Due to legal documents XYZ Company has received via certified US mail that indicate XYZ Company and its customers may be liable for damages or licensing of intellectual property contained in the linux kernel, effective September 9, 2003, XYZ Company is no longer supporting any GNU operating system that uses the linux kernel. The linux@xyzcompany discussion mailing list is also permanently
I'm not sure if “XYZ Company” is looking for publicity about this, so I chose to change their name, however, the text is verbatim. This is just speculation, but my guess is that SCO has sent them notice as they expand their circle of litigation and they didn't feel like gambling on whether SCO was bluffing or not.
If that indeed turns out to be the case, this would signal a troubling new stage in SCO's campaign against GNU/Linux. It would show that SCO is moving down from top tier resellers to smaller, regional ones.
To be clear, after thorough analysis of SCO's case, most of those familiar with it agree that the case is really no case at all. The snippets they have released as a showcase of the code “illegally placed in Linux” turned out to be code SCO itself had authorized for reuse in virtually any way imaginable — including inclusion in Linux.
The question isn't who is right, but whether anyone can afford to stand up to the wrath of SCO, and their lawyer, David Boies (yes, that's the same Boies that represented Al Gore in the 2000 post-election fiasco).
Buzzing by Buzzing Bye, I found this post that was denouncing Richard Stallman's position that “Linux” should be known as “GNU/Linux.” This hit a nerve, perhaps because I've seen so many likeminded posts, and it inspired me to write an editorial at OfB.biz that argues for the name GNU/Linux and also takes a side journey into why the GNU GPL is better in some ways than the BSD license.
Whether this sounds like gobble-de-gook or you already understand this issue, you might enjoy the opinion piece, which you can find here.
This is a departure from my normal content here, but I wanted to take a moment to thank the wonderful folks at HostingMatters web hosting. Looking at my file modification dates, it seems that I officially migrated to HM two years ago today. I haven't regretted it one bit.
I've gone through a lot of web hosts. I've used seven (five commercial), and over the last two or three searches I also created a 20-something point questionnaire that each host was inspected by — and I inspected a lot, something to the tune of probably 800-1,000 companies in 1999 and 2001. Very few hosts met my criteria, even fewer earned my trust to actually deal with them.
I've had ups and downs in commercial web hosting. I first moved away from free web hosting to DataRealm. They were fine, although there plans were just too expensive for what they offered. After spending most of 1997 with them, I moved on in April 1998. I then moved to SmartHosting.com. They started out great, but my site was down a lot, their control panel wasn't very good, and it was often impossible to get a response — after one issue in early 2000, I finally had to phone them long distance after having my site down for a week. Things got worse and the whole deal ended with a $90 overcharge in July of 2000 (I hadn't been really using them since October 1999).
I had known things were going down hill for awhile so I had already started migrating in the fall of 1999 to BurstNET. They were fairly big then and are now much bigger — they have their own datacenter, etc. But in July 2001, things went from sort of unreliable to bad. They were constantly breaking Perl modules with oddball upgrades. They'd deny problems that I clearly demonstrated, etc. Nice people, but they wouldn't fix things. Finally, everything just died during the week of August 13, 2001. They got the web sites back up a day later, but after four days they were still denying the fact that e-mail was down. I needed a new host.
I tried one, which I'll not name because there was nothing wrong with it, it just wasn't for me, but they turned out to be a reseller for HostingMatters still at Alabanza (I noticed HM's domain in the e-mail headers of the welcome message). I jumped over to HostingMatters and everything looked like exactly what I wanted and more. So I signed up.
And what a great decision that was. Annette set me up with exactly the plan I wanted with reseller features (rather than having to get the normal reseller plan), answered all those questions I had, and got me started. The rest of the staff (or sock monkeys as they called themselves at the time) was great too. And as an added bonus the HM client community on the HM forums was delightful too!
Since part of my time with SmartHosting I had already migrated away but was still paying because I wanted to keep the subdomain I had been renting, I was really with them less than two years. Likewise I've never made it with any other host two years… except for HostingMatters. There's a reason too — they really genuinely seem to care. They are great people (I now consider one of the HM employees a friend, but that's another story), fast to respond, and their servers are ultra reliable and at a discount hosting price.
Oh, and did I mention that OfB.biz, a site of mine that is “Slashdotted” (hit by thousands of users from Slashdot.org all at once) a few times a year, is hosted there and fairs fine under the pressure? It's so good, we awared HM an award last year and at least one other large GNU/Linux site now uses HostingMatters.
If you need a host, check them out.
Ah, I wish I was there. Where? LinuxWorld San Fransisco! For those of you not familiar with it, LinuxWorld is the twice a year show during which all the biggest names in the GNU/Linux world (and computer world for that matter) come together to promote their wares. Best of all, dozens of exciting announcements come out of the show.
Consider this week's headlines over at OfB.biz. So far, I've written or linked to stories about IBM Suing SCO, Real Networks announcing a new GNU/Linux media player project, Red Hat Suing SCO (see a theme here?), Oracle becoming completely Linux-ized, Disney switching over to GNU/Linux desktops in some cases, Apple getting a more Free Software friendly license for the poorly named Darwin, and Novell purchasing GNU/Linux desktop supporter Ximian. Interested in these stories? Take a look.
But beyond that there is the experience. All the big names promote new products and let you see the latest — AMD, Intel, Red Hat, IBM, Novell, even Microsoft (yeah, that sounds strange, but it is true). Then there is the .Org pavilion where the great developers and projects of the community show up: KDE, Gnome, Debian, and more. Linus Torvalds, Jon “Maddog” Hall, and Richard Stallman have all been spotted at LinuxWorld.
Maybe I'll make it next year.
Well, it's been four months since I wrapped up the 2002 comparison series in which I talked about the good and bad features of all the major GNU/Linux distributions. Today, I've started it back up as we hurdle to the end of July and the Open Choice 2003 awards. In the next week and a few days change, I'll be considering a lot of distros, starting with SuSE 8.2 today.
If you use GNU/Linux or want to know how you can try it, read along and learn which distribution is right for you.
Well, before installing Jaguar I wanted to get my PC's monitor hooked up to the iMac so that I could insure that Jaguar didn't drive the screen at the wrong frequency (the thing that kills iMacs, or more correctly, kills their displays). Well, it seems that the VGA port for some (idiotic) reason is placed behind a small grate that must be removed by plying it with a screwdriver. Okay, I don't like prying on things, but I can do that. Oh, but wait, I also need a new grate (according to Help) that has a hole in it so that I can connect the VGA cable. I don't think I need that grate, but just to be safe, I figure I should go get that grate first. There was suppose to be one in the iMac accessory kit, but one of the casualties of a used system is that these kind of things aren't included. Oh well, off to the “macstore”…
Well, I'm hoping to, uhm, paws tonight to give Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar a try on my iMac. This is a moment of truth in several ways. First, and foremost, Jaguar has been known to kill iMacs. It seems for the most part this is caused by not upgrading the firmware before installing, but it still makes me a wee bit nervous. Secondly, it is a moment of truth in that I'll find out whether I made a big mistake not saving up some more to go for a faster Mac (I've heard mixed reviews about this system and Mac OS X). It is also a moment of truth in that I'll finally really be able to put Mac OS X head to head with Linux and see how the two stack up as *nix desktops.
All this truth and more… coming to soon to a blog near you. Stay tuned!
Well, this may come to a surprise to some, but I'm now the proud owner of an Apple iMac. No, not the new LCD one, it's a Ruby iMac G3/400 (Summer 2000 revision) with Mac OS 9.0.4. I bid on it on eBay about a week ago and it arrived last night. Right now I'm still making space for it, but it should come in handy as a secondary computer and test box.
Well, I'd like to say something meaningful (I have a commentary on the media's job covering the war in my head), but I'm rather busy at the moment. As I noted last week, I'm working on something new for this blog: an entirely new content management system (well, not entirely new, it will be based on my SAFARI IssueWorks package, but will have lots of nice features that I've been working on.
SCO, who was Caldera, who bought SCO (confused?), has decided that it has received over $1 billion in damages from IBM and now wants Big Blue to show the money. It seems to me that this is just a wild last ditched effort by a has-been Linux distributor (at one point, Caldera was the second largest distributor) to make some money. You can read my entire thoughts on this at Open for Business.