Subject RE: [ib-support] Re: New Firebird Release 1.0.0 Beta2 Available
Author Paul Schmidt

On 23 Aug 2001, at 15:49, Lee Brown wrote:

I think we are O.T. for the list, but the conversation is still
something that may be interesting to people, if not they can tell us
to take it outside, and it can then move elsewhere.

> First off, thanks for the link. I didn't know this effort was going
> on. Good news.
> I think your point regarding the hands-on availability is a good one
> and yes it makes it easier to fix things yourself -- provided you have
> the skills or have the skills in-house.

Or can get it from outside, I think it will get common where people
with the right skills will offer this as a service.

> Consider the case where I'm a small business, my IT dept knows how to
> install OS's, but doesn't have the expertese to modify them. If I'm
> running a windows platform, I can easily find somebody conversant with
> whatever version I have. Now admittedly the componentization makes it
> more difficult, but even that is usually pretty fixed too. With a
> Linux system that has been modified, my outsourced personel could have
> a much worse time of it trying to figure their way through the
> customizations. OK, it's a bit of a self-defeating argument and
> personally I think it's actually pretty equal on both sides.

Yeah, the windows guy takes a dead machine, inserts the Windows
install disk, and reloads everything, which is okay for the OS, and
maybe the apps, but what about the data? It possible under Linux to
boot a Linux on a floppy, mount the root filesystem to that floppy
and at least recover the data, providing the partitions are okay..

> Yeah, sorry for the "Linux variants" I should really be referring to
> all of them as GNU-Linux (the kernel is different, but most of the
> other pieces are typically always GNU implementations.)

I don't like the term GNU/Linux either, it implies that GNU invented
or somehow owns Linux. If the FSF didn't exist, then the pieces
would probably still be around. I prefer to think of Linux based
systems, as individual operating systems. Lets take a wild idea
here, Microsoft decides to build WindowsZX based on a Linux kernel,
once the kernel boots it loads a Microsoft written program called
init, and then everything else is pure Microsoft, it would still be a
Linux based operating system, but not a GNU operating system.

> Returning to the old trend (yes I do remember those days!) I'm
> looking forward to the days when the OS can microcode the CPU so it
> doesn't matter who's CPU you want to run on or what OS you want to
> run. But in the end it always seems to come down to (usability *
> performance) which unfortunately tends to drive the market to writing
> an OS for a CPU. The only example I can think of actually is Visual
> Age (software, but same principal) -- great idea, but when I first
> tried it back in 96 it was totally unusable unless you had the latest
> hardware because it was windowing on top of windowing; OK I could
> write one application and deploy it on many platforms (sound
> familiar), but that flexibility (usability in the above formula) was
> simply outweighed by the fact it was too slow (performance).

It really depends, since Linux is simply the kernel, and it's
possible to fast-track an O/S based on it, just like it's easy to
fast-track an O/S based on Unix, except Linux licences are much
cheaper. My personal thought is that computers are moving towards
the true applicance, where you buy a box to serve a purpose, and it
comes complete, ready to work. It may come with an office suite, and
an accounting system, for a small office. Another machine comes with
2GB of RAM, a .5TB raid array, 4 5GHz processors and a multiprocessor
version of Firebird.

> Linux seems to moving from the back end toward the desktop from what
> I've observed. McDonalds in the US has just signed a whole bunch of
> linux machines for some restraunts to connect to a central site and
> Ford Europe has done something similar. Dell has decided not to put
> GNU-Linux on the desktop. But it is coming, that's for sure.

This is because large companies are finding it expensive to have one
geek per 25 users, which is what a Windows network requires, where
under Linux they need one geek per 500 users.


Paul Schmidt,
Tricat Technologies
Email: paul@...