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Gates: "Linux Can't Compete" 304

An anonymous reader writes "Theres a curious little article at WUGNet, talking about a Bill Gates' speech on his new book, where he cites that Linux isnt viable because its openness. According to him, theres "no central point of control", and "Windows offers far more functionality and features than Linux ever will". So much for their Anti-Trust case. "
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Gates: "Linux Can't Compete"

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  • If the versions are so incompatible, why can I grab packages from Caldera and Debian distributions and [...] drop them into my RedHat system?

    Packages? Hell, this does the trick for me:

    configure; make; make install

    The occasional need for a library aside (and that's no worse than going and getting VBRUNx00.DLL, anyway), configuring and installing a complex, current piece of software on my crufty ol' Slackware '96 machine is just as easy as chatting with InstallSheild in Windows. I do both frequently, so I should know.

    Often the tar.gz that I'm installing from supports Solaris and HP/UX, too. That's what you get when your OS ships with a standard C compiler and a set of system calls that people have been using for 20 years, I guess.

    Actually, I'd like to have a civil chat with Mr. Bill and see what he really thinks of this stuff. Back in high school, he was, we are told, a genuine Computer Nerd. Surely in talking crap as he has, he's just playing to the glossy-magazine crowd?

  • It comes down to the MS philosophy that since you don't have source code to the OS, you can never be sure when you need to reboot. So, do reboot for everything. That way you can be assured the computer will re-read the registry, etc and load all the new settings.

    In Linux, I know shutting down a device with ifconfig, and bringing it up with a new ip does just that. So there's no reboot necessary.
  • Microsoft contends that it is not even legal to use a 3rd party web server package such as O'Reilly's with NT Workstation.

    That's certainly interesting, but where do you get it? Is there something in the workstation EULA that says you can't run server programs?
  • This is a common attitude I've seen as well. For computer geeks like myself (except that they are MS-lovers), I've gotten them to not immediately dismiss Linux by showing them my system and all I can do with it; things like IP masq'ing your home LAN to the Internet, the LRP (it does all that from a floppy?), KDE (it really does ease their minds that Linux is this terrible/difficult OS), Samba (so they can keep a Win box around and communicate with it), VMWare (though it'll cost money, it's still worthwhile), INN and Suck (mirroring all newsgroups that I want), Apache (for custom bookmark homepage, or web development at home instead of having to upload pages to the ISP), etc.

    That works great for computer people, for others this approach works to an extent. Concentrate on end-user apps, KOffice will be powerful once it's out (or maybe it is now, haven't gotten around to trying it), or StarOffice/WordPerfect, various EMail readers, stability, etc. Although one thing these people like to do is just shut off the power without properly shutting down. Then they end up with bunches in lost+found. Perhaps mixing locate with md5sums of files, then automatically moving things that match up out of lost+found to their proper location would help a bit.

    Most people can be swayed by real-life demonstrations. Show them that they can do what the do currently, only better, more of it, most stable. And on top of all that, most all of it is free.
  • ...serves exactly this purpose.

    - A.P.

    "One World, One Web, One Program" - Microsoft Promotional Ad

  • I guess he hasnt seen Enlightenment, Window Maker, Blackbox, KDE, fvwm, even twm looks better than the look he stole from OS/2 and made look trashy (just to name a FEW). Hell.. even color-ls kicks the pants off of DIR.
  • How _do_ we know he's not stupid?
    Because he's wealthy?
    He was _born_ wealthy.
    Sure , maybe not the wealthiest man in the world,
    but he _never_ had to worry, he was set for life
    from the get go.
    I offer the following URL as proof.


    Now if you should doubt the veracity of this info,
    consider the recent pressure put on Segfault and UserFriendly.
    As a further indicator of Micros~1's penchant for
    quashing information about Gates that isn't 100% factual,
    go look at Bill Gates Secret Diary.
    The last entry is almost a _year_ old!
  • Yep, my Linux box can do that. Or, I can recompile the kernel and compile in support for only the hardware I need, and not have a significant portion of my kernel be sitting there in memory doing nothing. I can also do it from across town, or from across the world for that matter. Can NT do that?
  • As I posted above, antitrust law is arbitrary, vague, and over-reaching

    Okay. You've said that twice. You've said nothing to actually back it up or show why it might be true. I can say the sky is green an infinite number of times; oh, look, it's still blue.

    When laws are passed, whether vague or not, they will get challenged in court. Those challenges either get the law struck down or set precedents which focus the intent and coverage of the law. Anti-trust law is over one hundred years old. The chances that it is arbitrary and vague are just about zero. Whether or not it is over-reaching is a matter of opinion, but I doubt it would have lasted this long if many people (and let's be honest, large corporations) thought that. Also, let us not forget that just because you, Bill Gates, or anybody else doesn't like a law doesn't make it okay to break it.

    As for IE, selling a product for less than it cost to manufacture in order to gain market share is called dumping, and it is illegal. Simple as that.

  • NT doesn't need to

    Perhaps what you meant to say is that you don't need to? Just because a given capability doesn't make sense to you doesn't mean that nobody wants or needs it.

    I also have a feeling that were it possible to recompile the NT kernel with only the necessary hardware support and no GUI, people would be doing it every day. Now, people don't necessarily need to do this in Linux. But they can if they so choose. And that, my friend, makes all the difference.

  • To take the "predatory pricing" phrise, for example, I can see no distinction that can be drawn between "fair" price competition and "predatory" competition.

    Which means that no distinction exists, right? I would submit that the case law shows how the definitions are applied in specific instances. Now, I suppose you could interpret that as changing them to fit the current bad guy if you really wanted to; and as you said, you've let your biases show.

    What about the tax code? It has been around for over fifty years, and there is not a lawyer alive who understands all of it. It is riddled with arbitrary, vague, and even contradictory rules. The fact that a law is old does not make it good.

    Don't confuse complex with arbitrary and vague. And although I have to give you that tax law can seem arbitrary at times (it's usually a case of not knowing the motivation behind it, rather than there not being one, though) it's hardly vague.

    As far as beating up corporations being a good way to score political points, that's only true sometimes, depending on the political climate. There have been times in American history when doing that was sure political suicide. Contrast that with a given official's ability to get elected with and without large corporate support. Then wonder why those same politicians that take millions in lobbying (and other) money still allow anti-trust law to exist. Do you really think if big business in America wanted to eliminate anti-trust it would still be in effect? Keep in mind that Microsoft benefitted enormously from IBM's anti-trust problems with the U.S. Gov't. It's only now that they're on the other side that they have a problem with it.

    I disagree. I have no moral qualms about breaking laws that I believe to be unjust. The fact that some Congressman says I should do something does not obligate me to do it.

    Which is easily your most illuminating statement. Someday, though, you'll grow up and move out into the real world; perhaps then you'll understand it better. Or perhaps everybody should adopt your attitude, and I can send somebody "with no moral qualms" and a bad attitude 'round to discuss how I feel about people who disagree with me. ;)

  • _Sun_ is competing with MS on the consumer desktop?
  • Perhaps you'd prefer anarchy, or fascism?
    If you like the way the USA does things, you might read some of the thinking as the government was formed. I always refer to Federalist Paper #10 here... if you seriously don't believe large factions inevitably want to oppress smaller factions for their own self-interest... if you seriously believe the diversity of smaller factions has no value, that smaller factions have no rights and obliteration by the Winning Faction is their only just fate, then you are a fascist.
    This talk of 'compete in the free market' is ludicrous. What you're really saying is, 'Let's obliterate actual choice, and end up with only one option, which we can claim is perfect by means of Darwinian selection!'
    Well, even in _biology_ this leads to mass die-offs, the collapse of the system, and that happens exactly _when_ one 'competitor' 'wins' to that extent.
    In society we can decide to not fall _into_ that trap. In fact we can decide to consciously look into preventing abuses of the 'losers' and thus keeping a sounder idea 'ecosystem', in politics, and now, it seems, in computer software.
    Do we decide this?
    Or do we want to conduct business like animals?
  • With the power of Microsoft's(tm) clearly superior operating systems, and our soon-to-be President Al Gore, The Father Of The Internet(tm) blazing new paths, computing will be better for all. Not only am I formatting my ext2 partitions and installing Win2000(tm) and Office2000 (tm), I'm going to subscribe to both AOL(tm) (which Al Gore invented, since AOL(tm) is the Internet(tm)) AND MSN(tm) (since Bill Gates also invented the Internet(tm), modern operating systems, the PC (tm), the World Wide Web(tm) and modern civilization).

    PS - the above is sarcasm

  • Slightly related....
    How about a "SlashHelp" section for those with Linux/BSD/etc. questions? Would redirect some noise back to signal.

  • Take a look at Arkadia Software or EST Inc.'s products for Linux (Arkadia Backup, BRU). Both support enterprise-wide backup and restore onto a central Linux server.

    Look, I managed over 200 mixed Linux and SCO Unix boxes scattered across a two state area -- single-handedly, in less than 2 hours a day. Every night those systems backed up their data to their district office, even the ones not hooked up to a WAN (thanks to the power of UUCP and dialup modems!). Only an idiot can't do network-wide management of Linux boxes with tools like "rdist", "rsync", "ssh", etc. available.

    -- Eric
  • by Special J ( 641 )
    He's just telling his lemmings what they want to hear. No biggie.
  • Posted by mborgerd:

    A phone modem is not an essential piece of equipment for a lot of people.

    Cable modems are getting much more popular in major cities. I've had one for just over a year now. Most of that time I was using 95. Last month I installed Linux on a junker machine and most of my connection problems went away magically. Also, I can now see download speeds > 280KBYTES/ s (almost twice the speed I got in 95)

    With 95, I didn't really care for the fact that in order to share a resource with another machine on the network -- I had to share it with ALL machines on the network -- now someone needs a password to access my Samba shares.
  • Posted by Mike@ABC:

    Sure, Bill can point out Linux as a potential competitor, but I'm reasonably sure that's for the DOJ to hear, not us. I think his comments in this article are closer to what he really thinks.

    And yes, I believe he really thinks that, or has convinced himself of that. Microsoft's internal development is totally in "cathedral" mode, and in the past year or so, hasn't been able to keep up with Windows 2000 design and other stuff. But I think Gates, who built his fortune on a proprietary model, just can't wrap his mind around the concept.

    Complacency breeds ignorance. Ignorance breeds FUD. 'Nuff said.
  • by Eg0r ( 704 ) on Friday March 26, 1999 @10:06AM (#1961786)
    I don't want to get in any flame war, but I've been installing windows 95/NT and fixing problems for the past 2 months, and I just hate windows... maybe there's something I don't get about windows,,, it's quite usable when it works, and drivers come on windows before any other operating system... that's called de-facto standard... not the best standard, but the one being widely used.

    What really bothers me about the whole thing my system is better than yours is that for a newbie, linux looks like DOS and XFree isn't easy to configure... so maybe Gates is such a newbie... but lack of features? like what?

    like not being able to telnet to the server to fix problems by editing simple text files? (sorry, that's a feature NT is lacking)

    No Quota??? (mmhh... same again...)

    and what's the true meaning of an application server?? a file server on which the application can be loaded? Sorry, that's not what I meant, I meant remote applications, where the display is actually exported to a thinner X-terminal client... Ah! Sorry, that's a *nix/Linux feature again!!!

    How come I have to PAY to have more than 10 users accessing a file server when I can do that for free on Linux using samba??

    What about the cost? what about the cost of having a DUMB sysadmin (sorry sys-tem-ad-mi-ni-stra-tor) in charge of your network?

    Yeah... I'm pssed off, and I have a right too, because a system is not all about features, it's about a small number of core features that makes a server a server... like... stability? Is there a 3rd party stability module for NT? How come I get a BSOD when the cursor moves over a window?
    Oh! and How come I get a screwed-up linux partition when I launch win98 on my dual boot laptop? (yes I keep win98 on my laptop, 'coz i have a WINMODEM!!!!!

    Really I don't care if I have integrated browser in my system or not! I want stability and ease of administration... vi/telnet does if for me, I don't have the bandwidth for pcanywhere or vnc (needed for any kind of remote NT administration!) but Linux is getting there in terms of ease of use... microsoft still struggles with implementing core features in their system... 64/128bit readiness anyone???

    Yes, Micro$oft is scared of Linux... because people like us know exactly what's working and what's not... a few more years, and a lot of pssed-off people of the linux generation will become sysadmins and CEOs, and I know what those people will NOT use...


  • That's the attitude I've adopted! The only way
    to kill Microsoft is to simply ignore them.
    It's their worst nightmare that everyone will
    grow tired of their games and move on to better
    platforms and more robust tools. Migrating to
    other platforms is always a pain but it's soooooo
    worth it. Things are so much easier to manage
    over here in Linux land.

    Microsoft just doesn't matter to me anymore.
    Let Bill and gain talk out of their ass -- who
    cares. They only expose their own ignorance
    even further.
  • Several weeks ago a Microsoft employee sited KDE as a competitor to Windows in federal court. It's interesting that Bill still thinks that Linux doesn't have a "graphics" interface. Is it possible that he knows less than most of his employees, or is it his intent to deceive people? These are the only two possibilities that I can think of.


  • By "graphics interface", I wonder if he's talking about a graphics API like DirectX.

    I didn't think of that -- could be.

    I did think "graphics interface" was a sort of odd, but I think it's probably just more FUD.


  • I was listening to Marketplace on NPR last night on the way home from work. I caught the tail-end of the interview with Mr. Bill (ooooh, nooooo, Mr. Bill!), and the wierd thing is he sounds so reasonable. If I wasn't in the business, I would not have a problem believing what he says. "Bad, DoJ! Leave the poor mans alone!"
  • He is very successful, no quibble with that. It is self-evident that MS and Mr. Gates have come to be - for a large majority of people - synonymous with software and OSes. But, the quality - or lack thereof - of the software, the limitations placed upon users and the industry as a whole, and the blatantly illegal business practices of Mr. Gates and his company DO warrant investigation.

    In addition, the "newspeak" that is an MS and Gates' stable point out the inherent weaknesses in both his business model and his software. On top of that, a company like MS - or any other monolithic corporation - reflects the personality of the top man. The revisionist, content-free pronouncements from MS corporate spokespersons and Mr. Gates further support the fact that his software wouldn't be able to compete in a fair market, and that the only reason MS is in the position it is, is the stranglehold the licenses have on the OEM's. That is not competition, nor is it innovation.
  • LOL! Thanks. I needed the laugh.
  • First off, Bill wants his cake and to eat it, too. He wants the DoJ to leave him alone in his quest for PC OS dominance, and he can't stand any interference. Natch, obvious. Also, he will say anything in any way to get his view - skewed though that may be, across. Remember, the rich are different than us. They truely see the world in a different way. Gates truely beleives he can do anything at all and not be criticised. He just does not believe that other folks don't view him the way he paints himself, the way he paints his vision, the way he spins his software.

    Not to put too fine a point on it; Gates is delusional.
  • "In fact, as I am sure you are aware, this stranglehold is weakening, and the DOJ had nothing to do with it."

    Timing, as the sage says, is everything. The only reason the OEM's are even considering mentioning Linux now is because the DoJ has MS by the shorthairs. Previous to the widely-covered, well-documented foot-shootings that happened during the trial, not one OEM had the intestinal fortitude to even whisper the name Linux. I'm sorry, but your statement is just not accurate.

    I, for one /.-er, do not believe Linux is the 20th century version of the Ten Commandments: Novell works fine as a file/print server; Solaris works fine as a heavy-duty server; AIX is a wonder for CATIA; AS/400 rocks for mid-range stuff. Windows is okay for desktop use; MAC OS works for graphics, as does IRIX. I would argue OS/2 is a better client OS than Windows. Linux fits in rather nicely as a news/email/web/file/print server as well as a nice router/firewall/gateway OS. The problem is, Mr. Gates would have people believe that the above don't cut it, that his OS is the One-AND-Only.

    You also follow the typical MS line that most people are stupid, and can't figure things out for themselves. Well, as I mentioned in my previous post, that is one of the negatives of MS and Mr. Gates' domination: The dumbing-down of computing. And, in closing, 90% of the population would not need to recompile their kernel - at least not right away. That comes after they've re-discovered they can think for themselves, and have found again that learning is fun.

    Well, enough of this. Neither side will convince the other. The weekend is near - or here depending on the timezone. Time to relax.
  • No. The one I always saw people doing was putting in, say, twenty entries to run every hour or something.

    They need a decent cron service, but that would probably die to, and... well, why not just run UNIX? :)

    Hey, why not put the call to AT at the beginning of the batch file? Or fork it off, at least NT can do that with its command interpreter.

    Linux ran fine on my old P133 (better than DOS, running DEFRAG on my old DOS partition back then was *much* faster in DOSEmu than in DOS because Linux caches so much better...), and NT4SP1 was a pig, and somewhat slow, but NT4SP3 with the IE integration stuff is incredibly slow. I think they call that progress.
  • Yeah.. I gotta agree with this. It's sad that Bill can simply lie about whatever he wants whenever he wants and get away with it. Since we can't really sue him or anything that would make the press take notice and get off their asses and do a little investigating for once instead of just reprinting whatever Bill says, he gets to get away with outright lies about Linux. Makes me pretty sick.

  • Bill is supposed to be "chief technology officer" or something like that. It appears that he's actually "door-to-international-door salesman" but that doesn't seem to bother him. Either way, I would think that he knows quite a bit about anything that competes with Windows. He's just lying because Linux is starting to make Windows look like the crap that it is.

  • by sjames ( 1099 )

    There is nothing arbitrary about anti-trust. Those laws exist to prevent a corperate entity from gaining enough economic clout to damage the public good and the economy. MS has already crossed over that line (They said so themselves "If you don't allow us to innovate our browser, the US economy will be damaged").

    Keep in mind that part of thge public good includes a strong and diverse economy with prices driven by supply and demand through competition.

  • There's more to it than being too lazy. For example, try to find a laptop without windows pre-installed (and paid for). Why do I have to buy a MS product I don't want to use? Because Bill Gates says so (and will financially ruin any vendor who doesn't go along). That's too much power in the marketplace for anyone to be allowed to have.

  • That takes me from zero choice to one choice that STILL doesn't have an OS I want on it (or even just not have an OS.

  • by sjames ( 1099 )

    And that is what we have. The price of Windows is driven by the fact that people are willing to pay for it. Microsoft has competed and been very successful.

    So then why does MS REQUIRE every PC retailer to either ship nothing but Windows OR pay a price that puts them out of the market? That's a significant part of the problem.

  • Jeez, what a dork.

    How will Windoze ever have more features than Linux? Windoze will only have those features that Billgatus decides to put in there. Linux users can add whatever they want.

    It would seem that the DOJ case did absolutely NOTHING to change his ways.

  • was that Windows has more buttons and doo-dads than Linux ever will! It is easier to get lost in Windows than Linux, therefore it has more features. Cave in Linux Users! Windows is here to stay!

    PS. Um, NOT!
    It's far easier to forgive your enemy after you get even with him.
  • Wrong. Sound in RedHat is modular. You don't really need to complie anything for basic sound support under RedHat. Get your facts straight.
  • Bill knows he's lying, we know he's lying, and he knows we know he's lying.

    He just doesn't care.

    He'll keep on spewing the lie until enough people start repeating it in the press. Shouldn't take long, people would rather believe sound bites than check things out for themselves.

    It's a war, apparently, and Bill's main weapon seems to be FUD. Fortunately for Linux, we have more substantial weapons.
  • You can't use Windows video drivers on Linux systems. Check the XFree86 FAQ [xfree86.org] to see which server you need, preferably before you buy a video card. Then download the server (where to get this depends upon which Linux distribution you're using). Email me if you get stuck.


  • by Jerky McNaughty ( 1391 ) on Friday March 26, 1999 @10:10AM (#1961808)
    Let me also say that, out of the box, Windows NT Workstation is useless. There's nothing you can do with it. You could run IE, that's about it. There is absolutely no functionality.

    Constrast that with, say, Red Hat Linux which out of the box can run as a web server, POP3 server, has numerous email clients, has a full featured, high-quality C/C++ compiler, programmable text editors, a full range of text processing tools (sed, awk, perl, grep), can provide nice typeset output (TeX, LaTeX), can make beautiful graphics (Gimp), etc.

    For crying out loud, you can't even setup tasks to execute periodically under NT without buying additional products. Linux at least has cron! For example, I wanted to record one hour of audio from the sound card input each day, compress it to MP3 and copy it to a Jaz disk so I can take it and listen to it at work. I have to do this at home on a Linux box because there's no way to script that up under NT easily.

    Gates has got a flashy interface, but it's on top of a mess of nothingness underneath.

    You can quote me on this: "Windows tells me how I have to work. I tell Linux how it's going to work for me."
  • Gates says that you get proliferations of different versions and everybody can go into the source code, and everybody does. I see Gates' point---he thinks that, for example, Red Hat and Debian are really different, and if I know Red Hat, that I'll be clueless at a Debian machine. We all know this is far from the truth. As a matter of fact, I think this "fractioning" of the market is a good thing. Different companies can market their distributions at different customers. Slackware is marketed towards the Linux experts who want complete control, Red Hat is marketed a newbies and people who want an easy to use system. Debian is geared towards those who want a truly free system. There are distributions of Linux for those who want to run it on tiny machines as routers. On the other hand, Gates only gives you one version of Windows NT. It's a one-size fits all scheme. He'll tell you it's better for you since it's all the same, but I'd rather see many different solutions geared towards different people so each person can pick what fits them best.

    Gates says that Linux has no central point of control. How does that make a system bad? Contrast a company like Microsoft with the Linux movement. Having a central point of control for Microsoft certainly hasn't made Microsoft products more reliable in my opinion, or the opinions of many others.

    Gates says that Linux's biggest feature is its price. No, it has to do with price (again, real freedom versus free beer). I'd like to say that I'd be willing to pay $200 for Linux, but I can't really say that since its freedom precludes that. But, let's put it this way: if Windows NT were free, I'd still pick Linux over Windows NT in a heart beat.

    Gates says "We put things into our system like systems management that's not much fun for university developers". I work at a large company with hundreds of Sparc boxes and Dell machines running NT. The sysadmins will always tell you that the NT machines are a bitch to administer, and the Sparc and Linux boxes just run without any maintanence. At the last company I worked for, I setup an HTTP/FTP/POP3 Linux server. I left over a year ago and it's still running without any maintenance. Try that with Windows NT.

    Gates says "It doesn't have a rich set of device drivers". Well, USB support isn't in there, but other than that, it supports my scanner, ethernet, SCSI, video, and multi-port serial card. NT, on my namebrand Dell machine here at work often can't recognize even the simplest namebrand hardware we try to add (between blue screens). And we're not idiots, either. As long as you don't buy brain dead Winmodems and pick decent hardware, there's nothing out there (again, with the exception of USB) that Linux doesn't work with.

    Gates says "I really don't think in the commercial market, we'll see it [compete with Windows] in any significant way". I guess he's ignoring all of those Apache equipped Linux boxes out there.

    Pretty much the standard FUD we've come to expect from Microsoft. After all, this article was posted on WUGNET, Windows Users Group Network. Ha.

    I'm glad to say I've never paid for a Microsoft product, never recommended the purchase of one, and probably never will.
  • Actually, the only distro to call itself "GNU/Linux" is Debian, which has a far more effective central management system than any other --- as reflected in the dpkg/apt package management system.
  • Right, let me see if I can help. When you say you have a zip disk on the Linux computer, I assume you mean you have a zip drive. I'll further assume that you have your zip drive set up correctly under Linux (if you need help setting up your zip drive, see the Linux Parallel Port Homepage [torque.net] at http://www.torque.net/parport/, or the Zip Drive Mini-HOWTO [njtcom.com] at http://njtcom.com/dansie/zip-drive.html).

    Basically, all you're asking is: can Linux read a zip disk that's been written under Windows 98? Short answer: Yes. (I've done it myself with Syquest SparQ disks). Long answer: All you need is to have the appropriate filesystem support (I think vfat is the one you want in this case) compiled into your kernel, and it's the rare distribution that wouldn't have that compiled in these days... Just do a mount -t vfat /dev/pda1 /mnt/zip (replacing /dev/pda1 with your ZIP drive's device name if it's different, and /mnt/zip with whatever mount point you choose). Voila! You can read all the files on your Win98-created zip disk.

    Now if you need help with the drivers once you've got them on your system, or with setting up X, I'm afraid I can't help you. I'd suggest you try the comp.os.linux.x newsgroup in that case. But hopefully this will get you started.

    HTH. HAND.

  • And, as someone else (also named Robin, apparently -- Hi Robin! :^)) pointed out, this won't do you any good unless those drivers you downloaded were drivers for Linux. Win 98 drivers won't do you any good.
  • Uh, yes, so the less you know, the more money you have to spend to get the same amount of work done. This sounds reasonable to me.
  • This is a real problem -- if he came out and flat-out *lied* about, say, Netware, Novell would rightly sue.

    Who's gonna sue MS for claiming that Linux has no

    • GUI
    • System Administration tools

    Someone. Please?
  • You need perl to do an alarm clock? :-)

    0 7 * * * splay /usr/local/share/mp3/foo.mp3

  • If you just care about the programs being the same you can use Coda/NFS to mount /usr and /home and get centralized programs that way. If you actually want the same software physically installed on each computer, you can create a Packages.gz file indexing all the .deb packages that contain your custom version of the software and point sources.list at it for each computer. Not that that helps if you aren't running Debian. Guess you'd have to resort to rsync or some similar thing (CVS update!!) in that case :-)

  • I don't *think* that the Debian or RedHat default kernels have sound compiled in, so most people will recompile at least once. Debian does have Alsa as a package; I don't really know how well it works though since OSS works fine with my card.

  • I don't much like the VMS user environment, but it has a well deserved reputation as a reliable and secure OS.
  • Sounds like he's confusing Linux with linux applications. He doesn't get it that just like in windoze land, every developer is responsible for his/her own apps, same goes for in Linux. I guess the confusion comes from the linux distribution being called just "Linux" and not "Linux and misc. software".

    Linux is only the kernel, and like you said that's controlled by Linus. Unlike in MSWin where that 60MB of crap in its entirety is considered Windows and not "Windows software." At least Win95 was something like 60MB, I hear '98 is alot more.

  • Back Orifice and Netbus, heh-heh.
  • Or just use 'at', but it's no fun mentioning the easy way to do things, or people become lazy. ;)
  • Personally, I don't think we have to compete with Windows in the typical way. The way I've seen things happening is via word of mouth advertising.

    I personally make it a point to mention Linux every single time I see someone complain about Windows crashing. I don't push it at this point, I just mention a few websites and tell them they should look into it.

    After a while, you can catch them *just* after a crash. At this point you mention Linux again, so they agree to try it. Assuming they get a little help to get off the ground, they generally are happier.

    Now, people like to know what they have, and so they start to investigate the bundled applications, and will generally come back to ask what certain things are: "What's this 'perl' thing". So, you explain it's a programming language and so on, and you slip in a little about freedom here. You make a point of saying. "This is given away for free, in the hope that anything you make with it will be given away as well."

    Now, at this point everyone has at least one small task they'd like to be able to do easier, even something as odd as an alarm clock that plays mp3s at a certain time.

    So, you dig out your copy of "Programming Perl" which you *do* of course own. *grin*

    You lend this to them, and they work away at their little script, then they submit it for your approval. You make a few changes and send it back, they start to get into the spirit of sharing at this point, rather than slapping a free on it and trying to cash in.

    Maybe they decide to send this little alarm clock to a few of their newly found friends who run Linux, and one of those suggests a copy of ideas to add to it. They attempt to add those, and the few friends submit patches and changes that they spotted.

    Thus, another convert is born. I'm seeing this happen all of the time at the moment, and I think it's the one real way Linux will win.

    Who do you trust more, advertisers or your friends? Exactly.
  • I agree! We don't want anyone to regulate the industry-- next thing you know, they'll start closing down innovative software companies just because they will "unfairly" compete with some other, larger, company. They'll start forcing other software companies to give away their products. Any truly innovative and competitive product (like say, another Operating System/2) will be unable to find a large-scale distributor because of all the "restrictions."

    God, that world would suck! And even more! I can imagine they would start regulating that competing products can't work together, thereby *forcing* people to buy products from only one vendor. Even worse, they'll start collecting statistics on all the operating system users out there, and storing them in a database, so they can track us. They will force gratuitious inconsistencies in file formats, forcing people to upgrade products that don't require upgrading.

    And they won't stop there, I'm sure. Given a chance to start regulating, they'll go after internet service providers, regulating what software they can give away or advertise. Once they start regulating, they'll be unable to stop!

    No, I agree. I don't want any damned regulation in *my* software industry.

  • Just one thing they stole?

    The Intellimouse.
  • *sigh*

    There are two incorrect assumptions with Rand's philosophy.

    First, she basis her entire philosophy on Enlightened Self-Interest. ESI is certainly the way educated people conduct themselves; altruism is not often altruistic, entirely. However, this works only when the entities involved are all on equal footing.

    In other words, once someone gets the upper hand, it is in their best interest to maintain that upper hand. Individuals cannot do this, because, in a group, one person will have problems overpowering the entire group.

    But in corporations, one corporation can become larger and more powerful than all its competitors combined. When this happens, it is no longer in its best interest to play nicely; it is in its best interest to bully, push around, and dictate. Since its strength is greater than the combined strength of all its opponents, nothing can be done. Essentially, *we have to take it.*

    Now Ayn Rand suggests that consumers have the power to overthrough a corporation. But this is not true; in the case of Microsoft, until recently, consumers had no option. Anytime a competitor arose, Microsoft would use its strength to destroy the competition before consumers ever got the chance to choose. So consumers never got the choice.

    Once corporations get that large, and that powerful, they have no incentive to pander to the consumer. They have only one concern-- shareholders. And since shareholders are only concerned about the bottom line, the corporation is only concerned about the bottom line. And since it is easier to extort and bully than innovate and develop-- when you don't have to worry about the consumer, anyway-- that is what monopolies tend to do.

    The second misconception Ayn Rand makes is that corporations deserve the same rights, priveleges, and protections that individuals deserve. This is patently false. A corporation is nothing more than a charter, an entity legally bound to the terms of the charter. In the goverment of the United States (which is the representative body of the people of the US), corporations are charterred under the terms and laws of the United States.

    Individuals within the corporation are granted the same rights and privileges as every other citizen; however, the *corporation* does not have the same rights. Even though it is the duty of all people to protest laws by ignoring them ("Civil Disobedience"), corporations do not have that luxery. Our rights as individuals are unique and embodied in our citizenship; they are not granted by charter.

    Is it right? Yes, it is. Without such restrictions, a corporation could control our lives much more than the government ever could. Our government (in the US) was formed and designed with "checks and balances," as any third-grader could tell you. Corporations are not. When they have no self-interest in serving the public, they will not do so; and when they are so powerful nobody can challange them, they have no incentive to help anyone but themselves.

    And so I contend that Ayn Rand was wrong.
  • 1) Correct. It wasn't illegal. And if OEMs wanted to ship any MS products at all, they had to agree to this.

    2) They were discovered in the Beta before the actual product could ship. It checked *specifically* for DR-DOS, and was also the *only* encrypted code in MS-Win3.x . Although the code checked for DR-DOS *specifically,* the error code made it sound like an actual technical incompatibility. And memoes that have surfaced during this trial indicate they had no intention of removing that code until it was discovered.

    3) MS did plan on dumping OS/2, although you're right-- IBM screwed that one. That was just a business deal gone sour. The stuff that MS did to OS/2 *after* the divorce was kinda shady, though-- releasing MS-Win3.11 (the only numbered upgrade in the MS-Windows 3.x family) served one purpose only-- it broke Win/OS2 compatibility. There was *nothing* else in that pack-- the "bug fixes" had already been released (quietly) as MS-Win3.1 , and later as MS-Win3.1 .

    4) MS does, has, and will use undocumented APIs. This is easily checkable by reading "Undocumented DOS," and "Undocumented Windows," both released a few years ago. The authors did exactly as you suggest-- they used a debugger, and found out that MS products used undocumented OS features.

    5) Correct. The question is, though, is IE5 a standard icon? When this was an issue, IE5 was still nothing but an add-on product.

    6) This is still in contention. But it is certainly silly. So what? So they proposed a market split? So although I am not convinced it was a fabrication, I think it isn't a very big deal.

    7) There is every indication that MS *did* know about the grass-roots campaign, and had given tacit approval. The scheme was in preparation when a San Jose Mercury reporter found out about it; only after that was there scrambling, PR campaign cancellation, and denials.

    8) "The tape could have been edited better?" You mean, they shouldn't suck so bad at lies and deception? And they never proved anything later; the second attempt was equally bogus, with different types of hardware. But since it was an internal modem, MS had hoped nobody would notice. And they were caught red-handed for the second time.

    Sorry, your defense is just as bad as Microsoft's. And I don't believe MS had anyone killed, either.

    MS does not deserve its dominant market position; and now that the market has a choice, it is slowly loosing its lead. So though there are plenty of choices today, there have been no effective choices until recently.

  • So, you're saying that the only operating system to challange Microsoft in many years has been written by thousands of people donating their time (recently estimated at a worth of close to a billion dollars) and the market entry threshold is *low?*

    Microsoft has stiffled innovation by buying out and destroying innovative products. (When it looked like Java was going to be a success, MS purchased *many* companies with innovative products in the works, squashed the products, and said they were buyint "talent.")

    OS/2 could have been a real competitor, but IBM screwed that up. I agree, there was once a potential competitor.

    But, in the early days of DOS, every major PC maker signed a deal with MS tieing OEM licenses of DOS with every processor sold. At the time, this was not a big deal, as there was not other OS, and everyone was happy. But when DR-DOS came out with a version of DOS that was *far* superior to MS-DOS (with on-the-fly disk compression, true multi-tasking on 386 equipment, and good MS-Windows 3.0 support). But they could not gain entry in the market, because of the per-processor licensing.

    Slimey licensing. Yes. Not illegal. No. Because MS was not the monopoly then they are now.

    But until recently, *people have been afraid to piss MS off.* *Several* of the industry witnesses in this case have stated they have made decisions based on how MS would react, because they were afraid to make any other decision.

    You say:

    "The only way Microsoft could ensure that no one could compete with it, would be if they could forcibly prevent anyone from writing a competing product."

    See? You *do* understand!

    They have managed to keep people from writing competing products. The only platform to compete on is MS-Windows-- and by controlling MS-Windows, they control who will compete, and how they will compete. They controlled the Desktop operating systems by controlling desktop distribution channels.

    Ayn Rand wrote her philosophy at the height of the industrial revolution; at that time, the producers controlled the market. Now, the distribution channels control the market (which explains Wal*Mart). MS controls (or at least, controlled) the desktop distribution channels.

    Lets use one of your operating systems you mentioned as potential competition-- Be. Recently, the Be CEO offered every single desktop system vendor free licensing for Be if they would pre-install Be on their systems. Yet not one US vendor was willing to do that.

    Why? Why have distributors never considered installing a competing OS on their platforms? If you can explain that to me without invoking the name of Microsoft, I will be thrilled. And maybe I'll believe that MS has not ever held a monopoly. And don't try to tell me the customers choose Microsoft; I didn't. I wanted OS/2 pre-installed, and not one of the big vendors would pre-install OS/2. So customer choice has nothing to do with it. (There were tens of thousands of OS/2 users at the time.)
  • Hmmm. I still don't agree with you WRT the idea that a corporation can have the same rights as an individual; and I am firmly convinced that, since MS has been able to intimidate very large corporations (IBM and Disney and DEC), they hold an effective monopoly.

    However, I think we both agree on one thing-- since the net has essentially de-commodotized MS-Windows, the only monopoly MS has held (essentially, the MS-Windows platform itself) is becoming worthless as a club. And so, in the long run I suspect we do agree that, even if MS held a monopoly at one point, it will be hard pressed to maintain it. So I don't know what I'm all het up about.

    Did I just say Microsoft has the monopoly on MS-Windows? Yep, I guess I did. I believe that that in itself constitutes a monopoly, since it held the vast majority of market share. Since you do not believe that constitutes a monopoly, we are destined to disagree on that point.

    And I know of no company that can start from scratch with a bunch of college kids and hope to start with a billion dollars. So I disagree that the barrier is low. Disagree strongly. But I guess that's semantics.

    Since I understand your viewpoint, I don't have much more steam to argue with you-- I can see the argument from both sides, and that just destroys the fun. I don't agree with you on a lot of points, but I do understand where you are coming from.
  • Personally, I don't want a modem to take up 20% of my cpu just so Icould save a couple bucks, thanks...

    I dunno about linux being competitive, it seems to be already.
  • by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Friday March 26, 1999 @11:14AM (#1961830)
    How do you fight it? Take every innovation for which Microsoft has claimed credit and show its real inventors.

    He takes credit for the GUI: point out that Xerox invented the concept (right down to the mouse) and Apple invented the GUI as we know it today (before you flame me, take a look at Xerox's GUI: It is very, very different from the GUI M$ ripped off (and wrecked) from Apple and which everyone else but NeXT was stupid enough to rip off from M$). He takes credit for the Web: point out how it was invented years before on a NeXTStep box.

    See what I mean? Microsoft has never invented a thing in its life. It sucks the blood of the innovators, turning them into its slaves, knowing or not. That company never earned its money; every dollar of it is stolen from someone.

    Oh, and for the "if not for him you would be stuck 20 years ago" bit, here's your defense: point out the innovations in all of the products Microsoft has killed or tried to kill. Use them to prove that if not for him we would be stuck 10 years in the future.

    He's not the smartest, most influential person. Well, maybe he is, but he's nothing but an exceptionally clever thief.
  • ...Linux is too hard. It makes me use my brain. I can't stand having an OS with so much configurability. I like a straight path with no deviation.


    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein
  • Seconded. Anyone who dislikes the Microsoft situation would do well to consider her or his talents and see how they can be used to change the situation.

    My own effort can be found at http://billwatch.net/ [billwatch.net]. I never have thought of Propaganda's fine mix of text concerning Microsoft with the constructive effort of producing high quality backgrounds for Linux (using one right now!). No doubt other people can come up with completely different projects.

  • "Only the paranoid survive"

    For years, people in Redmond have been telling each other and the rest of the world that paranoia is a bliss.

    Believing that all of the world conspires against them, without seeing any evidence for this is concerned sensible. Thus the line between thought and reality has been cut in Redmond. They believe it is better that way.

    Gates doesn't have to check reality to check if his beliefs are true. He simply believes and that's both the beginning and the end of it.

    The man is stark-raving mad.

  • We're a threat, we're not a threat, we're a threat, we're not a threat. MAKE UP YOUR MIND! I'm starting to get dizzy from all this turning around.

    But in all seriousness, It seems that Bill is trying to badmouth Linux by telling it's strong points in such a way as to add the elements of FUD. We need to write an article that points out all of Microsoft's good points in a similar light...Well heck! I'm stumped. ya'll got any ideas?
  • ...we (DONT) think of it as a competitor in the student and hobbyist market..

    i couldn't help but noticing last week brosing thru a local technical bookstore ( http://www.mcgills.com.au ) that M$ is vigerously attacking this market with certification books stacked 3 levels high, 30 feet in length (that cost mind u in the order of $'000's) for m$ certification. The number of books is quite staggering..with snappy titles like, 'Microsoft TCP/IP'...

    i draw this to fellow '/. ers' because the M$ book publishing market reflects one aspect of microsofts current mindeset, 'to get a large pool of people to invest time (and more importantly $) in M$ products. there is nothing wrong with this, it just doesn't wash with what they say.

  • For Windows 98, the argument of device drivers being available might be true (but just you can't sell any hardware without Windows 95/98 device drivers). For Windows NT, however, i don't see more device drivers than Linux, the exact opposite seems to be the case. And finally in terms of
    supported file systems, i still have to find a system which has wider support than Linux.

    -- Jochen
  • According to an ex ms employee who is alex st.John at www.maximumpc.com and www.bootmag.com, everyone lies to bill. When he worked for microsoft when windows 95 was still in alpha and beta, a pcmagazine interviewer aksed him about the windows postscript interface and he said we are working on it and it still needs some work. Bill emailed him back and said"YOU IDIOT! DONT YOU KNOW THAT TEH WINDOWS POSTSCRIPT DRIVER IS THE BEST OUT THERE AND ITS EVEN BETTER TEHN ADOBE"S!" He did a doubletake. Bill actually thought that adobe's postscript driver for the mac was infior to the one the comes with windows. He emailed him back and said its not true. YOur product manager lied to you. He emailed him back and Bill was in deisbelieve and said "THE MAC's POSTSCRIPT DRIVER IS INFIOR TO EVEN WINDOWS 3.1! GO GEt YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!". He evenutally met with Bill Gates to show him that the widnows postscript driver needed to be scraped and we need to use adobe's postscript driver instead. He agreed but the fact of the matter is Bill is paranoid because he knows everyone blows smoke up his ass. Its not Bill's fault its the fault of the ms employee's. Bill is very ignorant and I bet the NT product manager told bill this fud about linux because Bill was asking why NT crashes so much and he didn't want to admit that he fucked up. Bill is just repeating what all the NT product managers tell him and he has no clue about it.
  • You can create a whole bunch of scripts with the at command. Its mostly boring network and system tasks but for average work stuff its ok. I admit that you won't be able to record mp3's at specific times but you can run standard bussiness tasks. Their is a windows 95 scheduler that runs apps at specific times so you can add a programing extension to the program to interact with the schedule so you could theoretically record mp3's. I believe microsoft is ading this to windows2000.
  • Gates says "I really don't think in the commercial market, we'll see it [compete with Windows] in any significant way".

    And he's just right there: Linux doesn't need to compete commercially with Windows. It's nice, that all the big Software Companies are now porting the important Applications over to Linux, but you don't have to use them and still have a very nice Operating System (and working environment) on your hands.

    And I think, that that's exactly the point Bill doesn't get: Linux is out for world domination, but not to sell more copies than Windows. It is no competition in terms of stock market or whatever, Linux just quietly takes over niches (and lately even Desktop space) where Windows has roamed before.

    Well, it's his own fault if he is only able to think about "commerce, commerce, commerce" nowadays. I suppose, that sometimes one could feel sorry for him.


  • I suggest we borrow a page from B.F. Skinner and put Mr. Gates on extinction. Then maybe he'll go away and bother someone else.

    Hey Bill, there's still money to be made as an internet portal. Why don't you go look into that.

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

  • I think we should take Linus, Alan, and Richard and move them to a secure location. Look what happened to Gary Killdal.

    As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.
  • I'm one of the lucky ones who gets to betatest CIV: Call To Power. And I can tell you it's an incredible game, and system performance is unbelievable.

    Ever try to alt+tab out of a windows game and do something else? (ha) I have civ:ctp running right now on another desktop and have 80-90% system resources free.

    it's only a matter of time 'till folks figure out what the better gaming platform is.

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

  • I bought onea them Creative PC-DVD players (don't bother). Movies are win9x ONLY. I think if we want to be able to take over the desktop market, this needs to be looked into. (Not just creative but any DVD).

    Last I heard, there was like a $5000 barrier to getting the DVD decoding specs. Now I have $5000, but I need it for tuition and food. I would be happy to donate however.

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

  • Carefully worded by Gates. He's right, Linux is not really a commercial product.

    Doesn't mean he ain't gonna git his scrawny ass kicked.

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

  • I used to respect Paul Thurrott for covering other things apart from Windows in his mailing list (unfortunately I still have to read it as a journalist, because he gets stuff before we do in the UK). Lately, however, he seems to have been sucked into Microsoft's PR spin. The DoJ trial has had a polarising effect on commentators, and now people's true colours are showing through. He used to have a page about Linux which (as far as I remember) was quite objective, but now I can't find it.

    Barry de la Rosa,
    Reporter, PC Week (UK)
    Work: barry_delarosa[at]vnu.co.uk,
    tel. +44 (0)171 316 9364

  • Apologies to WinInfo, the Linux URL is still up, at http://www.wugnet.com/wininfo/win2000/not_nt/defau lt.asp [wugnet.com].

    So, Paul, when's LinuxInfo launching? ;-)

    Barry de la Rosa,
    Reporter, PC Week (UK)
    Work: barry_delarosa[at]vnu.co.uk,
    tel. +44 (0)171 316 9364

  • Well, Bill Gates must know what he's talking about, so I've just reformated all my ext2 partitions to make more room for windows 98 applications and microsoft products.


    PS - Not.
  • by Brad ( 3629 )
    Bill is just paranoid and overconfidant enough to make a mistake. His FUD will at some point backfire. I don't know if I relish the tumult when the empire comes crubling down, but I hope linux is up to snuff when it does.
  • It's interesting to see what Mr. Gates DOESN'T know, but, one point, I think, is valid. From a systems management, it is much easier to manage a Linux box over a NT box. But how about network management. None of the big network monitoring vendors (HP Openview, Netview 6000, centralized backup and restore scheduling like ADSM, and etc.) don't support Linux, and it's almost a MUST HAVE deploying Linux in a large environment (300+ application servers)

    Maybe as IBM, HP, and the like start supporting Linux, this will change!
  • What Bill meant to say is that Linux has no central marketing authority to make important technical decisions. Could you image what would happen if those technical decisions were made by software engineers?

    Freakin' disaster, no doubt.


  • So, do you have a problem with any of the following practices?

    1. Per CPU licensing to make MS-DOS appear "free" to end customers (whereas DR-DOS cost extra).
    2. Bogus error messages implying that Windows couldn't run on top of DR-DOS.
    3. Publicly stating that OS/2 was the future of computing while privately planning to dump OS/2 in favor of Windows. (This really screwed over a lot of software developers, in case you're wondering)
    4. Using undocumented APIs to improve the performance of Microsoft applications relative to competitors.
    5. Preventing ISVs from placing competitors application's icons on the desktop.
    6. Attempting to strike deals with competitors to split a market.
    7. Hiring PR firms to simulate "grass roots" support.
    8. Providing misleading evidence to a court of law.

    The list is much longer than this, but this is what I can think of off the top of my head that's been extremely well documented. Microsoft dominance in the desktop market does give them a major advantage in the marketplace and it does make it virtually impossible to compete in with them (at least if you try to play by the same rules).

    I have no interest in the government regulating the software industry, nor do I want them defining what an OS is or what belongs in it. But there is no way I would defend Microsoft's actions or pretend that they are somehow the only competent software company on the face of the planet.


  • As I posted above, antitrust law is arbitrary, vague, and over-reaching. It gives the DOJ a blank check to prosecute anyone who is successful no matter what they do, and it should be repealed...

    It isn't envy that causes a rich thief or con artist to be prosecuted.

    Just who has Microsoft stolen from? Just how does creating a product that they give away for free count as theft? I suppose you could say that they stole the browser market from Netscape. However, Netscape does not own the browser market. If Navigator was a truly superior product, it will maintain its market share. I have used both Navigator and Explorer, and I don't think either is clearly better. I frankly don't see how Microsoft can be characterized as either a "theif" or a "con artist."
  • Does anyone know what systems management features we lack that they have? The only feature that comes to my mind is the "reboot" feature whenever I make a minor systems change.

  • by James Thompson ( 12208 ) on Friday March 26, 1999 @10:45AM (#1961919) Homepage
    I've got a few but I'm not sure how to make MS look bad and us look good.....

    1. The inherent instability in the windows product line encouages administrators to apply core component updates as soon as they are available in an attempt to reduce system downtime. The numerous security flaws also encourage this behaviour. Thus users on an NT network are pretty much guarenteed to be receiving the latest "innovations" from MS soon after release.

    This is in contrast to a *nix admin who may be reluctant to down his system for a kernel update due to
    a. everything is working fine, and has been for months
    b. it will take over 3 months to get his uptime command to display triple digit day values again

    2. The ever increasing minimum system requirements for the windows product line helps to support the computer hardware manufactures. More jobs for everyone.

    This is in contrast to the *nix camp who seem dedicated to reusing old 386/486 machines.

    3. The lack of scalability and lack of stability encourage people to have multiple machines performing a single function often with backup machines in place(PDC, BDC, BDC, app server, file server, db server, etc, etc). This has the same effect as #2 in providing jobs in computer manufacturing.

    Obviously once again the *nix people seem out to hurt the computer industry. They encourage running multiple services using a single low end box. The fact that *nix seems perfectly capable of handling the load on these older machines just encourages this bad behaviour.

    4. The forced upgrade cycle and lack of backwards compatibilty in MS products helps to insure that the clerical workers will always be in high demand. The re-entry and/or cleanup of important documents, coupled with the frequent crashes (see #1) will help keep people employed. It also has the nice side effect of preventing these same people from finding on the clock time to learn new job skills. That helps insure the employee will not leave for better paying positions.

    Again, the unix people clamor for open standards to reduce the amount of work required during system chages. They also encourage people to think for themselves and learn about the system they work on.

    I could go on but I'm starting to feel bad about all the awful things *nix advocates like me are doing. Anyone know how to put a positive PR spin on this stuff so that MS looks bad instead of us.
  • Hi.

    A group of Nvidia Riva 128 and TNT based cards are trying to get a groundswell of support for Riva 3D drivers under linux. Please mail os-info@nvidia.com with your wishes for Nvidia and linux, and bcc to either myself (bogart@rice.edu) or cmiller@surfsouth.com. You can also look at http://www.chad.org/dev/ and look at the link for riva-tnt to see some letters we have already sent, and the one response we got from Nvidia. Please send Nvidia mail, or they won't know that there is a large number of linux users who want to use the 3D capabilities of their Riva cards. Tell your friends, if you like. :)

    Mike Y.

    Hmm, it seems that the server is not allowing access. I'll try to set up a page on my account with letters sent to nvidia, and if you want the address, send mail to bogart@rice.edu.
  • I've had my Windows NT machine for over two years and never needed to rebuild the kernel. Not even when I added new SCSI and Ethernet cards. Not even when I applied major OS patches. Ditto for my Macs. Can your Linux box do that?

    The need for end users to mess with the kernel - ever - is one of Linux' biggest barriers to mainstream acceptance.
  • Come on.
    Anybody who reads Slashdot already knows why Linux is good.
    Posts on "Linux development is better" are pointless since we dont have a crowd.
    For us Bill Gates' articles are as much as Troll Flamebait posts,
    there is no point stating the benefits of OSS development.

    Everyone is hyped up,
    thinking Billy's going to read Slashdot,
    but infact we're just stating the obvious to ourselves.
    This have been discussed a hundred times before.

    Personally I think Bill Gates is running out of ammo.
    FUD's not going to hold againt OSS.
    soon enough he's just going to join with MS-Linux.
    then he would just slowly sink to the death of Microsoft,
    or as Alan Cox said it "Corporate Suicide".

  • Well, Bill, if Linux "can't compete", why is it growing faster than your oh-so-innovative OS? If the versions are so incompatible, why can I grab packages from Caldera and Debian distributions and (assuming proper package format conversions as needed) drop them into my RedHat system? If it doesn't have a graphical interface, what are KDE and GNOME then? And why is one of the biggest complaints about Windows the sheer size and complexity of the API?

    And most important, why is the Linux community concerned with your opinions? We're winning without competing on your terms, why should we change that?

  • From http://www.rpi.edu/~veliaa/linux-dvd/

    "Creative Labs was talking to me but then stopped. If you want me to finish my driver, then instead of asking me "what's going on with DVD?" (I get a lot of these ;-) please do me a favor and email them at devsupport@creativelabs.com, asking them to help me (or write their own driver, which they are for some peripherals now). I can only do so much with one voice. While I have a number of updates and have some various info on the Ziva now past what is given below, I no longer wish to work blind, and neither do I have the time to reverse engineer every detail. "

  • by dillon_rinker ( 17944 ) on Friday March 26, 1999 @10:05AM (#1961970) Homepage
    Systems management features refers to the ability to remotely manage other machines - he's probably referring to their SMS (Systems management Server) software. The idea is that an IT guy can sit at a server and completely manage all client systems - take inventory of their hardware and software, install new software, see if someone has opened the case, reboot the machine, that sort of thing. You can also do mass software upgrades over the network - upgrade everyone to Windows 98 or Office 97 or whatever.

    If you've got Linux for a server and Windows 95 for clients, gates is basically correct. But if you've got Linux for clients, then what he says is total FUD. i'm no linux expert, but (correct me if I'm wrong) all configuration is based on text files, which are easy to manipulate across the network. You can telnet into a Linux box and make all the changes you need without leaving your chair. You can write scripts to make mass changes on all clients across the network. In fact, anything you can do while sitting at a Linux system, you can do remotely.

    The only thing that may be lacking in Linux(again, correct me if I'm wrong) is the ability to do a network broadcast to update the software on multiple machines simultaneously. I don't know if SMS can do this, but there are packages for Windows NT that can do this.
  • It is illegal (violation of anti trust acts) for a company to use its effective monopoly in one area (like desktop OSs, say) to leverage its position in another (like browsers, or dialup service provision).
    When Windows 95 was release, MS was sued because the prominent MSN icon on the desktop was viewed as illegal leveraging by the likes of AOL, Compuserve, etc. Microsoft settled, signing a consent decree saying that they'd never do anything like that again. They also agreed not to impose the "per processor" licenses for the OS on the hardware manufacturers (aka the Microsoft tax).

    Then Microsoft discovered the Internet, and started bundling Internet Explorer with the OS.


    It isn't envy that causes a rich thief or con artist to be prosecuted.

    (Of course, the degree of actual lawbreaking is up to the Judge to decide. But judgements have gone against MS in the past.)
  • Bill Gates is either very badly informed, or spreading FUD. Quotes like "because it's free software there's no central point of control" demonstrate this. Linux's development model is cool because, whilst anybody can have a go, there is a "central point of control", i.e. Linus, who ultimately decides what goes in and what doesn't.

  • Gates also said the Internet would go nowhere. Well, with a history of predictions like that, I think Linux is going to do just fine.
  • by Milkman Ken ( 26074 ) on Friday March 26, 1999 @09:47AM (#1962007) Homepage
    The very fact that Gates mentions the fact that "Linux is not a threat" means that he already considers Linux a threat. The momentum has been building for the past few years.

    I must admit that until very recently, I was running NT4/NT5/98. Not that I have anything against Linux, I just wanted to play games and game support for Linux, sadly, sucks. That should change soon when Q3A and a few other games are released commercially for Linux (maybe that will kick NVidia into realeasing drivers for their card and I won't have to reboot to play games at all). The reason I switched is that games became unimportant to me (relative to grades at least) and Linux has more functionality outside of games that Windows ever has (you wouldn't believe the amount of software available to me on MIT's distributed system, Athena).

    Even though I only installed Linux a few months ago, I have been using UNIX since 1990 or so, and I toyed with Linux on my family's 486/33...I know countless Linux users that will never experience the joy of downloading the ~ 20 slackware disks on a 14.4 modem from sunsite, creating the dreaded root and boot disks (make sure they don't have a single bad sector before you RAWRITE them, or you'll ruin the disk!), etc. Linux is where it is today because there has been a push to make it more user-friendly...even in my day you had a color boot disk and the ability of UMSDOS, both of which made the transition from a DOS environment to Linux a bit easier)

    So Linux has made definite progress in the five or so years that I've been using it. There is no reason to think that it will stop or even slow down. I doubt Gates loses sleep over Linux right now, but the fact that Linux is free and there are free alternatives to all of M$'s applications has got to at least make him sweat when these same applications get media coverage (for free, no less).

  • Obviously, the fact that our 'friends' at MS are making such big talk about Linux being "Not a threat" is a strong indication that people at Microsoft are scared.

    If you want some really fun truth, I just read an article (I think it was on c|net) about the servers running Microsoft's HotMail. It seems the folks in Redmond have been trying for months to get HotMail to run on a WinNT server to no avail. NT just can't handle the load and has a tendency to crash when it's really put to the test. (Duh!) So, instead of serving HotMail on NT (as MS would prefer for all of the obvious reasons) it's being served on Solaris (64bit version for Sparc). Yes, Solaris, a product of Sun Microsystems. The very same Sun Microsystem who has MS in federal district court for violating agreements re: Java.

    While MS tries to patch together a version of NT which can handle HotMail scale loads, Solaris just plugs along, happily doing it's job. MS is discovering that making the hop from 32 bits to 64 bits is much harder than they ever dreamt. Remember what happened to 16bit compatibility when Win95 was released? Promises that 16 bit apps would still be supported were dropped like red hot rivets. Don't expect any supportable promises of backward 32 bit compatibility when MS finally figures out how to handle 64 bits.

    Meanwhile, those of us in the Unix/Solaris/Linux/... world have stable 64 bit workhorse systems up and running today.

    D. Keith Higgs
    CWRU. Kelvin Smith Library

  • I don't know how old it is, but it is way older than MS' SMS. You can basically push packages to other systems by using the rdist facility. This can be exactly used for that purposes you refer to.
  • by Wah ( 30840 ) on Friday March 26, 1999 @11:00AM (#1962031) Homepage Journal
    I recently sent an e-mail to my "normal" friends bashing M$ and gates and extolling the virtues of Linux.
    However I met with much resistance, to quote:

    "No one gives two shits. People are too
    busy to worry about stuff like this. You are denouncing arguably the
    smartest, most influential and successful person to grace the world during
    our lifetime. If it was not for him, you would be stuck 20 yeard ago with
    computers. Stop worrying and feeling bitter about who is getting richer and
    making more money than you. Have you ever thought to give them credit??"

    (My friend has a bit of a confrontational personality)

    The FUD is deep and long, and powerful b/c it rests on a kernel of truth. (update, in our continuing _conversation_
    "I want to save this conversation and give it back to you in 30 years and laugh at you. It pisses me off more than anything to
    see pathetic souls, denounce the hard working man whose business,
    technological and common sense have happen to have made him millions" I'll send this back to him in 2 hehe.)

    How do you fight this? Is it worth trying? Should we leave the weak and ignorant at the mercy of market share and expensive upgrades?

    Bill is not the problem, the problem is the millions who "believe the hype". $60 billion US can buy a lot of PR and a boatload of TV. Fighting against the poster child of capitalism is not the way to go. Well?

Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. -- F.M. Hubbard