Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th Jul 2007 15:16 UTC, submitted by danwarne
Linux "Con Kolivas is a prominent developer on the Linux kernel and strong proponent of Linux on the desktop. But recently, he left it all behind. Why? In this interview with, Con gives insightful answers exploring the nature of the hardware and software market, the problems the Linux kernel must overcome for the desktop, and why despite all this he's now left it all behind."
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Strawman on the hardware...
by JonathanBThompson on Tue 24th Jul 2007 16:56 UTC
Member since:

He claimed that Microsoft is the one to blame for hardware not advancing as fast as it might have. Well, bah: Microsoft has actually contributed to adding USB and some other things, as well as graphics hardware if only by optimizing DX for it. Besides, Microsoft has mostly only provided software, and has never made a regular PC: Microsoft isn't to blame for the seemingly relatively small advances (diversity, in other words) of hardware, so much as technology and market forces have made it such that when computers became commodities, the margins became too small, and the technology advanced far enough that it became too expensive to push hardware design forward as fast or as diversely as it was in the late 80's, because at that time, the clock speeds were still low enough that it didn't require ultra care where you put down circuit traces for RAM for timing purposes like you do now.

No, the relative lack of diversity of regular PC's (non-embedded, non-mobile) devices has everything to do with a more mature hardware industry that's become far more cut throat, and software has been written to more completely abstract that hardware to where the details of implementation matter far less than they used to.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Strawman on the hardware...
by jello on Tue 24th Jul 2007 18:04 in reply to "Strawman on the hardware..."
jello Member since:

Microsoft contributed USB?
And all this time I thought it was INTEL.

From a technology standpoint USB is much worse than Firewire (iee1394) but it succeeded anyway because of great marketing and the lack of paying royalties..

And bad marketing is to blame for the demise of AMIGA, ATARI etc. mentioned in the article.

I remember well the times when I was sitting at work with my boring DOS computer and looking over the shoulders of coworkers with ATARI-ST using Pagemaker for the GEM desktop...

Anyway, in the end money drives it all. The big companies contributing to Linux do that in order to get a server OS out of it, not a desktop.

Hopefully Haiku will fill the needs of desktop users.

Hey Con, do you know about Haiku?

Reply Parent Score: 5

JonathanBThompson Member since:

Careful reading of what I typed is that Microsoft didn't single-handedly bring USB to the world, but they were definitely contributors to the specification: without OS support, hardware is just a user of power.

Who is Con? Either you read my name incorrectly, or you purposely did that in reference to me, or perhaps I didn't bother to find out which post you added a response to mine in addition to it.

The answer is, yes, I most certainly know about Haiku, and I've personally attended the last two WalterCons.

Reply Parent Score: 3

hobgoblin Member since:

i think the usb chips are much cheaper also.

in many ways the usb vs firewire is like ata vs scsi.

sure scsi is better, but its also damn more expensive...

in usb, everything is centrally controlled by the motherboard chipset or usb controller. and when you want to add more you pop in a hub somewhere.

in firewire, there is more control built into each device, making the firewire chips more expensive. there is also the daisy chaining (that never really took of iirc, as in i have yet to see anything other then external drives have two firewire ports).

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Strawman on the hardware...
by Zerix01 on Thu 26th Jul 2007 07:34 in reply to "Strawman on the hardware..."
Zerix01 Member since:

"as well as graphics hardware if only by optimizing DX for it."

This is exactly a reason that Microsoft has hurt the industry. OpenGL was just fine when DX got started and is an extensible open standard that has kept up with all DX features. By pushing DirectX MS has made it so people like me are having a hard time getting game developers to release their games on multiple platforms. In many cases they just can't justify the expense of rewriting a 3D engine from D3D to OpenGL. Whereas if most 3D games today already used OpenGL it would be much easier to get them to port the game to Mac or Linux.

Reply Parent Score: 1