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IBM is going to support Linux 136

Well, according to this report, IBM is going to fully support Linux, and Sell PowerPC based machines (low end RS/6000) bundled with Linux. Its about time.
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IBM is going to support Linux

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Dear IBM,

    Ten grand for a nicely opted out rs/6000 running a 332Mhz 604e processor may make sense in the blue blooded environments in which 6k's currently run. However, I would love to see the PowerPC architecture become more mainstream. Current pricing levels prohibit this. Perhaps if IBM could convince Apple to sell its G3 line, minus the "MacOS Tax"?

    PowerPC Fan (but really only of the new POWER3 line)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    write some driver source for IBM printers :)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    IBM owns Catia, right? A port of that CAD/CAM software to Linux would get a _lot_ of peoples' attention.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I am certainly glad to see major players like IBM, Compaq, Dell and HP adopt Linux. They can sell the hardwarem, bundle Linux with it and cash in on support, making money on the free software. But who develops the software? Certainly not the people who sell it. In fact none (or very few) of the Linux developers get any kind of financial gain from it. What really bothers me that one day the Linux development may stop because of this.
    I run Linux at home, as I am sure many of slashdot readers do. But how many of those who *use* Linux actually *contribute* to it?
    Of course this makes me wonder how Linux made it this far. There must be some kind of paradox here. As I see it, there is no real incentive for anyone to contribute to free software. But yet somehow it just gets developed. Can somebody please enlighten me?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ah relief...

    ...this stuff has been going on internally for so long. We've got Linux running on some cool hardware. Of course, we have to be able to make money in order to put this stuff out there which is why you aren't likely to see some of the higher end Linux ports.

    IBM has some really cool Linux stuff going on. It's just a matter of convincing the bean counters that we can make a profit off of free software, and convincing the blood sucking lawyers that we aren't going to get sued by Gnu or something.

    As for some of the pricing complaints I've read here... yes, valid concerns. I think what you are missing here is the support that is included in that price tag. IBM support is about the best in the business. Unhappy customers can actually escalate all the way up to Gerstner but rarely do. Nothing like 24x7 support, where you can actually get the attention of the engineers that designed your hardware and software.

    If some of the other stuff gets out the door next month that I think is coming out the door, this may be the final catalyst towards Linux dethroning NT in the server room. The technology is there in our labs. You just have to ask your marketing rep for it. No, make that *demand*. And you have to be ready to back that up with $$$.
  • Now where can I buy one? I want one of those cool PPC Thinkpads
  • Well, as others have already noted, the price is not what I consider 'low-end'.. at least, not from a Joe Consumer point of view.

    It's good that there is a cost savings for those who might not have previously been able to afford the systems, but it's definitely not at the level I'd like to see..

    I've always wanted to get a PPC system, but the costs have always been too high.. One of these days.. ;-)

    Anyway, I think it would be absolutely great if IBM (or some other entity) could start selling decently-priced motherboards and systems based on PPC.. Apple has pretty well cornered that architecture (at least at the consumer level), and I'd like to see some new stuff come out of it. This would be especially good for people who want PPC, but don't want to upgrade their entire systems when they upgrade the processor.. This is something that works well for the PC industry (swap in a new mobo every so often at a few hundred bucks, rather than an entire new system at over a thousand..)
  • Go look at IBM's hardware page []. Look at the 43P series of servers - these are the entry level systems (and the newer ones are REALLY nice). While this page makes them out as a workgroup server, they tend to be used as workstations. Even better, they start at under (US)$6000 (with AIX). From what I understand, PPC Linux slides very easily into these boxes.

    Of course, this is a basic box with no video, but they have PCI slots. I think we will see a lot of IBM / Linux workstations in the near future, especially if Lotus ports the Notes client. At any rate, I see myself buying a new IBM later this year.
  • It makes sense for those wanting to buy a PPC clone with Linux to contact Motorola and point out the existence of this market. Saying, of course, you would be first in line to buy a machine equiped as: ..., in this price range: ...

    If enough letters were sent, perhaps sanity would return.

    I will not be one of the letter writers at this point, because I am not lusting for a PPC machine. Perhaps after seeing one, my view may be altered.

  • I believe Dell has been supporting Linux on their servers for longer than IBM and Dell sells more PC's.

    finally-one-more-big-one dept would be more appropriate.
  • Especially the MTX604-071 (dual 400MHz 604e) and the MTX604-003A (300MHz 604e).
  • Personally, I think IBM could make money selling
    _hardware_ at the low-cost workstation level that
    linux was very compatible with, perhaps with
    linux installed, and then selling (for instance)
    speech-recognition software for it. Although there
    is a loud minority that doesn't want commercial
    software on linux, look at Applixware to see that
    it can be successful. And by positioning linux on
    the desktop, it should compete less with AIX
    servers. Stop abandoning the desktop (see OS/2) to Microsponge!
  • Making money off of open source may not be a hard thing, but it will probably require different strategies than those traditionally used with software.

    Assuming that the business benefit of open source is the incentive to have access to the source code , we can begin from there while trying to "balance out" the needs to make money with the social needs of free software, namely the encouragement of "freedom" of modification and of "fewer defects" that naturally arises out of a bazaar development model.

    The OSD requires free distribution of that source code - meaning that a competitor could easily adopt the source code and perform a "creative imitation" strategy with ease... this invalidates many of the traditional software business assumptions: creative imitation is no longer valid, because as soon as a competitor extends the product, you have access to THEIR code and hence can incorporate it into YOUR product. (By product, I mean a "branded" product, i.e. RedHat Linux vs. SuSE Linux)

    So, from what I currently see, the way to make money will probably require A) a new licence other than the GPL (for reasons I will explain) and B) different (but not new) entrepreneurial strategies.

    for A), basically, the FSF believes that encouraging freedom to modify & use software is paramount, but also that "Software should have no owners".

    I find it highly unlikely that a company will "give up" ownership of its software in the near to mid future, and find it much more likely that they'll retain ownership through a license similar to the MPL or QPL.

    The other issue is that of pricing. There has to be a way of encouraging free distribution of source, BUT to be able to charge a fee of some sort to buy the software (most enterprise software packages are > $50,000). This of course is futile with a traditional open source licence because nothing can stop a competitor from selling your product at $5/pop. I also seriously doubt that services can cover the losses of this magnitude.

    So, I don't know what to do here. All my current ideas break the OSD... A runtime licencing fee, for instance, makes a lot of sense: it creates a community of developers that work in companies that use the product - hence increasing the freedom of the softare, BUT it also somewhat limits the audience because joe six-pack wouldn't really want to modify the code because he can't afford the $90,000 runtime licence. Of course, this model would only work with very "business"-orineted applications, and , unfortunately would probably irk a lot of open source purists....

    So A) to me is still in the air.

    B) on the other hand is becoming clearer.... since "creative imitation" is no longer a viable strategy for competition, the real competitive strategies have to do with

    - Being first to the punch.
    - Branding.

    Being "first" is a traditional strategy, but in this case it has to do with ramp-up time in grokking software. Basically, "Creative imitation" is marginalized, but when one adds a new feature to a software product, you still have a "lag time" before the competition can read & understand your code (assuming A LOT of code). The key to this strategy is to release a new set of enhancements by the time the competition has just caught up to the old enhancements. Pretty simple, but it remains to be seen if this will work because I'm probably underestimating the speed of which an average programmer can grok a fairly long piece of code.

    The other strategy basically says, "IF I can't compete based on features, I have to compete based on reputation." RedHat knows this one. There is relatively little difference between Stampede Linux, SuSE Linux and RedHat linux in terms of features.... but Redhat is king because it has A BRAND. I know technical people will hate this one because it's so illogical, but it's really the only clear way to differentiate products in an arena where the source code is all "open kimono".

    Of course, some might say that open source isn't about competition and profit, it's about sharing... Well folks, the economy is based upon organizational performance through profits... and if you can't make profits comparable to yesteryear, there's no economic reason to jump over to open source. Capitalism will not just roll over and die.

    Personally, I think it can be done - but it will require customers to DEMAND open source first, because there's going to be a hell of a lot of intertia to change our industry to this model.

  • The one point I am personally unsure of is how IBM can fit into the Open Source movement. That is, we pulled down some 14 BILLION dollars in software sales alone last year. How can we maintain those numbers with "free" software solutions?

    The problem with this additude is that the market can just pass you by. It is just this additude that cost IBM dearly in the late '80s and early '90s and why DEC, at one time the second largest computer comany, is now owned by a PC manufacture.

    There are many reasons why Open Source Software is taking off, but one of the clear ones is lower cost of ownership. Not just because OSS is "free" (as in beer), but more importantly because it is "free" (as in speech). A business can control its own destiny with OSS software. If they need a feature, they can decide if it is worth the cost to add it, they don't have to beg some other company to do it for them. If an obscure bug bites them hard and few other people, they can choose to fix it, instead of pleading with some other company who might not even be able to reproduce it. Instead of writing a custom system from scratch, or paying some other company to, in effect, write a custom version of their software, they can leverage an OSS system.

    Expect the total cost per machine to drop because of OSS. It doesn't matter if IBM is involved or not, they will get hit by this lower cost either way. If they don't get on the front wave of the OSS in business movement, they are going to have a hard time catching up.

    I hope IBM doesn't make the same mistake that they made in the '80s and try and preserve there current cash-cows only to see their cash-cow fade away.

    There is a chance that even though the total software dollars per machine may drop, the number of machines sold will increase enough to offset this. Of course, this point is irrelevant. You can't change the effect that OSS will have anyway.

    Our customers are happy to buy binaries-only at this point so there is no need to change.

    Your customers might not be complaining too loadly now, but I bet everyone of them would love to have access to, and possibly modify the source to every peice of software they run.

    You don't have to want to "improve" the software for you to really need the source. Every time HP-UX or NT gives me some weird error that isn't well decribed in the doc, I'm in a tough place. When BSDI (which we have source to) gives us problems, we can read the source or even put debug statements in to try and figure out what the real problem is. Last I knew (mid '80s), IBM's mainframe OS's came with source on microfiche for similar reasons.

  • I have the impression that, at one point, when you bought OS/360 you got source, and that many businesses did, in fact, use that to add features or fix bugs - and that some of those bug fixes and/or features eventually got into mainstream OS/360.

    Yes, this happened in the late '70s. For example, IBM's product ASP (Automatic Spooler Program" was modified by the University of Houston and became "HASP", which was later rolled back into an IBM product called JES. Or at least that's what I recall. Some of the details are kind of fuzzy after all these years.

    I also have the impression that, at one point, IBM decided to go with "object code only", and that some customers didn't like this; if my impression is correct, I'm curious what what the history of that was, what the motivation for OCO was, and whether OCO turned out to be a good or bad idea overall.

    Again, it has been 20 years, so I don't remember clearly, but yes, the customer base screamed like hell about going object code only. That is when they started to release the code on microfiche.

    In so many ways, the early-mid mainframe era had a lot of similarities to what the current/future OSS movement hopes to become. Many large businesses and Universities payed people to develop code that was useful for them. This code got released to the world, and modifications can back to the original users. Since the original people could justify the work based off of their immediate benefits, the added features/bug fixes that came back were just a bonus.

    One of the key differences is that with the GPL, no one can take it back to being a closed system.

    I think what really caused IBM to kill the freely available source code was that it allowed "Plug compatible" companies (think "PC Clone manufacture") to compete too easily with them. Competition is such a horrible thing, ya know.

    The mini-computer industry had a lot of source code floating around too, but I don't think they had the resources to actively send tapes and such around the country/world like the mainframe people did, nor did as many people get to go to conferences. With the Internet, this cost has obviously dropped to almost zero.

  • "Well, according to this report" - what report? where is it?
  • I have been looking at the little 43P [] for a while, and I assumed that AIX was part of the reason that a box with these specs cost so damn much. So, thinking something like this running Linux would really cut down on costs, I had hopes someday I might get one. Now after reading that linked report, I wonder. What systems were they talking about exactly that are $15,000! Can't be the little ones.

    I do like the fact that Compaq, Dell, IBM, SGI, HP, Apple, others now offically support Linux in some way. But the way makes me wonder. Dell won't do a kernel for duals, Apple doesn't make getting a "MkLinux" box easy, it's a "do it yourself" kind of thing. The IBM report linked seems to be WAY on the high end for a typical user (Heck, even the box that runs SlashDot can't be worth $15,000, is it?).

    My hopes now are with companies like VAResearch. Hopefully someone will come along soon that will sell boxes that truely span the $700 to $2000 range, that come with Linux professionally configured, with good support, and offer some hardware choices like Motorola, AMD, Cyrix, Alpha, MIPS, etc... But, as the "Big Names" come into the Linux ring, I thought that would happen, and in truth, it's getting farther from the truth it seems...

  • I guess, maybe I obscured my point. Linux is an OS that was developed initally to run on a 386SX...or, extremely low end system. UNIX in general can quite easly blur the line between workstation and server. I can run a 386SX20 w/ 6M RAM, put apache on it, imapd, and basic server functions like shells and call it a server. And, in truth it IS a server, which can scale fairly well up to 10 users or so for pop3, and do a pretty decent job for web serving (easily taking about 20 hits per minute, provided it's static pages, and not cgi or database stuff). As a matter of fact, I have done just that in the past, and it worked well. And the hardware costs were under $70 USD. And there is no way in the world I would ever call that box something that could be used as a "WorkStation."

    Battering about the term "Server" to justify the high price tags of new brand name (DEC, Compaq, IBM, Dell, etc) Linux boxes doesn't hold well in my book. I know people who keep thier workstations load peged for weeks at a time doing calculations, rendering, etc. And I see servers that couldn't handle workstations loads that easily handle massive server loads (Alpha box in ND-HECN that has well over 1000 users, but my K6 will outrun for pure CPU power, the CDROM.COM FTP server that holds records for transfer in a day that is a dual PPro, and wouldn't hang for massive rendering or number crunching quite as well as some workstations sitting around my department).

    The primary diffrance that "they" are suggesting makes a server a server is RAID, multiple network interfaces, etc... But, at the same time, not all of thier "server" offerings have these features standard (What makes Dell's Linux server a server anyway?).

    I think they don't want to do Linux workstations (IMHO) because they fear the "My Big Gulp won't fit in my new 20X Cup Holder" phone calls. Slashdot is a Dual Pentium II 233 for crips sake, and it's a "server," and no one would argue that it's really just a workstation, and not a server.

    I guess, in my mind, no one has doubted Linux's ability to be a server for a couple years now, but it seems that's where it ends. And, to me, that's not news. Saving a few thousand dollars on a high end server by choosing Linux insted of DEC-UNIX or AIX on your server may be big news to some people. But it's not big news to the general population, because, more people use PC's/Home Office/Workstations that actually run thier own server. And, today, Linux is make BIG inroads in the workstation market, and that's where it's truely starting to shine. It has always shined as a server. But now that it's shining in the scientific labs doing numbercrunching, theoretical predictions, and data analysis as a WorkStation. Now it's shining in CAD/Rendering/Media arenas as a WorkStation. That's a bigger market. That's bigger news. That's where I would like to see some of the big "brand names" take notice and become active in support.

    And, as far as that goes, a "entry level" server would be great to see too. I guess this is happening with Corel's Netwinder, and the Qube... But, I think buisnesses that have 5-20 people in the office could benifit soo much more substantually from Linux than they realize. If there were a commercial solution with ONE server running 10-20 Xterminals (like Mechanical Engineering Dept. at the University of Minnesota [] has done), That would turn heads, and make news, and prove that the idea of "workstation" vs. "server" is a very blurry line, and you have to think more in terms of "networked solutions" than "My Workstation" and "our company's server." Sometimes the server only needs to be a little 486, and the workstations need to be quad Xeons... but sometimes the workstations only need to be 486's, and the server needs to be the quad Xeons or RS/6000 systems. How can anyone draw such lines as "workstation" and "server" and use that to defend what market and price range they are focusing on?

  • I need a thinkpad 800 (the R/S6k thinkpad, very elite) running linux.

    Oh yeah.
  • if they're really PPC's and IBM plans to use linux on the architecture. The article doesn't mention what specific issues remain w/linux on R/S6k.

    I guess you should talk to the LinuxPPC (, distro's sold by people about this.
  • linus should get a macarthur fellowship so he can do linux fulltime.
  • The trade pubs like to refer to IBM's mainframe offerings as "Big Iron." It would be kinda neat if they dubbed these boxes as "Open Iron." :-)
  • by Puff ( 3954 )
    Unless I am mistaken, the $15,000 mentioned was the price for the Compaq boxes mentioned. The IBM PPC boxes never had a price mentioned.

    Otherwise, COOL!
  • Of course this makes me wonder how Linux made it this far. There must be some kind of paradox here. As I see it, there is no real incentive for anyone to contribute to free software. But yet somehow it just gets developed. Can somebody please enlighten me?

    One recent issue of Newsweek had a picture of Linus. KDE is being incorporated into many systems. Lotsa people depend on Samba for cross platform compatibility.

    What incentive do those people have to create all this wonderful software? I'll give you two reasons.

    First, the person will be forever be synomous with that software if it is useful. If people like it, then that person will have a good reputation.

    Second, that person can put that achievement on his or her resume and put that reputation to work. Worked on Samba? KDE? Mozilla? What employer wouldn't love a great programmer on their staff!!!

    In a way free software DOES rake in money for the developers.

  • Seems to me Motorola has a PERFECT oppurtunity here to market their own line of PowerPC boxes running Linux. They did like becoming a vendor, until Apple pulled the OS plug. Here is a way for Mot to controll "their own OS", and at a penny too.

    Unfortunately, since Apple killed the clones the Motorola IT departments have been on a search and destroy missions... to the point of replacing all their Motorola- based Mac's with INTEL-BASED NT boxes. How stupid is that? It's like Pepsi putting a Coke machine in the break room! Duh..

    It would be nice to see some real CPU competition, and Linux gives at least a chance of that. x86 is as bad technology as Microsoft is for an OS, and it would be nice to see competing CPU's and OS-agnostic expansion boards for PCI...
  • Has anyone ever bothered to consider the Redmond based giant, Microsoft, is behind this latest push for Linux which dramatically increased during the DOJ US VS. M$ Trial, and is ....

    I have thought about this and the possibility does exist IMO. I have even entertained the idea that MS has paid off the press to say nice things about Linux as well. Perhaps I'm being paranoid, but MS has a reputation of cunning, and based on their prior tactics it wouldnt surprise me one single bit.

    OTH, I can see where a lot of people are simply getting sick and tired of Microsoft and the lack of alternatives. Linux is the result of some damn good software engineering, and it truly does live up to all the hype spread about it in the rags. Also all the announcements of late from some really big names in the computer world, offering Linux products and support cannot be ignored. MS has clout but not that much. So in the end, I think I have been overly paranoid. It's a side effect from my OS/2 days when it really looked like OS/2 was going to be a good alternative to Windows. It never happened of course partly because of dirty underhanded Microsoft tactics, and partly because of complete stupidity on IBM's part (for which I have never forgiven either company for these sins). With that said, perhaps a lot of us old hand OS/2'ers are a paranoid lot because we have experienced first hand the Microsoft standard operating procedures with regards to competition.

    I really think Linux can stand on it's own two feet, given the opportunity to do so. And now it looks like the 'window' of opportunity is here for Linux. Therefore I'm taking the cautious route acknowledging that Microsoft is more than capable of doing things like this to promote its own evil products, but also that Linux really is a rock solid, stable OS that can very easily compete in the marketplace. However I think it's only a matter of time before the press starts doing an about face and jumbs back onto the Windows bandwagon at linux's expense. Hope I'm wrong, but I've seen it before.

  • It might not be what you have in mind (first of all, it does not come with a monitor), but the new G3 "Pro" systems (the Blue and White mini-towers) start at $1599, and I've seen them a hundred or so dollars less. Granted, if you're looking into Alphas, you'd want more memory, etc -- but it would still make quite a nice Linux box.

    I don't disagree with your complaint that Macs at least seem significantly more expensive than "comparable" PCs. I do think that CHRP's demise is a big loss. At least they seem to be using more and more "standard" parts -- UltraDMA, USB, (I believe) VGA out, PCI, etc. The more they use, the cheaper they can afford to sell computers for.

    Russell Ahrens
  • And we thought 1998 was a big year...
    I think 1999 will be much more spectacular yet.
  • maybe they'll breathe some life back into the PPC chip for PCs and there will be a market for lower cost workstations. i hope so. competition is good.
  • This is great news, and i hope IBM makes a lot of dough in the Linux server market, but what would REALLY be cool would be a OS/2-style window manager and full ports of its Lotus SmartSuite...
  • So THAT'S what the force is that Obi-Wan was talking about....;-)
  • IBM making "low" priced PPC boxes is good for everyone. It brings the PPC platform out of the MacOS world, and will hopefully encourage Apple to produce boxes with Be or Linux for sale. It also brings more respect for the PPC processor since it isn't so limited to one OS anymore. Maybe Be will start supporting PPC like it was before Apple (unwisely) discontinued licesing.

    I would certinly like to see stronger multiple-os support for PPC so more people can take advantage of it. Definitly the future is going to be about multiple OS's. One size does not fit all.

    So I echo, this is good for everyone. Lower prices for PPC boxes will surely come. Broader OS support is likely. Respect is created for the PPC. And, hopefully some good influence on Apple.

    Speaking as one tired of Wintel...
  • that come with Linux professionally configured

    all that means is that they put their own silly background on your fvwm session.
  • hmmm... anyone got any clues on this one:

    NDLUG (Notre Dame Linux Users Group) got a donation of about 10 IBM Power Series 400 machines. 601 processor, 48 megs of ram each, PReP-ish machines, currently running AIX. They've got some sort of experimental motherboards... anyway, we want to make 'em run linux, and possibly cluster them. currently, we can get it to boot off a disk, but as soon as it displays the "booting the kernel" message, it hangs... anyone out there done any kinda work witht his? linuxPPC page hasn't been too useful...

  • damn bolsheviks..
  • These are embedded motherboards, doesn't that mean they are not usefull for pc's?

    No. It means that is how Moto is marketing them. The embedded market is seen as one of their "core competencies" (or some other such business-speak buzz word).
  • How can IBM make "good business" and support Open Source projects like Beowulf?

    By selling support services. As you point out, IBM support is the best in the business. If I could afford it, and IBM would sell it, I would buy all mission-critical resources (hardware and software) from IBM, because of the quality of support. That's regardless of whether or not the software is open-source. There are a lot of people in the industry who think like that, and who can afford it: many of them are IBM customers already. Some of what IBM already sells to these people is already open-source (sendmail, BIND, apache, etc), because the open-source solution is the best available. That is going to increase as open-source comes to prevail in more niches. Beowulf (in the scientific computing Unix clustering niche) might be a good example, I don't know. As you point out, a lot of these people don't care about sources, but they do care about quality, and so increasingly they are going to want open-source solutions. IBM just has to be ready to sell those to them, for whatever the market will bear.

  • by wilkinsm ( 13507 )
    Just a question from an AIX point of view... Does Linux have support for Journal File Systems?

    Being able to change filesystems sizes on the fly is very cool.

  • About time IBM notices our tiny little OS.
  • RedHat writes free software. And they think that they're making millions! Somebody tell them they're not!
  • OSS is a very good investment, especially by a company that also makes hardware on which it runs. This is why Intel has invested in RedHat. Linux makes their machines run fast, allows people to customize their machines, and it allows people to spend more on hardware and less on software.

  • Anyone who can't see that the person who posted that was ironic should.. check him/herself :)
  • OS/2 has a good GUI? Why not port it to Linux?

    Sadly, Microsoft jointly owns much of the code of Presentation Manager with IBM, so they can't opensource it. They could, however, opensource the Workplace Shell. It's just not gonna happen with PM, although I personally am thinking about writing pmtk--an implementation of the Presentation Manager API (with binary-level compatibility) for X11.

    Easy to use administration tool that is able to handle single PC up to entire network of PC.

    IBM doesn't have this product unfortunately (at least not IMO.)

    Productivity tools such as spread sheet, word processor etc. User friendly database front end to DB2 to compete with MSSQL.

    OS/2 Query Manager (from OS/2 EE or DB2/2 1.2) would be a great thing. Opensource it please IBM!

    Speech and hand writing recognition.

    IBM needs to do this now. It is stupid to port this products to Windows when you could be gaining critical market share among those who will be making important changes in the information technology field over the next 20 years.

    Device drivers for all IBM hardware.IBM is so stuck up about releasing hardware specs it isn't funny. Try getting databooks for the Mwave DSP and adapters--you have to sign this horrible NDA and pay all those ridiculous licence fees. We need some high-powered IBM execs to simply bring some sanity to those situations; the IBM 2780DSP is dead, and releasing the specs isn't going to reveal any top-secret information.

    Joshua Rodd.

  • Feel the thunder.
  • rs/6000 machines are not nicely configured for ANY small amount of money. the last one we got was just over $30k (with academic discount) and still only had 32 mb ram... get an alpha!

  • as i stated above, rs/6000 are ANYTHING but a good deal for the money!! $15k would be a rinky dink rs/6000

  • you ever wonder why people use IBM/AIX in mission critical stuff?? its because it rocks over linux in support for clustering, mirroring, disk configuration...etc stability. now i said "stability" of these things...not just simple support for them. people dont spend $5 million on IBM systems when they could get the same thing from linux systems. (go look at under S390 and look at the on-board hardware encryption) and you'll know why corps. use IBM/AIX.

  • Of course they are - by publishing the halloween documents they sent a signal to every publisher that Linux was the next big thing and that Microsoft would not complain if they talked about it. The only question is whether Microsoft will be able to, erm, disuade the media attention back after the trial. My guess is that they will be able to - if nothing else, linux is not ready for the joe average that the magazines are targetted at. 2004's my guess for when everything will really take off.
  • Apple NT? Oh sure, just what Apple needs for its (barely growing) credibility. Let's announce YET ANOTHER OS strategy change and tell every Mac programmer who has been looking at Carbon for the last year that Win32 is where it's at (after they looked at the OpenStep APIs for a year, and before that spent a few years looking at the Copland APIs and pretty pictures).

    What the heck is the advantage for Apple to put a nice GUI on a server OS, and a buggy, sluggish one at that.

  • how does it stay afloat? well i can't speak for everyone, but when ever i make something, fix something or kludge something together i always post it for anyone else to use and i think thats one way how it all stays afloat.
  • there are millions of programmers. it only takes a few thousands programmers to write all of Gnu/Linux. some people find programming easy --and fun. I think the proprietary software vendors have sold the public the notion that only a large company has the resources to develop truly useful software. not necessarily true.
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but since when did the term "Free Software" mean no cost software?

    Under GPL, I thought the point wasn't cost, but open-ness of source? Even if I don't entirely agree with it, if IBM or anyone else wants to do GPL business, there would be no problems to selling the software, selling the source, yadda yadda, but that in some sense the source had to be accessible. So if IBM supports Beowulf, Linux, Apache, and any other number of Open Source products/projects, they could charge whatever they wanted for the software and support, and make profit on it, just that the source had to be available...

    Of course, without the proprietary hardware, the source is only useful when it is ported... And when ported to non-supported hardware, IBM still has to option to get profit from support and services without having to port themselves, if the Linux/Free software community wants to port it so badly. I don't know that this is a good or bad idea, but this is what I understood about "Free Software"...

  • What are people thinking here... AIX, LinuxPPC, what flavor?

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern