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Reports of My Destruction Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, by A. Linux Kernel
Friday, February 25 2005 @ 05:06 PM EST

A lot of you have been emailing me the link to John Dvorak's opinion piece, "How to Kill Linux," about how Microsoft allegedly could kill off Linux. Sometimes when I read things like that article, I hardly know where to begin to unravel the mistakes in thinking.

As I was pondering, and wishing I could go to Rio for the weekend instead, I got a submission, an article by someone who signed it, A. Linux Kernel, who says reports of his destruction have been exaggerated. I was surprised to hear from him, knowing as I do how the kernel likes to stay humbly in the background. Now, I can't swear on a stack of Bibles that this was written by the *real* Mr. Kernel. But if the Linux kernel could speak, and he felt like horsing around, I think this is what he might say.

No, I didn't write it, but it's under my CC license just the same. Enjoy.


Reports of My Destruction Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
by A. Linux Kernel

Oh boy. After a hard day swapping, caching, and scheduling, I settle down to check out the RSS feeds. And what's this? A pundit describing how Microsoft could destroy Linux. Not that that's much new. After all, I seem to remember that Windows 2000 was going to brush me aside. Or was it XP? Or Server 2003? Not so long ago, wasn't it Unixware's LKP that was going to kill me? Or was it Project Janus? Nah, I must be getting mixed up -- it's Longhorn that will destroy Linux.

If I don't die of old age before it's released.

Or Palladium. Or Shared Source. Say, I need more memory to keep track of all the ways folks think they can kill me off.

But this is, I must admit, a new take on the old story. It seems so simple! Just create a proprietary MS Linux, sit back and watch me die. It's such a simple strategy, I wonder why they haven't done it already. You don't suppose there might be a flaw in this scheme do you? (BTW, guys, you're not very thorough. You haven't even finished killing OS/2 yet.) Here's how the article begins, and you can imagine how my eyes got wide when I read it:

"While chatting over dinner with the executives of a middleware company during the recent RSA conference for encryption and security in San Francisco, I heard about a secret project. It concerned the development of a version of Linux that runs smoothly as a task under Windows. The project was completed and then shelved."
Shelved by MS maybe, but the FOSS world has got this working, and unlike the rumoured secret project, you can get it yourself, and see it working.

See me running as a task on Windows (it's not the only option either - QEMU for example.) And has this killed Linux? Err.. no. Because a chain is only as strong as its weakest link - what's the point of running me on a crash-happy virus magnet? Especially one you have to pay for Let's read on:

"The immediate usefulness of Linux running under Windows is obvious. You can use all the Windows drivers for all the peripherals that don't run under Linux."
Firstly, even if I was running on Windows, it doesn't mean I can see all your hardware. Probably I only see your network connection, keyboard, mouse -- things I don't have driver problems with anyway. Case in point: the other day I spent some time running under VMWare. Nice place, I must admit. Some guy plugged in their USB scanner. Did I see the scanner via the Windows driver? No chance. I just had the raw USB data pumped straight through to me. Good job I had SANE to keep me, well, sane.
"That said, there is no way Linux under Windows would be practical with all the overhead involved."
My goodness! QEMU must have been just an amazing dream, then. And VMWare, and BOCHS. . .
"The idea here would be to cut the driver layer out of Windows and attach it to Linux directly."
Letting me use Windows binary drivers? Now, there's a thought. In fact, it's more than a thought. ndiswrapper and CaptiveNTFS both do this. There's nothing to stop similar projects for other devices: why don't we see them?

Because most of the time, with mainstream devices, I work out of the box. For the "savvy user" and OEM builder, the Linux driver "problem" isn't the problem it was. The days when my poor user had to sweat blood to get me onto a laptop are long gone. Sure, if I get slung onto some random old machine there are still wrinkles, but from what I see on the Windows support forums, that's hardly unique.

But sure, you could go ahead and write ndiswrapper-like code for every sort of device out there -- sounds like a lot of work though. Shouldn't they be fixing bugs in IE instead? And don't most of these funny peripherals only do anything useful in conjunction with a Windows program anyway? Hey, perhaps Microsoft want to help with the Wine project! Hmm, doesn't seem likely somehow. Besides, wouldn't all this driver glue code have to be. . .

"Microsoft would be unable to produce such a product without allowing the other vendors access to the driver code as part of the open-source Linux license arrangement (GPL)."
You read my mind, John!
"Open-source law is new and not completely tested."
That's true. Those pesky critters keep running away before we get them into court. Except in Germany. . .
"I'm certain that Microsoft got involved with the SCO versus Linux lawsuit partly to reach a better understanding of how to proceed."
I hardly think MS needed SCO for research -- they can afford their own lawyers, and give them a day off per week from filing dodgy patents to bone up on every FOSS license going. But if they did use SCO for research rather than FUD, they can't be happy with the results. SCO's reply to IBM's Counterclaim 8 amounted to a humiliating acceptance of the GPL's validity. All the tough-talking melted away.
"This concept will benefit only Microsoft and probably result in the death of Linux altogether. Let's call it the lopped-off head approach. Microsoft takes its distribution of Linux and sells it as a lopped-off head. That means tearing away the entire top of Linux from the driver layer -- and that would be MS-Linux."
Tearing off my driver layer? That sounds painful! I may support loadable modules, but it isn't the case that the whole driver layer is a loadable module. You would have to do some major re-rengineering to make my whole driver layer detachable, and it would inevitably cause compatibility problems with existing Linux programs, stability problems, etc. Unstable, incompatible, and pointlessly re-engineered. Well, that's "MS-Linux", I suppose.
" . . . the user could pay for the Windows drivers and attach those to MS-Linux, resulting in an OS that had the PnP benefits of Windows."
Woah, John, I think I'll have to throw an Oops there. Your logic just dereferenced a null pointer. You've taken the whole driver layer out of Linux, and now you're throwing in a Windows driver and expect it to work? That's like attaching wheels to a car with an engine but no transmission.You'll have to write a replacement driver layer that accepts Windows drivers and allows them to work with the Linux kernel, just like ndiswrapper does for the limited case of some wifi cards, in fact.

But John, you don't seriously think this replacement driver layer wouldn't be a derived work of the kernel, do you?

"I see no reason why this could not be kept outside the GPL and actually sold as a licensed product exclusive to Microsoft."
You don't? You must have flunked GPL 101, then. Go sit at the back of PJ's remedial class. I believe registration is still open for her summer school class. And don't talk to that kid Darl -- he's a troublemaker and never pays attention.
"Since plenty of commercial products 'attach' to Linux and seem to be protected from the GPL, I have to assume that the scenario I describe is possible."
You do know the difference between "mere aggregation" and "derived work" don't you, John? Have you been paying attention in GPL class, or just drawing beetles on the back of your exercise book?
"Microsoft's MS-Linux would quickly become the dominant Linux and the company would begin to profit from all the open-source development work that would go into Linux."
Don't you mean: "The MS driver layer would have to be GPL'ed, everyone would use it for those troublesome peripherals, one less reason would exist to ever buy Windows, and MS would lose money?"
"Once the developers saw that happen they'd stop working on Linux and it would die."
I think you meant to write: "Once the MS developers realize they can't get round the GPL this way, they will stop working on the 'headless chicken' project and it will die."

Or do you mean that as soon as a FOSS project benefits the Windows platform, no one works on it any more? That's why we've seen the demise of FireFox, OpenOffice, Apache, PHP.... oh, wait... we haven't.

"After all, who wants to do free work that benefits Microsoft?"
The only beneficiaries would be the hardware manufacturers who only have to write one driver. MS would have inadvertently created a mark II version of UDI.
"At some point in the future Microsoft will make its move on Linux, you can be certain."
In the *future*? Well, a stopped clock is right twice a day, they say. So far, you're half as good. Try installing NTP.
"When MS-Linux is announced, it will be as if Microsoft were doing the world a favor by 'joining' the Linux community. Praise will be heaped on the company. Congratulations will flow."
You mean like the praise that was heaped on Sun when they CDDL'ed Solaris? With praise like that, who needs brickbats? I'll stick my neck out here, and predict (I can be a pundit too, you know) that anything Microsoft does with respect to Linux, even if it is genuinely nice, will be treated with just the tiniest bit of cynicism and scepticism. Their reputation precedes them.

But you know, I feel like indulging John for a moment. Imagine this headless chicken FrankenLinux cousin of mine really turns up. All the kernel developers would have to get the flu or something, so they don't notice the massive GPL violations, and PJ would have to be sent on a cruise to Barbados or someplace, so she can't get online easily and can't notify the inhabited earth.

"Microsoft's MS-Linux would quickly become the dominant Linux."
Err. Why? Because FOSS users are just begging to use MS products? I'll load my "corporate IT manager simulation" module. I can:
A) Buy SuSE or RedHat or Mandrake (or whatever) and get a fully GPL'ed solution, plus be free from lock-in and have the source code to all my drivers, and not have any licensing costs, CALs to pay, etc.


B) I can pay per seat for MS-Linux, get myself locked into MS-Linux, have half my kernel closed-source (and of course if it starts crashing or being insecure from bugs in that portion, I'm SOL), lots of closed-source binary drivers, pay for CALs, submit to license audits.

For what? So that my $70 BrandX scanner might work? Tell you what, why don't I give my scanner away and buy a new one that is supported by Linux! Sure, it'll cost me another $70, but I'll be saving thousands of dollars by not buying MS-Linux.

The sums don't add up, John. The only person for whom they might add up is a single-PC individual who finds computers intimidating and doesn't have the time to do research. But they'd happily buy Windows anyway. (Or a Mac, if they had more taste.) Look at the fate of Caldera's Linux for an example of how 'proprietary' Linux sells like hot cakes. NOT!!

Let me spell it out for you: I get used because I'm open, trusted, free and reliable. As soon as you make me rely on closed-source code, even if somehow you could find a way to do it legally, you'd destroy or erode the very reasons people choose me in the first place.

"The end of Linux will be at hand."
Again? [yawn] Should I repent now, or later? I think I'll wait. After all, the next pundit predicting my death will be along in a minute. The mistake the prophets of my doom make is always the same: they just don't get the GPL.

Microsoft gets it. That's why they hate me and it soooo much.


Reports of My Destruction Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, by A. Linux Kernel | 282 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Reports of My Destruction Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, by A. Linux Kernel
Authored by: inode_buddha on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 05:12 PM EST
IMHO after long observation:

The fastest way to kill linux is through legal channels, by taking ownership and
attribution away from those who created it.

Deity forbid.

Copyright info in bio

"When we speak of free software,
we are referring to freedom, not price"
-- Richard M. Stallman

[ Reply to This | # ]

I got a different interpretation of his article
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 05:15 PM EST
I thought he was suggesting that Microsoft would in effect try to create a binary compatibility layer, where Linux system calls are trapped, and handed off to a windows kernel. This is actually quite possible to do, since the kernel syscall interface is well documented, and there is no gpl involved or Linux kernel code needed for something that simply presents the same kernel interface as if it were a Linux kernel. Think of it like a GNU in chains, or GNOME with someone grabbing onto it's, well, you get the idea.

One uninented consequence this would do is make the Linux executable binary format something that neither Java nor .NET could achieve, a truelly ubiqitous and universally available run anywhere binary executable format. After all, all the stock net/free/openBSD's already have optional kernel interface support for executing Linux binaries.

[ Reply to This | # ]

No Microsoft code need apply
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 05:20 PM EST
The drivers in question belong to the hardware companies. If Linux wants to use
esoteric hardware drivers written to Microsoft interface specifications then all
that is necessary is an agreement between Linus and the hardware vendors. No
Microsoft code is needed in the mix.

Steve Stites

[ Reply to This | # ]

A lot of those rumors going around... still...
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 05:45 PM EST
Way back in the distant past, when I graduated from my Commodore-64 to a Mac SE,
I was told often and pointedly that the Macintosh was on the brink of
extinction. Same thing with each new Mac I bought, up to and including my
current laptop. (I also have a desktop running Redhat 7.2, as well as a
wish-I-didn't-but-I-have-to W98 machine.)

AFAIK, the Commodore is indeed gone (sniff!) -- though I'm sure someone,
somewhere, has at least written an emulator -- but since no one ever predicted
its demise to me, so far the prophets of OS doom are 0 for 1,000 in my

For what my non-random sampling is worth.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Firefox is Spyware?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 05:49 PM EST files/antispyware.png

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT here, please
Authored by: m_si_M on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 05:51 PM EST
As usual.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Reports of My Destruction Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, by A. Linux Kernel
Authored by: kjb on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 05:53 PM EST
Thanks, ALK, you made my day.
John, do you really believe the words you wrote? Or do you just need the hits?
Groklaw just keeps getting better and better.

keith.burt at gmail dot com
Copyright info in bio

"No! Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try."
- Yoda

[ Reply to This | # ]

A thanks.
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 06:03 PM EST
Dear A. Linux Kernel,

Your informative and witty letter was the best birthday gift I've received all week. Thank you.
It reminds me (and hopefully John Dvorak) that drawing back one's "bow-of-piercing-intellect" to only release a bolt that strikes your neighbors target does not make you a good archer.


[ Reply to This | # ]

  • A thanks. - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 06:14 PM EST
CoLinux really works!
Authored by: Philip Stephens on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 06:10 PM EST
I recently purchased a new Gateway PC, and was planning on repartitioning it and
installing Linux as a dual boot OS. Unfortunately, I had to put that plan on
hold because the hard drive uses SATA, an interface that unfortunately none of
the Linux distributions or rescue CD-ROMs that I have on hand support.

So, I came across a reference to CoLinux, and decided to try it out. I figured
if I could get Linux up and running as a task on Windows XP, I'd at least be
able to use it until I sorted out how to get Linux to recognise and install on
my SATA hard drive.

As it turns out, CoLinux works really, really well (and it's only at version
0.6.2!). I was able to install a small distribution of Debian on CoLinux, and
after downloading and installing all the additional packages I needed (using
apt-get), I'm now happily running Linux on Windows XP.

How well does it work? Linux and Windows XP share my dial-up connection
seamlessly. Using a Windows client called VNC, I can switch between a
full-screen Linux desktop and the Windows XP desktop using Alt Tab. All of my
graphical Linux applications run flawlessly.

Because my new PC is about 8 times faster than my old one, I can't tell you
whether my Linux applications run slower under CoLinux than under a native Linux
kernel--but since my new PC is 8 times faster than my old one, all my Linux
applications run as fast as I could wish them to. As far as I know, none of the
Linux applications are being emulated, they're running natively on my Pentium 4

The bottom line is that Dvorak doesn't know what he is talking about. The fact
he wasn't even aware of CoLinux demonstrates how clueless he is about Linux, but
this is not surprising--he is essentially a Microsoft apologist.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Dvorak - more than dodgy keys
Authored by: Stumbles on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 06:30 PM EST
At one time I considered Dvorak worth listening to. That
was way way back in the days of pre-TechTV. Needless to
say, that is not the case now and has not been for a very
very long time.

You can tune a piano but you can't tune a fish.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Reports of My Destruction Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, by A. Linux Kernel
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 06:43 PM EST
Speaking for the Mac community, I'd just like to say that we've been putting
up with exactly this kind of half-baked silly garbage from Dvorak for the last
15 years. The man must have come up with a thousand articles, all saying the
same thing: "Apple Is Doomed." Not once have I ever seen a well
thought out,
insightful, ultimately correct article from John Dvorak. You'd think after so
many years he would have learned SOMETHING about the industry.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Dvorak doesn't get "community"
Authored by: Briareus on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 07:02 PM EST
What John Dvorak doesn't get, beyond even his technical misunderstandings, is
the essential community around linux.

I am an electrical engineering student. I am currently learning to program
microcontrollers in class, and I am looking toward robotics as my field of
choice. I am also an avid linux user. I use linux for its community aspects as
much as for its technical flexibility.

I mention this because just last night I reached a personal milestone of sorts,
when from my linux laptop I was able to upload an assembly language i wrote
program through a terminal running minicom, over a serial cable, to the
microcontroller. The circuit I had built on the breadboard had been designed and
tested in oregano, an open-source frontend to the spice engine. The hardware
circuitry and the attached microcontroller worked exactly as I had hoped.

I did this in my living room, without being forced to pay any licensing fees for
the IDE or the operating system. I received online help from some other
hobbyists in irc who helped me overcome a couple technical hurdles. But now I
know how to do it, and I am stoked!

Can I do the similar things free in Microsoft? Well, partially at least, yes.
But what I find the satisfaction in is the fact that thanks to the aggregate
work of programmers the world over, I am free to do in my living room what
before I might have been tied to the university lab or to working for a company
large enough to float the fees for all the licensing and lock-in. What makes me
happy is that this is enabling me, the little guy, the possibility to make my
own mark on the world, and on my own terms.

Microsoft offers me ubiquity, and there is something to be said for that. But
given the choice, I prefer the rich community of motivated and enthusiastic
programmers and developers and those like myself who might not be software
developers but still take pride in helping as many other newcomers to linux as I
can, in irc or here at school. I look forward to when I too can contribute more
back to the community.

Microsoft can never offer me that, nor can Sun or SCO. I mean when was the last
time you heard of someone who looks forward to contributing back to Microsoft
who isn't paid by them? For me, the simple truth is that I want to do good work
and feel satisfaction when a project comes together, all while living a life of
meaning. If I make money doing it, even better, but it's not my primary
objective. To someone like me, the philosophy of a Microsoft or a Sun is not
something I could feel good about working for, or even tangentially supporting.
I am clearly not alone.

MS-Linux indeed. IF Microsoft ever 'killed' linux, I would still never use their
product. I would use whatever developed in place of linux--and not because I'm a
Microsoft hater, but because they can never offer me what I want, community. The
very idea of cannibalizing linux and the ensuing logical death to the community
is proof positive to me of the intellectual bankruptcy of the Microsoft/Dvorak

[ Reply to This | # ]
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 07:05 PM EST

Well, this is REALLY old news....

Microsoft Linux

The page itself says Last updated: Thursday, April 13, 2000

CSG_Surferdude (I REALLY need to setup an account here

[ Reply to This | # ]

Derived Works
Authored by: emmenjay on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 07:56 PM EST
The esteemed Mr Kernel touches on a critical issue. Is it possible that an
external driver layer could be written that is not a derived work of the

I worked for some time on a product that modified the Kernel behaviour. (I
won't give details as my ex-employer might not like being named). We were
involved in considerable debate over exactly what constituted a "derived
work". In the end, Linus gave a "ruling" that any code which
accessed the kernel, except via published system calls, was a derived work.
This necessitated a complete redesign of our product.

I'm relying on my bad memory here, but from my recollections:

1. Before building the product, we had legal advice that it wasn't a derived
2. After being "nixed" by Linus, we had legal advice that we might
well win a legal challenge.

However it made no sense to take it to court. In doing that, we would certainly
have alienated the Linux community and made it highly unlikely that anybody
would buy the product.

Fast-forward to now. Microsoft are probably not too concerned with alienating
the Linux community. If it suited them, they would most likely be happy to

So the original question, could such a thing be done? The answer is
"nobody is quite sure unless it is tested in court".

Is Mr Dvorak's suggestion feasible? Probably not, but we need to keep an open
mind. While the basic GPL seems to be fairly well established from a legal
point of view, the edge conditions may well be less reliable.

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer and was not involved in any legal negotiations
described above. It is quite possible that my description is flawed, but I just
present it to give an example of the complexities involved.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Reports of My Destruction Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, by A. Linux Kernel
Authored by: producer on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 08:02 PM EST
And like Cringely, we'll call it Windex!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 08:15 PM EST
preceeds s/b precedes

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS on Solaris
Authored by: nsomos on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 09:40 PM EST
While Dvorak may be far off the mark, one of the biggest problems
that MS has, is its horrible OS. (Too many problems to list with it here)

What they might actually be able to do, is to run with the CDDL'ed
Solaris and come up with their own implementation of a WINE work-alike.
Since they have all the inside scoop on windows, they could actually do a
better job with this MS-WINE than the WINE folks currently are doing.
The CDDL would not be an impediment to what they might want to do.

The MS-WINE would be proprietary and using it, any and all windows
applications would run on top of the SOLARIS OS which is vastly
superior to any Windows OS. While this would not fix the many varied
bugs that MS software products have, it would reduce the impact that
various exploits would otherwise have.

MS also could make any existing windows device drivers work fairly
well with the Solaris OS. This would minimize or eliminate problems
with win-modems or win-nics or win-devices.

Having access to a robust, secure, full-featured OS might make it
actually possible for MS to begin to do some of the things they have
already promised. I really hope MS does NOT do this, or if they do
make the attempt, I hope they fail in one or more ways.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Do not forget Cygwin...
Authored by: eamacnaghten on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 11:04 PM EST
Although Cygwin is not a Linux distribution - nor is it Linux as such at all come to that - it is worth a mention here together with CoLinux and so on in contributing to the debunking of Dvorak's article if nothing else. It is, in effect, a DLL that provides (most of the) Posix API functionality, a GCC compiler that will make use of this and a whole lot of apps and utilities that are more or less simply recompiles under this environment.

Most of the GNU tools (bash, cp, mv and so on) are supported, there is a port of X11 to it, and a whole bunch of other stuff (vi, ssh, sshd, and lots more).

Details can be found Here.

It is useful for those who need some LINUX functionality on a Windows box but do not want, or need, to go the whole hog to CoLinux.

Web Sig: Eddy Currents

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 25 2005 @ 11:10 PM EST
The Linux Developers have pretty much nixed the idea of UDI ever making into
Linux. They don't want a stable ABI (or even API) for drivers. They want driver
developers to basically contribute to the kernel and then constantly maintain
their drivers as they constantly mess with the internals.

This is probably my biggest criticism of Linux developers. Somewhat in common
with this article I think its the area most likely to cause a fork.

A stable ABI (or even API) driver base would have numerous benefits. Not least
being that driver releases could be separated from the kernel. At the moment you
have little choice but to try and get your driver integrated. Your chances of
getting a newer driver to work with an older kernel are very slim.

However Linux developers are of the opinion that it would only attract binary
drivers which are impossible to debug. They basically want complete control of
the kernel and drivers (which is a fair point, but it assumes that they are
responsible rather than whoever wrote the driver). However even with all their
coding resources they have trouble maintaining some of the more obscure drivers.
Problems are already directed to the specific maintainer.

Given that attitude if I was a fledgling developer of some peripheral or other.
I'd tell Linux users they were SOL too. Why would I care for an operating system
where I need track every version of the kernel just to have my special
peripheral supported.

I can understand Nvidia or ATI's reluctance to play ball. They are in highly
competetive industry. The internals of their drivers are as much a factor in
their relative performance as their hardware is. They aren't suddenly going to
cooperate on their driver development. They certainly aren't going to make the
code available without at least an NDA.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: RedBarchetta on Saturday, February 26 2005 @ 12:03 AM EST

Have you been paying attention in GPL class, or just drawing beetles on the back of your exercise book?

Ummm, don't you mean butterflies?

Collaborative efforts synergise.

[ Reply to This | # ]

My Destruction.... NOT
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, February 26 2005 @ 12:40 AM EST
"After all, who wants to do free work that benefits Microsoft?"

I mean, really, what self-respecting FOSS/GNU-Linux developer, would do that?

BSD developers, maybe... well, for sure! But Linux?


[ Reply to This | # ]

  • One more... - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, February 26 2005 @ 02:05 AM EST
  • My Destruction.... NOT - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01 2005 @ 04:23 AM EST
Phone call
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, February 26 2005 @ 01:37 AM EST
Hey, A. Linux, you got a call from Bea Esdie. He wants to know if you'd like to
go out for a drink with Saint Peter.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Phone call - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, February 26 2005 @ 02:08 AM EST
Linux already uses binary-only drivers
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, February 26 2005 @ 05:56 AM EST

Linus explains how and why. See in particular:

"But one gray area in particular is something like a driver that was originally written for another operating system (ie clearly not a derived work of Linux in origin). At exactly what point does it become a derived work of the kernel (and thus fall under the GPL)?

THAT is a gray area, and _that_ is the area where I personally believe that some modules may be considered to not be derived works simply because they weren't designed for Linux and don't depend on any special Linux behaviour."

You may want to read this in its entirety, and then reconsider your view that Dvorak is spouting nonsense.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Reports of My Destruction Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, by A. Linux Kernel
Authored by: rezende on Saturday, February 26 2005 @ 01:46 PM EST
As I was pondering, and wishing I could go to Rio for the weekend instead,...

I hope you do it after wearing the red dress. So that, with your annonimity gone, we can welcome you here with the gratitude and warmness you deserve.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Reports of My Destruction Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, by A. Linux Kernel
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, February 26 2005 @ 02:26 PM EST
Of course Linux will run just fine as a Windows task. Linux will run just about
This sort of stuff .
ISOs by torrent here (they all autorun. Most of them boot, too)

'SuSE for Windows' seems most popular.

You have to be rather trusting to take an ISO and shove it in a window box, I
suppose. But someone must know how to check them out.

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Reports of My Destruction Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, by A. Linux Kernel
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, February 26 2005 @ 02:28 PM EST
ROTL! I particularly liked:

"Go sit at the back of PJ's remedial class. I believe registration is still
open for her summer school class. And don't talk to that kid Darl -- he's a
troublemaker and never pays attention."

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Reports of My Destruction Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, by A. Linux Kernel
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, February 26 2005 @ 03:31 PM EST
ALK – Maybe!

Quote: Firstly, even if I was running on Windows, it doesn't mean I can see all
your hardware. Probably I only see your network connection, keyboard, mouse --
things I don't have driver problems with anyway

You may not have problems with these drivers: many of the contributors to this
forum understand the OS and don’t have any hassles either.

If they do then their life is the computer so sorting the problems is life

The neophyte, in which category I place myself, have many.

An operating system, by its very nature, is supposed to make the system work.
The distribution I purchased doesn’t. And, I have to add for clarity, it was
purchased. All nine disks of it – and it still doesn’t work!

The supplier doesn’t respond to E-mail. The programme contributors at the
supplier’s address don’t respond to E-mail. The company doesn’t respond to
letters delivered by surface mail so! It still doesn’t work, ten months after

Very Microsoft! Or, is that, very American.

During a thirty five year association with computers I’ve been exposed to, and
worked with, most popular operating systems.

Linux has presented me with more trouble that all the others managed to put

The manual – supplied with the distribution – expends a third of its volume on
the subject of disk partitioning. Who needs it! The disk just must store data.
No mention is made as to how a second fixed disk may be mounted.

It required three installs to get that problem figured out.

Once installed, the new user of the Linux system discovers that help files are
widely scattered and almost immune to discovery. Some can be obtained through
the help index, others from terminal as manual pages. Neither is mentioned in
the paper manual which accompanied the product.

All have been written by people who understand the system, but not the average

Synopsis: Idiots must run and hide!

Microsoft became dominant because they designed a system that the average user
could use. Sure it crashes occasionally. Equally certain is that it has
exploitable flaws. I wonder sometimes how many flaws would be found in Linux if
it ever got to the point where it could claim three hundred and something
million users.

Linux works when it is backed by a large company who can design drivers that are
specifically matched to a certain hardware profile. You mentioned the average
user having problems. Yes! They do. And, until they cease to Linux will not
become main-stream enough to have hardware suppliers writing software for their

The serial port modem still cannot be found by anything other than something
called Kudzu.

I bought a soundcard that W98 installed in about fifteen seconds. It has a Linux
driver: and three pages of installation instructions.

A reference to the DEV directory in the manual pages suggests that the directory
contains “many infelicities”. Whoever wrote that wasn’t kidding.

And! I have just been informed that “yelp” has just committed an unforgivable
error and has decided to commit suicide.

Think I’d better write this to disk, transfer it to Windows, and get it posted
before the entire edifice comes down around my ears.

But, don’t forget! MS is a company. As such they will strive to succeed. Linux
is a loose aggregation of programmers who are enjoying themselves. MS created a
system that the average individual could use without too many problems. Linux
still isn’t represented by anything except the desire to be independent. If I
want to do fluid dynamics and mail results to associates I don’t wish to involve
myself with a long and complex discourse with the OS. The OS must work, It often

Regards, Nigel.

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A New Idea - the AutoBike
Authored by: Observer on Saturday, February 26 2005 @ 03:51 PM EST
Hey, I have a New Idea!

We all know that the primary problem with automobiles these days is the horrendous cost of keeping one running -- primarily in the cost of gasoline. On the flip side, there is a fringe group of hard core exercise nuts who have been working on this alternative technology, called the bicycle. It has many advantages over the automobile in terms of TCO (Total Cost of Operation) and initial acquisition costs, not to mention the restrictive license terms for owning and operating an automobile.

However, I have a new and innovative solution to the problem. We all know that bicycles and automobiles are both based on the same fundamental technology -- they have wheels, a power train and can be steered. Why not combine the strengths of both? Basically, you cut off the seat and handlebars of the bicycle (in effect, creating a "headless bicycle"), and then merge it with the passenger compartment and controls of the automobile! There are a few technological problems with creating an interface layer between the auto and the headless bicycle, but the auto industry in certainly known for its creative solutions to complex problems. Once this interface layer is developed, you have instantly created a vehicle with all the comfort and convenience of an auto, with the superior engine and drive efficiencies of the bicycle!

In fact, one day while I was shooting the breeze down at the local Velodrome, I heard rumors of a Large Company in Detroit with a secret program to do just this thing. Of course, this will immediately spell the end of the entire bicycle industry. Who would ever want to develop new derailleur or tire technologies for bicycles once everyone is buying AutoBikes, knowing that all their work will ultimately benefit Detroit? The entire development community will collapse in disgust.

Yessiree! I can smell the end of the bicycle from here!

The Observer

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Reports of My Destruction Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, by A. Linux Kernel
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, February 26 2005 @ 04:40 PM EST
I'll load my "corporate IT manager simulation" module. I can:

It is obvious that you don't understand corporate governance. Corporations are
facist institutions. FOSS is democratic. Look at the historical behavior of
multi-national corporations. When given the choice of facism and democracy,
they side on facism every time. No need to control the pesky laborors when the
government will do it for you.

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Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, February 26 2005 @ 10:13 PM EST
Must have been a humor article, I am sure Johnny boy doesn't want to go back to
running HIS BLOG SITE on MicroSoft products.

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Reports of My Destruction Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, by A. Linux Kernel
Authored by: El_Heffe on Sunday, February 27 2005 @ 12:10 AM EST
1. John Dvorak is a know-nothing moron. How he continues to get paid to 'write'
is beyond comprehension.

2. Anyone who quotes or references anything he has written is a bigger moron.

"When I say something, I put my name next to it" - anonynmous

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Reports of My Destruction Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, by A. Linux Kernel
Authored by: jaydee on Sunday, February 27 2005 @ 01:24 PM EST
Apart from the technical considerations, Mr Dvorak ignores a major flaw in his
argument. Creating an MS Linux in the way he suggests provides an excellent
transition path from Windows to Linux.

Micro$oft. What's broken today?

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Reports of My Destruction Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, by A. Linux Kernel
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, February 27 2005 @ 02:38 PM EST
you do not need the X sever for colinux. It is much faster with the nxserver in
colinux and the nxclient on the windows side. I use the free nxclient from

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Reports of My Destruction Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, by A. Linux Kernel
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 01:00 PM EST
Colinux is interesting, but the User Mode Linux port that
runs under Win32 is more interesting. :)

Rob Landley

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