• United States
by Tony Podrasky

Linux is the answer

Dec 02, 20023 mins
Enterprise Applications

Letters to the editor on Microsoft, broadband and Weblogs.

Regarding What users want from Microsoft : I perceive Microsoft to work more or less like our politicians do. You tell them what you want; they listen, nod their heads and then do what they were going to do anyway. You can either play by their rules or take your game elsewhere. Elsewhere? Yes, to Linux. Here are my Linux answers to some of users’ top Microsoft issues:

  • Patch management: Doesn’t need it – no patches.
  • Security: Bulletproof. The worst a user can do is blow away his own private little space, not the whole host, and even that is hard to do. Also, no viruses.
  • Licensing: Doesn’t exist.
  • Support: You might need a guru to get started initially, but once you get everything up and running, you won’t need much. Paying someone big bucks for an initial setup will more than compensate for the nightmares you’ll never have.
  • Management tools: Plenty, and they’re free.

I can do just about everything from my Linux box that a Microsoft user does. I have not upgraded or patched this box in the four years I’ve been using it. Sure, Office and Outlook are more powerful, but do you really need all the bells and whistles? Netscape e-mail does just fine, doesn’t change mail formats between releases and doesn’t burst into flames or hang. Neither does Linux.

Take one of the techie kids in the office, tell him to get one of the 386s out of the storage closet, get the CDs and do a “Linux load everything.” Give him a week to tune it, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised when he demos it.

Tom Podrasky

San Diego

When was the term “broadband” redefined to mean speed? In the story What is broadband?, I saw many different definitions. The only definition I didn’t see is the correct one.

The true definition of broadband is: A transmission medium that can carry signals from multiple independent network carriers on a single coaxial or fiber-optic cable, by establishing different bandwidth channels. Notice that there is no mention of speed in the definition.

Scott Burch

Chief Scientist

Bulldog Information Services

New York

Regarding your Face-off “Are Weblogs legitimate business tools?” (DocFinder: 3324): Mark Hurst contends that e-mail is more effective than blogs. This leaves out the blog’s most important feature: The blog becomes a true knowledge-management system. It’s a searchable, sortable archive of all the news and information that’s relevant to users.

Hurst also says that Usenet is a better method for “building a community” – and he’s right to some degree. It is, if you’re trying to build a permanent community on a certain topic. However, if you are simply trying to create action items around a specific piece of news or want to make a quick comment about something, blogs make a lot of sense. A user can skim all the major stories in the blog and then decide which areas he wants to delve into. With Usenet, the user is required to judge entirely by subject lines with no additional context.

Mike Masnick


Techdirt Corporate Intelligence

Foster City, Calif.