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America Online

Gamera = AOL for Linux 129

Uart writes: "AOL is building a Cross-Platform FDO to allow AOL content to be viewed on any number of platforms/environments. This includes a Linux client. Why is this big news you ask? Because it allows many many more people to use Linux, or other non-Microsoft operating systems. An image of the AOL site is right here. BTW, there will also be a Netscape\IE plugin to allow people to access AOL content from their Web browser." Rather then the traditional desktop PC model for viewing, a Linux-client allows AOL to make small devices that /just/ run AOL. Why on Earth would you need anything more? *grin*
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Gamera = AOL for Linux

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  • i'm no linux zealot. i actually run win2k exclusively on my machine, and i like it very much, thank you. However, I do get phone calls whenever her system goes BSOD because she has literally only learned how to use her computer in the last couple months. For day to day, normal use, I can't stand linux. It's just a personal preference as I've been using DOS since I was 5. However, seeing that all my grandmother does is turn on her computer and run AOL, I think using linux would be a good idea. Let's not kid each other, linux is more stable. I have had linux machines before, and they are a whole lot more stable than win 98. Stability is all that matters in this particular application, because the only software she uses is AOL. Now tell me, why is it bad to use linux in this situation?
  • This just reeks of fraud, for a number of reasons.
    1) First, being, that www.inside-aol.com is obviously not an official or trust-worthy source of information.
    2) I may be thinking of a different website but I believe that www.inside-aol.com has done hoaxes before.
    3) The .jpg tells us nothing of the validity. So they took a screen shot? Whos to say they didn't compose that website, loaded it and then typed "http://manda.office.aol.com" in the Location bar and just didn't press return?
    4) Theres something of an informal nature about this website that reeks of hoax, its written in such a manner to imply something informal (read: "The Long awaited.. etc.. blah blah") yet it contains a dubious confidentiality clause at the begining ("Do not distribute or show..."). I dont think that "Do not show..." is common legalese.

    But these are just my opinions. I think its a fraud. What do you think?

    Michael Munson

  • I dissagree with the later part of that.

    Unix is able to be uses by non-geeks... in fact.... artists. Think about all of the SGI workstations that are being used by 3D people... hardly a geek in the group.

    They can point and click with the best of them.
  • Does this browser plug-in thing mean BYOA will be a thing of the past? Doesn't seem to make much sense for AOL (who's not exactly known for there low low prices). Why give away something when you can make a cool $10 a month off it?
    Who said anything about giving it away? You still have to have an account to access the service. Whether you access it from a computer or a TV or an Internet appliance or a PDA or a web browser while travelling is irrelevant. This is the AOL Anywhere strategy.
  • IANAWF (I Am Not A Windows Freak), but I have never had Windows lock up on me when installing hardware.

    I _HATE_ Explorer in all its incarnations, though - shell, file manager, and browser.

    Having never played with SuSE, I don't know about how easy it is to configure graphically (though I've heard songs sung in praise here and there). Are they always at the CLI or in the GUI?

    Email me.
    Don't trust anyone over 90000.
  • I do know something about this. Many SGI's are used for high-end video processing, editing, and compositing. The people who use these systems (some of which sell for over a million dollars per system, and then allow them to do work that they bill out for several hundred dollars per hour or more.) know the technology of video like the back of their hands - realms of knowledge that would make the knowledge your typical Perl-monkey know pale in comparison. And they know virtually nothing about the systems underneath - it's essentially a black box to them. They don't know /dev/ from /bin/, they don't know a single shell script, they never have installed a piece of software, a browser, or a patch. They don't know much on graphics programming, any more than a writer knows the source code to a word processor. For a million dollars per seat, they get tech support that protects them from having to worry about it.
  • What, you never heard of information hiding, one of the most important principles of software engineering, including user interface design?

    I won't try to address your first sentence, as I can't make heads or tails of it.

    If you don't believe that a unix or unix-like substrate can support a highly functional, user-friendly environment, feel free to come by and use my NeXT for a few minutes. You may change your mind.


    --
  • IOW: Dude, get a grip. `Til you know more just shut up.

    FYI, i've been using Linux for over two years, and various BSD's long before that. I know my computers, especially my operating systems.

    As for printers, if it is supported I find it is always very easy to set up the printer on Linux

    How often have you installed a printer on Linux? How many years experience with Linux do you have?

    Heres an idea. Sit two fairly computer illeterate people in front of a computer (I.E they can use a mouse/GUI comfortably, know what a computer is). Have one sit as a freshly installed Windows box, another on an iddentical Linux box. Now, ask them to set up a printer, and see which one can get it done first. I'd put lots of money on the Windows user getting there before the Linux user.

    for installing software and the multiuser model in general: it's called (*)S E C U R I T Y(*).

    Theres security that helps, then there is security that just gets in your way. Once you've taught your Granny how to install an RPM, try to explain to her one day why the directory permisions on her newly installed package are wrong, and why she needs to drop to a command line to edit that config file.

    Nothing their kids can do either to damage the system without the root passwd, or delete their important files by accident, or read their email correspondence. They appreciate the feeling of safety a great deal.

    You can do that without such fine grained UNIX style security. You don't need individual file permisions.

    They also appreciate having a free firewall that can *S A F E L Y * masquerade an inexpensive home LAN...

    Uh, yeah, i can't even count the number of times i've heard Joe A. User ask me how to do that

    Please, just try to think from the point of view of an average, barely computer literate user, who doesn't care, or have the time, to have to learn any of this stuff.
  • Its not. This has been in Alpha stage for a while now. Besides, aol DESPISES Microsoft (back to the IM Wars), so of course they'll want people of Windows. A while ago they were going to buy BeOS and make their own OS with their own computer.
  • not a zealot.

    if you read the thread, you'll notice that i'm not a zealot and i don't run linux....

    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=00/08/13/13723 3&threshold=0&commentsort=0&mo de=thread&pid=22#37 [slashdot.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    312 Gamera vs. Guiron
    "Bouncy Gamera Song"

    [On the satellite:]

    JOEL: Let's go, Gamera!

    [music starts]

    ALL: Gamera! Gamera!
    Gamera is really neat.
    Gamera is filled with meat.
    We've been eating Gamera!
    Shell
    Teeth
    Eyes
    Flames
    Claws
    Breath
    Scales
    Fun!

    SERVO: Dr. Forrester is kind of a jerk,
    and Frank is really dumb, too.

    CROW: We have to take part in these lame experiments.

    JOEL: But do we complain?

    SERVO: No!

    JOEL: No!

    CROW: Yes!

    SERVO: Huh?
    So we hi-keeba all over the place--

    JOEL: --and talk of a thousand wonderful days.

    SERVO: Everybody now!

    ALL: Gamera is really sweet,
    he is filled with turtle meat.
    Now we have Commercial Sign!
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Sunday August 13, 2000 @04:17AM (#859537) Homepage Journal
    Actually this'll be quite helpful in my job. We're doing a small appliance type thing and will want to have it capable of attaching to as many ISPs as possible. AOL is a major one, and having something like this could get us millions of sales we could not otherwise have got. We're doing all the hard stuff behind the scenes, so the average user should know just enough to turn on a TV.
  • I used AOL way back in the day and miss the people from a chat room I used to hang out at (Mac Games, check out their "Best of" - http://members.aol.com/AFCKryten/mgm.txt - VERY funny) and was thinking about getting BYOA so I could hang out their again. Does this browser plug-in thing mean BYOA will be a thing of the past? Doesn't seem to make much sense for AOL (who's not exactly known for there low low prices). Why give away something when you can make a cool $10 a month off it?
  • Why do we need special software to view AOL content on every platform? Why can't they just use standard formats and protocols and save a lot of effort?
  • Don't you remember how AOL and Transmeta partnered up a while ago to bring internet appliances featuring AOL to market? They said that they would be running the things on Linux, and this kinda logically fits in...
  • If the stereotype for linux users is improved or smart(er), and AOL are clueless lamers..
    Now what stereotype do I put them under? </joke>

    New, improved, smarter lamers?

  • I wonder what this will do to the warranty notice I saw at a computer store in Reno:

    "Installing AOL 5.0 onto your computer voids all warranties."

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Sorry . . . moderate this down if you want, but I had to say it. :)
  • Are you serious? "we can use standard TCP/IP client setups..." - Have you ever installed AOL 5.0? Goodbye DUN on Windows - if you had another ISP, AOL disables it. But they're not an anti-trust.

    Right. AOL needs to be stopped - not encouraged to modify and proprietize (sp?) more and more technology. Do you think AOL will have anything to do with the GPL or open source? I seriously doubt it, folks - this is America Online - "So easy to use, no wonder it's #1" - sorry, but it's just because their propaganda machine is crankin' away. Please - don't let your mom, sister, grandma, or cousin use AOL - it merely reinforces the "too dumb to learn anything else" mentality.
  • by 1010011010 ( 53039 ) on Sunday August 13, 2000 @03:19AM (#859545) Homepage
    I'm actually serious... LOTS of people use AOL because it covers up the complexity of connecting to and using the internet on _Windows_ and the _Mac_, two systems routinely proffered as more user-friendly than Linux. With AOL clients on Linux, those people can use it. Toss in StarOffice and maybe Netscape/Mozilla/Opera, and they've got all they need.

    I wonder if the AOL/linux web browser will be Mozilla? The Windows version uses IE... but now AOL has this spiffy portable web browser...

    ---- ----
  • Where have you been?

    RedHat 6.0, circa November 1999, on a Dell Optiplex GL-5133 (Pentium 133) with a genuine SoundBlaster 16.

    conf.modules was my friend. And so was vi, which I voluntarily use over pico or emacs, mostly because when I got my first internet access in 1988, that was the only text editor available to me at shell. And therefore, nebulous and clumsy as it is, I know it well.

    Urk.

  • Hit Escape, then colon, then 'wq!'

    Esc ZZ saves you 2 keystrokes.

  • "hardly a geek in the group"? I think be quite surprised (not that I'm an authority on this or anything)... But, if you're using SGIs you're probably doing some pretty high-end stuff, in which case you'd probably be quite well informed on graphics programming and computers in general.
  • I'm starting to think that before a story is posted, commander taco informs the webmaster of any linked sites and reccomends they take the site down to reduce overall network traffic.
  • I think we would all agree. It's the guy who's wife refuses to use anything but AOL who needs this. I'm sure there are gals whose hubbies won't use anything else who will benefit too. We've got folks on our newgroups who spend half there time trying to find a way to get AOL and quicken to work on linux so there other half will finally let them fdisk windows.
  • ugh!

    but at what cost to the linux community? i don't think anyone's realizing the full consequences of the "dumbing down" of linux.


    FluX
    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • I had the opportunity to speak with Marc Seriff (one of the other co-founders of AOL) and got to talk to him about why the ?? million users of AOL all seem to be foolish neophytes. His response was essential that it is supposed to be that way. AOL was designed to be used by and target at the newcomers. "AOL was made for your mother, not you."

    This might be another step in getting the foolish neophytes to migrate to GNU/Linux (whether this is desirable is another question, but I think it is).

    AOL will never be for you or me nor will it be free software. The company just does not get it, but this could be an interesting move in increasing userbase -> more free software -> enlightening the neophytes.
  • Perhaps there are people out there who use AOL for it's convenience but also use Linux? Perhaps Linux will become user friendly someday and AOL is anticpating that day? Perhaps having AOL on Linux will accelerate Linux takeup with novices? Perhaps AOL is killing two birds with one stone - writing a client that works on Linux and their settop boxes with little modification?
  • The sad part about this post is its truth! If you work as a network admin, I'm sure you've had the pleasure of seeing what AOL does to the user's network configuration.

    WTF is the 'AOL Adapter' anyway, and why does it sometimes replace the network card completely (most of the time it gets put in along side the network card)?
  • thats what AOL wants. As a company they are far from technically illeterate. A lot of people use the JAVA Instant messanger in the unix lab. They don't care who /what OS you use as long as your using AOL to get on the internet. If They can make it easy and cross platform the settop boxes will follow.... I don't think AOL likes microsoft very much.. /Aram
  • If you read my post again you'll see that I said SET TOP BOXES. That means equipment provided by Time Warner to its customers (Like WebTV). I was not talking about PCs.
  • glanois is obviously a complete moron who has no experience of AOL.

    Oh really? I was on AOL in 1993. I think you were still in diapers then.

    Just try it out, fool - take the AOL Titanium CD, install it in any windows system, then once you realize that it's even below YOU, try to uninstall it. Ha!

    It uninstalls easier than IE. QED.

    Fucking clueless blinded-by-zealotry open-source disciple

    That's not me. That's precisely who I was trying to skewer with my comment.

    newbie!

    My first kernel was 1.0.9.

    Think for yourself!

    Good advice!

  • If people want Linux to take over Windows, they are going to have to accept that the companies that will be affected by this will also want to get on the bandwagon. It is simply self-preservation.

    I do not want Linux to conquer the current Windows world. I could care less if the Linux userbase suddenly stopped growing.

    Linux has accomplished all it needed to. And people are still working on it. It works great and better than Windows as a desktop, and developers are clamoring to get in on the action in fixing programs as well as creating new functionality. I feel that Linux's existence is already justified.

    And now I am seeing anymosity towards RedHat. Why is this? Could it be that one of the companies who helped bring Linux to the fore-front is now being regarded as monopolistic because they are making money? People do have to do that you know.

    There has always been anymosity towards anything proprietery and not open sourced in the Linux community. GNU/Linux is free and open sourced. Red Hat is closed source (and free as in beer only). I personally feel Debian [debian.org] is the only acceptable Linux distribution, because I am one of those Debian freaks.

    :)

  • That's a stupid comment. Why should any company give a rat's ass about Linux development if they have no vested interest in its success or failure?

    AOL is a consumer ISP and doesn't particularly care what operating system its software gets ported too as long as there are sufficient customers to warrant it.

  • Never suitable, eh?

    At work, we use SunOS Unix workstations daily for our mission-critical apps. For the less-important stuff, they make us use Windows.

    When I was working at Field Station Korea, every system ran Unix. It was either AIX, Xenix, or SunOS, but it was Unix. We didn't need to call the techs for every little thing, and we weren't all computer geeks (SIGINT geeks, yes).

    Now, if we're looking at the individual home user, the type of person who actually will install software on occasion, have you taken a gander at some of the usability enhancements that Mandrake, RedHat and Debian have put out lately?

    As for the need for security on a single-user desktop, consider all the little script-kiddies out there who try to break into systems that run Windows because it's so easy. Why not make it harder by running something that doesn't actually advertise, "Hey rape me now" every 30 seconds. I certainly hope that security is a concern on every home user's mind nowadays.

    Again I say, "Never is a long time."

  • It's gotten better since its inception at least. I mean, I dropped my AOL account years ago -- because I couldn't telnet. <g>

    -Omar

  • Don't know if you noticed, but "yahoo.cnet.com" is actually CNET News.com, not Yahoo.

    Uhhhhh.

    -thomas


  • Configuring sound in Linux is a new priority.

    I mean, how will all the AOLers know they have new mail if they don't hear the "You've Got Mail!" [204.138.52.63] message?


    Assuming a kernel recompile isn't required, can you imagine that process?

    I'd pay money to see an AOL user opening up /etc/conf.modules with vi:

    "Remember, you can save your changes and exit very easily. Hit Escape, then colon, then 'wq!' It's very intuitive. You'll like it."

    So easy to use, no wonder it's number one!

  • It would be useful for people like me who run linux but have a wife and kids who _really_ like AOL for some unknown reason. They could still run AOL without having to run Win9x( or MacOS). Dual booting would be a thing of the past and the disk space taken up by Win9x could be used for more productive purposes.

    It certainly could be something that RedHat or any of the other distributions could bundle in their retail boxes and might attract users that would like to try out linux, but don't want to give up AOL. I might also make other software developers a reason to take a look at porting their consumer software to linux.

  • This point needs aking

    Windows is NOT point and click for a newbie

    The average newbie needs loads of handholding - same as linux

    Alos how any newbies install a printer let alone a NIC

  • It's pretty obvious that you have never used AOL recently as your Provider. If you have, then you'd know that it's almost impossible to connect with any medium.

    Really? My wife can access AOL on an IP-Masq'ed box with a linux machine providing the TCP/IP link to my ISP -- we've done this with dialup and cable modem without any problems. They've had the 'bring-your-own-access' feature for quite a while. If that's the only method being used, one can chop the monthly AOL bill to only $10. I have also setup relatives machines with AOL 5.0 and they still can use the ISP of their choice (usually a free one) if they don't want to use AOL. It's not that difficult. When installing it, you just have to remember to select 'No' when it asks you if you want AOL to be the default internet access method.

  • Are you serious? "we can use standard TCP/IP client setups..." - Have you ever installed AOL 5.0? Goodbye DUN on Windows - if you had another ISP, AOL disables it.

    That's only true if you do not select 'No' when it asks if you want AOL to be the default connection method for accessing the internet. This is the very last thing it does when it's being installed. I've setup Win9x machines this way for relatives and they don't have any problems using DUN or whatever methods their free ISP use for establishing a PPP connection.

  • I normally ignore ACs entirely, especially such obvious trolls. But, since I'm bored tonight anyway:

    We did NOT become geeks. We had tech support people when things went terribly awry, just as we do for the Windows machines, and the Digital Vax machines.

    Have you actually tried to approach a modern distro as a normal user, without a biased predisposition to being a pain in the ass?

    And, I don't think that what we have today sucks, and "just wait RSN". I personally think that for most people, Linux RIGHT NOW is good enough, with the benefit of not crashing.

    One of my coworkers was complaining about the frequency of his reboots in Windows recently. He said if he didn't have kids (and therefore kid's games), he'd never need to use Windows. But, he has to restart his computer at least daily. I've never had to reboot Linux in 2 years of running it. I have, of course, rebooted, but it was to play a Windows game, not because the computer ceased to function.

    Linux, StarOffice, and Netscape. Bam! Most users' needs are met.

  • AOL's software really has a lot more features than a browser alone, and i don't think it would be a hard sell in this market.

    I wouldn't be surprised if AOL put out something like <a href="http://www.thinknic.com">the NIC</a>. This a computer that does *nothing* but go online using either a modem or ethernet and run Netscape using a custom Linux 2.2 kernel. Apparently anyone who knows how to push buttons can set one up. They cost $200-300. There's one for Grandma ... :)
  • This would be extremely helpful to me. My roomate refuses to change over and use Linux full time becouse of her friends on AOL and the ease of use that the point and click interface provides. I'll be more than happy to set up a linux box for her running this.
  • Any RedHat version newer than that should automatically configure your sound for you (at least it has in my experience).

  • I am the only one to see this as an issue because of its proprietary nature? AOL is trying to portalize and proprietarize its customers. This to me is the cultural antithesis of open source.
  • Even better AOL for OS/2! Actually if AOL was smart they should buy OS/2 from IBM and use that as their own OS, looks similar to Windows, feels similar, but quicker and more stable. I bet they could get even cheaper than they could've gotten BeOS.
  • Remember, no matter how "dumbed down" or "RedHat broken" Linux may become, FreeBSD will still exist as the "alternative" open source OS. It's designed around users who know what they're doing and has no desire to cater to idiots. To quote a friend of mine:
    "Linux is for people who hate Windows."
    "FreeBSD is for people that like UNIX."
  • Gamera is really neat! Gamera is full of meat! Gamera's meat is really sweet! Isn't it a tasty treat! We all love Gamera! Now I'm going to watch Godzilla 2000 :)
  • Of course it's not a fraud. Why do you think that Netscape (owned of course by AOL) have but putting *so much effort* into making NS6 cross-platform ?

    Why have they been putting *so much effort* into making it suitable for embedded devices ?

  • The people that are running aol on linux, Won't install linuix, or see linux. If you read this article and past articles, AOL is using linux over ms because they don't have to pay $90+ a box for windows. And when box prices are dropping down to $300, an extra 90 makes a big difference. No one is going to have to INSTALL linux, no one is going to have to touch it at all.
  • I have known that AOL was based on a Linux based internet appliance for a while. But I didn't know they would be using Transmeta chips.

    I really am happy about AOL Linux. Despite what anyone (myself included) says about AOL technically and price wise, they do have a reputation for being really easy to use.

    A bunch of the comments I've read reflect an attitude that having AOL involved with Linux will somehow spoil it. Or that AOL is not good enough for Linux. I don't see it that way. It used to be that installing and using Linux was a kind of right of passage and if you did it it meant you knew something about computers. But these days it's fairly trivial to install something like Corel Linux. Pre-installed AOL is only just one small step easier. Sure with gamera you'll have AOL users who think they are l33t now that they run Linux. But if that worries you then you have self confidence issues you need to deal with on your own.

    I like the idea of AOL linux too because at work I see people all day who think they hate computers but really they hate Microsoft. I do try to keep a balanced view in this but I've become convinced that NT _does_ crash too much. You can blame it on the hardware companies making inferior drivers or whatever but in the end Windows crashes and Linux doesn't. Also I find that many windows programs suffer from user interface problems and bugs. For example at work today I used a program where I had to press a button "daily report." But pressing it down doesn't do anything by it's self you also have to press enter or change the size of the window before the menu will appear. There are tons of things like this in every application I use at work. In Linux they would get fixed. If no one else fixed them I would fix them.

    The other reason I AOL Linux is because I hope to get a Linux job after graduation. The more Linux users there are the more likely it is I'll find a Linux job. Call me biased, but programming in Linux is just a lot more fun.

  • Don't worry, AOL will probably be giving away free internet appliances instead of CD's. Then you can hack them and have a beowulf cluster :-)
  • Ugh. The elitest attitude of some of these posts is, quite disturbing.

    I have been using various *nix's for a number of years. From SCO in high school and College to Slackware 3.2 and RH 5 and FreeBSD 3 on my home puter. It is a great OS. And AOL coming to Linux can be a good thing if one thinks about it. It isn't just newbies using AOL *GASP* it is also made up of many people who are using it because either work or parents pay for it. Nothing like free internet access. There are also many places where AOL is the only (decent) choice. When AOL first came to town here, it was a better and faster solution than the generic ISP's. Who do you think I went with?

    Did I curse and complain that it wasn;t available or *nix? No. At that time it just wasn't possible to do in *nix what I could in windows so I was in windows to do work. Now that Linux has become a viable alternative to Windows people like AOL are taking notice and allowing for those people who are using AOL for one reason or another to use it AND Linux at the same time.

    If people want Linux to take over Windows, they are going to have to accept that the companies that will be affected by this will also want to get on the bandwagon. It is simply self-preservation.

    And now I am seeing anymosity towards RedHat. Why is this? Could it be that one of the companies who helped bring Linux to the fore-front is now being regarded as monopolistic because they are making money? People do have to do that you know.

    The greater the number of mainstream apps that come to Linux means a greater number of users and less reason to have to keep that Windows partition on the system.

  • Maybe if someone takes what Corel's done a few steps further, that will be a moot question.

    An installer that could read the registry, and gather any network and hardware information would be really nice. Or how about installing Wine, and seemlessly migrating the apps that it finds that work with the current version over to the Linux install?

    Just pop in the cd, press ok, reboot, and you've got a fully functional system, complete with all of your old software...
  • This AOL-on-Linux thing is not for the k-rad l33t gamer part-time sysadmin kernel-hacker types. I'm fairly certain that they're not releasing it with the intention of it being added to existing Linux setups (although it could have some uses, I suppose...)

    This is almost certainly for the AOL/Transmeta/Gateway "web pad" devices that have been mentioned before, more or less like the I-Opener. The users won't have to deal with "Linux," they'll just click the pretty buttons. Plug it in, turn it on... and you're ready to go.

    Regarding the issues that people have brought up about more and more people using Linux, though... it does concern me a bit. The traditional "ask a question on Usenet" model may fall apart when 100 questions a day ask how to set up XFree, or Linux-Kernel is flooded with "what's an 'fdisk?'"

    I'm sure we'll find a way to deal with it...

    ---

  • My 1st thought when I read this is, does mean there is going to be a AOL Linux distro? Take a standard Linux distro, toss out all the stuff that a typical AOL'er would not use (e.g., compilers, emacs), then tighten it up to be "idiot" proof. The installation procedure could be something like the Caldera's, or with some tweaks, RedHat's 6.2. The key would be to eliminate the ability to select individual packages during the install.

    The next important thing is obviously networking. They would have to streamline the setting up of a modem by the inclusion of a database of the settings of available modems out there. I do shudder at the thought of network security. Then again, they could turn off all services, and make the computer primarily a client machine.

    New hardware? Run something like kudzu. Obviously, a lot extra modules will have to already be in place. Printer? Improve something like printtool by making the selection of a printer something like the selection of a modem; have a large data base of available printers. Installing new software? Something like gnorpm, only simplier. Monitor and graphics card? Once again, got to have a large data base available.

    I know that there are other issues, but I have to believe that it is possible to make a user friendly linux distro. This would probably mean eliminating "options" in installation and setup.

    They'll also probably have to change the name of fsck.:)


  • I see it as a Double Edged Sword.
    AOL, with 20+ million subscribers, does hold alot of weight within the industry.
    If this weight can be used to get Hardware and Software Companies to provide more Drivers or Compatible Programs for an OS like Linux. I say more power to them. I've signed more "Linux Driver Petitions" [libralinux.com] than I care to count. It's a shame that we don't have some of the great programs Windows does(ie: Macromedia Products). That's why part of me doesn't mind AOL porting to Linux so much.
    On the other hand, I have the part of me that wants to keep this OS of ours out of the mainstream as much as possible. To keep it the leet O/S it is, before we loose anymore of it to Big Greedy Corporations [aol.com].
  • Why would you possibly care who's browsing the web? Why would you care what platform they do it from?
    (Usenet I can understand..)
    Elitism doesen't get us anywhere.
    (Perhaps you should go back to using Gopher? I doubt you'll find many AOLers there...)
    ;-)
  • I agree firmly. If AOL gets into Linux then it will become more like Windows. Linux should stay the best OS and it doesn't need AOL idiots clogging its development.
  • Of course, Gamera is also known as Giant Monster Gamera, a giant turtle of destruction that rose from the ashes of a nuclear explosion when a US plane shoots down a Soviet bomber.

    Take a look here : Giant Monster Gamera [stomptokyo.com].

    Anyone care to enlighten me why corporations tend to choose weird code names just to look cool in their financial reports?

  • grep -A 300 -B 300 "tax records" /dev/hda5 > slim_chance.txt

    Ryan
  • You can now read your AOL email via IMAP. There's even a wizard to set it up in NS6 PR1/2. I'm pretty sure it's just imap.mail.aol.com

    Altough IMAP can be a pain in the ass - especially when used with Mulberry.
  • The image @ http://www.inside-aol.com/ss3/cris@aoledited.jpg has apparently been slashdotted

    You can now view it at [nols.com]
    http://www.nols.com/slashdot/cris@aoledited.jpg without having to wait an hour for it to load.
  • by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Sunday August 13, 2000 @05:32AM (#859591) Homepage
    Heheheh, Gamera and Mozilla. That's awesome! We need more cheezy Japanese monsters on Linux.
  • what AOL wants to do is basically create a set-top box. All of these arguments about badly configured Linux-boxen are absolutely null & void.

    Ok, so we have an operating system that is well known by hackers runing historicly easy-to-hack software that allows server-push updates. And presumably as little user interaction with the operating system as possable. The company introducing the product is likely going to push for a wideband capabilities (cable, dsl) for the box, meaning it may be open to the internet.

    Yeah, this sounds like a good idea :)

  • Doing a reverse lookup on www.inside-aol.com (209.181.110.181) will give you 31338.noctropolisa1.com which is owned by NoctropolisA1 Networks in Phoenix, AZ
  • I can accept the point that aol is perhaps easy to use but then WHY OH WHY couple it with linux. Whilst I love linux it really was a complete bugger to install and I still keep it for my server and run Win2k on my workstation.

    Why? Well, let's just think about this. AOL wants to develop a bunch of "AOL Appliances". Things like the I-Opener (but I'm sure locked down better). Why the heck would they want to do this with a windows platform? Then they have to pay a license fee for windows for each and every device.

    Why not just port the client to Linux, and put Linux on these appliances? No license fees for the OS, and the interface, to the user, is pretty much the same. That's what they've done.

    I saw the Netscape plugin portion of the Tokyo project work when I was still working at AOL. This was probably about 6 months ago that I first looked at it, and it was pretty slick then. Had a few bugs, but it was good for an alpha. I never did get to Gamera, even though I heard a lot about it. Mostly because I never took the time to download it off the internal servers.

    IIRC, AOL was moving towards using Gecko in the clients (and therefore Netscape/Mozilla) instead of IE. Most of the holdups were concerns over the agreements with MS that keep AOL on the desktop of fresh Windows installs. However, I seem to remember that as I was leaving, they sorted it out and were pushing ahead. Although, it was always discussed as making an interface to plug a third-party browser into AOL, and never about Netscape/Gecko specifically. But I didn't live in that part of the AOL house, so I could be mistaken.

    -Todd

    ---
  • We on the Cleveland Linux Users Group [lug.net] actually have 2 or 3 people who use AOL for their E-Mails on the mailing lists! I'm sure that this could benefit from a few, but I just it causing some of us more headaches.

    But i see this as a huge support momentum. If companies think that more will use Linux, they might be compelled to have better linux support.

    Mike Roberto
    - GAIM: MicroBerto

  • I realize that this allows for more people to use alternative OS's, but it also has its downsides. Just imagine thousands of new linux/AOL users being pissed off because they can't find an easy-to-use version of back orifice or netbus... instead they discover new tools like sscan and nmap. This, coupled with AOL's 800% increase in search warrants, will make for some interesting news in the future. Just my 2 cents..
  • If you really want to see Microsoft eat dust, you had better stop trashing Time-Warner/AOL and get behind this!
  • Someone once said

    A rose by any othername would smell as sweet...


    that which we call a Rose,
    By any other word would smell as sweete


    William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet.
  • especially when you consider that AOL could make small Linux computers an economy of scale
    Even more especially when you realize that they'll probably mail you three or four of them a week. Collect enough AOL trial web pads and you could put together your own supercomputer.
  • Atop Gamera and Mozilla, there's also the Chimera web browser, the Chimera
    web server [written in Java], and for Inferno and Plan9, there's the Mothra
    web browser.
  • I'm sure glad that this was only a trial- who would pay $20/month for this garbage when other quality ISPs charge far less?

    That's $22/month, actually.

    --

  • Heh, you're a funny guy :-)

  • "If you really want to see Microsoft eat dust, you had better stop trashing Time-Warner/AOL and get behind this!"
    I think I'll pass. I dislike Microsoft because of their shady business practices, and monopolistic attitiude. So why would I choose to support a company that's well on their way to becoming Micorsoft#2?
    Two wrongs don't make a right, and supporting Time Warner/AOL to get back at Microsoft will do nothing but create another yet monster.
  • Even on a Sunday morning, when there are only 7 comments in the story, the link in the story is already slashdotted. :-o
  • by i244 ( 97221 ) on Sunday August 13, 2000 @03:29AM (#859605)
    aol for linux??

    it must be snowing in hell right now
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Sunday August 13, 2000 @03:30AM (#859606) Homepage Journal
    Why? I already HAVE a computer...
  • So does this mean they'll stop bypassing perfectly good TCP/IP software built into the OS and using their own marginally stable code instead? ;-) sorry, couldn't resist ..

  • Why do we want AOL-caliber people to use Linux? Keep Linux l33t! :)

    Seriously, if you can get Linux running properly on your system, you don't need something like AOL to help you get connected to the net.

  • Anyways, you can believe me if you want. I've seen that web site first hand, and can tell you that it's real.

    Wouldn't that violate your NDA? :)

  • First of all who actually uses aol. Maybe they do keep america online but in the uk they are the isp that people use free for a month before they find someone that actually works.

    I can accept the point that aol is perhaps easy to use but then WHY OH WHY couple it with linux. Whilst I love linux it really was a complete bugger to install and I still keep it for my server and run Win2k on my workstation.

    Perhaps there are some embedded applications for it but in these field you want as light an installation as possible and as I recall AOL isn't all that small.

    Where does it fit in?

    It'll be the slashdot-thinks-it's-cool-cos-it-has-linux-in-it category.
  • Uninstallation is futile

    D'oh!!! Until now I thought that read "Uninstallation requires linux". Bastards!

    "You'll die up there son, just like I did!" - Abe Simpson
  • Possible benefits for Linux? Lets see, security and stability come to mind. Security is something that is coming more and more into the spotlight, especially with Virus/Privacy issues. Stability is something that every Windows user knows about. In all honesty a new Linux user coming over from windows wouldn't notice that it never crashed normally because they wouldn't concern themselves with uptime, etc, but if they ever went back to windows they would suddenly realize how few crashes they had had with Linux, and really how much better things can be than Windows. I don't know if this all came together coherently. I believe that in general people wouldn't realize how good Linux was when they started using it. They would say "What's the big deal?" after having some experience with it. They still wouldn't recognize what was going on underneath the hood, and in general people don't realize when things are good because they veiw things like crashes, lock-ups, system insecurities and viruses with the "won't happen to me" mentality until it happens. People don't realize the day to day good until things get bad again.
  • by gtx ( 204552 )
    my grandma runs AOL because, well, she's used computers for about 2 months now. I've been scared as hell (as she lives 200 miles away) that Windows is going to go BSOD on her and she won't be able to use it until i drive up there. If there really is a stable AOL linux client, I'd prolly be willing to switch. But, if AOL's software is unstable, there really wouldn't be any point to switching. Besides... I'm not sure if I could trust AOL to put out something stable.
  • Any RedHat version newer than that should automatically configure your sound for you (at least it has in my experience).

    Yeah. I've got RH6.2, and while I've installed it on probably half a dozen machines around the office now, I still haven't installed it on one with a sound card yet.

    I do, however, know that RH6.2's installer is a lot more advanced than RH6's; so it wouldn't surprise me if sound detection has been added.

    But, this is all beside the point.

    We're familiar enough with Linux and with computers in general that we think nothing of joining in a discussion board where most of us type our replies in HTML.

    We take it for granted that we'll be able to figure out how to use a new application or toss a new piece of hardware at our computers and make it work.

    Linux embodies that. It's been said before, and I will say it again: it's the operating system by computer geeks and for computer geeks.

    AOL's interface is the epitome of dumbed-down for the masses, and it's in such stark contrast to the intimidating power of the Linux system that combining the two feels like a travesty.

    My concern never was literally that AOL users would end up using vi, because I don't think that's physically possible. Nor do I expect that they'd ever have to manually configure a sound card - let's face it, AOL's interest is only in creating closed internet appliances.

    Now, you can't tell me that the image of an AOL user slugging it out with vi and the contents of his /etc/ directory doesn't make you want to fall over laughing?

  • That's a stupid comment?

    It's a good thing you weren't running things at AOL when they were thinking about building a Windows client. If there's one company out there that has shown consistant vision for the last 15 years it's AOL.

  • This summer, I'm interning in a state different than the one I live and go to school in. Naturally, I needed internet access. I thought I'd try an AOL free month-long trial, just to get me started, and switch later to a local ISP after doing research online. My last experience with AOL was a number of years ago, before the WWW existed and gopher reigned supreme.

    It was disapointing. Keywords are one-word "addresses," if you will, to content on AOL. I tried a few- all of them pointed to websites! Ones accessible by anyone with a browser and internet access. As another experiement, i tried out a couple chatrooms- all cheezy sex. Perhaps the christian singles rooms are better (ha!), but this was far below the quality of IRC. Also, the built-in Instant Messanging client was years behind the one you can download seperately from AOL.

    The only real difference I saw between AOL and a regular ISP is that when I logged on, it flashed some adds before letting me do anything, asking if I wanted to buy.

    The AOL client made my computer extremely unstable. I have a Mac, and was used to crashing about once a week. AOL installed and required a background application, which appeared to be some IPRouter, that would crash randomly, when I was on- and off-line. I had to reboot once, twice, or three times a day. It was absurd. And when I was on-line I would get kicked off randomly, even whilst active, with the helpful error that someone picked up the phone, or the phone plug fell out of the wall (!). I'm sure glad that this was only a trial- who would pay $20/month for this garbage when other quality ISPs charge far less?

    Needless to day, I dumped AOL before my month was up and found some schmucky AltaVista free access. Yes, I have to look at adverts, but I had to do that on AOL, and now I get faster more stable connections. And the client doesn't happily bring my computer to it's knees.

    And AOL isn't the only way for people new to computers to get on-line. I think the only reason it stays in business is that centiment is commonly circulated. My grandmother, completely new to computers, got an old pentium for last christmas. With the help of her also-new-to-computers neighbor (who's also an older lady), she was on-line with one of those free ISPs, sending me goofy e-cards.
  • by signe ( 64498 ) on Sunday August 13, 2000 @05:48AM (#859620) Homepage
    Since I just left AOL recently, I can say with some authority that this is not a fraud. I've actually looked at manda.office.aol.com when I was working there, and I've played with some of the Tokyo project software.

    1) First, being, that www.inside-aol.com is obviously not an official or trust-worthy source of information.
    2) I may be thinking of a different website but I believe that www.inside-aol.com has done hoaxes before.


    True, however that doesn't mean it's immediately wrong.

    3) The .jpg tells us nothing of the validity. So they took a screen shot? Whos to say they didn't compose that website, loaded it and then typed "http://manda.office.aol.com" in the Location bar and just didn't press return?

    Absolutely. However, in this case that site does actually exist. It's internal to AOL, and not accessible outside. Likely they have an inside contact that sent them the screenshot. I don't believe you can access the office.aol.com network from the PCs in the lobby of the Reston and Dulles AOL offices.

    4) Theres something of an informal nature about this website that reeks of hoax, its written in such a manner to imply something informal (read: "The Long awaited.. etc.. blah blah") yet it contains a dubious confidentiality clause at the begining ("Do not distribute or show..."). I dont think that "Do not show..." is common legalese.

    Yes, it is a semi-informal site. It's an internal site, for AOL employees. This is not a site that was designed to be used by anyone outside the company, and the people who put it up are not web designers. The "confidentiality clause" at the top is not legalese. It's a reminder. Everyone who has access to view office.aol.com websites has already signed either NDAs (in the case of on-site vendors), or employment agreements that contain much stronger language.

    Anyways, you can believe me if you want. I've seen that web site first hand, and can tell you that it's real.

    -Todd

    ---
  • If the stereotype for linux users is improved or smart(er), and AOL are clueless lamers..
    Now what stereotype do I put them under? </joke>

    ---
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 13, 2000 @03:35AM (#859631)
    Heaven forbid that people continue to make systems and services open enough and usable enough that non-experts can enjoy them. We can't have that, can we? We have to keep our precious Linux hard to use and exclusive so that we all feel special by running the Anti-Windows OS.

    I like Linux, a lot, and I use it for more houts per day than most people reading /., I'd wager. But a big part of why I like it is not because of what it is or the political aura around it, but because of its potential to grow into something the "numbnuts" of the world can use as a legitimate alternative to Windows. If LInux gets there (and I believe it will), freeing tens of millions of users from the grip of MS's monopoly will be its greatest achievement, no matter what else it does.

  • by ClayJar ( 126217 ) on Sunday August 13, 2000 @03:41AM (#859633) Homepage
    This could actually be useful to the general Linux-using public. Imagine, if you will, that AOL puts pressure to get cheap Linux/AOL boxes out there. Notice that if they do that, that means that those cheap boxes are already Linux-friendly.

    If Linux/BSD/etc. users can hack systems that weren't made for our OS's to support Linux (BSD, whatever), imagine the utility of a box that was *made* with Linux in mind. The possibilities are positively staggerring (especially when you consider that AOL could make small Linux computers an economy of scale).
  • by acehole ( 174372 ) on Sunday August 13, 2000 @03:44AM (#859634) Homepage
    we are the aol, lower your firewalls and prepare to install. we will add *our* technological distictivness to your own. Uninstallation is futile!

  • by tolldog ( 1571 ) on Sunday August 13, 2000 @03:46AM (#859636) Homepage Journal
    Yahoo given a rundown on this allready. Much more info than some (possibly made up) screen shot.
    Story is here [cnet.com].

    Looks like Gamera works on RH 6.1 and is built from the Gecko technology.
  • You'd actually be surprised just how many windows users can reinstall windows when their life does depend on it.

    I know people who are confused by the fact you can save a word document in other formats reinstalling 98 and office because they have essential work on their system.

    Why is aol so popular though? There are so many superior isps and so many of them are completely free... i really fail to see why the little addedvalue content and the false-peace-of-mind they give parents justify paying a subscription.
  • Folks,

    While it's fashionable to dump on America Online, this idea of having any web browser be able to display AOL-formatted content may be a major Godsend for many users.

    The advantages are extremely obvious: instead of using AOL's custom-written interface and communications front end, we can use standard TCP/IP client setups for dial-up analog modems, LAN, or broadband modems to connect to AOL. It also means AOL may change their email and newsgroup access so you can use any standard TCP/IP-based email or newsgroup reader.

    People forget that AOL has POP's all over the USA and also much of Europe and Asia (far more than any ISP on this planet); the elimination of the need for a proprietary interface and communications setup could mean AOL access to anyone who can do TCP/IP connections.

"The chain which can be yanked is not the eternal chain." -- G. Fitch

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