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Can Open Source Save Hardware?

CowboyNeal posted more than 11 years ago | from the envelopes-that-need-pushing dept.

Hardware 327

Culexus writes "Tom's Hardware has a interesting story about Open Source saving the hardware industry. Pretty good read all in all. Hopefully chip makers and vendors won't have to bend to the iron might of Microsoft any longer." Some good comments on how early-adopters and enthusiasts are being marginalized by the industry, too.

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Only one way to save open source... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372576)

How can BSD [] be dying when it has a mascot [] like this?! Linux needs to get its act together if it's going to compete with the kind of hot chicks [] and gorgeous babes [] that BSD has to offer!

You just can't take Linux [] seriously when its fronted by losers [] like these. You Linux groupies need to find some sexy girls like her [] ! I mean just look at this girl [] ! Doesn't she [] make you hard? I know this little hottie [] floats my boat! This guy looks like he is about to cream his pants standing next to such a fox [] . As you can see, no man can resist this sexy [] little cock teaser [] . Even this old bearded Unix guru is apparently unable to take his eyes off her [] !

With sexy chicks [] like the lovely Ceren you will have people queuing up to buy open source products. Look! This guy can't get in there fast enough with her [] in the doorway! Come on, you must admit she [] is better than an overweight penguin! Don't you wish you could get one of these [] ? Join the campaign for more cute [] open source babes [] today!

Re:Only one way to save open source... (4, Funny)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372601)

You just can't take Linux seriously when its fronted by losers like these. [] ?????


Re:Only one way to save open source... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372606)

Damn right you can't take Linux seriously when it's fronted by photoshopped fakes. The BSD babe is 100% real.

Re:Only one way to save open source... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372620)

At least the Linux babes can be drooled over legally since they're over 18 and attractive. Yet another couple of differences with the "real" BSD babe. Bleck. Send her back to Jr. High with a diet plan.

Re:Only one way to save open source... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372705)

Sorry, She's over 18 and attending Berkely.

But yea, she's on a 'lo cal' diet.

Re:Only one way to save open source... (0, Offtopic)

Heartz (562803) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372780)

If only we could "open source" women.

They tend to crash/nag/cry/pester alot for unknown reasons. If the source was available, I'm sure some geek would write a patch as soon as a problem occured.

Sigh...if only life was that easy

Re:Only one way to save open source... (1)

Isldeur (125133) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372777)

The funny thing is if you take a look at the directories above this [] , the guy looks like he needs to get out a little bit more...

Re:Only one way to save open source... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372770)

holy shit! those are some uber-dweebs...including Linus.

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372578)


but what's better? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372581)

(a) saving the hardware industry via open source software


(b) sex with a mare?

One thing that upset enthusiasts (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372585)

Was Windows XP Product Activation. This inconviences anyone who changes a lot of their hardware regularly, and many of these folks do. They upgrade to the latest stuff right away, and regularly build whole new computers. It's no fun having to call Microsoft a few times a year to get their permission to run a piece of software that you bought and paid for.

Re:One thing that upset enthusiasts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372609)

Yeah, that will turn the tides. 2-3 re registrations a year? Game over for MS, man, GAME OVER!

Let me guess - you post AC at /. because of the now almost bi-weekly cookie puke that forces you to re-log in right? Just too damned much trouble to type in your password again.

Re:One thing that upset enthusiasts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372617)

No, Mozilla is quite good as keeping me logged in, actually. I just prefer to post at AC. I even have a 5 digit Slashdot ID number if that helps prove my coolness around here. (Yeah, I know, less than 5 is really l33t, but I didn't make the first 10,000 sadly.)

Re:One thing that upset enthusiasts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372635)

So you're still using the Mozilla from last year, right? Because re-downloading it and reinstalling it over and over would be annoying, just like XP reactivation. Even more annoying, in fact. You were slamming them for the inconvenience and not because you're a mindless anti-MS drone, right?

So you're using, what, Moz 1.1?

Re:One thing that upset enthusiasts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372652)

I never once complained about installing anything (be it Windows, or Linux, or Mozilla). Mozilla and Linux don't make me prove to them that I have a right to run a copy. Windows does. See the difference? I can install Mozilla or Linux anywhere I want, anytime I want without anyone saying a word. But with Windows, you need to "re-activate" after changing a few pieces of hardware. As a few people have discovered, this isn't always convenient leading Microsoft to ease up a little.

Microsoft admits it, so what's your problem with the statement? They even acknowledged that it would upset some hardware enthusiasts.

Re:One thing that upset enthusiasts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372764)

It isn't about inconvenience, it is about asking permission to reinstall an OS every time I decide I want to change some hardware. I should not have to contact anyone if I decide I want to change my network card. It is none of their fucking business.

If you have no problem with that go ahead and keep using your XP or whatever comes after it. I don't need it, and when I can no longer play games on my Win98 machine. I'll wipe out the windows partitions on that one and buy a console. I don't have the patience for stupid games.

Re:One thing that upset enthusiasts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372785)

You have to change a hell of a lot more than a network card before you have to reactivate. Try replacing your main HDD, soundcard, video card, AND network card at the same time. Note that if you change these over time, you will not have to reactivate.

Re:One thing that upset enthusiasts (5, Insightful)

leifm (641850) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372658)

You know I think XP PA is going to look great compared to what I think may well be coming from MS. I think the next step is basically buying a new machine every time a new major release of Windows comes out. MS is already saying that the broswer needs to be tied to OS revisions, and down the line I wouldn't be suprised if they say they need to control exactly what hardware is in there for security purposes.

Re:One thing that upset enthusiasts (4, Insightful)

Echnin (607099) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372790)

I almost hope that happens. Something like that would definately turn MANY semi-knowledgeable users as myself from Windows to Linux, and hopefully Linux would also improve. I'm currently not a Linux user, but I've tested Mandrake 9.1 briefly, and got it to do almost everything I could do in Windows; the only thing it lacked was the convenience and familiarity, so I'm sure I could switch if MS pulled a stunt like that.

Re:One thing that upset enthusiasts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372818)

Hopefully Linux and other OSs have taken a big chunk of Desktop Market Share from Microsoft before that happens

You mislead (1)

WallsRSolid (591098) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372671)

Assuming you have a legal license and key to Windows XP ($10 at a university bookstore), along with a working internet connection, Activation is a one- or two-click process. Perhaps because my connection is so fast, the lag between that menu and the next was not perceptably different than the lag between any other two menus.

Total time stolen from me by the Evil Empire: 2 seconds. I'm sure raging now.

It's certainly a lot less time than is required to, say, recompile my kernel to support the new hardware I've bought.

e+----> <----e-
Fatal Attraction

Re:You mislead (2, Insightful)

rootofevil (188401) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372693)

no, hes talking about when XP says "youve changed too much stuff, call us and tell us why"

Re:You mislead (1)

AdEbh (468372) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372714)

Total time stolen from me by the Evil Empire: 2 seconds. I'm sure raging now.

It's certainly a lot less time than is required to, say, recompile my kernel to support the new

Is that really a fair comparison?

I assume to be fair you would have to include the time to reinstall XP in the first place.

- Alex

Re:You mislead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372779)

why would you have to reinstall xp?

Re:You mislead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372814)

because 6 months have passed and your registry is fscked.

Re:You mislead (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372729)

I had to call them on 6 separate occasions because of changed hardware, two of which were apparent "maintenance" downtimes during which they could not verify my installation. I had to call back on the following business day and not use my PC until then. Irritating, but not a real deal breaker. I may have just had bad luck.

And the kernel comment is silly. Even if you're not using a distro's modular kernel (which would already have the necessary modules for you to use new hardware and most major distros have auto hardware detection), recompiling on nifty new hardware only takes 5 - 10 minutes and requires zero user interaction beyond the command line step ( make clean bzImage modules modules_install && mount /boot && cp /boot/bzImage /boot/bzImage.backup && cp /usr/src/linux/arch/i386/boot/bzImage /boot/bzImage && umount /boot && reboot). Hit enter, go make a sandwich, eat it and - Poof! You're set. That may have been a valid argument 3 or 4 years ago, but not really today.

You paid $10 for XP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372803)

I would have sold you two of my turds for $10. Got any money left?

Re:One thing that upset enthusiasts (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372725)

couldn't agree more - I've been running the evil OS since 3.11 and have been rolling my own boxes since pentiums didn't come with a verson #. Due to that fact I have a steady stream of hardware that gets passed down along my various machines like a shirt in a family with 10 kids.

I still haven't installed XP even though I have a (legit) corporate licence because I know at some point (tinfoil hat time for some but I really believe it) no matter what version I use I'll need to "activate it." No thanks. After sampling a lot of linux distros I'm a Mandrake 9.1 convert and run it on every box in my home network (cept I have windows 98SE on my laptop) BECAUSE of product activation.

In some sick way I'm glad MS came up with the idea so I could find a compelling reason to make the linux plunge.

Re:One thing that upset enthusiasts (1)

Mostly Harmless (48610) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372742)

But is it really any more difficult than having to recompile kernel source or device drivers just to get the hardware to work properly? Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not siding with Microsoft on this one; it's just a thought.

Re:One thing that upset enthusiasts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372749)

It takes like 2 clicks. I've never had to call Microsoft so this sounds like FUD to me. Don't you have access to the internet?

Re:One thing that upset enthusiasts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372765)

How often do you change your hardware, and how much do you do it? A quick search on Google pulled up articles like this one [] and this one [] . As you can see, initial experiences were so bad, Microsoft had to add in a bit of leeway for people. "In the event reactivation is needed, users will still have to dial a support line to receive a new code to restart Windows." Microsoft's own site even explains reactivation [] . "If the user completely overhauls the hardware making substantial hardware changes (even over long periods of time), reactivation may be required. In that case, users may need to contact to contact a Microsoft customer service representative by telephone to reactivate." Sounds like a hardware enthusiast to me.

Re:One thing that upset enthusiasts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372805)

About three times over the last two years, I've had to reactivate, never had to call though. Recently, I moved it to an entirely new computer and reactivated fine through the wizard. The only thing that didn't change was the sound card. I can't find under what circumstances, you're forced to call them. Whenever I have new installs and don't know how long the install is going to last, I haven't bothered activating. It won't force you to for like 45 or 60 days. I personally don't mind what I've had to go through if it's in the name of piracy. Of course, I haven't had to call... yet.

Re:One thing that upset enthusiasts (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372802)

It's funny when people post things they have no idea about, isn't it?

If only... (4, Insightful)

paroneayea (642895) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372587)

If only it were possible for.... OPEN SOURCE HARDWARE!

Re:If only... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372631)

Actually, there is open source hardware. You're probably just not smart enough to understand it.

Re:If only... (5, Informative)

Ruie (30480) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372643)

It actually is possible.

See, for example, [] .

Re:If only... (5, Informative)

MonMotha (514624) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372650)

Open Hardware Project []
Enjoy. Most of it's still rather raw, and most of it's based off m68k, so don't expect to run "real" linux on it (uClinux is often the objective though).

Re:If only... (2, Insightful)

UserGoogol (623581) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372654)

Oh, it's possible, it's just that "compiling" hardware is harder than software, and you can't distribute hardware as easily, either. You share the schematics and stuff.

Re:If only... (2, Insightful)

Yonzie (516292) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372674)

Open Source hardware is not impossible.
It needs some requisites though:
* Open Source design tools for PCB's, IC's, etc.
* People willing to design hardware (or, more correctly, building blocks of it, like memory controllers and such) for free.
* A way to get chips and boards produced cheaply, without needing massive quantities.

Should this ever happen, it will be much like today's distributions, each different from the other, but all able to run the same software. It will be far harder to `roll your own' though.

Re:If only... (2, Interesting)

MonMotha (514624) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372710)

Design tools:
  • gEDA (gSchem, and friends)
  • TrageSym for assistance with making your symbols and toutorial []
  • PCB (I hear decent version are actually getting decent, amazing)
People: There's lots of them, see my link to openhardware above, soemone linked to opencores, etc. There's a community for this.

Boards can be had fairly cheap (say $40 each) even in rather small quantity. Or for small projects you could always etch your own.

The only issue is chips. ASICs and such, well, aren't cheap in small quantity. However, FPGAs, once you get past the initial investment int he hardware, can be usable in small projects. This stuff is certainly out of my league though.

Re:If only... (1)

EinarH (583836) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372685)

From a microsoft standpoint, that is the last thing they want.
Locking down hardware especially motherboards by adding "Microsoft solutions" ment to provide features that makes it harder for people to switch to Open Source would have been an excellent solutions to save their bussiness.

Anh know I have an idea of what Microsoft can use their $46 billion on.
1.Buy a large chipset maker (VIA) or motherboard maker (Gigabyte or Asus). Or the complete /. acquisition nightmare; AMD.
2. Develop and add extra Microsoft Only (TM) features. Like:
-Extra monitoring for admins.
-Security layer like NGSCB aka Palladium.
-Virus scanning.
-Anti-spam chip.
-Isolation or reboot of broken components.
3. Lock out GNU/Linux and BSD
5. Insane profit margins.

(Hey, Bill; If you ever use this idea I will claim my 10%)

Re:If only... (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372744)

It's here today and it's called XBox

Buying collectibles (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372782)

Anh know I have an idea of what Microsoft can use their $46 billion on. 1.Buy a large chipset maker (VIA) or motherboard maker (Gigabyte or Asus). Or the complete /. acquisition nightmare; AMD.

Heck they could buy the Senate and entire House of Representatives for a whole lot less than that. Add them to their Administration and Justice figures and they would have nearly a complete set. Someday it could be worth a lot of money especially if they keep the original packaging.

Re:If only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372806)

There is enough competition on the chipset, mobo, and even processor markets. Microsoft couldn't change this market if they wanted to. Do you really think that a) microsoft would limit themselves to a small subset of the available hardware and b) people would buy the microsoft limted hardware?

Re:If only... (1)

chunkwhite86 (593696) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372703)

If only it were possible for.... OPEN SOURCE HARDWARE!

So how many of us OSS types have a .13 micron chip fab facility?
Sorry, paroneayea, I think your the only one!

Misleading summary (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372588)

"Doesn't look like it right now."

I think Linux will really push the hardware market forward because it is SLOW AS ASS in KDE and Gnome compared to any version of Windows. Everything is much slower and less responsive, other than resizing windows after a program has crashed. That's about it.

I can't imagine how painfully slow Linux would be on a $200 PC. Yeah, I'm sure some 1337 H4>0R can remove the new, appealing, and usable DEs and install something from 1992 and make it faster, but that's not realistic now, is it?

Until you guys get over your hate for commercial software and user friendliness, Linux is going NOWHERE.

Re:Misleading summary (2, Interesting)

LNN (304087) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372626)

I'm running KDE 3.1 on a $100 machine (monitor excluded) and with the fanciest effects disabled, nothing feels slower than it should be. But on the other hand, I'm convinced it should be possible to have these peripherals do more and to it more efficiently than they do. A modular OS written in optimized assembly [] is what I want!

Back to user-friendlyness, I'd say that after installation and configuration KDE and probably GNOME too are ready for mom and dad.

Re:Misleading summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372646)

Only if they have a full fledged IT department or geeky son/daughter to do routine maintenance. It ain't ready for Joe user by any stretch. Not to mention "all my old programs don't work," and good luck helping them install WINE.

And XP on the same hardware is 3-5x faster on any GUI stuff. Athlon, P3, P4, Mandrake, SuSE, RH, KDE, Gnome - you may not mind that your GUI is dragging much slower than it has to, but I would.

Re:Misleading summary (1)

bazik (672335) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372687)

Forget about v2os and try menuet OS [] .

Re:Misleading summary (1)

usotsuki (530037) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372820)

The solution is to, as I did, download FVWM 2.4.

System's faster than Win98 on the same box (comparison: MAME 0.69 running Mortal Kombat II). I almost never bring this 64MB box to its knees (compared to KDE and GNOME), and almost never have a program crash on me; the kernel (2.4.18, IIRC) has only panicked on me once EVER. And with Windows I used to have to reboot every 3-4 hours; I'm running this box for days on end without a reboot. It's not a monster. Celeron 700. It's perfect for what I need ('cept maybe more RAM, 64MB isn't enough now).


Remember... (4, Insightful)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372590)

How it was the mass-availability of MS-DOS that made clones possible. Have we gone full-circle? :^)

Re:Remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372608)

No, you must be really ancient to remember that. Why don't you tell us about when memory was a buck a byte.

Re:Remember... (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372698)

Sorry, I can only remember when it was 204 bytes for a buck.

Linux helps hardware vendors? (5, Insightful)

selectspec (74651) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372607)

This article makes the assumption that Microsoft is currently or has in the past somehow inhibited hardware vendors. Now, there are all sorts of "hardware vendors," but I would say universally most hardware vendors have bennifited tremendously from Microsoft, especially around Plug 'n Play (once Redmon got it working).

I would say that for many of today's hardware vendors, supporting the Linux OS is more painful than supporting the traditional unix vendors which were difficult enough.

The problem is that there is zilch technical support for linux, outside of the open source community. Most of the boutique hardware vendors cant afford the huge support teams to handle calls on every version of linux and all distros out there. Plus, they have a good deal of their IP in the software and they are leary of giving that away to competitors.

Not to mention, there is no partner marketing bennifits with linux. At least Microsoft promotes its hardware vendors, and comarkets their products with Windows, including them in its collosal marketing machine.

To be fair, the computer world in general has bennifited tremendously from open source. Don't get me wrong: I love linux, gcc, bash, etc. NetBSD has been a huge win for appliance vendors looking for instant-OS.

However, to say generally that hardware vendors are being saved by open source is actually the opposite of what the hardware vendors are really feeling. My experience with every hardware vendor that I've worked with is that Linux and open source is their #1 pain in the butt.

Re:Linux helps hardware vendors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372632)

Not to mention, there is no partner marketing bennifits with linux. At least Microsoft promotes its hardware vendors, and comarkets their products with Windows, including them in its collosal marketing machine.

But if you make good hardware with good linux support, word will get around pretty quickly, and you'll get lots of linux business.

Re:Linux helps hardware vendors? (2, Insightful)

selectspec (74651) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372656)

But if you make good hardware with good linux support, word will get around pretty quickly, and you'll get lots of linux business

I agree with much of your statement. In fact there is enourmous demand for Linux in the market. Basically, all of these F500 places that want to ditch HP-UX, AIX, True64 and Solaris are all moving to Linux. Plus, huge potential in the university market and overseas.

The problem is not a lack of demand, but the cost associated with the support for these projects. If you are a 50-100 person hardware company (many are small), making some PCI card for networking or something, imagine the task of supporting every flavor of linux out there. What happens is that you get to the customer, and they basically start hitting you up for general Linux integration support that has nothing to do with your product. Every sale turns into an integration exercise requiring a linux expert onsite. Outside of consulting firms the size of IBM Global Serves, most of these small firms cant afford it.

Re:Linux helps hardware vendors? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372799)

What happens is that you get to the customer, and they basically start hitting you up for general Linux integration support that has nothing to do with your product. Every sale turns into an integration exercise requiring a linux expert onsite.
Isn't all customer support that way? It's classic. The company feels hit up for free unrelated tech support, while the consumer feels they're being bounced around between companies who all point the finger at each other. That is by no means specific to linux, or even to computers.

Re:Linux helps hardware vendors? (1, Troll)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372666)

I agree completely. I've worked as both a Windows and a Linux driver developer. Developing a driver for Windows is way easier. Linus doesn't even want anyone to use a kernel debugger! How stupid is that?

Then of course, there is the problem of not supporting binary-only drivers. Not only does it make it almost impossible to protect a company's IP by closing the source, but it's extremely difficult to ship just a driver and have someone just install it on his system. If the user is using a lesser-known distribution, or has compiled his own kernel, the only way he can add your driver is to recompile it himself!

Re:Linux helps hardware vendors? (1)

jakobk (553240) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372772)

You're so wrong I don't even know where to start. - Linus said he does not like to use kdb himself. He also advised other kernel hackers not to use it. Many still do, though. - Look at the nVidia drivers. You get binary .o files and a source code wrapper that has to be recompiled for every kernel.

Re:Linux helps hardware vendors? (1)

baseinfinity (18023) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372672)

Oh and also, I'm pretty sure Microsoft didn't give 2 shits about ushering in a new and innovative games with Windows 95 & DirectX. They saw all these gaming companies creating their own protected mode enviroments & gaming APIs in DOS, some even marketing the good ones so everyone doesn't have to reinvent the wheel. They saw this as someone else offering their own platform, something they need to dominate under fear of being not as important in the future. (Technical Evangelism [] anyone?)

They have that now, marketed, sold, exclusive, proprietary. It's amazing they still care about it at all now.

Open Specs + Good Hardware = Market Winner (5, Informative)

listen (20464) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372717)

I'll tell you what pisses off the vast majority of hardware companies:

If a significant number of them act as their customers would like, they will only be able to compete on hardware.

What hardware vendors *should* do is open up the specs to their hardware. If they are especially competitive, fund the development of open source drivers.

The fact is that hardware with well defined and open specs works brilliantly in linux and the BSDs. Thats because the drivers are generally better written, usually because the drivers can share infrastructure and code from drivers from similar hardware, and these drivers are often written by the same people.

Hardware vendors who do not open their specs or write drivers for Linux are writing themselves out of the future.

If a driver is accepted into the mainline kernel, and has an appreciable userbase, its very unlikely that there will be a lot of tech support issues - IF the hardware isn't flaky.

And thats what they hate. A huge amount of vendors make *really* bad hardware. If it becomes known that a bit of hardware works well in linux, more people buy it. As Linux market share increases, *this* PR ( the hardware is actually *good* and *works*) will take over from the MS crap ( the hardware company has some agreement with MS that says *nothing* about the quality of the hardware).

I know which kind of PR I take more seriously.

Too bad... (-1, Offtopic)

Basje (26968) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372612)

... it can't save my hdd. My linux server's harddisk seems to be dying. Gotta buy another monday I'm afraid.

In Theory (3, Interesting)

agent dero (680753) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372625)

This should make hardware cheaper, from major manufacturers at least.

Dell, HP, and Gateway all are in pretty deep with Microsoft, to produce Windows PCs. So if the hardware companies don't have to contract with Microsoft anymore, theoretically, the prices should go down, if not the price of Windows XP Professional ($143).

Is this wrong? Or will the big guys continue to rip-off the consumer?

(Note situation in Europe after changing to the euro)

Re:In Theory (1)

dead sun (104217) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372766)

Dell, HP, Gateway, et al. are doing fine selling Windows PCs. I somehow doubt that Microsoft charges a whole lot to them for the OEM licenses since they're pushing a whole lot of Windows machines. And more Windows machines means more people that may upgrade in the future and will possibly run things like Office. Microsoft would be winning by keeping the cost of their OS cheap on OEM machines. When I bought my Dell they refused to lower the price if I didn't want Windows on the machine. I think they said if they could it would only save me around $10-$20.

Server machines, on the other hand, is where I personally believe that Open Source can be of real use, and is oddly enough where we see a lot of it used. Microsoft's overly restrictive license terms, requirement of per client licenses to access the server which requires a license itself, sometimes per processor, makes for an expensive software setup. Plus that's on top of licenses for the OS.

Now, I'm not going to argue that some of Microsoft's products doesn't post some impressive speed, but sometimes a smaller business needs a server. Sure, you may save on the per client licenses if you're smaller, but every dollar spent on software or licenses is a dollar not spent on hardware. Personally, if I had the choice between perhaps a slightly slower but free piece of software and a faster yet expensive piece of software and I knew that the reliability was similar, I'd sink every dollar into hardware. That means more money for hardware vendors, which can only be good for them.

Reality Check (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372630)

Open source isn't that big or powerful. You don't affect much of anything.

Boo (4, Insightful)

SlamMan (221834) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372636)

That has got to be one of the worst articles I've read. Certainly that I've read, posted to Slashdot. The auther said abosultely nothing at all. "Hey look, neat new stuff coming out that nobody really cares about" followed by "I've got no idea if Linux can save the hardware industry."

Here's a big shock: the hardware industry doesn't need saving. They need to make and market products useful to consumers, and to corporate clients. And thats what they do. Because consumers decided that GigE and PCI-x really don't do anything for them doesn't mean the industry is going to burn to the ground.

Re:Boo (2, Informative)

vondo (303621) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372655)

Yeah, Tom's is pretty good for hardware reviews, but my impression is that when they do "editorials" it isn't good. Saying nothing real. The other ones I've read were so forgettable, I can't remember what they were about.

Re:Boo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372708)

What he is saying amounts to the fact that the software industry needs to catch up to the hardware industry.

Because the software doesnt get made that can utilize big/better/faster hardware the hardware industry is going to suffer. We dont need GigE or PCI-X because what we have is good enough.

The author obviously fears that stagnation in the hardware industry will lead to its collapse and, ultimately, control by software and media conglomerates.

Scariest of all: as the hardware industry stagnates Microsoft will have an easier time selling their palladium/secure computing initiatives - which will ultimately lock everyone out.

Software markets outside the norm will become the only push for hardware not ok'd by Microsoft.

The fact that more and more hardware companies are releasing Open/Free drivers is good. The author should have mentioned this - put a little pressure on the delquints.

Open/Free software cant lead you out of your crappy market if you dont make compatible hardware!

Re:Boo (3, Interesting)

skillet-thief (622320) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372723)

That has got to be one of the worst articles I've read.

I agree. I kept flipping through those annoying THW pages waiting for some kind of logical link to the conclusion. I was waiting for him to at least say: "If Linux catches on big time, XFree86 takes so much memory that we will all need huge machines." That might be wrong, but it would have been some kind of point to the whole thing.

As hardware becomes a commodity, places like THW become less and less relevant. Maybe this article is just a sign o' the times.

Re:Boo (5, Insightful)

Selanit (192811) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372726)

I have to agree. Not only that, the article just plain didn't make sense. I just read it beginning to end, and I still don't have any clear idea what it's supposed to be about. Is it about hardware innovation? Software innovation? Corporate adoption of 64-bit computing? Open source? Enthusiast communities? All of those things are mentioned, but there are no clear lines drawn to connect them.

It's possible that there's a thesis in there somewhere, but the author never actually says what it is. It shows no depth of thought, fails to articulate an argument, and and provides no coherent evidence for any of the points it actually makes. If I were grading this, it'd get a C minus. Maybe a D plus if I was feeling uncharitable.

Re:Boo (1)

bafu (580052) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372788)

That has got to be one of the worst articles I've read. Certainly that I've read, posted to Slashdot. The auther said abosultely nothing at all.

hmmm... assuming that you also suffered through the last Tom's hardware post to slashdot (the one on home networking [] ), that's a pretty serious charge...

THG Insightful? (5, Insightful)

baseinfinity (18023) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372642)

Ok, so THG gets through this week enfuriating [] the enthusiast [] community. Posting infomercials [] labeled as articles, then throws the community this pat yourselves on the back editorial on Open Source? Anyone else find the timing a little suspicious?

missing the point (3, Insightful)

meador (618932) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372648)

It's not a matter of open source saving the hardware industry, and certainly not a matter of open source GAMES saving it. There are already good open source game creation tools available on most platforms today. Games are more about quality content now. It takes serious non-programming talent -- i.e. artists, animators and composers -- to create a modern game, no matter what tools (open source or closed) are used. And as long as that talent in in relatively short supply, it will graviate to the existing game creation houses and they will continue to develop for the lowest common denominatior -- consoles. The hardware industry will save itself by contining to push speed and feature sets. The biggest advantage a PC has over a console is the ability to upgraded on a regular basis, while the console is a static design. The article points out that next-gen consoles will have 'processor cycles to burn' but misses the fact that the latest PC will always have more cycles (or at least it will while Moore's law holds up.) And none of this makes a differce in the enterprise... Big business will usually replace or upgrade on a budgetary cycle, not on application release cycles.

Re:missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372676)

What about devices with a "Linux ready" or "Designed for Linux" logo on it?

Open Source (5, Interesting)

shoemakc (448730) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372649)

I've just read the article 3 times and I have to ask; what part of it deals with open source? It's a TH article for christ sakes....are you slashdot editors just reading tag lines now?

Look guys, not everything MS does is an attack on open source. OS might be a threat, but it's hardly their only threat.


Decline of new tech could be a good thing. (5, Insightful)

arashiken (247701) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372659)

I've always thought that a creed of Linux was to do more with less. It's the continual bloat added to Windows that drives the need for new hardware. Linux development strives for more efficiency. The only way Linux could spur sales of high-end hardware in the consumer market would be if they could finally get a stable gaming base. The lack of a killer app for the masses for so long is why most people are content with a $200 PC. They don't need anything better, because that $200 buys a great system.
I think the decline in new tech development will continue, now that most people in North America have a computer, or can afford a cheap one easily. Perhaps hardware manufacturers will concentrate more on useful features and cross-platform compatibility in the future, instead of making stuff faster just for the sake of making it faster.

Re:Decline of new tech could be a good thing. (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372678)

I've always thought that a creed of Linux was to do more with less.

If that were true, why does Linux take almost as long to boot up now as it did back in 96?

Re:Decline of new tech could be a good thing. (1)

arashiken (247701) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372757)

That's something that mildly annoys me too. :) I can only assume that it isn't a top priority for developers to speed up the boot sequence.
While reading THG's article, you have to remember that the guy has a vested interest in continuing 'gee-whiz' technology, whether it's good for the consumer market or not. However, he's right about the open source community needing to get more organized. Slashdot needs to take it's vast readership and Use That Power For Good. A central rating system for software, or what can and can't be done with individual pieces of hardware on Linux, would help focus development on weak spots, and help new users find what's needed to make their usage of Linux more enjoyable.

Re:Decline of new tech could be a good thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372743)

Why is it that Red Hat Linux 9.0 runs as fast on a 2.4 GHZ Pentium 4 /w 533 BUS and 1 GB of PC2100 DDR RAM as it does on my Intel Celeron 500 with 512 MB of PC100 RAM. The more power you throw at it is pointless, that's why linux will never become more then the, "I run linux on this old box for fun and maybe as a cheap ftp or http server". I have yet to find anyone who actually spends $2k+ dollars on a new machine (except servers) for gaming and such, only to put linux on it. Windows still drives the market, and the only way for linux to catch up is to ditch this, everything has to be free because it's the only way we can look better then MS since we got a late start in the game. just my 2 cents.

"Can Open Source save Tom's Hardware" (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372660)

On every side, the early adopter is being left hung out to dry.

In other words, what really bugs Tom's Hardware is that nobody cares about Tom's Hardware any more.

Consider "overclocking". Overclocking in the 486 era was marginally useful. Overclocking today belongs in the same category as car stereo loudness competitions.

Open source can, and has, done a lot for server-side hardware. But it just doesn't sell enough iron on the desktop to matter. Look what happened to VA Linux.

The next "must buy" computer thing for consumers will probably be DRM-equipped hardware. They'll need it to run popular games and play popular music. All across America, kids will be screaming at their parents to buy the new "entertainment-ready" computers. Open source will be locked out of that world completely. (Yes, you can write DRM code for Linux. But Vivendi, Universal, and the RIAA aren't going to let the decrypt keys out into the open source world. So all you'll be able to play is off-brand protected content nobody will pay for.)

Re:"Can Open Source save Tom's Hardware" (1)

Enry (630) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372754)

The failure of VA Linux doesn't mean much. Consider the success of Red Hat. VA Linux's problem (yes, I used to work for them) was that by the time they were putting out hardware, Linux ran on just about everything. Why buy a VA Linux server for a 50% premium when you can buy the same style hardware from IBM and know Linux will work on it?

So... (3, Insightful)

bazik (672335) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372667)

...if OpenSource saves Hardware vendors, why dont they make drivers for OpenSource platforms (Linux, BSD, whatever)?

Except for some companies like Nvidia or ATI, I dont see any great moves towards non-Windows driver development :(

There was a point here? (2, Interesting)

kirun (658684) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372670)

What point was this article making? There's all this shiny hardware coming out, and nothing that needs it?

Apparently, the evil Open Source / Linux people aren't writing inefficient enough software! We really need to write another 1,000 useless effects into our window managers, so that £5,000 machine has something to do!

It would be nice if the article had a few ideas of what the power could be used for. Otherwise, it's as pointless as those "Desktop metaphor is dead!" articles that fail to suggest an alternative.

What an absolutely shortsighted article (2, Interesting)

dbrutus (71639) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372683)

an article on hardware and no mention whatsoever of Apple/Macintosh? The iMac kick started the USB peripheral market. It's likely that the PPC 970 will validate 64bit desktop computing. The G5 Macs will help push SATA into the mainstream and the iLook will push a variety of hardware into mainstream computing because mac users will laugh at PC users who don't have these features and whatever else PC users fight about they refuse to be laughed at by macheads.

Here's another thing that will save the hardware industry, the home server. But that won't be the open source community saving the hardware industry but the construction industry rolling in $10k servers into new construction home mortgages and making sure that the line stays current for the next couple of decades.

Is the link wrong? (0, Redundant)

melonman (608440) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372699)

Does the article have anything to do with open source? Unless I'm missing something, it's about how games now get ported from PCs to games machines and back. Games machines tend to be even more proprietary than PCs running MS, and none of this is exactly new: I remember Elite being ported from the BBC Micro to DOS 20-odd years ago. And does anyone out there believe, even in their dreams, that Linux games are currently a driving force in the industry?

The real question (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372700)

All serious IT analysts should be asking a different question: Can open source save itself? Yes, contrary to the denials of "open-source" pundits, it is already in decline. With Linux's much heralded "stability" and "security" being debunked as myths, and the amazing improvements made to Windows recently, any technical reasons for using open-source software disappeared. More and more businesses are rejecting the anti-capitalist attitude of open-source developers and licenses as a possible threat to their own businesses.

But the coup de grace for the "open source" world is the recent revalation that open-source developers have been copying SCO's patented source code directly into open-source products including Linux, without signing a proper widespread agreement. According to SCO's chief executive officer, Darl McBride, and every industry analyst who has actually viewed the code, the copying is so widespread and integral to Linux's operation that removing it may be impossible. Instead of trying to negotiate fair licensing agreements with SCO, Linux developers have gone into denial, and there is every reason to believe that companies such as IBM continue to copy protected code without restraint. No one has even suggested that Linux, or other possibly compromised projects such as the "Apache" web server or the "Perl" web scripting laguage, adopt tougher guidelines for the acceptance of code, that could lead to sniffing out copying. And this means that all open-source software could be illegal to use within a few short months, barring the liberal interventionist judiciary's refusal to enforce the relevant laws.

What can open-source do? Well, a good first step would be to enter into license agreements with intellectual property owners so that the software becomes less legally dubious. A second step would be to move away from such obviously anti-American licenses such as the 'BSD" and "GPL", to something which is more protective of the rights of property holders, and does not impede proprietary redistribution. I think Sun's Community Source License and Microsoft's Shared Source program are good examples of this. Finally, they need to stop accepting code from known IP pirates like IBM. With these steps, Linux can continue to be a popular low-cost platform for hobbyists, and the rights of intellectual property holders such as Microsoft and SCO won't be compromised.

Does a game really need 64 bits? (2, Insightful)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372709)

It seems the article could be boiled down to the lack of a 64-bit OS from Microsoft. But do games really need a 64-bit OS yet? Can't they already take advantage of 64-bit registers and instructions in current Windows OS's? If so, then the only thing a 64-bit OS would be needed for is to break the supposed 2GB memory barrier. But IA32 is already up to 64GB, and could go up to 281TB if all 48 bits of 16-bit segment plus 32-bit offset were used. If and when games breach the 2GB or 64GB barrier, Microsoft may chose to unleash a 64-bit windows, which it has been talking about for at least five years.

The biggest role I see for Linux helping out games from a technological point of view -- and even this is a stretch -- is if games need more RAM than Windows can provide and Microsoft has not released a 64-bit Windows. In that case, Linux would serve as a stop-gap measure much as DOS4GW did between Windows 3.1 and Windows 95.

Hardware will never die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372711)

It's the only thing most of us actually pay for any more.

"Save hardware"?? (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372716)

I wasn't aware that hardware required saving! Did everybody ont he planet suddenly stop buying computer hardware and not tell me about it? What's this big crisis that the article completely fails in describing?

Um... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372720)

Don't link to Tom's Hardware anymore Slashdot. This past week they threatened to sue for defamatory comments. =243 []

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372826)

So what?

I've never read or tom's hardware, therefore if even I can see they were in the wrong - they obviously were.

Someone who reads them a lot will have no doubts.

Open source (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372752)

can't even save in an overwhelmingly standard format like "doc". Hardware? Hardly.

Hardware innovation where has it gone. (1)

ratfynk (456467) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372755)

What if someone gave a party and no one came?

Ideas like a booting from a ram run fixed drive get thrown away!

Why? Because to eliminate MS Windows need to boot from a spinning junky harddrive on the PC would make the consumer wise to the built in planned obsoscence of Microsofts software/hardware dominance.

Hardware advancement is stiffled by the lack of competition. This is how the ram, harddrive, and most of computer hardware industry has come to be run. Unfortunately this has become the norm in hardware/software design because of the mad ruin of competiting ideas by a monoply.

If some bright computer company bucks the trend and produces a home computer that does not need to boot from a harddrive, but can use whatever OS the user chooses from a base boot system. Then what will happen to the MS dominated hardware market? Oh my computer doesn't care if it runs XP, Linux, or whatever.

If the harddrive based software OS screws up then I just run the original fixed OS which could also be upgraded. Problem is the user would tend to stick to the fast boot OS on the fixed ram drive.
Microsoft knows this and just has not been able to make the idea work on the antiquated IBM 386 arch PC yet. Or, are they scared stiff that the people who hold certain patents to this particular type of system configuration would sue their butts!

Just imagine no more viruses, no more trojans (unless you are really stupid). Not having to bow to Redmond 6 times per day, or every time you use the net.

This is a very real possibility.

Linux doesn't need to save the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372759)

If linux can make my el cheapo Linksys router a lot more flexible and useful, that's good enough for me.

The key to getting a story accepted on /. is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372791)

I think I now have a template to get a story accepted by the /. (hehe) Editors (lol).

(user name) writes "(geek web site) has a interesting story about Open Source saving the (pick one) industry. Pretty good read all in all. (brief statement about how it relates to MS)"


that's not everything... (3, Insightful)

newsdee (629448) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372796)

From the article: "you can't blame Microsoft for following strategies that don't help the hardware community."

That sentence opened a whole new perspective on the subject for me... OSS "saves" hardware but I would say the savings occur in the consumer's pockets (us, so, it's good :-) ). However, there seems to be an underlying struggle between the hardware and content-creating industries. The latter are lobbying for legislation that, aside from effects on freedom and rights of everybody, will also result in loss of profits from hardware companies. For example, they could be forced to implement a "controller" technology (e.g. v-chip) that not only makes the product less desirable, but also increases the sale price (or reduces margin).

Either way they (hardware manufacturers) can lose along with the consumer. That for example explains why Apple had their campaign of "rip mix and burn": the mere possibility of those activities is an incentive that drives purchases of CD-R and DVD-R drives, new hardware, more powerful computers, etc. Of course some of these activities may be legal gray areas, but it's not a matter of doing them or not, but rather of knowing that they can be done, like having a sports car and still drive at 70mph. In other words the features may be useless or even misunderstood [for that particular person, not power users], but it makes people [joe sixpack] want to buy hardware.

If you take a paranoid point of view you could say we haven't lost all of our rights yet because another industry has something at stake... personally I think it's more of a side effect rather than a direct cause - since where there are liberties there's always somebody that can make a business out of them.

Software won't 'save hardware' (4, Insightful)

cenobita (615440) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372808)

I'll give Tom's Hardware some credit for mentioning a few key points, but I also think they missed one very key issue.

What does 'save hardware' really indicate?

From the slant of the writeup, they're assuming that this means the creation of software that will spur revolutionary, fast-paced hardware development. In part, this is accurate, as these companies do need to release products on a fairly consistent basis if they want to stay in business.. ..but there are a few things missing here. Namely reliability and focused innovation.

How often do we hear about or experience first-hand hardware failure? Weird driver bugs on video cards, hard drives that have to be RMA'ed after 3 months to a year, heat dissipation issues, the list goes on. Undoubtedly, things have become much more advanced since the days of the 486, but on the same token, we're also being introduced to a different set of problems. The technology is largely the same; it's just a new set of boundaries and guidelines.

The manufacturers are pumping out products every goddamned month, mostly introducing only minimal changes from product to product. I'm sorry, but this just isn't realistic.. the average buyer doesn't shell out cash for a new video card or whatever every goddamned month. When the time comes to upgrade, we want it to be a worthwhile one.. not just a $300+ clock-speed increase or an even more ridiculously huge heatsink added.

I think if the hardware industry needs saving, it's going to take a change in how things are done. From a user standpoint, at least, i'd like to see a greater emphasis on *quality* for once. There are very few companies I have genuine, lasting faith in. Everyone's in such a mad rush to be first, to hit the best benchmarks on the goddamned review sites, that they're making quality a secondary focus to just releasing something. I see it in software, I see it in hardware, and it's simply ridiculous.

Take this, for example:
A quick search on Pricewatch for 'Nvidia 5800' gives the lowest price at $268.00. Not too bad for a decent video card; worth it if you need it. Then I check for Nvidia 5900, which has only recently been released.

The price suddenly shoots up to $401.99. I can almost guarantee that in a month or two, it'll be nearly the same price as the 5800. You're getting only a marginal performance increase for nearly twice the price. If you opt for the 5800, you're getting sub-par performance when you could've waited a couple months for the 5900, spent the same as the 5800 would've cost, and gotten better performance. In another year, or less, they'll release *yet another* product.

So here's my, my challenge.

Knock this shit off. Instead of releasing 2 or 3 or 4 products of the same type in a year or two, why not release one or two? Focus on ultra-quality performance and product, don't compromise on parts and manufacturing, and let the market ride the wave for awhile. These guys are surprised that sales are down when they've helped instill a stigma of "save your cash. our current product will be obsolete in a week!" They're going for maximum price, crossing their fingers that they'll sell a bunch before they move onto the next release on their roadmap.

The other issue is where these guys are focusing their efforts. You can clock shit up as much as you like, but shitty build quality coupled with a lack of genuine innovation is getting us nowhere. 3D animators/compositors/etc, digital video editors, gamers, etc. all *want* high performance, no doubt. So does the home user, if only to avoid the dreaded click-and-lag demon. But how long can they keep cranking speeds before they realize that there are more important things to consider?

For instance, we've got DDR-II slowly trickling in, mostly on video cards. Why frickin' bother?
Where's the goddamned MRAM? Where's our truly solid state hard drives? Why aren't we developing cooling solutions that don't involve water or noisy fans, but dissipate heat just as well, completely noise-free? Where's our smaller form-factor coupled with uber-high performance (and sorry, mini-itx isn't it)? Why has it taken this long for the PC to hit 64-bit, when Sun, SGI, etc. have been doing it for so long?

The list goes on, and i'm sure we could all add to it. A LOT.

I say take a step back, breathe a bit, and focus on what's important. Stop berating us with products and give us *useful*, high-quality products that do what we NEED, not just what you think we WANT. Christ, LCD's still often have ghosting..i'd be willing to bet that not only do you fuckers have stuff sitting on the backburner that blows away current offerings, but you're going to give us 3 sub-par products *before* you give us the real goods, just to try and rake in more cash so you can keep your release schedules consistent.

I'm sorry to make this into such a soapbox post, but damn it, this is something that really bothers me. I don't have much knowledge as to the inner workings of the hardware industry, but I do know that as a user, as an 'enthusiast' or whatever, I feel screwed without the courtesy of a little tenderness everytime I buy a piece of hardware. It really sucks to spend $100 on a great CD-R or something, only to see that same company put out something nearly twice as fast less than a year later. It's like buying a 25" television for $400, only to see gigantic, wall-mounted plasma tv's drop to the same price 6 months later.

dsa 2 gergdg asdf sadfsaf (-1, Offtopic)

niggersex (686366) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372810)

Most people only recognize Loon as the guy who blew up when he was featured in P.Diddy's "I Need A Girl" series of hits. As with most "overnight successes," it usually takes years and years of hard work to finally realize your dream. Loon is no exception.

Loon comes from Harlem, where he says he was treated like a Prince, due to some serious street connections. Unlike most of his peers, Loon can also say that he also grew up around some of the most famous and infamous icons of our generation. Loon's story is a must read. Explain the journey to this point in your career?

Loon: I was a victim of a lot of transitions, that's how we going to sum it up. I was on Tommy Boy first, had a group called Harlem World, had an album called "Harlem World". At the time it might have not been the appropriate thing for the music world, but it was introduced in '97 by Mase on Bad Boy Records, so I left Tommy Boy. Then I pursued a solo career, 'cause unfortunately my partner got locked up. I ended up in the office of a gentleman by the name of Clive Davis. He offered me a solo deal, and with my solo deal on the table, I was also offered to be a part of the group Harlem World that was established based on the success of Mase's solo attempt, his solo album named "Harlem World". Unfortunately Mase retired, we lost the support from Sony and the group situation withered away. Which brings me back to Arista, solo deal still on the table, Clive Davis still granted me the same deal. Did the solo deal and 6 songs in here's another transition. Clive Davis leaves and goes to J Records, LA Reid steps in with quite a few things on his plate, maybe more than what was required at the time. I just wasn't considered a factor in his new reign, so therefore I was on the brink of being dropped. At that point I made a suggestion to work with Puff who was in Miami at the time, working on a compilation album, which became P. Diddy and the Bad Boy Family. I was scheduled to go in there for 4 days and write 2 songs. I ended up staying 4 weeks and I wrote 11 songs. I pretty much been here ever since. So that's the long version of all the transitions. I was a victim of the music business, but I was strong, focused and I was determined. Who would you say is your inspiration?

L: My inspiration first and foremost is God; I have a very trained relationship with God. It's more like a brotherly relationship with God. My family once again is one of my inspirations because I came from a family that didn't promise a lot of stars and success. To come out of that as one of the members in my family and be successful kind of makes me be inspired. Friends, peers, you got a couple of artist out there that definitely inspired me like Biggie Smalls, Tupac. One of my first inspirations was Kool G. Rap and Big Daddy Kane. All the artist that had substance pretty much inspired me to want to come out and establish my character and vibe that I bring to the table. What makes this album different from anything else out right now?

L: I think right now I took the initiative to kind of consider the radio and the dance floor. It's like a primary target as opposed too me trying to establish some kind of street credibility, or credit as a emcee, or a dominate force in the game. I just pretty much tried to fill the void with the dance floors and just try to bring that classic Bad Boy vibe that Puff brought to the table in '97. I got Puff with his producer cap on, he's pretty much behind the scenes how we learned to love and appreciate him, not to try to take something away from him as an artist. We just try to really go and follow that old Bad Boy formula with a little new twist. To reach the new generation of music that is taking over the airwaves now. Explain your rap style?

L: My style is pretty much like me, laid back, smooth. I kind of elaborate off the positive things I see and pretty much the vibe that I get when I wake up. I don't wake up thinking about killing nobody, I don't wake up thinking about robbing and stealing. When I wake up I think about getting money. I think about partying, I think about girls, just all the finer things in life. I just try to take those things and elaborate on them without glorifying them. Like the way I use my dialog to talk to women, I don't do too much promising jewelry and all the things that dudes think girls want to hear, but I try to talk from a more monogamist aspect. Really pointing out the things fellas take for granted, like opening the door, putting up the umbrella when it's raining, that's my approach. I got that little old fashioned, choir boy approach, with a little street edge. Can you explain the growth from back then to today?

L: Me in my early rap days coming from the streets of Harlem and Harlem not really being a factor to the real driving force in the music business, I tried to represent Harlem in a darker aspect. I really wanted to bring a more darker, realistic aspect of Harlem as opposed to what you see just riding past seventh. You can see all the fly sh*t, you can see all the kids out and all the activity in the street until like 3am in the morning. I wanted to try to expose the dark side or some of the things it takes to be able to live that social lifestyle. It was a lot more edgy than the music I do now. Being that I was introduced to the world through a couple of popular record like " I Need A Girl Part 1 & 2," it kind of placed me in a certain category that I've learned to appreciate. As an artist we all have a certain amount of ego that drives us, my competitiveness used to come from battling and going at other emcees. Now my competitiveness is really trying to corner my slot. Like I said I was introduced on a record where women appeal to me more, parents, kids. It's placed me in a nice marketable, wholesome, positive atmosphere. It's almost totally opposite of the way I initially wanted to approach the game. I think a lot of the growth came from my grandmother 'cause she used to find my little raps and see the profanity in my rhymes and used to tell me "boy you aint going to get no money talking about your privates, calling all women "B's " and things of that nature." She kind of discouraged me so it really wasn't Puff yall. I don't want yall to think Puff watered me down and sugar coated me. A lot of the situations in my career right now have been developed in a good way. I just want to take advantage of that. For those that know about my past ability to rap about street stuff and get all in depth with the street genre, it's still there it's just I'm feeling the "I Need A Girl" vibe.

Answer. (0, Offtopic)

niko9 (315647) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372815)

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