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TurboLinux Businesses

Turbolinux Layoffs 98

Newsforge [?] has a story about Turbolinux laying off a substantial portion of its staff in preparation for its planned merger with Linuxcare. We've gotten a few anonymous submissions about this as well; perhaps some Turbolinux staff - or former Turbolinux staff - who know what's going on can comment.
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Turbolinux Layoffs

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  • Lack of flatulence
    Leads to a fiery death,
    But saves the ozone.

  • Except that IBM is commiting itself to Linux. The ex-evil empire turning to open source, that isn't exactly where it started.

    Hear that speech at LinuxWorld?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    no job and no coke. that's gonna suck.

    Tell me about it.

    Marion Barry
  • From what I understood, Red Hat simply closed the office in SF, the people were moved to other offices outside of the city. Given the price of office space here in downtown SF, can anyone blame them? I don't think anyone was layed off (yet).

    Assuming I'm correct, it's not all that gloomy (in Red Hat's case). Although the other news is a bit on the down side....

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Interestingly, all recounts show Bush having more votes, not less. The liberals did their best to recreate their previous "dead people's votes count" victory, but failed miserably. Gore may have won the popular vote, but that's not how the President gets elected, dumbass. And it's not a bad thing. Without the electoral system, candidates like Nader wouldn't have even registered a blip on the national scale. Stop being all pissy just because your dirty tricks didn't work.

    All the votes were counted -- all legal votes, that is.

    -- The_Messenger

  • Isn't it a mortal sin to personally profit from open-source software?
    Judging by the stock of commercial Linux vendors, it must be.
  • I'm afraid that all those posts on Slashdot (which are echoed in all the press) are really bad-bad-bad for Linux. Those are standard cuts-off in industry during mergers and restructurations and don't show at all that Linux is going bad. I don't know why Slashdot's Editors give so much importance to those news. And I feel unconfortable just like knowing that VA Linux, the owner of Slashdot is also a competitor to SuSE and TurboLinux/LinuxCare who are all deeply involved in Linux services, just like VA. We don't see bad news coming from others such as Mandrakesoft/RedHat/Caldera.

    Also, there are currently many giant and exciting Linux and Open-Source projects these days but the mood is bad in the Linux newssites - especially here - and I don't understand why. Maybe it is just the psychological consequences of the Nasdaq fall.

    Anyway, wait and see. "Qui vivra verra" in French.

    (disclaimer: I'm not posting that to bash or start a troll - I'm just getting repetitive strange feelings with those kind of news)

  • by deeny ( 10239 ) on Friday February 09, 2001 @11:00AM (#443372) Homepage
    When companies go on a hiring rampage (as all the Linux companies did) and then lay people off, what does that mean?

    That they expected business to materialize that would cover the cost of the salaries of the people and it didn't happen that way.

    It's not a personal thing. It's not the demise of Linux. Linux existed before any Linux-related companies. If they all died off today, Linux would still grow, albeit a bit more slowly.

    No one knows the future; companies have to make guesses about future business and how to prepare for it and those guesses may be wrong.

    Consider the alternative many of these companies faced: at the time, putting Linux on your resume in Silicon Valley virtually guaranteed a job. What would happen if they *hadn't* expanded and the business came rolling in? They'd have found they couln't deliver the service and they couldn't hire it at a price where they could make a profit. So they went with the plan of hiring the talent early, which sounds prudent to me.

    There's also the part that no one really wants to admit: a good part of the increase in demand for Linux was the dot com boom. The side effect to this is that the market for Linux services was largely in the dot com sector, the exact sector that Linuxcare wasn't trying to go after in the first place. Everyone (with any sense) knew that bubble would burst, they just didn't know when. Well, I think the dot com craze can now be officially declared as dead as disco.

    The reality is that the dot com sag hit every Linux company hard. It also hit a lot of other sectors of the economy hard.

    After all, people in those companies that didn't IPO won't be buying those fully-loaded limited edition PT Cruisers, now will they?

    C'mon guys, no one's saying that it's the end of *cars* because DaimlerChrysler is laying off more people than there are in the entire Linux sector.

    All it means is that the Linux bubble is over. This is a good thing.


  • With so many companies (established and dot-coms) laying off people, I think it's a common enough ocurrence to earn its own logo. Maybe one of a box of personal belongings on a desk, or an axe.

  • I think, and this is only my opinion, that the problem with trying to make money off Open Source is that the people who actually use it know how and don't need to pay the money for the support that RedHat, TurboLinux, and others are trying to sell. If you can't figure it out, post it on a local LUG and someone can walk you through it. They need to find a better scheme, similar to Cobalt. Just my opinion you understand...
  • I consider myself typically pro-union, and I have to agree with you here 100%. There are definitely cases where unions are very valuable and some cases where they simply don't belong.

  • And the Gods looked down from up on high and spoke, "woe be unto thee who would profit from the openness of our source. For you shall be slain in the great reckoning along with the false profits of the Redmond Gates Keeper and Jobs of the Golden Apple". Then the infidel where struck down by the mighty will of the Gods, causing the Plague of Layoffs to strike terror in to the hears of Capital Venturests every where. And peace returned once more to the land.
  • The mighty come crashing down, bemused by the idea that one can profit from this stuff (and support, every Linux user needs support, right?)

    Hail Microsoft, once, and unfortunately now future, king.

  • ...Suse shuts down American operations...

    If you read yesterday's posting about SuSE a little more careful then you see that they are not shutting down their american operations. They do downsize it (from 45 down to 15 employes according to SuSE's webpage). The northamerican market is still an important one for SuSE.
  • >> I'm all for choice, but a selection between a few strong distros that have what we want vs. a plethora of distros that each have a little bit of what we want is a good thing

    Why is this a good thing? What really make a distro strong? Is it a big company backing it like RedHat, or a big developer community like Debian, or something else? What is a weak distro, one only a few people use or something else? There are *many* Linux distributors who are completely non profit but who target a very specific market niche. Would you have people who fit that niche be forced to custom tailor their RedHat for each machine they need to load? I say that as long any distribution has something in it that provides a useful distinction from others, it should be kept for those who get some use out of it. Of course if you want to make money distributing Linux you better have some pretty strong differentiations that give you some kind of market advantage or you are screwed.
    TurboLinux has for years targeted the Asian market - when I interviewed there about a year ago they were the market leader in Asia with no challengers on the horizon. Would you have them shut down just because no one you know in the US runs their distro?

    I would bet layoffs just get rid of duplication - you can lay off a bunch of HR people, managers and so on because there is now only one position in the merged company.
  • I don't really get this scoring thing, can one of the regulators/wotever explain it?

    (Don't give me 0 for off topic, Just ignore scoring me.)
  • Actually, this could be GOOD for Linux. If the strongest variants of the OS buy the weakest, then there's hope we might finally see a unified distobution.

    Perhaps I am being ignorant. I fail to see the issue in a numerous amount of distro's. Choice is good, yes having three or four main distro's would be nice and getting all the packaging down to one format in the RedHat, Slackware and Debian Package Managing ideas.

    However as long as people are free to create thier own distro's there will always be a good variety. Some will fail, some will succeed. This is the nature of evolution and despite the confusion that evolution may cause, its still good. At least IMO.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    they are putting turbolinux w/citrix ica client on their thin clients as an option. also they have an option on their z-series mainframes (successor to S/390) to emulate multiple virtual red hat linux boxen.

  • By not overboating a company to distribute an open-sourced OS, and by keeping a tight, compentent team of core developers and business partners, Slackware will be around for a while.

  • Marketing dollars for Linux: Great - more people will know about what Linux is & does, and think it's worth taking a chance on, since "IBM" is backing it (ever hear "no one ever got fired for buying IBM?").
    Non-Free Application Development: Great - more apps on Linux, with the the "IBM" logo on it. Less opportunity for someone to FUD "There's no apps for Linux."
    Free Software: Great - it makes things run better, which makes Linux a better competitor.

    Bottom line - $1 Billion into Linux, any area, helps.
  • Disclaimer: I know nothing about the Tubro Care think. But...

    It's more than likely that they will do an ultra friendly merger/take over. This get's mega tax breaks and can really help to struggling companies, or two companies that are trying to make it to the "next level".

    But the ultra friendly merger stops them from closing any divisions/offices/groups etc, for some thing like a year.

    I don't know if it's legal to do this after they anounced the merger. They want to down scale (close stuff or what ever) and keep the tax break. This doesn't sound right to me.

    Sorry to all who didn't get to stay on, working is the freesoftware industry really rulez.

    As far as Turbo Linux goes, I've never met a company who's works where soooo hostile to other free software companies. Sorry, you left me thinking "Boy, you guys are lame!".

    Is Turbo Linux a really freesoftware company any way?

  • Strike one off from the linux distribution confusion...
  • By not overboating a company to distribute an open-sourced OS, and by keeping a tight, compentent team of core developers and business partners, Slackware will be around for a while.

    I think the real issue here is that there is not really room for a plethora of commercial free unices. Obviously, redhat is here to stay; They have the most marketshare AND the most mindshare amongst the commercial linux distributions. BSDi has quite a bit of mindshare too, though I've never been able to figure out why, given its lack of hardware support (compared to linux, especially, but also compared to FreeBSD, in the past) and the fact that it's one of the slower x86 Unix implementations around.

    But the not-for-profit distributions like slackware and debian are likely to stick around for a dramatically long time. Slackware was the first distribution I used (slack 2 on a 386) and I appreciated it back then, mostly because I got together a pretty complete install on less than ten floppies, back before I actually owned a CD-ROM drive. They weren't cheap back then, you know, and besides, I didn't have a job. These days, though, I think debian is my numero uno choice for linux. It seems to have an attitude closest to BSD's, except of course for all that GPL nonsense. Still, it's pretty good, and it runs on m68k architecture systems, which counts for something with me.


  • I consider myself typically pro-union, and I have to agree with you here 100%. There are definitely cases where unions are very valuable and some cases where they simply don't belong.

    I don't think there's a place where unions don't belong, per se; I do think that there's lots of people who shouldn't be in charge of unions, because they're unrealistic.

    Imagine the power the Sysadmins Union (Local 0xB0FH) would have, though. We could rule the world!


  • Hot Damn that's good!

    Cheers Mate!
    - []
  • I'm not going to stress too much about this - my impression is that anyone who knows the difference between ls and ln -s can get a new high-paying job with no problem. Several of them are constantly rearranging our filesystems and breaking paths for no apparent reason.

    Then there was the guy doing system maintenance on my girlfriend's Sun a few weeks ago. I walked into her office to hear the supervisor explaining to him how to find the ID number of a process...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, 2001 @10:06AM (#443391)
    it's always nice to read about your pending demise on slashdot. i work at turbolinux, and as far as i know, no one yet knows who is being laid off. we just found out about it this morning, and notice of who's being cut is coming later today.

    even worse, the coke machine is empty, and we're all really pissed about that. no job and no coke. that's gonna suck.
  • Boy, the moderators sure have their heads up their asses today.
  • Not to worry. IBM can't really use Linux without helping Linux. My impression is that IBM is in this for the long haul, with Linux ranging from network appliances to 64-bit mainframes. Replacing dumb terminals (isn't that what your Windoze box really is?) comes somewhat later. The real money comes if IBM can leverage ancient COBOL systems into the 21st century. Lotsa luck! You'll need it.
  • I agree it is simply a case of "Market Darwinism". The strong survive and the weak either evolve or are eliminated. I hope this is simply a case of evolution.

    As for the layoffs, they are a rough thing to go through, fortunately the labor market is still in pretty good shape. Hopefully, these people will find work elsewhere without too much disruption in their lives.

    Good luck to all involved.
  • I have to agree with you, RinkRat.

    I installed TurboLinux (server edition) and it didn't even load the module for the network card. Incredible, and it's a 3com 3c90x module... The installation didn't ask about networking, so I wonder just what their definition of "server" is.

    Meanwhile, I've been very happy with my Mandrake and RedHat setups.

  • Ur probably the same guy that posts topical lyrics to other songs around here... They're some of the most entertaining posts on /. My favorite was the Limelight (Rush) parody I read last year.
  • Except that IBM is commiting itself to Linux. The ex-evil empire turning to open source, that isn't exactly where it started. Hear that speech at LinuxWorld?

    You can read about the speech here [].

    And you can even see a video (via the link on the page) with some very interesting comments.

    One thing that is mentioned is that IBM spends about 5 billion us dollars a year on R&D, and that money is *dwarfed* by all of the man-hours open source developers put into linux. IBM cannot compete. period.

    listen to the video and hear them say in in plain english.

    I wonder what that means for Microsoft?

  • Water-Tech has layed off 50% of their employees in preperation for its upcoming merger with, one of the dozens of tapwater-sales startup companies founded a few years ago.

    It is as yet unclear whether these companies have saturated an already low profit-margin market niche.

    " adds significant value to the discriminating consumer of tapwater", said CEO John Thomas in a recent press release. "Tapwater is the most versatile and useful fluid available on the market, and we are confident that our colourful plastic containers provide the additional value that today's water consumers want."

    When asked if all these startups can make money by competing to sell tapwater, Mr. Thomas replied, "Water is not a fad. The market is there."

    We'll just have to wait and see.
  • by brad3378 ( 155304 ) on Friday February 09, 2001 @10:45AM (#443399)
    Daimler Chrysler is supposedly laying off 26,000 workers, so don't start thinking that it's a problem with solely the Linux Industry. Almost verybody is hurting somewhat.

  • I think we're going to see a lot more layoffs across the industry. We're watching the industry, and the underlying technology, mature. A lot of the boom in the 90's was due to people experimenting with the next new thing. Now we have a better idea of what the strengths and weaknesses of Internet tech are. The people who take advantage of the strengths of the technology are settling back to regular if not so spectacular revenue. The ones who discovered the weaknesses are failing or getting bought up. As for the ones who simply didn't understand, they disappeared last year.

    Then there's also a certain level of saturation. We've probably gotten everybody hooked up to the Internet that wants to be hooked up and has the means to be hooked up. So, there's simply not a demand for new installations. That means less of a demand for infrastructure and so on down the food chain. I think this holds true for the rest of the economy as well. Everyone who wanted a new car and fancy house has pretty much gotten them. What happens to an economy when its succeeded in delivering all the goods and services to the people? I don't know if there is a precedent for the kind of economic slowing we're seeing now. Given that, I don't know how much tax relief will help. If Americans use the extra cash to save or pay back their own personal debt, then there can be some long term good out of that, but if we are in a crisis of supply, then don't expect too much. Of course, this also means we can expect another up cycle in a few years as durable things begin to wear out, and as the tech sector comes up with the next big thing. I dunno. I'm just using the downturn to pick up stocks and other equity at bargain rates before we get another boom.

  • First Nokia.. then Motorola .. and now TL? What IS the world coming to?

  • Except that IBM is commiting itself to Linux.

    Yeah, "IBM is committing 1 Billion to Linux". Ask yourself what percentage is Marketing dollars, and what percentage is R&D dollars. Then, of the R&D dollars, what percentage is non-Free application development, and what percentage is for Free Software (kernel development?). LVG (Lou V. Gerstner) has already said IBM will not do a Linux distro (which is good). But how about a breakdown of what that $ is going to?

    And while we're at it, how about opening some of those specs that no longer make any money, e.g. the MCA spec, the RS-485 spec, etc? What possible reason is there for keeping these outdated specs closed? It would be a good PR move for IBM, and help developers who might work on old IBM hardware.
  • With VA Linux stock [] going from 138 to 8 in a year, is Andover (sorry, OSDN) next? Will Slashdot survive the popping of the Linux market bubble?
  • by stankulp ( 69949 ) on Friday February 09, 2001 @01:10PM (#443404) Homepage
    " is a prime example of the shortcomings of our current capitalist economy."

    Actually, the capitalist market economy is working just as intended, siphoning money away from poor investors who base their decisions on "smoke and mirrors" and funnelling it to intelligent investors who choose companies with a "legitimate, profit-making business model."

  • Whoever wrote this...thanks for the good laugh. I needed it!
  • Not to make fun of a bad situation, you seem to have a good sense of humor by your own comments, SO...

    It's your fav game show: Survivor-Cubicle Hell. Outcode, Outscript, Out-the-Door!

    Maybe they are seeing who can hold out the longest. First, the Cokes go, then the coffee, then the internet access. The final step is the toilet paper!

    Hope you make it thru the tribal council!

    May the /. gods forgive me for the Survivor reference.

  • Give a listen to the song "The real Slim Shady" while you re-read it.

  • Isn't it a mortal sin to personally profit from open-source software? I gotta find that link somewhere...
  • It will look like this.

    Post HTML and type this Yahoo! or what ever text you want []

  • Have you ever seen IBM's Linux commercial [] on TV? I haven't.

    Hey, I work at IBM. I really, really hope the IBM hype is true. But from my perspective, it looks like IBM is going to use Linux, not help Linux. Maybe that's ok, I don't know. I do know that I am forced to keep a Windoze box whose only purpose is running Lotus Notes. Until IBM stops forcing their employees to use Windoze (or OS/2), I just can't believe IBM "supports Linux 100%". And I won't even get into whether IBM realizes there's a different between Linux, Open Source, and Free Software.

    But, I'm pretty far down, so maybe the higher-ups really do know what they're doing. Hope so.
  • Ahh... the sweet smell of mergers.

    As much as we hate them, and people lose their jobs, and we all hate that too, mergers can be a sign for a good change.

    AOL/Time Warner-Merged (Huge Company)

    Ok, so mabye that wasn't the best example.

    But when you look at it, mergers only mean that the companys are goiing somewhere in the right direction.

    And please, put the flames on the boards, not in my e-mail!

    "I have not slept a wink"

  • Corporate restructuring/re-engineering/downsizing/re-orderin g/(fill in your favorite term here).....

    I guess Linux companies are going the same path too

  • The business of business is Customers, period, and Ms. Chan has just reminded us that REAL customers, in the REAL business world, gravitate towards total solutions (which either lower a firm's costs or generate a firm's profits), not OS ideologies or disparate, piecemeal fixes. That simply means you offer a product or service that meets another company's needs, that helps them do what they do best more productively and more efficiently than the other options out there. That's why many ISP's use BSDs, why chain stores choose Linux at the back end, why academia and government is taking Linux clustering seriously. But in the real world, as Ms.Chan points out, CIOs and others responsible for making those solutions work are wary as hell of the finger-pointing game: they can't afford the waste of time and revenue that results. A company will almost always bank on a single provider offering a total solution if they can, if they can't afford to do it in-house. It may sound worrisome that anyone would put "all their eggs in one basket", but the alternative (to them) is scarier: having to chase down a fix for a problem among multiple vendors, additional in-house support costs, etc. Linux will easily survive the fallout of those companies for whom it was an integral piece of their business model. It will simply continue to be an integral piece of better business models now being implemented, models that focus squarely on customer needs.
  • pretty damn good. I too would mod up.

    Now what was the article about again? I forgot...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    May I have your attention please,
    may I have your attention please,
    will the real First Poster please stand up,
    I repeat will the real First Poster please stand up
    .....we're gonna have a problem here.........

    Ya'll act like you never seen a first poster before
    mouse all on the floor
    like mom and daddy just burst in the door
    and started whoopin yer ass worse than before
    they first had endorsed
    buyin' ya a crappy computer (aaaaaah)
    It's the return of the...
    "awww..wait, no wait, you're kidding,
    he didn't just say what I think he did,
    did he?"
    and Mr. Cray said...
    nothing you idiots, Mr Cray's dead
    he's locked in my bassment
    microsoft women love Sig '11
    chicka chicka chicka First Poster,
    "I'm sick of him, lookit him
    walkin around, grabbin his GNU know what
    flippin' to GNU know who"
    "yeah, but he's so smart though"
    yeah, I probably got a couple of screws up in my head loose
    but no worse than what's goin on in your sister's webcam (eheheheh)
    sometimes, I wanna get on ZD and just let loose
    but cant, but it's cool for RMS to hump a dead GNU
    My mouse is on your link, My mouse is on your link
    and if you're lucky, I might just give it a little click
    and that's the message that we deliver to little kids
    and expect them not to know what a free software is
    of course they're gonna know what Microsoft is
    by the time they hit 4th grade
    they got MS-NBC, dont they?
    we ain't nothing but omnivores
    well, some of us carnivores
    who read other people's mail like crackwhores
    but if we can read your e-mail like it's available
    then there's no reason that a man can't forge spam from your account
    but if you feel like I feel, I got the antedote
    trolls wave your penis birds, sing the chorus and it goes........

    I'm First Poster, yes, I'm the real First
    all you other First Poster's are just imitating
    so won't the real First Poster please stand up,
    please stand up, please stand up
    cause I'm First Poster, yes, I'm the real First
    all you other First Poster's are just imitating
    so wont the real First Poster please stand up,
    please stand up, please stand up

    Sig 11 don't got to cuss in his posts to get Karma
    well I do, so fuck him and fuck you too
    you think I give a damn about my Karma
    half of you trolls can't even stomach me, let alone stand me
    "but first, what if you win, wouldn't it be weird"
    why? so you guys can just lie to get me here
    so you can sit me here next to Natalie here
    shit, Enoch Root's momma better switch me chairs
    so I can sit next to trollmastah and Post First
    and hear em argue over who modded it down first
    little troll, flamed me back on IRC
    "yeah, he's fast, but I think he types one-handed, hee hee"
    I should download some audio on MP3
    and show the world how you released it BSD (aaaaaah)
    I'm sick of you little troll and l33t groups
    all you do is annoy me
    so I have been sent here to destroy you
    and there's a million of us just like me
    who post like me, who just don't give a fuck like me
    who code like me, walk, talk and act like me
    and just might be the next best thing, but not quite me......

    I'm First Poster, yes, I'm the real First
    all you other First Poster's are just imitating
    so won't the real First Poster please stand up,
    please stand up, please stand up
    cause I'm First Poster, yes, I'm the real First
    all you other First Poster's are just imitating
    so wont the real First Poster please stand up,
    please stand up, please stand up

    I'm like a head trip to listen to
    cause I'm only givin you things
    you troll about with your friends inside you rabbit hole
    the only difference is I got the balls to say it
    in front of ya'll and I aint gotta be false or sugar coated at all
    I just get on the web and spit it
    and whether you like to admit it (riiip)
    I just shit it better than 90% you trollers out can
    then you wonder how can
    kids eat up these posts like gospel verse
    it's funny,cause at the rate I'm going when I'm thirty
    I'll be the only person in the chat rooms flirting
    cyberin with nurses when I'm jackin off to porno's
    and I'm jerkin' but this whole bag of viagra isn't working
    in every single person there's a First Poster lurkin
    he could be workin at Micron Inc., spittin on your SDRAM
    or in the printer queue, flooding, writin I dont give a fuck
    with his windows down and his system up
    so will the First Poster please stand up
    and click 1 of those fingers till you drag up
    and be proud to be outta your mind and outta control
    and 1 more time, loud as you can, how does it go? ...........

    I'm First Poster, yes, I'm the real First
    all you other First Poster's are just imitating
    so wont the real First Poster please stand up,
    please stand up, please stand up
    cause I'm First Poster, yes, I'm the real First
    all you other First Poster's are just imitating
    so wont the real First Poster please stand up,
    please stand up, please stand up

    I'm First Poster, yes, I'm the real First
    all you other First Poster's are just imitating
    so wont the real First Poster please stand up,
    please stand up, please stand up
    cause I'm First Poster, yes, I'm the real First
    all you other First Poster's are just imitating
    so wont the real First Poster please stand up,
    please stand up, please stand up

    haha guess it's a First Poster in all of us........
    fuck it let's all stand up
  • You're confusing Free Speech and Free Penguin.

    Karma karma karma karma karmeleon: it comes and goes, it comes and goes.
  • Missed out muLinux and DragonLinux (dunno the URLs though)

    "...Fear the people who fear your computer"
  • Not yet, just a matter of time...HAH!
  • Just go to their web site and find out. There are numerous free downloads of their products. But you don't get technical support for free. Also, several companies such as Linksys or Belkin package Turbolinux Lite CDs. So, it is incorrect to say that TurboLinux is not supporting free software community. Besides, one of their VPs was just nominated to the Board of the Open Source Development Lab.
  • hmmm... this isn't an example of that as Linuxcare don't produce a Linux distribution.
  • I agree completely, investors got greedy with their desire for a quick buck. It's sad when you can make millions of dollars jusb by adding a shiny "dotcom" to the end of your company's name. I don't think we're heading into any sort of recession, though. The market is just coming down to more realistic levels. Sad about the layoffs though, but most of these people are highly skilled in their field and shouldn't have too much trouble finding a new job. Best of luck to any of you out there reading.
  • > But when you look at it, mergers only mean that the companys are goiing somewhere in the right direction.

    More often it means that one of them is giving up and trying to get the best deal it can for its assets.

    As for Linux layoffs...
    • Even in the best of times, selling something that's available for free is at best a weak business model.
    • The economy's going to hell in a handbasket, and layoffs aren't limited to Linux companies (nor even to tech companies).
    Move along, folks. There's nothing to see here.
  • by Anonymous Coward


    2.5 million B.C.: OOG the Open Source Caveman develops the axe and releases it under the GPL. The axe quickly gains popularity as a means of crushing moderators' heads.

    100,000 B.C.: Man domesticates the AIBO.

    10,000 B.C.: Civilization begins when early farmers first learn to cultivate hot grits.

    3000 B.C.: Sumerians develop a primitive cuneiform perl script.

    2920 B.C.: A legendary flood sweeps Slashdot, filling up a Borland / Inprise story with hundreds of offtopic posts.

    1750 B.C.: Hammurabi, a Mesopotamian king, codifies the first EULA.

    490 B.C.: Greek city-states unite to defeat the Persians. ESR triumphantly proclaims that the Greeks "get it".

    399 B.C.: Socrates is convicted of impiety. Despite the efforts of, he is forced to kill himself by drinking hemlock.

    336 B.C.: Fat-Time Charlie becomes King of Macedonia and conquers Persia.

    4 B.C.: Following the Star (as in hot young actress) of Bethelem, wise men travel from far away to troll for baby Jesus.

    A.D. 476: The Roman Empire BSODs.

    A.D. 610: The Glorious MEEPT!! founds Islam after receiving a revelation from God. Following his disappearance from Slashdot in 632, a succession dispute results in the emergence of two troll factions: the Pythonni and the Perliites.

    A.D. 800: Charlemagne conquers nearly all of Germany, only to be acquired by

    A.D. 874: Linus the Red discovers Iceland.

    A.D. 1000: The epic of the Beowulf Cluster is written down. It is the first English epic poem.

    A.D. 1095: Pope Bruce II calls for a crusade against the Turks when it is revealed they are violating the GPL. Later investigation reveals that Pope Bruce II had not yet contacted the Turks before calling for the crusade.

    A.D. 1215: Bowing to pressure to open-source the British government, King John signs the Magna Carta, limiting the British monarchy's power. ESR triumphantly proclaims that the British monarchy "gets it".

    A.D. 1348: The ILOVEYOU virus kills over half the population of Europe. (The other half was not using Outlook.)

    A.D. 1420: Johann Gutenberg invents the printing press. He is immediately sued by monks claiming that the technology will promote the copying of hand-transcribed books, thus violating the church's intellectual property.

    A.D. 1429: Natalie Portman of Arc gathers an army of Slashdot trolls to do battle with the moderators. She is eventually tried as a heretic and stoned (as in petrified).

    A.D. 1478: The Catholic Church partners with to launch the Spanish Inquisition. A.D. 1492: Christopher Columbus arrives in what he believes to be "India", but which RMS informs him is actually "GNU/India".

    A.D. 1508-12: Michaelengelo attempts to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling with ASCII art, only to have his plan thwarted by the "Lameness Filter."

    A.D. 1517: Martin Luther nails his 95 Theses to the church door and is promptly moderated down to (-1, Flamebait).

    A.D. 1553: "Bloody" Mary ascends the throne of England and begins an infamous crusade against Protestants. ESR eats his words.

    A.D. 1588: The "IF I EVER MEET YOU, I WILL KICK YOUR ASS" guy meets the Spanish Armada.

    A.D. 1603: Tokugawa Ieyasu unites the feuding pancake-eating ninjas of Japan.

    A.D. 1611: Mattel adds Galileo Galilei to its CyberPatrol block list for proposing that the Earth revolves around the sun.

    A.D. 1688: In the so-called "Glorious Revolution", King James II is bloodlessly forced out of power and flees to France. ESR again triumphantly proclaims that the British monarchy "gets it".

    A.D. 1692: Anti-GIF hysteria in the New World comes to a head in the infamous "Salem GIF Trials", in which 20 alleged GIFs are burned at the stake. Later investigation reveals that mayn of the supposed GIFs were actually PNGs.

    A.D. 1769: James Watt patents the one-click steam engine.

    A.D. 1776: Trolls, angered by CmdrTaco's passage of the Moderation Act, rebel. After a several-year flame war, the trolls succeed in seceding from Slashdot and forming the United Coalition of Trolls.

    A.D. 1789: The French Revolution begins with a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the Bastille.

    A.D. 1799: Attempts at discovering Egyptian hieroglyphs receive a major boost when Napoleon's troops discover the Rosetta stone. Sadly, the stone is quickly outlawed under the DMCA as an illegal means of circumventing encryption.

    A.D. 1844: Samuel Morse invents Morse code. Cryptography export restrictions prevent the telegraph's use outside the U.S. and Canada.

    A.D. 1853: United States Commodore Matthew C. Perry arrives in Japan and forces the xenophobic nation to open its doors to foreign trade. ESR triumphantly proclaims that Japan finally "gets it".

    A.D. 1865: President Lincoln is 'bitchslapped.' The nation mourns.

    A.D. 1901: Italian inventor Guglielmo Marcoli first demonstrates the radio. Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich immediately delivers to Marcoli a list of 335,435 suspected radio users.

    A.D. 1911: Facing a break-up by the United States Supreme Court, Standard Oil Co. defends its "freedom to innovate" and proposes numerous rejected settlements. Slashbots mock the company as "Standa~1" and depict John D. Rockefeller as a member of the Borg.

    A.D. 1929: V.A. Linux's stock drops over 200 dollars on "Black Tuesday", October 29th.

    A.D. 1945: In the secret Manhattan Project, scientists working in Los Alamos, New Mexico, construct a nuclear bomb from Star Wars Legos.

    A.D. 1948: Slashdot runs the infamous headline "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN." Shamefaced, the site quickly retracts the story when numerous readers point out that it is not news for nerds, stuff that matters.

    A.D. 1965: Jon Katz delivers his famous "I Have A Post-Hellmouth Dream" speech, which stated: "I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the geeks of former slaves and the geeks of former slave geeks will be able to sit down together at the table of geeks... I have a dream that my geek little geeks will one geek live in a nation where they will not be geeked by the geek of their geek but by the geek of their geek."

    A.D. 1969: Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on the moon. His immortal words: "FIRST MOONWALK!!!"

    A.D. 1970: Ohio National Guardsmen shoot four students at Kent State University for "Internet theft".

    A.D. 1989: The United States invades Panama to capture renowned "hacker" Manual Noriega, who is suspected of writing the DeCSS utility.

    A.D. 1990: West Germany and East Germany reunite after 45 years of separation. ESR triumphantly proclaims that Germany "gets it".

    A.D. 1994: As years of apartheid rule finally end, Nelson Mandela is elected president of South Africa. ESR is sick, and sadly misses his chance to triumphantly proclaim that South Africa "gets it".

    A.D. 1997: Slashdot reports that Scottish scientists have succeeded in cloning a female sheep named Dolly. Numerous readers complain that if they had wanted information on the latest sheep releases, they would have just gone to

    A.D. 1999: Miramax announces Don Knotts to play hacker Emmanuel Goldstein in upcoming movie "Takedown".

  • Even in the best of times, selling something that's available for free is at best a weak business model.

    Well that depends. Businesses will pay for Expertise in Linux. I think "Linux Consultancies" and "Linux Support Companies" can be a pretty attractive business model. Although "Linux" is free - it doesn't mean that you can't sell "Added Value".
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You're kidding right? Unions can't solve the economic factors that necessitate mergers and layoffs. I don't have a problem with a union focusing on fairness but if a union is going to stifle necessary changes then inevitably this will hurt both the company and the union workers. Study Bethelam Steel and the United Steel Workers sometime and you'll get a good idea of how collective stupidy will hurt all. Betheleham basically gave up the right to make any technological innovations that would put people out of work. The net effect is that they're no longer competitive and many more jobs were lost to layofss than would have been lost to technology. Yes, I realize this will be perceived as a troll but its merely an opinion.
  • Oh have WAY too much time on your hands. Find a hobby or get a job!
  • Uh...this was a reply to a post called HAIKU and was meant as a joke. (you know...a story with a humorous climax!). Troll...hrmph!
  • As long as RedHat or Mandrake doesn't adopt EEP: Embrace, Extend, make Proprietary little bits to screw everyone else.
  • Just one problem with that, which is that seemingly all of the Linux companies are losing money or firing people. One day people will just have to face that it's a loser of a business model. Until then, I guess the kids here can continue modding up every post that's whistling by the graveyard...


  • They are now a stronger company

    After reading some info on the Linuxcare [] site, this merger is making more sense all the time.

    From their Professional Services [] page:

    Linuxcare Professional Services is ready to work with you through all stages of Linux deployment

    Their services are a direct complement to any Linux distro. The entire point of this merger seems to be to get TurboLinux on more corporte desktops and servers. That is a huge plus both for TurboLinux and for the Linux community in general.

    Check out their Professional Services [] page for more details.
  • I don't see this as being a realistic criticism.

    If /. simply posted these items and there was nothing else to be said, I might see your point.

    However, the boards are what make /.

    I know for damn sure that it is more important to read the average submission than the often ill-written/ill-researched lead stories (Damn, I REALLY wanted to be pro-Slashdot too. Crap! *grin*)

    A company with an agenda does not open itself as the main forum for open discussion.

  • Read my Further to my last post... post on this same thread.

    The merger of Linuxcare and TurboLinux create a real business model -- an enterprise network and workstation solution. Most enterprises have at least a passing interest in Linux, but it hasn't been practical in the past. A Linuxcare-TurboLinux packaged solution is a totally different business model to that of a distro. It might cost a medium-sized corporation hundreds of thousands of dollars to implement one of their solutions, and that's a good business model when you consider the advantages of switching to Linux.
  • Microsoft makes operating systems/applications that target big business' needs. This means that MS's OS's don't typically have everything "we want". However, it does make them a successful _business_.

    The "quality" of a distribution doesn't matter as much in Market Darwinism as the business model/marketing department/vp's of the company making that distrobution.
  • It is 100% true that today Friday February 9, 2001, TurboLinux did indeed layoff 85% of their sales force and 50% of all other departments. This hit was due to poor financial stability. This is the 2nd time in the past year that TL has undergone MAJOR restructuring. With this new management team and company direction as well as limited funding left, I wonder what we will see next........
  • by thewiz ( 24994 ) on Friday February 09, 2001 @09:54AM (#443437)
    Actually, this could be GOOD for Linux. If the strongest variants of the OS buy the weakest, then there's hope we might finally see a unified distobution. I'm all for choice, but a selection between a few strong distros that have what we want vs. a plethora of distros that each have a little bit of what we want is a good thing.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What's really bad is when some of your friends loose their job, and a kid posts on Slashdot pretending he works for that company and tries to spread rumors, gain sympathy, or who knows what.

    Everyone knew ahead of time, by the time this message was posted everyone knew exactly who was effected. And of course the vending machine was stocked yesterday, and there were free drinks as well.

    I don't know what you thought you were getting from posting "rumors", but that's pretty low.
  • I'm more inclined to believe that capital was diverted from viable productive sectors of the economy to unfit companies who basically squandered it.

    The great thing about a free market, though, is that the unfit companies cannot squander forever. They run out of money, crash, and burn.

    One of the big problems with the economy in Japan is that the big companies have so much influence with the government there; they are not inclined to let market forces punish poor performance, so they do things to prop up poor companies so they can continue to operate poorly.

    The "creative destruction" in a free market allows poor companies to fail, and better ones to replace them. It can be painful to watch, and the people often cry out for the government to "do something" but that is always a mistake.

    You always see headlines like "lots of workers laid off" but you never see headlines like "new companies hiring lots of laid-off workers".


  • I first heard before the opening of business today, but didn't have confirmation until a few minutes ago, that Linuxcare also went through another (its fourth) round of layoffs today.

    Early rumors suggested the layoff would be approximately 15-20 people, but I haven't heard any specifics.


  • by digidave ( 259925 ) on Friday February 09, 2001 @09:56AM (#443441)
    Mergers and companies going out of business is often a sign of market correction.

    Take for instance the recent dot-com troubles. Those aren't quality companies having trouble -- the good ones are still doing quite well. The flooded market assured that many would not make it.

    Linux companies merging and going out of business is good because it will ensure that the best and strongest survive. Two weaker companies like TurboLinux and Linuxcare merge so that they will outlive the future Linux market correction. They are now a stronger company and the Linux community can only benefit from that.

  • is Laying off 4000 []. Unions are starting to sound better and better...
  • Corel ends its Linux operation, Red Hat shuts down in San Francisco, Suse shuts down American operations, TurboLinux fires 1/3 of its staff.

    Looks like the commercial experimentation with Linux came and went and now we're getting back to bedrooms and operating systems classes.
  • I don't think .NET has been released yet, though. As for the "open source hype", well, I am using open source technology exclusively on our systems at work and it has been an extremely successful venture. To give you some idea, we have up to 5,000 mail accounts running on exim [], 3,000 shell accounts, run an industrial strength DNS system [], industrial strength, internally developed network management systems running on Zope/Python [], and a staunch news server all running off an 8-node MOSIX [] cluster.
  • in the case of a 'merger' (buyout) the buying company is purchasing the company--union contracts not included. thus a union wouldn't have protected any turbolinux employees, unless it somehow gave them the power to prevent the merger.
  • I disagree.
    I'm not quite so sure that the "commercial experimentation with Linux" is about to come to a close. In fact, I think we are going to see an explosion in a number of different areas.

    I think we're going to see more companies using Linux in embedded technologies and appliance class devices.

    More open advocacy of Linux solutions from Professional Services companies

    I even believe that we are going to see companies whose primary concern is in hardware (like IBM) embrace Linux in an effort to shift the "power" away from software companies (MS)and to put the ball back in the court of the hardware vendors. I even think that Sun will get its head out of its ass and join the movement.
    However, I will concede that I'm certainly not an expert and I could be completely off base.

  • Look at the sales of RedHat stock by the owners from day one. I think they got around 300 million. What a joke.
  • They're laying people off because Turbolinux had a sucky distribution. It didn't work well. If they had the power to shove their product down people's throats, they'd be expanding, not contracting. However, anyone with a choice of distributions would not choose Turbolinux.
  • I look forward to the 'L4st P0st!!!!!!!' flood...
  • But tech stocks everywhere have collapsed including the Evil Empire(tm) so this whole computing business must just be snake-oil. BTW if you can't make money from services how come there are so many companies doing it (like the highly successful and profitable one I work for)
  • Yes thats right! All flavours of linux should merge together, create a monopoly. Would the Dept of justice come into play? Naw, its a free software :)
  • {SNIP}
    They are now a stronger company and the Linux community can only benefit from that.

    Just like we all benifit from the strength of M$
    et al:)
  • "What is the one thing that you need in order for your business to be successful?" --This question was asked in a survey of entrepreneurs. It turned out that those who answered correctly tended to later have successful businesses, and those who answered incorrectly tended to later fail.

    The correct answer is "customers". The Linux companies that are now struggling seem to have not understood this. In the real world, there are few customers who want Linux support. Most Linux-using customers actually want computer systems support. Consider this: if something goes wrong, the customer does not want to call ten different vendors, each of whom points their finger at the others. In fact, most customers don't really care about the OS at all; they only care about the applications software. Of course, the OS affects the applications, but customers just want solutions--period.

    IBM is a company that understands all this well. IBM is planning to invest a billion dollars in Linux this year alone. IBM is very astute businesswise, and they obviously expect to get a good return on their investment. Why? Because they are going to give the customer what the customer wants.

    IBM (specifically, their General Services Division) will provide a customer with support for the entire computer system. So whenver support is needed, the customer just calls IBM. This is what real customers want.

    In many cases, that system will run Linux, because Linux has some technological advantages. You know this; I know this; and IBM's service people know this. The customer needn't know, likely doesn't care, and definitely doesn't want to care. The customer wants solutions that work, and someone else to fix the problems. IBM can make money by providing support and by selling hardware, middleware, and applications software. The customer gets a good well-supported system. Linux use spreads almost incidentally....

    CONCLUSION. The demise of Linux support companies just means that those companies did not know the first thing about business (literally). It does not mean anything negative for Linux. What will affect Linux is the advent of companies that include Linux support as part of their overall customer support.

    "To fall in love is easy, even to remain in it is not difficult; our human loneliness is cause enough. But it is a hard quest worth making to find a comrade through whose steady presence one becomes steadily the person one desires to be." --Anna Louise Strong

  • Yawn, yes it's a weak business model selling services. Just ask Andersen Consulting, sorry Accenture (yuk) and EDS and the many others like them (like the one that I work for). As usual ZicoKnows nothing about the IT market.
  • hmmm... there is no way to transfer karma.
  • With Evil Empire [http] shares trading at about 50% less than their 52 week high is this the end of the world as we know it?
  • I suggest you go here [] and look up MSFT, CSCO, ORCL and SUNW. 50% drops in the last year. Looks like this computing thing was just a fad after all.
  • Last year: l they did just the same thing. I'm confused with the numbers though, they say 40 out of 120 people lose their job. They say they were expecting to double every quarter (on revenue or people?).But last year they layed off some percentage of 200 people. I don't see them doubling every quarter, not even every year. Hmm, and how do you make that URL become a link?
  • by RinkRat ( 15800 ) on Friday February 09, 2001 @10:00AM (#443460)
    As someone who 'purchased' TL (with a rebate == purchase price, lots of profit there, guys), I can definitively say "Good riddance". It was a truly awful distribution. The installer sucked and what the hell was up with that 'Workstation'/'Server' edition nonsense?

    I installed it a spare machine and couldn't bear to keep it around more than a few hours. Blech.

    But, hey, free useless documentation!

  • Great link to the speech! My favourite comment is near the end, when he (the president of IBM) says that one of the advantages of Linux is that you
    "don't have to ... go to the vendor and get permission to innovate."

    Microsoft's big claim--FREEDOM TO INNOVATE--is a claim that should not be made by Windoze users, but certainly can be made by Linux users!

  • Hey...bottled water is more expensive per gallon than gasoline...people buy it like crazy out here for some reason.

panic: kernel trap (ignored)