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Rant Mode Equals One: Playing With My Linux Toys

Mar 22, 2001, 08:58 (91 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Ferris)

By Paul Ferris

Ah, the river of FUD out of Redmond Washington continues. Don't they believe their own words of wisdom in regards to GNU/Linux and the application of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt? Don't they realize that traditional FUD tactics won't work against Linux?

Paul checks the clue meter -- nope, it's still reading zero.

It seems that Microsoft has gotten a wild hair jammed in a hard to describe, but easily identified register somewhere up there in the Redmond Turing machine. Or maybe they're just mad at IBM for dumping a billion or so dollars into Linux.

I think they want IBM to toe the party line. Maybe Microsoft should raise the price of Windows for IBM, until they do. Not that they would stoop to such drastic measures (cough). Possibly this is the heated competitive thing that Bill Gates is always referencing. You know, the thing we haven't seen in ages, because Microsoft can't really stand to have it?

No, the problem is that besides being crummy, Linux is now a "Toy" operating system to boot (Pun intended).

Interesting. I've been playing with this toy for quite some time now, so let me expand upon some of the cute little things it can do for zero to a few bucks that you'd have to pay through the nose to do (or couldn't do) with a Microsoft operating system.

Oh, and let's not forget, the things I'm about to go over on this list, they use practically the same code base. Yes, that crummy toy Linux is slightly fragmented, but it's nothing compared to the fragmented mess that (to borrow the acronym from one of our talkback posters) Windows CE/ME/NT has become.

That Linux thing, you know, the toy one? It's running on IBM mainframes now. You can even run several versions at once if you so desire. Not bad for a plaything, eh? Don't forget that Microsoft Windows 2000 doesn't -- or any other versions of serious Microsoft operating systems, for that matter.

And Cray supercomputers too. You know, those playful, sometimes liquid-nitrogen cooled super-computing devices that your kids play with in the basement? Well, Linux the toy will run there too.

Toy Linux also runs some beowolf clusters and supercomputers -- I'm sure it's all just for the fun of it. Prolly simulations of "kick the can" or some other childish game. You know how those crazy fun-loving theoretical physicist are.

Oh, and on server hardware, recent benchmarks show toy Linux running a web server called Tux kicking the pageezus out of Windows 2000 for web serving. Good thing it's only a toy -- it'd be a shame if someone was making a product that was free and faster than anything the serious people at Microsoft were selling, eh?

Toy Linux is taking over the embedded market too. It seems that for handheld devices and embedded applications, playthings are all the rage at the moment.

Linux now comes with truly open 3D graphics API's, journaling file systems, multiprocessor support and tons of developer tools. Thank goodness that nice Steve Ballmer from Microsoft came along and enlightened me. I see the light now -- these things are only part of Linux to help developers write games.

Oh, and let's not forget that this toy operating system, even under extreme load, is known for it's stability. I guess all along, if you wanted serious instability, say the kind of crashing that leaves stack dumps and blue screens of death, you have to pay through the nose for it from our buddies in Redmond.

Yeah, that's the ticket -- all along, when your company LAN appeared to be hooked to a Disco light somewhere, it was a feature that Ballmer and Company were selling to the masses as serious innovation.

Come forth and buy your serious system crashes!


Wait! I'm getting something on the virtual crystal ball now: In the future, Microsoft will even be licensing these. Imagine the revenue potential for selling SCL's -- Server Crash Licenses! Now that would be a real Microsoft innovation. Oh wait, I invented that. Gosh, I hope they cut me in on the revenue stream there.

On second thought, I don't need the cash. I already have all the best toys that money can -- or can't, for that matter -- buy.

Damned straight Linux is a toy, and all the best innovators are running like a kid out of school, yanking open that toybox to see what's inside and what they can do with it.
-- Scott Courtney
Paul Ferris is the Director of Technology for the Linux and Open Source Channel at internet.com, and has been covering Linux and Open Source news for over 2 years. He is an editor for Linux Today.