Paul Murphy, over at blogs.zdnet.com, has written a completely unimpressive blog entry entitled “I’d suggest Linux – but…”
The most persistent complaint you hear about Linux from the wintel community is that it’s for geeks – and that the geeks involved so rejoice in their geekiness that it’s off-putting to the sensible majority represented by who ever happens to be speaking.
What an odd thing to say. What an extremely odd thing to say!
Paul, I have to tell you, this simply is not true. Apart from the fact that you don’t back your statements up with any facts, what you wrote there is arrant nonsense. What’s a “wintel community”? People who only use Windows and Intel PC’s? Because if so, then I can tell you for a fact that what you wrote is poppycock. My last job, before I moved countries (from Britain to Japan), was as IT Manager for a company with offices world wide. Most if not all the employees used Windows on their PC’s to complete their job tasks, making them part of this “wintel community” you speak of. Whenever I mentioned Linux, I didn’t get any sort of response such as “oh that’s just for geeks“, I received mostly either indifference or a response of “interesting, I might have a look at that”.
Aside from that, “off-putting to the sensible majority represented by who ever happens to be speaking“, is – to me – meaningless padding of a bleak blog entry.
This used to be true for a minority of those involved with Linux – as witness the widespread use of the intentional, compiler stopping, minor error in the distributed source to frighten off the unwashed.
What the heck is an “intentional, compiler stopping, minor error in the distributed source to frighten off the unwashed.” ? Are you stating that some Linux “geek” somewhere intentionally placed some kind of show-stopper bug in some – unspecified (of course) – source code somewhere, just to hammer members of this “wintel community”? If so, again, I demand that you back up this ridiculous hyperbole with some verifiable facts and examples, otherwise I may just think that you’ve made your blog entry up as you typed along.
It generally isn’t true any more but the meme persists
Simply not true, in my experience. Allow me to give you an example. A few years ago, I met up with a lot of folks who frequent an IRC channel called #linux. We met up in Manchester City, in the UK, over a weekend, and I can honestly say I’ve never met a nicer bunch of folks. There was no arrogance, no “rejoicing in geekiness”, just a bunch of human beings enjoying each others company and who share a common interest. I myself am married, and have a son. I may suffer from the odd bout of arrogance but it’s not Linux specific. I may be a “geek” but I’m certainly not immature.
presumably because the people who recite it as a mantra believe that it’s both effective as a put down against open source and a subtle way of strengthening their personal identification with the pretty party people who typically rise to the top in business and government organizations.
Arrant nonsense. Anyone who recites such things are either trying to create FUD about Linux/FOSS, or are quite simply, out of touch with reality. The company I was an IT manager for converted from Microsoft Exchange to a Linux based email solution under my initiative and the upper management saw the benefits of the replacement system in terms of uptime and stability, and also of the cost savings in not having to renew expensive software licenses. They certainly didn’t disparage the use of Linux. In fact the company had been using a Linux based web server years before that.
Unfortunately saying that most Linux geeks have outgrown this doesn’t mean all of them have
If you’re saying that there are immature users of Linux out there, then this is indeed true – I agree entirely! However, I say there is an order of magnitude greater proportion of immature “wintel” users out there, simply because “wintel users” currently outnumber “Lintel users”. Aside from that, your statement again is pretty meaningless. I could just as well say “Unfortunately, saying that most Snowboarding geeks have outgrown this doesn’t mean all of them have”. How about “Unfortunately, saying that most gardening geeks have outgrown this doesn’t mean all of them have”? Do you see what I’m getting at? How about I spell it out for you? For every set of humans who are “geeks” for a particular subject or pastime, a subset of those will be immature, or have not outgrown their immaturity. Do you get where your reasoning is going wrong yet?
and because it takes years for social dampening to affect a mythology like this it’s particularly unfortunate that a high profile site many Linux tire kickers go to for Linux information: linux.org; goes out of its way to illustrate the problem.
” Linux tire kickers” – ad hominem attack. And lets see your point about linux.org…
Try it: do what any wintel user would do, go to “Linux.org” in the expectation that this will default to www.linux.org and look at the message you get:
For comprehensive information about Linux please visit our proper site, www.linux.org.
Please update your bookmarks and any links you may have to this old site.
Paul, you seem to have no clue about the difference between a domain, and a host within a domain. Look at the message : “Please update your bookmarks and any links you may have to this old site.” – note the words “old site” – this probably means that the web site was located at that URL, but has now been relocated to “www.linux.org” , and that anyone who has “linux.org” bookmarked should now make their bookmark to “www.linux.org”. I can’t see any harm in that. Oh but you do, apparently…
It defaults to the www address in ten seconds – but think about the impact this smug, arrogant, and geeky message has on a potential Linux recruit just barely willing to whisper “linux” out loud and point his browser at the obvious: linux.org, to get more information.
It’s worth spending some time just to rip this sentence apart bit by sorry little bit…
It defaults to the www address in ten seconds
Just enough time to take the message in and remember to do something about it…
but think about the impact this smug, arrogant, and geeky message
I see nothing smug about this message. Nor do I see anything arrogant about it, or even geeky. What I do see is the beginnings of a Straw Man argument coming from you…
has on a potential Linux recruit just barely willing to whisper “linux” out loud
How can you whisper something out loud? Absolutely ridiculous writing…
and point his browser at the obvious: linux.org, to get more information
I don’t know about you, but nine times out of ten I usually attempt to try typing “www.<domain>” when first guessing a new site I want to access. Either that or I search Google – and Lo And Behold, www.linux.org is the top entry in google’s results. This site, hackfud.net, I personally chose to have its default URL to be “http://hackfud.net”. My personal choice. But if you type “http://www.hackfud.net you’ll be automatically redirected to the first URL. Again, my personal choice. The people who run www.linux.org will have their reasons for doing things they way they have, I’ve sent them an email and am awaiting a response. If I get one I’ll update this article.
Really, Paul, to me it looks like you just wanted to have a general moan about something, picked Linux, and then set about creating a straw man to beat down.
FYI: I tried to contact them using the email address Linux.org provides on its front page:
The original message was received at Thu, 29 Nov 2007 10:10:21 -0700 (MST)
from suni [22.214.171.124]
—– The following addresses had permanent fatal errors —–
(reason: 550 5.7.1 … Mail refused: 126.96.36.199 listed by
DIAL DNSBL. See http://www.invlogic.com/mail/dial.html)
—– Transcript of session follows —–
… while talking to mail.linux.org.:
< << 550 5.7.1 … Mail refused: 188.8.131.52 listed by DIAL
DNSBL. See http://www.invlogic.com/mail/dial.html
550 5.1.1 … User unknown
< << 503 5.0.0 Need RCPT (recipient)
Try reading the bounce message, and following the given link. Then go to the other link from the page there and read that they screen email rather aggressively to prevent shed-loads of spam reaching user’s inboxes. They even offer solutions to solve your email bouncing problem.
Really for someone who claims;
Originally a Math/Physics graduate who couldn’t cut it in his own field, Paul Murphy (a pseudonym) became an IT consultant specializing in Unix and related technologies after a stint working for a DARPA contractor programming in Fortran and APL. Since then he’s worked in both systems management and consulting for a range of employers including KPMG, the government of Alberta, and his own firm. In those roles he’s “been there and done that” for just about every aspect of systems management and operation.
IT consultant specializing in Unix and related technologies? I question your knowledge and experience. Either that, or you specifically set out to write this FUD piece. Either way, you have, in my opinion, made yourself look rather foolish.