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The Almighty Buck

PC Expo = Windows Heaven 148

The last few trade shows I've attended have been all about Linux or Open Source, but here at PC Expo, which runs through tomorrow here at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City, it's almost all Windows. And Palm.

This is not the biggest show out there (Comdex owns that title!) but it's an influential one where hordes of ordinary computers users come to get an idea of what's new and hot. And what's hot here is Windows, Windows, Windows, and Palm. If there's a single overused buzzword here, it's "wireless." I think I've spotted that word, along with the phrase, "mobile Internet," at least a thousand times.

To give you an example of this show's scale just in case, like me, you mostly stick to Linux and Open Source expos, the Windows "partners" pavilion here is bigger than the entire Linux World Expo that was held here last February. It is a humbling experience to be a Linux user here, somewhat like the feeling FreeBSD advocates must have at Linux shows.

Even the two (prototype) Crusoe-powered IBM laptops on display are running Windows. In the display next to the two-story tropical-themed Crusoe extravaganza, Intel had screen after screen of Windows, despite all their recent make-nice moves toward Linux.

IBM has more Linux showing than most. A sign says, "You talk, Linux types" above the display for their new ViaVoice for Linux. And if you look closely at some of the "start" buttons in the lower left screen corners on some of IBM's thin-client products, you see Penguins instead of flying flags. Yes, that is Linux, quietly there, unadvertised, doing its job without any fanfare.

But forget Linux for a moment. Palm is the only presence here that even touches that of Windows. While the Palm "partners" pavilion is less than half the size of Microsoft's equivalent, the Palm one is constantly packed, so crowded that you have to edge sideways to get into it. Microsoft's display for Pocket PC, their renamed and updated WinCE, is deserted by comparison. Palms and Visors seem to be the wireless favorites, and they are almost everywhere here that Windows isn't.

There is a Linux pavilion, but it is sadly tucked into a lower-right corner of the less-than-main exhibit hall, and not as big, all told, as Dell Computer's single display. It is not uninhabited; LinuxMall, the pavilion sponsor, is doing steady business in assorted Linux goodies, and Isaiah, a Red Hat tech rep, said they gave out 400 Red Hat 6.2 CDs yesterday "in a couple of minutes, all to CEOs who said they have IT managers working for them." That was a wowser to Isiaiah, who was amazed "...that the people asking about Linux here are suits, not techies."

But there are a few signs of non-Windows life here, tucked away in corners, not always easily identifiable. For instance, I spotted a nice little "network appliance" gadget called a FoxBox made by NetWolves Corporation. I asked what OS it ran, and the booth person said, "FreeBSD."

I said, "It doesn't say that anywhere on the literature I see here."

He said, "Really? I suppose we ought to change that. Not many people have asked what operating system we run, and most of the ones who asked were relieved to find out it wasn't NT."

More on PC Expo, including John "maddog" Hall's keynote speech, tomorrow afternoon.

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PC Expo = Windows Heaven

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  • Why post a comment about how one conference is all Windows... when you fail to make any postings about how other conferences are "all Linux."

    It seems as though instead of promoting healthy competition.. most people are only promoting Linux. Isnt this exactly what we are against (in terms of only promoting Windows).

  • I just couldn't get used to the warped keyboards having used the regular ones for so long. I also don't type in 'proper' touch type technique. I sometimes cross over the middle where I am not supposed to. That is a real problem for getting used to with the 'natural' keyboards.

    If you really like that shape keyboard, there are several companies (including Kensington and Keytronic I believe) that build similar keyboards. If I liked them, I'd buy one of those.

  • - PC vendors have zero innovation.

    PC vendors have basically zero innovation technically which is why they have to resort to cosmetic features to build product differentiation. Basically they all build the same boxes usually with prefab components as opposed to workstation and server vendors who build a lot larger percentage of their hardware specificaly for certain models. Most of the new ideas in the PC world are things that were pioneered by the workstations. That isn't surprising, as workstation and servers are high end, and have much larger R&D budgets than commodity markets such as desktop PCs.

    - Workstation vendors stick to what works.

    I should have been more clear about that. I meant that in terms of cosmetics. In general, workstation vendors (with the notable exception of SGI, which is known for wild color schemes and box shapes -- they did that before Apple, even) seem to turn out pretty industrial looking beige boxes or rackmount servers.

    You should be in marketing. :)

    Yikes. That is quite an uncalled for insult.

  • I will admit that would be nice. The stranglehold won't last however, if Microsoft is broken up. Since their whole business strategy is get to get everyone to use Windows (in some form) and then leverage that in the applications and networking arena, having the OS dept. as a seperate business would tank this. It would also make it more likely that the Office suite might get ported to linux, or at least become more interoperable with it.

    Your point is well taken that it is war only if the goal is victory. I was only pointing out that coexistence is rare, so victory or relegation to obscurity might be the only options. Then again, as I said above, if MS is broken up, it could well be a whole different ball game.

    On a more off topic note, I'd like to thank you for the only reasonable reply made to my comment, its nice to see someone out there is still thinking.

  • FYI! Robust software works when we have good groupware and steady management, calling all the shots. This Open Source solution to our Enterprise needs might be the ticket if we play our cards right. What I propose is that we keep each other in the loop on this one and try to steady the rains on thie project. If we can see our goals in our sights and work hard, we can get the ball really moving on this project of revamping our primary image in the PC world
  • Joe public doesn't give a damn about binaries or source code, he just wants a computer he can plug in and start AOL.
  • TidBits (a Mac site) did a poll a while ago asking readers what browser they use and compared the results to the reality of their server logs. What people say they use -- iCab. What they really use -- IE.

    That was probably caused by people hitting the site at work, where they use a Windows box, but answering the question thinking about their home box, a Mac. Since you don't always get a choice about what OS to use at work, the poll answers probably accurately reflect what those people use at home. And what one chooses to use because one has a choice about it is, IMHO, a better reflection of mindshare than what one is forced to use.
    The real meaning of the GNU GPL:

  • > We are fighting a war.
    See, no, we're not.
    We're competing in a market space.

    Hence the "rhetoric" warnings in my post.... Any competition has to be played within the boundaries of commonly-agreed rules. The less and laxer the rules, the more "competitive" the situation gets... follow that to its logical extreme and you get competition with no rules including the prohibition on physical violence, ie war. Yes, reductum ad absurdio... but that's the what the 'rhetoric' tags are for.

    It's only our binary-obsessed Western mythos

    War is an affliction on all cultures and in all times.

    It's not a war. It's a competition, in the capitalist sense -- everyone wins different sized slices of the pie, but anyone who has a slice at all is a winner.

    No, that's not true. Well, okay, it is true... but not in the context of traditional capitilism. Capitalism is based on the assumption of limited resources and unlimited demand (driven by necessity or greed). A finite pie, and no slice big enough. In this scenario, the only way to increase your pie share is at the expense of your competitor(s). The theory is that this should lead to a balance of players, each struggling against each other and providing the consumers with the benefits of lower prices/better products (Smith).... the reality is that situation is easily made unstable and results in monopoly capitalism (Reality). Anyway, that's straight Marx and lord knows hewrote enough of it so my repetition isn't going to help....

    You can say that Microsoft is treating this as a war, and so we need to react in kind, but I maintain that setting "beat Microsoft" as the goal of any alternative project is the death knell for quality

    No, beating Microsoft is just a side effect. The real objective is to get onto the nation's desktop. If Linux gets there and people decide, after making a fair decision, that they would rather have Winders... well, so be it. The fact of the matter is that for a variety of reasons that have little to do with technical merit, MS has a strangle hold on those desktops. They will not invite their competition into this hearland, so "we" must go there without their blessing. Nobody fights a war for the sake of killing the the opposition. They fight a war to gain territory or resources or political autonomy. The fact that the oppposing army (well, the civilians mostly...) get killed is a byproduct.

    I would like to state one last time, that war is a bad thing and were it not for the fact that we tend to glorify it in the eyes of young boys of the middle class and drill it into their skulls daily, I would probably never consider it an appropriate metaphor for anything.

  • At the Linux World Expo in New York in Feburary, ChilliSoft was giving out Microsoft Frontpage 2000 CDs. I think fair is fair. We couldn't have a Windows-free Linux Expo, so they shouldn't have a Linux-free Windows Expo!
  • Yeah, my last boss was a hunt and pecker (hehe) and he couldn't type more than about 10 words per minute (that's if he lucked out on his pecking). And his job was ---- Network Administrator (updated to systems administrator right before I left). I always think it is sad when a "computer specialist" has absolutely no idea how to type. He didn't belong in that job anyway. He seriously believed that the only good computer had Windows on it. It was also his plan to replace the AS/400 system in that company with Windows servers. Thiers some frickin' brilliance for ya!
  • If we tout linux as desktop-ready before it can actually compete we run the risk of further entrenching the notion that our beloved OS is a toy for propellerheads and nothing more.

    I beg to differ. It _is_ Linux ready. I'm a Windowshead who recently saw the light, and today got SuSE 6.4 in the mail. Sure, installation took a hellish 3 hours of copying files, but it was quite painless in terms of intellect needed overall.

    Some dicking around with sax for X config, and some more fiddling with YaST2 (fiddling = total 10 min), and I'm multitasking in X listening to my favorite mp3s while reading instructions on installing JBuilder Pro and porting my Win32 perlscripts.

    All this for someone who's never touched an X terminal before, and screamed at the thought of killing processes with -9 using PID. IMHO, Linux has gotten to be extremely easy to use. I can't see how to make it easier!

  • In a war, you win by imposing chaos on your enemy and allowing your units to function. Since we are organized chaos, it's hard for them to impose further chaos on us, and easy for us to impose chaos upon them.

    I don't necessarily think that "chaos" is the right concept... We have a very different organizational structure: 1. It's based on de jure rather than de facto authority. As Kropotkin said "in the matter of shoes I deffer to the authority of a cobler".
    2. It's decentralized. Sure there're a few high profile folks, but by and large it runs at the klatch level.

    don't fight conventionally when you can win a different way.

    That comes back to the positional vs. geurilla theory. MS has a massive positional advantage in the desktop arena that gives them a huge advantage. This advantage (ie, fud, saftey-in-numbers etc.) easily offsets technological weaknesses. They're the VHS of the world. We're the 3/4 inch (Apple gets to be Betamax). Honestly, VHS is not a great tech... but who the hell is going to buy a 3/4" deck if there are only 3 releases available to rent and you have to drive to another province to get them? I'm enough of an idealist that I believe that if Endusers were given an unfettered opportunity to make an informed choice they would choose Linux more than Winders. We can't get to that position by following the MS formula, though. We need to move into the niches as branch from there. The server niche goes nicely so far and embedded is shaping up, but neither of those are consumer niches. Apple has desktop publishing and soon amateur video. What do we have?

    And, as the original poster said, remember that the pie is growing - and we keep getting larger fractions

    Yes, the pie is growing but the fractions are changing much more slowly than the pie growth...

    And my standard disclaimer... war sucks.

  • Actually, that's a bunch of crap. You fight a war for territory or resources because there is a finite amount of those things, so it's worth fighting for.

    The desktop computer market, on the other hand, has been doubling in size every few years, and has been doing so for almost ten years. Every day there is a bewildering array of new applications and new markets opening up, and Microsoft can't cover all of them. It's really just a series of lucky historical accidents that allowed Microsoft to capture most of the growth of the last decade.

    The key to staying alive or thriving is to capture your share of new growth plus a little more. Apple's been doing this just fine lately, and now they have a healthy 10% of a growing market. They don't need to 'beat' Microsoft, because there is plenty of money in what they've got.

    As for Linux, the theory is that if it gets good enough, it can capture some of this new desktop growth. It's all potential on the client-side right now. On the other hand, the server market has been growing faster than even the client market, and Linux is mopping up there.

    This "only one winner" crap on Slashdot is juvenilia at it's finest. AMD is doing great -- Intel must be going down (not true). Linux and Sun are selling -- Microsoft must be having a hard time (not true either). All boats are rising in this internet tidal wave.
  • It really did seem to be monopolized by microsoft, the lack of Be and then the smaller Linux pavilion was obvious. I must admit, the PCExpo did not seem to live up to what it has been the past five years I've been there. Instead of seeing technology that I'd only ever dreamed of, everything was quite attainable. Last year they had 1Ghz alphas, this year - what was the fastest pc around? 1Ghz.

    As you stated the Linux pavilion was dismal. Believe it or not, last year since Linux was "risky" it was off downstairs --however, they had a big Corel stand (with free distro's) and RedHat of course was there. Far more interesting displays in the previous years.

    For the fun of it, I'll mention what I thought of some vendors..
    The AMD folk were all cool. A woman took the time to just show me the PGA athlons and mentioned how the duron would follow the same path, they even had a big burly guy working there that didnt fit the corporate "mold." The SGI people on the other hand were holding electrical probes to zap us if we went anywhere near their displays. Intel had a decent sized section but their presentation was even less informative than the previous year (though the people were better). The IBM people had the "sweaty car salesman look" as usual. Transmeta had a decent presentation on the crusoe obviously.. heh, and they gave away little pretend crusoe chips (after they ran out of "fans." (Fans were handed out with them saying "The only fan you'll ever need"). Overall, I'd say the PCExpo better start getting more cutting edge and less of the buzz word ambush like it has become.

  • by technos ( 73414 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @01:00PM (#969997) Homepage Journal
    Let me make this as clear as possible:

    We (as in Slashdot, not you and I) have a regular troll (as in moderatly funny offtopic poster, not the mythical bridge-loving hairy kind) who seems to have made a running joke (as in from the Laugh-it-was funny-the-first-five-times-but-not-now Dept.) out of the act of pouring grits (as in a hot breakfast food enjoyed by ninja and those south of the Mason-Dixon Line, not what you find on sandpaper) down his or her pants. (as in the cloth covering you are hopefully wearing over your legs, not what a dog does in summer.)

    He (the troll) is affectionatly known as "The Hot Grits Guy" (for obvious reasons, the most notable is that we don't rightly know his name). If you would like, you can scroll (use that bar on the right border of your browser) down to the end of the page (as in this article) and see some of his (as in, The Hot Grits Guy) work. (as in, his posts.) While you're down there, look for "The Saga of the Troll War", "Star (as in hot young actress) Wars, as well as Mr. Patrick Bateman's soulful "Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these!".
  • Amazing how I only need one keyboard, mouse and monitor for all of my UNIX machines, and no KVM in sight!

    I love the kludges that people come up with to make a product do something it was never designed to do.

    gawd, i love the smell of napalm in morning... ...smells like, victory!

  • by NightHwk ( 111982 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @01:01PM (#969999)

    Slashdot headlines for next week...

    • Beowulf Cluster Used to Create More Effective Toilet Plunger.
    • Malda Spends Evening At Hospital - Hot Grits Found In Pants
    • ${COMPANY} patents ${OBVIOUS}, sues ${COMPANY2}
    • Signal 11 Found Dead In Woods - Local LUG Members Questioned
    • European Union To Mimick Congress, Proposes IQ Limits For Senators.
    • Congress Passes Law, ${CIVILRIGHT} removed.

    Signal 11 makes worthless comment in worthless article, receives another +5 funny by worthless moderation.


    Tyranny =Gov. choosing how much power to give the People.

  • Given that Linux has been ported to just about anything that is programmable, it wouldn't demonstrate much to be running it.

    Windows on the other hand, is much pickier about who it runs with.

    At this point in time, you would have to go hugely out of your way to design a machine that won't run Linux, and that would just be a thrown glove to the development crowd.
  • by Frymaster ( 171343 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @01:15PM (#970001) Homepage Journal
    Yes, it's a story about a big expo. Yes, it's main thrust is that "everyone" is doing the winders thang. Is it "irrellevant" or a "sign of decaying standards at slashdot"? No.

    For the last year the linux-centric media (here included) have been blaring that linux is "ready for the desktop", "set for primetime" and "friendly enough for my dad". If you get most of yer daily quotient of geek news from said media, you might actually get into a head space where you believe that linux's domination of Joe Q. Enduser's desktop is imminent. If anything, this article is a much-needed reminder that this is notthe case.

    Start rhetoric: We are fighting a war. A war against a very large, very well-funded enemy. This enemy owns most of the land and major resources. We are iquana-eating geurillas living in the hills, hiding under bushes every time a helicoper flies over. In any geurilla war, there comes a time when the geurillas have to make a decision to stop playing hit-and-run and move into the arena of positional warfare. The biggest threat to success is making that decision too soon. A few victories can swell heads fast and lead to brash maneouvers later on.End rhetoric.

    Here's the facts: linux owns a tiny percentage of the boxes out there and then even then only in narrow markets. The Fatherland of the desktop is still far, far behind the lines. If we tout linux as desktop-ready before it can actually compete we run the risk of further entrenching the notion that our beloved OS is a toy for propellerheads and nothing more.

    It's good to be reminded that the recipie-catalogers and porn-surfers of the world are winders zombies. It helps prevent hubris. We may celebrate the fact that the media has dropped "upstart" as a mandatory adjective when they talk about linux, but remember that Apple lost "beleaguered" two years ago and they still can't put a serious dent in redmond. We're still in the hills, Winders is still down on the convention floor... we need to remeber that if we are to have a hope of winning.

    For the record, I think war is absolutely the stupidist thing humans have ever thought up. I chose the analogy only to cover up my complete lack of understanding about sports :)

  • First we had people complaining 'Slashdot is too Linux-centric, there's not enough *BSD/MS/Mac etc etc etc... Slashdot SUCKS!'

    Now we have 'So what if the thing was MS-centric, we don't really care...this isnt news! Slashdot SUCKS!'... Geez people, if you can stop bashing /. for two seconds, go grab the Slashcode and do better.

  • As far as I've heard they don't even actually design or build any of their own keyboards or mice. Rumor has it that all the design work is farmed out (or perhaps, as has been alleged against them in the case of their mice, stolen from another company), and the production work is done overseas by OEM manufacturers the same as most other commodity products in that market.

    All that aside, that has nothing to do with the fact that I just plain don't like the design of their mice or keyboards. I never said they were poorly constructed, just that I didn't like them and why.

    One beef that I have heard others in my office have with the Intellimouse is that they seem to occasionally freak out when the person switches their Belkin OmniPort switchbox and they have to switch back and forth again to get the mouse to come back to life. I've never had any problems like that with the Logitech MouseMan I am using.

    I also think Microsoft's hardware products are rather overpriced. I don't think they'd be able to get the prices they do for what they are selling if it weren't for the blind devotion of the unwashed masses to their overadvertised brand name.

  • is this expo representative of linux's public acception?
  • Sun customers aren't put off by the mere cosmetics of the outside, despite the fact that the grey-purple color you mention is kinda ugly.

  • by linuxonceleron ( 87032 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @12:34PM (#970006) Homepage
    Yesterday on CNBC they were interviewing a guy from Cybex(sp?) who make and sell KVM switches. The CNBC guy had no clue what a KVM switch was, and the guy tried to explain, "well if you have 1000 servers, you only need one keyboard, mouse, and video (monitor) to control them all" The CNBC guy, baffled at this, responded with, "Would voice recoignition help this product? I see lots of voice recoignition here."

  • It is of course no secret that Microsoft has a huge marketing budget in order to easily make such an event heavily favor their product.
  • I really can't see your problem here. I go with you on the warped Keyboard, but the Intellimouse Explorer is just nice. 5 Buttons, plus scroll-wheel. I configured the 2 extra buttons to iconify a window and to change to the previously active window, respectivly. Now, when I get back home to my Linux box I run into trouble when I press the side of my Logitech Pilot and expect the window to disappear... 8-)

    Regards, Ulli

  • Ed Stroligo visited PCExpo and wrote an article about it [] for, one of my favorite hangouts. In short: "More AMD, little hardware, much unintentional nostalgia." Here's a funny bit about Linux:

    • This is Linux, why isn't this free?

      I was bemused by the couple Linux areas. No freebies there, best I could tell. Everything was for sale, at quite capitalist prices. Get a 10-inch penguin: $20. T-shirts, sweatshirts, $20-25. Guess you have to make your money somewhere.

      They had someone in a penguin suit meandering and falling down, which is what I thought Linux wasn't supposed to do.:)

  • Perhaps rather than whingeing about how (suprise suprise) the majority of desktops still run Windows, you'd have actually been able to tell us a little about the show. That has got to be one of the worst pieces of 'journalism' I've ever read...
  • They aren't in trouble. No matter what happens, they still have the bucks to make any "Mini Bills" into sizeable corporations in their own rights.

    This dominance of a show was just one example of what we can expect. However, in the future we could have 2,3 or 4 "Microsofts" there.

    Bill is still the worlds richest man. Bill will continue to be the worlds richest man - possibly it will make him richer.


    * Paul Madley ...Student, Artist, Techie - Geek *
  • at PC Expo, which runs through tomorrow here at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City, it's almost all Windows. And Palm. ........

    Thats because Windows is still the Biggest Fish and Linux would take an eternity to get there.

    Just my 2cents

    When in doubt - RTFM
  • Amazing how a company realized how many more Windows machines were out there, and made a lot of money!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Oh yes. It's important that the geek/tech culture observe what's going on in the rest of the world. Otherwise, our ideas are doomed to be marginalized. Being a nexus of geek/tech news is not Slashdot's greatest strength. Ultimately, being a nexus of geek/tech CULTURE is what makes slashdot important.
  • There is one tech expo here in michigan called ITEC held in Novi michigan..
    last week when I went I had my LinuxFund t-shirt on and a tux the penguin in my pocket..To my surprise just about everyone there knew what Linux was AND many were showing off linux in software, hardware, training etc... I even got several Job offers.. (WOW!) last time I went to this show it was windows only.... Microsoft was even there two years ago.. but now things are changing. several people who didn't know much about linux stated that they NEEDED to learn it..
  • Well probably all they were talking about was Linux. I mean this is LinuxPlanet we're talking about. I'm pretty sure all that guy talks about is Linux no matter where he goes.
  • Open source's strength is that we don't much have to care about market and sales. HURD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD will still be there as long as their developers care to change, enhance, and build them. (Oh, those Linux folks too).
    Closed source's weakness is that management can kill a project because Sales/Marketing can't see a way to make money, even though devlopers think the project is a Really Neat Thing. Emacs survived despite management opposition, as did Gnutilla (although not as Gnutilla itself), and that is because once a program is freed to open source, if it has any merit, it survives nicely. You don't even need to spell it right.
    Open Source needs developers, that it accretes users as well is useful and nice, but it's not all that necessary to the revenue stream .
    For volunteers to keep hacking away, flaming each others' mad implementations, and producing an environment where the bugs are found and stomped fast, they need feedback, not necessarily revenue.
    Closed source's development model is dependant on marketing rather than developer mindshare, so that bugs may be ignored until the Sales/Marketing people scream bloody murder because somebody says "ILOVEYOU' and their sales reps are getting lynched for trying to sell the product that just failed to protect user data.
    It's not about the market, it's about mindshare. While open source is getting more market, and this is aa Good Thing, developers can tinker with it, even lacking a market, because it's fun (and for some, necessary) to have a stable, secure system.
  • all these programs crash, maybe cause win crashes by itself. i want a cool edit pro that runz under linux. if u build it they will come (card developer driverz). and besides, cool edit is a VASTLY Superior interface. u can c examples of MY cubase recording/mixing/mastering (albeit @ only 16 bit) @ my URL :,2939,12433,00.html check out set it right. that is the best mastered one.... i know blatent spam, but seriously... cakewalk sound forge and cubase all suck compared 2 cool edit 4 speed/ease of use and just raw usability. rhy
  • It's only the same as all the magazines with PC in the title, but only focus on Windows (although Linux does get the odd mention under the 'our major advertisers told us to say it was too hard' section). Times are still changing, this time last year there was only one magazine in the UK that had a Linux section, now even the newbie mags have the odd article (see previous sentence).
    The future's bright, the future's Linux.
  • Try to look at it from his perspective: He sees NT as a perhaps buggy but certainly reliable system; a familiar quantity which he is somewhat knowledgable about. He sees Linux as an unfamiliar, mildly rebellious system which appears to be responsible for all of the problems in his way. The people who use Linux are elitists who are openly hostile to criticisms of Linux or any suggestion of using systems he is familiar with.

    Clearly you're not going to win your battle for Linux by calling him a dope and trying to undermine his credibility with your research. Instead of being a snob and contributing to the universally bad image of Linux users, listen to what he says. Ask him real, non-hostile questions about his decision to use NT until either you are convinced that he has a good idea or he has discovered the faults in his logic.
  • by QE2 ( 124729 )
    "That was a wowser to Isiaiah, who was amazed "...that the people asking about Linux here are suits, not techies"
    C'mon wake up people (and smell the coffee)

    -------------------------------------------------- --------
  • Just nitpicking us-centric view.
    Now moderate down as flamebait.
  • I think I'll stick to my Tux beercap-opener :)

  • Signal 11,

    The dread donkpunch and I are planning a 'slashdot olympics' and we neeed you. Let me know if you're willing to put your reputation as ultimate poster on the line in the quest to bring home the gold.

  • by Raptor CK ( 10482 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @01:33PM (#970025) Journal
    I was there on Tuesday, from the moment they let corporate passes in, and I'll have to ask at least one important question:

    Did Roblimo just look at the entryway and go home?

    Followed by:
    What brand of crack was he smoking?

    As I walked in, of course I saw more wireless tech. Last year, it was Microsoft, Compaq and Bell Atlantic Mobile close to the front. This year, it was Microsoft, Gateway, and GoAmerica (at Verizon's booth, according to the handouts)

    Once you bothered to look around, though, there was the oft-proclaimed Transmeta booth, with Mobile Linux-powered WebPads everywhere, and Linus (yes, *that* Linus) was even around, if only for the one day.

    Redhat had a small booth again, which leads me to believe that they just don't want to shell out the bucks for the extra space. But the Linux presence was at least double to triple its level from last year.

    Of course, why would Windows have to much space? Hrm... maybe it's just a result of them having more money to throw at buying floor space. Remember, you can say all you want against Microsoft products, but you cannot deny their status as a marketing juggernaut. All you had to do to escape MicrosoftLand was walk about 50 to 100 feet out. ISPs were there in force, and yes, there were a lot of hardware demonstrations, totally isolated from Windows, PalmOS, or any UNIX variant.

    Maybe to someone who seems to attend Open Source/Linux trade shows, it might seem that it's all Windows, but that just proves the narrowmindedness that has pervaded the minds of the Open Source Community. Sorry to tell you guys, but we're not there yet. Windows still sells, and while the Windows GUI might be unintuitive, and the OS might be unstable (or so /. has taught me), it still is the most recognizable series of images that you'll find on a CRT/LCD.
    It all goes back to what one of the Toshiba droids said yesterday at the Expo:
    "We're not going to support this 'Crusoe' chip you're asking about, because it's not Intel, and people buy the name."

    I may have slightly misquoted that, mind you, but it's the same deal. If your product doesn't rely on an Intel chip and run a Microsoft OS, Marketing will lead you to believe that it won't sell. If that fails, then you're not going to represent the product, they'll just send marketing. Mind you, that one Toshiba man (and many IBM people) had no idea what Transmeta was!

    As for the wireless, you can't be surprised by that. The recent release of Bluetooth, and the prevalence of 802.11 is fueling that, and can you honestly say that you don't like the idea that you can disconnect that one extra cable when you want to? Do you really want that laptop that you were assigned to need a dongle, another network cable, and so on, when you can just plug it in once the batteries are low, and that's it? The idea is that we're trying to make portable technology more convenient. That is the future of computing, just like shrinking computers, boosting throughput, and the internet were all the proposed future at some point. Now that those goals have been realized, of course the industry is going to change their (admittedly narrow) focus onto something else.

  • Have you been watching the same IBM and AT&T commercials that I have? There is most certainly a major revolution going on. The crazy guy can buy stocks from the park using his voice, for gods sake.
    Of course you're right, but people have always been fascinated by the new, fast, sexy stuff. That's not going to change.

    <OT> What's starting to really piss me off are the genetics stories from the past 12 months. The headlines are like *big type* Gemone Project decodes entire genome, all disease and human suffering will end *little type* as soon as we annotate it and begin to understand what the hell is in there...maybe. It reminds me of *big type* You have just won ten million dollars *little type* assuming you have the winning numbers. I'm proposing a Slashdot ban on genetics milestone stories, is anyone with me? </OT>

  • I view it the real problem is MS and their money. How much of a break do they offer their partners and these people to be in their pavillion...on their side?

    Also, as I see it...and I am not just saying this because of my employer...but a big thumbs up for the companies who are selling both products and took the time to teach their representatives enough to run and talk Linux. Some of those reps haven't a clue and would be confused by the pause at a LILO prompt and shut the machine down. :)

  • by sansbury ( 97480 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @01:34PM (#970028)
    What I want to know:

    1. Is it an enterprise-class solution?

    2. Can I get it from an application service provider?

    3. Is it web-enabled?

    4. What sort of wireless messaging capabilities does it provide?


  • The 4th generation Pentium, code name "Willamette", will be be officially named the Peon.
  • What bullshit!

    While I agree Windows has some ways to go before it's a really REALLY good OS, it is NOT *THAT* bad. Granted, Windows 9x lacks a lot in the way of security etc (and has a mindnumbingly annoying need for being re-installed every few months, but that's because i fuck with it a lot), but what I've seen of Win2K (yes, i've been running it for the last month and a half) gives me a lot better picture overall (for the USER, not a geek who likes to pore through 412349324 lines of code a day just to make stuff work). I haven't seen any of the 64000 "bugs" (32000 bugs and 32000 things that users wants solved another way IIRC)... maybe that's because it's not all that easy to FIND those bugs (i.e. they're in obscure places etc). Altho I have found the Driver Upgrade Wizard to be exceptionally slow when *I* want to find an updated driver (it chugs the HD 15 seconds or so... that HAS to be fixed, it's way too annoying, even tho I update a driver like once every month or so).

    I want a web server? It's easy to set up, and even easier to configure. Serves the main thing any NORMAL user might want to use a web server for, maybe even a small-time website (no idea how well it scales, so no comment on that). Same with FTP servers. In linux however, you have to fetch that from somewhere else, or *gasp, shock, horror!* you have to TYPE STUFF to get it installed. No matter what the average linux user says, the normal computer user ISN'T ready for that, and they never will be. How many NORMAL (not geeks or freaks, NORMAL) people do YOU know that would want to go under the hood of a car just to get it started, when another car has the ignition inside the car, ready to be turned?

    Linux has its place among servers and as power-user desktop OS's, and that is pretty much how I foresee it for the next 2-4 years. Going around saying "Windows must die! GO LINUX!" is really rather pathetic, seeing as the idea behind linux... is diversity.

    You want a war? fine. go to bosnia or something. Desktop OS's isn't a place to define as a war-zone. It's a place where people can pick and choose amongst several contenders as their needs etc demand, not a place for other people's needs to be advocated as the One True Way of Doing Things (tm).
  • Contrary to what's common to say about linux nowadays, it is NOT ready to be used on the common user's desktop. Linux still require you to spend a fair bit of time just to get it installed, let alone using it.

    I'll be the first to agree, however, that once it's installed, the picture becomes less blurred, but linux is still more demanding than MS's OSs.

    I can mention one reason I'll recommend Win2K over linux for a normal user (I'll refrain from mentioning Win9x, since they aren't even competing with linux with regards to stability)... The help system. In linux you either have to download some help system (haven't found one yet, but I haven't looked either, the man system works fine for me), or (shock horror) type stuff to figure out stuff... let's not mention you have to know WHAT to look for in the first place. Win2K's help system is a lot better in that regard, and no matter what you (or anyone else says), that, combined with the fact Win2K IS a lot better than the other MS OSs I've tried... just convinces me right then and there.

    PS: I still use linux, but on a more professional level (servers etc). I do run one computer with linux as its main os for my own use, but that isn't my main computer.
  • I really suggest you don't hang out on IRC

    Um, your experience is not typical, and your argument shows a lack of understanding. Getting kicked before you said anything is more likly due to an over zealous idiot with ops, or a channel takeover, or a bad domain-mask for a ban that someone had set. Yes, sometimes Linux channels are full of big headed zealots, but there are plenty of other channels to go get help.

    On an entirely diferent note, i suggest you don't use IRC because it's too damn addictive. On a computer at 4am and not coding? That'll be IRC then ;)
  • This is "news for nerds", not "news for sellouts". Since even my shoes run Linux, and I'll assume I'm not too far from average, an "all Linux expo" isn't too noteworthy.

    Hope this didn't post twice...

  • I keep reading and re-reading this post, and i can only come up with "whoa. my sentiments exactly."

    The elitist bunch of users, however, is the exact kind of people linux REALLY doesn't need too many of. People need to learn to sit back and see not just what CAN be done, but what can be done most efficiently. If a person knows NT, why FORCE him into using linux? On the flipside, if a guy knows linux, why force HIM into using NT? It's all a matter of "everything has its place", which sadly a lot of zealots (in both worlds) utterly fail to see.
  • Sometimes network switches fry, that happened a month ago to me, I could'nt ssh into the server ... so I had to go to the console ... whose monitor and keyboard was multiplexed to save space.
  • Huh? what the fuck? X wasn't difficult to set up... apt-get install (insert 3-4 packages i can't remember right now), run XF86Setup, then run startx. What the fuck kind of college did YOU go to that had SUCH low standards on CompSci courses?

  • Whoa there... I'm a Palm IIIc user and proud of it! Not all the screens are monochrome my friend.. this baby has beautiful color, gets great battery life, and has the BEST handheld OS around (Palm OS is a LOT better than CE - much smaller footprint, overhead, program overhead...). And the screen is not "smudgy", it's actually quite clear. And graffiti is a wonderful method of data input. Go get yourself a Palm and learn what you are talking about before you go post on Slashdot. I can't believe you got a 5.... some moderator must be crazy, you should be at -1 for not knowing what you're talking about.
  • Ack! I forgot to set my threshold to 5.... that post was already at zero... Correction to previous psot: I can't believe you're still at zero... some moderator should knock you down to -1
  • I don't rely on only-network management, so I have something labeled as "CPU Switch" that does the usual: keyboard, mouse, monitor sharing - plug in one of each and said connectors from several computers.

    And I believe it's a good thing to have console access. Just today I noticed one computer had lost track of network. And why would I ever allow network connections to my firewall? Through, yes, but to the box? Console access is good for broken hardware cases, too. And lots more.
  • Except when the machine has stopped responding to a bad nic...
  • It could have been worst!

    At least, they have Jon "Maddog" Hall as one of their speakers to talk about Linux...

  • by bjrubble ( 129561 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @01:40PM (#970043)
    I saw an MSNBC piece on PC Expo yesterday morning. Standard useless fluff, but as the voiceover talked about how handhelds and wireless were the craze, yadda yadda, they had video clips of the products. The main one was of a palmtop (didn't catch the brand) obviously running WinCE. Just a couple seconds into the shot, after a few stylus taps on the screen, a window titled "FATAL APPLICATION ERROR" filled the screen, and the user spent the last several seconds of the clip pressing various places on the screen in an evident and futile attempt to close the error window. Priceless.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    A button: Ignore 'funny ratings'

    It can be a pain in the *ss to find out that
    from 10 contributions with thresholds > 1
    4 are such 'funny' ones.

    But eventually I seem to lack some humor because
    often I would describe such high scoring 'funny'
    postings with the simple word: 'stupid'.

    Their rating sometimes tells more about the
    intelligence of the rating person than the rated
    posting itself. IMHO.

    And this is no fun.

  • Actually, the war analogy is very accurate. This may be a market space, but as the past generations have shown, there is only room for one big player. In most wars, the losing country does not cease to exist, it just diminishes significantly in precedence. That is the goal here. Second and third place means 10-20% MAX. Microsoft could not have come to power without IBM becoming significantly smaller in the arena of the desktop. So it is with Linux. Linux cannot become dominant, or even prominent on the desktop without microsoft suffering some major defeats, and losing around 50% of the market share they currently possess. The desktop is an area of standards. Anyone remember all the operating systems that co-existed with DOS? There can only be one true standard operationg system, hence only one victor, hence, this is a war.
  • You know, there *is* (rarely) still a need to get to a console, even in bsd/unix/linux. If you had three linux boxes in your computer room, would you want three monitors and keyboards (mice are pointless) or only one of each? Or, would you rather have to hook up a monitor and keyboard manually when something fried?
  • Those fuckers have been selling switches since the early days of DOS. I remember seeing my first one on triplet of Olivetti 7186-20. (a mainframe 'bridge' running a pair of 8088, oddly enough) No box was big enough to handle more than one mainframe, so you bought one for each.

    But the single user *nix or purpose built boxes died, replaced by multi user *nix, Novell and Cisco that could be manipulated over the network. They grew up. Windows was the only OS that didn't.
  • Here in Europe we've gotten over the e's. Now everything is m :-)

    OK, we've got "e-mostly everything" covered so now we're getting "m-the first things", like m-commerce (being able to buy using mobile whatever, usually cell phone), m-business (being able to create an order using mobile whatever while at customer's place), and so on. I'm surprised they haven't invented m-communications (being able to talk to that cell phone).

    Yes, I do believe in e-economy (and m-economy) for what's it worth. But not in the hype-form. It's much more than the hype shows, and most of it will happen in the background.
  • I can remember back when "Newsflash: Technology Trade Show Not Linux-Centric" wouldn't exactly have been a presses stopper.
  • Bam. Free Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer and Natural Keyboard Pro.

    Yuck. They tried to give those items to me here at work, however, I rejected them in favor of a more normal (non-warped) keyboard and a true 3-button Logitech MouseMan which Iscavenged out of the parts bin.

    I don't like the shape or feel of Microsoft's mice, let alone I want a true 3-button mouse not the goofy roller clicker thing in the middle. I would never be able to adapt to the warped keyboards, aside from the fact that they take up way too much desk space.

    Besides that, I don't think I've ever visited Expedia... :-)

  • Well, as someone who's actually served (I was a Sargeant in the Canadian Army), I'd say this is definitely not a war.


    In a war, you win by imposing chaos on your enemy and allowing your units to function. Since we are organized chaos, it's hard for them to impose further chaos on us, and easy for us to impose chaos upon them.

    Some simple things to keep in mind:

    Don't let the enemy impose the rules. Impose your own rules, define your own battlefield, determine your own objectives. Maybe we don't want to do GUI stuff for p0rn users. Maybe we don't want to seemless integration in one box. Maybe we don't want to make security easy so we're easy to hack.

    Don't worry about the bucks. Let the corporate greedheads worry about the bucks. You want to change the world. Money is just a method to measure how much control one has of resources. MSFT has lots of that. But if we undermine control and reestablish the valuation system, we devalue his currency. Just like the British Secret Service counterfeited money to win the Falklands War - don't fight conventionally when you can win a different way.

    Ain't nothing wrong with fighting on the Server Front. Who cares if it doesn't have fancy graphics - what do we use those for, anyway? Slide show presentations? Now, if you can crank out MP3 files and PNG faster, that I might care about.

    And, as the original poster said, remember that the pie is growing - and we keep getting larger fractions. This is good, and MSFT knows it. They may talk about selling 3 million W2K licenses, but how many of those had some guy install Linux on top of it? A heck of a lot, that's for sure.

  • They were also demoing a new webpad at the Transmeta/Crusoe booth. It was running linux. I asked about DVD playback and the demo man told me someone within the company(I forgot the name) is working on a software DVD player for linux. He said the webpad has plenty power to play DVD via software. Something to look forward to. Apparently a new company designed this webpad, a new one, not the IDEO model we all saw on the web. The guy demonstrating told me they were under agreement to not name the manufacturer, which released the prototype to them two days ago. It wasn't as sleek as the IDEO model, but had all kinds of ports and looked like it was somewhat expandable. He browsed over to Slashdot for me on netscape using the stylus. Very sleek. I can't wait. He says they may be out by the 4th Quarter of 2000. Expected price ~$1400. =)
  • just for the record, no grits (breakfast cereal) here grits would be the plural of grit (small stones) except that it isn't (grit is, it is the plural).

    oh yeah, and if you ever compliment a guy on his pants you are going to get some seriously weird looks.

    some things are funny because they are repeated, try Robert Rankin.

    bye bye karma :P

  • I agree on the Mandrake thing. Although I wasn't terribly impressed with the much-hyped "Graphical Install," (it didn't do anything the old non-graphical install didn't), I could see how it would be a big relief for Windoze crossovers. The install is not any harder than Windoze (assuming you choose all the default workstation class install stuff). Even my wife, who only cares to use the computer for e-mail and word-processing can use Mandrake (unfortunately "can" does not translate to "does"). All the people who believe that M$ is so much easier to install are simply uninformed. I installed Mandrake 7.0 and had a working anonymous FTP server and Apache Web server running without having to do any extra work (a lot of good it does on my 56k phone modem, but that's not the point...). Mandrake is good stuff.
  • "goofy roller clicker thing"? I bought a logitech pilot+ once (with a goofy roller clicker thing) after i killed my original logitech pilot (true 3 button) mouse. Never looked back. ever. I was practically hooked on the mousewheel after using it for just an hour.

    Right now, however, i own a Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer, and quite frankly, I'm in love with the last 2 buttons. I wince every time i have to use a button without those buttons, let alone without that mousewheel.

    Another thing, the IME fits my hand quite nicely, contrary to the pilot+, which was so small, i constantly got a cramp whenever i played a game for an extended amount of time (5+ hour gaming sessions have been known to occur).

    As for the keyboard, however, I recently went back to using an old clicky 286 keyboard, because i broke the (non-windows keyed) keyboard i got with my first computer (p90, 4 years ago). I wasn't happy with that, since i'd worn down the keys to a nice, shiny state... i'd even worn away 95% of the text on the "m" key... And I refuse to get a natural keyboard simply because it's different from what i'm used to. Heck, i've refrained from using this clicky keyboard up until now simply because the ' key is in a different place from what i'm used to (4 years of DEEPLY ingrown typing habits are hard to change).
  • Did you see a message something like this?

    Create a normal user and log in through that account. Do not IRC as root. Banned for your own protection.


    "Free your mind and your ass will follow"

  • The funniest thing I found at the PC Expo was the gift that AMD was giving out. By definition, it is a 'note holder' of sorts, basically a little cube that has a wire and a gator clip on the end that you are supposed to put notes/cards/etc in and have it stand on your desk. However, the concept is almost unusable with this item, so I prefer to call it the Offical AMD Roach Clip. Besides, people think its a lot cooler when you present it that way to them.

  • That's not the point of the PCExpo. So what if MS or any other company is hugely over-represented ? The whole point of ANY expo or conference is free T-shirts and CD's. I shamelessly took their toys and "Thank you very your product...blah, blah, blah... Do you have any keychains ?"
  • have you ever used the "goofy roller clicker thing?" I too thought it retarded when first I saw it, but once I used it I could never go back to a mouse without one. it is insanely handy whilst viewing html, and nice in any other app with scrollbars, etc.

    logitech has a comfortable, minimally warped one; the mouseman+ I believe it is named. its the same one bought in bulk and branded by hewlitt packard

    try it before you knock it
  • by emerson ( 419 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @02:11PM (#970070)
    > We are fighting a war.

    See, no, we're not.

    We're competing in a market space.

    It's only our binary-obsessed Western mythos that has to cast everything in terms of good/evil, us/them, black/white, and winners/losers.

    In a market space, there's plenty of room to be very successful in second or third or tenth place. This isn't a war, it's not a sport, it's not a race.

    And that's the way it should be. As soon as you start framing your thoughts in terms of beating the other guy, you have stopped framing your thoughts in terms of being the best you can; being 'on top' is good enough, even if your product is shoddy.

    You can say that Microsoft is treating this as a war, and so we need to react in kind, but I maintain that setting "beat Microsoft" as the goal of any alternative project is the death knell for quality in that project. Being better than Microsoft is not hard. Continuing to improve for its OWN sake is the hard part.

    It's not a war. It's a competition, in the capitalist sense -- everyone wins different sized slices of the pie, but anyone who has a slice at all is a winner.

  • At my job, I'm currently playing a real life game of xbill (and losing, I might add). Basically, we used to be run from California, and all the technology decisions were made there. However, there was a change in management and the new tech guy is a Windows-head. I should point out that he is not a computer science guy, but computers for business kind of guy.

    Well, basically, Tampa (or at least our office) is in a timewarp, I've heard my new boss refer to Linux as "underground crap" and "freeware," as well as a constant din of saying "Linux sucks" anytime any problem arises. (The application we were left with was a Big Ball of Mud [], but this has nothing to do with Linux. The new guy finds it convenient for pushing his agenda, though, to blame every single problem on Linux and say, "If this were NT, we'd be done already.")

    Well, that being said, every Linux box we've gotten here in the Tampa office he wants to "blast" (his term for re-format) and make into an NT/2000/Tinkertoy-whatever box. Even if they have valuable information on them that will be lost... and I haven't been able to effectively defend Linux against this onslaught. I mean, how can I when the guy has no problem lying if it will prevent him from having to learn something non-Windows? It's his word against mine, and he can find FUD to back up his side to counter any pro-Linux research I might do. (He's more experienced than I am, and even though I've been at the company longer he's considered senior.)

    So, people shouldn't think that Linux is winning the war of the office. Maybe in CA it is, but here in the stix, Bill Gates' tinkertoy-set still reigns supreme.

    Any tips on how to fix this situation would be greatly appreciated... though I realize I'll probably get a lot of Windows-head who seem to frequent Slashdot now telling me I should go with the flow....

  • Yes, I'm an economcis professor, but you don't need to be one to see the utter misunderstanding of capitalism and the market system to see the nonsense here.

    >Capitalism is based on the assumption of limited
    >resources and unlimited demand (driven by
    >necessity or greed).

    No. But this is vaguely a description of the notion of scarcity. *All* economic systems attempt to deal with this, including marx. Furthermore, "limited resources" does not mean "fixed quantity of resources," and unlimited demand has nothing to do with market economics or capitalist thought. The problem is that the quantity available at a price of zero exceeds the quanity demanded at that price.

    >In this scenario, the only way to increase your
    >pie share is at the expense of your >competitor(s).

    This is *not* market or capitalist thinking. Facscist, perhaps.

    As a matter of fact, this contradicts the very *reason* that theses systems are argued superior: that they are the most efficient at increasing the size of the pie. You *can* gain at the same time as your competitor; market economics *can* be a positive sum game (though this is not guaranteed).

    >The theory is that this should lead to a balance
    >of players, each struggling against
    >each other and providing the consumers with the
    >benefits of lower prices/better products
    >(Smith+).... the reality is that situation is
    >easily made unstabland results in monopoly
    >capitalism (Reality).

    Reality? It is contradicted by virtually all of the data, at least in the United States. Over the past century, the portion of the economy dominated by monopolized and oligopolized industries has steadily dropped, while those dominated by competitive markets has steadily risen.

    hawk, professor of economics
  • People buy whatever they use at work. All this talk of interfaces and metaphors is bull. I've had to teach DOS before some people understood windows for the first time.

    As for asses in IRC channels, I've noticed most people can't even begin to explain their problems clearly. What I can't understand is where the emotional fits come from. They're both frustrating, confusing, and disturbing to someone trying to help.

    Forget rtfm. Linux could use some better manuals. Being uptodate is a red herring since last I heard email is still email just as it was years ago. 2+2 still = 4.

    The problem is people don't even read dialogs. I'm sorry but there's a point where people have to grow up. There's no such thing as infinite convenience.

    Finally, let's face it. You're talking about 30 years of innovation all at once. you want to teach people 30 years worth of shit? C'mon. It's not enough to just embrace users. They need to learn to go after the things they want. Computers aren't toasters. They're vehicles at best.

  • Transmeta was there in a big way. Had a large booth with an audience section on one side, comfy office simulation on another and an aircraft area demoing Crusoe-powered pieces of hardware with scattered Linus sightings.

    There was a small linux pavillion in which LinuxMall had a sizable booth. I came to the rescue of one of their salesguys who was mystified by the package on one of his own shelves labled "Yellow Dog Linux".

    DVD was a big item this year with everything from jukeboxes to portable vid players being hyped. Another item in the funky neat area was the Pocket PC, whose main unit with the combo CD/floppy undocked was about the size of those old neon plastic nine-volt radios of the '70s. It's a mini Pentium running Windows but the booth exihibitors are pretty hot on Linux as apparantly they've made a licensing deal with Corel to get $300 ready-to run desktop kits.

    No Mac action per se, but here and there the odd G4 with Cinema display for video demo and the scattering of imacs. The bulk of those network drives like Snap! have finally discovered the world beyond Windows. They've added support for both Linux and Appleshare/Appleshare over IP.

    It was a relatively tonedowned show compared to PC/Expos of late but busy nonetheless.
  • by SoftwareJanitor ( 15983 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @04:19PM (#970089)
    I tried it, didn't find it terribly useful, although it was under Windows, and it made the text in the browser or other windows scroll either too slowly or with nauseating waves. In any case, I didn't like the fact that the wheel had a noisy and distinct clickiness in its action which made the scrolling jerky. Frankly, I think I would rather just use the 'Page up' and 'Page down' keys with my other hand.

    Most of the scrolling gadgets in mice don't make any provision for scrolling sideways. I have seen one mouse that had a little Thinkpad-like 'Trackpoint' device on it for scrolling both up and down and left and right. That might be a little more useful than the wheel gadgets, especially since it would probably be smoother and quiet. I still want a real, reasonably sized middle button though.

  • Maybe it is because the PC vendors, dealing in a market with nearly zero innovation or product differentiation, think they have to resort to whizbang flashy gadgets while the workstation vendors can just stick to what works because they are dealing with a much more savvy customer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @04:22PM (#970094)
    Well I submitted a story to slashdot about a site with pics from the expo but I guess I was denied. If you want to take a look at the new Crusoe notebooks or the new web tablet zip on over to Tech Toys.
  • by imac.usr ( 58845 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @04:26PM (#970096) Homepage
    I expect to see a slashdot post with the headline "Mac Expo [http] = Mac OS Heaven".

  • Ah! Let me know when you distill down the events
    and figure out the starting date. Not only damn
    funny, but a great waste of karma..

    How about 'Best Troll Impersonation', where the
    objective it to look exactly like one of the
    established trolls. (Eg, an fake Fat-time & Lubie,
    a new episode of 'Star Wars') Or perhaps "Most
    Believable Link".
  • by Fizgig ( 16368 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @12:43PM (#970099)
    Is this the same PC Expo talked about in this [] article? Which one's true? In this article they claim "fealty to Microsoft is the exception" and that everyone was talking about Linux. Surely things can't be THAT polar!
  • Lots of PDA stuff is going on at the expo - it kicked off with a speech [] from Jeff Hawkins, founder of both Palm and Handspring. Sony is also showing off [] their new PalmOS PDA [] at the show as well.

    Wish I was there..


  • by Fervent ( 178271 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @12:47PM (#970103)
    Microsoft has a big showing at the PC Expo, which has been dominated by Win32 programs for the past 5 years. Anyone really surprised by this?

    If Microsoft suddenly showed up at an Open Source convention and said "Here's Office 2001 with source code for *NIX", yeah, then I would be surprised. But as it stands Microsoft has the same monopoly share at the expos as it does with OS's in general: all of it.

    Besides, I'm not a big detractor of MS at shows anyway. They give some pretty awesome prizes for 15 minutes of their time. I watched from afar while Sun was doing their Java presentation at one show, and the Microsoft presenter asked "OK, here's a quiz, where should you go for up-to-date travel information?" "Expedia," I answered. Bam. Free Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer and Natural Keyboard Pro.

    Not bad for pandering to a major corporation for 30 seconds (and I can go right back to Linux and FreeBSD).

  • Obviously not enough if the Palm tent is full and the PocketPC area is nearly empty as the commentary implies.

    Also that Linux seems to making a strong showing there, even if it is off in a corner. The idea that RedHat gave out 400 CD in one day, mostly to suites is very encouraging, IMHO.

    Having a big marketing budget can always help a product, but if they don't deliver eventually no matter how big you marketing budget is it won't help.
  • I have no idea, honestly. It's just one of those subculture things that has sprung up on slashdot - it's a running joke that has started to get old. I just use it now like I do metavariables like "foo" and "tmp".. I could have just as easily made the headline: Rob Malda Found Strangled To Death by Cat5, Local Natalie Portman Club Questioned.

    ROB ,will you PLEASE fix my account so I can start posting at 1 again instead of 2?! I want my goddamn PREVIEW feature back...

  • by Rahga ( 13479 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @12:49PM (#970106) Journal

    1) E-commerce makes a lot of money. So does catalog sales (JCPenny, Sears, etc...). E-commerce is really just the simple progression of mail order sales onto digital media and communication channels.

    2) Wireless data delivery, as in getting stocks and scores over you mobile phone, really isn't that big of a deal. Simple evolution of pager and mobile phone technologies, nothing more.

    3) Handheld computing is just evoliving, nothing really amazing about it. Simple evolution of the calculator, in my opinion.

    4) The marketing industry has simply blown it's top. Everything "E" is the current focus, and advertisers and media execs are singing all the way to the bank. They have taken simple product evolution in the consumer electronics industry, which can be related to the "revolution" of adding the freshness date to the bottom of beer cans, and made these "marvelous" to be much more larger than life than they really are.

    Quite simply, the wizzards of oz are really putting on quite a show.

    Maybe, one day, the media zombies of the world will start seeing through these inflated advances in technology and realize the actual, unrealized potential of technology and convince these buisnesses to bring _real_ revolution to the table. Or, at least bring the inflated costs of these products and services down.

    (Note, this post was just an observation, no real point to it ;).)
  • Oh, obviously I was hallucinating.

    Damn, that was a real waste, then. Here I could have been seeing purple-fringed dragons circling Venus to the tune of Pink Floyd's _Echoes_, and instead my hallucination is a lame PC Expo piece with an error-spewing palmtop...
  • As I was getting ready for my job as an ASP/VB (blech!) programmer, I had the TV on. "Today" was on and they were panning through the crowd of goobers with "We LOVE Alabama" signs. All of a sudden, a "Linux Rules" sign pops up! And there, in the crowd is a giant tux suit! Then the moron anchors started talking about the "Pokemon" in the crowd. Did anyone else notice this??? What is the deal?
  • I really suggest you don't hang out on IRC. My experience with it has been similar to yours. I once entered a Linux IRC channel and *immediately* was kicked. It was my first time ever on IRC, and I hadn't even said anything yet!

    I *have* been able to find good help with USENET; I've found people to be very friendly. You should also try searching first to see if someone has already answered your question. Hope that helps. Just remember that there are a lot of losers out there who get their kicks by being nasty.

  • Actually, the war analogy is very accurate. This may be a market space, but as the past generations have shown, there is only room for one big player.

    The war analogy is only accurate if you're trying to win. If you want Linux to be the dominant operating system, then yes, you have a war to fight. That's not what I want. I want to knock Microsoft off its high horse, and I want Linux to be used where it's appropriate to be used, and I want Linux to improve so that it will be more useful to more people, but why should it dominate? Remember that Linus Torvalds himself said that he doesn't want Linux to control 90% of the market, because then Linux would start to suck almost as bad as Windows.

    A much better goal to strive for is interoperability. Make it so that if I use platform A and you use platform B, we can still communicate and share documents and ideas and such, and our choice of platform doesn't matter. This is where Microsoft has a stranglehold. If you regularly exchange Office documents and your corporate intranet uses Exchange, you're pretty much stuck with Windows (there are other apps that can read Office documents but none of them are good enough to be acceptible alternatives in a Windows-centric environment where many documents are exchanged).


  • My friend had to register at the actual computer terminal. It had a Windows frontend (what looked to be IE5 in 'Kiosk/Fullscreen' mode)

    When he submitted the form, it blew up and I
    noticed the little "Apache" tag at the bottom.

    I asked the guy who was assisting people with registration if they ran Linux for their backend and he said he didn't know.

  • by davemc ( 16393 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @12:52PM (#970126) Homepage
    In the 80's Digital Equipment had a small show called DECWorld. Held in Mass each year, and literally took up nearly every hotel for a hundred miles. Last one I remeber was at the World trade center and on the Queen Mary, to host all the exhibits and people. Needless to say, DECWorld is gone. I rmember lots of big shows who dominate and die, slowly. However the shows that grow seem to be equally focused on HW and applications, and have some level of appeal to the general perception, e.g. everyone knows what a PC is, and according to the appelate court, everyone recognizes that PC==Windows. The object lesson is still however about quality, not quantity, in symposiums. I'd love to have 20000 rabid buyers of linux products. I'd love 200,000 even more, but I'm willing to grow into them. I'm also willing to have 10 shows of 20,000 buyers, if the buyers are diferent in each venue. That appears to be a risk to Linux acceptance. How many shows do you go to that have the same faces, same speakers, same everything. In a former life managing Ada products, I could correctly pick over 50% of the attendees each time. I'm beginning to feel that way about Linux shows.
  • Linux shows are niche shows. Glad to see that someone at Slashdot decided to walk out into the real world. When is the Linux community going to realize that they have a chance at the server community...but the desktop is beyond their grasp. Why? Largely because the end user likes something that is familiar from computer to computer...not a different GUI for every workstation.... Couple that with the elitist attitude that most Linux Hacks display and you've got your reason. Personally I think Linux could be the better operating system, but I still use Win98 & Win2000 on my home machines because every Linux IRC channel that I've asked a simple question in has been filled with some of the biggest asses I've ever met. Embrace your new users instead of trying to trump them and see the difference. PrimalChrome

"You must have an IQ of at least half a million." -- Popeye