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Interview on open source and Linux with Novell, Perens October 15, 2004

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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This is an Interview with Bruce Perens and Adam Loughgran about Linux and the state of Linux and where do they see it going. This interview was done through Think Tech Radio in Hawaii. Good show, but it was more dedicated to Linux advocacy than anything else and the topic “discussing the economic benefits of using open source software” was rarely discussed. I decided to listen to the next show which was with a guy called Scott Belford who is in charge of a organization that recycles used computers and installs Linux and sets up labs in Hawaii. Nice idea, but this guy is a serious Linux zealot, no problem with that but he is an advocate for No Child Left behind. One point he brought up was that he says its “criminal to make people beholden to a monopoly.” Yet that is exactly what you are doing with Linux. If you just teach one platform, you are making that person beholden to one technology. Well Scott, in my area Dell struck a deal with the local school system where they gave them the systems, the Lab was set up with brand new Dell computers and Windows XP, you know what the school paid? They paid for a service contract that was the equivalent of 5 comparable systems. Computer manufacturers are keeping up with the demand. With Linux granted the distribution typically comes with a lot of the applications that a user could want, now what happens when security exploits are discovered in those programs or the Linux kernel in itself. Typical users dont know how to recompile their kernels or these programs, they have two options. Go through the painstaking tasks themselves or hire a Linux expert who knows what they are doing and if you get the code from HP for the specific reasons of indemnification they have to approve it first. Now, Another point that he brought up is that Linux is cheaper and that it is of economic value to schools and of course you dont have problems with Spyware, viruses and Malware. But with Linux when you have to buy insurance to make sure you dont get sued its not cheaper. You have to hire admins or find a reliable 14 yr old to do it. That is a task in itself, because admins are not cheap. I just dont get the Linux crowd sometimes because they like Microsoft have one agenda in mind, they want to lock customers into their way of thinking and into their platform. Sure customers can change distributions but they are locked into one set of tools. the way I see it, let the better technlogy win.

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