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CNN on Microsoft and Linux 210

noise writes "Article that details Microsoft's continuing anti-Linux campaign up through Ed Muth's comments last week. There are some nice OS and web server usage statistics, as well as some information on the difficulties that MS will likely have with the 64-bit version of NT. "
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CNN on Microsoft and Linux

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is just a reprint of Nicholas Petreley's article originally on Linux World [].
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Have you tried Gnome or KDE? Jeez, it's already passed windows in ease of use. But that's not windows big problem. It's easy to make a program pretty or fast. What's hard is making a program correct. That's windows big problem: if you push it hard it crashes :( If you push Unix hard; it keeps going.


    P.S.: Hey, lamerators! Moderate This!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Perhaps Corel's distribution will be more "idiot friendly." If so, that will be a reason for many techies to turn against the Corel distribution, and shoot themselves in the head.

    No it won't. I don't know where this idea that "the more difficult it is, the better a technical person will like it" comes from, because it isn't true. The better is works the better a technical person will like it. There is a big difference.

    A 3 cylinder convertible that gets 3 mpg with a spiffy paint job and mag wheels isn't what most of are looking for. Form follows function. This is the hallmark of all good design.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Sure, you /.ers always crow about how stable Linux is. Well, I had Linux crash on me the other day. The box had been up for only 150 days, only had about 5 X users at a time 9AM-9PM, and was only running 2 long simulations in the background all the time, and was only running as a file server for 6 other Linux boxes, web, and mail server. I suppose you're going to blame it on the fact that it was running a hacked RedHat 4.2 distro on a cheap PPro box with too little memory. Or that it has a cheap, old video card (X crashed).

    -disappointed AC
  • by Anonymous Coward
    While this article is pretty good, I have issues about a few points. First, Beowulf clusters make heavy use of message passing libraries such as MPI and PVM for clustering (these are not fault-tolerant or failover by nature). These are also available on Windows NT. Second, for those who are parallel programmers, you know that ray tracers are by nature embarrassingly parallel. Algorithms like that adapt well to any network and are scalable by nature. The IBM benchmark basically compares execution times of a DEC Alpha vs that of an x86. Those of you who program Alphas know that extra effort needs to be used when writing code for the Alpha so that you get good performance. Seeing the IBM cluster running an LU decomposition or a CG solver would be more interesting. Also, seeing code that was coded with lots of care for the Alpha against similar code for the x86 would be interesting. Third, those of you who have dealt with performance measuring know that 100Mbit Ethernet and 10Mbit Ethernet have almost the same latency. The main advantage is an increase in bandwidth. For parallel computing many Linux clusters use Myrinet. Similarly, Windows NT clusters use Giganet and Myrinet. A similar cluster to this IBM cluster with either of those two networks is far more scalable on communication intensive applications (embarrassingly parallel applications won't notice that much difference as there is little communication). There are a variety of other issues that I have with the article. I am not advocating either OS, just pointing out some points that came to my mind while reading this article. Many of the other points are valid and overall, the article is pretty good. I cringe many times when I hear people mentioning Beowulf, especially in reference to the IBM 'scalability' benchmark recently (pure marketting hype). Just for reference, the Cray T3E using MPICH (commonly used on Linux) gets ~6.5 (yep, six point five) microseconds latency and ~321 megabytes/sec bandwidth (that's right, three hundred twenty one megabytes per second). Compare this to the typical TCP/IP MPICH on Linux of ~180 microseconds of latency and ~10 megabytes/sec bandwidth and then think what a communication intensive application would do.... Now, compare this with carefully written code on an Alpha-450 (the kind in the Cray-T3E 450 - should get around 400 MFLOPS easily) to what you normally get on a PII-Xeon (less than 100 MFLOPS). I must admit, though, bad code on an Alpha-450 would be around 60 MFLOPS.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 24, 1999 @10:01AM (#1964681)
    Wake up people. Mr Petreley is hardly "unbiased". He's been pounding away at Microsoft for years, as editor of "Linuxworld", and before that the ill-fated "Network Computer World". I like to see people pounding away at Microsoft, but that's where he's coming from.

    Furthermore this story is a bit off-base, as his stories often are. Is Linux considered "splintered" because it comes in 64-bit flavours? Of course not, so why should Windows be? And surely the ability of some future Win64 to emulate 32 bit code should not be counted as detrimental.

    Also, counting the numbers of machines running various Web servers and operating systems and attached to the Internet can't be extrapolated to, say, what IT people like to use generally. So let's not get carried away.

    Anyway, what I'd really like to know is how many big NT sites use it because they receive "incentives" from Microsoft in cash and kind. At least, four years ago this was happening at some companies I was close to.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 24, 1999 @09:09AM (#1964682)
    "Ease of use" depends on who you ask. On the desktop, Microsoft likely still has the upper hand--but KDE and GNOME mean that said upper hand is slipping. Things look even bleaker for Microsoft if uptime is a part of ease of use. No system is easy to use when crashed or wedged.

    Much of the article was looking at NT the server, though. When running a server (as opposed to running a client that happens to talk to the server), the base assumption is that the machine is run by a professional computer operator, such as a sysadmin. From the sysadmin's perspective, a Unix or Linux server tends to be _much_ friendlier than an NT server. Most of this comes from the fact that the GUI is not wed to the backend as it is on Windows.

    For one thing, the server is friendly enough to talk to you at _your_ console, not _its_ console. If I'm running a dozen NT boxes and have to do something to all of them, I have to log into a dozen consoles. To do the same job on Unix, I use X to "beam" windows to my machine from all of them.

    Another "ease of use" advantage in the server world is scriptability. Most anything you can do on a Unix machine, you can do by manipulating text, whether it's manipulating data streams or configuration files. Since text generation is a simple task, this means that you can build your own macros and UIs to do tasks specific to your installation. When talking to an NT application, you have to click the buttons in their preferred order.

    At the low end of the scale, desktops for casual users, Microsoft holds the upper hand for ease of use. At the high end of the scale, servers, Unix beats NT. The turning point is probably close to where the power users sit, depending on one's definition of power user.
  • My darling wife remarked just the other day, "Ya know, I haven't heard you screaming at your computer in about a year. What's up with that?" I got rid of Windows about a year ago. I feel much better now, thank you.

  • Ah, but Sun is probably just as dependant on MS products as MS Hotmail is on Sun products.

    It isn't.

  • Damn! That is a great article!
    It's very rare when I read something that is that inspirational. Makes me wanna go recompile somethin' (like a kernel maybe?). ;-)
  • just a reprint of Nicholas Petreley's article ...

    I really liked the content. Moreover, I was impressed in its being informative, factual, and written by an informed writer. It was great until I saw the author's name. [This in not a slam at Nick! ] It's just depressing that so few journalists seem to be both well informed and willing to state facts over "Copy, Paste, & Spin" type school of journalism.
  • M$ will continue to dominate the desktop client market for quite some time, due to momentum and the difficulty and expense of retraining users to use a new client platform.

    I partially agree with you, but I'd like to share an experience we had in our office converting a machine over from Win95 to Linux.

    We have a group of employees that don't work in the office and just come and go at different times in the day. We had one win95 machine for about 10 of these employees to come in on break and check their email and surf the web.

    With win95 the machine was always crashing, and we had many problems with win95 not being multi-user.

    Eventually we moved the machine into Linux and set up each person with their own username, password and Windowmaker desktop. Yes, we didn't even bother with KDE or GNOME (well we did have GNOME installed for one of the power users, but he actually requested that we remove it and just leave Windowmaker). We setup a button for Netscape, a button for an xterm and a button for an office app we occasionally use. We'll probably add one more button to let them use WordPerfect.

    The largely computer illiterate users couldn't be happier! We set them up with a Windowmaker theme of their choice and showed them how to log into the school server and check their email with pine. We haven't had a single problem with this setup. Most of them probably really don't understand that they are even using a Unix varient. They just click on one or two buttons and get the things done that they need to do, and they know they won't crash the machine or break anything accidently.

    This may not be a typical office experience, but it shows how easy it was to migrate users that weren't familiar with computers at all. I suspect if they had been like many Win95 users they would have complained bitterly because the system doesn't work exactly like Windows does.

    I think many people forget that Windows was hard to train people on as well. In fact, I have a hard time sitting in front of a Mac machine. It is definately not intuitive to me. It took me quite some time to figure out how to eject the floppy disk! What common sense was I supposed to use to determine that to eject the disk I drag the icon into the trash can?

    Linux wasn't intuitive for me to learn, but now that I have learned it, it's no harder than anything else I've done with computers.

    Microsoft definately had a clue when they were still competing with Word Perfect. It let you map the Word Perfect keybindings to the new Word ones as well as giving the user help throughout to help them migrate. It's just as easy to do the same thing in reverse, and I hope it will be done!

  • I don't believe you. And if I did, I would say you need to get the latest service pack!
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    Linux has already captured the market that matters: Geek desktops.

    Everyone who is anyone is running Linux at home (at least in "test" mode). These people determine the future of the industry.

    I'd like to see the following poll run (unbiased):

    A I am a programmer/tech/sysadmin and I use Linux
    B I am a programmer/tech/sysadmin and I don't use Linux
    C I am not a programmer/tech/sysadmin and I use Linux
    D I am not a programmer/tech/sysadmin and I don't use Linux

    I suspect you will see D > A > B > C > 0
  • Posted by stodge:

    Sorry couldnt resist it. So who do you believe? Microsoft, Good article (not just because it supports Linux).

    The best point is that it reminds you that one minute Microsoft views Linux as a worthy competitor, and then it proclaims Linux as something you shouldnt bother with.

    Oh well, I enjoyed it

  • Are you currently running one or more Linux Servers?
    yes: 1337

  • The survey was a survey of one subsection of the market: Those users who run servers and currently use Windows NT. This is *not* the Linux market at large.
  • That is a fantastic article, clear and consise and backed up by real numbers that mean something.

    The fact that it was on is even more amazing.

    Someone should stand ourside an MCSE training class and hand out this article to all the people going in ... maybe they'll just turn around and go home and fdisk. *grin*
  • you can just set it up with mlvwm and put
    everything they want in the "apple" menu. thats
    what i did for my compleatly computer illiterate
    roomate. no problems. you can even setuid a script
    for ppp. it shuts down cleanly when the modem is
    turned off. my opinion, but you can make an
    easier interface with unix/X than with NT.

    of course, installing new software is different matter, but with you doing that, you can look for
    potential problems with anything requested before
    you install it.
  • "The ultimate pipe dream would be if people
    felt compelled to switch because they found some killer app that just doesn't run on windows quite yet...."

    id still prefer being able to choose my OS independantly of choosing applications.
  • This was a wonderfully written, slam-dunk article. It even had charts! Gives a good overall feel for the momentum that is building. This should be a keeper to show any mm's and phb's just what is going on.....and why.
  • The topic of the article is "Why is Microsoft worrying about Linux?", so don't be surprised if the author talks about it and not your favorite server OS... All he said was that "Hotmail originally ran on Sun SPARCStations and Solaris", which is true, he mentions that Microsoft failed in moving it to NT, and then he says:

    (If you just can't believe Microsoft runs Hotmail on Unix, see the
    recent Bull Software press release, "Bull awarded major contract from
    Microsoft for system management software," which states that:

    The initial order is for OpenMaster to manage the hundreds of servers
    and network connections of Hotmail, the world's leading e-mail
    service, which currently provides worldwide e-mail services to more
    than 35 million users.

    OpenMaster runs on and manages AIX and Solaris, not Windows NT.)

    That is it. Maybe hotmail didn't originally run on FreeBSD. Hotmail's site doesn't say *anything* about AIX or Solaris or FreeBSD, and he only cites one source which doesn't mention any *BSD. Maybe this wasn't the topic of the article anyway. He doesn't rule out the possibility, because he says that "hotmail runs on Unix", more than one, and doesn't list them all.

    I'm sorry to rant off-topic, but the backlash against Linux from the *BSD crowd around here is really starting to piss me off. I don't use *BSD, but I am somewhat impressed at what they've managed to do, since they have a Linux emulator which apparently runs well, and are also generally renowned for stability. However, it's just another Unix, and not an incredibly popular one at that. Linux is popular, Solaris is well-known but inferior, *BSD is still good, but generally works and rots in a corner. Why? Maybe their development model doesn't work as well with a free community. Maybe if the kernel development were less tight-knit, you'd see more interest, or maybe if it were GPL'ed, instead of stolen by any commercial interest and then re-released proprietarily (read: Apple, for one :) and marketed better. I could see how users of such an OS would get to feel somewhat inferior, but this isn't *my* problem, and I don't care. I try to post informative comments, and I don't need stupid ones cluttering up the place.

    Someone mentioned earlier about how Solaris ran on x86 hardware when we had a small flamewar about server/operating systems, and I had a *one-line* post about how Linux also runs on SPARC hardware. What response did I get?

    Not on all hardware and not very well, don't let your religion pull the wool over your eyes.--I didn't say that Linux was GOD, I just mentioned that it ran on the same friggin' hardware. I could have mentioned that it was also faster, in, say, kernel latency, or cheaper, or runs on *better hardware* (this UltraSPARC has a friggin' IDE drive in it, it's still expensive, and it doesn't run as well as my K6/300 which has crappier hardware and runs Linux) because that is a *documented fact*, but I didn't, and the bastard read into my post that *didn't* have any hidden meaning. (but I wish it had now...)

    ...if you want a definitive answer to your question, write to the author, don't whine to us, and I hope he slams you as hard as any of us can for acting like a moron and assuming things that you don't know.
  • by pb ( 1020 )
    Yeah, that was a bit of a rant. I was pissed off, I just didn't want to see another silly religion comment in a topic that doesn't need it... unfortunately I might have made a few myself, but I try to give facts rather than opinions or speculation.

    Sure, it's open. My point was that it's *so* open that anyone can use the code, for any purpose, and make it proprietary, like MacOS X. But that isn't even a big deal, compared to the attitude of their users who post (stupid stuff) on slashdot. They don't need support like that...

    On the machines I use, Solaris is inferior to Linux. I've never used a machine running Solaris with more than one processor, nor am I prepared to pay for one. At my university, we use Solaris and NT for desktops. The Solaris machines range from Sparc 4 to Ultra 10, and I've used Sparc 1+, Sun 4, and Sun 3 machines. (they ran SunOS, but... well, close enough for my purposes)

    If I replaced any of the NT boxes with Linux, it would be a beautiful machine. All-SCSI hardware, PII-400s, at least 128MB of RAM in each of them. The SPARCs are friggin UltraSPARC 300's with floppy drives (no CDROM), IDE harddrives, and an equivalent amount of RAM. They are, of course, still faster than the NT machines for most tasks, and don't waste as much memory, but aren't what I call efficient, either. Blame RISC architecture or shoddy hardware, but they also cost about as much as the NT boxes. The actual processor speed, by the way, is about equivalent to my K6/300 running Linux, so I got a machine that's, say, 4 times cheaper and runs things at the same (or better!) speed.

    I don't think Solaris boxes could beat Linux boxes from a price/performance point of view, (which is what I care about) and although Solaris boxes may do SMP better (that's what I've heard, I haven't tested it) I'm sure they are very expensive, and Linux clusters very well. (64-processor SMP == 16 boxes clustered with 4-processor SMP, assuming you have enough bandwidth. Which is most of what people do, POVray, web servers, everything except for the most high-end and esoteric simulations. And some people still do that on Linux for the price/performance ratio! :)

    ...and my argument against Sun hardware is: you get what you pay for. You can run Linux on the same hardware, and even get the same parts for an x86 machine or an Alpha... Some of the SPARCs here use IDE harddrives, heck, I used a PowerMac that did too, one time. So the PC hardware is crappy argument doesn't work, especially since Linux runs on most hardware *and* processors.

    (unlike Solaris, NT, AIX, etc, etc. This is actually one area where the *BSD's also do better than the commercial equivalents, too. I could just do without their supporters, if I want that, I'll read User Friendly. :)
  • I don't use BSD, so I must admit to some ignorance here, I just notice that I never see incremental public releases of the kernel for people to try out, which is something I value in Linux.

    Similarly, gcc is only updated by the same tight-knit group of people, and released when they think they're done. The Linux kernel, and egcs, on the other hand, release many incremental community releases, for peer review, and I find this more friendly and open.

    I didn't really want to make this part of my discussion a licensing issue, because it really isn't. However, I don't like the FreeBSD license for, say, an operating system, because I hate to see a good free operating system bastardized by Apple, Microsoft, or anyone else who can't program, can market, and makes everything they touch turn proprietary. That is what the GPL defends against. I figure if someone else wants to use my code and not share, then they can just write it themselves.

    So did you have any opinions on, or disputes with, any of the facts I mentioned? I would actually find that interesting.
  • I just feel warm and tingly all over after reading that.

    'Course it could be the pot of coffee I just finished.
  • Nice of him to forget the 500+ FreeBSD systems at Hotmail.
  • by heroine ( 1220 ) on Wednesday March 24, 1999 @08:57AM (#1964702) Homepage
    Remember when 32 bit processors came out the world was perfectly content to stick to 16 bit Win 3.1 for years until Microsoft "invented" the 32 bit OS. When Intel finally "invents" 64 bit chips the managers and CEO's of the world are going to be perfectly happy running a 32 bit OS for many years to come indeed They already are if you count Sparc and Alpha.
  • The reason that Windows is considered splintered is not because it is 64 bit but because they are using a different code base. Considering Cutler's practices, it's unlikely that the code bases will be merged.

    On the other hand, Linux is pretty much all one code base and those parts that aren't are being merged actively.

  • Dude, I don't use *BSD, but your message WAS very much a temper tandrum. Their licence and development process are VERY open.

    Furthermore, Solaris is *INFERIOR* to Linux? Are you basing that on a technical assumption? Please, explain.
    Solaris has options for high (B1) security, 64-processor SMP, failover clusters, and best of all, its source code is freely available to look at (and modify for personal use).

    From a technical perspective, when dealing with a high-end server (over 4 processors), it is difficult to argue in favour of Linux.
  • Sorry, I had read an article (I believe on PCWeek or Infoworld)
    that was referring to the new licences for many of Sun's products that would allow
    *anyone* to download them for non-commerical use. This includes the Java Developer Kit,
    Java Workshop, Jini, one of Sun's UNIX applications.

    I had assumed Solaris 7 was included under this "newer" licence.
    I guess I was wrong.
  • [...]
    a good shell [...]

    I wonder if there's any chance at all of persuading IBM to release the source code for the OS/2 Workplace Shell... I gather that it's really rather nice. Substitute Rexx with Guile, keep the object model, add metadata in the filesystem in the same way as GNOME, and presto. No harm in feeding the changes back into the OS/2 version -- that'd maybe make it worth IBM's while?

  • Few people outside of BC will know about Clark's little jaunts into the seemy underbelly of politics... but the point is well taken. To paraphrase:

    "Lie, lie, lie
    deny, deny, deny
    grovel, grovel, grovel"

    -- (remove the SPAM-B-GONE bit)

  • FUD from the linux camp, FUD from the microsoft camp, that's all we ever read these days.
  • 64-bit windows is a splinter from the main OS because it's a binary only OS. Linux apps are Write Once Compile Anywhere (well, the competently written OSS apps).
  • I'm impressed.. In was 'just the facts'.. Although, I REALLY liked the first part when it was quoting a Linux fan, which turned out to be excepts from the Microsoft vs. DOJ trial..
  • When the author said that [the MicroSoft exec was an ardent Linux supporter], he was being ironic, not bogus.

    Yes, I realize that he was using humor, I saw it comming before I read any of the quoted text. Yes, I even found it humorous.

    My point, however, is I don't think using the hyprocracy, and possible purgery, of MicroSoft is a good way of promoting Linux. MicroSoft is irrelevant. Getting into a mud-slinging match with them doesn't help us. Destroying MicroSoft wasn't what motivated most of the free software developers, and letting Linux advocates try and turn things into that isn't A Good Thing.

  • First, let me say that I enjoyed reading the article. It was fun, in a sick sort of way, to see MicroSoft be beaten up like that. Also, I am a long time Linux/Unix user. My home machine has run primarily Linux/Unix for almost 10 years now, and before that it was a Forth/CP-M machine. I have used Linux more in the last week than I have used MS products in the last almost 20 years.

    Still, I found the article to have a lot of anti-MS FUD in it, which was disappointing. Linux doesn't need to spread FUD to "win." MicroSoft is something that should be ignored, not beaten up upon.

    For example, for the author to claim he is quoting "one of Linux's most ardent supports", when he is quoting a MS executive's trial testimony is bogus. MicroSoft doesn't support Linux, although they do want to say that someone could be considered a competitor to them. Yes, MicroSoft is being bogus also, but what MicroSoft does is irrelevant and can't excuse what Linux supporters do.

    As for Linux not having a "long term road map", that is true. Linus recently said that he wasn't sure what was going to go into v2.3, and what will actually end up in it is anyones guess. I don't think this is a problem, but to turn around and effectively say "Yeah, but MicroSoft doesn't have one either!!11!!!" is lame.

    As far as the "cost per transation" goes, MicroSoft is right that the price of Linux is meaningless. Anyone who has done real large scale roll-outs knows that the vast majority of the costs involves the labor and training expenses. While you can argue fairly strongly that Linux can have a much smaller labor expense to create a server/system, the training is not as easy to dismiss. Linux has real weaknesses, as well as real strengths. The price, when it comes down to it, is not that big of an issue.

    The area of 64-bit support is also something that Linux may be "better than WinNT", but that isn't saying much. There is a lot of Linux software that doesn't run correctly on Alphas/Sparcs. There isn't even very many distributions that can claim to support these 64-bit machines.

    While it is possible for MicroSoft to mess up their 64-bit support, I find it somewhat unlikely. The problems with going from 16-bit segments to a flat 32-bit model are much different than going from a flat 32-bit model to a flat 64-bit model.

    All in all, I found reading this article to be much like a one-night-fling. Yeah, it was a lot of fun, but I kind feel "dirty" afterwords. There was just too much anti-MicroSoft stuff, and not enough "this is why you should use Linux". What little of the later there was, it was mostly done by tearing down MS.

  • Oh, what joy, what bliss! I can almost feel the sorrow Bill must be feeling right now. He must be one paranoid and worried little man by now!
  • there are fewer apps.
  • there are fewer apps.

    (lets try this again). Does that mean you can't run Microsoft Office, Microsoft Explorer, Microsoft Bob?

    Cause I've found plenty of things to run on Unix.
  • It would seem that any large body with a lot at stake (let's use a politician and his/her government as an example) will gamble by saying things that aren't necessarily true (or NOT saying things that are true), in the hopes that the heat will be turned off and things will go back to normal. Some examples from recent history include President Clinton's escapade with Lewinsky, and Premier Clark's [government's] numerous scandals (the ferries, the casino, etc). Until they know there's no turning back, they'll swear that black is white.

    Such is the case with Microsoft. While they believed they were still on pretty solid ground they could quietly overlook any shortcomings of their own OS, and form arguments (that may or may not be convincing) to see them coming out on top. They could deny that Linux was a threat because, as far as they were concerned, there was no evidence to support that idea.

    A breaking point came where they could no longer deny what was really going on, and unless they were to acknowledge what everybody could see was happening (That Linux does "challenge the industry leader"), they'd look rather silly.

    Of course, your guess as to what comes of this is as good as mine. Many Politicians who fib manage to stay (or get back) in office; maybe Microsoft will as well.

    But, my vote has been with Linux since kernel 1.2.x, and i'm not changing anytime soon.

  • with a bit of yellow on the tip of his nose and around his eyes. Other than that it would be all puffed up nice and really tight.

  • as soon as I hit SUBMIT....

  • I took a course at Sun Education's Melbourne offices a couple of years ago. I thought I noticed that the receptionist at the front desk was not using MS products, so I asked what office suite she was using.

    Her answer? Applix.

    So I very much doubt that Sun are as dependent on MS stuff as has been suggested. MS Office is certainly not a company-wide standard.

  • This is great information. Do you have a pointer to the oringinal? I'd really like to see the whole thing and I couldn't find it after a quick look at their site. TIA.
    "First they ignore you.
    Then they laugh at you.
    Then they fight you.
  • You've seen that happen too. Ha Ha Too funny.
    And here I thought it was only our company.

  • Furthermore, it's still quite a ways from being something that I would want to put on my mom's computer.

    Well, actually I did put it on my mom's computer, I put it on all PC's at home. While it's true that it's quite a change for newbies to get used to it, it's entirely possible. My whole family is using Linux since I got rid of Windoze, it forced them to learn a bit, which is a good thing. Microsoft keeps people computer-illiterate whereas Unix creates tech-savvy users...

    Of course my mother isn't a guru, she's using KDE, only knows a couple of Shell commands (startx, fetchmail, top) and has no idea about internals - but that's my job, a sys-admin's task, and I'm certainly glad she can't kill the system by making a mistake.

    So Linux is a valuable choice for family computers as long as there's a knowledgeable administrator available. A stand-alone home computer for newbies might be a problem, though. That could be solved by a special distro that is especially tailored to "powerless-users" (so to speak).
  • Unfortunately, my Linux box at home has crashed on me several times (with only a few days of uptime in between) since I upgraded to the 2.2.x kernels. It seems to be happening around 6:30am while running the Debian /etc/cron.daily/standard (probably in the checksecurity script, which does a find for setuid files).

    I haven't seen this with RedHat, but then, RedHat doesn't have the same crontab scripts. I had some theories on the cause, but none have panned out so far. I'm hoping the 2.2.4 kernel fixes things, but if not, I'll try to find the root of the problem and post the results to the appropriate places.

    Of course if anyone else has seen anything similar, I'd love to hear about it...

  • Anomalous Cowherd wrote:
    > Furthermore, it's still quite a ways from being
    > something that I would want to put on my mom's
    > computer.

    I agree completely. I love Linux, but I have to use MS for work. There is no question about the advantages of Linux over Windows, but for the non-technical person out there, Windows is still easier to use. Although one may argue that these people should be using Macs instead of PCs, since they are even more idiot friendly (to use your own terminology :)

    I'm not so sure if it will take 2 to 3 years before Linux reaches the level of "idiot friendliness" as Windows. With the momentum that the OS has gained, its development is bound to start taking a few leaps forward, and this is the main aspect that Linux developers should be concentrating the most if we have any hopes of seeing grandma buying computers with little penguin stickers on it.

    Ps: Great screen name BTW :)


  • "Warning:this stuff certainly is beta right now"
  • Well, then try telling your mom to install some new software on the machine. I'm not talking about having mom over to use the machine. I was thinking more in terms of having her go to the store, buy the machine, go home, start using it, and install some software she may need. Until that is the case, I'm sorry but the average mom (hello Average Mom! :) will end up getting a windows machine, or a Mac.

    Yet, the point of my message, which you apparently missed, was that the day Ms. Average Mom will go out there and purchase her very own Linux machine may be closer than the 2 or 3 years suggested in the message prior to mine.

  • The article comments on Linux's superior ability to cluster servers compared to NT. Although this claim may be accurate (I have no idea whether it is or not) the example he uses to illustrate his point is poorly chosen in the context of the article.

    The example was of IBM's demonstration of a 17 server Linux cluster running as fast as a Cray. This claim is based on the results of the Povray benchmark, which is in no way related to normal server operations. The Povray benchmark, for those who don't know, is a benchmark based on 3D scene rendering abilities of a machine. The program that was run has been designed using parrallel programming techniques which are necessary in a Beowulf cluster. This has very little to do with your run-of-the-mill server operations that the article seems to gear towards.

    As of yet there do not appear to be any significant applications (databases, webservers, etc) that have been developed to harness the capabilities of a Beowulf cluster. From a recent mailing on the Beowulf mailing list, it appears that Oracle is working on making a Beowulf capable database, but that is purely rumor.

    All the above is basede on my recent observation, feel free to correct me if I am mistaken.
  • Where is it written that every OS/application has to suffer from terminal creeping featuritis?

    For what kernels do, I think the 2.2.x series does what it does very well. I can't think of anything at all that needs to be added to it. (More drivers will always be required)

    I am looking forward to XFree86 4.0, and a stable Gnome though.

    As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.

  • The war is over, we won. The media and the Linux groupies can finish off what's left of MS's rotting carcass.

    Now, who wants to go for a beer?

    As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.

  • The example was of IBM's demonstration of a 17 server Linux cluster running as fast as a Cray. This claim is based on the results of the Povray benchmark, which is in no way related to normal server operations.

    You mean my Beowulf cluster won't handle my workgroup's file and print services the way my Cray can?


    I don't recall the article saying anything about "normal server operations", just comparisons to overall computing power.

    As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.

  • I still use OS/2. I still like OS/2. I've stopped trying to convince other people to start using it. I think you can have a kick-ass SOHO system with a Linux server and OS/2 desktops, but Linux on the desktop doesn't suck (Gnome is no Workplace Shell).

    OS/2 is a closed system owned by IBM. IBM's interests do not lie in keeping it current as a desktop OS. My interests, and those of other OS/2 users don't matter. We don't have the source. It would be cool if IBM said,"We don't want this, you take it," but that's not going to happen any time soon...

    I want an OS with a future. OS/2 is great now, but in 5 years, it'll be keeping my TRS-80's company in the closet.

  • Okay, it looks clear that as long as Linux development continues as it is, and Microsoft doesn't find some miraculous way to dig themselves out from years of bad architecture decisions, Linux will win (has won?) the server war.

    Now, however, it's time to win the desktop. Between KDE, GNOME, and WINE development, I personally see Linux at taking a serious chunk of Windows desktop market share in two years, and maybe breaking the 50% mark in three years. What you do folks think, reasonable?
  • by Guy Harris ( 3803 )
    Solaris has {various things} and best of all, its source code is freely available to look at (and modify for personal use).

    Really? I found this page for the Solaris SPARC and Intel Source code Program [], but if you follow the Download the agreement [] link under "Licensing Agreement", you find it says "Please note that we cannot accept applications from non-educational institutions nor from individual students."

    So to what other program are you referring to when you say "its source code is freely available to look at (and modify for personal use)."? Given that you didn't qualify that as "freely available to educational institutions", you clearly weren't referring to that program, unless I missed something else that indicates that you can get the source even if you're not an educational institution.

  • You're probably referring to Sun's Community Source License []; these are the products [] they currently have under that license - but Solaris isn't one of them.
  • This article couldn't have come at a better time. The old standbys (e.g., the Kirch paper []) are great for details, but this wraps it up in a nice, bite-size chunk that even management can understand. Icing on the cake for a certain internal memo...
  • Regarding server farms:

    I guy I worked with at another company (not my current employer..) told me MSN.COM's server farm was managed by a friend's company - I think Digital. I was told they had about 1800 NT Servers each loaded to the gills with RAM, but owing to the unpredicatable nature they were never all running at one time, which is probably true since it takes 12 minutes to fully reboot my dual-processor NT box. They even installed *automated* reboot scripts to make stability more predictable. How's THAT for "enterprise-ready"? . Disclaimer: I make no guarantees as to the authenticity of above statements as it is heresay from another individual. I am only reporting as I heard this. So I couldn't say it's "REALLY TRUE" as I don't work for them. I believe it though...
    >I know MS NT is bad, but MS guys scheduling reboots is kind of like Microsoft admiting that their servers are unstable.

    Oh, you mean like Hotmail outages when their management was too afraid to tell Bill his little OS couldn't run the webmail service, even with an unlimited hardware budget?

    Or do you mean how Microsoft's "Terrabyte server" served nothing but roadmaps because it couldn't handle complex data?

    1800 NT servers is pretty amazing. We had a 3 or 4 Solaris + Alpha (UNIX) boxes that handled more load than MSN's little NT wasteland server farm. It doesn't make financial sense to run something that way, until you consider how much internal clout MS Sales/Marketing has and the fear of saying NO.

    Just in case any AC snips at my .sig, I don't think MacOS is up to that kind of serving job *either* (MacOS X Server "might" be since it's just NextStep in Mac clothing. I don't know for certain). Different jobs for different tasks I say... but NT does everything second-rate.

  • Tried it - sent it back!

    BeOS has a long way to go as far as working with standard PC hardware, especially CD-ROMs and internal modems!
  • My wife and I were discussing this very thing not an hour ago :)
  • Hmmm...

    I agree, his statements about Windows NT not matching Linux on clusters is probably incorrect. Beowulf, as I understand it, is simply made up of a collection of systems running some message passing software over a tightly coupled local area network (100mbit, gigabit, etc). Not counting stability, cost, performance, and availability concerns, there is no fundamental technical reason why Windows NT (or Windows 95, FreeBSD, MacOS, BeOS, etc, etc) could not be made to do the same thing. Really all that is needed is good NIC drivers, a port of the MPI code, and a fairly efficient IP stack to handle the throughput. However the fact that IBM (or anyone else) could put together one of these clusters so easily is important, IMHO. It would probably take a lot longer to do with a non-OSS platform.

    Also, database systems (and probably web servers too) do not really apply in this case as they typically use their own message passing schemes, which have no need for the "Beowulf"-specific middleware layer.

  • not only that, but scott mcneilly banned microsoft powerpoint. result? productivity went up, fileservers with low disk space went down.

    not surprising really.
  • You know - every once in a while you get a pitch that's right down the middle, and exactly what you thought the pitcher was going to throw. Then, using just enough patience to not swing too soon (because you know you _own_ this pitch), you turn your body into the pitch and quickly put all your force into the end of the bat and...


    The ball gets blasted out of the ballpark. And as you trot around the bases, you holler at the pitcher:

    "Way to try and put that FUD past me, Eddie-boy!"

    Nice article, Nick.
  • like I said. Everyone knows Al Gore invented BeOS, MacOSX, and the first motorola CPU's.

    Secondly, Steve Jobs isn't ahead of anything. His carrer is nothing more than a long sad string of aborted efforts.
  • by cthonious ( 5222 ) on Wednesday March 24, 1999 @11:35AM (#1964744)
    You should check out Nick's "The Next Ten Minutes series, which he did for NC World, back in March 98

    Really good stuff if you have the time to read it

  • They already accounted for that. When more and more Linux machines joined in the poll they stopped tabulating the results and took only the first 2000 results.

    This ballot was not stuffed.

    If you don't believe me, click on the link to the survey on hte article, and read the paragraphs in the beginning where they explain that everything was going smoothly, then the slashdot effect kicked in, so they only took the first 2000 results.

  • I think the Free Software movement has more of a marketing department than MS does. They only got an interview printed in PC Week, an obviously pro-M$ publication.

    We got a great rebuttal printed in CNN, a much more mainstream publication, thanks to Nick Petreley.

    I say, let M$ bring on the FUD. We can fend them off much better than they can fend us off, because we also have the truth behind us.
  • by edgy ( 5399 ) on Wednesday March 24, 1999 @09:10AM (#1964747)

    Actually, if you go here: 2000.htm []

    You can see that when they noticed that the statistics were getting skewed towards Linux, they stopped using those statistics. Only the first 2000 responses were used. These responses were made before word of the survey got out to the Linux crowd.

    There's no ballot stuffing here.
  • by Electric Eye ( 5518 ) on Wednesday March 24, 1999 @08:45AM (#1964748)
    I think this is the first SOLID piece of evidence I've seen showing how much trouble M$ is in in the OS market. There's no M$ bashing. Just concrete facts, as far as I can see. The author deserves applause for writing such a brilliant piece. I would think, more so now than ever, the folks in Redmond are chasing their tails more and more, not knowing how to stem the tide of Linux. The simple fact is that Linux is going to roll right over them. The momentum is too strong to fight. Cheers to all you folks developing Linux apps!!
  • So whatever happened to Merced - the PA-RISC and Intel joint effort that was supposed to dominate the 64 bit chip market? I recall the hub-bub when it first went into supposed development over a year ago. HP observed MS's exceedingly slow pace developing a 64 bit OS, and decided to spring their own HP-UX 11.0 outta the box.

    But then, IMHO, HP-UX 11.0 is still under development and has a long way to go before it can replace 10.20. 64bit is going to be a long way off in that camp as well.

  • DVD drivers are getting cheaper and cheaper, movies can be rent at most video store here, all 3 dvd software player I have use under windoze are all choppy.....

    Which brings up something that's been bothering me for a year or so now: Why would anyone want a DVD drive for movies on their computer? If you want to watch movies, get a DVD player for your 27"+ TV, not your 17" monitor... I for one can't imagine sitting at a desk in front of a computer watching a movie. Am I the only one who thinks DVD movies on a computer is a dumb idea? (Okay, on a laptop, it's almost sensible, since you could hook it up to a TV easily if it had composite output, or maybe watch movies on an airplane or something...)

    Now, using DVD for data storage, I can see...
  • Well, according to the intro, the survey taker stopped when the submitters began to all come from linux boxes (note: he didn't say 'from /.'). So unless all those hitting the survey from freshmeat were running NT, then the 'freshmeat effect' didn't have an effect on the survey.

    I'm glad they stepped in to ensure that they were sampling their target population - it makes the pro-linux results look even better ;)
  • When the author said that, he was being ironic, not bogus.

    You read the quote, and it does sound very pro-linux, kinda like something a linux geek here would write when refuting the "no software" FUD.

    Then the author reveals that it was an MS exec, giving testimony in the DOJ case. The significance of that is not lost on the reader, who realizes that the testimony was *not* that of an 'ardent supporter', but an exec trying to make linux seem like competition in front of the court, and in the process refutes his own company's FUD.

    Wham! Irony.

    Then the point becomes clear - you can't trust what the mouth of MS says, since it changes like a chameleon from pro-linux when being prosecuted, to anti-linux when trying to keep IT managers from dropping NT like a pissed-off rattlesnake.

    Though the reader will also realize that the statements made before the DOJ about linux software are in fact true.

    Conclusion: Ed Muth is wrong. (that is, after all, what the artical was supposed to be about)

  • I was unaware. Being from Canada, I don't get much oppertunity to see elephants swimming. ;)

    BTW, anyone out there want a couple feet of snow? We've got lots to spare.

  • by MrDarkguy ( 6594 ) on Wednesday March 24, 1999 @09:41AM (#1964754) Homepage
    Granted. Personally, I've been using Linux for a little over 6 months now and I would never go back. (Well, actually I do...but only when I need to edit complex Office 97 documents)

    I agree with you that Linux is a ways away from being what I would put on my mother's computer either, but consider it's roots.

    As we all know, Linux is a variant of UNIX, which was originally written by developers for other developers. Computers weren't household appliances. They didn't need to be "idiot friendly", they needed to be "professional friendly". And, due to hardware constraints, it had to be a lean and mean.

    Windows on the other hand, traces it's lineage back to the inception of the PC, and QDOS. PCs, in contrast to workstations, had to be more "idiot friendly" than UNIX, because they were not targeted exclusively at the professional.

    Now, if we bring this forward to the inception of NT, we find that Microsoft has seen the writting on the wall when it comes to the "PC" market. They can see that they have saturated the home market. In order to continue making the unbelievable amounts of revenue they have been sustaining, they need to A) Force the people who have bought their product in the past to upgrade to a new version, and/or B) Move into the server market, where the big bucks are. Microsoft decided to do both. (Hence NT, and eventually, the 9x line)

    Meanwhile, the commercial UNIXes were happy as clams in a pond. They WERE the server market. There were many variants available, and the competition kept things fresh, but there was little reason to make UNIX "idiot friendly". NT (and more importantly, NT's marketing) caught them off guard. All of a sudden, NT was on it's road to becoming the big game in town, and the various UNIX vendors began loosing that ever so important market share.

    Now, we bring this forward to present day. Many companies who standardized on NT have knowingly, or unknowingly been forced to bring back UNIX. Linux is rising in popularity and, for the first time, there IS a reason to make it "idiot friendly", if only to end Microsoft's stranglehold on the PC market.

    The bad news is, Microsoft has been making "user-friendly" OSes complete with user candy for quite some time now. Arguably, they're pretty good at it.

    The flip side of the coin is that UNIX/Linux has been doing networking for quite some time now. And I think we'll all agree, it's pretty damn good at it.

    So what we have is two seperate systems, built for completely disparate environmnents encroaching on each other's living space. (Imagine a whale being forced to walk on land and an elephant being forced to swim.) And at this point, they either evolve, or you end up with a lot of beached whales and drowned elephants.

    It comes down to a question of how well each can adapt to their new environment. Can NT become more reliable, scalable, and robust? Can UNIX become more user friendly, intuitive, and simple?

    Linux, being open source has a distinct advantage. It can (and has) evolve very quickly. Look at where Linux was in terms of use-ability a year ago, compared to now. Then, look at NT in terms of stability, and performance a year ago, compared to now.

    So, while Linux still has a long way to go, I'd much rather wait for it to become more user-friendly than I would for NT to become more scalable.

    These are interesting times. Enjoy them.

  • So I don't know for sure, but I really don't think that Sun depends on MS.

    You think ol' Scott McNealy fires up Outlook to send out his companywide messages? Heh. Yeah, right. This is SUN we're talking about! The first company to make personal *NIX workstations practical.

    Now I'm curious, though. Anyone who does work for sun want to comment?

  • I must say, I did have a smile on my face the whole time reading thru that article.

    I ran a pretty intense ftp server for a while and when I had it running NT, it would crap out all the time. I took the same exact hardware over to linux and it just kept chugging along. Pretty nifty shit.

    Oh, and with that pot of coffee, watch out or you may also get the warm tricklies running down your leg! :)
    The art of flying is throwing yourself at the ground...
    ... and missing.
  • hehe, ms bob.... just what we need ported over to linux :)

    I just fear the day that Microsoft comes out with MS-Linux ::twitch::

    The art of flying is throwing yourself at the ground...
    ... and missing.
  • For the actual results page, click here. []
  • by VanL ( 7521 ) on Wednesday March 24, 1999 @09:38AM (#1964759)
    Several people have pointed out that this survey could have been slashdotted.
    Well, it wasn't. Here is the intro to the survey results from Sunbelt:

    Sunbelt March99 Survey Results
    over 1999 NT users

    And now, the answers to the survey questions! Before anything else,
    thanks for your many thousands of survey answers. This is a hot
    topic for sure!!

    First though, some background data. This survey was meant to
    get an idea how things are looked at BY the NT community, FOR
    the NT community. Well, that was somewhat naive I have to admit
    . The questions were created while looking at discussions
    between NT system administrators and were definitely written
    from that viewpoint. Some claim that they were biased. There may
    be some truth in that if you look at it from the Linux POV.

    Sunbelt does not claim any kind of scientific validity. This
    survey is a snapshot and not a random sample at all. It is not
    objective but that was not the idea in the first place.

    BUT, I guess if you step into a war you should expect some bullets
    flying around, and I did get some flak from people. Most of these
    people are both running NT and Linux and know them well. Personally
    I know NT but have not much experience with Linux. We have a few
    'closet' Linux users in Sunbelt though, both in sales and Tech .

    Anyway, what happened is that we sent the invitation to do the
    survey, and very quickly got thousands of responses back. We
    followed in real-time what the results were, every 500 responses
    or so. Extremely surprising numbers to start with. But even more
    strange after the first few hours. Numbers started suddenly to
    change and become slanted toward more Linux than before. Very odd
    from a statistical perspective I remember from my stats course
    in college.

    Now, it so happens that the software we use to do the survey
    queries the browser that was used to fill out the survey. So
    we know what O/S it is running on, and the IP address it comes
    from. The Linux user community had gotten word about the survey
    and was getting into gear to show that Linux had support.

    So anyway, we took the first 2000 survey results and did our
    analysis on those. These were from predominantly NT users with
    some people answering from a Linux machine. That will give some
    idea about the current state of Linux use and the results are


    And here is my own favorite set of statistics, about the supposed
    advantages/disadvantages of Linux:

    How important are these perceived Linux Benefits?

    Scale= Very Important / Important / Of Less Importance

    Linux is free
    775.00 / 523.00 / 542.00
    1584.00 / 195.00 / 58.00
    Not Microsoft
    340.00 / 290.00 / 1178.00
    Better performance
    1356.00 / 381.00 / 89.00
    Open Software
    1148.00 / 459.00 / 225.00
    619.00 / 294.00 / 294.00

    How important are these perceived Linux drawbacks?

    (Same scale)

    Lack of Applications
    463.00 / 449.00 / 882.00
    Not Mission Critical yet
    314.00 / 333.00 / 1099.00
    Lack of Third Party utilities
    324.00 / 352.00 / 1084.00
    Different distributions / GUI's
    261.00 / 299.00 / 1197.00
    Lack of standardization
    386.00 / 315.00 / 1060.00
    Open Software
    257.00 / 281.00 / 1214.00
    Lack of Tech Support
    324.00 / 312.00 / 1119.00
    Too 'Bleeding Edge'
    129.00 / 256.00 / 1347.00
    Steep Learning Curve
    238.00 / 401.00 / 1116.00
    Hardware incompatibilities
    371.00 / 404.00 / 985.00
    User unfriendly
    270.00 / 385.00 / 1101.00

  • modprobe sb

    Whoa! That was a tough one!


  • I have to say I am getting tired of this sort of response. Is Windows really that easy to use?

    I've never really encountered a Windows setup that didn't totally deteriorate at some point in time to the point that the user has to come ask someone like me for help -- and this is _without_ the user doing anything but typical installation or uninstallation of software using the typical packaging systems you find on Windows. Even if Windows is setup professionally and fine-tuned for the hardware it is installed upon by the same professionals, unless you never touch the machine you're going to be deluged with GPFs, ambiguous error messages ("At least one device failed", etc.), and odd quirks that are often just completly insurmountable (short of restoring the hard drive image to what it was when you first received it). The most common "troubleshooting" task involved in Windows support is the oh so troublesome "reinstall." Does the application crash every time you run it? If you can't find a hack to fix it, all you can do is reinstall. If the OS itself manages to fail in this manner (and it does and will), you've got an entire OS to reinstall. That's what you consider useable?

    True, this is not Microsoft's fault alone -- there are dozens, if not thousands of software developers who are spewing out applications that are as bad or worse than the OS itself, and there's nothing you or I can do about it. This is not what I consider ease of use. This is not what I would want to subject my mother to when I give her a computer. True, Linux apps generally lack the glitz and occasionally the interoperability that Windows apps have, but which OS is more _useable_?


  • > That's how MSN is run... over a THOUSAND
    > Pentium Pro NT servers on a *scheduled*
    > reboot regimen (24 hours I think).

    Is this REALLY TRUE? I find it remarkably hard to believe. I mean, I know MS NT is bad, but MS guys scheduling reboots is kind of like Microsoft admiting that their servers are unstable.

    I've heard about a US Post Office NT server that had to be rebooted once per hour. I also find this difficult to believe, but the story teller I believe, and the source I trust.

  • by Kozz ( 7764 ) on Wednesday March 24, 1999 @08:53AM (#1964763)
    Was a great article by Nicholas Petreley.
    It's clear he has a good handle on the strengths of Linux in comparison to today's WinNT, as well as the NT yet to be developed.

    As usual, it's noted that so much FUD from the Micros~1 people downplay the importance and significance that Linux has in current Internet applications as well as home-users' desktops. MS seems to have just discovered that there indeed are GUIs for Linux, and there are applications comparable to most anything that MS has already produced. And Linux almost always does it better.
    To quote:
    Dual-processor Pentium III Xeon systems should also help IT managers trying to overcome Windows NT's tendency to spike to 100 percent usage when subjected to numerous simultaneous interrupts, which in turn leads to system crashes, said analysts at the Aberdeen Group, in Boston. Deploying a second processor should help alleviate some of those crashes, they said.

    And the reasons stating the superiority of Linux go on and on. Really, if you look at those numbers and have used Linux, the numbers shouldn't be a surprise to you. Can you really beat an OS that's not only free, but has thousands of programmers continually fixing, updating, and supporting it?
    viva Open Source! viva Linux!

  • /* So what we have is two seperate systems, built for completely disparate environmnents encroaching on each other's living space. (Imagine a whale being forced to walk on land and an elephant being forced to swim.) And at this point, they either evolve, or you end up with a lot of beached whales and drowned elephants. */

    A little off topic, but elephants are actually very good swimmers. Their large surface area to allows them much buoyance, and their trunks can be used as snorkels.

    Just a little useless fact.

  • The smart OS developer will use some flavor of unix and simply place the user interface on top of that. Make it feel like a Mac, BeOS, NeXT, or make it smell like Windoesnt. And, of course, Steve Jobs and Apple are leading the pack. Linux is nice, and we use it here for the low end PCs (vice the Suns and SGIs), but it has a long way to go before it's ready for prime time. We need to be up and running and crunching numbers (we do chaos), not searching for SCSI and video drivers.
  • What, is Windows(tm) becoming, gasp, fragmented?


  • I was stunned - it made my day - to see a shrink-wrapped copy of Applix office in the shiny new Costa Mesa/Newport Beach Borders.

    There was a whole solid bookcase column (vertical member to vertical member) devoted to Linux distributions and applications. Wow!


  • She's actually correct. Even on systems that are already 64 bit (solaris, irix, etc.), 32 bit binaries are used more. There's no need to use 64 bits worth of data, unless needed. Currently, only servers with large databases and file systems tend to use 64 bit binaries. Workstations and desktops won't need the 64 bit power, but if NT wants to attack Unix servers, they need 64 bits.
  • by rdsmith ( 11517 )
    Unfortunately, M$ will continue to dominate the desktop client market for quite some time, due to momentum and the difficulty and expense of retraining users to use a new client platform. (No flames please, this is just my opinion.)

    For what its worth, I will state that you are correct about this. Corporations have bought into the Windows desktop. They are not about to just replace X thousands of OS's, the costs would be staggering (I am not talking about the cost of the OS, but the cost of retraining users, upgrading each desktop and the (temporary) increase in the number of support calls).

  • If X just crashed Linux is still running and very much alive, but to break it out you have to login remotely and kill the X server. If X freezes up you may also be able to punch out using ctrl-alt-backspace, though you may already know this.

  • Reasonable? Not quite IMHO. People just don't upgrade that fast is the thing. I still know some stragglers holding on to Win 3.1. Not to mention the folks that will only give up that Next when the thing starts bellowing smoke. It really says nothing about the quality of these systems but rather that people just cling to what they know and what gets the job done for them.

    I think what is reasonable to assume is that in two or three years Linux+KDE|Gnome will be the clear informed choice for a newbie or for someone who has found a compelling reason to leave windows. The ultimate pipe dream would be if people felt compelled to switch because they found some killer app that just doesn't run on windows quite yet......

  • So you're saying that, the use of a commercial OS by M$ is more significant than their use of a free OS? Yeah, right!

    Be honest now, if Hotmail used Linux instead of FreeBSD for their web servers, do you think Solaris would have been mentioned at all?

  • No, it's just that the significance of Microsoft using Solaris of all things is much greater than that it's a unix. It's Sun's unix, and Microsoft hates Sun.

    That they're using Solaris is especially telling to the audience of this piece. The use of FreeBSD may be of interest to us, but mentioning it to the PHB's just dilutes the impact.
  • Linux still has a long way to go before it will beat Microsoft's ease of use. I have been using Linux for about a year now, and I still find myself spending a lot of time trying to figure out the operating system.

    Furthermore, it's still quite a ways from being something that I would want to put on my mom's computer.

    A lot has happened in the last year, but I would say it'll be 2 or 3 more years before it will make significant gains on "user's" desktops. Perhaps Corel's distribution will be more "idiot friendly." If so, that will be a reason for many techies to turn against the Corel distribution, and shoot themselves in the head.
  • by El ( 94934 )
    This confirms what I've been telling friends for a while now: Linux will beat NT handily in the server market, and this will be obvious to everyone very, i.e. in 1999 or 2000 at the latest. Microsoft has been hemoraging credibility right and left over the past year, and their one-year-and-growing tardiness in delivering NT5.0, er Win2000 is going to hurt them. Unfortunately, M$ will continue to dominate the desktop client market for quite some time, due to momentum and the difficulty and expense of retraining users to use a new client platform. (No flames please, this is just my opinion.) I suspect that this market will decrease in significance as networks of "information appliances" take on more and more of the functionality of the traditional standalone desktop computer. (The PC will survive in the form of a gateway between your home network and the internet, but currently Linux is a much better gateway platform than is Windows.) Microsoft's biggest mistake was to try to position "Windows" as the solution to all possible computing needs. It is clearly architecturally and structurally deficient to scale from palmtops to supercomputers. The customers would have been better served if M$ had concectrated on client side software (the only area where a GUI is an advantage) instead of trying to be all things to all people, and failing to completely implement any of it's promises in the process.
  • That's a bunch of bs! KDE is adaquate for mom to use whenever she visits. All I had to tell her was her username, password, how to start ppp (kppp), and log off. I only had to show once
    and she was on her own. She even waited for "System halted" to show up before turning off the

    The thing I find most difficult for windows users (moving to linux) to understand is the multiuser concept. When I tell mom and dad to log off and let someone else use it, they ask me "why?" This is something new to them.

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears