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Paul Nowak

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My recent switch to a single-boot Ubuntu setup on my Thinkpad T60 simply floors me on a regular basis. Most recently it's had to do with the experience of maintaining the software. Fresh from a very long Windows 2000 experience and a four-month Windows XP experience along with a long-time Linux sys admin role puts me in a great position to assess Ubuntu. Three prior attempts over the years at using Linux as my daily desktop OS had me primed for failure. Well, Ubuntu takes Linux where I've long hoped it would go - easy to use, reliable, dependable, great applications too but more on that later. It has some elegance to it - bet you never heard that about a Linux desktop before. There are many night-and-day differences between Windows and Ubuntu and, for a guy that does 80% standard office tasks and the rest of the time I'm doing Linux admin tasks, it was nearly all i... (more)

Why Revealing Any Infringing Source Code is 'Game-Over' for SCO

Everybody in the open source world and in IT in general knows that the forces of open source software development will quickly replace any code SCO shows as being clearly infringing of any SCO rights. SCO knows this. You know this. My grandma might even know this. Yet, no rational individual or company is going to pay SCO's licensing fee for use of Linux until SCO can show that there is infringing code. This is true no matter whether that SCO license costs $699, $1399, $32, or 10 cents. To prove that the code infringes, SCO needs to win in a court and for SCO to win, SCO needs to... (more)

SCO Admits To Not Knowing Own Code History in Recent Q&A

From the start, questions have surrounded the process and people SCO used to determine the alleged code violations in Linux. There is the phantom MIT mathematics department team which MIT itself can’t identify and which SCO has since said were people with former MIT mathematics department relationships, not MIT employees.  These former MIT people have still not stepped forward and given anyone an indication that they are up to the task, what methods they used, or that they even exist.    The MIT problem casts doubt on the process SCO uses to identify allegedly infringing code ... (more)

The Powerful Economic Underpinnings of OSS

In 1968, Garret Hardin wrote a seminal paper that ran in Science Magazine called “The Tragedy of the Commons.” Hardin defined the commons as a place where multiple people are each endowed with the privilege to use a given resource, and no one has the right to exclude another. Think of a pasture where many farmers can graze their animals. When multiple users have such privileges of use, each user benefits directly from using the resource (one more cow in a farmer’s herd benefits that farmer directly) but the cost of each person's use is borne by all users (the increased use that o... (more)

Red Hat Is "Growing Up"

Today’s confirmation from the Red Hat Network that support for Red Hat 7.x and 8.0 is ending in December 2003 and that Red Hat 9.0 support will end in April, 2004, has all the trappings of a company that is growing up and growing out of its freely downloadable history. I sadly mark it as an end of an era - and yet another sign of the OSS movement moving toward the enterprise and maturing as it goes. As a Red Hat user since 1995, I know there are simply too many people in my boat for us to go without great alternatives going forward. Perhaps these will come from within Red Hat, b... (more)