Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Metcalfe claims Linux Can't Beat Win2000

Hemos posted more than 15 years ago | from the it's-all-those-darn-communists! dept.

Linux 744

Bruce Inglish writes "InfoWorld Pundit (and inventor of Ethernet) Bob Metcalfe just posted his 99/6/19 column entitled: "Linux's '60s technology, open-sores ideology won't beat W2K, but what will?" in which he predicts that "Linux will fizzle against Windows" and compares the Open Source community to communism and the Back-to-the-Earth Movement. "

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Finally!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841211)

Finally, somebody I agree with. Linux is from the same era (or is it error?) of bell-bottom pants, hippie music, and woodstock. Once very popular and very cool (or hip, whatever.)

And yes, all of that has come back to be popular again. But wait, it's not back to stay?!? Sorry brother, just another one of those fads...

Not really looking forward to next year, I hear the *80's* are coming back next...

Is this a joke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841212)

This article reads like it's supposed to be a joke or something. Nearing 23/6 availability? Our linux servers have 60+ day uptimes (hardware upgrades!) and they're 24/7.

File this one under author on glue or editor picking through the joke bin in the morning.

What next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841213)

First, he was a running back for the Browns, then a wide receiver for Atlanta. Now a foul-mouthed poo-pooer of Linux.

What next?

Linux is NOT communism!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841214)

I know I am preaching to the choire, but, this is just getting on my nerves. Software is too damn hard for any one corporation to support, so the only choice is peer review, where there is no penalty for correcting problems--thanx guy, i'll just copywrite your code change, and make all kinds of money that I wouln't share with you. Linux is capitalism, windows is Despotism!

If Linux is "ancient technology"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841215)

then Metcalfe should make this bet:

"NT will be the first OS to run a server with
IPv6 services running 24x7 at Foo load level
continually for Bar days, in a non-testing

And he should put more at stake than eating
a piece of paper.

What's happened to him? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841216)

A brilliant man, degrading himself by publishing rants. There's lots things about Linux that are just plain unloveable, but he misses all of them.

Is he suffering the beginning stages of Alzheimer's Disease?

Too many meds? I'm told the combination of designer personality drugs like Prozac and Luvox and OTC cough medications such as dextromethorphan produce blackouts and fits of uncontrollable rage.

How 'bout it Bob, check your meds lately?

Guess he doesn't read IDC's reports properly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841217)

Anyone noticed how he claimed Linux to be "a small percent" of the 17% of the server shipments that are Unix servers?

Anyone remember the IDC report he took that from?

The numbers were, if I remember correctly, 17% AND 17% Linux, making Unix + Linux 34%... Anyway, it was at least not under any circumstances as little as 17% combined.

And I guess he didn't see the recent reports that estimated that Linux shipments would grow faster than that of any other OS's, with 25% annual growth for at least the next four years.

Re:Finally!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841218)

So let's get rid of cars (old technology), the radio, telephones and ... well, Windows which runs on CPU's that are still 808[68] compatible.

Minor note, I stopped reading when Emacs was compared to Windword. The difference between an editor and word processing software ought not to be that hard to grasp.

Linux and Communism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841219)

Although Bob's credentials are impressive, I can not be swayed by his argument based on his 'expert opinion.' Many individuals in the business community, have been quick to dismiss the process of peer-review as communism when applied to the production of goods and services. To suggest that many people are capible of providing goods and services without a closed hierachically structured society [ie a business] is an antithesis to all that they live for. Given the historical failure of the Russian form of communism, all future movements that resemble a mobilization of the 'proletariat' inevitably are compared with a failed political regime, implying that the new focus will also die.

However, history does show one group of Communists to have survived for nearly 2000 years. The institution which runs the majority body of this group, is still one of the most powerful and influential bodies on the world stage, and its leader, the Pope, rules not through force of arms or cashflow, but through MINDSHARE.

The reason Christianity beat out the other popular intellectual systems of the day, was that it filled a need that people had. After a century of the most destructive civil wars that were not matched until the 20th century in Europe, people needed a savior, and were looking for freedom from the cares of the everyday world.

Now while Linux is not a religious movement, the rules of MindShare apply equally well. People have needs that are not being fullfilled, and they are looking for a savior, in the face of years of unproductive civil war (Microsoft's Ascendsion). What this new group has rediscovered is an old doctrine of Sharing, that alturistic behavior ultimately is more self-rewarding than destruction of other people.

Anyone familiar with the period of Late Antiquity can tell you that most Christian groups died horrible deaths, and only the strong survived. Likewise, the old establishment, (business & the Roman Empire) also embraced and extended Christianity making it the primary force in European political and business afairs until the modern era.

Bob has failed to look at history and not just current events, just because a totalitarian state failed to make a secular religion work doesn't mean that it can't. If Linux is a religion, then the Free Software Movement is that radical fringe of brethern from whom the future will draw up the ranks of the Saints of the Digital Age.

Troll Food (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841220)


You can be sure that what he wants ... hits
and mail.



RMS does make us look like idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841221)

From insisting reporters preface Linux with Gnu everytime he does a conference or he will leave to his rallying against and attempts to destroy anything not FSF (even other free software), I can really see how people would compare RMS with Communism. Anything not FSF and GNU-sponsored is evil (no matter if it is free or commercial), and everyone *must* agree with my ideology. And since in many minds RMS *is* free software, that hurts us all.

The fine art of slamming Bob (humor) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841222)

NANOG is a good source for Metcalfe humor ... storical/9903/msg00084.html

Re:Bob Metcalfe is a giggling imbecile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841223)

He's writing about Windows 2000 that is not based on DOS.

Trolling for fun and profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841224)

If I saw this at slashdot as an article (and had moderation rights) I would give it a -1 Troll rating.

"When W2k gets here, goodbye Linux" Oh, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841225)

Gee, I've been hearing about how NT was going to kill UNIX for about seven years now.

I also remember being told that OS/2 was going to do the same thing.

Maybe when it comes to running major data centers, reliability is still an issue. Just a thought.


Senile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841226)

He calls Linux "senile". Me thinks he is
the senile one. Java to beat Linux?
Ok yeah whatever.

People living in glass houses should
not throw stones.

Re:I'm afraid I don't value Metcalfe's opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841227)

Try to realize that he's writing about Windows 2000, not DOS or Win95.

Censored? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841228)

The link seems to be dead already, yet infoworld is not down. Maybe someone came to their senses?

Old fart doesn't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841229)

He says that Linux is based on old tech, but
the W2K has Drive Letters like my Atari 400 did.

At one point, this guy was inventive I guess,
but now he's old, doesn't want to mess with things, and wants to settle in the W2k problem.

UNIX remained stagnant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841230)

Quite right. Linux has finally dragged UNIX kicking and screaming into the 1980s :)

But KDE is a genuinely good thing. I'm sure the incredible similarity to Windows is purely coincidental.

PS. Why has nobody ever based an X-server round ther Mac GUI? I thought that was supposed to be the greatest. (Beware of Mac flamers!!!)

Didn't he invent ethernet 20-some-odd-years ago? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841231)

*cough* hypocracy *cough*... just a little food for thought...

How many MS employee readers do we have? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841232)

Just curious, how may MS bait setters like this one are trolling slashdot these days?

I agree, he wants advert revenue from slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841233)

I have no problem with the guy expressing a point of view that is different from mine, but the article has no technical merit whatsoever, therefore it has no place on slashdot.

We can only do him good if we all go read his article!!

If taco and the others had a vote, I would definately be one to back excluding non-technical AND badly written editorials like these from slashdot ( the best darn news site on the web : ))

what a load of crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841234)

This is exactly the kind of thing I expect from somebody who created a network that begins to fall over with 60% utilisation!!, i bet he thinks 23/6 is rock solid ;)..

he seems to be able to remember the 60's, and perhaps that is where he belongs, this is the 90's dick so get with it ;)

Momentum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841235)

Don't stop MS's momentum, guide it! They have certainly sped things up: without them, much of today's computing infrastructure would not exist or would be much more expensive.

Admittedly they've released *lots* of junk, and forced adherence to many poor standards and protocols, but if there is a driving force, use it!


Re:Linux and Communism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841236)

Actually, christianity got big by getting the support of the political elite, which used violence to force people into accepting christianity as the only true religion.

Most countries in Europe was christened by hundreds of years of violence and opression, not by people freely sharing.

In fact, one of the reasons Martin Luther split from the church, was that the catholic church at that time was extremely opposed to making the Bible available in languages people would understand, because they wanted a monopoly on peoples interpretation on the Bible.

Re:How many MS employee readers do we have? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841237)

Linux popped out in 1991(?) and didnt REALLy take off until the mid/late 1990s.

yeh, you remmeber the 90s, they're full of hippies and stuff. Oh wait, that was the 60s....

its based off of Unix, which has been around since the late 60s.... but the technology has changed A LOT, to say otherwise is to speak very ignorantly.

Over the 30 years, it enables technology to change with peoples needs, not stay a dinosaur.

He's right - Office 2K will keep linux out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841238)

Just wait and see. Microsoft's proprietary links
between the end-user applications and NT will
limit Linux' impact and make it possible for NT
to infiltrate even the most anti-MS IS folks'
networks (like mine).


Re:Finally!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841239)

> (and, fyi, I use vi ;-)

That rhymes !

Re:RMS does make us look like idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841240)

rms might be extreme, but we need him as much as we need other less extreme ppl like esr, torvalds....

Re:RMS does make us look like idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841241)

RMS and people like him are the problems of Linux and Open Source software.

Profit and money is not bad. The reason why people want to start a barter system is because they do not have the money. Or they believe money is being distributed incorrectly. A barter system will not change that. Money is not evil. It is something that we need. Likewise with software development. There will be open source and closed source. Each will live and prosper. Once people like RMS understand that things will be better.

If idealists concepts get out of hand with Open Source, it will kill Open Source.

30 years ago? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841242)

Bob's right about a lot of things, but in this case he's showing senility.
30 years ago was 1969.
Parc began in 1970.
Did X Window system exist?
GUI anything?
Is Linux written in Algol, Fortran, or Cobol?

This was when a great many sites, if not most, were using vacuum tube computers with drum memory, 80 column cards for job and data entry.
magnetic core memory.
OS development was in its infancy.
Multi-user systems?
Dynamic run-time job scheduling?

If he had said 20 years, though, then we would be in the same boat.

Re:Finally!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841243)

and i use jed :)

/ no i dont want to start editor wars here

Re:extra-ordinary prediction (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1841498)

Actually, leninist "communism" centered around extreme central planning during the socialist stage (transistion to communism). Many other variations of communism tend to be more moderate in that regard. And none support much central planning once communism is reached, and the state has been abolished.

The main failure of the self proclaimed "communist" and "socialist" states the world has seen so far has been that rather than getting rid of class divisions etc., they have increased them, and enforced an extreme top-down command chain, instead of bottom-up, that is the foundation of marxist political theory.

But I agree with your conclusion: He doesn't understand what went wrong in the states he see as communist (probably because he mixes them up with "proper" marxist theory on communism, and compare the ideals of that, with the result of the flawed implementations of socialism).

Sure, there are elements of the open source movement that are close to the marxist ideals of communism, but the movement has hardly anything in common with the self proclaimed "socialist" states.

If anything, commercial, closed source, software development is what is closest to stalinist economy:

  • You are told everything works great.
  • You aren't allowed to see what really goes on.
  • You can submit suggestions, but they're ignored, unless it is of benefit for the ruling class or the software company to fix it.
  • The official view is that there are no real problems, whenever something is "fixed", it means they have made yet another glorious improvement to something that was already perfect, not fixed a problem.
  • You're the one who gets to pay for their mistakes, either with more work, or by paying for upgrades...

So, open source may seem like marxism, but then closed source seems like stalinism... If those are the ones I get to choose from, I'd prefer marxism any day...

Re:Daddy-o out of his mind (1)

hadron (139) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841500)

Ethernet stinks anyway. The only reason it is so popular is that it is cheap and plentiful.

Metcalfe, you forget your history!!! (3)

strredwolf (532) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841502)

Let me go through this article and do a few items here, eh?

Why do I think Linux won't kill Windows? Two reasons. The Open Source Movement's ideology is utopian balderdash. You mean that you like your dependence on upgrades which don't fix bugs? Are you sure that Microsoft's products are secure? Sheesh, we already have holes in Win95, Win98, and NT 4! You have to pull patches to lock 'em down and be secure on the net, and yet still not be able to be fast enough to keep up with the continous hits on the Internet. Server software it isn't. It wasn't designed to be server software. I doubt Win2K will be server software. Besides, Linux and the Open Source Initiative is not just theory, it is fact. Alot of security patches go out for Linux and it's utility programs. Linux had a fix for the Pentium FOOF bug within a week, and that's not with Intel's help. Microsoft brushed it off, saying that it's products are for single users only!

And Linux is 30-year-old technology. Relibable 30 year old technology that's secure, and recoded, reapplied, and rewritten for current hardware. Also, many components such as GTK, GIMP, and IMlib are new software and toolkits, not 30 year old technology.

A Soviet Linux lies ahead, with successive five-year plans every three. Nope, we haven't had any shootings yet...

OK, communism is too harsh on Linux. Lenin too harsh on Torvalds. It's actually Socialism, not communism (which the two get so mixed up it's suprizing you even mention it). Socialism, by Karl Marx, dictates that everyone, not the government(that's Communism), owns everything. Marx also states that it will be a slow progression into Socialism. Communism got screwed up by Lenin et al trying to speed things up. Guess what Russia got into now?

If North America actually went back to the earth, close to 250 million people would die of starvation before you could say agribusiness. When they bring organic fruit to market, you pay extra for small apples with open sores -- the Open Sores Movement. Negative. My local Giant supermarket chain carries organic, "Back to earth" style apples. They're the same size and with no open sores, no defects, no bugs as the ones treated with chemicals. They taste the same too. Try one. They're in the next same-size pile over. Brought in from local farmers. And do some better research next time.

Stallman's EMACS was brilliant in the 1970s, but today we demand more, specifically Microsoft Word, which can't be written over a weekend, no matter how much Coke you drink. Multinational corporations are themselves technology invented to get big things done, things that sustain us in the complicated modern world. I find alot of users tripping over Word myself here in college, and I suggest to them more control in the form of Corel WordPerfect. Don't you know? WordPerfect been ported all over the place. Macs, Win3.1, Win9x/NT, Solaris, Linux, insert your favorite operating system here.... There's also alot of other good programs out there similar to Word.

The Open Sores Movement asks us to ignore three decades of innovation. Three decades of security enhancements, TCP/IP implementations (remember, Unix had the first implementation!), web servers (NCSA httpd), ftp servers, and more. Even e-mail was origionally on Unix. And before the Internet, before the first router, there was UUCP. These are innovations.

NT, now approaching 23x6 availability, is already overpowering Linux. Linux is 24/7. Virtually no maintance needed once properly set up. I have computer labs here that require me to reboot every few days just because NT's about to die. Every few weeks we have to put down a new image on a few NT computers. 23 hours/day, 6 days per week? No, we can't have that in a 24/7, we never close computer lab. It's on all the time or it's dead.

Let's hope there's something coming soon that's better than both Linux and W2K. What would that be? Java or what? Let's be looking. I'm looking, but all I see is a penguin giving me source code and saying "BBBBWWWWAAAAPPPPP!!!!"

Bob Metcalfe, you forget your computing history. Back to the university library with you.

Spammed? Click here [] for free slack on how to fight it!

Bob Metcalfe is a giggling imbecile (0)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841511)

Posted by Jæger:

What the hell is he playing at? What's Windows based on? DOS. What's DOS based on? CP/M (or whatever the hell it was). How old is CP/M? Pretty damn old. Besides, Linux is only 8 years old, and it's so very convenient that he forgot to mention that Linus wrote the entire thing from scratch. I think that Microsoft probably just sent him a nice big fat check to bash Linux around (gotta have that FUD). Of course, when the UNIX operating systems have taken over the world, little Bobby here'll probably praise Linux and predict that he knew Microsoft would fail. I think he's probably trying to be purposely inflammatory...Internet 'pundit' isn't really appropriate, I think...something more like Internet 'village idiot' would fit him so much better. The eyes are open, the mouth moves, but Mr. Brain has long since departed, hasn't it, Bob?

another troll (2)

Tom (822) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841519)

up to now, the word "troll" was used for usenet articles and comment systems like this one. infoworld, however, should be awarded a medal for making the word apply to articles in (online) magazines.

it's really getting obvious by now. write some crap about Linux, get a) praise and more ad money from M$ and b) the link posted on /. which yields you a 5-digit number of hits quickly, which again pleases your ad people.

rob, I request you don't link to those troll articles anymore. doing so just creates more of them.

Re:Finally!!! (1)

sterwill (972) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841528)

Emacs is a text editor and lisp interpreter. When you compile Emacs you get a base set of lisp which helps you with day-to-day editing. If you wish, you can download additional lisp programs to browse the web, read mail, read news, write books, etc. But none of these is required to use Emacs, nor does Emacs perform worse without them.

One can turn Microsoft Word into a (horribly slow and unstable) web browser or news reader via VBA. But you laugh at the thought.

This is the difference between Microsoft's technologies and the kind that survive.

It isn't out world domination (1)

seth (984) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841534)

Okay, maybe I missed the memo, but when did linux become solely about world domination and success. I think it happened the minute the media started look at it. I think the concept of "We're writing this operating system because it is interesting and useful to us" doesn't make good press.

So linux was around long before anyone had the thought "I'll install linux instead of DOS/Windows/OS2/BeOS" and its continued success has nothing to do with people thinking that.

Let this one go... (1)

V. (1057) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841544)

I've not read Metcalfe before( and won't ever
again if this article is indicative of his
writing ) but it seems pretty obvious that this
is a man who feels threatened by Linux and a
software model that he just doesn't understand.
This article is completely barren of any
organized argument and is simply a knee-jerk bile dump. Let
it go folks. Don't fill his Inbox with flames or
even mail intended to gently "inform" him about
Linux. He is either beyond help or hoping to
produce an email /. effect which will provide
him with more troll material.

old tymers (1)

Nelson (1275) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841554)

I'm starting to feel bad watching these old folks who are apparently past their prime make these predictions and statements about linux.

It's like watching a former sports champion flounder around and get beat by some kids.

Analogies with opinions (1)

slim (1652) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841556)

He makes an analogy with the Green movement. Problem is, his analysis of the Green movement is just as opinionated and subjective as his analysis of Free Software.

Odd fellow.

Re:Is this a joke? (1)

David K-M (1744) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841557)

Yes - I read that line twice, but I think that it actually refers to NT (note the position of the full stop).

I think that the comment was suggesting that with even poor reliability, NT will beat Linux...

This would seem to contradict the idea that modern corporations have been built up around technology, and therefore depend upon it, stated elsewhere in the piece!

Waste of space (0)

ChrisRijk (1818) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841559)

I don't really like writing flames, but that article was just sad. Even attempting to debunk it would be a waste of time. We don't need this sort of trash, just pull the article please admin, and give us something interesting to talk about.

ethernet (1)

mattdm (1931) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841560)

yes, he did invent ethernet.


Old gurus never die, they just bask in obselescene (5)

substrate (2628) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841572)

Bob Metcalfe sounds like one of those National Enquirer prophets: "I correctly predicted that internet stocks would collapse! That proves my track record, now I predict the demise of Linux". Substitute the collapse of internet stocks with the assasination of John Lennon and the demise of Linux with the second coming of Elvis and its virtually identical with supermarket tabloid predictions and backed up by just a valid an analysis.

His first premise: The Open Source Movement's ideology is utopian balderdash. Alright, maybe Richard Stallman is a bit over the top with some of his talk, but he's not the entire Open Source movement. There are other advocates, such as Bruce Perens, who have done work in getting existing companies such as Netscape or Apple to at least test the Open Source waters. Then he goes on to take a Linux Torvalds' quote out of context as proof that the Open Source community is a band of raving pinko commies. Oh, scratch that, it was just hyperbole. However, if Open Source succeeds a quarter billion people will die or some other such drivel. Oh, and the only means of writing a document under Linux is with EMACS doncha know! I guess Applix, Word Perfect etc. are just communist propoganda and don't really exist.

The second premise: Linux is 30 year old technology and as such is senile. It's an interesting sentiment, but not correct. Linux is built up from concepts that are 30 some years old but only because technology often builds up on the past. Pre-emptive multitasking and protected memory are just good ideas, no reason to throw them out. In the mean time the kernel guru's have added in multi threading, multi processor support as well as support for late nineties hardware. On top of that there are a number of decent GUI overlays that can make normal day to day stuff just as easy as it is under NT (as well as some of the more complext administrative tasks as well). NT is no different in that regards, its really built up from thirty year old technology and doesn't really offer any new features. Linux performs well now. If Microsoft gets its act together maybe NT will work well tomorrow. Maybe. If given the choice between shipping something that doesn't works but people will buy or shipping something that works as advertised a little bit late guess which one will win?

In a way this is the biggest evidence that Linux (as well as other operating systems) is relevant. If Microsoft was truly indominatible they could delay their operating system release until it actually worked and not worry about releasing expensive (to the consumer) bug fix patches as Windows 98 or Windows 99 etc.

Is Linux going to kill Windows? No, I don't think so. I do think that things will be a lot closer to how they were in the eighties though. Windows will have the majority, but more like a 60 or 70% majority overall. A bit more on the desktop and a bit less in the server space. Linux and other operating systems will have that 30 to 40% market share segment. It won't dominate but will ensure that applications are ported to capture that segment of the market.

Old gurus never die, their opinions just (in some cases) become obsolete or bought and paid for.

If Gates is a Romanoff (1)

Epeeist (2682) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841573)

Does this make Ballmer Rasputin?

Comparing (1)

Tsk (2863) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841576)

I'm tired of such so called revues comparing Linux with Other OSes.
Usually what is being compared is a linux distribution (usually a RedHat or RedHat derivative (ie uses rpm to manage packages)). The comparaison is usually done on the install then on the firts impresion, they rarelly go to real end-user testing the prodocts. IMHO one can't compare a linux distro with Just a core OS - I'de prefer something like BackOffice to be testted against.
On the isuees of W2K the product isn't out yet - Microsoft is making some noises around it so that people with the power to choose still take windows over whats available because W2K will be here real soon now. Marketing people are the one pushing windows - not techies. My point here is that comparing things not made to do the same kind of things ius useless, even if these are sold has being designed for the same purposes.
NT4.0 has many foundation of unix in its core kernel (like the infamous /etc folder). So saying linux is based on 20 years old ideas is true - but windows also is (win 1.0 dates from 1986). What really bugs me is the underlaying hardware on which all this software is based on:
the x86 architecture - this is where the nproblem lies.

70's concept, maybe... (1)

altman (2944) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841578)

Yes, unix happened at the start of the 70s, a bit before(?) VMS: this doesn't mean the underlying principles are wrong. The fact that NT boxes don't deal well with high load is very worrying - VMS boxes do. UNIX is up against a bad VMS implementation in NT.

The problem also is that UNIX is happy with lower resources - it *can* be stripped down (well, we use it in our car radio ;) ). NT is just HUGE - it tries to be everything to everyone. UNIX realises it's not for everyone, and ends up doing what it does very well.

I don't see NT being crushed by UNIX. Then again, I don't see UNIX being crushed by NT either - as far as I'm concerned, I'm sure they'll both carry on for at least another 10 years: maybe NT might even be stable by then.


60's turning points (1)

RenQuanta (3274) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841584)

So what's wrong with UNIX being originated in the 1960's? Lots of great stuff came out of that decade, and like it was said before me, UNIX certainly did not stagnate. UNIX was just one more pivotal event of the late 60's, early 70's in this country. (taps his foot as he listens to Henry Mancini's orchestra play Peter Gunn)

But more important is this communism comparison. That analogy occured to me just the other day, that Linux, FreeBSD, and Open Source software is comparable to the software "industry" as communism was comparable to capitalism. I the fretted about the fate of the Open Source movement - would it meet the same fate?

I soon realized that it would not. Open Source will never meet the same fate because it is not based upon a flawed idealization of human nature as communism is. Communism failed because it hinged on the selflessness of individuals, and in that atmosphere of complete giving to the collective, the absolute absence of greediness on the part of opportunists. Given the fact that Communism never worked and the experiments (however distant from the Marxist ideal) all sooner or later went belly up, it is pretty safe to say this theoretical perspective of the human condition was indeed flawed.

Open Source, however, is actually closer to Capitalism than it is to Communism in important areas. It does not hinge on an idealistic, unrealistic selflessness, but rather the same motivations as Capitalism: people want something for themselves. What are some of the prime reasons listed that Open Source programmers code? For glory and reputation, because they enjoy it, or to scratch an itch. Because they love what they do, the quality far exceeds commercial software where Joe Programmer is a salaried employee who is irked at his boss who keeps telling him how this and that have to be, and who didn't want to work on this stupid project anyway. At best Joe Programmer is sanguine about what he does, very few are passionate about it.

In the end Open Source will become the defacto standard for the Information Age because it is compatible with Capitalism. Instead of selling closed, proprietary software in the old Industrial Age model of capitalism, smart companies will sell services and support through the free and open software from the Community. After all, is this the Information Age or isn't it? The software is so ubiquitous these days, who would want to pay for it? Or, if it isn't ubiquitous, it certainly should be for our civilization to take full advantage of the Information Age.

The longer I use FreeBSD and download all my software from the net, the more foolish it seems for people to manufacture countless CDs, manuals, boxes, and ship all that via truck to a store I have to drive to for software I want. What a wastefull expendeture of all those resources. Metcalfe can live in the past if he wants, we'll go onto the future without him or Micro$oft.

Re:Is this a joke? (1)

thomasd (3336) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841587)

No, the 23*6 was referring to NT. I'm not sure Metcalfe really likes Windows any more than I do, he just seems to be resigned to it. Which is a shame, really.

So what Unix is 1970s technology? It's stood the test of time, and nobody can say that it never evolves. It's here to stay.

Sign Of the Ages (1)

alecm (4035) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841594)

I suspect that this article is just a reflection
of the age of the author; forgive me, I too
remember the 70s/80s - albeit distantly - in the
days when PCW and BYTE had more pages of signal
than they did advertising noise, and computing
was looking forward to its future.

Before the OOPS fad, before the 4GL fad, there
were continual fads in the 80s that computing
was going to change for the better; articles
about compilers that would understand natural
languages and produce programs on demand, that
would do what we wanted without error. User
interfaces that would make everything we wanted
to do, simple and obvious.

This was the boom time of AI and GUI development
in academia, and the mindset is propagated in
hackers of a certain age, disposed to consider
whatever hardware or software they are using as
crud that will soon be surpassed by something
much much better than they could imagine.

This is, of course, a caricature, but I hope
that some of it is recognisable.

My point is: there are some people who will tar
any existing technology as crap and invariably
promise something better down the road; these
people can be classified as:

1) visionaries
2) sci-fi writers
3) marketeers

...depending upon their remit; I suspect that
Bob falls into one of the two former categories,
suffering some sort of self-loathing that nothing
has changed since his day.

I do not believe he falls into category 3
(which M$ excels at) where the remit is to
prevent adoption of some technology which
might undermine profits from some competing
technology of their own.

There is a depressing tendency, amongst these
people, to deride Linux for it's Unix heritage.
They forget that the flipside of "old" includes
"tried", "tested", and "well-understood enough
to be robustly optimised to hell and back",
all of which are also important features to
most computer users.

Or, at least, the ones who don't think that
one crash per week is acceptable.

- alec

Hmmm.. (1)

krital (4789) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841599)

It seems to me like this guy's trolling for flames. He may be right that Linux is getting a huge amount of publicity, but it's doubtful that he's actually had experience with the OS if he can talk about it like this. I use Linux all the time - work, home, whatever. Fine, Microsoft makes products for the everyday man, but Linux is still far superior to Windows, even if it doesn't provide the ease of use. And he didn't even bother to consider that Linux has only really been mainstream for the past year or so, while NT and other MS products have had more of the market than anything else for the past half-decade.

Re:Linux support a mile wide and an inch thick (3)

edgy (5399) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841612)

Well, you have to remember just how fast Linux is progressing. It's a much different beast than it even was a few months ago. There is far more support from game companies and 3d card vendors, there is far more multimedia support than before.

As a matter of fact, the pieces are coming together more and more for Linux on the desktop. Sure, it's not here today for a lot of uses, but who's to say that the momentum behind Linux isn't still building? I don't think we're anywhere near the point of inflection.

As far as fragmentation, I don't think users really see it as a problem. As long as something is branded Linux and will run all the neat and nifty software, users appreciate not being told what's best, and getting to decide for themselves. A lot of people coming from the Microsoft camp have exactly this problem with MS products.

Linux may not be there on the desktop today, but the Linux of today is not the Linux of tomorrow.

Pure fantasy. (1)

Psarchasm (6377) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841624)

So much said with so little substance. Its frighting to see that someone like Metcalfe can get paid to write fantasy stories for a trade magazine.

Anything that doesn't make money is communist? I guess I've given away my last perl script. I'd hate to be blackballed in a senate hearing soon. Please.

Linux the peace, love and flowers OS? Me thinks the Metcalfe has been smoking too many of the flowers. Try to sell that allusion to Dell who just made about $100,000 for the servers we bought from them, which immediately had Linux installed on them for a web farm and email servers.

You know I love a good fight, and Metcalfe obviously has his opinions that this one won't be won by Linux. But please, Bob, if your going to write about Linux's poor ideology (IYO), figure our what the ideology is first. And by my calculations that should leave you with pretty much nothing to write about. Because this isn't Apple friend. There is no one stream of thought being lead by an egomaniac. This is Linux, and there are at least 7 million ideologies here.

Communists. Hippies. Leave it to the stuffed shirts to fall back on such old fodder.

...or maybe that should be... (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841627)

"Boot Linux, Not Windows"

Or maybe that should be make vmlinuz instead of "Boot Linux"?



HAHA! (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841628)

> The only reason it is so popular is that it is cheap and plentiful.

Hmmm... sounds sorta like a certain OS that's being poo-pooed.



*sigh* (2)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841630)

While RMS may claim to not be a communist and not be anti-profit, he certainly does a tremendous job convincing people otherwise.

It's too bad that many in the world view Linux as the latest way for college kids to hold their ideological protests. Rather than marching around with "Make Love, Not War" signs, we're painted as marching around with "Boot Linux, Not Windows" signs.

And let us not forget the Nixon-esq "silent majority" of happy Windows users.


It's all too creepy. Fortunately, I doubt the Linux movement's leaders are going to start keeling over from drug abuse. :-) . Also, given that Linux users AREN'T just your average hippies and freaks, but rather are extremely pragmatic people trying to get things done (how come people always forget that tidbit), I think Linux has alot more chance to survive.

That bit about the Open Sores movement was fairly clever. I'm sure somebody's going to get alot of toasty flames that can be hand picked with asbestos oven mitts for next week's column: Linux: Where The Zealots Go Today.



Fine Art of Sarcasm (2)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841631)

Something tells me that his article makes alot of use of the fine art of sarcasm (see the bit about 23x6 reliability and how NT overpowers Linux for this reason). But, for sarcasm to work it needs to have a kernel of truth (pun intended) at its core.

Wake up. Smell the coffee. And everyone, let's start giving Linux the image it deserves: Not the OS for the techno-nerds, but rather the OS for people that actually need to do something, rather than watch the nifty 3-D Accelerated, alpha blended, animated hourglass cursor that comes with the latest "Plus!" pack for Windows.



Don't feed the trolls, people. (1)

Dast (10275) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841655)

Don't even grace them by hitting them with your web browser. They just want to see how many of us they can sucker into looking at their adverts.

If we all charge over and look at their crap, they will continue posting stuff like this to get hits.

Don't even bother (2)

Bad Mojo (12210) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841672)

It seems this is another article that offers nothing to either side of the linux argument. Besides being vague to the point of using obtuse analogies, Metcalfe doesn't offer any reason why Linux really sucks. He is like a cow, eaitng grass, passing gas all day. (How's that for an analogy?)

Those who do not want Linux to win, will be silent. They will not help us by pointing out Linux's flaws. Those who want attention will either tout or slander Linux. These people are useless and should be ignored by all. Those who are proponents of Linux will point out flaws and nitpick, showing us where Linux needs attention, these people need to be heeded.

I'm afraid I don't value Metcalfe's opinion (1)

garms (13812) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841682)

After all, he predicted the internet would collapse under its own weight a couple of years ago. I notice that once again he's predicting its imminent failure.

The fact is, the situation is a simple "Linux vs. Windows, winner take all." Both are going to survive and prosper.

Also, I take issue with his statement that Linux is based on 60's technology and therefore bad. I would use the word "proven". I'd certainly rather be using 60's based Linux than, say, 70's based DOS, 80's based MacOS, or 90's based Win95.

Whoops! Can't type! (1)

garms (13812) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841683)

What I meant, of course, was:

The fact is, the situation is *NOT* a simple "Linux vs. Windows, winner take all." Both are going to survive and prosper.

curious (1)

generic (14144) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841685)

I wonder why a hardware inventor would have a negative response to an OS that supports his hardware? Maybe Bill sent him a check?

Re:Finally!!! (1)

generic (14144) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841686)

Uh, what do you think arpanet was developed on? hate to tell you this but windows wasnt around then. I think all of the windows sheep owe a great deal to UNIX.

Sounds of revolving heard coming from Red Square (1)

RedGuard (16401) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841698)

If only Linux was as good as the USSR, still we can
only hope.
Aside from that why does slashdot still post these
utterly fact and logic free rantings from
various computer pundits.
Do they have a deal with Infoworld?
Slashdot proletarians demand to know.

Re:Waste of space (1)

The Rev (18253) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841708)

Having said that, it's too much of a temptation to say *something**. How he can say 30 years old technology is bizare! Are Ferrari's 100 years old technology because they have wheels? I thought **nothing** was more up to date than Linux. You see new kernels on Freshmeat **every** day. Do M$ ship new versions of Windows that often? I DON'T THINK SO! I'm truley dismayed that someone so obviously intelligent could be **so** way off, to just sound stupid. I weep for his children. The Rev.

Daddy-o out of his mind (2)

Max von H. (19283) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841726)

Metcalfe invented Ethernet. And then what? Maybe the guy is a genius or whatever you want to call him, but even geniuses can be wrong. After all, they're human beings just like you and me.

This interview sounds like the guy is bitter at something or someone. I mean, ethernet is a PARC invention, isn't it? I seriously doubt he INVENTED it ALL BY HIMSELF. And not getting any royalties on it makes him jealous of Gates for being outsmarted on that one... I dunno.

But what I see through this article is that he's against the fact that some talented people actually *do* something without a dollar-hunger in their minds. He's against people who *want* to improve things without charging for bugfixes.

Comparing the Open source Community to Communism makes me smile. Maybe software is the only domain in which *communism* actually works, and works well. I don't see it as evil... Of course, it goes against the allmighty capitalism, but for what capitalism has done to the planet, I'd rather go with the Open Source Community summer camps. :)

And, for being long today, I'd like to add that all those hippie ideas Metcalfe seems to be against are at the origin of concepts such as *ecology*. Then again, the allmighty American capitalists are the biggest polluters. I find it quite a shameful analogy to BAD software you have to pay a lot for.

Bah, I'm gonna make plenty of ennemies anyway, so make it quick...

Re:I'm afraid I don't value Metcalfe's opinion (2)

ywwg (20925) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841735)

Except that win95 is still dos-based, so it is _also_ 70's. BeOS would be 90's tech.

This saddens me... (1)

tomierna (22789) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841746)

...and kind of surprises me.

Does Bob actually think that Un*x and Linux have remained stagnant over the last 30 years?

I guess he just sees the huge momentum of MS as unstoppable.

Hopefully *that's* not the case!

Apples and oranges (2)

Stephen Williams (23750) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841750)

I think that the comparison between Emacs and Word was, well, silly. They're two different products, for two different purposes. The (indirect) slur against Emacs didn't help; though he didn't say it, I got the distinct impression that he was implying Emacs was hacked together in a short space of time.

Re:Pure fantasy. (2)

Stephen Williams (23750) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841751)

Communists. Hippies. Leave it to the stuffed shirts to fall back on such old fodder.

I find it sickening that people like Mr Metcalfe still use "communist" and "hippie" as terms of abuse. In certain circles, McCarthyism is evidently alive and well.

(we seem to get much less of this kind of rubbish in the UK, thankfully)

Re:This Guy has no ideas... (1)

evilpete (26941) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841770)

FIRST COMMENT in slot #14.

your message was obsolete before you even submitted it :)

Some questions about Bob? (1)

ciphersnow (27137) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841772)

Did anyone see Bob's talk, if he gave one? I'm wondering if he made these predictions then, or just silently to himself and now in his infoworld article.

Did Bob really invent "ethernet" as the bottom of the article indicates?

Anyway, he may be right that W2k will kill Windows, but I can't see that any of his reasons could be correct. Does he really think that Word is a replacement for EMACS? (Does W2k even ship with Word?) If W2K is successful, it may be because it's good, it may be because of marketing or business pressures or whatever. But, who can take this guy seriously when he's just trying to get a rise out of advocates by being insulting.

He doesn't even make a point except to confuse a rich pedigree with useless antiquity.

Re:Finally!!! (1)

PimpBot (32046) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841793)

wasn't emacs supposed to be this great all in one type of application? i mean, its got a web browser, spell checker, syntax checking, etc. Word is more specific for its job (although I must say, MS is trashing that idea w/ its Office 2000 bullsh*t).

I think what he was trying to say was that Emacs was good when there was few choices out there, but since we now have new, more focus products, Emacs loses its luster...

Anyone have any thoughts on my interpretation?

(and, fyi, I use vi ;-)

Re:It isn't out world domination (1)

PimpBot (32046) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841794)

Well, the media kinda turn Linux vs. Windows into a David and Goliath (I hope I typed that right...I can't spell before 9am ;-) type of struggle. It sounds more interesting than writing something for pure intellectual curiosity and/or personal usefulness.

IMHO, the Linux community has changed since Linux started to get all this publicity...its become something worse. Its become more of a weapon against MS than an alternate OS. People cry "LINUX!" when they want to say something bad against MS.

Thoughts? Feelings? Comments?
(puts on asbestos body suit, and hopes the crowds will give him a runnins start)

Meanwhile Linux is not UNIX... (1)

armie (32968) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841804)

Althought UNIX is some 30 year old technology, Linux, however, is not. It may be some 30 year old concept, but Linux did _not_ start in the 70s.
Linux, if anything, is younger than Windows...

And how many are paid by MS... (1)

armie (32968) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841805)

to find out what the anti-MS people are up to? :)

Re:70's concept, maybe... (1)

udp (33067) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841806)

One of the beauties of an open source operating system is... conditional compilation.

NT tries to be both a server OS and an interactive desktop OS. Surely we can give people both in a modular way using Linux or FreeBSD as a platform to leverage existing computer hardware?

The other great thing about open source is how much you can strip it down... PicoBSD is a good example. Why fork out $800 bucks for a router or firewall 'black box', when with a little flash RAM and a 486 lying around you can achieve the same thing - IF you're willing to get your hands dirty?

I agree totally that the pundit's outburst was somewhat immature, and that is being kind; I'd really have expected better from Mr Metcalfe.

Bob severely underestimates OSS and free Unixen (1)

udp (33067) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841807)

He does. He's become blinded by one of two things:
1) big fat cheque
2) big fat ignorance which seems to pollute much of the IT industry, particularly in the UK.

It's the old 'if it looks good, it must be good'. Microsoft give you the pink and furry cover. Unix doesn't. It bares it all.

Now I bet he's suffering from Visual Tool syndrome. That's where a given IT professional begins to believe that MS is the be-all and end-all simply because it's got the GUI which end-users can understand, therefore it becomes corporate king of the castle.

Funny, didn't the Scottish Power Group Plc go with Sun for most of their solutions? Even Scottish Telecom's Call Centres run Sun desktops. Scotland Online, an ISP co-owned by Scottish Telecom, part of the Scottish Power Group, and publishers D.C. Thomson, use Sun boxes to run their ISP operation.

I don't subscribe to the same ideology, I'm afraid, because I've seen that Linux and FreeBSD can achieve superior results with inferior hardware. And the ease of development issue will soon be buried as more and more people begin to develop better sets of visual tools using open technologies such as CORBA and Java.

At the end of the day, we as computer users demand choice. He doesn't appear to have factored consumer choice into the deal. And who's to say that an IT manager is going to go with Microsoft each time, every time?

When it comes to IP, Unix is sheer network glue. Make no mistake. This man is making an idiot of himself. Anyone who would willingly yield both his wrists to Bill, grin at him and yell 'Cuff me bayBEE' should be sectioned/committed - dependence on one vendor for your solutions is just as much of a liability as spreading too far.

Moderation of Slashdot links? (1)

IIH (33751) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841811)

Maybe we should start adding moderation comments to the articles posted to Slashdot.
I think this one would be worthy of a "-1 Troll/Flamebait"


Delusional Rantings from an Old Man (1)

z1lch (35931) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841816)

Bob Metcalfe's words reek of a delusional paranoid who grasps tightly onto his fast disappearing world. There is absolutely no inherent value in his prophecy -- he has been shown to look ridiculous in the past [which he cited in the article]. Vague generic doomsday prophecy which he still managed to screw...Doh! It's just attention seeking BS.

Besides what's the logic is there in all this ranting and raving about 30 year old technology...he doesn't look like a child of the post 70s himself. If there's anything looking dated in this article it's certainly not Linux. Although with a comment like the Open Sores Movement. we can see clearly how he's trying to temper the aging process. Stick and stones...reliving childhood...get over it...

This is a farce of an article...and it's equally farcical it was posted with a live link. As previous posts have already stated it is designer flamebait and produced for it's rating boosting properties only.

Re:another troll (1)

thimo (36102) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841817)

No, no! Keep on posting such articles. At least *I* had a good laugh! Too bad soo many /.-ers took this seriously, he prob. got flamed for it too. As far as I'm concerned that is too much glory.

Re:I'm afraid I don't value Metcalfe's opinion (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841818)

After all, he predicted the internet would
collapse under its own weight a couple of years
ago. I notice that once again he's predicting its
imminent failure.

Personally I'd be more concerned about Windows
(2000, 2002, 2004, etc) collapsing under it's
own weight.
There is going to come a point where we can't
keep making CPU's faster and disks bigger.
Which is what has been needed for every new
version of Windows.

Gibberish. (1)

Nerf Vader (36296) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841822)

The author seems to believe wealth grants automatic expertise. If Torvalds is Lenin, who does that make Bob Metcalfe? George Wallace?

Re:He just doesn't get it (1)

klm20 (39056) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841828)

And one more thing - technology that has been around for 30 years is there for a reason - it works.


I have a radio sitting on my desk (early 1900's), I'm using a QWERTY keyboard (1920's), I'm looking a cathode ray tube monitor (1920's), and I'm setting under an electric light bulb (late 1800's). How old are you Bob?

Bob is old enough to have invented Ethernet over 25 years ago and lots of us are still using one variety or another of that "ancient" technology.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black...


organic agriculture (1)

g33kt0r (39076) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841829)

this guy is a moron!!!

He knows nothing about organic agriculture or modern farming practices... He puts down organic farming which has been proven to be as productive as other modern farming practices (if it is done correctly). Herbicides get into the water, poison wells, give people cancer, kill the wildlife, all while the happy little bugs build up a resistance to the chemicals. Have you ever wondered why the prices of farm products change from season to season? It is all a result of the success of the farmers for that period. Organic farmers dont have this problem as bad as other farmers. i won't babble on anymore, if you want to know anymore about this i'm sure there is a library near you, but keep in mind the folly of not incorporating "organic" or environmentally friendly farming practices into agriculture. It will only hurt you in the long run, it has happened in Asia and the South Pacific with rice farming and the results have been devastating. I am not a grass-roots, tree-hugging, pot smoking, sandal wearing hippy, but i personally don't want to ruin all our topsoil like Kenya did!!!

however, i suppose i understand why this idiot would write such a thing. he is after all a windows user.

founded 3Com in 1979 (1)

nevets (39138) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841830)

I guess we won't see Palms being sold with Linux on them.

Yes I know some crazy guys(and gals?) ported Linux to the Palm. But I wanted Linux and not Palm OS being sold.

Will we see palm OS replaced with Windows 2000 soon. I doubt it, since I heard that the minimum requirements for Windows 2000 is 128 Megs RAM, and at least a 300 MHz processor. So I won't be able to get W2K anytime soon, since I still have a Pentium 233 MMX with only 64M RAM. But Linux still Rocks on it!!!!

Linux support a mile wide and an inch thick (1)

L1zard_K1n6 (39154) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841831)

So far linux has captured an incredible amount of hype, far more hype than you would suspect a free knock-off of a 25 year-old OS to get (although most linux groupies seem to think linus invented unix), but the only task it has truly demonstrated proficiency at is as a server for internet services (mail, www, ftp, etc.).

(Before I go on, let me say I am a linux user so my criticisms don't come from being "bought by M$" - I don't use Microsoft products.)


If you're waiting for linux to "arrive" on the desktop, don't hold your breath. The linux world can't even agree on a GUI toolkit. Apps, I mean "real" apps people actually want to buy, not just crappy Office knock-offs, are nearly nonexistant.

Linux is a crappy mutlimedia platform.

Linux is still nearly impossible for most inexperienced users to administer.

Linux barely works on laptops.

Linux distros are fragmenting an already fragmented unix market (common users don't know and don't care about the LSB - all they see is ten different products claiming to be linux).


If you want to serve web content or run email or ftp services in a cost effective manner, linux is an incredible value. Otherwise, its the wrong tool for the job.

Suicidal?? (1)

Pingo (41908) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841849)

The guy is perhaps just tired of life. Maybe a very costly divorce and an urge to leave his miserable world. I can just guess.


Re:Don't feed the trolls, people. (1)

TheHornedOne (50252) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841871)

I always turn off automatic loading of ad banner images before I visit an annoying page that I want to read anyway. That way you can read the crap anyway and they have to pay the slashdot toll without deriving any revenue from my visit.

I just sent this off to Metcalfe... (3)

jcr (53032) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841876)


w/r/t the personalities in the Open Source movement, you know not whereof you speak. ESR and RMS are good friends, I know them both socially, I've seen them together on many occasions, and whatever sniping they may do at each other in public over the details of this or that open-source license, they get along fine in person.

Richard is, as you say, a commie; but in holding that view, he is certainly in the minority among contributors to open-source projects. I'm about as hard-line a capitalist libertarian as they come, but I use open source software, and I contribute to it because I want the quality.

I don't give away code that I could turn into the next killer app, but I do give away bug fixes amd feature additions to code that many other developers use. The motive is much like being a member of a volunteer fire department, or helping to build a park or playground in my neighborhood. It improves the world I live in: the world of software development.

As for UNIX: if, as you say, UNIX is senile, then NT is a retarded child, suffering from crippling congenital defects in its brain. It's the biggest naked emperor to hit this industry since OS/2, and where the rubber meets the road, in high-volume web sites and database servers, any sysop worth his salt knows damned well that NT doesn't offer the reliablility (and yes, securability is part of that) to stay up for months on end.

In production, at the website, I know that the sysops have determined empirically that to keep the site up, they have to set one machine to the task of re-booting all the NT hosts once every four hours. For security, they depend on the configuration of their router, because they know through hard-won experience that NT itself is not secureable.

All that being said, UNIX does indeed suck, and the fact that it sucks far less than NT is no excuse. If you care about such things, there is a project done at U. Penn, called the Extremely Reliable Operating System (EROS) which has the potential to not suck. Check it out at


He just doesn't get it (3)

sgm1013 (60138) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841899)

Linux is not about technical superiority - it's about choice - freedom. Of course Linux isn't perfect - Linus et al keep working on it - knowing their history, they will always be working on it, improving it.
No - what we have is an movement that can't be bought, stolen or steamrolled. We have a choice - we can try something, on our own, and exercise some free will in deciding our own course.
And one more thing - technology that has been around for 30 years is there for a reason - it works. I have a radio sitting on my desk (early 1900's), I'm using a QWERTY keyboard (1920's), I'm looking a cathode ray tube monitor (1920's), and I'm setting under an electric light bulb (late 1800's). How old are you Bob?

Re:extra-ordinary prediction (1)

interstar (60802) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841904)

I don't understand so much about real Marxism. What is the marxist theory as to how resources are to be allocated (or rather how are powers and needs are to be evaluated); which new ideas are to be exploited etc?

Is it a volunteer system as in open-source development?

now curious


extra-ordinary prediction (2)

interstar (60802) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841905)

what an extra-ordinary prediction. My understanding is communism failed, not because those guys had ideals, but because they believed centralized planning was the correct way to implement them. In fact, it turned out that the decentralized market, for all its faults, was the more robust and succesful solution to providing for our standard of living.

Bob seems not to understand this at all, either he doesn't know what was wrong with communism, or he doesn't know that it is the open-source movement who are the champions of massively parallel, decentralized systems. Someone should tell him.


No Information (1)

rugger (61955) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841923)

This article does a good job at saying nothing at all and abusing the standard I expect from internet article writing. This is just a whole lot of words thrown together that sound good but mean absolutely nothing. Gee, there isn't enough info here to clasify it as FUD even.

There is absolutely no information to justify what Bob is saying. Although I respect him, I can not take what is saying as true without a reason.

Gee, Bob, if ya want to kill linux, you must do better than that!

ethernet hahaha (1)

rugger (61955) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841924)

he says that unix is a 30 year old technology.

ethernet is almost as old, isn't it?

Strikes as rather ironic :)

This Guy has no ideas... (0)

Deadman (61959) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841925)

I read the article...sounds like he swallod his mouse and isn't getting enough oxygene...he is really having no idea of what's going on in the world (best example: Unix makes 17% of all server-shipments - and Linux is just a small part of this. We remember Linux having this 17% alone ;-)


What a clueless wonder! (1)

Get Behind the Mule (61986) | more than 15 years ago | (#1841926)

Ya know, a respectable case can be made for Windows beating Linux in the future. Not that I'd agree, but you don't have to make a fool of yourself saying so.

But this is the sort of article that just makes me embarassed for the author.

It's hardly worth commenting on, but I'll reiterate two points. First of all, Unix's age ("30-year-old technology") is a strength, not a weakness. Unix has retained the solutions that have worked well through all that time. NT developers have to re-implement an awful lot from scratch, a good way to repeat history's mistakes.

Second, this is a good example of how political prejudices ("open source is communism!") can ruin someone's ability to make a competent analysis.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?