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LinuxWorld Preview 144

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the later-this-week dept.
jlttb writes "LinuxWorld gets under way this week in New York City, and CRN has some extensive preview coverage this morning, including a look at Raptor, IBM's first Linux mainframe, and other IBM and Compaq Linux servers to be announced at the show. A second feature takes a look at the growth of the Linux services channel, from industry heavyweights like IBM, Compaq, Red Hat and Caldera, to smaller 'mom and pop' Microsoft and Novell shops that are re-focusing on Linux. Finally, the magazine looks at how Microsoft and Sun are each fighting back against the gains made by Linux in corporate America." I still haven't packed yet, but I'm looking forward to the show.
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LinuxWorld Preview

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  • Yesterday, during one of the football playoffs, I saw an IBM commercial. In the background was a guy in a Tux suit...
    • by keesh (202812)
      Take a look at this [ibm.com]. IBM's Linux animations.

      Bonus points for spotting the All Your Base sign :)

    • The best is when they are talking about 'the new guy linux (Detlef Shrempf)' and how he plays for peanuts.
      • The best are the PHBs in that commercial, something like:

        "If he's so good, how come he only plays for peanuts?"

        "Because he loves the game."

        Heh.
    • by asv108 (141455) <<gro.oiduatahp> <ta> <xela>> on Monday January 28, 2002 @12:55PM (#2914539) Homepage Journal
      I thought the best IBM commercials were the basketball themed spots where the good team was the "Linux All Stars?" with player names like, firewall, and Apache etc. The visiting team, wore black jerseys and had names like "hacker" and "downtime".

      There were at least 4 unique commercials with this theme, the best one was when the team "management" paid a consultant 5 million and all he ended up doing was explaining what a triangle was, it reminds me of a friend I have who works at Accenture..

      I spent a good 30 mins last night searching around for where I could download these commercials, but I had no success. Does anyone know where to find these? I know IBM had the codernaut commericials available for download.

      • The "good team" is "Infastructure". Players are "Linux", "Firewall", "Mainframe", "Middleware", and one other (which I can't remember). The best commercial is "Downtime". When everyone is on the ground, all injuried. In come the coaches "Backup" and "Recovery" and bring them all back in a few seconds. Funny stuff.

        I'd suggest looking at ad critic, but, unfortunately, its no longer around.

        I'll go digging for it to see if I can find it, though.
    • What will the network look like at LinuxWorld? Does anyone know what type of proxy they will have for internet access? I want to see what kind of work I will be able to get done there during the calm at the conference.

      RTNz
  • by NiftyNews (537829) on Monday January 28, 2002 @12:43PM (#2914455) Homepage
    Linux World? That's a little ambitious, isn't it?

    LinuxCity is more realistic. Or maybe they could stretch it to LinuxState at the max...
    • Re:Linux World? (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by nomadic (141991)
      Oh, like there's much of anything outside the borders of NYC. I think it's safe to consider us the world, or the most important part of it...
  • Anyone there doing live video or something??

    Anyone have a link to some play-by-play action??

    My boss would not let me attend :(
    • Talktech.org will be doing interviews throughout the
      expo. we broadcast on www.renaissanceradio.org (kfnx) 10-11am. PST. Tuesdays. Tomorrow we're interviewing Marcos Mazoni or the Porto Alegre, Brazil and the
      state of Rio Grande do Sul, and was instrumental in making that state the
      only one in the world with a policy to use open source software exclusively.
      regards, dawa (news reader on talktech!!)
  • really cool to see Linux making strides in the mainframe department. I guess after that, the desktop is the next frontier.
  • The Unix Market (Score:3, Informative)

    by Alien54 (180860) on Monday January 28, 2002 @12:54PM (#2914531) Journal
    Apparently the statistics are that Linux is gaining market share at the expense of the other unixen, instead of MS.

    I wonder what could be done to encroach more on theMS market, given the recent stumbles by MS in the market (perpetual license rental, etc.)

    • Re:The Unix Market (Score:2, Interesting)

      by nixadmin (553533)
      Marketing, Marketing, Marketing. And......... Marketing! : )
    • Re:The Unix Market (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I wonder what could be done to encroach more on theMS market, given the recent stumbles by MS in the market (perpetual license rental, etc.)

      Allow current kernel developments to keep going (support if you can). ENCOURAGE Microsofts brilliant licensing strategies. Support your favorite Desktop (Kde,Gnome). Spread the word and wait....it's coming.
    • The reason why is obvious, Linux IS Unix. So the transition from say Solaris to Linux doesn't require a significant cultural change or retraining.

      So for Linux to compete as effectively against Windows it would have to change to be highly compatible with Windows both in terms of the programs it can run and the look and feel. There are technical and legal reasons why this would be very difficult. In addition, although I certainly can't speak for Linux developers, I doubt that making Linux a Windows clone is something they really want to do.
      • The reason why is obvious, Linux IS Unix.

        While this is true, it does not provide the insight needed to accomplish the goal of accelerating the exansion of Linux into the MS arena.

        The question is better rephrashed, "Why is MS not losing ground?" All those answers like "MS is better" etc. do not do the job.

        It is actually closer to a debugging procedure. Debugging the method of getting Linux into that area of the market.

        [shrug]

        • "While this is true, it does not provide the insight needed to accomplish the goal of accelerating the exansion of Linux into the MS arena."

          Well, my point is that I doubt there is such an insight to discover. Unix was invented before Windows so of course, it wasn't designed to displace it.

          I suspect that if Linux continues to grow, you'll see companies like Sun fading away and you'll end up with Linux for those who prefer Unix, OSX for those that prefer Apple and Windows for those that prefer MS.
    • Re:The Unix Market (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Catiline (186878) <akrumbach@gmail.com> on Monday January 28, 2002 @01:31PM (#2914740) Homepage Journal
      Exactly the same things as we have done before: Explain, to each person you meet, the reasons you choose Linux as your operating system. Explain
      • how it frees you from the threat of virii becuase proper security was designed in from the start and has always been a priority.
      • how nice it is to be free from crash worries: that even when it happens, it never takes down the whole box [unless you like riding the bleeding edge odd-dot-numbered kernels or it was a kernel crash, but you needn't mention those cases].
      • how the Free (libre) software gives you more useful features, because the developers are also users.
      • tell them the difference in technical help between people who want to empower you and those who wish to enslave you to their corporate budget.
      • what it means that one person can't determine when your software is outdated or irrelevant, just to get a few more dollars.
      And if they're still listening, explain the difference between proprietary and open protocols and why the proposed Microsoft settlement can only encourage Microsoft to develop more proprietary protocols [full text explaination to hit my journal this evening: short reason is because even though it is an illegal extension of their monopoly it wasn't forbidden to them].
      • But don't mention the in-depth expertise that you need to be able to take advantage of those wonderful features, like knowing how to apply patches to the kernel, knowing which kernel release is good/bad, compiling it and so on.
        • Read my response [slashdot.org] to some of the other comments I've gotten today in this discussion!!!

          Or if you're too lazy to be bothered, here's the short-to-a-fault version: the price of Free (libre) software is forced education. That's fair, compared to the price of retail software, IMO.
    • A good, solid, replicating, calendaring Exchange replacement would help. If my boss uses the Outlook calendar, I'm stuck with Exchange - as far as I can tell.

      Bynari Insight Server and Caldera Volution aim at this space but I'm uncertain about their reliability. iPlanet also do but Solaris is always going to be their priority platform.

      • Isn't that what Ximian Evolution [ximian.org] is all about?
      • A good, solid, replicating, calendaring Exchange replacement would help. If my boss uses the Outlook calendar, I'm stuck with Exchange - as far as I can tell.

        I know this probably doesn't help you much, but why not use a simple Web based calendar? There are several available on Linux/Unix (some are even commercial products). What does Exchange do that a simple Web based system does not?

        Perhaps you should point out the cost of an Exchange server vs. Linux based one. In the long run you'd be better of with tools that follow open standards rather than proprietary products. No?

  • by warpSpeed (67927) <slashdot@fredcom.com> on Monday January 28, 2002 @12:58PM (#2914550) Homepage Journal
    The Professional Services arm of Compaq, which has said its 10-year-old investment in Linux compares to IBM's $1 billion commitment, also is cashing in on rising corporate interest in Linux.

    10 years? Yeah, right. Can we say "Me too! Me too!" Compaq would have a hard time finding a clue if it were superglued to its collective face. Any company that would buy the alpha just to watch it die does not deserve any respect.

    morons.

    ~Sean

    • Compaq's Linux support has been excellent since we switched to them over 5 years ago. All hardware has been supported with no problems at all.

      Jason
    • by bconway (63464)
      Actual, Compaq's support does go back 10 years if you include Digital (now owned and assimilated by Compaq, of course), which gave Linus an Alpha to port Linux to oh-so-long ago. I'm not really a fan of those ads stating Compaq's age-old commitment to Linux, since for the most part it wasn't even them, but I guess you could look at it that way.
    • Whatever. The fact of the matter is they're supporting Linux. So what if it's a "Me too" strategy. Give them some respect for standing up against M$, which cannot be an easy thing to do since they're the biggest PC manufacturer (or has Dell passed them?), and rely heavily on M$ for a very large portion of their revenue.
  • wired preview (Score:3, Informative)

    by asv108 (141455) <<gro.oiduatahp> <ta> <xela>> on Monday January 28, 2002 @01:04PM (#2914586) Homepage Journal
    Wired [wired.com] has a preview too. Check it out here [wired.com]
  • LW predictions (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 28, 2002 @01:05PM (#2914592)
    1. Lots of (deserved) attention for the IBM use of Linux on Raptor and other servers.

    2. The all-too-familiar reports about how "corporate" the show has become.

    3. The all-too-familiar reports about attendence being lower, but still impressive.

    4. Lots of evidence that Linux is continuuing to do well in the embedded space, as well as servers (see #1 above).

    5. Not so much as a hint that Linux is making any real inroads into the desktop market. This will not change, thanks to the utter indifference to that segment shown by IBM, RH, and some (but not all) other major players.

    • my own report I shall pulish friday evening after I return to my Connecticut home. Called... (drumroll)


      Dr. Shwaglove!

      or How I Learned to Stop Caring And Fill My Backpack With As Much Linux Propoganda That It Can Hold!!!

  • Hmmmm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jordan_a (139457)
    Comment on article and I get this:
    Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a0006'

    Overflow: 'Cint'

    /Components/TalkBack/tb-post.asp, line 92

    Maybe somebody there should consider Linux :P
    • Maybe somebody there should consider Linux :P


      Yeah, they should use an OpenSource solution, much like Slashdot. We all know that Slashdot never gets MySQL errors, either! ;)


      Seriously, though, its not so much the manufacturer of the backend, its the skill of the programmer. In this case it looks like the programmer didn't quality check his code enough.

  • Preparation for LWCE (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AntiTuX (202333) on Monday January 28, 2002 @01:12PM (#2914630) Homepage
    Well, I'm already in Florence(read: bumfuck egypt), New Jersey staying with friends. I'm taking the train up to the city tomorrow morning, check into my hotel, grab my boxen, get to my booth, set it up, and hook up my machines tomorrow. I wonder if they'll actually have network access early this year. Last year january, they didn't have network live (in the .org pavillion) till wednesday.

    I'm also hoping they don't go weasel again like they did in SFO last august and turn off the power to the .org pavillion after hours. That just pissed me off. They cut the power at like EXACTLY 6pm. I was hosting one of my websites off of it, and lost everything when I lost the partition my MySQL databases were on. .ORG pavillion exhibitors, be warned, they might do this again. This year I'm using ext3, so hopefully if they pull the power, my shit won't be lost.

    Also, if you're exhibiting, don't leave your laptops, or anything else that can be easily stolen, in your booth. My and hadess's laptops got stolen. The depressing thing is that the last picture of his laptop (an ibook, you know, the toilet seat-looking ones) was taken by myself after the IBM party. I feel really bad that the laptop got stolen too. I almost feel as though it's my fault. The thing is, is that they rummaged THROUGH the booth and took it. My laptop was in the little cabinet thing inside the booth, so they must have been there a while. I just can't believe that security was so lax that they'd let someone like that just walk in and out with them. It's quite depressing.

    This year I'm taking no chances though. I'm bringing locks for everything, I'm going to be taking my computers back to my hotel with me every night, and I'm definitely NOT going to be leaving ANYTHING in my booth. I guess I just had too much trust in their staff.

    BTW, I am going to be setting up a wireless access point in my booth. If you need wireless networking, set your ESSID to "tux0r". I'll happily share my bw with anyone who wants it. :)

    I can't think of anything else to really say, other than stop by my booth (BOFH International, booth #7, way in the back, right side, by mandrakesoft) and say hi.

    -- John
    • what are you showing in the booth?
      • by AntiTuX (202333)
        I've got a little propaganda page [bofh-international.org] up about it. Go read and make sure it makes sense. If you wanna help out, please email me. I need all the help I can get right now. Last year I was there for Window Maker [windowmaker.org]. I'm probably gonna go to kinko's and print out like a hundred of them or so, to make me look like I've actually got my shit together. Right now, I'm just getting started, so there's not much going on. It'll probably just fail as a site, but hell, I haven't ever really done anything for the open-source community other than get a tux tattoo on my shoulder [linux.com]. Mostly because well, there's really not much that sysadmins can give back. I figure this is the best way for me to be able to. I dunno, it probably sounds cheesy, but it's something I wanna try to do. -- John
    • ext3 won't save anything if your disk cache isn't flushed when your machine reboots.

      If you really want to keep your data safe, get a damned UPS and hook it up with something so the system can shutitself down if it needs help. Or mount sync.
    • We were across from you last year (LILUG) I felt awful. The worst part is the people who stole probably don't even know what the hell Linux is. I hope they got beat up for selling someone a Computer without Windows.

      "Hey man dis cumputer dusn't work. Whad you sell me! [pow]"

      Plan on taking all money/hardware with at the end of the floor hours. The worst part about all this is the no napsack rule.

  • Maybe a little OT, but:

    The big issue is an increasing antipathy to Microsoft's licensing and upgrade practices

    Finally, someone in the press admitted that Microsoft's licensing practices make a difference. It seems that as Microsoft has gotten increasingly draconian with their licensing schemes, corporations have began to look beyond Microsoft to open source software. Once corporate America has a taste of open source, they'll never go back to proprietary software. If this trend continues, there will come a time when a VP suggesting that the company buy an OS will get laughed out of the boardroom. Which, of course, can only be good for all of us.

    • Here's a rundown [varbusiness.com] of the latest on Microsoft licensing issues. "Many partners were incensed with the loss of flexibility in making software purchases and upgrades, as well as the complexity of the new licensing model, which has put resellers in a pinch."
    • by HiThere (15173)
      I suppose it's nice to be optomistic, but really!

      Linux won't make much inroads on the desktop until KWord, or AbiWord, or StarOffice is a reasonably complete and friendly word processor. (StarOffice 6 is reportedly getting there, but I'm hoping for KWord.)

      Word/Text processing is the next big block, and it seems almost ready to fall.

      Spreadsheets are already pretty good, and appear to be getting better fast, but I'm not much of a spreadsheet user, so I can't judge.

      Given those two, presentation software is next. I understand that it is also approaching dew point, but again I can't judge.

      Group coordination software would be a big plus. Don't know what we've got.

      Once those are all in place, new enterprises will start switching to Linux rather rapidly. The old ones will tend to stay with what they've got, and buy new systems designed to fit into their old network. Phasing this out will be quite slow, but it doesn't represent that many new sales, either.

      The monkey wrench in the machinery is WinXP, which is both a plus and a minus. If MS can push a large enough segment of people into using it, they won't be able to give it up without sacrificing their data. Ouch! OTOH, the licensing is so vile that many people are quite angry. Unfortunately, many of the people who make the decisions don't read the licenses (or don't believe that they can be enforced), and won't hear opinions to the contrary. What can one do, but quote 'liza Doolittle "You'll be sorry, but your fears will be too late!", and that's not very productive.

      So the market will segment, with many of the older firms stuck with MS, and unable to extract themselves, so they make the best of it. (Others will either not upgrade, or bite the bullet and cut it off before the infection spreads.) And the rest going with one alternative or another. Probably a lot of them will choose Linux, if you can demonstrate that the applications are there.

      But don't expect this to be a quick process. It's underway in the early stages, but it will be a decade before anything close to parity is reached. Right now the best choice is to experiment with Linux for applications that aren't too naive-user oriented, and to let the power users think that you may be planning on reserving it for the technical services group. (Then when they really beg you, give a grudging permission, if they can prove that they can use it.) But even this requires a smooth integration into your file/print servers. So get that set up first.

      And be sure to have plenty of extra backups during the startup phase. (Mirrors aren't good enough. I new user can do more damage that is reasonable. [Even an experienced user can. The other day I got myself into a situation where I had to either spend a long time on file-by-file permission mods, or to set all of my files executable. --- I intend to go back and sanitize that entire folder later, but first I need to write and debug the script, so it isn't done yet.] Well, I did something stupid, and it was on a machine that's largely a test-bed, but still.. I felt quite stupid after I realized what I had done. I'd been trying to change the permissions for other, but set my own, as well.)

      Perhaps there needs to be a distribution of Linux that comes with training wheels. (e.g., the default file spec of 640, or even 600.) Gnome and KDE can let the user change those on a file by file basis without much danger.

      Or a default mode where chmod, e.g., tells you what the effect of the command will be, and then asks you to confirm. (e.g. "This will let you read and write, but not execute the files, and not open the folders. It will also let other members of your group read the files. Other people won't even be able to see them, unless they are superusers.")
      -- I think that each script would be fairly easy to write, but there sure would be a lot of them. And it would definitely make the commands larger(not much, but still...) and slower. So it would need to be a special distribution (or at least installation option).
      • Linux won't make much inroads on the desktop until KWord, or AbiWord, or StarOffice is a reasonably complete and friendly word processor. (StarOffice 6 is reportedly getting there, but I'm hoping for KWord.)

        Sigh! As far as I know the only thing these word processors don't do well is reading MS Word files. My favorite is AbiWord. Most people don't need the 90% of "features" of MS word (come on, do you really want to have a VBScript interpreter imbedded into your word processor!)

        Group coordination software would be a big plus. Don't know what we've got.

        Jeez! Have you heard of the Web? It's this cool thing - you can set up servers that people can access via the network, with their browsers. You can share documents, even edit them together (eg. WikiWiki). Ever heard of News groups? (Lotus Notes is a poor imitation).

        I guess a big part of the problem is that people have been brainwashed to think of MS solutions as the only way to do something. Of course, MS lock-in helps too. After all not everyone can read those word or excel files properly, except MS...

        • Yes, Office users probably range from 5%-20% of Office's functionality. Unfortunately, outside of the 5% common stuff, the other portions that people use are different.

          If you are throwing together high school papers, you don't need word. However, for a corporate environment, they are powerful.

          Look, if you don't need Office, you don't buy Office. MS Works exists, and it is similar in capability to Apple's AppleWorks and most of the "Free" office suites.

          The problem is the people that push these apps. Take Excel. If you just did some graphing in high school chem, you may be satisfied with Gnumetric. Have you ever seen a real finance guru with Excel? They churn out really complex items. What does this mean for the rest of the corporation? If I want to view their spreadsheets, I need Excel. Therefore, anyone in the Enterprise that needs to work with these spreadsheets needs excel.

          Now it doesn't matter that 90% of the Enterprise doesn't need Excel's features for their work, another 20% may work with the finance people that are cranking out excel.

          Now we have Access. Access is a silly app, but it is damned convenient for basic databases. Sure, I can crank out an impressive web GUI and build a real database on PostgreSQL, but if a small department wants something without clearing it by IT, Access gets them up and running quickly.

          Powerpoint?

          Powerpoint sucks, everyone who uses it knows that it sucks.

          Name a competitor that sucks less. (Please, I've been looking for a better product, I can't find one). However, if you need a quick presentation, it gets the job done. It's easy to use, and everyone either HAS Powerpoint (from Office) or can get the free viewer (which you can send them). It is a quick way to send ideas including graphical explanations.

          Word is extremely flexible. Most people in the organization don't need it. However, a handful likely push Word to its limits. They build the templates and otherwise utilize its features. Now, if the rest of the company is using Word, they can leverage these creations. No Word? No luck.

          Sure, VBA isn't useful for most users. If your IT department found a use for it, then they'll crank stuff out. I've been at clients that really use VBA, and many that never use it.

          If you guys spent 10% of the time in various IT rooms at real companies instead of listening to other Linux-heads on Slashdot you'd understand Linux's deficiencies on the desktop.

          For a home computer, Linux is adequate. For a corporate environment, most need more.

          Ya know, for all Outlook's security problems, the group scheduling and other features when combined with Exchange are REALLY powerful.

          Alex
          • The problem is the people that push these apps. Take Excel. If you just did some graphing in high school chem, you may be satisfied with Gnumetric. Have you ever seen a real finance guru with Excel?

            Yes, I have. I worked at an investment bank for a while, where there were guys who were designing/pricing fancy derivatives with spreadsheets. In this they used Applix (this is few years ago) as Excel did not have several kinds of evaluating functions that made their life a lot easier.

            Now we have Access. Access is a silly app, but it is damned convenient for basic databases. Sure, I can crank out an impressive web GUI and build a real database on PostgreSQL, but if a small department wants something without clearing it by IT, Access gets them up and running quickly.

            The problem with Access is that it lets non-IT people create silly apps in a day or so, which then they expect to have implemented by the IT department in 2 days, except that the IT version has to handle 10,000 users, with sub-second response and, by the way, satifying several extra requirements which we didn't think of before.

            Access is great for prototyping things - but I like to use PHP/MySql/Apache for things like that and I wind up with a web accessible, multi-user app right of the top.

            Powerpoint sucks, everyone who uses it knows that it sucks.

            Powerpoint doesn't just "suck", it sucks up time. Have you seen a highly paid executive spend days trying to get the color right on his slides? Or maybe fiddling with the fonts for hours? Wouldn't it be more productive to hire an artist and let the exec come up with the content?

            If you guys spent 10% of the time in various IT rooms at real companies instead of listening to other Linux-heads on Slashdot you'd understand Linux's deficiencies on the desktop.

            I spent 100% of my time in IT rooms at real companies. In my last two jobs I was able to introduce Linux machines into the office/operations and the technical people who used them (i.e. developers or financial "engineers") were pretty happy with them.

            The main issue always has been interoperating with people who insist on sending their emails in ".doc" format.

        • I have not tried the versions released within the last month, month and a half, however:
          I have experienced problems with table of contents generation.
          I have experienced problems with index generation.
          Page layout needs work.
          Style definition is clumsy.
          It's difficult to work with a large number of different styles (N.B.: I mean with a large list of styles, not that several individual styles are each difficult to work with)
          Paragraph layout is ... perhaps I need to experiment more.

          The only one of these were I was even considering Word import-export was Star Office. It did a somewhat reasonable job, though there were extraneous marks left in the margin, pagination was much changed, font sizes were not properly maintained (probably due to font substitutions, though I'm not sure). etc.

          What I have been trying to do (usually, not always) was lay out a collection of poems for rapid access. I need both a table of contents and a good index, and the need to update themselves as I add new material. The layout needs to be double columns with automatic flow, except for special sections that are single column, due to the long individual lines in the poem. I don't want page breaks at section boundaries, except sometimes, where I would insert them manually. etc. The total length of the work is somewhat less than 100 pages. Were it convenient I would occasionally merge several different collections into one, but I don't really expect that.

          This is much less demanding than many jobs that a word processor is expected to do. I was able to do these with MS Word 4.x on the Mac. (Well, perhaps not the multi-column layout. It's been awhile.)

          I am certain that I could do this with Tex, but I've not devoted enough effort to that to learn it. This is not a front-burner project for me. I look into choices about twice a year. But it gives me a basis for evaluating word processors. (This is a considerably different purpose than program editors, and needs to do a lot more than just letter composition [though if it can't do that, then just totally forget about it].)
          .
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 28, 2002 @01:26PM (#2914718)

    I went to the first NYC LinuxWorld two years ago, and had a great time. There were tons of great people there, tons of interesting and respectable companies. I had a ton of fun just hanging out with people that had previously only been an email address - truly an affecting experience.

    But last year was very different. The focus wasn't people, the focus was on startups. "Linux" companies that had little to no clue, just trying to cash in on year-old hype. The big guns used it as an excuse to glam up their trade booths and loose their down-to-earth technical aspects. SGI's XFS team were the only people willing to have a serious technical discussion with me. Wading through so much marketing bullshit really blew. Wandering over to the "dot org pavillion" showed a tremendous downsizing of support for important community projects. While they previously recieved a good chunk of floor space in which to present things, they'd been reduced to vacant and tiny cubes.

    LinuxWorld seems to have become little more than commercial interests trying to pry money out of the community, without remembering *why* they have a product to expo.

    • The big guns used it as an excuse to glam up their trade booths and loose their down-to-earth technical aspects.

      The big guys probably did not "let loose or release" their down-to-earth technical aspects; I suspect they actually "failed to retain possession of" their technical aspects. So the word you actually wanted was lose.

      Congratulations! You have been participant #2 in my campaign to rid Slashdot of this error.

  • My #1 LinuxWorld Prediction:

    CmdrTaco will make appearances at the OSDN booth, acting like he is some sort of celebrity, waiting for the hot linux babes to scream, "Oh CmdrTaco, please tell us over and over how many hits Slashdot gets in a day!"

    -gerbik
  • so many references to "micro$oft and sun facing the new threat of linux ..." isn't ms the only one really facing a "threat"? solaris is good for some things, linux is good for others (both are happy on those new sunfires!) and together they make a pretty solid scalable world. perhaps we need -openworld- where ms is not invited unless they have a few APIs you can write to for free ...
  • It seems to me that this is geared more towards Linux server solutions instead of actually addressing the one main component linux needs to succeed - the desktop. The article fails to discuss anything else besides unveiling servers. Since we've already established that linux can be a server-based OS, let's work on THE CONSUMER! Tux has forgotten the end user.
  • In a prior exchange [slashdot.org]:

    by michael on Friday January 04, @06:49AM (Score:4, Informative) (#2784730)
    (User #4716 Info) mailto:michael@@slashdot.org [ Neutral ]

    Slash 2.2.2 was just released (actually, the friend/foe stuff has been live for some time, though hidden because the icons weren't on comments). Slash 2.3 is likely to be released before Linuxworld (end of January).

    OK -- Linuxworld is beginning and ...

  • Legitimate question: what the heck is a channel? I keep reading different sales magazines, and just like the linked article they use the term "sales channel" without explanation. I think I can grok it from context, but I'd be grateful if someone could fill me in here...
    • A channel is the path a product takes from its manufacturer to its final purchaser (like a car selling through a dealer). "The Channel" usually refers to the vast array of resellers, distributors, integrators and consultants who build technology solutions for customers. Good channel partners help a manufacturer handle over-demand in boom times and drum up business in lean times. The question was whether Linux (being 'free') could develop a channel of folks that would go to customers and say, "Hey, you should try Linux and I'll set it up for you!" The answer turned out to be yes.
    • by jcorgan (30025) on Monday January 28, 2002 @03:39PM (#2915622)

      A sales channel is the method by which a product goes from manufacturer to end-user. There are many varieties, some of the more important ones are listed below:

      • Direct channel: sales made directly (duh) by the manufacturer to end-users. Typical of companies which have high-price, low-volume, standalone products. Manufacturer is responsible for warehousing, distribution, extending credit to customer, collection, support, maintenance, etc.
      • Single-tier Value Added Reseller (VAR) channel: Resellers purchase a variety of gear from different manufacturers, integrate them, and offer a completed product to end-users. A VAR channel can specialize in certain types of technology and can provide specialized services over and above any individual manufacturer. Typical of medium-volume products. In this case, the manufacturer "creates demand" by marketing, advertising, and even offering customer support to end-users.
      • Two-tier VAR channel: For fast moving, high volume products, the first tier is made up of distributors, who provide warehousing and consolidated ordering to manufacturing. They are able to get volume discounts and allow the manufacturer to concentrate on shipments to just a few, large "customers." These distributors, in turn, then sell to individual VARs, extending them credit, etc. There is not typically end-user support or interaction at this level. Finally, individual VARs, which can be both mom-n-pop shops to large retail focused outlets, integrate and deliver whole products and associated services.
      • Retail channel: For "shrinkwrap" products and consumer-focused items, the retail channel has two or even three tiers to get from the manufacturer to the consumer (think supermarkets, Good Guys, etc.)
      • Dealer Channel: Similar to retail, but more in the franchise model where individual dealers are directly licensed by the manufacturer (think cars).
      • Multi-level Channel: A network of people that both sell manufacturer's products as well as recruit people to become additional dealers (and can be very annoying in the process :)

      There are endless variations on these, but you get the gist, I hope.

      Does this answer your question?

  • all the links have ".asp". i can't read this.
  • This has got to be one more Linus Torvalds quote to add to the books =P

    "Asking me about Linux is like asking the Pope about the existence of God"
    Linus Torvalds

  • Will there be another episode of Geeks In Space?

    Please......

    Pretty Please.............

    (this line added to counter lameness filter....erk)

    (as is this one)

    (please Lord, make the filter go away)

    (*sob*, i just wanted to get a +5, Funny, can't you just let me post?)

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