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Microsoft

Wyse Ditches Linux For WinCE 189

Scrymarch writes "Wyse has switched to Windows from Linux on its thin-client devices because of lack of driver support, etc. Story is on CNET." I feel like a bitter boyfriend. 'You'll be back! You'll be back here on your hands and knees, begging me to take you back!' Maybe I can play 'Mom,' too. 'When you get nailed by stupid licensing schemes, don't come crying to me! It's all fun and games until someone loses stock value!'
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Wyse Ditches Linux For WinCE

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  • Recently, I started to work part-time for a very nice guy who runs a computer repair "store". After the official day is over, I'm free to try to get Linux going on any computer that has been replaced with something better, and left at the store (with $ credit) by a customer. Main idea is to get Linux up and running with a GUI to show the boss...He's realistic in saying tha no customer is going to want to use a command line (he's thinking SOHO customers).

    Well, I've had a miserable time trying to get as far as a GUI. I sometimes don't even succeed in getting a boot disk to run; so far, most CD-ROM drives/drivers seem not to work, for one reason or another, so I can't do better than Debian's 7-floppy Base (Bless Debian...) in general. All that wonderful SuSE stuff... S.O.L... One machine (NEC) had 990K (or 956K) of video RAM, and apparently X Win didn't like that. GUI (SuSE KDE; (quite nice)) locked up totally in anywhere from milliseconds to minutes, once X was started. (Yes, I know I was probably asking for trouble. Had at least 16 MB of regular RAM, and 32 MB (or more) swap.) Seems that M$ has the huge amount of $ to spend on acquiring (or getting access to) oodles of different machines, and creating "hardware probes" as well as drivers to accommodate darned near anything, although I have not tried to install Win onto these older machines. However, every single one of them was running Win 95 when the customers turned them in.

    I have the feeling that the volunteer nature of Linux development has meant that a great deal of wonderful work has been done, but nevertheless that coverage of the entire production of PCs out there is less than complete.

    I like Linux, have lots of respect for it, and passionately want to see it succeed, but the problems I've had have been very disappointing. No, I haven't asked for help, because these attempts at installation are quite the opposite of "mission-critical", and I don't want to waste the energy and good will of someone for a relatively-trivial cause. Maybe worse, I have not kept notes, so I have only mental recollections of the problems I've encountered. In summary, it seems to me that much more needs to be done with hardware probing and drivers if legacy machines are to become useful. As it seems (in my tiny world), it's far too difficult to get Linux going on legacy machines. I'm quite aware that legacy machines are not Linux's main application, but the lack of successful autoprobing and installation of appropriate drivers (if they even exist) is related to the topic of this article and its comments. Believe me, my intent in this message is not to put down Linux; it's only to point out problems I've had.

    I'm not exactly a newbie; was a midnight hacker in 1960, but was isolated from computers until ~1982, so I'm not really all that experienced. Nicholas Bodley

  • NetBSD is so magnificent that 6 people in the world use it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Instead of making your stupid comments about licensing fee's, why don't you look at WHY they switched. Lack of drivers is a valid concern to any company.

    Too many times do I see some post or comment on /. switching the issue at hand instead of acknowledging a limitation linux is facing. Why don't you stop the script kiddie cheap shots & work on the concerns this company has. They are valid
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I was sent by my former company to Comdex in Vegas to look for Linux based thin client devices. They run a Winframe network with remote offices connecting via 56k frame circuits mainly. This, and the fact that the internal users had difficulty finding the start button in Windows 95 was the primary reason for using Citrix servers. From my experience I was impressed by the setup. We were looking for a Linux based thin client b/c we were developing a web page with links to the applications on the Citrix servers down the left side. The CE based thin clients don't have a web browser. The only other option was some which have a stripped down NT which is extremely slow and hardware intensive. Linux was the next logical choice.

    While I was at Comdex I asked the Wyse people about their Linux based thin client line. They informed me that it was going out of production. I asked about pricing for them and they said somewhere around $800-900. I sort of snickered as I asked why so high. Their reply: "Linux is so hardware intensive it is quite expensive." My snicker turned into a laugh. I replied: "Interesting, I've found about 3 Linux based units for under $500." They drilled me on which manufacturers and when I told them they shut up and got very rude. Interesting attitude for sales reps to have. Incidentally, the Wyse booth was located in the Windows 2000 Pavillion hellhole (the place was packed with angry people). I then proceeded over the the Citrix booth located in the Windows 2000 area to ask their reps if they knew of any Linux based thin clients. They referred me to Netier who unveiled their Linux thin client at the show. When I told them about the Wyse reps they informed me that Microsoft had pressured Wyse to drop the Linux line in order to be featured in the Windows 2000 Pavillion. Admittedly this is second hand information but fascinating nonetheless.

    My research there turned up 3 suppliers of Linux based thin clients for Citrix environments which impressed me.

    1 - Maxspeed: They just released the MaxTerm UT and were great to work with. They would be my top pick in the Linux thin client market at the moment

    2 - VXL: They are based in India and make the Winlinx Netica which is a pretty cool unit but a bit more pricey. One cool thing is that they have access card slots which could be useful for security in retail environments.

    3 - Netier: Their Linux based unit is pretty neat and relatively inexpensive. They were sometimes late in getting units to us, and I got the impression that the units were rushed out before extensive testing
  • Preach it, brother. And somehow in spite of this, we keep hearing the denial-based mantra "Slashdot is not a Linux advocacy site." Folks, proof positive right there in one of the actual editors' own words.

    --
  • companies even go into business with misspelled company names; latest is Conversent

    Ah, but as Humpty Dumpty would tell you, that's a portmanteau word, a combination of Converse and sent. Clearly they are in the business of delivering sneakers by mail order.
  • You've got to be making that up, or micros~1 is even dumber than I thought. That kind of thing is _exactly_ the kind of thing the DoJ can kick their ass for, and I thought MS would be smart enough not to try to pull shit like that right now, when the DoJ is damn close to crushing them. Where did you hear that news, anyway?
    #define X(x,y) x##y
  • True, Linux does have driver support issues. Some things aren't interesting to enough programmers to get the job done, and no company has bothered to tell one of their programmers to do it. Other times, the company won't release specs. In the latter case, it's not our _fault_, but it is still our problem.

    As for the behaviour of idiots on /., I think that the programmers who write the device drivers are out writing them, and the non-programmers and dumb-asses make the cheap shots. I'm sure a lot of us are guilty of spending time on /. that would have been better spent writing some code. I know I am :( Damn you, CmdrTaco!
    #define X(x,y) x##y
  • To quote JWZ:
    Linux is only free if your time is worthless -- Jamie Zawinski

    I have found that the fun I have with computers was worth the time investment. I use computers a lot. For people who don't use computers regularly, or for more than one thing, the flexibility is not needed. Redhat goes some way toward catering to the people who just want a few things. I use Debian myself, because it gets your stuff configured for you if you answer the questions, but you can easily hack anything if you want. I recommend Debian to programmers and CS majors. For some people, all the commons OSes out there are too complicated. Windoze confuses _lots_ of people. It's only user friendly when you don't have to do something incredibly obscure to get it to work. From what I hear, BeOS is the OS for people who don't need to know how to program and learn about devices and all the arcane (to them) stuff that we revel in.
    #define X(x,y) x##y
  • First off - if you're "in the industry" you
    wouldn't use the term "l33t" though your point
    about Linux originally being hard to install/use
    are true.

    Your observations concering Mr Torvalds and Mr Cox
    are nonsense, as is most of the rest of your post.

    For a actual comment on the topic - I use to work
    for the company in question. They are an
    oportunistically managed company that doesn't have
    a concept of "long term planning." They run
    products out like people run ideas up flag poles.
    They remove products from the market just as
    quickly, never giving their channels a chance
    to really figure out how to market the stuff.
  • Kaufmann wrote:
    > They aren't. Wyse is targetting the corporate market, which in practice means Joe Average PHB.

    But of course, they're not. The piece _specifies_ residence boxes.

    But,
    > Call me crazy, but I don't think any "regular Joe" wants to be forced to use an operating system whose primary focus has always been on an user base of hackers, sysadmins and other "advanced" users who like to play with Unix.

    is an even worse red herring. C'mon; have you ever _looked_ at a 5535? I did. Extensively. If you didn't know what Linux was you'd have _no idea_ what it was running.

    Nor would you care; it Just Worked.

    Has anyone here seen the picture of the Jumbotron in Times Square with the BSOD on it?

    Cheers,
    -- jra
    -----
  • I'm sorry, you've confused what *should* be the next big thing with whatever we're going to get instead. I'm pretty sure I like your ideas better.
  • The above post is one and a half hours old and hasn't produced the paroxysms of moderation I'd have expected but troll or flamebait or not, it raises a question I've been wondering about, "What's the next big thing?", or, more specifically, what's the next big thing that will be only for those "in the know" until it eventually goes mainstream, at which point something else will become the "next big but nobody knows about it yet thing"?
  • Not to mention that microsoft has over 100 pending class action suits against them that will be greatly enhanced once Jackson conclusion of facts become fact. While the appeal can go on and on, so can the class action suits. Win the battle (anti-trust suit), lose the war (class action suits).
  • All of them, from what remember, can use both the RDP and ICA client protocols. I have set up a number of them using ICA over both modem and LAN. My experience with RDP is limited to "Oh, look, RDP works."
  • I have seen many bar code readers that are serial in nature. The Citrix client for Linux can't do serial emulation, hence, problems with bar code readers.

    (Visit www.citrix.com for info on what MetaFrame is and does.)
  • We've bought systems from Dell, without having them slob MS code onto them.
  • From the number of off topic and abusive comments I'd venture to say "Breaking up is hard to do." or take.... :)

    Back on topic, I thought it was interesting Wyse would say what was said. Then I figured they made a deal with MSFT. The deal probably included that article written by a MSFT PR person. You know the kind, just like Ford where Ford says all kinds of great things about Windows because MSFT is retrofitting Ford for free.... Then again WinCE is floundering so badly that MSFT may have told Wyse they can use it for free. No more choice of paying for drivers or paying for the OS. Only the insider know.
  • Well the story is basically this:

    1) Wyse has made CE-based devices for some time.
    2) Wyse didn't like the CE licencing terms.
    3) Wyse announced a Linux-based product to gain leverage against Microsoft.
    4) Microsoft dropped the price on CE
    5) Wyse dumped the Linux project because it was no longer needed.

    (BTW, IE for WinCE is different than the Win32 product.)
    --
  • Well, terminals are not a consumer product, so you probably wouldn't see them in the store. Your store probably doesn't have the Compaq Proliant 8500s (etc) that they use to serve these things with either.

    Actually, the best place to see Wyse products in a store is to take a close look at the cash register. They seem to do a pretty good business in Point-Of-Sale terminals. (They look to be VT220 clones.)
    --
  • Wyse has went downhill cince the days of terminals. I love this excuse of "it dont have support or drivers from our suppliers of barcode scanners, magstrip readers, printers... etc...

    That is the largest load of bullhockey I have ever seen. No support for barcode?? bit me buddy! every barcode reader made that isn't a toy is either a serial device or inserts into the keyboard stream. credit card and check readers are also serial devices, and printers... if your printing recipts you use ASCII!

    I have 3 POS terminals running Linux. I use OTS hardware, If little ol' bullhockey me can do it, why cant Wyse??

    (note it took me 35 minutes to make the devices work.)
  • You seem to have missed his point, that not all free software is Linux. He's not going against the herd(and not 'deliberately', as you put it, insinuating that he's not giving his actual opinions), although I would applaud him if he did - I'm rather sick of the flock of Linux supporters myself, who routinely bash all closed software, and ignore most non-GPL OSS projects.

    If you think that somehow slashdot has been invaded by bunches of anti-OSS people who are getting moderated way up on the basis of their rebellious opinions, sorry, but you're a fucking loon. Slashdot is the same Slashdot it has always been, full of Linux groupies.

    Of course a world dominated by Linux (or other Free Software) would be better than a world dominated by Windows. It's all about Freedom.

    Freedom of what? Freedom to use the only choice available to you? Yay! If you're going to get down on the original poster for not giving details on why Linux is not fit for embedded use on terminals(as you 'put aside' the question of why NetBSD would be viable), you're going to need to explain what your odd vision of 'freedom' is. I don't think that I would feel free in such an environment, and would much rather have as many choices and competitors as possible, using different development models.

    -lx

    (dear secret closed-source brothers: moderate this up)
  • Absolutely. WinCE makes far more sense for the application, or perhaps embedded NT, which has been popping up in some WinTerms. Currently I use NCD ThinStars, but I'll probably be looking at Wyse and TeleVideo when it's time for more. I wouldn't have considered using Wyse if they were still on Linux.

    -lx
  • Well, technically you can, I regularly run Word thru a webpage. One with a Citrix ICA java client built in :)

    -lx
  • At first I wonder where Wyse plans to get drivers.
    Thin clients arn't exactly "off the sheff" design.
    If drivers exist for ANY os it is likely a slap job and not a real effort making significant changes in the hardware.

    If the plan is to build a low priced system the added cost of WinCE puts an end to that...
  • Thank you, Lx. I was just about to hit the Reply to This link to object to the poster having missed my point, when I read your message. So thank you for saving me those few minutes, not to mention quite a few keystrokes *.

    Also, you managed to summarise quite succintly both of my main points: that Free Sofware doesn't necessarily == Linux, and that world domination by anyone is a Bad Thing.

    (*) In accordance with the popular notion that one is only alotted a fixed number of keystrokes in one's lifetime... :)
  • Linux on a thin client is the way to go, I'd be preaching to the choir if I had to explain why

    Why?

    (Moderators take note: this is not a troll, nor is it flamebait; this is just someone "not in the choir" (I'm not a Linux user, and I'm an atheist anyways :]) looking for rational discussion re. the benefits and disadvantages of using Linux on thin clients.)
  • About which one are you asking? About not using Linux, I kinda lied; I spend most of my work day on a Linux workstation, and it runs somewhat well - about as well as an Unix could be expected to, and better than the Sparcstation sitting next to it anyways. And, with regard to the user interface, it does beat most of the Unices out there out-of-the-box (as "out-of-the-box" as it gets when it comes to Linux anyway). But I don't run Linux on my iMac at home. Why? I don't like Unix in general very much; I dislike the X Window System even more (for both technical and "look-and-feely" reasons); I need to use quite a bit of specialised software which is not available for Linux; I occasionally do Mac development (released as Free Software whenever possible), in which case I need my (not-so-)trusty CodeWarrior for Mac... and, finally, to be honest, staring at that darned penguin for too long just gives me the creeps. :]

    Now, if you want to discuss my (non-)religious options, I won't do it here (it'd be offtopic); you can email me about it, though.
  • A world dominated by Linux will be no better than a world dominated by Windows.

    Exactly! This is a point that many people are missing. Yes, we would have an open source operating system, but it does not give any guaranties that the applications would be open source. The companies can still lock the users into closed data formats -- and we would be back to square one.

    What we really need is several operating systems sharing the market between them. Then the commercial application developers must start thinking about capability between each other on the data format level, or have a port to all major operating systems (which hopefully would be to much hassle).

  • X is not a GUI. X is a networking protocol for networking gui commands. What you are referring to is the Window Manager, and in case you are blind or have had your head in the sand for the past few years, there are several very nice window managers. Let see, there are KDE, Gnome, Enlightment (which runs on top of Gnome), both of these are now pretty standard with most of the major distributions, and a number of others. KDE is pretty enough, and powerful enough for most people to use. Gnome (which I don't use that much) is pretty much in the same league.
  • Yeah, except that when you want and embedded browser WINCE doesn't have one, and their old Linux based Winterms did. Oh, and it had ICA too, oh and it actaully WORKED!

    Since when does WinCE lack a browser? Last time I checked PocketIE shipped on every WinCe device I'd ever seen.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    1) People don't seem to understand that Windows CE is not 'Windows'. It does not run any Win 9x, Win2K or NT drivers (no USB etc) & thus probably supports less hardware than Linux. BTW - unlike 99% of /.ers I have written & supported a vertical market app on CE - its pretty bad.

    2) Wyse does not care what OS they run (thats the whole point of thin client OS's - "After a foray with thin clients using Sun Microsystems' Java software and then the Linux operating system, Wyse has settled on a special versions of Microsoft Windows or its own operating system.
    . Does anyone really care what OS the Wyse/IBM/NCR ATM/bank terminal is running? Wyse doesn't hence its 'own op..sys'

    3) If you read /. you will know MS have a big problem pushing CE (Palm kicks it & embedded Linux for now). MS almost certainly have given Wyse CE licenses for free/near free or paid Wyse to use it (they have done this with other CE partners like Compaq). Wyse might as well use it - there are lots of good embedded OS's out there like QNX. CE is just another smallish cheap OS & if it does not work out they can change again later - no big deal unlike with desktop PC's.

    Ignore the trolls & read the article carefully - Wyse is not saying that CE is better than Linux!
  • Yeah I could use WINE or whatnot, but why bother? If it aint broke, why fix it? The same applies to scanner drivers. Why should they spend time writing or paying for linux drivers when the windows drivers are either already there or easier to get?

    They are "already there" because you paid for them -- bundling or not, but you did, your money were used by Microsoft to force companies to bundle their software, write windows-only drivers, etc. This is why you are guilty, and this is why we hate you.

  • You say:

    A world dominated by Linux will be no better than a world dominated by Windows.

    Yet, you claim:

    although I'm a fierce supporter of Free Software.

    This makes me scratch my head. Is it that you truly don't understand the inherent advantages of Free Software?

    Of course a world dominated by Linux (or other Free Software) would be better than a world dominated by Windows. It's all about Freedom. That's why we're here. If that weren't the case, wouldn't we all just use Windows, and stop using our free time writing/bugfixing/promoting this stuff?

    Putting aside the question of how NetBSD is any more desirable to the "regular Joe" than Linux, perhaps this post is just another example of someone intentionally trying to "go against the herd" to get moderated up.

    Really, though, "going against the herd" is no longer possible here, as there are two herds: one that supports Free Software, and one that despises it. The latter are the people who moderate up any post that appears hostile to Free software in any way.

    I would perhaps agree with you, to a point, had you actually given any actual technical reasons why Linux was inappropriate for this application. You did not. Therefore, I can not agree that this post was especially "Insightful."

    New XFMail home page [slappy.org]

    /bin/tcsh: Try it; you'll like it.

  • why not look into establishing better partnerships with IHVs so in the future Linux will be a viable option?

    I dunno...maybe because Microsoft has illegally used its monopoly power to discourage said IHVs from supporting other operating systems than their shoddy ones?

    Or did you forget about that little issue?

    New XFMail home page [slappy.org]

    /bin/tcsh: Try it; you'll like it.

  • Read this article, and read the last one, too; it's really funny. It looks like Wyse is floundering here. Let's look at some of their reasons.

    Old article:


    Wyse Technology has put Linux at the heart of its newest "thin-client" product, bumping Java aside as the best way to power the low-cost networked machines.
    [...]
    Previously, Wyse developed a machine based on the Java operating system and took it to a test market, during which Wyse learned "that this product was not meeting the needs of their customers," said a spokesman for the company.
    [...]
    Wyse also sells a line of thin clients based on Microsoft's Windows CE operating system, but those are able to connect only to Windows servers, McNaught said.



    So what did we learn? Java doesn't meet the needs of their customers (for this particular device), and WinCE isn't appropriate because it only plays well with Windows machines...

    New article:



    Wyse Technology, the leading maker of dumbed-down computers known as thin clients, is retooling its product line for the home market.
    [...]
    The company uses Windows CE in its low-priced machines, McNaught said. Its more powerful ones use Embedded Windows NT, which is more powerful but requires more expensive hardware.
    [...]
    "Linux wasn't really the right solution," McNaught said. "I think Linux is going to be a huge deal on servers, but what we found out was it's too limiting on clients."
    [...]
    The foray into Linux did, however, give Wyse enough leverage to persuade Microsoft that a version of the Internet Explorer Web browser would be a major improvement to the Windows CE machines, he added.



    New information? Well, instead of using one version of Windows, they have *two* versions: a 'light' version of windows, and an 'enterprise light'? I guess Windows doesn't scale well anywhere...

    We get another "doesn't work for our customers" response, but this time with respect to Linux, not Java. Well, their customers changed, sort of. Now they seem to be targeting the home market first, with buisness second, although I fail to see where barcode reader support enters into the home market.

    In business, selling a complete solution gets rid of this problem, but to simply integrate with existing systems, driver support is good. By supporting the right network protocols on a real network (business user), Linux is obviously the answer over Windows, but for actual physical driver support (home user) Windows will always have better driver support as long as companies only write for Windows (or not release source under a decent license...).

    And finally... IE on a light machine?!?? Aggh! Not only does it not have enough *space* on the screen to display 95% of the web, it doesn't have enough storage space to store IE! And if it *does* get ported, (IE Light? Wait for WinCE ActDesk?) there will be a looong list of IE supported platforms before Linux *ever* gets there. Wow, the free IE web browser, specifically ported to everything but Linux, along with the complementary Office suite, which runs on Windows now and Mac a year later...

    So Wyse doesn't have a business strategy. They're flailing around looking for a solution, an answer, a magic bullet. And if Java or Linux ain't it, I just *know* Windows ain't it. But changing your target market helps. There's a big market for products based around all three technologies, if they're produced and marketed right. But picking one and sticking to it is just as important as finding a strategy and identifying a market.

    Does anyone know if this National Semiconductor processor (Geode?) is a descendant of the Cyrix MediaGX? I want to know if Wyse also had to switch chips on this one, or if it just got renamed in the shuffle.

    And is Wyse going to release the new Amigas too? ;)

    I also find no mention Transmeta in the low-end net computer market amusing. It fits their business strategy...
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • I don't have the script available for download or anything, but here's what it can do:

    All nice and such, but should you not add the following as well?

    1. TURN OFF BROADCAST ICMP REPLIES
    2. Packet logging
    3. Active armour (scan me, I noisily scan you to let you know there are bigger fish out there who will bite back
    4. announce / log BO/NetBus/etc. connections
    5. install ssh or portforward it to a machine on the inside
    6. offer dyndns for your friends/associates on dynamic IPs
    7. log to a system on the network with no other services
    8. MD5 the system and compare it to make sure you weren't serriptously hacked

    Just a few other suggestions. I too am proud of the firewalls I run. :-)

  • Well, I've had a miserable time trying to get as far as a GUI. I sometimes don't even succeed in getting a boot disk to run; so far, most CD-ROM drives/drivers seem not to work, for one reason or another, so I can't do better than Debian's 7-floppy Base (Bless Debian...) in general. All that wonderful SuSE stuff... S.O.L...

    Not to sound like a prick, but it sounds like user error to me. I've installed Linux on close to probably 75 or 80 machines now, from pokey (my original 80386DX/33 with Weitek copro and 8MB expansion board) to numbskull, my dual Cel466 BP6 server. From shittly little dial-on-demand computers that sit in the corner and collect dust (and dial :-) to full GUI systems for small offices. I have never had problems getting a boot disk to work. Not on IDE or even RLL (XT-style) hard drives. Actually no that's not true. I hate floppy disks and floppy drives. They are the bane of my existence. :-) Network boot? No problem.

    CD-ROM troubles are almost exclusively user error, from either selecting the wrong IO/IRQ to even using the wrong driver. The older CD-ROMs can be tricky, yes, but they always work when tickled the right way.

    Now on to X and GUI.

    X works tickety-boo if you start out with the VGA16 driver and move on up to the SVGA or one of the specific accelerated drivers. Most problems with X occur becuase the installer is trying to either push the hardware or thinks the hardware can do something it can't.

    One machine (NEC) had 990K (or 956K) of video RAM, and apparently X Win didn't like that.

    Did you turn off accelleration or try the VGA16 driver first? Not to sound fecetious here, but always start from ground zero and work up if you run into trouble. Don't try to downgrade from a system that should work, rip out the config file and start from ground zero. Sometimes it's just a matter of an accelerated driver not being avaiable and you being stuck with a slow X. Other times it's the driver is buggy. You run into both these problems on Windows systems, albeit less often in my experience.

    However, every single one of them was running Win 95 when the customers turned them in.

    In response: Don't run Linux on "weird" or shitty hardware. Windows has a track record of supporting weird installations or flaky hardware. Linux tends to push the hardware a little harder and as such it breaks. So don't put it on weird/flaky stuff if you can help it or if you don't want to try and expand its list of compatible hardware. Especially if you're trying to impress someone. Would you load up Win2k on a 486DX4/120 with 24MB RAM to show it off for a SOHO type situation?

    No, I haven't asked for help, because these attempts at installation are quite the opposite of "mission-critical", and I don't want to waste the energy and good will of someone for a relatively-trivial cause. Maybe worse, I have not kept notes, so I have only mental recollections of the problems I've encountered.

    Being, as you said, not real experienced with Linux, why are you trying to see how easy it is to install on weird hardware? I've found the only real way to learn it so you can install it in unusual installations is to ask. Especially with legacy CD-ROMs and X. X is a bitch sometimes, but it does seem to be a loyal one. :-)

    Believe me, my intent in this message is not to put down Linux; it's only to point out problems I've had.

    I didn't take it as a put-down, but I am more or less replying to keep perspective. You will have all these same problems getting the original Windows 95 OS on them to work from a fresh install if the drivers aren't there or are buggy. How many times has someone brought a machine into the shop and said "It was working" and the only way to get it back was a fresh install? My brother owns a computer shop and I do the insanely weird technical stuff for a different small ISP/computer store. Driver problems and "weird shit" are abundant in Win9x.

    I'm not exactly a newbie; was a midnight hacker in 1960, but was isolated from computers until ~1982, so I'm not really all that experienced.

    I'm glad you are tinkering around with the systems that are brought in, but my advice would be to get a standard (modern) system with IDE CD-ROM and normal (read: well-supported) video and network card working before trying to get the weird stuff to work.

    That being said, I kind of miss the old days of jumered motherboards, MFM/RLL controllers and obscene BIOS gestures. That old 386 I mentioned up above was one of the orignal 80386DX motherboards (before there was a 386SX) and it implements the cache control as discrete logic on its full-size motherboard. I kinda miss all that because nowadays the hardware is mostly toss-away if it breaks. The generations of hackers to come will be mostly software and programmable logic. The era of security-bits and write-only memory techniques hinder all these fresh young minds. *sniff*

  • How do you reconcile these two statements: Not to sound like a prick, but it sounds like user error to me. and In response: Don't run Linux on "weird" or shitty hardware.?

    Easy.

    He was talking about not being able to get a bootdisk to work except floppy install. I said that in all cases except for bad/misconfigured/misdetected hardware the CD-ROM drivers work, so it must be user error.

    The "Don't run Linux on shitty or 'weird' hardware" comes from his statement that Windows was working on all the boxes before he got to 'em. Linux does push the hardware more, so hardware which is on the edge (the "shitty" part of that statement) tends to break or act funny. The fact that Linux doesn't have support for every weird IDE controller or video card on the planet gives rise to the "weird" part of the statement. Linux runs most hardware out there, with the exception of the bleeding edge or the truly funky. And even in the latter case it seems to support the odd device.

    I find no trouble reconciling those two statements.

    Yes, I think you are a prick. The fact that you call the guy inept for not being able to install Linux on hardware that you say it won't run on anyway proves it.

    You can think what you like; that is your perogative. I perhaps did not explain thoroughly enough, but as you can (hopefully) now see my statements are not in conflict with each other.

    Finally, I did not call him inept. I questioned his use of weird and/or shitty hardware to base his decisions on the usability/installability of Linux. I suggest a simpler course for him, as in his own words he was no Linux guru. If that makes me a prick in your eyes, so be it.

  • 1) You see a menu item is grayed out, meaning "You can't do that." Sometimes, it simply makes no sense that you can't. Well, just like "balloon help" or whatever they call it, if you leave your mouse pointer on the grayed-out item, up pops a small windowlet that explains why you can't, concisely. A first-rate user interface trains the user as it does what the user wants.

    Balloon help on Macs used to implement this. The balloon help "feature" was'nt worth shit anyway because there was no convenient/automatic way to turn it on/off (you could'nt use your computer for more than 30 secs with balloon help on without going Amok), and because, as in current MS programes, Help message were 90% stupid. Stupid as in: File > Open = "Open a file".

  • works quite well, thank you, other than the NT 3.51 desktop (won't handle some software that needs NT4). Costs a beejezus. To get a real command line I can work with on NT, I use VNC [att.com].

    B.S.E.E., McSE
  • No matter how stripped, linux retains its unix heritage. So you have to write properly. When dealing with small specialized systems this can become a major constraint sometimes. Or a major resource overhead. Depends on the application.
  • Sure I read his comment. My point (perhaps subtle) is that Wyse has lots of ways of building thin clients, many of which have nothing to do with RDP/ICA. If they have problems with Linux for their purposes, it's not because they have problems building "thin clients" out of Linux, it's because they have problems building RDP/ICA clients based on Linux.

    That appears to be not a technical shortcoming of Linux but a shortcoming of the various licensing schemes involved in the proprietary protocols and the limitations of the ICA clients. The difference matters because open source can fix technical shortcomings, but we can't fix licensing problems of some proprietary windowing protocol, not even by implementing something better.

  • Sure you can run Word and Solitaire in web pages in numerous ways. But my point is that you should rewrite applications to take advantage of the new open, non-proprietary, multi-vendor web technologies. I know: it's an expensive short term proposition, but it's the economically rational thing to do in the long term.
  • The term "thin client" is not specific whatsoever with Windows, Citrix, RDP, ICA, or any other proprietary technology. In fact, both Microsoft and Citrix were very late to the game: other companies had been making thin clients for years before.

    Even for Windows, there are lots and lots of ways of building thin clients. X11 clones like RDP and ICA are not the only way.

    Maybe Citrix has good reasons for wanting to build RDP/ICA-based thin clients. But if you talk about "thin clients", please don't talk as if Microsoft and Citrix invented the thing and were the only game in town.

  • I think the WinTerm story is full of contradictions.

    First, there is the issue of cost. When I calculate the cost of deploying WinTerms, it doesn't seem any more cost effective than desktop machines, even if there were significant administrative savings.

    Second, people wax ecstatic about ICA's performance over modems, yet it's supposed to be aimed at corporate networks, where performance at T1 Ethernet speeds matters much more. Good performance over modems does not imply good performance over Ethernet. In fact, at Ethernet speeds X11 seems to be performing better overall, and to offer ICA as an alternative to X11 seems like adding insult to injury.

    Third, AFAIK, the ICA protocol is still proprietary. That means that if I invest any significant resources in building an ICA infrastructure, either in terms of software or in terms of hardware, I'm at the mercy of Citrix and its fortunes. And, frankly, I don't have much confidence in the future of Citrix: their fortunes are too closely tied to whether they cut into Microsoft's revenue stream, and Microsoft seems to be able to dictate to them whatever conditions they like. I wouldn't be surprised if in a couple of years, Microsoft will simply kill ICA and push only RDP. X11, Java, and other open technologies, on the other hand, have multivendor implementations, and no single company can make or break them (no, Sun can't really take back Java at this point).

    Microsoft and Citrix came late to the thin client market with proprietary offerings that don't make too much sense to me financially, in terms of long term market viability, or in terms of performance.

    Rather than investing a lot in ICA and RDP-based clients, I think companies should invest in thin clients that are based on open, well-documented standards like HTTP, HTML, XML, and Java. Let's not let Microsoft reinvent the 1980's all over again by saddling us with another decade of MFC-based "network" applications and another de-facto monopoly.

  • The way I survived university dial-up services before PPP was invented was with a Wyse WY-85 terminal. Its VT-220 emulation did the trick with VAX boxen too.

    Wyse also has experience in designing PCs from those days as well. I wonder how much of that experience they are drawing on when making decisions like these.

    The thought of WinCE makes me, uh, wince. Sorry about that.
    --

  • (...) if they are going to try to sell to Joe Average Consumer.

    They aren't. Wyse is targetting the corporate market, which in practice means Joe Average PHB. So, although Linux has made a quantum leap in mindshare in the past year or so, you have to keep in mind that the great majority of the corporate world is still infatuated with Microsoft's marketing department - otherwise, there'd be a lot more Microsoft-Certified Engineers out there on the streets with signs saying "Will Point-and-Click for Food" then there are. (This is especially true in "follower" markets such as Brazil, which right now is about a year or two behind the US where trends are concerned - i.e., Linux is still starting to gain momentum. In these markets, Microsoft's power and influence is even larger than it is in the US.)

  • If writing a bar-code driver is all that easy, then why don't you show us by example? Pick a bar-code reader (the more the merrier), write the code, carefully test it, document everything, put it out under GPL, and then support it? And just out of curiosity, have you every written a bar-code reader?
  • there are two herds: one that supports Free Software, and one that despises it.

    You're forgetting the third "herd", by far larger than the other two put together. And those are the people who like Free Software but don't worship it, those that like Free Software but don't like copyleft, those who run Linux or BSD but don't despise Windows, and those who don't like Linux but have no beef against Free Software.
  • Umm, I thought the big problem with Windows was the company behind it forcing its software around everyone's throats.

    Despite rumours to the contrary, Microsoft has never tried to force Windows down my throat. As I recall, the only people who have ever told me to use Windows were the hardware vendors. When they did so, I just didn't use their hardware.

    Windows users have just as much choice with their computers as you do with yours. Don't let the word "free" in Free Software confuse you into thinking that everyone else is enslaved. That's just orwellian gnuspeak.
  • How do you reconcile these two statements: Not to sound like a prick, but it sounds like user error to me. and In response: Don't run Linux on "weird" or shitty hardware.?

    Yes, I think you are a prick. The fact that you call the guy inept for not being able to install Linux on hardware that you say it won't run on anyway proves it.

  • > Seems to be quite a number of sore MSFT fans here

    They seem to be in the majority on weekends of late, whereas the traditional /. crowd dominates during the week.

    Also, there was a strong rush of pro-MSFT posts last Monday morning when The Big Story hit, almost as if they had been waiting for it. I feel safe in predicting a similar flux when The Huge Story hits this coming Friday: MSFTers will flood /. and moderate each other's post up to fives over the weekend, but sanity will reassert itself by Tuesday or so.

    That is, whatever usually passes for "sanity" at /..

    The question is, is someone orchestrating this, or is it merely the natural outcome of contrasting lifestyles?

    --
  • Since the main body of the Slashdot article pointed to cnet's home page [cnet.com] instead of the actual story, I thought I'd provide the link [cnet.com].

    Crispin
    --------
    CTO, WireX [wirex.com]
    Immunix [immunix.org]: Free Security Hardened Linux OS

  • So, does raving like a lunatic about hypothetical raving lunatics have the desired effect?

    Maybe it's just the effect of ranking posts by karma, but I don't see very much of the posts you describe. What I do see are people writing tirades against a straw man "linux zealot" in order to get their posts ranked higher.

    And invariably, they do. It seems a lot of moderators can't distinguish legitimate contrarian viewpoints from opportunists and trolls who use the pschology of the "silenced minority opinion" to get their rantings heard.

    BTW, I'm sure this will increase my karma, because I use fancy words and re-enforce the majority opinion. :P
  • You're a good reason why Windows has a monopoly.

    You can't run Word and Solitaire in web pages.

    Click on Solitaire [excite.com], and pick your style. I didn't find the editor in under 10 seconds, but I'm sure one is out there.

    That "high application barrier to entry" is one formed from both business strategy and marketing, from the looks of your comment, it's the marketing that is more powerful.

    --
  • Microsoft, with a proprietary product and a stranglehold on the IT world, has billions of dollars to push their agenda.

    Linux, with its roots based firmly in the concept of freedom, has an army of people who love it to push their agenda.

    Not that I'm arguing, just illustrating.

    --
  • That's funny. Years ago, when few people admitted to using Linux in a corporate environment, the Linux advocates were pushing for freedom of choice.

    Now, with Linux proudly in widespread use, the Slashdot editors criticize and whine when a company exercises freedom of choice and uses something OTHER than Linux.

    And how does not using Linux affect a company's stock value? "Your stock value will drop if you don't use Linux?" That sounds an awful lot like, "No one ever got fired for buying Microsoft."

    Of course, when Linux had nothing to do with the stock market, it was all about quality software. It was about using the right system for the right job.

    This "movement" has gone from "freedom" to "world domination" almost overnight. I sure hope these Slashdot editorial snipes don't reflect the attitudes of most Linux users. I know they damn sure don't reflect mine.
  • Try these for Word: NuoMedia.com [nuomedia.com] and ThinkFree.com [thinkfree.com] both have browser accessible office suites available today. In addition, you can expect Sun's StarOffice Portal to be resold on about a zillion sites when it comes out, and there are doubtless others as well that I don't know about. (If nothing else, these should defuse the "no productivity apps" objection to alternative OSes - the OS really doesn't matter anymore...)

    These are getting good enough to be considered as a serious option: I'm thinking of completely ditching Windows at home and using these services instead, since (except for Visio) they do what I need from Windows. I've even recommended NetLedger to some folks here recently as the best of all possible worlds for small business accounting - I really think we're just starting to see the tip of the ASP iceberg...

    In another year or two, Joe Doaks may balk at any software that isn't available with a web UI. Why would he want to get locked in again?
  • I know linux isn't just X, but since about all I use my home computer for lately (I am too busy at school to play anymore) is Netscape (for email and web stuff) I use X a lot. My card works fine in X, but the text scrolling is 10x slower than in windows (and, yeah, I could put in another card, but it would have to be AGP).

    As for power management, no I don't have a laptop, but I like for my hard drives to spin down and the monitor to go into powersave mode. I don't know enough about linux to run my own powersave commands, and linux doesn't autodetect my motherboards APM.

    But that just makes my point: for people like me, linux is just difficult. I know A LOT about computers and such, but I'm not a programmer and I have only a background in using UNIX, no in-depth knowledge. Don't get me wrong, I know I can make my machine run better in linux for only a few bucks and a little How-to reading on my part... I'm just lazy. And windows is for lazy people.

  • Basically, Wyse needed to get this thing out the door A.S.A.P. so they did a short term thinking model. That's fine for a small company, I guess. Why short term thinking? Well, because they could've written a lot of the software they needed to make Linux thin clients themselves, and then they wouldn't be in bondage to William Gates for the forseeable future. (Relevant Star Wars scenario, Darth Vader: "I would hate to have to leave a garrison behind." Going into business with the Empire may have seemed like a good idea to Lando... until Vader uttered that line.)

    I mean, Wyse is dropping Linux, but IBM is picking it up and developing for it in a major way. So, I have to say, I don't care what Wyse is doing. Oh, and of course if Wyse is really big in the thin client area, this opens up the Linux thin client business for IBM to get into it.

    The truth is, forward thinking companies (provided they have the time and resources to make it work) are going to understand that Linux is better for their bottom lines that Micros~1. If you manage to make Linux work for you, then you are an independant company who is in control of your own destiny. If you make M$ work for you, you are beholden to M$.

    I know which choice I'd make, if I could afford it.

  • "A thin client in this regard ..."
  • Don't expect MS to get screwed massively by Jackson, but even if they are, the consumer probably won't be hugely effected. Windows will still be overly available.
  • by DanaL ( 66515 )
    I guess I can see why they may want to switch to the M$ brand if they are going to try to sell to Joe Average Consumer. My parents haven't heard of Linux, but if you tell tell them it runs Windows or Microsoft, they've at least heard of it.

    The sad truth is that many people buy products this way, they look for brand names that they've heard of, so Wyse is probably making a reasonable decision if they are trying to enter the consumer market. (On the other hand, how many people need barcoders in their homes?)

    Dana
  • Does WinCE use the same drivers as full blown Windows? I was under the perception that it didn't. If you're going to sell a ton of these devices how hard is it to write some drivers for your hardware? I mean, come on. Everybody else has to write their own drivers. You go to any of the hardware manufacturers' websites and who wrote the drivers? The manufacturers did.

    The only problem is the manufacturers only write them for Windows. THIS manufacturer shouldn't rely on other people writing their WinCE drivers, chances are they won't work as well if their hardware is modified at all.

    I think the main reason is that they think that WinCE is a safe bet - one of those "I won't get fired if I pick Microsoft". The drivers thing was just an excuse... they WILL have to write some drivers, they'll just be windows ones.
  • Imagine that, the MS OS is a better client to Microsoft's own proprietary protocol than anyone else - commercial or open source. Slap me with a fish, I think I'm gonna faint!

    Wyse has to deal with reality, *today*, and others have pointed out that the Linux support might have been nothing more than a high-stakes gambit to force MS's to change its licensing terms.


    Well said my friend. Also the article points out:

    ...Wyse will be entering a crowded arena. Just about everybody, including consumer electronics giants, established PC companies and many start-ups, is coming out with a limited-purpose home computing appliance.

    With new thin clients coming from Sun Microsystems, Neoware, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Compaq, the corporate market is no walk in the park, either


    Sun, HP, and IBM aren't exactly Microsoft's biggest fans. I imagine they are going to stick with Linux for their thin clients. Perhaps Wyse feels that WinCE will be able to better support all the legacy Windows software that will be laying around in a couple years. There's a market that Sun, HP, and IBM aren't already gunning for (or maybe they are.)

    And from the originator of this thread:

    Instead of acting like immature snots and running around chanting "Winsux" and "M$" while recalling wonderous anecdotes of NT crashing every thirty seconds, why not look into establishing better partnerships with IHVs so in the future Linux will be a viable option?

    OK, OK. I'll cut out the running around and chanting, but I'm not going to shut up with the anecdotes...

    numb
  • Well let's look at this. First off, are you comparing Windows with Linux? And if so, what is your comparison based on? The biased opinion of Slashdot readers, statistics from sites like Netcraft, or something else?

    Let's look at the webserver issue first. Apache does in fact have a 2:1 lead over IIS. You won't see myself, or anyone else arguing that for the moment, Apache holds the medals. However recognize that IIS is the second most popular webserver, and that's no small accomplishment.

    Next look at the platform breakdowns. How many sites are served with Linux as opposed to NT? Remember Netcraft's statistics show webserver breakdown, not operating system. For all you know, Linux could make up a very small portion of the web servers using Apache. IIS on the other hand is used Exclusively by NT/2000. I'd wager that the number of sites served by NT is at _least_ equal the number of sites served by Linux.

    File server: with Windows 9x/NT clients NT windows hands down, this has been proven time and time again. When someone conducts a test with both 9x, NT, MacOS, Linux and whatnot clients where Linux with Samba holds up, let me know. (Last time I checked, SGI machines with Samba were the highest performing file servers anyway)

    Application server: Terminal Services provides remote application services for NT. X provides the same for Linux. Personally I'd rather run MS Office remotely, then Star Office..then again that's up to you. Generally Windows has a much wider range of quality commercial applications.

    If you truly believe that Linux is the superior operating system in every concern, you're living in a dream world. If Linux advocates wish to continue their petty little war against Microsoft then they had better realize that arrogance and self inflated egos will only carry them so far.
  • BZZZZzzzztttt!! Wrong answer dude.

    From what I heard:

    The real story is WYSE was wanting to do development with Embedded NT and WINCE. In negotiations with Microsoft they were given two prices for building new WinTerms with Embedded NT and WINCE -- the drop all your Linux stuff price (the low one) and the if you keep making stuff with Linux price (unbeliveably high).

    So they dropped their Linux based WinTerms. Reports from someone who talked to one of their sales reps. indicated that the new "improved" WinTerms don't work half as well as the old ones. There was, at least a month ago there was still no imbedded browser for the new units.

    This was no "Linux isn't good enough thing". This was an example of Micro$off weilding their monopoly power like they always have.
  • I think this fella and his boss are missing out on a big opportunity. With broadband connections and multiple computers in a house you have people who want to share their internet connection between two or more computers. The easy solution is a little headless Linux box running as a router. I have one at home that requires NO upkeep at all. If the power goes down for a minute or so the little box boots first, gets an IP from Roadrunner, and is ready to give out private IPs to the Windows boxes by the time they boot.
    So if I had slow systems coming in on the cheap I'd be throwing a command-line only install on them with just the basic tools, throw two nics in the box, put my firewall script in the directories it goes in, and sell it as a router.
  • >Alex M. Hochberger
    >MCSE, CCA

    If you want any credibility around here, you should probably not mention that you are an MCSE.

    Why? Does being an MCSE automatically mean that you're not clued up on techie things?

    At least he's making money offa that crap, which is a good alternative when annihilating is not a viable option.
    --
    Tarald - The Lord of Smeg

  • Linux is so magnificent that 6 people in the world use it.

    THAT IS EXACLTY MY FUCKING POINT!

    NO ONE in their RIGHT FUCKING MIND uses Linux. NO ONE knows how
    to fucking install it. There are NO fucking APPLICATIONS. You want shit? You
    FUCKING CODE IT YOURSELF.

    You must be wondering, then, why anyone would want to use it, or why I advocate it
    so strongly. Since you're obviously new to the "game" let me explain the rules:

    Rule 1 The harder something is to use, the more l33t it is.
    Rule 2 The less number of people that use something, the more l33t it is.
    Rule 3 To win the "game", you must become the most l33t0 d00d of them all.

    For example, NetBSD used to be hard to use. And few people used to use it. In those
    days, NetBSD was what we in the industry call 'l33t'. Charles Hannum was 'l33t'. Alan Cox
    was 'l33t'. Neither of them are anymore, because NetBSD is so incredibly simple to use
    that any drug-addled adolescent who takes five minutes from downloading britney
    spears pr0n can install NetBSD on his fucking Pee Cee. l33tness is not cumulative. It is
    always changing. You must seek out sources of l33tness as the old ones dry up. NetBSD
    is drying up. It is not l33t. Abandon it while you still can.

    Linux, with its six users and no applications (not to mention drives; you want color
    graphics? Write it yourself) is very l33t. In fact, it is sucking all the l33tness out of
    NetBSD, FreeBSD, and now even OpenBSD (the choice of the highly paranoid,
    criminally sociopathic, or in the case of Theo deRaadt, both). The only way to be l33t
    is to use Linux. No companies use Linux. There are no Linux PDAs. No
    Linux in my fucking toaster. No "Teach yourself Linux in 12 minute" bullshit
    either. Linux is l33t. NetBSD is not.

    To win the "game", you need l33tness.
    To win the "game", you need Linux.

    (And if you didn't consider this funny, then why was the 1st one funny?)
  • Ready Wyse's product listings. Citrix may not have coined the term Thin Client, but they grabbed it and ran with it. Wyse offers dumb terminals, 3270-style terminals, and Windows Terminals. They've been offering ICA ones for about 4 years, and RDP/ICA recently.

    Alex
  • I'm far prouder of being an MIT Computer Science student and of my consulting work, however my MCSE and CCA certifications are relevant to this discussion, which is why they are listed. The fact that you know dumb people doesn't mean that all people are dumb.

    Given that this topic is largely concerning a Microsoft and Citrix set of technologies, my expertise in Microsoft and Citrix technologies is actually relavent. I'm actually a professional in this field.

    Additionally, people here would like to discount anyone whose opinions are contrary to theres. By stating that I am an MCSE and a CCA, the people who don't actually care about this topic except to tout the wonders of Linux can disregard everything I say.

    Alex
  • If you've ever rolled out an ICA network across WAN links, you'd appreciate the work that Citrix put into their clients. While open standards approach make a lot of sense, many corporations have dozens of Windows applications that they wrote that they need. While it may be possible to recreate them as HTML applications, a Windows based Thin Client network is a more rapidly achievable goal and is much less costly.

    My observation is that ICA works better over Ethernet than X11. While I haven't compared benchmarks, I have done both, and ICA is a LOT crisper. Even if X11 moves more data, ICA has a smoother feel.

    Also, many of the corporate networks are using WAN links. Getting enough inter-office Bandwidth for X11 is prohibitively expensive.

    One system that I was in was a large financial company. They were a mainframe shop that had replaced their 3270 terminals with Windows machines and 3270 emulators for the sole purpose of making WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3 available. They were switching to a thin client system to make management easier. With the Windows network, people screwed around with their machines and it created a nightmare. With the Windows Terminals from NCD that they got, they had a built in Web Browser, ICA Client, and 3270 Terminal system.

    Additionally, they had offices all over the Metro New York area. Their applications were mainframe based, which went over the WAN links. The remaining applications were Office suites, and their is no comparison to the Office tools that are available for the Microsoft encironment.

    In the long run, HTML, XML, and Java based systems may make the most sense. However, the current Thin Client technologies provide a great system for certain corporate settings. In terms of the dial-up capability, it is a nice added bonus that the users can connect in from home at near LAN speeds, no?

    Alex
  • The Java and WinCE/Linux devices were VERY different. The former was a Network Computer. When Oracle and Sun were pushing NCs, Wyse, as a Dumb Terminal manufacturer looking to stay relavent, looked into the market. The market never materialized, so they dropped it.

    The WinCE/Linux device is a device known as a Windows Terminal, or in Wyse's case, a WinTerm. This device runs the Microsoft and/or Citrix client for access a Microsoft NT Terminal Server (and Citrix MetaFrame). Linux while more stable than CE (although I've yet to CE crash while running the relevant clients), is cheaper and offered different hardware options.

    HOWEVER, the primary purpose of this device is to run two proprietary applications distributed in binary format only. With Linux, unless IBM and Wyse were able to develop an RDP client on their own for Linux (the Microsoft/Citrix deal prohibits it until '01 I believe), a Linux based Thin Client is less useful than a WinCE one. Given that most large installations use ICA (Citrix), this wasn't TOO big a problem but the lack of specialized hardware doomed it.

    CE DOES live up to the purpose here. Wyse (AND ALL THEIR COMPETITORS) have a line of products. Many of the Terminals are CE based, and they run REALLY DAMNED WELL.

    Alex M. Hochberger
    MCSE, CCA

    Alex
  • Really? Wow, I guess my info is out of date. I guess I haven't kept up on the UNIX Client (given that the client sites I've been at are all Windows Terminals and Windows 95, I haven't had a professional need to).

    What exactly does it map to? It can't exactly be: Client\Com1 now, can it? :)

    Alex
  • This isn't very wyse.

    ----
    Don't underestimate the power of peanut brittle
  • (i am not too familiar with VNC [att.com] and definitely no experience with Citrix...await comments from pros, especially on how VNC compares with Citrix)

    Assuming (as stated above) that the market for these devices is Fortune 1000, maybe Wyse/anybody can use VNC-Linux to solve this driver issue.

    VNC already maps the local serial port, PS2 and keyboard to the VNC server. this is how it forwards the mouse/keyboard input to the VNC server (which can be Linux,Win9x,NT....)

    VNC is open source, so Wyse could have hacked it to forward (+return path) the local thin client serial/parallel/whatever ports to an NT/Win machine running VNC server. the drivers for these devices (bar-code readers, scanners, printers etc) would be available on NT/Win. ....that's it.

    btw, the VNC team is already quite advanced on this. Read about CORBA/Out going connections here [att.com].

    having something like this available would open a lot of other interesting possibilities. an example of embrace and extend :)
  • It seems like Wyse has been jumping on the cool technology bandwagon everytime something new comes comes along. First Java then Linux now CE and a custom OS. The effort in moving bettween all those platforms must be more work than fixing the short commings existing one.

    Dropping Linux is probably more due to bad management at Wyse than any real shortcommings in Linux. Are they expecting to pick a generic platform and have all their needs met WITHOUT doing any work themselves? Why did they drop Java in favor of Linux in the first place?

    In 12 months they'll discover CE doesn't quite live up to the sales pitch and they'll jump into bed with someone else.

  • Check out Compaq's T1500 thin client. look's and feels just like the wyse linux thin client, even has the same mounting holes on the base and has wyse's name all over the credits and in the file system. Compaq started advertising these exactly the same time that wyse canceled our order for the linux ICA thin client because they "were only supporting the windows version." Sounds to me like Compaq bought them out.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 02, 2000 @05:16PM (#1155520)

    If Linux were a company, losing one customer would not be the end of the world. Wyse goes, somebody else comes. In real life, you look at the average and you don't get hysterical over something like this.

    Don't be an idiot. Relax, take a deep breath, and write a damn driver.

  • On the one hand...

    In the market that Wyse was realistically after, namely producing terminals to connect to Windows Terminal Server, it should likely be preferable to work with Microsoft's client OS software. That means cooperating rather than taking action (e.g. - adopting Linux) which Microsoft would see as an attack.

    On the other hand, there is reasonable reason to think that temporary adoption of Linux may have been a ploy to scare MSFT into concessions. The article suggests as much:

    The foray into Linux did, however, give Wyse enough leverage to persuade Microsoft that a version of the Internet Explorer Web browser would be a major improvement to the Windows CE machines, he added.

    Since Wyse started getting into "WinTerms," they've not been a clear "friend" of anything not Windows-related...

  • by EvlG ( 24576 ) on Sunday April 02, 2000 @05:46PM (#1155522)
    This sort of whining is unproductive. emmett's rant about feeling like a bitter boyfriend is so appropriate it's ironic. What good does all that name calling, harsh words, and pining do anyone? Folks it's time we got on the ball and get the hardware manufacturers to care about more than Windows.

    How? Demonstrate the benefits of open source to them. Make them understand how adopting open development practices can accelerate their development process, and help them to end up with a higher quality product. Help them out by giving them assitance when they have trouble integrating their module into the latest kernels, and don't know how to debug a kernel panic.

    Complaining that someone switched away from Linux doesn't do any good. Neither does resigning ourselves to believe, as one /.er put it, "that Windows it better than Linux as some things." Instead we need to concentrate on improving problem areas. The softnet patches as a response to the poor Mindcrafy benchmarks are an exellent example. Let's learn a lesson here and get on the ball. The whining stops here.
  • by chris.bitmead ( 24598 ) on Sunday April 02, 2000 @05:19PM (#1155523)
    If they're switching OSes just because they can't write a few drivers for bar-code readers, there's something very wrong with the company. In fact I'm surprised if WinCE has very good support for obscure hardware, I'd imagine Linux would be better, not to mention that writing Linux drivers is probably a whole lot better documented.
  • by Wah ( 30840 ) on Monday April 03, 2000 @04:10AM (#1155524) Homepage Journal
    >A world dominated by Linux will be no better than a world dominated by Windows.

    Exactly! This is a point that many people are missing

    Umm, I thought the big problem with Windows was the company behind it forcing its software around everyone's throats. At least that's my big problem. That's no a possibility with Linux, people have choice. So I'll disagree with this point. That being said, the original point "lack of peripheral drivers" is valid, but I would hope with a thin client they would be using their own hardware and using true open source to build the drivers, would probably work. Heck, hackers almost turned the i-opener into something useful.

    --
  • by Duxup ( 72775 ) on Monday April 03, 2000 @12:57AM (#1155525) Homepage

    "I feel like a bitter boyfriend. 'You'll be back! You'll be back here on your hands and knees, begging me to take you back!'Maybe I can play 'Mom,' too. 'When you get nailed by stupid licensing schemes, don't come crying to me! It's all fun and games until someone loses stock value!'"



    Does anyone remember the Linux advocacy how to [linuxdoc.org]?
    I find it sad that it seems that there are so many self appointed Linux/OSS zealot advocates who feel the need to throw fits when someone doesn't chose Linux for their product. I would dare say that most of these advocates have never contributed to a project, never written a line of code, and often seem to have no idea what/who they're commenting on beyond what they read into in an article they read on yahoo, excite or some press release. Often their argument is just a slam of another OS, or the company making a choice they disagree with, rather than making any positive remarks about Linux beyond Linux/OSS is better.



    I don't believe such behavior helps the cause(s) any farther, and only makes the people who do contribute look bad.


  • by alexhmit01 ( 104757 ) on Sunday April 02, 2000 @06:30PM (#1155526)
    Free Software does NOT help this situation.

    This is the THIN CLIENT market, NOT the remote desktop market.

    THIN CLIENTs implement The Microsoft and Citrix clients. The Microsoft Client is NOT available for Linux and will not be until their deal with Citrix no longer prohibits it.

    The Citrix client for UNIX (including a Linux version) is less functional than the Windows one. This is not because UNIX is being slighted, but rather because the demands upon the UNIX client are different. The Windows client demands lower TCO and easy administration for rollouts. The UNIX client involves giving the Engineers Word, Power Point, and Outlook to access the Exchange Server.

    There IS an add-on that add X11 support, but I doubt that Thin Clients use X11, too much of a pain. A Linux thin client while a great buzzword, is not a good idea.

    WinCE is and will remain better than Linux at this application. Why? Sorry guys, no matter what you do, WinCE will beat Linux in this market. As long as the RDP and ICA clients for UNIX are NOT as flexible as the Windows versions, Linux will be an inferior Thin Client.

    You can write all the drivers you want, with WinCE being free (as in beer) and having better versions of the two relevant pieces of software, all the wondering advantages of Linux are irrelevant.

    The Linux "problem areas" in this market are: a licensing agreement signed in May '97 that prohibits MS from writing a UNIX RDP client.

    This is NOT a good market for Linux. All the other embedded systems are good markets for Linux. The Thin Client market does not need Linux, it needs CE, I'm sorry to tell you.

    Alex M. Hochberger
    M.C.S.E., C.C.A.
  • by HRPuffNStuff ( 141881 ) on Sunday April 02, 2000 @06:47PM (#1155527)
    Wyse was an early leader in the thin client market. They were thin client before it was sexy to be thin client, they were thin client when it was sexy to do network computers, and they were doing thin clients when pundits deemed the NC dead.

    But Wyse has changed platforms too manytimes, and like their failed PC line, I see their venture into the Windows CE market as doomed a dismal failure. The problem seems to be that the management doesn't know how to make up their minds. Sure, today it is Windows CE, but who knows what it will be tomorrow. They have come and gone through Java and Linux and probably countless other operating systems, and they will waffle through a few more before they realize the world has passed them by.

    Their marketing plan for these devices is also doomed. they plan on reselling these through banks, telcos and entertainment companies? Am I really going to buy a set top box from my lame telephone company? Through my greedy bank? Oh ho ... I'm going to buy it from my video store?

    Meanwhile, my friends are going to buy set top boxes from their cable companies, or from consumer electronic and gaming powerhouses like Sony. Or they are going to buy cheap home systems from discount computer sellers.

    Wyse is stupid.
  • by www.sorehands.com ( 142825 ) on Sunday April 02, 2000 @07:03PM (#1155528) Homepage
    I don't recall seeing anything from Wyse. I have not seen Wyse in the stores. I remember themin the stores years ago, but nothing recent. Maybe they have a niche market.

    Maybe Microsoft made them one of those really sweet deals. Providing them with equiptment, money, and advertising. We made you a deal that you couldn't refuse.

  • by Spiff28 ( 147865 ) on Sunday April 02, 2000 @05:30PM (#1155529)

    First off, the headline, as is the trend these days, is not entirely accurate:

    "After a foray with thin clients using Sun Microsystems' Java software and then the Linux operating system, Wyse has settled on a special versions of Microsoft Windows or its own operating system."

    I have to agree with Wyse's move here. It's a chicken vs egg thing once again, folks. In business, unless you have the muscle, you don't want to be the egg waiting for chickens to come along, which is where Wyse was standing. Linux on a thin client is the way to go, I'd be preaching to the choir if I had to explain why; however support for it is still not there ("didn't have adequate support from companies that made bar-code readers, scanners, printers and other hardware with which the thin clients had to be able to communicate.").

    What we're seeing is a company using Windows products because the software is already there. Had they stayed with Linux, they would have had to do some heavy work to get the software. I think (hope anyway) that yes, they will come crawling back. But they're not going to come crawling back, they'll come back when the market exists and it makes sense (read "profit") for them to come back. Chicken and egg :P

  • by boarder ( 41071 ) on Sunday April 02, 2000 @05:32PM (#1155530) Homepage
    One of their main points about the switch was that they couldn't get adequate driver support for things like barcode scanners, projectors and other peripheral things. I think the driver reason is pretty justifiable.

    I am dual booting with Linux and Win98, but i pretty much always use Win98 because my video card, Rendition V1000 (yes, it's 4 years old and way outdated), is only "supported" in Linux and not accelerated. That means that video (even text scrolling) SUCKS in Linux on my machine, yet runs beautifully in Windows. Power Management from my motherboard (a year old MicroStar) isn't recognized either by Linux, so no power management in Linux.

    And barcode scanners, projectors, etc. that they mentioned as things for which Linux doesn't have much support are pretty hairy even in windows. Yes, they could write their own drivers, but what if a product gets updated or discontinued? Will they have to spend the time/money to write new drivers every time someone wants a new device on their system or a currently supported device gets discontinued?

    This is a major area where Linux needs work, but until then I think Wyse is justified in this decision.

    I totally support Open Source and all that, but I am not a developer. Since it is still a relatively new field to the larger corporations, the developers who support open source are going to have to work overtime to make it a viable choice to the broader market.

  • by Zagato-sama ( 79044 ) on Sunday April 02, 2000 @05:24PM (#1155531) Homepage
    Man, I really wish the editorial crew would grow up.

    "Wyse introduced a Linux-based thin client last year but will be phasing out that machine because Linux didn't have adequate support from companies that made bar-code readers, scanners, printers and other hardware with which the thin clients had to be able to communicate."

    That says it all. Big whoop. Yes folks, surprise, Windows is better at Linux at some things. Raving like a lunatic and shaking your fist in anger and denial won't make your penis grow.

    Instead of acting like immature snots and running around chanting "Winsux" and "M$" while recalling wonderous anecdotes of NT crashing every thirty seconds, why not look into establishing better partnerships with IHVs so in the future Linux will be a viable option?
  • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Sunday April 02, 2000 @05:27PM (#1155532) Homepage Journal
    Who the hell cares about thin clients anyway? You know, I am one of those bizzare people who feels that it's not worth trying to provide a version of Linux that my grandma could use. My thinking is - use what ever you like, if you want user simplicity, use Mac or Windows for christ sake, if you want a great stable multitasking multiuser secure hard core OS go with UNIX if you need to use IBM mainframes use OS/400 and if you want to run some cool code at home for yourself without your OS crashing, all secure and neet, use Linux or freeBSD or Beos and stay with them until you decide to run Halflife again.

    So get out and stay out!
  • by Ars-Fartsica ( 166957 ) on Sunday April 02, 2000 @05:51PM (#1155533)
    Quit wasting you time building yet another window manager - start doing the nasty work of supporting arcane devices.

    Individual developers can't approach the device driver problem the way a company can - largely because individuals cannot afford the test hardware. I'm quite disappointed at how little device infrastructure has been added to linux from the companies sporting huge market caps off of its backs.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 02, 2000 @05:37PM (#1155534)
    NetBSD is so magnificent that 6 people in the world use it.

    THAT IS EXACLTY MY FUCKING POINT!

    NO ONE in their RIGHT FUCKING MIND uses NetBSD. NO ONE knows how to fucking install it. There are NO fucking APPLICATIONS. You want shit? You FUCKING CODE IT YOURSELF.

    You must be wondering, then, why anyone would want to use it, or why I advocate it so strongly. Since you're obviously new to the "game" let me explain the rules:

    Rule 1 The harder something is to use, the more l33t it is.
    Rule 2 The less number of people that use something, the more l33t it is.
    Rule 3 To win the "game", you must become the most l33t0 d00d of them all.

    For example, Linux used to be hard to use. And few people used to use it. In those days, Linux was what we in the industry call 'l33t'. Linus Torvalds was 'l33t'. Alan Cox was 'l33t'. Neither of them are anymore, because Linux is so incredibly simple to use that any drug-addled adolescent who takes five minutes from downloading britney spears pr0n can install Debian on his fucking Pee Cee. l33tness is not cumulative. It is always changing. You must seek out sources of l33tness as the old ones dry up. Linux is drying up. It is not l33t. Abandon it while you still can.

    NetBSD, with its six users and no applications (not to mention drives; you want color graphics? Write it yourself) is very l33t. In fact, it is sucking all the l33tness out of Linux, FreeBSD, and now even OpenBSD (the choice of the highly paranoid, criminally sociopathic, or in the case of Theo deRaadt, both). The only way to be l33t is to use NetBSD. No companies use NetBSD. There are no NetBSD PDAs. No NetBSD in my fucking toaster. No "Teach yourself NetBSD in 12 minute" bullshit either. NetBSD is l33t. Linux is not.

    To win the "game", you need l33tness.
    To win the "game", you need NetBSD.
  • by Kaufmann ( 16976 ) <rnedal AT olimpo DOT com DOT br> on Sunday April 02, 2000 @05:25PM (#1155535) Homepage
    If Wyse really believes that WinCE (or are they still going to call it "Windows Powered"?) provides a better foundation for their system than Linux, then let them; it's not important for them to use Linux, and it's not important to us either. A world dominated by Linux will be no better than a world dominated by Windows.

    Personally, I think that both Linux and WinCE are bad choices for thin clients and other such computers. I don't believe that Linux provides any significant advantage to the corporation or the customer of these computers, in the technical aspect, particularly in comparison to other existing OSs - NetBSD has already been mentioned, and Be's IA offering (which runs on Stinger) seems rather nifty. Call me crazy, but I don't think any "regular Joe" wants to be forced to use an operating system whose primary focus has always been on an user base of hackers, sysadmins and other "advanced" users who like to play with Unix.

    Someone says "but Linux is open-source". So what? So is {Free|Net|Open}BSD; so is eCos (although eCos isn't really meant to be used on thin clients, I think it'd make a nifty fit). Free Software is good, but not all Free Software is good, and not all Free Software is Linux. I personally dislike many aspects of Linux (aside from those which stem from its Unix heritage), although I'm a fierce supporter of Free Software.

    In conclusion: although one must wonder why they've picked WinCE as the alternative, Linux is by no means the optimal OS for this job; come to think about it, one must wonder why they had picked Linux in the first place. IPO, anyone? And even if it were optimal (or even appropriate), it's not the responsibility of the Linux community at large (or the fraction thereof which reads Slashdot) to make sure that Wyse picked it. World domination is not a goal.

  • by coyote-san ( 38515 ) on Sunday April 02, 2000 @06:55PM (#1155536)
    <i>Windows is better at some things...</i>

    Now complete the thought and ask yourself *what* Windows is better at. Is it a better web server for 90% of the potential market? A better NFS server? Hell, a better SMB server?

    Nope. It is a better RDP server. Imagine that, the MS OS is a better client to Microsoft's own proprietary protocol than anyone else - commercial or open source. Slap me with a fish, I think I'm gonna faint!

    Wyse has to deal with reality, *today*, and others have pointed out that the Linux support might have been nothing more than a high-stakes gambit to force MS's to change its licensing terms.

    For the rest of us, if we need RDP then we have to deal with the devil behind the curtain and use WinCE. Performance and cost are totally irrelevant - if we need RDP we simply don't have a choice. We can only fairly compare WinCE and Linux (or any other OS) when the protocols are open to all.
  • by alexhmit01 ( 104757 ) on Sunday April 02, 2000 @05:44PM (#1155537)
    A thin client in this regard is a device being used to connect to a Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server Edition or Windows 2000 Server with Terminal Services installed. The devices usually support the Microsoft RDP Protocol and the Citrix ICA Protocol (if you are also using Citrix MetaFrame).

    This idea of these systems is to run these protocols. Like X Windows, the MultiWin system (developed by Citrix and licensed to Microsoft) divides the application's logic and display, processing on the server and displaying on the clients.

    Without the Citrix MetaFrame system, the clients include Win16, Win32, and WinCE (OEMs only). With Citrix MetaFrame there are ICA clients for those platforms plus ICA clients for like a dozen Unixes (there is now a Linux version to) and JAVA.

    The reason that Wyse switched to Linux was that it was cheaper than paying a WinCE license. Also, Linux can be run on cheaper hardware than the funky chips that CE runs on. However, the sole purpose of that machine was to run the RDP and/or ICA client. Because it wasn't Windows, it was probably the ICA client (this is a condition of the Microsoft/Citrix licensing deal, not Microsoft arrogance).

    With the Citrix packages, you can have serial and parallel ports on your dumb terminals and map them as though they were connections on the Terminal Server. This allows you to include things like local printers, bar-code readers, etc. However, with a Linux based client, you would NOT be able to remap the serial ports (that is limited to the DOS, Win16, and Win32 clients), so you would need a driver for the base OS that would handle the barcode and make it available for mapping.

    The idea for Wyse is to make prebuilt WinTerms that have this functionality so the customers can use those in their installations.

    Citrix's ICA (and to a lesser extent Microsoft's RDP) are really amazing. While MultiWin isn't amazing (it makes NT multi-user, and it is sometimes flakey if the programs aren't properly written), ICA allows you to run a really quick connection of as little bandwidth as 28.8.

    Now before I get marked down into oblivion for supporting a Microsoft related technology, I will point out that Citrix is developing a MetaFrame for UNIX system. I believe that the Solaris port is done and they are working on the Linux version.

    The idea is that in addition to the Windows applications, you can deploy your UNIX and Java based applications through ICA for display on the clients. Although X DOES support this, rolling out a thousand or so X-servers is a pain in the butt. The Citrix ICA client has some amazing capabilities with automatic roll-outs.

    These products are NOT aimed at home users. They are aimed at Fortune 1000 companies.

    Disclaimer: I am a Citrix Certified Administrator and make my living (well, my pocket change, I'm a student) as a consultant. I also worked a summer job at Citrix a few years ago.

    Alex M. Hochberger
    M.C.S.E., C.C.A.
  • It isn't a few drivers. WinCE is THE standard for Windows Terminal devices. That is the one market that WinCE is doing VERY well in. A few years ago, before Microsoft strongarmed^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H pursuaded Citrix into licensing their technology, the only system using this was Citrix WinFrame with their ICA technology.

    At the time, they licensed their DOS client to their OEMs (WYSE, NCD, etc.) to be modified to run in the ROM of the clients. The clients had an ugly configuration interface, and if there was a fix in the client or improvement, you needed to swap firmware. Along comes Microsoft WinCE and there is an underlying OS and they can flash in new client software. Also, with WinCE, they can just recompile the Client for the chip in question (usually a Cyrix cheapie) and recompile the relavent drivers. This is MUCH easier than customizing the software for each system.

    As a result of dozens of WinCE based Terminals, the specialized hardware that makes this system so impressive became reasonable, and interchangable parts kicked in. Now the manufacturers of these devices release the relavent WinCE driver and it can be used by the OEMs with little difficulty.

    IBM has a Linux thin Client which also could run (I believe) JAVA, 3270, and a Web Browser natively. Wyse tried to follow suit, in large part to stop paying licensing fees. Unfortunately, without WinCE, you couldn't do RDP (the MicroSoft protocol) which meant that you could only sell your device to MetaFrame shops.

    The move to Linux, IMHO, was never really intended. By proving that they could switch to Linux and save money, the OEMs demonstrated to MS that they had to stop charging for WinCE, which they announced what, a week or two ago? MS was NOT happy if the OEMs all had cheaper Terminals that were Linux powered and were MetaFrame specific. Microsoft didn't want to be removed from having credibility in this market, so they buckled.

    This was the right decision.

    Alex M. Hochberger
    Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer
    Citrix Certified Administrator

    note: those credentials are NOT bragging, it is a disclaimer so you know where I am coming from and can discount my opinion because I make my income with this stuff.

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