Linux Today Passes Its 30,000th Story
Nov 20, 2000, 13:46 (24 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Ferris)
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By Paul Ferris,
Well, it's been an interesting couple of years (almost). A lot
has happened in the time since I started having my stories linked
here, started having my stories posted here, started running the
site, rewrote the site, and finally started re-writing the
I can remember when we passed 10,000 stories. What a ride this
All of this news flying by at exponentially increasing speeds
got me thinking that it might be a good time to look back a bit,
look at LT present, and possibly speculate wildly about LT future.
The ghosts of LT past, present and future, in other words, would
have their say here.
Being the kind of non-linear thinking guy that I am (some might
use the words eccentric, but I've always felt kind of limited by
that phrase) I've decided to go with the present first.
At 30K, What is Linux Today?
That's a broad question, and I aim to condense it down to
manageable sound bytes. Most of you have already formed an opinion
of just what Linux Today is, so you don't need the following list
to help you. Still, you might find the differing viewpoints
- Linux Today is The news source for Linux
(our marketing department)
- Linux Today is a community-focused Linux news site, with up to
the minute Linux news.
(our reader's view, mostly)
- Linux Today is Linux news on Internet time.
(my favorite slogan)
- Linux Today is Lou Grinzo, Michael Hall, Marty Pitts, Brian
Proffit, Kevin Reichard, John Wolley, and finally, God forbid, Paul
(according to human resources)
- Linux Today is a web site running on Apache, PHP, and MySQL
with a fairly stock (but pretty stripped down) Linux kernel.
(according to the software enthusiasts in the audience).
- Linux Today is a pair of HP NetServer LRs, running half a gig
of RAM each, 36 Gigabytes of striped SCSI (RAID Level 1 -- MegaRAID
controllers), Dual Pentium III's and Twin 100BaseT Ethernet
(according to the hardware enthusiasts in the audience).
- Linux Today is a place to go for excitement about Linux.
(if you're a linux fanatic)
- Linux Today is a place to go for real bummers.
(if you're a Microsoft fanatic)
- Linux Today is a place where you can find just about any Linux
news and history going back about 2 1/2 years.
(if you're just into Linux news from a historical
As you can see, what Linux Today is depends on how you're looking
at it. I personally have found it to be a great place to hang out.
The people who come here are into my favorite hobby, work specialty
or obsession -- Linux. (Hence the name the site goes by...).
It's been such a wild ride that at times I couldn't keep up with
it all -- there was simply too much going on. As a matter of fact,
the filtering improvements (if I may call them that) were
implemented because I was having a lot of trouble wading through it
And so here we are at 30,000+ stories. What other statistics?
How about close to 100,000 talkbacks submitted? Yes, that's the
right number. Literally a staggering amount, when you consider that
just 3 or 4 people at a time, daily (usually one or two of us at a
time) are monitoring the talkback queue. A total of about 5 or 6
people overall have been responsible for reading and posting every
talkback. We do read most of them too, which is a staggering
accomplishment in itself.
I've written almost 100 stories. Hit the "Other Stories by Paul
Ferris" link if you want proof. That's a lot of keystrokes in and
of itself. My stories alone have generated over 1500 talkbacks and
over 400,000 reads. That's a lot of wind, no matter how you slice
Linux Today has a readership that spans 158 different countries.
It is not an entity under our control. Actually, control is an
illusion (as anybody here who has had children can sympathize with)
-- if anything, we're controlled by our readership and the climate
of the current Linux industry and communities.
We try to find the best stories and if no one out there is going
to say it, or find it -- we'll say it and find it. It's happened a
lot by submission via the contrib que on Linux Today, but it's also
happened to a great extent as well by people like Michael Hall,
Marty Pitts, Kevin Reichard, John Wolley, and even sometimes quite
by accident when I'm involved.
The Ghost of Linux Today Past....
I've tried to keep it running at all times, but there was a
point in April of 2000 where the load on the site lead to the
demise of a SCSI disk drive in our servers (at the time located at
hex.net in Dallas Texas). The site was up during each time, and
required a total of 2 reboots -- the first one we chalked up to a
hardware glitch. The second one caused me to move the site to
Newark (it was scheduled anyway). The crazy part was that the old
servers died again, but the web server would still answer requests
up to one full month afterward -- even though secure shell and a
host of other services were out to lunch permanently, and the disk
drive was completely off-line.
Linux Today has been a place where news is created. Sometimes
readers suggest ideas and contribute them as stories. Sometimes we
do our own crazy things, like the time we made fun of a poll on
MSNBC, for example.
Linux Today was the place that Mindcraft decided to respond to
in regards to the coverage of (and disatisfaction with) their
extremely suspect "benchmark" results.
Richard Stallman has placed quite a lot of stories on Linux
Today. He has been responsible for just over 400,000 page views,
and just under 1400 talkbacks at the time of this writing. They may
seems like a similar numbers to mine, until you realize that he did
it in 29 stories.
And this is as it should be -- this is, after all, the guy that
started it all. Thanks Richard. Please accept my humble apologies
for not calling the site "Gnu/Linuxtoday.com". The running gag here
is that I tried to rename it to that one day, but somebody else had
already registered the "gnu" top level domain so I was SOL...
The Ghost of Linux Today Future....
I'm supposed to cower in fear at this point, and say something
like: "Of all the ghosts, this is the one I fear the most!", but
the fact is that I have a lot of confidence that Linux will be a
growing phenomena. I've had that confidence for years, as a matter
of fact. It's been an annoying thing for some of my friends who've
just laughed when I suggested that things like this were going to
Well, here we are. We're at a place where most of us hoped we'd
be, and almost everyone else didn't think was even possible. Linux
continues to grow like wildfire, and we're going to be here
covering it as it steamrollers its way into markets that emerge and
gradually takes root in markets that exist.
There will be laughter, and I'm sure some tears. But without
some pain, it's not a challenge right?
Linux Today is another thing altogether. In case you haven't
figured it out by now -- it's a joy to me. It's a place I'm more
than proud to hang out at, more than proud to be assiciated with.
The fact that a lot of you come and contribute to it on a daily
basis amazes me. I can't think of anyplace else I'd rather be.
Well, maybe a wireless modem on the beach in Hawaii. With my
wife at my side, and a couple of umbrella drinks. Maybe a couple of
Fosters to back those up.
But other than that, this is the best place to be. Happy 30K
Oh, and add a Sony Vaio, too.
But, honestly, other than the beach thing, with the Sony, my
wife, the umbrella drinks and Fosters to back it up, I couldn't
possibly think of a better place to be.
Ok, maybe add some nice, lilting AC/DC music playing
softly in the background. No, I guess turn it up a notch. Yeah,
there. No, not so much, the drinks are vibrating off the tray!
Yeah, that's it. I SAID, THAT'S IT! Yeah, there.
What the heck, I guess you can't have it all. I'm happy right
here, right now.
Let's not forget the coconuts. Yeah, the drinks are
in hollowed out coconuts. Right. Like that. No, I said umbrella
drinks -- If I'd wanted little plastic swords stuck in cherries I'd
have asked for them. Yeah, that's it.
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
and a contributing author on Linux
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