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Comdex

Linus speaks at Comdex 84

pq writes "CNET, via The NYTimes has this coverage of Linus and his remarks at Comdex. iMacs, Transmeta, Open Source, the 2.4 kernel, Mindcraft, Mozilla, Linux Everywhere(tm) - this has it all. " Also following the keynote, Transmeta's webpage announced Crusoe (we mentioned that last night).
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Linus speaks at Comdex

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  • First of all, forgive me for scrutinizing the words of St. Linus:
    "We fixed the area, and as a result, Linux is doing extremely well on those kind of benchmarks."

    But one has to raise the question: Is this a good thing? While I personally think it was implied that Linux is doing well not only on the benchmarks, but in general also - one doesn't have to interpret it that way.
    What if it meant: "Linux is doing extremely well on those kind of benchmarks and nothing else."? I realize that would be a rather Microsoft-esque thing to do, of course. Most people know that benchmarks are bogus anyway, but the Pointy-haired bosses demand the systems that the benchmarks say are good.
    While this almost certainly didn't happen in this case, what if it had? What if the lure of looking good in the eye of the public and getting linux into more places ended up creating a non-optimal Linux, just to impress people?
    Publicity like this is not always a good thing.
  • In case anyone wants to view his keynote speech, it can be found at PC Week's website under the Monday tab. Good speech IMHO.
  • A niche in the server arena is a pretty darn big niche.

    I'm not against Linux as a desktop OS (or, more appropriately, a workstation OS). The problem I have is that "desktopping" an OS implies sacrificing functionality for ease-of-use. I fear this.

    The main reason Linux works for me as a workstation is because it also works as a server. It greatly speeds up development when I'm able to develop and test on the same machine.

    I am concerned about this trend towards "one OS does it all". I think this is a bad thing -- you end up with a lot of rarely-used baggage. To a certain extent, the "desktop" paradigm and the "server" paradigm may be mutually exclusive. Considering all of the NT criticism on slashdot, one would think there would be less desire to mimic Microsoft's desire to do everything.

    KDE, GNOME, and the other GUI-oriented projects have done a lot to flatten the learning curve for Linux. I'm grateful for anything that lets me just get stuff done without digging through HOWTOs trying to figure out how to get stuff done.

    But there is still room for improvement in the server niche. This is an area where Linux has started to prove itself, and I would hate to see the momentum lost here because people decided to start an open-source home-checkbook project instead of a solid application server.

    (Self-contradiction ->) But, then again, Linux developers have done fine scratching their own itches so far....
  • That alien technology they are using is based on Field Gate Programmable Arrays.

    They are building a chip that can reconfigure its circuitry

    Upon what do you base your hypothesis that this involves reconfigurable circuitry? Not on

    smart CPU, the first microprocessor built with software

    given that one could do that with a CPU with a fixed instruction set and a pile of software to do binary-to-binary translation of instructions from various instruction sets to the native instruction set...

    ...along the lines of what the Transmeta patents mentioned by various Slashdot articles have described.

  • Even in a case where the device support is built as a module, the kernel must know the module is there which requires it to be compiled in.

    I suspect that, if it's not already possible to have the kernel find a driver module given only, say a PCI vendor/device ID for the device (I seem to remember, possibly in a Kernel Traffic summary, discussion of doing something along those lines for USB), it could be done, so I doubt this is inherent to Linux.

    Whereas a system like MS Windows is message-based; an application can send a message saying "I need to print", the OS gets the message and simply passes it on; if there is anything on the system that listens for that type of message (i.e. a printer driver) it gets the message and handles the print job.

    Is that kernel-mode code? Or is it something that could be implemented in userland atop the Linux kernel and API libraries (or atop other UNIX-flavored OSes kernel and API libraries)? I have the impression that the print subsystem largely lives in userland in Windows NT (I'm not sure there's a strict distinction between userland and kernel code in Windows OT).

    I.e.,

    1. I suspect this is not, in any way, an intrinsic characteristic of the Linux kernel;
    2. not all drivers, in the sense of "software that knows how to make a given piece of hardware do something", live in the kernel (consider, for example, the video-card drivers that live in X servers).

    Linux (and other OSes to which source is made widely available) may allow you to build kernels more finely tailored to particular hardware than other OSes (although I don't know what you get with, say, Embedded NT), but that doesn't mean that they're necessarily better suited for embedded use than general-purpose desktop use - I've seen nothing to indicate that it's intrinsically impossible to build an OS that can both be built for a specific hardware configuration and be built as a more "generic" OS with the ability to load arbitrary drivers, or, if it is possible, that the resulting OS would necessarily suffer from being so built.

  • by m3000 ( 46427 ) on Tuesday November 16, 1999 @10:24AM (#1528122)
    Ack! I guess I forgot to close a tag or something. The link is here [zdnet.com]
  • Transmeta are building a processor. For it to have any chance in the marketplace, obviously it needs an OS and Linux is a sensible choice. It seems to port well to platforms other than x86 (LinuxPPC, Alpha and others). It's stable, which is vital for embedded stuff, and it's easy to downscale.

    However, processor manufacturers also need to ship compilers that are optimized for their chips. Intel do this very successfully. Their code profiler (VTune) also helps to generate code that takes advantage of every bit of the hardware. Because of these tools, Intel have a significant edge in benchmarks against other manufacturers who don't produce compilers.

    Anyone know if Transmeta have been hiring compiler writers? Can we expect a set of Crusoe optimizations in egcs?
  • So here is my theory on Crusoe:
    That alien technology they are using is based on Field Gate Programmable Arrays.
    They are building a chip that can reconfigure its circuitry for any instruction set, or any function in realtime. You want proof? straight from Linux, the Crusoe will be a "smart CPU, the first microprocessor built with software". My mind is still reeling with implications of meta-software, software that writes itself. Its not a chip they are building but a path straight to the mind of god!!
  • Actually, Linux IS probably better suited for embedded systems than for the desktop. Case in point: device support in Linux is "inserted" deeply into the kernel. Even in a case where the device support is built as a module, the kernel must know the module is there which requires it to be compiled in. Whereas a system like MS Windows is message-based; an application can send a message saying "I need to print", the OS gets the message and simply passes it on; if there is anything on the system that listens for that type of message (i.e. a printer driver) it gets the message and handles the print job. Thus, drivers can be inserted and removed easily in Windows. The tight control afforded by Linux is perfect for embedded systems, but a pain in the butt on the desktop.

    ----

  • What about GNOME and KDE? These are great desktops, but unfortunately, the complexity of the Linux kernel seeps through and reduces their viability for the non-technical user.

    My kids, 9 & 10, love to use KDE & GNOME. They don't seem to think it's difficult to use. Mind you I set it up and use it so I'm the one who had to deal with the HOW-TOs and man pages.

    If you're the user and not the system administrator KDE & GNOME aren't that bad

  • The Transmeta processor is intel-compatible

    In what sense? The Transmeta patents, if they describe what Transmeta will be doing (as opposed to, say, something they looked at doing at one point, but abandoned), seem to imply that its native instruction set is not x86, and that, to run x86 code, it needs software that'll translate x86 code to native code, and run it.

    (That also implies that it'd presumably be capable of translating code for other processors into its native instruction set at well.)

    Of course, that might also permit different processors to have different native instruction sets - you'd have to recompile and/or rewrite the core native code (which would include the translating code), but other code could be translated to the native instruction set appropriate for the processor in question.

    (This is not a new idea - IBM's AS/400 switched from a System/360-ish instruction set to PowerPC in that fashion, and I have the impression the 360ish instruction set also changed over the lifetime of System/38 and AS/400.)

  • Was anyone else disappointed by his address?

    It seemed to be to be nothing more than a bunch of open-source flag-waving and "gee isn't Linux great!" I mean this is probably *the* biggest event in the computing world and 'We've got credit cards?'

    I (out of curiosity) watched BG's speech just before I tuned into Linus. I couldn't help but think "Now, that's what we're going to have to do. *Show* what Linux is capable of." Wild Bill up there yanking a server out of the rack and watching the fail-over right there, while garnering yawns from most of you (including myself) probably got more PHB's signed on to W2K than Linus & Maddog's lovefest.

    Especially at events such as this. I would've expected a little bit of detail into the advances the 2.4 kernel will bring. A little about supporting the next gen. processors. Maybe a few real-world examples of where Linux is out-doing or replacing NT.... This speech would've been great at say a LUG meeting or a university appearance...but not at a world gathering of *IT business* types.

    Instead we get 20 minutes of 'open source is good.' And then 20 minutes of questions like 'How many stuffed penguins do you have.'

    Err, um. OK.

    World domination? Not if we're ill-prepared to put our 'money where our mouth is.'

    And as far as the news from Transmeta? What news? We know no more now than we did before.

    --sitting here with wrinkled brow--
  • No! But it will run code for all OS flavors you can muster.
  • This is a typical response from an Anonymous Coward:

    CNET is a VERY "Microsoft oriented" site, and the author is clearly contrasting Linux with "normal" (read: Microsoft) OSes.

    It is not that we constantly say "Uh, MS does that too!" it is that the FUD mongers continuously, vaguely accuse anything non-MS as being "inferior" when it is plain that it is in fact, superior in nearly every substantive way.

    I too tire of "M$ Sux" posts, but that is not what mine was.

    -Peter
  • >However, Linus has long since handed off much of >his responsiblity vis-a-vis the kernel to Alan >Cox and others.

    However, doesn't Linus have to sign off on some of the major peices that get into the kernel, and also sign off on when a new Kernel level (e.g. 2.2 to 2.4) is ready to be announced?
  • Yes, there is a secret message, and this is it:
    Transmeta's policy has been to remain silent about its plans
    until it had something to demonstrate to the world.
    On January 19th, 2000, Transmeta is going to announce and demonstrate
    what Crusoe processors can do.
    Simultaneously, all of the details will go up on this Web site
    for everyone on the Internet to see.
    Crusoe will be cool hardware and software for mobile applications.
    Crusoe will be unconventional, which is why we wanted
    to let you know in advance to come look at the entire Web site
    in January, so that you can get the full story and have access to all
    of the real details as soon as they are available.
  • I usually don't believe in this whole "Linux is God" aspect that some members of the Linux community follow, but he does have some pretty good things to say usually (apparently he's a pretty bright kid =) ). So...

    Ok boyos. here is what, in my opinion, is the best part of the article:

    Torvalds steadfastly maintains the challenge and excitement
    of producing a operating system--not competition with
    Microsoft--is what motivates Linux developers. But he
    couldn't resist a few jabs at the software giant.
    ...
    "People see Linux as anti-Microsoft. In the press it looks that
    way," Torvalds said. "But to me and all the developers I
    know, it's not me vs. Microsoft." It's a matter of a fun
    programming project, he said.


    There it is in black and white. Some of the most hardcore Linux developers do it becuase they love it. It's a challenge. A problem to be solved. It's fun. The thrill of the chase if you will. And a little bit of pride. It's not the great apocalyptic david and goliath battle some make it out to be. It's about making the best system that they can.

    Is competition necessary? Sure. If nothing else it shows places where improvement is needed. Case in point:

    "While I was upset about Mindcraft for awhile, I took it as a
    more positive thing after I got past the personal injury to my
    pride," Torvalds said. "We just delved into it and fixed it.
    We took this benchmark as a way of saying, 'Yes, Linux is
    not the best at everything.' We fixed the area, and as a
    result, Linux is doing extremely well on those kind of
    benchmarks."


    "You want to kiss the sky? Better learn how to kneel." - U2
    "It was like trying to herd cats..." - Robert A. Heinlein
  • Ok.. so i'm an idiot.
    I didn't see the first transmeta post from yesterday which had news of the secret message right in the article header.
  • I remember a while back, when asked "Do you care if Linux is on everyone's desktop". Linus replied "No, I don't. It will always be there for me, and thats all that matters". I use to think the same too. But it now seems that Linus (and myself) are starting to care otherwise. He now shows interest (and disappointment) in getting Linux to the average user. That is where the average person sees as a computer. Just because it's in your cell phone doesn't make you think you are using it.

    I was hoping the article would talk more about the Mozilla project instead of a one liner.

    Peoples views on Linux vs MS are far and between. I feel too that Linux should work with MS and vise versa. But others believe that it should just be a replacement. If MS would just change their attitude from being so corporate heavy to a little more "lets work together for the common good", then I might start liking them again.

    The problem with companies going to Open Source is that they think its the end all to everything. You can not controll the outcome of Open Source. It controls itself. Its like the Internet and technology. You can control a little, but it will eventually escape on its own. It may help you if you let it work on its own, but it may hurt you if you control it. I don't like the corporate "dead lines". When its done, its done. You just try to get it to work the best you can. Kernel release 2.4 comes out when its done, thats all I care about. If you need something from it, that's what 2.3 is for. Open Source is like nature described by Malcom in Jurasic Park. It will always break free.


    Steven Rostedt
  • by FreeUser ( 11483 ) on Tuesday November 16, 1999 @08:08AM (#1528147)
    I usually don't believe in this whole "Linux is God" aspect that some members of the Linux community follow, but he does have some pretty good things to say

    I get tired of this characterization of the Linux community, or even some of its members. It really doesn't have much basis in reality, and can generally be attributed to those who are opposed to the success of Linux for whatever reason. Indeed, it is a kind of personal FUD, aimed at the users and advocates of Linux more than anything else. While some may jokingly say something to the effect of "Linus is God", even the most ardent Linux advocate has his or her toung firmly in cheek.

    There is a great deal of respect, gratitude, and good will toward Linus for what he has done and the contributions he has made and yes, even some hero worship. Compared to the adulations others (such as what Michael Jordan or Bill Gates get from their followings, for example), the adulations Linus Torvalds has gotten are generally quite moderate.

    Is competition necessary? Sure. If nothing else it shows places where improvement is needed.

    Absolutely. We know this, the DOJ knows this, and the Judge knows this. Others appear not to grasp this concept quite as well.
  • Interestingly enough, Linus seemed more focused on the issue of making Linux a better server than a better desktop OS. For all of those "Linux is the Ultimate OS" zealots out there, this seems like a bit of a sleight. Could Linux be headed toward a niche market?
    What about GNOME and KDE? These are great desktops, but unfortunately, the complexity of the Linux kernel seeps through and reduces their viability for the non-technical user. If Linus responds more favorably to criticisms of Linux's server performance than to criticisms of usability, Linux will probably fill a niche in the server arena and PC users will still be stuck with Windows....
  • I'd still like to see Linux as a desktop alternative. Simply so that I have a choice of what I want to run on my machine. That said, I don't really mind if Linux will never make it as the desktop OS of choice for non-techs. However, if Linux will only fill a small niche in this market, the problem will be that developers will not focus their efforts on running their products on Linux, and as a result, I will get poorer applications support just because I chose not to run Windows (or whatever else the desktop OS of choice may be). I mean, I will always be able to run Linux on my machine if I wanted to; but the problem is, I would be somewhat excluded from other desktop PC users because there will be limited support for applications on my Linux box and limited portability of files between my box and other machines, etc..

    I guess, in my mind, the "ideal" picture would be to have Windows, Linux, and whatever else out there, to each have roughly the same share of the market. Then we won't have the MS monopoly problem, there will be healthy competition that ensures quality amongst the systems, and I will have the freedom of choice which OS I want to run, and, because each OS will be roughly equally important, applications will be equally supported for all platforms, and I won't feel like I'm using a "niche" OS as opposed to a "mainstream" OS.

  • by ostiguy ( 63618 ) on Tuesday November 16, 1999 @07:56AM (#1528151)
    IDG [idg.net]

    matt
  • Although I've worked with a number of microcontrollers for my Ph.D. thesis I haven't thought that this embedded stuff is such a hot market:
    • Intel bought a DSP company
    • Transmeta is focusing on just the same topic
    • Redhat gets together with Cygnus (eCos!)
    • Microsoft & WinCE doesn't seam to be the winning team
    Fun is in the air!
  • by heroine ( 1220 ) on Tuesday November 16, 1999 @08:22AM (#1528153) Homepage
    When Linus graduated, he was asked why he didn't take a job at RedHat devoting his full time to writing the kernel. His response was that he didn't want to be swayed by his employer's interests into decisions that would harm the kernel's functionality. He joined Transmeta to keep his employment completely seperate from his Linux hobby.

    Well what he's doing today is very close to what he wanted to avoid. Transmeta developes an embedded processor. Every time he speeks he chants about getting Linux into embedded systems and today he actually said Linux is more practical for embedded systems than a desktop. You have to wonder how much pressure he experiences working for an embedded systems company to divert his efforts from other kernel improvements to fitting the kernel into Transmeta's agenda.
  • that's good-concentrate on linux' strength instead of being everything to everybody. Otherwise linux will be a mediocre server in its quest to be a mediocre desktop.
  • No no no, you have it wrong,

    There will not be a crusoe source arch branch, just a configuration branch in, "make config," that will read:

    [ ] Use Crusoe Processor
    |
    |-[ ] Run Crusoe in x86 mode
    |-[ ] Run Crusoe in ppc mode
    |-[ ] Run Crusoe in sparc mode

    :)

    -AP
  • Anyone know where I can read a copy of this speech without having to pay RealNetworks to look at my hard drive?
  • by jd ( 1658 ) <imipak@yaHORSEhoo.com minus herbivore> on Tuesday November 16, 1999 @08:27AM (#1528157) Homepage Journal
    First off, Linux' timetable "slipping" recently?

    *COUGH!* Either Linus' times are "absolute", in which case there's not a kernel that's been "on schedule" in the history of Linux, OR Linus isn't promising anything but is giving a tentative guesstimate, in which case no Linux timetable exists.

    Second, I'll believe Transmeta's release date when I see a "Crusoe" arch in the Linux kernel.

    Uhhhhhhh.... Hooooooooooooooooold on a moment! This looks suspicious! A delay in 2.4, until about the same time Crusoe will be unleashed? And no hard freeze yet? Hmmmm. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

    "I think so, Brain, but I've never seen a pink giraffe in a tutu."

  • Sounds like marketingspeak written by Mr. Steve Jobs himself.

    -Chris
  • When writing this, I knew someone would comment on that! I thought it too myself, but also realize that the best stuff comes without deadlines. When you have deadlines you usually start to rush things if you get behind. And when you do that, the software becomes sloppy. I did state that you need to try to get it out as quickly as you can. But don't rush. The reason IMO that Windows is so buggy is because of these deadlines. The later it is, the worse MS looks. So deliver anyway and just release the latest service pack when you get a chance. In fact (this is funny), my company isn't going to adopt W2K until Service Pack One. This is official. When have you heard about not receiving a package until the first service release is out. If any other company didn't release a "stable"(relative here) version until the first service pack, then they wouldn't be in business.

    Steven Rostedt
  • This week's editorial on Advogato [advogato.org] has some more discussion of Linus's talk, from the specific viewpoint of free software developers.

    Everyone is welcome to read, but Advogato limits posting to members of the free software development community. It's my hope that this will make Advogato a more useful resource for developers.
  • You forgot one...

    |-[]Run Crusoe in Robinson mode

  • by pete-classic ( 75983 ) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 16, 1999 @08:33AM (#1528167) Homepage Journal
    Can you believe the FUD mongering?

    "On the down side, Linux's upgrade schedule--which never is etched in stone--has slipped a little in the last few months."

    What is the author contrasting this with?

    Oh, I know, it's that "etched in stone" NT 5 . . . I mean Windows 2000 (or is it 2001?) release date.

    -Peter
  • An interesting thing I got out of his keynote, was the fact that the Linux Kernel will scale both UP and DOWN. . . Will other OS's do this? I guess I had never seen it from that point of view. Wouldn't you want to develop on your desktop, deploy to either clusters or handhelds? The fact that Linux will scale like this, is reason enough for me to develop for the OS. Personal note, when Linus mentioned Mozilla, I was the one who started the "smattering of applause" in the audience...
  • Linus's most admirable attribute, which is also IMHO the reason he's so successful with Linux, is that when beat by his competitors, it doesn't cause him to hate them, but rather it causes him to work harder and make a better product.

    IMNSHO many Linux zealots has a lot to learn from Linus... Linux is not about "we hate MS", but it's about "how we can make something better than MS, or anyone else for that matter, can". If Linux was merely about hating MS and trying to "take over" MS's market, it'd be no different from MS abusing its monopoly to squish out competitors. It was quite sad for me to read the posts about the Mindcraft benchmark results -- most of those posts show that the attitude of some people here seems to be the "I hate MS" attitude. If we hate MS more just because Linux lost to NT in the benchmarks, and we accuse Mindcraft of having staged the whole thing, etc., are we not the same as MS spreading FUD against its competitors? Rather, we should take the negative result as an indication that Linux has room for improvement, and we should use our energy to improve it, not waste our time by shouting "not fair".

  • ...but you might be right about this.

    One point in contravention: What if Crusoe is not in fact an embedded processor that functions like others we've seen up to now?
  • It's not very secret really. It's just a comment in the html source.

    In Netscape: view:page source
    In IE: view:source

    If you're too lazy to do that, here is the message:
    Yes, there is a secret message, and this is it:
    Transmeta's policy has been to remain silent about its plans
    until it had something to demonstrate to the world.
    On January 19th, 2000, Transmeta is going to announce and demonstrate
    what Crusoe processors can do.
    Simultaneously, all of the details will go up on this Web site
    for everyone on the Internet to see.
    Crusoe will be cool hardware and software for mobile applications.
    Crusoe will be unconventional, which is why we wanted
    to let you know in advance to come look at the entire Web site
    in January, so that you can get the full story and have access to all
    of the real details as soon as they are available

    --GnrcMan--
  • Someone got a transcript of this?
  • On upside.com...

    A bit about his "good nature", etc... click here [upside.com].

  • Transmeta's Crusoe is for mobile applications right? When we think of mobile we usually think of portable right? What if Transmeta doesn't mean portable as in transportable (i.e. a laptop or palmtop) but portable as in "gcc has been ported to many different platforms"? "A whole new world of mobility" would then mean the processor itself is mobile as in not static. Mobile as in portable as in porting apps to itself on the fly. Would that then mean a Crusoe desktop is possible?

    Just food for thought.
  • by FreeUser ( 11483 ) on Tuesday November 16, 1999 @09:20AM (#1528175)
    You raise a very interesting concern, and it does bear some watching.

    However, Linus has long since handed off much of his responsiblity vis-a-vis the kernel to Alan Cox and others. Development in all areas appears to be continuing regardless. This may have been deliberate, to give Linus room (not to mention time) to do his "day job" without compromizing the integrity of the kernel development process. Then, of course, there are some 10-20 million highly individualistic Linux users keeping an eye on things, none of whome are afraid to scream bloody murder if that integrity should at some point be compromized.
  • Funny, my instant reaction was "This is going into a Dreamcast?". Too many spiral logos.

  • Check out the source on transmeta.com:

    Yes, there is a secret message, and this is it:
    Transmeta's policy has been to remain silent about its plans
    until it had something to demonstrate to the world.
    On January 19th, 2000, Transmeta is going to announce and demonstrate
    what Crusoe processors can do.
    Simultaneously, all of the details will go up on this Web site
    for everyone on the Internet to see.
    Crusoe will be cool hardware and software for mobile applications.
    Crusoe will be unconventional, which is why we wanted
    to let you know in advance to come look at the entire Web site
    in January, so that you can get the full story and have access to all
    of the real details as soon as they are available.
  • Why do people feel the need to chastise the linux community for not being as soft-spoken as Linus?

    I'm really getting tired of all these claims that shooting holes in your detractor's bogus claims amounts to zealotry. When Mindcraft tested one very specific setup (static pages, multiple NICs), and then published from this the extrapolation that "NT is 200% faster than Linux", when they *knew* that the situation they were testing puts the bottlenecks in different places than the more typical situations, where which Linux performs much better, they were being very dishonest. Pointing this out is *not* zealotry. And, in fact if you were paying attention, you'd see that Linus also points this out on occasion too, that the Mindcraft test was not representative of real-world use, yet none-the-less it did point out an area where the kernel could use a lot of work. (Although webserving isn't the kind of application that really needs 4 NICs, the fact that Linux didn't properly utilize the 4 NICs very well is still something to fix for the sake of other types of applications.) Linus's response is very different than what some would advocate, that we should just bend over and take it when someone shoves FUD at everyone for fear of looking like zealots.

  • Linux works for me on my desktop. That is all I care about. I don't care if it ever becomes a real challenge to Windows. Sure it might be nice to see some more apps, but if that does not happen, Linux won't become less usefull to me. It is unfortunate that less tehcnical users (ie the mainstream public) don't have an open sourced OS to use. However they aren't exactly stuck with Windows. There is BEOS. (which I really should try)

    If you do want to see Linux more "user friendly" I encorage you to work on Gnome and/or KDE. However I am not convinced that a Unix-like platform will ever be a suitable platform for non-technical admins. I disagree with you that the "complexity of the Linux kernel seeps trough." I believe it is all the others bits that make Linux a Unix-like operating system that get in the way. The filesystem and the security model in particular seem to get in the way.

  • I wonder if Crusoe will come in five fruity colors :-)
  • The most interesting quote in the article I thought was this:


    "While I was upset about Mindcraft for awhile, I took it as a more positive
    thing after I got past the personal injury to my pride," Torvalds said. "We just
    delved into it and fixed it. We took this benchmark as a way of saying, 'Yes,
    Linux is not the best at everything.' We fixed the area, and as a result, Linux
    is doing extremely well on those kind of benchmarks."


    Contrast this to how the majority of the community reacted to the Mindcraft benchmark. Rather than moaning about its fairness or whether the playing ground was level or not he (and others) analyzed the kernel and improved its performance. That's the difference between a technically proficient leader and zealots.
  • Good link. I particularly liked the last paragraph:

    "His appeal? His good nature. His fame? His intent to share his innovation with everyone. The impression he gave? If you've got to have someone carrying the torch, it's nice to have it be someone who won't set you on fire if you turn your back."

    That last sentence had me chuckling for some time.

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981

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