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HP & Linux: Wall Street Journal 22

Jim Hill wrote to us about the Puffin Group & Hewlett-Packard, a popular story today being on both MSNBC and in the public section of the Wall Street Journal. It's an interesting business case story for Linux and major corporations-send this out to your bosses to show them it can be done. And if anyone has a HP icon, send it my way. Update: 03/18 02:36 by J : For interested parties, the Puffin Group website.
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HP & Linux: Wall Street Journal

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  • Absolutely no capital changes hands between the 2 Canadians and HP, buy the WSJ calls it a new brand of capitalism??

    Perhaps a new way of doing business, or a new brand of philanthropy...

    As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.
  • I like how the story is written. There are minor mistakes, but in overall a good job. :)
  • Why is it that every time I try to go to an MSNBC story, I keep getting bounced back and forth between www.msnbc.com and msid.msnbc.com, and no page every loads? Does anybody else have this problem?
  • There is something I don't quite understand. Those guys are working for free? Why?

    I have the feeling that is bad for the community as a whole. It kinda sends the wrong message to big-buck companies: "you want linux development? just get a bunch of utopists to do it for you for free!"

    Knowing how managers think (i.e. in terms of schedules, MS Project, and resources), I don't think this is a good message to them: those guys are good in pushing the limits of the system to their advantage...

    Maybe I am wrong...


  • I think it comes down to the fact that TPG were going
    to do the port anyways--before HP stepped in. Not only
    have they made the job much easier, but the publicity
    is worth quite a lot as well; having the name out there
    makes it easier to attract real paying contracts. Furthermore,
    when HP desires more specialized drivers or support for
    work done, who better to turn to than those who did the
    port? I think the more specialized hacks are where the
    money is to be made.
  • While no cash may have changed hands, the article makes it clear that H-P is supplying hardware. IRS accounting rules aside, that looks like a capital investment to me.
  • So what's to complain about ?
    1) it's factually accurate
    2) the reporter clearly got the message that HP intends to **support** the Linux community instead of **acquire** it
    3) it yet again proves the ./ effect

  • "Mr. deVries flipped through the pages of his scheduler..."

    Forget the PA-RISC machines, HP needs to ship these guys some Pilots!

  • With projects like this continuing to rise up, the capability of Linux-Everywhere is going to make Microsofts "Windows-Everywhere" capabilities look pretty faint.
  • WSJ: New brand of capitalism: Communism! Absolutely no capital changes hands between the 2 Canadians and HP, buy the WSJ calls it a new brand of capitalism??

    Where does this communism come from? This is about taking control of your own operating system, not about being under control of some government. To many people, this is a hobby. I have a full time job that pays twice the average family income and yet I choose Linux. Does this make me a communist?

    If Microsoft dictates how I should use an operating system, I might call that communism. Calling someone a commie, redneck, etc, is just namecalling and silly.

    I see people who work on Linux on free time as a way to increase skills without having to sacrifice another stint in college.
  • Communism is a form of government where the government tells everyone what job they have and what they do with their lives. Linux is more like socialism, if not tribalism. Of course, it's really none of the above, according to traditional political theory. If Microsoft simply eliminated competition (if? I mean, "like when") it's a monopoly. If the government eliminated the competition for them, it would be a government-mandated monopoly (see: Every country's telcos but ours.) Linux is really more like a big club of people who work on the same project all the time.

    I think the only meaningful use of the term communism these days is a less-insulting version of calling someone a nazi. Like "what are you, a commie?"

  • I put together a document at work for the benefit of my co-workers, showing them pictures and thumbnail biographies of my role models, Alan Cox included. Except for Linus & Don Knuth, they all have facial hair. It did a lot to explain the magnitude of my beard to my co-workers.
  • Actually, it's been too long since government class, but I think that if communism is an apple, then capitalism is an orange. That would make republicanism and
    democracy apples and would make socialism an orange. I could be wrong (always a likely option). But the point I'd like to make is that there is something important about the economics of this thing. Even if you think about it in reference to a model of supply and demand, you can move into some interesting fields of thought.

    Demand for Linux has been expressed in the fact that our market share grew like 212% in 1998. It is also expressed in all of these reports about Dell and Compaq customers "demanding" Linux stuff. And in this WSJ article, we see demand expressed in the standing ovation that was received at the announcement that HP would "sharply expand" support for Linux--and these (according to the article) were HP's big clients! That's demand!

    As far as supply goes...well I don't know how it goes. The cost of the stuff could be free, or it could cost lots, depending on the value added by a given distributor and whatever people are willing to pay for the added support. According to many Econ texts, increasing technology increases supply curves, which may change the price of whatever it is that we're drawing these curves for, depending on what happens with demand and lots of other things (I realize that this part is ambiguous). With Linux, people can supply even more for even less cost. And with demand going through the roof (or as it _appears_ to be going through the roof), there has to be some kind of economic ramifications for the software industry. This may affect the way the IT industry makes its money. And that is at least worthy of appearing in WSJ, even though the author of this article doesn't appear to take that approach.

    So a change in capitalism? I don't know about that. But an economic impact of some sort? I'd say definitely, without a doubt, and in a big way!
    And that has got to make somebody out there re-think something--an ideal motivated community is majorly impacting the economics of the whole industry. It seems there's something rather weighty about that!

    There's no place anywhere near this place that's anything like this place, so this must be the place.
  • What is this secret IRC site that he made references to?
  • You mean like the switch to a gift economy? The fact that software is a "product" that you can duplicate for just about nothing (an increasingly less expensive amount of CPU time and storage) is seen by some (me) as the model for a new economy where what you know, what you can dream up, is what makes you rich or poor. A lot of things seem to support this: the free software movement for one, the increase in independent films, and the move to music distribution by mp3 rather than by CD. I think Neal Stephenson had a good grasp of it when he wrote the Diamond Age, even if that was about nanotechnology.

  • I don't know about "gift economy," but I'll go along with the idea that this "product" that would be the resource of the new IT economy (that I'm basically dreaming up) would be intagible and would be basically human--the ideas--the intellectual manpower. If software is free and nobody can make significant profits from fallen prices in the hardware market, perhaps the support, the information, the idea, the motivation, the application, the endeavor--these would be the profitable things. The irony of that argument would be that while lots of people (mainly ones that don't know anything) say that computers will take over the world (Saturday Night Live's commerical for "Robot Insurance for the Elderly"),
    this new economy would emphasis the value of the
    human asset. And not just the manpower (like assembly line stuff), but motivated, intuitive,
    innovative brain-power. Now wouldn't that be
    interesting. Hey, if that makes guys like us rich, bring it on!

    There's no place anywhere near this place that's anything like this place, so this must be the place.

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -- Ambrose Bierce