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IBM/Red Hat Continues 52

homebrewer writes "This quick little blurb on tells about IBM teaming up with Red Hat to sell Linux." Someone else submitted some bits about IBM providing Think Pads to hackers to make sure that Linux runs properly? IBM is doing a lot of the right things. I hear we should expect big things from them at LinuxWorld too. Update: 02/18 08:43 by CT : here's a related story. Similiar stuff, litte more detailed.
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IBM/Red Hat Continues

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  • I've looked through a couple of reports on this so far today, and I'm getting a little worried. They all seem to keep mentioning that the PC 300 series of systems are "commercial desktops".

    What exactly does that mean? I hope I can still be an individual and buy a single computer with Linux on it at a fair price...
  • Absolutely! ThinkPads not only have a nicer physical look and feel than other laptops, but they're extremely reliable and they have a decent BIOS setup utility (at least my TP701 does - Fn+Esc anytime, not just on bootup). I've used crappy Compaq and Dell laptops that aren't anywhere near as nice.

    Oh yeah, and the TrackPoint stick also sets it well above the rest.
  • My lease on a Gateway is ending later this year; however, I have been recommending IBM laptops for some time.

    The quality is higher, to the extent that an older IBM unit with a 486 chip and a 10.4" screen appeared superior to my P133 with a 12.1" screen. For example, the screen on the IBM was so much brighter that it appeared to be larger than mine. Moreover, the quality of construction appeared to surpass my unit; which had about 5-6 dead pixels, developed a stress crack on the top of the case, and suffered a premature death of a Lithium Ion battery (for which I could not get a technical support response).

    This unit, cost above $6000 including leasing fees and a higher level of support. With the remarkable decrease in laptop pricing, one should look at the current top-of-line laptops - but one that is just been supplanted by a newer version.

    For example, the introduction of the PII chips to the 770 line did not give a large performance boost, but was costly in terms of battery life (from memory: it dropped to about half). Check out a more general source, e.g. Value America where this combination could yield a good price.

    As a matter of honest disclosure, hardware is not my forte, hence do not rely solely upon my recommendations. These represent my plan of action for my laptop replacement.

    One other consideration that is pertinent to a Linux user: it functions satisfactorily on a less fully equiped unit than a Windows OS would require. When in doubt, opt for more memory than CPU rating.
  • I just saw a fairly long (5-10 minutes) interview with Bob Young (RedHat CEO) on Fox News. He did a good job explaining his company and what it does, and agreed with what a lot of us have been saying - they're aiming at servers and enterprise computing, not the desktop, so they're not really competition for Windows95 (as Microsoft has been trying to claim they are). The reporter seemed a bit clueless though about how this whole Open Source deal works. He was confused about how RedHat could make money without controlling the OS, and seemed to think that Bob Young hoped to be the next Bill Gates.
  • Posted by Mustang|:

    (NOTE: Sorry for the double post. This should have originally been a comment. not a reply.)

    As I work for IBM, directly with RS/6000's, Netfinity's, and the Thinkpad group as well, I thought I would add a view from the 'inside' of this story.
    This is a very good thing for both IBM and Linux. I can assure you all, by talking to people around me, reading Gerstner interviews, and reading intranet news, that IBM is extremely committed and putting a huge amount of resources into this project. The above poster is right: IBM learns from their mistakes. From the experience with Warp we know that we need much better support of our products, and IBM is committed along with RedHat to doing so. We are already running a testbed Netfinity with RH on it here as I write this, and let me tell you, there is nothing like hot-swappable scsi drives in a 3 proccessor machine running Linux. :P
    BTW, as an answer to an earlier question, ThinkPads (especially the newer models...600(E), 770, 390, etc are some of the best products I've seen IBM churn out. Highly reccommended. And yes, we are working on DVD in linux on a 600E. Hope this sheds some light on the subject.

  • Posted by Rojareyn:

    In a word YES!

    I work as a consultant and have seen many people with Dells, Gateways, Microns, and Compaqs. Of those, the people who had IBM laptops like those the best.

    If you are faced with the decision of shelling out big buck$ for a laptop and have to choose between an IBM or a cheaper model with more features, GET THE IBM. It is worth the technical support.

    I am currently on a client site that has had worlds of trouble with Gateways and getting them to talk to the network.

  • This alliance is now acknowledged by RedHat, in a press release [].

  • Despite what the meept has to say (ain't he/she/it cute?), this is good news. Damn, imagine placing an order for a thinkpad and then saying, oh, yeah, I want Linux on it. Answer: sure, no problemo! Yeehah! That's my next big purchase. I'll just polish up the old cc to get it ready.
  • by joss ( 1346 )
    Latest processors never worth the price, but with laptops especially you are much better off with older processor (battery life + heat) and more RAM.

    Older Thinkpad 770 (200 P5, 1024x768x16) costs less than latest 300Mh PII from will take 256Meg ram and is sturdy as fuck, runs Linux perfectly, very expandable and top quality, 5hr battery, THREE YEAR GUARANTEE.

    Picked up mine for £1000 - worth every penny.
  • That was the mistake they made with marketing Warp. They also know that closed technology from a single vendor can't compeat with open technology from all over the world. That's what killed the PS/2 and Microchanel.

    The funny thing is that they were superior technology at the time. It just didn't count for much compared to comodity hardware that was 1/2 as fast and 1/3 as rubost. Since Linux has the advantages on both sides of that war ( better quality and multiple vendors ). IBM knows it's the next cash cow. It's the thing that can push the IBM percentage of PC sales into duble figures.
  • Today in the Wall Street Journal, this news appeared just below the Microsoft trial news for the day. Yes, Linux was written in big print and so were the words IBM.

    Remember, Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM

    As a side note, the WSJ has been a good source for following the DOJ trial.

  • Even if it's motivated in part by their hate for Microsoft.

    IBM *really* blew it in the 80's and early 90's. MCA and PS/2's anyone? Oh yeah, and OS/2.

    Let's hope the techies driving this (?) at IBM can keep management (?) from screwing things up, like binary-only drivers with closed source. I hope they can find a few tidbits in OS/2 that are worth sharing with us, since by their own quiet admission OS/2 is dead on the desktop, and in mostly in maintanance mode on the server.

    Lets see them bundle Creative hardware, and maybe the other hardware vendors will come around and support Linux.

    I think we are over that first bump, and now these fence-sitting software vendors will come around. Otherwise, someone'll build a free OSS tool that does the job, like FreeCiv and GIMP. 'Hey, support us or we will assimilate your customers and clone your software!' :-D
  • Is there any chance that IBM will do some work on read-write HPFS?
  • by Dast ( 10275 )
    A lot of those think pads come with a DVD drive.
    Maybe this will increase Linux support for DVD?

  • I've been thinking of getting a laptop, but find the Thinkpad prices are too darned high. Is there any reason one should buy a Thinkpad over other (cheaper) laptops?

    Let me know if that's not true.

    "Man könnte froh sein, wenn die Luft so rein wäre wie das Bier"
    "We could be happy if the air was as pure as the beer"
  • I was thinking of getting one - sure, I'd rather have 1280x1024 on a 7xx series, but that's almost $5,000, while I can get an i-series for about half the price with a pretty decent spec.

  • Per the Wall Street Journal, the answer is no, the price will "most likely" be lower.

    However, the systems will apparently be sold and supported by resellers, not IBM directly. This makes me a bit confused - it's unclear whether the systems will be shipped with Windows preloaded and then erased, or if there will be a special "no OS" order.

    I hope VA or some other Linux company will buy and resell these systems - I'd love to have a ThinkPad with supported Linux, particularly if it was a 3xx series (since I, sadly, can't justify $ 4-5k for the 770s, more's the pity :-( ).

    A question for IBMers in the audience: Where does ValueAmerica get ThinkPad 770s to sell for $ 1,799.00? I thought IBM sold every one they could make at a high price, and then went straight to the next model. Seems like you'd have to find a massive glitch in IBM's systems to still have 233mhz 770s lying around, but I notice this has happened several times. What's the real story?

    (Memo to anyone seriously considering ValueAmerica: Their price for a contemporary ThinkPad (770X) is higher than IBM's "suggested price". Caveat Emptor).

  • For years, IBM has resented the dirty license trick Billy pulled on him by restricting the MS-DOS license to Microsoft, not, with linux, IBM has a chance to return the favor, answering Gates' license with a dirty license trick of their own: the GPL.

    It's payback time.
  • The question is, though, are their Linux systems subject to the M$ tax as well?
  • Perhaps "software" would be the female, and "hardware" the male???

  • by Jethro ( 14165 )
    The most interesting thing in that post is the Providing Thinkpads to Hackers bit!

    I want one! Anyone have more info on that?

    Of course, posting it here will completely kill anyone's chances of getting one, but still...
  • The Boston Globe's [] today carried the Reuter's story that was also on . But their blurb about the article on the homepage reads
    IBM Corp. and Red Hat Software Inc. said today that IBM will begin selling computers with Linux,
    a Red Hat version of the Unix operating system for network computers.
    "Linux, a Red Hat version..."?!? Isn't the whole point that Linux isn't owned by any one vendor?


  • the Dollars and Sense segment, and the announcer even pronounced Linux correctly!

    Ladies and Gentlemen, we have arrived. ;-)
  • I support IBM Thinkpads for a living... for IBM. From a hardware perspective, they rock. The MWave setup (for those that don't know, MWave is where your sound, modem, and sometimes CD are all controlled by one software driven chip) sucks, yes... under Windows. Under OS/2 it's stable and reliable, but under Windows you often have to choose between your modem and sound. I'd love to see how the thing performs under linux.

    Best Thinkpad Support call: "I dropped my Thinkpad from a third story window and cracked the case. The Duct Tape that's holding the display on is starting to peel off, so I figure it's time to get it replaced."

    "When did you drop it sir?"

    "About eight months ago."

  • Our motive for adopting Linux is that we want money. More and more it is becoming known that software is not the cash cow in computers anymore. Hardware is part of it, but the real money lies in SUPPORT and MAINTENANCE. One of Microsoft's biggest FUD tools was the lack of technical support... by remedying that, we're in a position to not only boost the OS but reap a lot of the profit in the process. Fortunately, other service providers will profit, because we won't be able to monopolise the support area, but our existence there will cause an increase in the use of Linux overall.... more users means more software & drivers, which means more users.... we won't be the only people helping break the no software=no users=no software cycle, but we'll certainly be making a start!!

    (Note: I'm not speaking in any official capacity. I just work for Big Blue, and I know how we think.)

  • I've been running RH5.2 on an old 360CSE (DX2-50MHz 20Mb RAM, 380Mb disk) for about a year now and it's great for playing on the train.

    It's about time IBM started supporting Linux properly & I applaud this completely.

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer