Linux Today: Linux News On Internet Time.

Linux Today Passes Its 30,000th Story

Nov 20, 2000, 13:46 (24 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Ferris)

By Paul Ferris, LinuxToday

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 site.

I can remember when we passed 10,000 stories. What a ride this has been.

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 interesting.
  • Linux Today is The news source for Linux professionals.
    (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 Ferris...
    (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 cards
    (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 perspective).
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 all.

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 it.

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 happen.

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 Linux Today!

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 Planet.

Hey, Lisa, check it out! The latest Mandrake beta is out! What do you mean, relax and enjoy the beach?!?. What the heck do you call this! Check it out --