Editorial Archive

Why Windows Isn’t Hell Or Why Linux Isn’t Bliss

To me, it's a miracle how every tiny article on OSNews.com, or any other tech-site, ends up in people shouting all sorts of nonsense at each other like "Linux is gonna bring back Elvis", "Windows shot president Kennedy", "Linux kept the cold war cold" or "Bill Gates wants to buy the moon and charge people for looking at it". Do these people really know what they are saying, or are they just going with the Open-Source flow? Update: Rebuttal article here.

Linux: Not Ready for the Enterprise?

Forrester's Rob Enderle opines that, for all its advantages, the open source OS just isn't ready to power the systems on Starfleet Vessels. Just kidding. What he really says is that however much the geeks love Linux for the freedom it gives them, the customizability isn't always a boon to the average users and the managers who just want things to work with as little tinkering as possible. And the untested intellectual property issues surrounding the GPL and the open source development methods are a potential quagmire. He says large companies need to consider these issues, religious fanatacism aside. Do you agree? Update by ELQ: Counterpoint at NewsFactor.

The Edge Computing System

This entire article is written as a proposal to a coprporation for a new, very unique computing system. Please offer criticism and suggestions to improve the system, and tell me whether you think it could work. What exactly is the "Edge Computing System" And more importantly, why would I want to go to the trouble of developing it? The Edge Computing System is just that, an entire system, not just a new type of computer or new software suite. The Edge is the means by which you can have your personal computer with you at all times.

Is Free Software Always a Good Thing?

According to the Free Software Foundation, free software includes "the freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits... Access to the source code is a precondition for this." While I agree that the principles of the FSF are noble, I also feel that there is an unspoken assumption - an assumption that pods of hobby developers across the world can coordinate on the same scale that directed companies with a budget can. Where free software has an important place in computing, so does closed-source commercial software.

Editorial: Company or community?

"I was all set to run a column this week about the deplorable lack of even marginally acceptable word processors for Linux -- I even had it all written -- when along came TextMaker and blew that plan out of the water. (I still like the product, even though it has now made more work for me.) But the newfound existence of TextMaker suggests another, similar but broader, question: Why can't the community write something that good?" Read the editorial at LinuxAndMain by Dennis E. Powell.

Search Engine as OS

"If I asked you to name the internet's dominant operating system, you'd probably nominate Linux, Windows or possibly Solaris. My answer would be none of the above. Increasingly, our most value-adding interface layer is Google—and our industry's annals of operating system wars and browser wars are looking ever more like ancient history. It might seem odd to call a Web search engine an operating system, but look at the fundamentals." Read the story at eWeek by Peter Coffee.

Apple: Freedom Of Choice

Very few IT-companies get as much fanatic anticipation from their customers as Apple does. Lots of words have been written about that, including cheers, rants and advice as to what Apple should do next to make the Macintosh experience even nicer for its fans. Whether it's about product pricing, quality or all in all product range, Apple polarizes its users and those who wish they were. It would be foolish for me to take the same approach as anybody else and give Apple some piece of advice. So that's actually what I'm going to do now.

Are you Tired of all the Microsoft Bashing Yet?

Before I get started on my views, I would like to point a few things out. I'm not in high school or college. I'm 35 years old and have been in the computer business a long time. My experience goes all the way back to the hey days of punch cards. I still have a few cards over at my folk's house. I think one of the 'programs' prints out a snoopy. I've worked for several large corporations including IBM and GTE. I'm bringing this up not to brag but to point out that I know a thing or two about computers. Now that that's out of the way, I'll continue.

When OSS-based Corporations and (some) OSS Hackers Clash

A KDE developer tipped me off to a recent thread discussed in the kde-core-devel mailing list regarding interoperability between KDE and Gnome. OSNews featured an interview with the usability experts from Gnome and KDE a few days ago and we expected that the spirit of co-operation would continue to get stronger every day. Luckily this is true regarding most of these developers, but not for all of them are sharing it. Here is a commentary on the issue followed by a summary of the long thread.

When ‘Good Enough’ is Better

"The "best" product doesn't always win since, given advantages of predatory pricing and clever marketing strategy, "good enough" is almost always good enough to carry the day. I'm talking, of course, about Microsoft, its software and its business practices, and if you're a fan of BeOS, OS/2 or another innovative software product that ended up mangled on the side of The Road Ahead, you've seen these sentiments expressed before and you've probably expressed them yourself." Editorial at eWeek.

2002: The Year a Revolution Took Place in Desktop Computing

Now that the usual round of end of year regurgitations of the past years IT events has ended we may further indulge ourselves by examining the pundits procastinations for their worthiness, or lack thereof. As ever, we were dished up a list of happenings which the IT scribes believed warranted our special attention. What our computers feel about such matters remains to be seen but some brave souls did manage to come up with various musings on what the future may hold for us, and them, (our computers that is) in this age of technical speculation. Whilst these ritualistic utterings have become a feature of the holiday silly season, why not build on this truly great and ancient tradition and comment on the level of veracity of the scribes from our much beloved land of nerds? They got it all wrong.

Repeal the Microsoft Tax

Now that the Justice Department and Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly are content with the wrist-slapping meted out to Microsoft, few expect any abatement in the company's abuse of its monopoly power. Although many argue that, eventually, the markets themselves will bring about more balanced competition, the markets that Microsoft dominates operate on different economic principles than most others. The last twenty years brought such dramatic technological change that it'll be much harder for competitors to dislodge Microsoft from its perch atop the industry than it was for Microsoft to dethrone IBM a generation ago.

Thinking about the Intelligent OS

Is the modern operating system a tool of facilitation that should provide just the basic necessities of a system and no more, staying out of the way of the user? Or should the modern OS assist the user in their everyday tasks, sorting and displaying relevant information, providing a filter between the ever increasing amount of information and the task at hand.

The Data Game

For the last 20 years or so, Microsoft has been playing the same old game. Sure, they morph and adapt along with the times, and they expand into new markets. But basically they are in the software business and one of the main ingredients in their recipe has been always this: "Keep the data format proprietary and take advantage of it."

Software Contracts: Antitrust Tying and Computer Hardware

Have you bought a PC to run Linux and received a copy of a proprietary desktop operating system you do not intend on using? Did the manufacturer collect a fee for the operating system you don't use? Walt Pennington, member of the San Diego Linux Users Group, concerned citizen, and esteemed tort attorney outlines the legal challenge of OEM agreements. Seeking a refund of his own unwanted copy of Microsoft Windows, Pennington relates his day in court and calls on other consumers to demand a refund on January 23, 2003.

IOS, You Win, He *NIX

Hundreds of debates, countless flames, innumerable passionate supporters, no limits, no ending lines, no result. The conflicts keep on going and going and going. It doesn’t matter if it’s Cisco’s IOS, Microsoft’s Windows, Suse’s Linux or FreeBSD. People struggle to prove their platform’s superiority ignoring that an Operating System is just a tool focusing on specific needs.