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Thread: GNU/Linux

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb GNU/Linux

    I believe that comments around Linux may increase in a way that our Free software thread may get "contaminated" with too much messages about this free (or almost free) OS. So I have created this thread to talk exclusively about GNU/Linux. And thanks to corfy for creating the free software thread

    Microsoft buying Linux licenses from Novell

    Some weeks ago, Microsoft paid 250 millions US$ to buy Linux licenses from Novell. According to what I have read in the press in those days, this was interpretated as a movement to debilitate the Linux community, since Novell is one of the weakest Linux distributors and so, if you give money to the least known member of a community that is trying to get users, you will distract people's attention and bring confussion to the Linux panorama. So the stronger companies can't get enough users to be a menace for another (paid) OS.

    Two clips from the web around this: C|Net News.com and seattlepi.com

    Edit: Take a look at this thread also. It is about WebOS, not Linux.
    Last edited by jmcc; 12-27-2006 at 11:42 AM.

  2. #2
    j7wild Guest
    sounds like another Attempt by Microsucks to use their financial power to knock out the Competition.

    I know several people (former Windows users) who use Linux instead of Windows and they have nothing but good thing to say about it.


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    Exclamation More on the Microsoft's relation with Linux

    More on the subject. I found this some moments ago:

    Microsoft’s Ballmer rekindles Linux patent fears
    Sparks fly less than a month after Microsoft and Novell signed partnership

    By John Fontana, Network World, 11/21/06

    For the second time in two years, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer last week played the patent infringement card against Linux and again set off a round of negative speculation and vendor clarifications.

    In addition, experts wondered why Microsoft after a few years of trying to be a responsible industry leader was reverting to such negative tactics.

    “I don’t understand why Microsoft wants to open up this particular Pandora’s box again,” says Dwight Davis, vice president of research firm Ovum Summit. “This seems like a throwback to the Microsoft negativity and bullying that wasn't very appreciated in the past and it won’t be appreciated this time around.”

    Last week at the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) conference in Seattle, Ballmer said Linux “uses our intellectual property.”

    Two years ago at the Microsoft-sponsored Asian Government Leaders summit in Singapore, Ballmer said Linux infringes on more than 200 patents. He said, “someday, for all countries that are entering WTO [the World Trade Organization], somebody will come and look for money to pay for the patent rights for that intellectual property.”

    On the patent claim, Ballmer was citing a controversial 2004 survey by Open Source Risk Management (OSRM), a firm that sells risk insurance, that said technology within the Linux kernel potentially infringes on some 283 patents, 27 of which were held by Microsoft.

    Ballmer's comments come nearly a month after Microsoft and Novell signed a business and technology partnership that included an agreement not to assert patent and intellectual property rights. The agreement runs through 2012.

    ...
    The article continues on linuxworld.com

    I think patent infringement will be a big problem for Linux in the future if it is true what Ballmer said. You know that those things are intelectual property and where patents are used by companies or people different from those who created it, they need to have the authorization of the patent's owner (which implies some payment, of course). Otherwise is not legal and the infraction can be followed by law.

    I didn't know this. I remember to have read something about it on the newspaper article about the Microsoft-Novell agreement. I believed GNU/Linux was developed totally on an independent way. I hope the people involved with GNU/Linux development will look for an agreement with patent owners, otherwise they will be prosecuted.

    In the Linux magazines I have bought recently, I have read comments by Linux community people about technological property in a not good way, meaning that they have the right to just copy the software and going against the people that are the legal owners of that software. Sometimes I had the impression they were like communists and I didn't like it. I also have read that Linus Torvalds' father or grandfather was communist or something like that. This means for me a red light on the GNU/Linux project and I want to point you this.

    There can be found also hippy things on it, so I am specially alert with Linux.

    Wikipedia article about L. Torvalds.
    Last edited by jmcc; 12-27-2006 at 06:38 PM. Reason: To put "communist" instead of "Communist"

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    I wouldn't say Novell is one of the weakest Linux distributions. For a commercial standpoint, it is behind Red Hat in terms of usage, but it is still the second largest commercial Linux distribution, and one of the few that specifically targets corporations.

    The whole Microsoft/Novell thing has been flooded with contradictions, and it is really hard to keep up. I'm holding my judgment on it until some time has passed and we see some of the effects. Right now, pretty much everything is speculation, and all sides are putting their own spin on it.

    I will say, however, that I have never used Novell's Linux (or it's free community project, openSUSE). But then, I have only tried three different distributions: Debian, K/Ubuntu, and Fedora.

    But with over 350 distributions of Linux available, Novell is nowhere close to being the weakest, and if I could talk my company into switching to Linux, Novell would be one of the three companies I would evaluate.
    Corfy
    Laugh at life or life will laugh at you.
    Website | DVD Collection

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    Exclamation Novell

    Sorry corfy. As far as I remember, those were the words used in the newspaper article: "least known", "weakest". Some weeks have passed since I read it and I hadn't it at hand when I wrote this thread, but I have it filed in... some place. I will look for it and check.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmcc View Post
    Sometimes I had the impression they were like Communists and I didn't like it. I also have read that Linus Torvalds' father or grandfather was Communist or something like that. This means for me a red light on the GNU/Linux project and I want to point you this.
    I have seen a lot of accusations about Linux being "Communist". And while I can see their point to a small extent (I think "communist" with a little "c" would be a bit more accurate), I see it as a completely different way.

    Yes, there is some of the "work by individuals for the good of the community" thing going on, but there is a difference. In Communism, you might have 10 people farm a field of corn, and that corn is divided equally among 1,000 or more people (I'm using general figures, not exact numbers). So people do a lot of work for little reward. With software, you might have 10 people work on the software, but then everyone has access to all of the software. It isn't divided up among people, everyone gets a copy of everything. Whether 10 people or 1,000,000 people use the software, it makes no difference, everyone gets everything. And that isn't all of it. What it really boils down to is... the source code for a particular computer program is information, and many people believe that information should be free.

    Don't agree with that? How many news websites do you visit where you don't have to pay a subscription fee? Or, for a better example, ever used Wikipedia or IMDB? These are both projects similar to open-source in which everyone can help contribute to the final product, a product where everyone has access to the results. Sure, they might ask you for a donation (like Wikipedia is doing now), or they might put up ads to help pay for it, but they aren't requiring you to pay first before using it.

    Now, I don't agree that any software should be copied. If people want to run a particular software program, they need to agree to and follow the user's agreement. It is just that open-source terms (like the one for Linux) are very lenient in who uses it and how it is used.

    Let's use the example of Microsoft Office. That set of programs cost between $240 (for an upgrade for the "standard" version) and $500 (for a full copy of the "Professional" version). According to their EULA, you can install that software on one (1) computer, but the primary user is allowed to additionally install it on one (1) laptop, but the primary user is the only one who can use it on the laptop.

    Now, if you have someone in your household who is a student or a teacher, you can get the Student/Teacher edition for a "mere" $150. According to the EULA, that can actually be installed on up to 3 computers, but only if you have a student or teacher in the household at the time of install, and you have to agree not to use the software for any business purposes.

    On the other hand, OpenOffice.org can be downloaded for free and installed on as many computers as you want and can be used for any purpose you want to use it for. OpenOffice.org uses the LGPL, a slight variation of the popular GPL.

    I have three computers at home with no children and I want to be able to use the software for business purposes, and I want the same software on all three. I might be able to use the one computer plus one laptop rule and install one copy of Microsoft Office on two computers, but I still have to buy at least two copies of Microsoft Office at $240 to $500 per copy if I want that software on each computer (potentially costing up to $1,500 for the three computers). Or I can install OpenOffice.org on all of them and not have to worry about violating licensing agreements.

    And Steve Ballmer has been saying for years that Linux has violated Microsoft's Intellectual property, but so far has not produced any evidence to back up that claim. Many people just chalk up his claims as typical Microsoft "FUD" (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt), which Microsoft is very good at producing.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcc View Post
    Sorry corfy. As far as I remember, those were the words used in the newspaper article: "least known", "weakest". Some weeks have passed since I read it and I hadn't it at hand when I wrote this thread, but I have it filed in... some place. I will look for it and check.
    I'm not attacking you for saying it, and I have no doubt that came from some source, I'm just correcting the information the best I can. It is the old reporter in me coming out.

    Edit: Sorry if I come across as being a bit harsh in this thread. Today has not been a good day for me to be very forgiving to Microsoft, and I am unleashing my frustrations with both barrels.

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    Exclamation More on Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by corfy View Post
    I have seen a lot of accusations about Linux being "Communist". And while I can see their point to a small extent (I think "communist" with a little "c" would be a bit more accurate), I see it as a completely different way...
    I will correct the "c" thing. I used capital letter because I think it was like nationality in English, which you have write with capital initial (like Brazilian).

    About the other things: the problem is not the Open Source philosophy, which I understand as far as I know it. The problem is when people starts to say: "Why to pay for things when we can get it by its just value" (which means free or very low cost), without respecting other people's work. Maybe I am not clear and I need to look for the exact words to express this, but I find it disturbing. I will try to look to this with caution, corfy. Thanks.

  8. #8
    j7wild Guest
    the Problem is Microsoft need to spend more time and work in putting out a better product for the Top Dollar they charge consumers.

    Example:

    IE is full of security risks and is constantly crashing
    I am using Firefox and it works so much better and hasn't crashed or froze on me

    Example:

    Windows Media Player won't play many video formats including VOB and Mpeg4 and DVD discs rips

    I am using VLC and Media Player Classic for all my video files and not only they are superior to Windows Media Player, they are FREE

    Example:

    Microsoft Vista is being touted by Microsoft as the most secure OS ever made and it's not out yet;

    but it's already showing several security risks after it was released to Corporate Users and Beta Testers.

    So there, those are just a few Examples of why People are constantly looking for better (and free) products to replace their Microsoft made counterpart programs.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmcc View Post
    I will correct the "c" thing. I used capital letter because I think it was like nationality in English, which you have write with capital initial (like Brazilian).
    No reason to correct it. I have seen it both ways.

    I have also seen the GPL referred to as a "cancer" (mainly by Steve Ballmer and his cohorts). That isn't any more accurate than communist or Communist in my mind.

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    Question Mandrakelinux and Debian guides bought

    In the past days I bought a guide for each one: Mandrakelinux and Debian. I have found Mandrakelinux very interesting. According to the guide, it is the most easy to use Linux distro available and the more similar to Windows, so Windows users will find it more easy to migrate to Linux, if they want to do it, with Mandrakelinux.

    But now I am checking on internet and have found that Mandrakelinux is named today as Mandriva Linux. Is it the same? The guide to Mandrake said it had a DVD installation version, but on the page for Mandriva I only see info about CDs

    I have read the Debian guide. I need to do it again to have a clear opinion.

    Links:

    Mandriva Linux article on Wikipedia
    Mandriva Linux web and screenshots

    Debian article on Wikipedia
    Debian webpage

    ----------------

    From one The New York Times online article: Tips for Protecting the Home Computer

    Using a non-Windows-based PC may be one defense against these programs, known as malware...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmcc View Post
    But now I am checking on internet and have found that Mandrakelinux is named today as Mandriva Linux. Is it the same? The guide to Mandrake said it had a DVD installation version, but on the page for Mandriva I only see info about CDs
    To my knowledge, the only major change they made was the change in the name. Not sure why they went from Mandrake to Mandriva... I think I like Mandrake better, but what do I know?

    Other than that, really I don't know a whole lot about Mandriva/Mandrake.

    As for imitating Windows, the best distro I have seen that does that is Linspire. It looks almost exactly like Windows... a little too much for my tastes, but that is a different issue. But I haven't worked with it much, either.

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    Lightbulb More on Linux... and the P S 3

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcc View Post
    Sorry corfy. As far as I remember, those were the words used in the newspaper article: "least known", "weakest". Some weeks have passed since I read it and I hadn't it at hand when I wrote this thread, but I have it filed in... some place. I will look for it and check.
    corfy, I have found the article yesterday at night. It is from The Wall Street Journal, author Lee Gomes. Now I have found it on the web, on the WSJ.com website. Unfortunately, if you are not a subscriber, you can't see the entire article, and will have no confirmation for my words. I want to correct myself: the word used in the article to describe Novell was "weakest", not "least known". Sorry.

    About the change of name of Mandriva Linux:

    In February 2004 MandrakeSoft lost a court case against Hearst Corporation, owners of King Features Syndicate. Hearst contends that MandrakeSoft is infringing upon King Features' trademarked character Mandrake the Magician. The word Mandrake is not unique to the King Features character, and MandrakeSoft is appealing the decision [source].
    -----------------------

    Found today thanks to a webclip from Gmail:

    Programming high-performance applications on the Cell BE processor, Part 1: An introduction to Linux on the PlayStation 3

    Overview, installation, and first programming steps

    Level: Intermediate

    Jonathan Bartlett (johnnyb@eskimo.com), Director of Technology, New Medio

    03 Jan 2007

    The Sony® PlayStation® 3 (PS3) is the easiest and cheapest way for programmers to get their hands on the new Cell Broadband Engine™ (Cell BE) processor and take it for a drive. Discover what the fuss is all about, how to install Linux® on the PS3, and how to get started developing for the Cell BE processor on the PS3.

    The PlayStation 3 is unusual for a gaming console for two reasons. First, it is incredibly more open than any previous console. While most consoles do everything possible to prevent unauthorized games from being playable on their system, the PS3 goes in the other direction, even providing direct support for installing and booting foreign operating systems. Of course, many of the game-related features such as video acceleration are locked out for the third-party operating systems, but this series focuses on more general-purpose and scientific applications anyway.

    The real centerpiece for the PS3, however, is its processor -- the Cell Broadband Engine chip (often called the Cell BE chip). The Cell BE architecture is a radical departure from traditional processor designs. The Cell BE processor is a chip consisting of nine processing elements (note the PS3 has one of them disabled, and one of them reserved for system use, leaving seven processing units at your disposal). The main processing element is a fairly standard general-purpose processor. It is a dual-core PowerPC®-based element, called the Power Processing Element, or PPE for short. The other eight processing elements, however, are a different story.

    The other processing elements within the Cell BE are known as Synergistic Processing Elements, or SPEs. Each SPE consists of:

    * A vector processor, called a Synergistic Processing Unit, or SPU
    * A private memory area within the SPU called the local store (the size of this area on the PS3 is 256K)
    * A set of communication channels for dealing with the outside world
    * A set of 128 registers, each 128 bits wide (each register is normally treated as holding four 32-bit values simultaneously)
    * A Memory Flow Controller (MFC) which manages DMA transfers between the SPU's local store and main memory

    ... [more here]
    It is from IBM. Cell BE is very interesting. I am curious to see its next application.

    Edit: Thanks to ScreenGrab!, here you have the above article in *.png:



    Here is the IBM's Cell Broadband Engine resource center

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    Question Linux for Core 2 Duo

    Hi.

    corfy, I have a good question for you Which are the Linux distributions compatible with Core 2 Duo processors (and its systems)?

    Last edited by jmcc; 03-28-2007 at 10:33 AM.

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    The bad news is, only the most recent Linux distributions (i.e., ones that have come out in the last, say, 6 months or so) appear to work with Core 2 Duo. And you need the 64-bit version to take full advantage of the processor.

    The good news is, unlike Windows, most Linux distributions have a very short release schedule, with most releasing once or twice a year, and almost all of them have a 64-bit version.

    Two free distributions that my research shows that people had success with are Ubuntu 6.10 (aka, "Edgy Eft"), and Fedora Core 6, both of which were released in October.

    From a paid distribution standpoint, I have also seen people report success with SUSE 10.2, which was released in December, and even 10.1, which was released in May.

    And (back to a free distribution), Gentoo works, but I don't recommend that as your first Linux distribution unless you have a lot of patience and are a complete computer nerd.

    Distros that I saw that don't work yet are Debian, Red Hat and Mandriva, but give them time.

    Considering that there are over 500 distributions out there, I'm sure there are others that work. The LinuxQuestions.org forum is a good place to start if you want to research (or ask about) a specific distribution.

    I hope this helps.

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    I saw this article by eWeek, a very nice computer and technology magazine. I thought I would pass it along.

    Ubuntu 6.10, OpenSUSE 10.2 Rise to (and in Some Ways Above) Microsoft's Vista Challenge

    Two of the best all-around Linux distributions to emerge from this process are OpenSUSE 10.2 and Ubuntu 6.10, both of which bundle together the best of what open source has to offer into operating systems that merit consideration for desktop and (some) server workloads.

    Ubuntu 6.10, also known as Edgy Eft, is the latest release in the popular line of Linux operating systems from Canonical. Ubuntu is a fairly young distribution, but its roots in Debian give it a solid foundation—both in terms of its code and in its community of users.

    ...

    The strengths of Novell's OpenSUSE 10.2 are rooted in the operating system's history. OpenSUSE 10.2, which began shipping in December, descends from the retail-marketed SUSE Linux, which was long positioned as a direct rival to Windows. As a result, OpenSUSE contains GUI-friendly features such as the Yast suite of configuration tools.

    ...

    eWEEK Labs believes that either Ubuntu 6.10 or OpenSUSE 10.2 is worthy of replacing Windows XP as a desktop operating system, provided the distros support your target hardware.

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