Profile of Serdar Yegulalp
News & Commentary Posts: 760
Follow Serdar Yegulalp and BYTE on Twitter and Google+:
Articles by Serdar Yegulalp
posted in September 2007
Some of the responses posted to my Linux blog entries have been filled with an amazing amount of venom -- directed not at me, but at other posters. The hate some people have for other people just because they elect to use another operating system on their computers never ceases to shock me.
Not long ago I blogged about fitting Linux onto an older system and giving it to someone who doesn't need the latest model of PC. This week, I tried it with a notebook that's about seven or eight years old. Windows XP barely ran. Linux gave it a new lease on life.
One of the adages about Linux that gets passed around a lot goes something like, "It's a great system, but you really have to know what you're doing." The other day, I got a firsthand example of that -- I got bitten by a bug in a package that's readily available in Ubuntu's software repository.
IBM's offering is a scaled-down edition of OpenOffice.org, but the company has given them a bit of a UI makeover and promises greater involvement in the development process.
In the wake of my last column, Why Linux Is Already A Success, I got a great many comments and letters from people who agreed completely with my point of view -- that Linux was already a success on its own terms. I did, however, receive a reader comment that added some sobering real-world perspectives.
Anyone who reads InformationWeek regularly probably knows by now that my colleague Alexander Wolfe has more than a few pithy things to say about Linux with his piece 7 Reasons Why Linux Won't Succeed on the Desktop. After reading it, I thought: Does Linux really need to succeed on the desktop?
My father recently retired a 1-Ghz AMD computer with 1 Gbyte of RAM that he'd built from mail-ordered parts. He'd dropped the cash for a new Dell with Vista, which he likes quite a lot (no grousing, please, it happens), and let me have the old machine. My first move: Wipe it clean, install Linux, and prepare it for an exercise in "hand-me-down computing."
I've been humming that classic Jackson Browne tune every time I read more news about SCO and its protracted death spiral, which has been drawn out far beyond belief. The song's playing all the more loudly today: SCO just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
A few years ago, my biggest complaint about Linux applied to many things in the computer world: The documentation was uniformly lousy and scattershot. Since then, at least one distribution -- Ubuntu -- has set a fairly high standard of documentation. There's still a few things I'd like to see done better, though.
This past week yielded up one of the best pieces of news in a long time for Linux users: AMD has pledged to offer open-source video drivers for some of its ATI graphics chips. It gets better: The company's not just writing the code for the drivers and offering it openly, but releasing full documentation for its video systems so that anyone can do the same thing.
What would you say if I told you that plans to deploy Linux in corporations aren't accelerating, but are tapering off? That's what one study suggests. When asked if they were planning to deploy Linux in the current year, more than 90% of CIOs said no. That's up from 87% of the past year, and 60% of the year before that. So is Linux finally reaching its saturation point?
You ever get behind the wheel of a car that you just didn't want to drive? Maybe the seat couldn't be moved to the right height, or wasn't adjustable at all, or there was just some strange, petty little thing that made you nuts? There may be a parallel between that experience and the reasons why some people just don't want to use Linux.
After my last post about who uses Linux and really prefers to stick with it, I received a remarkable number of comments from people who'd not only tried it and stuck with it, but had taken as many other people as they could with them. That got me thinking: What's the best way to evangelize Linux?