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Ask a LinuxWorld Exhibitor 224

Most Slashdot readers aren't coming to the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in New York this week. If you're not coming, but you have a question you'd like to ask one of the exhibitors, please post it here. I promise to ask 10 of the highest-moderated exhibitor questions on your behalf, and I'll do my best to ask more than 10, time permitting. If you have a question for anyone who is holding a conference session or tutorial Thursday or Friday, please feel free to post it, too. I will try to ask speakers at least a few questions, but that's chancier than getting hold of exhibitors (who are in booths where they're easy to find), so no promises. One question per post, please. Hopefully, I'll have time to type up the answers over the weekend and post them Monday or Tuesday.
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Ask a LinuxWorld Exhibitor

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  • by swagr ( 244747 )
    When will you bundle a text editor better than Notepad?
    • "64 kilobytes should be enough for anyone." - Bill Gates speaking to the Windows Notepad development team.

      While Windows Users have dealt with the consequences since then, little do they know, that Microsoft have since surpassed the 64 KB limit. When hitting the limit, Notepad forms a secret hook with a little known app called WordPad. This way, you have backwards compatibility with Notepad users, and enjoy the benefits of files larger than 64 KB.
    • Woohoo an anti-MS troll modded +, on slashdot no less.

      Windows doesn't have 4 zillion and 1 .sh, .rc, .etc, .config, etc files that need to be editted to get it to work.

      What would windows users possibly need with vi? (Btw, you can run vi if you want it)
      • Instead windows does away with all these seperate mutually exclusive files and has one giant non human readable binary file. That way, when one application wants to screw the whole system up, it doesn't have to go change a whole bunch of files, it just has to screw up one!

        Yeah, that seems like a better solution to me!?!
    • No, I don't believe they can as that would abusing their monopoly power and forcing a better text editor on the masses. That would not be acceptable.

      • Parent Post is clueful.

        They would be sued if they bundled a great editor. Because companies like Notepad+ and TextEdit would suddenly have a much harder time. Microsoft has to sell the perception that they are the "Pond" and not the "Fish" and that they don't really compete, they just create a platform for other to compete on top of.

        The problem is, when they need money, they will slowly take over one segment after another. Being in an industry where Microsoft is thinking about going has to be a scary experience.

        That is just another advantage of having an open-base system and closed source competition on top of it, it protects the competition from being elbowed out, since no single company controls the platform. (Well, protects to a degree)
  • Geeks pride themselves on their attention to technical excellence to the exclusion of such base tricks as free junk and hot booth babes. So how do you get the attention of a typical geek wandering around LinuxWorld? Fast triangle performance projected on the ceiling? Huge LCDs showing large uptimes on your show boxii? What catches a geeks eye?
    • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @01:29PM (#5136294)
      > Geeks pride themselves on their attention to technical excellence to the exclusion of such base tricks as free junk and hot booth babes.

      You are either:
      a) Trolling,
      b) Have never been to LinuxWorld,
      c) And if I'm wrong on that, you've certainly never been within 50 feet of the FreeBSD booth at LinuxWorld.

      I mean, getting card-swiped in exchange for a keychain/neckchain photo of themselves, wearing pointy-red-horns with LEDs in 'em, surrounded by pointy-red-horned, red-pantsuited and/or red-latexed FreeBSD succubi with the big FreeBSD daemon in the background? Could there be anything more quintessentially geeky?

      (And do I still have mine from LinuxWorld 1999? You bet your ass I do! I also have pictures of myself standing between a life-sized incarnation of Tux the Penguin, and UserFriendly's Dust Puppy. What any of this means about geek sexuality is a mystery left for future forensic anthropologists to determine.)

    • Your question is a good one, and I hope it gets a good answer.

      But....I have been to the Expo for the last 3 years. I'm not going this year due to time and budgeting. :) I can definately tell you though that there aren't many geeks left at this one. Three years ago the number of geeks was much higher, while as time has progressed, the number of suited business types, managers, and people who are on junkets trying to purchase or evaluate some technology for their business is much greater.

      These trade shows are about commerce and industry, not about "geeks", passion for technology, or even the newest, latest, hottest stuff. That's not to say though that there's nothing out there for geeks - there's still quite a few interesting things, particularly the "community" type stuff (slashdot booth, dot org pavilion, and all of the smaller booths representing distros, LUGs, and so on) The bigger booths are usually ASPs, ISPs, and huge software vendors whose products are for the most part already very well known.

      So watching the progression of the trade show, it's been depressing and hopeful. On one hand, the shift in attendance clearly signifies to me that GNU/Linux is being accepted and used out there. On the other hand, this really isn't a "geek" tradeshow, and hasn't been for quite some time.

  • social? (Score:2, Funny)

    Do you have a girlfriend?

    (people on irc / you have never met do NOT count)
  • Who from the Sopranos is going to be there?

    If it's Jamie-Lynn Sigler: Can I have her number?

  • Strategies (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Oculus Habent ( 562837 ) <(oculus.habent) (at) (> on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @12:25PM (#5135754) Journal
    For Hardware Vendors:

    What basic strategies are you employing to better penetrate the server/appliance market with Linux systems?
  • Dear Redhat Software (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @12:25PM (#5135755)
    What is your response to the vulterant claims that your Gnome/KDE setup is breaking QT apps and causing havoc for developers who make use of QT?
  • To Microsoft (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @12:25PM (#5135761) Homepage Journal
    Considering that this is called "LinuxWorld", what product will you release next for Linux?
    • because I'm really curious what they will say.
      • I guess they really won't be able to answer that, because Linus was once asked, "what will happen if MS starts developing for Linux?" and he answered, "Then we have already won.".. too bad I can't find a google result to back it up.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          I tried to look it up also.

          The best thing I found was from 14-qa2.html []:

          From a business-applications perspective, what can we do to get Microsoft to do native ports of Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Exchange, etc.?

          • Robert Hart responded: you can already read and write the files created by those apps; as for Exchange, ``we have something called Sendmail...'' [chuckles from the admins in the audience] One of the panelists commented that if Microsoft ports their apps, ``we've won.'' [Of course, Apple didn't win...]
    • Re:To Microsoft (Score:2, Interesting)

      by RupW ( 515653 )
      Considering that this is called "LinuxWorld", what product will you release next for Linux?

      Wasn't their a slashdot article about MS releasing Media Player for Linux? Otherwise, probably Linux to Win interoperability or migration tools.

      Ask them if they're going to revive their Unix IE and Media Player and/or target Linux as well as Solaris, etc.
  • Dear $exhibitor (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @12:25PM (#5135764) Homepage Journal
    Dear $exhibitor (assuming not Microsoft)

    What is your impression of Microsoft a) at your convention and b) Microsoft's efforts to lure Unix customers into their fold, away from Linux? Do they appear successful?

  • To Microsoft (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Oculus Habent ( 562837 ) <(oculus.habent) (at) (> on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @12:32PM (#5135812) Journal
    Do you plan on producing Open Source components to any of your products? This primarily refers to server components, such as HTTP, DNS, IMAP, etc. which could function externally to the base programs (Exchange, ISA, etc.) and offer simpler and more granular control over active services.
  • To Microsoft: (Score:3, Interesting)

    by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @12:32PM (#5135814)
    What will you do if you can't convince people the price of your products is worth the additional integration?

    And on a related note: if Linux on the desktop takes off, what's Plan B? Do you even know yet?

  • by burgburgburg ( 574866 ) <<splisken06> <at> <>> on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @12:33PM (#5135822)
    In your experience as a convention exhibitor, what is the most effective giveaway item you've ever used to draw people to your booth long enough to make a pitch? What will people wait in line for, sit through demos for, fill out long questionaires for, let you swipe their card for, jostle others to get?

    Conversely, what was the lamest giveaway item you were ever saddled with? Where you had to throw it at passersby, and even then they recoiled in dismay?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      ...for throwing at the people manning the Microsoft booth.
    • Two items

      HP once gave away a plushy winged pig at their booth at Comdex Toronto a long time ago that I had to line up to win a trivia contest for and the other was when I had to get in a LONG lineup to get a genuine beeny with a propeller on top. THAT was cool!

    • by GoRK ( 10018 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @01:15PM (#5136185) Homepage Journal
      People will stand in line at your booth to enter most any contest that has a prize worth about $150 or more. An entire set of golf clubs generally works well with crowds older than about 30. A laptop or high-end palm pilot works well with younger crowds.

      At tech shows (comdex, cebit, etc.) that kind of stuff usually doesnt work as well (though the golf club thing is still very popular.) If it's a show with an audience of mostly men, some good looking females in the booth will do a lot for you.

      The gimmies are usually pretty tricky. The most effective ones are the ones that people have never seen before. We gave away cell phone chairs one time, which was pretty stupid, but they worked really well because nobody at the oil and gas show had ever seen them before -- even though there were tens of booths giving them away at the tech shows for a couple years, it was still effective. The CD cases we gave away, by contrast, cost nearly four times as much and were not effective.

      The new gimmie we're going to use is silly putty we bought in bulk from Crazy Aaron ( []) ... haven't seen anyone giving it away yet, but someone's probably done it. Anyway, we sliced it up into small chunks, put it in some inexpensive tins... It's actually very very close to the least expensive thing we've ever given away and it will likely be the most effective thing we have ever used. Just in case, though, we have some sticky notes and a drawing for a set of golf clubs too :)

    • > In your experience as a convention exhibitor, what is the most effective giveaway item you've ever used to draw people to your booth long enough to make a pitch? What will people wait in line for, sit through demos for, fill out long questionaires for, let you swipe their card for, jostle others to get?

      I'm a techie, not a marketroid.

      If you're in marketing, STOP READING THIS POST NOW.

      I've sat through, and ignored Intel demos (because I already knew as much about Itanic^Hium as the salesdrone did) for some very cool blue-LED-illuminated pens. But at least I remembered the name of the company that gave 'em to me. Thanks, Intel!

      Things with lights are popular. I have a couple of yo-yos with spring-activated switches that turn on LEDs. I also have a couple of bouncing super-balls with embedded LEDs that flash. I have some flashing LED modules on my desk, removed from various buttons and stickers. Couldn't tell you the names of the companies I got 'em from if you paid me, though.

      My first-aid/emergency kit contains a few chemoluminiscent (aka glow-stick stuff ) sticker/patches from NVidia and XBox. These are great - they're about the size of the palm of your hand, stick to anything, and when activated, last for a good 4-6 hours. If there's a major disaster, they'll be able to find my body in the dark, and they'll know I was m4d g33k to the end.

      My most pleasant memory was laughing throughout a sales pitch for some Linux distro vendor whose name I forgot within minutes of the presentation. He had the largest crowd I've ever seen at a trade show. The crowd was large the pitch-man was peeling off $20s and $100s and throwing them into the crowd as part of his act. (Yes, this was before the Crash, why do you ask? :-)

      Other things that people will sit through demos for are stuffed penguins. One 2-foot-tall Tux can keep about 20 people glued to a chair in a stupor, eyes always on the hands of the pitch-man, for about 15 minutes in the hopes that said penguin will be thrown their way.

      Like I said, I'm a techie, not a marketer. If you're a marketer, there's a lesson to be learned here, namely "Geeks like cool swag, and we hope you marketing people stopped reading this post in the first paragraph, because the cooler your swag, the more likely it is that we're only feigning interest in your product to get our hands on it."

    • Too bad Mandrake is gone. Their best giveaway to me was a new Compaq notebook I won at LinuxWorld San Jose. :)

      They also gave my wife nice boxed software sets at every show....
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ... do you think its egotistical of me to push the fact that I'm going to linuxworld into the faces of my audience full of people not coming?
  • According to this link [], Microsoft is exhibiting the following products:
    This exhibitor is not currently assigned to any product categories.

    I can name a few categories in which to put MS products. If that can help.
  • by Wntrmute ( 18056 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @12:35PM (#5135852) Windows 2000? [] :-)
    • This is why (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Five Nines

      In the IT industry, server operating system reliability is expressed in terms of "nines." For example, 99.99 percent uptime is referred to as "four nines" and 99.999 percent uptime is referred to as "five nines." Regarded as the highest number realistically achievable, five nines equates to less than five minutes downtime per year.

      The developers who built the Windows 2000 Server Family targeted 24x7x365 uptime. In business terms, that's what five nines deliver. How did they do? Consider the following:

      * Today Starbucks, FreeMarkets, and MortgageRamp, an affiliate of GMAC Commercial Mortgage, are using Windows 2000 Server-based systems designed to deliver 99.999 percent server uptime.
      * Industry leaders such as Compaq Offsite Link , Dell Offsite Link , Hewlett-Packard Offsite Link , Motorola Computer Group Offsite Link , Unisys Offsite Link , and Stratus Offsite Link can work with you to deliver solutions with up to five nines uptime.

      Of course, not all business operations require this level of availability, but one thing is clear from the experiences of the companies above: The Windows 2000 Server family can help you get the system availability you need.

      And the three offerings in the family--Windows 2000 Server, Advanced Server, and Datacenter Server--allow you to tailor your investment to provide the level of system availability that's appropriate for your various business operations, without overbuying for situations that don't require maximum uptime.
      Building on "Outstanding" Availability Out of the Box

      For the majority of usage scenarios, 99.99 percent uptime is adequate, as this equals less than one hour of downtime per year. The Aberdeen Group found that Windows 2000 Servers delivered 99.95 percent uptime right out of the box, before the servers were fully optimized for the environment, and before the IT staff had gotten up to speed using the new operating system. Read the report to see why the Aberdeen Group calls this level of availability "outstanding."

      Microsoft treated that level as a baseline. To deliver the ultimate in business availability, the company realized that solutions need to include highly trained people and top-notch processes, in addition to solid technology. So Microsoft created the Datacenter Server Program, which can help you achieve 99.999 percent uptime with Windows 2000 Datacenter Server on qualified systems from Microsoft OEM partners. See the FreeMarkets case study for an example of the Datacenter Server Program.
      Analysts and Customers Agree

      In its report on Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, DH Brown Associates says, "Windows 2000 clearly takes a major step up in the enterprise food chain and now resides legitimately on the same field as UNIX competitors. Moreover, the business programs that Microsoft has put in place around Windows 2000 Datacenter Server will give broad classes of users the confidence to deploy higher-end applications on its platform."
      Technology: Built to Keep Running

      To support customer's needs for up to 99.999 percent business availability, Microsoft changed both the operating system and the way it was developed. First, the development team designed a development process geared to find and eliminate potential failures and operations that required rebooting the system. Then the development team analyzed nearly 1,200 servers running Windows NT Server 4.0. They learned that 65 percent of system reboots were due to planned outages for routine administrative tasks such as adding hardware and applications.

      Of the unplanned outages, 21 percent were caused by application failures, and 14 percent were due to system failures. More than half of the system failures were traced to device drivers, anti-virus software, and hardware failures. (Note: This finding supports industry studies that say as much as 80 percent of system failures can be traced to errors caused by people or flawed processes, an issue addressed in the People and Processes section below.)

      Among the culprits for systems failures: faulty driver software. So the developers conducted tests with anti-virus software and driver software developers. To prevent crashes in the future, independent software developers and hardware vendors can now test their code using the Windows 2000 Driver Verifier tool.

      To help keep systems up and running, Windows 2000 greatly reduces the number of maintenance tasks, such as installing hardware and software, that require rebooting the computer.

      Other reliability tools include a resource-partitioning feature that prevents application failures from forcing reboots, and an improved Task Manager that lets administrators kill entire process trees to completely shut down a "misbehaving" application.

      Lastly, to reduce the amount of time systems are offline, when a system fails or is taken down for maintenance, new boot options let administrators quickly restart the system.
      Increasing Levels of Availability

      Many organizations will use a Windows 2000-based server to run e-Commerce and customer relationship management solutions to take advantage of its extensive support for custom Web and application development. These applications can take advantage of the added reliability offered by Windows 2000 Advanced Server or Datacenter Server. These versions provide clustering and load-balancing technologies that allow multiple servers to handle the load of a single application. With clustering, if one server fails, another can assume the load so the application keeps running. Load balancing allows you to distribute network traffic across up to 32 servers to increase availability and performance.

      For the most demanding solutions, Windows 2000 Datacenter Server is designed for enterprises that need high-end, very reliable hardware and software for high-traffic networks and applications.

      Closing the Loop: People and Processes

      For Microsoft, much of the work to improve Windows reliability and availability went into improving the operating system software, both to reduce causes of failures and eliminate the need to take the system down for maintenance tasks. For customers, improving system availability starts with the new technology provided by the Windows 2000 Server Family of operating systems.

      To get the highest level of availability from any operating system, including Windows, requires an IT environment built around sound operating guidelines and staffed by well-trained employees. To help customers build such an environment, Microsoft and third parties offer a collection of training and support programs suitable for the full range of businesses, from small one-office companies to distributed global enterprises. These programs cover operations training, system support, and for best practices guidelines for system design, installation, and maintenance.
      How to get Started

      Windows 2000 Server introduces new levels of reliability and availability for all your business operations. You can obtain the system availability you need in a variety of ways, from simply upgrading your existing system to Windows 2000 Server, all the way through obtaining maximum system availability with Windows 2000 Datacenter Server. Here's how:

      * Learn about upgrading an existing server
      * Work with Microsoft Certified Partners Offsite Link specializing in reliable server solutions
      * Get Windows 2000 Server or Advanced Server on a new computer
      * Get maximum reliability with Windows 2000 Datacenter Server


      The Windows 2000 Server Family is the most reliable set of server operating systems Microsoft has ever produced. The improvements in Windows 2000 mean the systems you need to run your business will be available when you need them. Further, Windows 2000 Server, Advanced Server, and Datacenter Server provide increasing levels of system availability, to let the operating system readily support high-traffic Web sites, high-volume transaction processing, and many other demanding applications. Customers can choose from this line of products for their various operations, investing appropriately to achieve the level of system uptime they need for any given task.

      Beyond improvements to the operating system, Microsoft has developed training and support resources that help businesses optimize Windows systems and the environments in which they are used to ensure maximum uptime. To learn more about the improvements in the Windows 2000 Server Family and the resources for improved training and processes, see "Increasing System Reliability and Availability in Windows 2000."
      • My work machine is now running Win2000 SP2 in "you're not the administrator" mode (sigh...) In the past, I've used Win98SE, Win98, WinNT3.51, Win95, and Win3.1 on work machines, and also WinME at home. This is much, much more reliable than any of the previous MS machines; I don't think it's ever given me the BSOD, though it does hang once in a while requiring reboots. Part of this may be hardware related - it's a Toshiba laptop, and gets sleep-moded, plugged into different LANs, etc. several times a day, and occasionally it doesn't figure out which network it's connected to, requiring a reboot (or at least another sleep/wakeup), but it's not like the previous versions which would choke every 5-10 sleep/wakes, requiring at least one reboot or sometimes 2-3 (the older Toshiba would often wake up in 640x480 mode having failed to find the video drivers for the built-in hardware.)

        The last MS product I had which was this reliable was NT3.51 (and unfortunately, that was during the "NT is for servers, not desktops" days, so it didn't support laptop power management drivers, so a low-battery interrup would make it blue-screen instead of saving its state.)

        Back when I had Sun machines, the "uptime" command would usually tell me the amount of time since the last power failure, except when I was messing with hardware. On Linux, it usually tells me the length of time sinc e the last interesting software distribution came out, or the last time I booted the machine in Windows to run tax software, or the last time I messed with the hardware, except on the honeypot machines I used to run unprotected on DSL, which told me how long it had been since the machine got r00ted :-)

    • As it's been run on Linux, IRIX, NT and 2000 I'd guess it's because it's offloaded to a 3rd party, same as when the anti-unix campaign was running on a unix webserver.

      The whois contact is IDG World Expo, so it sounds like the running of the expo has been contracted out (which makes sense). But yes, a bit of a boo boo isn't it?

    • Funny how this wasn't +5 insightful when I posted it as a story back in November.

      2002-11-15 22:39:04 LinuxWorld Site Runs IIS (articles,linux) (rejected)

      Damn you Taco!
  • by rootmon ( 203439 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @12:37PM (#5135870)
    I know it's been the dream of GNU/Linux enthusiasts for years: to replace Windows on client PCs. Thus far, Microsoft's hold on OEMs hasn't been broken in the desktop PC market, though there are some encouraging signs like Walmart's $199 Microtel GNU/Linux PCs and LTSP spreading in schools. My question is this: do you think GNU/Linux will really succeed in spreading out from the server room to win a significant share of the desktop client market? If so, when and how do you think this will happen? (Such as HP/Compaq, Dell, Gateway, IBM, etc all pushing GNU/Linux PCs with Open Office to businesses, or thin client computing like LTSP gaining popularity, etc.)
  • by secondsun ( 195377 ) <> on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @12:38PM (#5135887) Journal
    Which will come first, Duke Nukem Forever or KDE 3.1?
  • by FreshGroundPepper ( 70119 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @12:48PM (#5135963)
    Dear Linux Administrator,

    I'm a divorced mother of seven trying to put my life put back together after the death of my fourth husband. My kids still blame me for his death (it wasn't my fault, honest!), and I'm having a tough time meeting new people. What should I do?

    --Sleepless in Sarasota

    • Dear Linux Administrator,

      I'm a divorced mother of seven trying to put my life put back together after the death of my fourth husband. My kids still blame me for his death (it wasn't my fault, honest!), and I'm having a tough time meeting new people. What should I do?

      -Sleepless in Sarasota

      Dear Sleepless in Sarasota,

      Since uugetty is part of getty_ps you'll first have to install getty_ps. If you don't have it, get the latest version from In particular, if you want to use high speeds (57600 and 115200 bps), you must get version 2.0.7j or later. You must also have libc 5.x or greater.

      By default, getty_ps will be configured to be Linux FSSTND (File System Standard) compliant, which means that the binaries will be in /sbin, and the config files will be named /etc/conf.{uu}getty.ttySN. This is not apparent from the documentation! It will also expect lock files to go in /var/lock. Make sure you have the /var/lock directory.

      If you don't want FSSTND compliance, binaries will go in /etc, config files will go in /etc/default/{uu}getty.ttySN, and lock files will go in /usr/spool/uucp. I recommend doing things this way if you are using UUCP, because UUCP will have problems if you move the lock files to where it isn't looking for them.

      getty_ps can also use syslogd to log messages. See the man pages for syslogd(1) and syslog.conf(5) for setting up syslogd, if you don't have it running already. Messages are logged with priority LOG_AUTH, errors use LOG_ERR, and debugging uses LOG_DEBUG. If you don't want to use syslogd you can edit tune.h in the getty_ps source files to use a log file for messages instead, namely /var/adm/getty.log by default.

      Decide on if you want FSSTND compliance and syslog capability. You can also choose a combination of the two. Edit the Makefile, tune.h and config.h to reflect your decisions. Then compile and install according to the instructions included with the package.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @12:49PM (#5135969)
    Vi or Emacs?
    • The question was: "Vi or Emacs". The answer is: "yes!"

      OTOH, when the question is: "sh or csh", the answer is, "csh and all its derivatives are the spawn of Satan and should be banned from all right-thinking communities." :)
    • I think the funniest thing that happened to me was that I went to the FSF booth, and was poking around at the GNU Emacs manual they were offering. I asked the guy behind the table if it was the same as the online documentation. Of course, I should have known better...

      "Well, I don't know because I don't think I've used GNU Emacs in a long time. I stopped using it when the binary got to be larger than 10 megabytes. I don't use editors that are that size. I don't think I've compiled GNU Emacs in 10 years. The version I have on my computer is a decade old...blah blah blah"

      Ask a simple question...

      Anyways, I found it especially amusing considering that it was coming from the GNU guy himself.

  • How do you like my tux?
  • Hopefully, I'll have time to type up the answers over the weekend and post them Monday or Tuesday.

    Subject: You talk, it types..

  • To (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alkini ( 96159 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @12:56PM (#5136031) Homepage
    To [] (booth #9): What is it like to be a small organization at a big convention with people like HP, Microsoft, Red Hat, etc? Do people give you any credit for what you are doing?
  • by sterno ( 16320 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @12:59PM (#5136064) Homepage
    Do they read Slashdot? If so, why do they think there is such a strong anti-microsoft sentiment on Slashdot? What do they think Microsoft can do to change that sentiment?

    You know, a nice easy question for them to handle :)
    • From the Microsoft folks:

      1) Why would we some cheesy meta-blog?

      2) Who gives a squirmy shit what a bunch of trolls think?

      3) I dunno, string up michael?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Given that the level of discussion in the anti-MS topics would indicate that most of the participants are circa sophomore year in high school, does anyone at MS care about the anti-MS sentiment on Slashdot?

      I mean, does anyone seriously think that the proud owners of all the anti-MS vitriol here is a decision maker at his company?
    • Read this: Windows Exec Doug Miller Responds []

      "The second thing that would need to happen is Linux users would need to be willing to buy our products if we ported them. Today, there is an almost violent dislike for anything Microsoft in the Linux community - just look at some of the postings on slashdot! My sense is that a lot of people would not buy our products if they were available. But in some ways I think this really goes beyond Microsoft. We have spoken to a lot of Linux users and one of the things that they like is that they can get free Open Source applications on top of their free Open Source OS. I have yet to see any company using the traditional commercial software model become hugely successful selling their products into the Linux market. Take Corel for example. Their Linux product and the suite of applications they sold along side their Linux OS were really quite impressive. Despite this, they did not seem to end up selling very much.

      I'd say that just about answers all three. They do read slashdot. They think Linux users get their anti-microsoft attitude because Linux users don't want to pay for software. They don't really care about changing Linux users' sentiment because there's not much Microsoft could/would do to make them happy. And not a question that you asked, but ... "Why change slashdot-readers' sentiment?" could be answered from that quote by saying "We don't really give a damn, they're not going to products no matter what we do, all the companies that they do "support" are going bankrupt." So if you really want Microsoft to care what slashdot readers think, think "What business model could the OSS community support that would get Microsoft to open up their code/standards/api's." They're not closed-source zealots. Microsoft is just greedy.
  • by MyGirlFriendsBroken ( 599031 ) <> on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @01:00PM (#5136067) Homepage Journal

    Is Mac OS X a big enough competitor (for want of a better word) to the Linux server/desktop market to warrent porting products over to either OS X or to Darwin?

    This is with focus on the server side.

    • OS X is not competition in the real server market. Look at the sales figures of the XServe (6,000 units last quarter, I believe).

      Desktop market, you better believe it. 5,000,000 machines are believed to be using OS X right now.
  • by BACbKA ( 534028 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @01:05PM (#5136120) Homepage Journal

    The Dell's online computer purchases, in the "educational" section, only offer Windows as the O.S. [Last verified - about a month ago, when my friend from an American university whose IT dept prefers Dell computers to purchase from the scientific research grants money asked me to help him select his future computer config.]

    Neither the "no-OS-gimme-refund" or a prepackaged Linux option is available. How does this coincide with the present Dell attempts to position itself as a friend of Linux?

  • Bowling for junk (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ilan Volow ( 539597 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @01:12PM (#5136156) Homepage
    What's the craziest thing a person has ever done to get schwag?
    • by zsmooth ( 12005 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @01:50PM (#5136446)
      I got shot with a taser at CES this month to get a t-shirt. That's right, 50k volts. Hurt like hell. Was it worth a t-shirt? No. Was it worth saying I got shot with a taser? Definitely.
    • The craziest thing I ever did for something was to look at the list of winners and as the conference was closing down, I quickly went and registered a name tag with one of the peoples name's who had won yet had not claimed their prize and claim the gear in their place. I got a free Palm III ( new at the time ) that way. :-)
  • by north.coaster ( 136450 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @01:13PM (#5136163) Homepage

    Are there any plans to offer software specifically targetted towards grade school age children? Seems like there may be an untapped market here.

  • What was your biggest pleasant surprise of the show, if any

    Conversly, what was your biggest let down of the shown, if any.

  • by cdc179 ( 561916 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @01:18PM (#5136205)
    To IBM:

    Currently there are lots of IBM commercials regarding Linux. At home all I use is Linux and am far more productive, yet at work(IBM) am forced to use winblows. When are you going to start embracing using technologies that your costomers and workers can use. Instead of having web broadcase in Windows median, switch to another format. This goes to all of the documents and programs being used. Why have a coorprate license for Office XP when we can use

    Currently this aspect is forcing your customers to use windows. With this attitude you will never gain any ground in the Desktop world. There is plenty to gain and somebody in bigblue needs to wake up.
    • Why would you ask this question at a Trade Show, to a bunch of Marketing Guys and Booth Babes? To embarrass them?

      If you work at IBM, and you have a problem with their polices, be it the OS you use or the lack of sufficient toilet paper in the mens' room, take it up with your supervisors and such. If this means something to you, really means something, show some gumption and initiative and DO something about it.

      Don't come on some web-board airing your dirty laundry and encourage total strangers to make fools of your reps at a big trade show. That's the kind of behavior that is liable to put you in a position to realize how well you (formerly) had it at IBM, real quickly.

      With this attitude you will never gain any ground in the Desktop world.

      I was unaware that IBM, shy of their limited OS/2 initiatives, were looking to enter the "Desktop world." If anything, you should be using OS/2 on your desktop, no? I understand that IBM is all about Linux on the server, but what does that have to do with what word processor the secreteries are using?

  • To Macrovision Corp. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by josh crawley ( 537561 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @01:18PM (#5136207)
    To Macrovision Corp. (booth R10)

    As I understand, your main stakes are in the encoding of ntsc and pal video signals as to make them uncopyable in receiving hardware (correct me if I'm incorrect).

    As that stated, why are you involved with Linux?
    Are you contributing to the video section (V4L) of the Linux kernel or making user-land utilities?
    In general, what are your open business plans with Linux?
  • by FreeLinux ( 555387 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @01:27PM (#5136281)
    Microsoft has adjusted their rehtoric against Linux, again, and says they will now be pushing the integration advantages of Windows over Linux. This, in my opinion, does have some merit as, management of a Microsoft network is highly integrate from groupware and databases to desktop workstations. The Linux environment however, is composed of individual projects with little or no integration which forces Linux management to be performed through kludges and custom scripts.

    Indeed, the most popular and perhaps best, integrated management system for the Linux environment appears to be Webmin which, though very good, is forced to be a kludge and still falls short of a truely integrated enterprise Linux management system. While Red Hat offers RHN and SCO offers Volution Manager neither one truely integrates the overall management of a Linux shop.

    Are you, the leading commercial Linux vendors targeting the enterprise market, planning on making any efforts to integrate Linux management on an enterprise level such as Microsoft and Novell already do? If so, what are these efforts and how will they be licensed?
  • Since the visibility of a OS in the offices of the members of the board is key to its acceptance within the company, do you think that developing and promoting a desktop Linux, easy enough so that even CEO's can use it, should be a priority for the Linux community, and should getting CEO's to try a fully developed Linux desktop environment also be part of that priority?
  • #1. Is Novell there at all?

    #2. Will RedHat migrate the blue curve theme to the next version of advanced server?


  • Dear HP (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Do you have plans in the near or distant future of releasing either hardware specifications, or open source drivers for your entire line of computer perhipherals so Linux can compete on par with Microsoft at the desktop?
  • by fobbman ( 131816 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @02:07PM (#5136561) Homepage
    Okay, we've got Rob promising to ask the ten highest-moderated questions. Why don't we have him look for booth babes and ask if he can get the source to their hearts or maybe even walk up to various vendors and ask if his butt would look good in pleather?

  • by j1mmy ( 43634 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @02:10PM (#5136592) Journal
    be sure to take a camera.
  • by lobsterGun ( 415085 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @02:16PM (#5136645)
    Just look that marketer in the eye, give them a little wink and ask, "So, do you want to go back to my room and get a litle...frisky?" (Try to roll the 'r' in frisky when you say it.) Ideally you would ask this question to several marketers under different conditions: wearing nice clothes, looking kind of dumpy, wearing cologne, wearing overpowering cologne, etc.

    Try to get a good sample of linux marketers.

    Kudos will be awarded for propositioning Linus.

  • Take a poll. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EdlinUser ( 50699 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @02:16PM (#5136646)
    "What operating system do you use on your home computer?"
  • IMB's new PDA design (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gregfortune ( 313889 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @02:34PM (#5136792)
    Please try to get your hands on information regarding the new PDA reference design just mentioned on slashdot...

    In particular,
    • What does that "developer sled" look like?
    • Will something like a "docking station" be available for general consumers that includes the same kinds of features (USB, PCMCIA, etc..)?
    • How well does the voice recognition perform in the typical enviroments of a PDA with what I assume is less than ideal microphone hardware?
    • What kind of price is expected?

    Looks like we'll finally get some solid competition for the Sharp Zaurus :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is two related questions for IBM:

    Why is IBM continuing to promote AIX 5"L" has being a "superset" of Linux when it is missing several things that come standard with most Linux distributions (/dev/random, Pluggable Authentication Modules, ipchains/iptables host firewalling, VFS API for file system kernel modules, etc)?

    When will IBM help promote the use of Linux PPC on the RS/6000 instead (make TSM backup client available, make the programming specs for SSA drivers available, etc)?
  • by stecker ( 263711 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @03:14PM (#5137150) Homepage
    No, I don't want the crappy "relaxing ball". I want the t-shirts that i KNOW you have under the counter. No, I don't want to have a discussion with you about my enterprise needs. I just need a t-shirt. Don't make me come back there and get it.
  • by ubiquitin ( 28396 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @03:47PM (#5137410) Homepage Journal
    If the file formats in the next release of Microsoft Office are not backwards compatible (i.e. incompatibilities with .doc, .xls, .ppt and MSExchange connectivity), and Linux office software was enough to get the job done, do you think that there could be a mass-migration to Linux on the corporate desktop? If not, why not?
    • If not, why not?

      Because the next version of MS Office will be backwards compatible with the old document formats. MS keeps its control over the desktop market through its control of proprietary desktop standards: document formats, multimedia codecs, application programming interfaces, etc... They'll introduce XDocs support, but they won't remove support for legacy file formats.
  • Magic wand question (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @03:48PM (#5137435)
    Be completely honest: If you could wave a magic wand and change any one thing about Linux or the Linux community, what would it be?

    I've found that if you can get people to answer honestly, you get some very interesting replies to this one from Linux hardware and software vendors.

  • by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @03:53PM (#5137486)
    To Redhat: I noticed that last quarter you pulled in an income for the first time ever. A whopping $214,000. Does this mean that everybody in the company gets, say, a $10 gift certificate for McDonald's? If not, then how do you guys expect to spend these massive earnings? Maybe on the staggering interest payments on the $16 million in debt, the $14 million in payables, or any of your other long term debt? Hopefully, are you planning to spend it better than you did on the incredibly productive "Red Hat over Redmond" mountain climb [], on which, I'm sure, much "synergy" was created?

    Oh yeah, and thanks for the free software. Good luck on that whole "profit" thing!
  • Are you hiring?

  • by mao che minh ( 611166 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @05:03PM (#5138183) Journal
    Do you plan on making software that will help kids who can't read good and want to learn to do other things well?
  • by defile ( 1059 ) on Wednesday January 22, 2003 @05:44PM (#5138501) Homepage Journal
    And ask them what they think about this?


    ## haX0red Intel C/C++ Compiler
    ## This simple shell script will h4x0r the icc compiler so that
    ## it skips the check for a valid license file. I was inspired
    ## to do this because of the asshole Intel engineer at
    ## LinuxWorld 2002 who did everything he could to dodge
    ## my questions about Intel's compiler and other general rudeness.
    ## I developed this hack against this version:
    ## Intel(R) C++ Compiler for 32-bit applications, Version 5.0.1 Build 010730D0
    ## Copyright (C) 1985-2001 Intel Corporation. All rights reserved.
    ## Usage:
    ## Install the Intel C compiler. Don't download a license!
    ## Make sure to import all of the variables that the compiler
    ## needs to function (it won't work with vanilla include/libraries)
    ## Enjoy!

    echo 'break *0x8056451' > /tmp/icc.hack.
    echo "run $*" >> /tmp/icc.hack.
    echo 'jump *0x80567d0' >> /tmp/icc.hack.

    gdb -batch -x /tmp/icc.hack. icc
    rm /tmp/icc.hack.
  • Not to forget, this week Perth is hosting This is not some backwater event, nor is it a commercial event. It is a serious linux development conference, one of the few left. There are a total of two vendor stands, and one is from a local bookshop and one from a local software company looking for employees. There are three threads of lectures, and registered people are free to go to any of them.. and 6 lectures per thread per day.

    In attendance to LCA and giving talks are: Alan Cox, Andrew Tridgell (Samba), Rasmus Lerdorf (PHP), Hemos (Slashdot), Bdale Garbe (Debian), Adrian Chadd (Squid), Paul Rusty Russell (Kernel/ipchains), and attending the conference and occasionally dressing up as a penguin is Linus Torvalds..

    Hmm ok, so my question to vendors or speakers is.. don't you wish you were here instead? :)
  • When will the various Linux distributers (RH, SuSE, Oracle?, etc) pitch in to get it Common Criteria certified, so I can use it in the DOD? I am sick of having to get waivers and justify non Windows software within the DOD. On requirements that require 64-bit computing such as Oracle, I can justify Sun systems, but for smaller needs I am fighting a hard battle due to no (granted lab environment) CC ratings on Linux.

  • I was at the convention yesterday (and saw CmdrTaco talking to the Ximian guy), but there was a question that I think needs to be asked. I don't remember what booth it was, but it was right next to the Gentoo Linux booth: What was the point of the guy playing a "Dance Dance Revolution"-type game? I don't think anybody there was staying away from Linux until they could play DDR on it.

    And Taco, I hope the Ximian guy convinced you that they should get the award. Those VFolders are spectacular, the furniture in their booth was fun (looked like a jungle set for a kid's show), and Rupert the Ximian monkey was probably the most-coveted swag (except RedHat's red hats)!
  • This is a driver/support question.

    I want to buy HP's new Legacy Free Tablet and run linux on it for an industrial application.

    This tablet uses a digitizer that is similar to one that has a linux driver however the interface to the digitizer ( ie active pen. Now this driver requires a Serial interface. But on Legacy Free PCs there is no traditional serial interface.

    Does HP have any interest in supporting Linux on this device? Why not?

    I am currently using Fujitsu LT-P600s running Gentoo.
  • RPM Hell (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kinnell ( 607819 )
    When are Redhat et al going to acknowledge that rpm is an abissmal package management system, and adopt/support something better, like apt or portage for example?

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.