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Comdex Mid-Week Quickies 84

We're rolling around the middle of the week for Comdex, and thought maybe people would like to hear some of the news. Linus was awarded person of the year by PC Magazine. Here at the booth we've been doing Install Races - 4 PM everyday. The winner for the week gets a Herman Miller Aeron Chair. Rob and I went to the Spencer Katt party on Monday night (Thanks Tim!) and had a good time - but the Post had a funny write-up about it. We had a good time there, unlike the Caldera party that we were locked out of and had to come back later after walking three miles. Grrr - we get that as well as listening to their audience scream "E-Business" to try to get t-shirts. Which is giving everyone migraines in a two hundred mile radius. Starlady has done some general Comdex write-ups, as well as Linux Biz Expo specific stuff. Apparently, Global Media won best Linux product of show for their "streaming product". One of the funniest parts of the show was the kid who mooned Bill Gates - Gates is just out of the picture. Oh, and on another note, CowboyNeal loves his Cyberlegs.
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Comdex Mid-Week Quickies

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  • Sorry to be the evil advocate here, but did anyone else here go to the MS bash?
  • WTF is wrong with you moderators, that was ON TOPIC, READ THE GOD DAMN QUICKIES
  • What's especially scary is the Microsoft guy off to the left who seems to be enjoying the view :)
  • Can anyone shed some more light on what these guys actually make and why it would be winning some sort of "Best Linux Product" award? At least by what I can find on their website, the only products I can d/l from them require RealPlayer G2 and MSIE, the latter of which not seeming too Linux-friendly to me...


  • My dad is at Comdex right now, and he's been emailing me about 3 times a day telling what he is doing. He seems to be having a blast, and has picked up A BUNCH of stuff for me and the rest of my family. He has 22 shirts at last count, at least 5 of them Linux shirts, then he's buying two Slashdot shirts, one of them with Rob and Jeff's autograph :-) He wondering how the heck he's going to get all this stuff home. Now, I'll either be the coolest guy at school, that, or else the nerdiest :-) I really wish I didn't have school, and was over 18. Comdex would be the best vacation I ever had.
  • by Ledge Kindred ( 82988 ) on Wednesday November 17, 1999 @11:38AM (#1524514)
    Since the URL of that photo does not seem to be responding, can we say this is truly the first time that someone's ass has been slashdotted?


  • by BadERA ( 107121 )
    you don't have to be 18 anymore, do you? didn't COMDEX relax the no 18 on the floor rule for ultra-young execs that are starting to proliferate the COMDEX crowd?
  • Hey, didja see, they quoted Dan Bricklin, CTO of Trellix, Inc? Excuse me, but wasn't this the guy that wrote Visicalc for the Apple II, and pretty much started the ball rolling with PC's in the office? Seems they could have got a meatier quote from him....
  • Who else clicked on CyberLegs and expected to find something naughty?


    ...just me?



  • hmmmm... maybe?
  • Is this a step forward or backward from throwing a pie in Bill Gates' face?

    Insert scatalogical humor below.

  • I'm curious to know how many cyberlegs were sold just now because of the plug and link to their site... Hmmm... How do I get slashdot to mention my site? I promise I'll make it un-slashdottable!


    The beatings will continue until moral improves.
  • I think the latest application paperwork actually says you have to be _21_ to get into the show! Of course, if you are dressed in "business attire" (I generally wore a tie and sportcoat to comdex) NOBODY will bother you, even if you look like you're 16. They just don't want kids who aren't interested in buying anything there.
  • by sterwill ( 972 ) on Wednesday November 17, 1999 @11:48AM (#1524522) Homepage
    For those who can't reach, check out the half-moon at this mirror []. I do agree with the poster who noticed a naughty grin on the Microsoft booth guy to the left.

  • by jd ( 1658 ) <> on Wednesday November 17, 1999 @11:50AM (#1524524) Homepage Journal
    Hey! Why did Linus win the award? I mean, other than being a genuinely nice guy, a dedicated computer programmer, the mastermind behind one of the best (& most original) Operating Systems ever written, a key person at Transmeta, a major driving force behind the Open Source movement, and an international celebrity through his work.

    Any brilliant-minded, emotionally-stable, obsessive with a streak of genius a parsec wide could do as well.

    Seriously, though, Comdex is proving a landmard convention. There is a shift in attitude away from the corporate and towards the open, as demonstrated by the difference in reaction between Bill Gates' speech and Linus Torvalds'.

    Once the dust has settled, and the history books are written in the mid to late 21st century, that may well be one of the most significant moments in the closing decade of the 20th century. It's a change from attitudes that have prevailed since the dawn of civilisation, that might (be it in the form of brute strength, or hard cash) makes right.

    Of course, you could accuse me (probably correctly) for over-exagerating and being moronically pretentious. Go right ahead! I'm content to believe that this Comdex is as big a turning point as the British Peasent's Revolt, or the spreading of literacy from the priesthood to the commoner.

  • I was hoping for something a lot more like this []. Except with CowboyNeal instead of a cat.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well, it's not entirely well documented on the Press Release, but the solution in question is a niche product that's rather slick. A little bit of PR speak is available at the link below, but in more real terms, it's a linux box that is shipped to a site with a custom distribution on it that Global Media developed.

    It's effectively a custom distribution that they built based on Debian. It has a hacked WAN driver plus some severely modified startup scripts to make frame relay fire up and phone 'home' automatically to recieve further instructions.

    It lets a radio station (for example), be shipped a box, which they can plug in, turn on, and start streaming G2 audio automatically.

    Keep an eye on Linux World, as they'll be the ones with more information on GLMC soon.

    -An Anonymous Global Media Coward.
  • Quote: "CyberLegs provides a comfortable and healthy keyboard height and angle."

    This text appears on the cyberlegs site below the image of a woman who certainly does not look like she sits comfortable and that laptop surely does not seem to be in a healthy height and angle. This looks almost as strange as those ever-happy infomercials where people get excited about the smallest strange product...

    On the other hand, working with a computer while standing is indeed a good idea. I do that from time to time at an office where I work as a freelancer and now I consider buying a taller table for my home office, too.

  • The two major inovations in W2K that Gore was impressed with - screen magnification and reading for the visually impared and blind - are way out of date. I have had a screen magnification on my old SE/30 for at least 9 years. Reading, I don't know how far that goes back but I think it's even further. I know Apple had something where a simple keystroke would read what was in the current window several years ago.
  • Next time someone decides to moon the CEO of Microsoft, may I suggest that you first get a tatoo of Tux on your backside.

    A double whammy.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    anybody who can't access the mooning pic, I have it mirrored at images/moon2.jpg []
  • Being at the Redhat booth at the LBE, which is wedged between Caldera and Corel... its a tossup between who is more annoying. At least Corel isnt lipsynching to madonna like they were during setup... but that dumb "E...Business" chant that Caldera is enforcing is drowning me out. I'm having to scream over it to talk to the people at my booth...i swear, before this week is over, i will have to duct tape everyone's mouths (at Caldera) shut.
    ok... no more ranting from me...
  • Didn't the Apple II have some software/hardware that could read a text file in the late 70's? Ask Sam or some such? I know the original Mac of 1984 was able to read a text file.

    I used to recommend Macs to people with vision imparement in the mid 80's because of their ability to enlarge fonts and do local screen magnification, something that was tough to do under MS-DOS.

    Accessability feature are an area that Linux is very weak at.
  • Funny how global media got an award for tweeking RealServer for Linux and providing a fancier package for RealPlayer. Global Media first and foremost sells CD's, competing directly with the free mp3 portals, and their repackaged version of RealPlayer isn't even part of their total business strategy.
  • It's a change from attitudes that have prevailed since the dawn of civilisation, that might (be it in the form of brute strength, or hard cash) makes right.

    Well, to start with, all kinds of religions through all ages were pretty much insistent that might does not make right. But in any case, pray tell me, where do you see this change? And don't point me towards the Microsoft trial, since that is a simple case of a guy with a bigger stick (government) landing a lucky blow on the head of the guy with a smaller stick (MS).

    Comdex a turning point in history? [boggle]. Hey, can I have some of that stuff you are smoking?

  • If I'm not mistaken, that is an AMD shirt, the kind they were giving away on the Quake 3 Arena tour bus. (I have one.)
  • The "hacked-up" WAN Driver is actually an excellent software/hardware solution from Sangoma Technologies []. I highly recommend it! Mike Thorpe
  • Mirror of Mooning Picture []
    Perhaps if/when other things need mirroring I'll just slap 'em up on the angelfire site. Or I might remove the page altogether. I dunno.

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.
  • > you don't have to be 18 anymore, do you?

    Yes. 21, actually. They can make exceptions on a case-by-case basis, but it is still their policy.
  • The funny thing is that while I used to really suffer on that old 9" monitor and screen magnification was a total must, the new monitors are so much nicer. I can now easilly afford 19 inches and even more if my eyes start to get worse than the already are.

    Linux is a bit weak but not impossibly bad. With fvwm I could create a monster virtual desktop and then configure the thing so that I could scoll around and it actually worked very similarly to how the old Mac extension. The only problem is that you have to set your monitor resolution rediculously low to get good magnification and it's just not easy enough to switch back and forth if you want to turn magnification on and off.

    I can't speak for anybody but myself here. My eye problems are not as bad as some. Just bad enough that I've tried the software. I invariably get fed up with the limitation imposed or the hassle of stuff scrolling off the screen and go back to emacs or some other text based app with a nice big font.

  • To go back to the metaphor of writing, it could never have been handed to the general population if it had never been invented.

    I liken the invention of BSD to the invention of writing - cumbersome & filled with proprietary symbols (did you know that anyone who read an AT&T licence became privy to AT&T secrets, and therefore anything they wrote belonged to AT&T?)

    The Jolitz' did a very good job of porting BSD to the PC, but: (a) their development was too closed and slow, and (b) because of (a), it collapsed after the release of 0.2. It was too dependent on too few people. Later versions of BSD made use of their work, but with much larger core teams. The problem has always remained, though - they ARE core teams.

    One poster on Usenet, around the time Jolitz' 386BSD 0.1 came out commented that Linux was growing faster, and that it would supercede 386BSD in every way, before BSD could reach a usable point. (This was before X11R4 would even RUN on 386BSD! You needed a whole bunch of extra patches to even coax life out of it.)

    This isn't to say that BSD wasn't important, it was. Very! Without BSD, there would be no Linux. However, I agree with that Usenet poster of so long ago. Linux -is- growing faster, both in usability and popularity, and it's reaching critical mass.

    -That- is the key to a revolution - who reaches critical mass first, and Linux (I believe) has done so. Yes, it's stood on the shoulders of giants, but so did Einstein. It makes neither him nor Linux any less revolutionary to have done so. Indeed, few historical revolutions could have succeeded, if the key figures hadn't been able to build on prior achievements.

  • Yes, it could 'read' text, VERY badly. There were also a variety of hardware add-ons for the Apple, most of them based on a Texas Instruments Digital Speech chip, with all the phonic elements in an EEPROM. I had something like that in my BigBlue XT; slid into an ISA slot and used a TSR to give you something to pipe into. You could understand it with a little training, even turned up full speed. (I think it would do up to ten elements a second; a little like saying a-b-c-d-e-f-g-h-i-j in one second)

    Accessability features?
    Magnification:Set the console text mode to something huge. Utilize the CtrlAlt- combo in X.
    Braille terminals: There is a getty that likes them!
    text->speech: Festival, with a good voice, is great!

    Note: I am not physically-challenged, so I really have no clue how well these would work for the average, say, blind guy.
  • Okay, this will probably be marked as flamebait and moderated out of existance, but I this made me laugh out loud in the labs. I don't care if it is the God OS he's talking about, that was amusing...
  • Would there be a full moon picture that isn't eclipsed by a black square? I'd imagine only Bill and the photographer got the ugliest view.
  • Oops, I guess I didn't check too closely. I meant to say the guy over by the Microsoft booth had a naughty little grin on his face.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Are they installing only Linux are are they racing it with WinNT, Win3K, Win98, BeOS, OS/2 or others. Oh wait, take BeOS out of the list, it installs in about 10-13 minutes. It would win the race every time... ESPECIALLY with a novice user. A non computer user can install Be faster than a Windows/Linux user can install another OS.

    Be = The: Eight way SMP, 64 bit fully journaling file system enabled, 18 Exxabyte volume support, OpenGL, USB, Firewire Enahanced, real time video/audio editing, Bryce rendering, Apache hosting, Quake2 playing, OS for the next millenium. Oh, they did all of that in five years of development with closed source and release whole nuumber $25 upgrades every 6-9 months and free incremental updates periodically. What has Linux done for you lately?
  • does anybody have the "uncensored" picture?
  • Umm, I know it's censured and wasn't posted, but hey.. the unaltered photo is here []. If this offends - tough.

  • > Is this a step forward or backward from throwing a pie in Bill Gates' face?

    From the pic, I'd have to say 'backward'.

    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • Just his /.

    BTW, the emoticon for it is (!)

    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?

  • trust me, you DON'T want to see it.
  • My personal record is 12 minutes for Slackware 7.0, from inserting the install CD until typing "startx" as a non-root user. Anyone better?
  • No no no. The guy doing the mooning is wearing an AMD promotional t-shirt, even though the logo is censored. That's all I was trying to say. BTW, thanks for posting the mirror.
  • It looks like it almost said "did anyone else go here to MS bash?" the answer for that would be, yes
  • a.k.a. setting up a machine so you get it "out of the box" ready to run.

    Think for a moment.
    1.You are a computer idiot.
    2.You want to do neat things with a computer.
    3.You are a computer idiot with money.
    4.Somebody tells you they will set up your computer to do all the neat things you keep hearing about, for a fee.
    5.You do neat things with computers.

    People talk about the value of service in the Open Source paradigm. What many don't realize is that isn't only tech support and newbie questions, it also includes the setup and configuration of machines. A plug-and-play Real (or MP3, video, dynamic web) server is worth at least twice what the hardware alone is worth. The same could probably be said (although the ratio probably drops to 1.2-1.5) for home PCs, especially if they are loaded with functional software on an OS that doesn't crash. Service and simplicity, that's where the moneys gonna be.
  • Anybody else check out the pics on, as he chronicles the construction of the Andover booth? That LCD the have in the /. "living room" section looks schweet! Anybody know the brand, model and cost of that unit?
  • doh! moron.
  • First of all,
    Yeah, right. I use my Linux box as a Samba Server and run Matlab from my computer over a network to my girlfriends computer and run a full webserver at the same time that I run an NFS server at the same time that I am playing Quake II at the same time I am crunching SETI@HOME on -nice 2 at the same time I am running a full data center complete with IBM's DB2 and I am AT THE SAME TIME, believe it or not, serving as a file and print server for 1000 different people fom all over the world.
    The truth is, that I along with a whole ton of people have discovered how powerful, elegant, and simply stable and user-friendly BeOS really is. This OS was not meant to be a server OS, and Linux was never meant to be a consumer OS. Even Linus Torvalds himself admits that the focus of Linux is to be a successful server. Be has announced that BeOS is for consumers and prefessional media types who can properly enjoy it's power and complete multi-threading capabilities. I am a hell of a lot happier running BeOS than I was running Linux, by all accounts.
    And to the guy who installed Linux in under 12 minutes, I doubt anybody counts the "Bare Bones" command prompt only install as legal in this argument. BeOS actually installs the entire OS in under 15 minutes.
    And, as one last point, do you know how hard it is to install video capture hardware in Linux. Let's see...kernel recompile, download bttv.tar.gz file for my Brooktree generic card, download xawtv.tar.gz, try to compile both statically since I do not personally own Motif, then cry as after all of this the full screen mode locks up my computer. Okay, well at least I can have real-time audio processing on Linux. Oh, that's right, it's not supported in the kernel yet, and Linus announced that he doesn't want it in there either.
    Okay, so I install BeOS. 35 seconds after I install in, I open the TV app which comes preinstalled by default and I am watching TV. Then I open up the cool 3D mixer app and decide that I want to mix some music together. Works perfectly the first time. Hmmmm.....Not hard to convince me. Goodbye Linux. Good luck to the OSS movement, but Linux needs a lot of work.
  • Didn't the Apple II have some software/hardware that could read a text file in the late 70's?

    I had something like this on my C64, of course, I was about 8 at the time so these are all the details I remember....

  • by drwiii ( 434 )
    The mooner's identity revealed! I think it was CowboyNeal! []

    Anyway, Linux Today Radio shoutcast from comdex at or Join the fun on SlashNET IRC [],


  • It's amazing that anything get done there. Isn't COMDEX supposed to be cool toys and cool deals, but not to degrade to being a high school gym?

    I'm not so sure that some of the vendors like TurboLinux, Caldera and Corel are putting out a positive image of Linux by being so over the top. Personally I'd be so thrilled to be there (I've never had the chance) that I'd suspect I'd be on my best behavior. Perhaps I'd party away from the floor, though.

    Why is Linux in it's own pavilion? It's because we don't play well with others? Linus spoke in his keynote about "we do it because it's fun and challanging" but I don't think we would ever catch him mooning Bill G. though.
  • Slashdot has AC T-shirts at Comdex? I knew I should have patented that idea... I was the guy walking around Linux World Expo back in March with a badge reading "Anonymous Coward".

    So is somebody giving them away or selling them? I couldn't tell from the line in Starlady's report.

    JMC wishing I was there

  • Actually, this wasn't so much advocacy or, as you so happily put it, "childish 'my dick is bigger than your dick'" sort of mentality. I thought the situations that people use to promote Linux are just as funny and as childish as the post I replied to it with. I actually I use Linux as much as I use anything else. And I am far from being a child. Both luck to both OS's. Thanks for your opinion.

  • the logo isn't censored. It's another article of clothing hung over his shoulder.
  • see the subject
  • I suppose you'll include Slashdot's installation war in your list of things to not do in the future? I mean, if we're talking about childish stuff, you may as well include Slashdot. (And don't even get me started on those silly boomerang things they gave out.)

    The trinkets are fun, and a standard marketing ploy. Skydiving is not. Shouting matches are not.

    Slashdot is what you make it. Just like Open Source. For some reason, XBill and Tex seem to come to mind as examples...

    All one needs is a little MODERATION.
  • *Sigh*. You've completely missed the point. Freedom, not no cost. The desire for freedom is not the same as being "so damn cheap". Freedom is something money can't buy; it has more value to many of us than even the "best" technology out there.

    I'm not even going to get into how Be is offering BeOS for free if OEMs will preload it and give it equal time, while many versions of Linux are now selling for nearly $90 (i.e., BeOS is "cheaper" than Linux in some instances), because the issue is FREEDOM. LIBERTY. Not price. See ml [] (and read a bunch more on the GNU website, while you're at it.)

"Plastic gun. Ingenious. More coffee, please." -- The Phantom comics