Linux, offer a superior value proposition. The words "focus" and "execute" were used more than once. They also used the phrase "proof points" -- a new one for me -- to describe what they thought conservative, mainstream companies wanted to see before they started going heavily with Linux, and they told me Dell considers 2003 the year Linux will become really and truly mainstream, now that early adopters have tested it and made sure it works in corporate mission-critical applications and have provided... here it comes... proof points that less adventurous managers can use as guidance when they consider Linux.

Since HP, IBM, and others also offer Linux servers and support for them, I kept asking the Dell people why theirs were better. They kept talking about their "value proposition," and mentioned that they offered a one-stop shop for hardware and software, direct from Dell, without going through distributors, anywhere in the world. I asked why an enterprise-level customer would want Linux support from Dell when IBM, HP, and Red Hat -- among others -- offer comprehensive Linux support and have well-known kernel hackers and other experts on their payrolls. The Dell answer was that Dell partners with -- among others -- Red Hat and Oracle to provide support, so theirs is as good as any, possibly better than most.

We kept coming back to the "value" discussion and talk of "meeting mass demand." I asked if this didn't mean, boiled down to its essence, waiting until IBM, Sun, HP, and any number of other hardware vendors established a market, then moving in and undercutting their prices. One of the two Dell PR people in the room rephrased this tactic as "broadening the market." Okay. Sounds better that way, so we'll let it stand.

Later, my friend Peter Gallagher of DevIS said he liked Dell's servers a lot and has bought a bunch of them. He said their support was the best he got from any hardware vendor. He said his people always removed Dell's preinstalled Red Hat immediately and installed Debian, so he had never gone to Dell for Linux support, only for help with hardware, so he couldn't really offer an opinion about their Linux tech support, just hardware stuff, where -- he noted again -- he considered them top-notch.

Anyway, besides keeping commercial server customers like Peter happy, Dell's Schroeder said they see a huge market helping corporate customers migrate from Unix to Linux, and that Dell has plenty of expertise in this area. I asked if -- for example -- Sun, an old-line Unix shop now moving into the Linux marketplace, might not be a better choice for Unix-to-Linux migration assistance. Schroeder trotted out the "value proposition" phrase again. Okay, fine. Dell sells for less. Let's just say so. Nothing wrong with that, right?

The Golden Penguin Bowl is still a kick

This has been a perennial LinuxWorld feature, and it's still fun even at a conference where most of the attendees are business people, not the "Geeks" and "Nerds" represented by the two Bowl teams engaged in a trivia contest somewhat like the TV show "The Weakest Link" except funnier and more warm-hearted, with Slashdot and TechTV star Chris DiBona (now vp of a new and very cool online gaming venture, Damage Studios) as host.

Chris is not thin-lipped and sarcastic, but warm and funny. I say this not only because he was one of our OSDN coworkers before he left to co-found Damage Studios. He's really a funny and interesting guy, totally in his element asking questions like which port is usually used by OpenSSL, and what "CSS" stands for when talking about DVDs.

Sadly, CEO keynotes now outdraw hacker-type features like The Golden Penguin Bowl at LinuxWorld. I mean, here we are with Slashdot founder Rob Malda (another funny guy, and I don't say this just because we work together, honest) as one of the judges, and a bunch of fine, fun-loving geeks and nerds as contestants, and the auditorium was less than half-full, but was packed earlier in the day when the corporate chiefs held forth.

That's enough for tonight. It's after 11 p.m. here in New York, time to hit the sack and get ready for another active LinuxWorld day tomorrow.

Post a new comment [newsforge.com]

You know (-1, Troll)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145256)

I've been using Linux since 1995. Back in the day, it was a subversive, underground, hackerish thing. It was cool and the only people who had even heard the word "Linux" were highly technical people, like me.

Now I read about Linux Banking Conferences, "vendors" and "mission statements". Some take this as a sign that Linux is in the big leagues. To me it feels like selling out. Of all the people at that conference, how many could construct a valid find command?

Are there any OSii out there that still understand the needs of people who need more powerful software and less marketing hype?

Re:You know (1)

Quill_28 (553921) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145528)

hmmm. try FreeBSD or if you want to go most obscure go for Plan9, but great OS's but no marketing.

This way you can feel like your not selling out.

Re:You know (1)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145609)

find / \( -name "*troll*" \) -prune -o -name "*linux*" -print.
is that what you were speaking of ?

M$ new strategy? (4, Interesting)

core plexus (599119) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145113)

From the article: "Not only that, an IBM employee I know personally gave me quite a rant about how I (and other journalists) ought to badger the people in Microsoft's booth unmercifully. "They're only here to tear down Linux," my IBM buddy said. "They hate Linux. They want to ruin us all. They don't belong here."

I read an article at Cnet [zdnet.co.uk] that had an interview Peter Houston, one of the directors charged with leading the new strategy, shortly before he got on a plane to attend the opening of LinuxWorld.

Speaking of which, over at CNET.com, there's an article about Linux revenues [com.com] : " "Three and a half billion dollars in revenue--not bad for a free operating system," said James Governor, an analyst at research firm Redmonk. "It is clear that there are real, high-dollar Linux transformations going on" as companies switch from more expensive technology to Linux systems."

Man Gets 70mpg in Homemade Car-Made from a Mainframe Computer [xnewswire.com]

Re:M$ new strategy? (3, Insightful)

ethereal (13958) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145693)

"Linux-related revenue" could just as easily be hardware running Linux or Linux support services, though. The reason that these revenues are occurring is that customers are seeing a short term switching expense that can reduce their long-term costs. In the long run I'm still not convinced that there's any significant money to be made in selling Linux the OS itself; the GPL and the Linux culture itself (among other things) has essentially commoditized everything that makes up the OS platform.

Not that this is a bad thing! This isn't your typical "no money in Linux" troll, and I'm in fact a huge Linux fan.

IMHO, it's good if you can't charge a lot for Linux; it means that the users of computer systems are spending less for them in general, leading to either improved profits or lower costs to their customers. Linux is good for those businesses, and it's good for those in Linux-related hardware and/or services businesses like IBM and Dell. Linux is good for programmers developing the 90% of software that's used in-house only; those developers now get a better platform to work on for cheap. But Linux may not be good for Linux-only (open source only?) businesses.

I think the historical record over the past three or four years bears me out on this. Wall Street is going to learn, or maybe has learned, to invest in companies that use Linux, and in companies that integrate something+Linux in order to make that something better, but not in companies that sell just Linux.

I think they missed the point... (5, Insightful)

c.derby (574103) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145159)

His second answer was that Dell's big problem with selling Linux laptops -- and desktops -- was that whichever distribution they chose, it seemed most customers wanted another one; that if they settled on Red Hat, they'd get calls for SuSE, you might say, and if they chose SuSE, they'd get screams about not offering Debian, and so on. All this more or less boiled down to Linux users not being able to make up their minds and all demand one distribution and set of software packages. When that happens, sure, Dell will talk about Linux, okay? If, that is, they see enough demand to make it worth their while.

Ok, how about selling hardware without an OS on it and letting the end users choose what they want to put on it? I think that the desire is more to obtain hardware without providing Microsoft money for an operating system we'll never use. Give me DOS, give me a blank disk. I don't care. Just don't require me to pay for Windows.

I think you missed the point (3)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145534)

Your solution is great for you and me, if we were going to get a machine for our own personal use.

But it will never get linux out of the hands of geeks and onto the desktops of the grandmas and other nontechnical types of the world.

They not only dont know how to install an OS, they dont WANT to know. They dont want to know the difference between Debian, Slackware, Redhat, Gentoo, etc.. Heck, most dont even care about the difference between Windows and Linux.

They just want a machine they can plug in, turn on, and e-mail with. Right now that machine is either an Apple, or is running Windows. Linux (lindows in particular) is making inroads, but it's a long ways off until we see linux based eMachines sitting in bestbuy for 200$.

There's also the IT guy who needs to order a few hundred workstations, and really doesnt feel like setting an OS up on each one.

So there needs to be some real consolidation in the OS world. One 'OS' for the masses. Let the geeks and power users choose their own, but we need one base distrib for the Dells, eMachines, Gateways, IBMs to stick on for the home users.

It's the average Joe shopping for a computer that pays the Dells, Gateways, and eMachines bills.

If you are going to 'pick' on Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145164)

Please ask them how NT is a better UNIX than UNIX.

(The marketing idea behind NT 3.1-3.5)

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145204)

LWCE? How about explaining the acronym so I know what the fuck you're talking about.

Poorly Written Article (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145223)

This article was written in the manner like someone who has discovered sex without love for the first time.

"Uhhh Linux ooo baby that's it. Ohhh yeah gimme linux...I've been dreaming about you night and day...I can't wait to get you home...Ahhhhhhh...OPEN SOURCE!!!"

Re:Poorly Written Article (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145281)

And Robin is a girls name.

The IMPORTANT stuff (0)

petronivs (633683) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145248)

from the how-are-the-tshirts dept.

So, how were the tshirts?

Why do I see so many "Start" buttons? (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145257)

Because linux doesn't work as a desktop OS.

Just ask michael [slashdot.org]

Relax, it's just a joke. And it's funny 'cuz it's true.

it's snowing in Wilmington NC (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145338)

I know this is a troll, but it's snowing hard in Wilmington North Carolina!

We never get snow! *yay*

Re:it's snowing in Wilmington NC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5145497)

Not a troll just offtopic!

A troll would someone how relate snowing in NC to the linux conference. Bashing linux in the process(note bashing MS would be +1 interesting)

Dell distro (2, Insightful)

DaoudaW (533025) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145452)

His second answer was that Dell's big problem with selling Linux laptops -- and desktops -- was that whichever distribution they chose, it seemed most customers wanted another one; that if they settled on Red Hat, they'd get calls for SuSE, you might say, and if they chose SuSE, they'd get screams about not offering Debian, and so on. All this more or less boiled down to Linux users not being able to make up their minds and all demand one distribution and set of software packages. When that happens, sure, Dell will talk about Linux, okay?

What a convenient excuse!! "We'd be glad to do Linux, just get all the nerds to agree on a single distro..."

Laptop manufacturers have always customized the OS to fit on their machines. If they can do this for an M$ OS, surely they ought to be able to do it on an Open Source OS. Sure they'd probably still choose RH, Suse or Debian as a starting point, but if they go ahead and "brand" it, they and their customers would have the best of both worlds: assurance that all the hardware was supported and a coherent scheme for managing it. They could also shrink the size of the distro by limiting drivers and features to those appropriate on the laptop.

It sure sounds doable to me!!

So... (4, Insightful)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145738)

You answer to the "too many distros!" excuse is to add another Dell branded distro?

I think Dell is right. They are in the business to sell a lot of PCs fast and cheap. They can't support 5 different distributions. The fact that they support one shows that the hardware is supported..so just use what you want.

All I want in a laptop from Dell (3, Insightful)

wytcld (179112) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145567)

Is:

1. No Windows tax

2. A simple cheatsheet listing the kernel options needed to support the hardware.

Then I'll boot it with a Knoppix CD, grab a Gentoo stage2 tar over the network, and do a chroot build of the rest of Gentoo (whose booth was consistently the most active in its sector of the floor yesterday).

So all I really want is hardware completely supported by standard kernel options, and a list of which options it depends on. And that's all any Linux user should want. If you aren't going to customize the OS, maybe Losedose really is better for you....

various answers (4, Informative)

tech_rich (643868) | more than 11 years ago | (#5145768)

To answer various questions...

1. the number of gray-bearded, beer-bellied geeks in attendance is down dramatically from previous years. the number of suits is way up.

2. very poor swag. about all you're likely to get is a pen. hardly any t-shirts.

3. i don't know where anyone gets the idea there are booth babes here. perhaps with a ratio of 99 men for every female, some people think these are booth babes. The women working the show are your average marketing department types. None of them are wearing spandex. None of them are models. Nothing like you see at CES, Comdex or 99 percent of the average trade show in the U.S. Apparently some guys don't get to see women wearing makeup in real life.

4. The guys manning the Microsoft booth told me not a single person has hassled them. One guy said at the last LinuxWorld show, they had one guy giving them a hard time.

Overall, considering the frigid temps in NY this is a good turnout. Maybe as many people here as were at the last few Linux shows. But the crowd is way different: suits, not t-shirts. Hardly a ponytail in site.

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