IBM's SUN-bashing get's more and more annoying

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Feb 03, 2006
2:10 PM EDT
I must say that I am getting more and more annoyed by IBM. I appreciate that they have some kernel hackers on their payroll, it's nice that they did some contributions to Apache's Java projects. But their repetitive lashing out against SUN is simply getting boring (midly speaking)!

This comment BTW is not so much about Tom's posting or about the redbook's content. It's about IBM's general attitude. I think they are contributing too little and taking too much.


Feb 03, 2006
2:34 PM EDT
I can understand your sentiment. If you favor Sun and at times I have, it gets annoying. I just feel seriously compromised by Sun. When your livelihood is at stake, then you get scared and then to deal with the fear you get angry - like, whether you call it annoyed or whatever.

I have an aversion to Sun. It's sort of like those treatment centers in the 1980's where if you wanted to lose weight they made you eat ten times more than you normally did until you became averse to food. They used the same thing with cigarettes. They made you sick with something you liked.

It helps if you realize there is no Sun and there is no IBM. It's just people and a shared concept called a company. The company is a concept and people believe like it's real. They have little lapel pens and things and logos and shirts and brief cases. But, it's still a concept. It's not like the ocean which you can touch and feel. You can touch the buildings but then other companies have moved into IBM buildings and some Sun buildings are very empty.

I went to a mediation once where and several IBMers wrote letters in favor of the people who wound up with my company and disparaging me. Of course, the person who took over the company was hired from IBM. That's a cliche really. How many companies exist like that.

It surprised me. But, in fact, it wasn't IBM is was people at IBM.

Here's where I draw the line. Sun people told me with no reservations and unequivocally that they were embracing Linux because Solaris was dead. Then I caught their sales people saying in open meetings that they were only doing it to get people hooked on Sun and then they would transfer them to Solaris. They would steal Linux developers; get kernel guys to move to OpenSolaris; etc.

I took it to my Sun sponsors and they said: No way. Then those guys to whom I reported and who were unequivocally absolutely Linux forever, moved over to the OpenSolaris team. They knew they were going to all the time.

So, they have jerks at both places and some nice people at both places.

But, I don't think IBM has as much to worry about as Sun. Sun does $10 billion in sales and IBM does $100 billion or thereabouts.

One of my old buddies from Sun wrote me a short time ago and said he downloaded OpenSolaris and said it looked likeone of the most sophisticated Linux distros he had ever seen. He was a 15 year veterans Solaris admin.

He uses Linux now and runs Ubuntu and lives at artic circle.


Feb 04, 2006
3:54 AM EDT
Well, Tom. I am not sure whether I _prefer_ Sun. When it comes to linux (or free software in general) they seem a bit confused themself (well that's most probably because of the differing opinions of the people at Sun, but nevertheless for a company to survive a clear company line would be helpful).

I am thankful for OpenOffice, NFS, Netbeans and other contributions of them. I very much hope that their recent announcements regarding the GPLing (V3) of Solaris comes true (and that is good no matter whether Linus changes the kernel to V3 or not - which is way too early to tell in my opinion). And I keep begging that they free Java.

So when it comes to Sun I have kind of mixed feelings. That happend to be true about IBM. But with their repetitive statements my feelings very much changed to outright disgust.

Of course there are good people in both companies. But IBM's marketing and their bigmouths are damaging their very own company (and - alas- sometimes that is true for Scott McNealy or Jonathan Schwartz as well).

Feb 04, 2006
8:44 AM EDT
Agreed. The noise makes little differnce, it's results that count. Both have made contributions. With IBM, I think they have empowered their resellers with Linux exponentially more than Sun.

I don't know how to measure the impact of either. But, I do know that with regard to Sun's OS projects - everything is about Solaris and with IBM it's about standards and free software and adding to the stack.

That's a difference that needs some visibility, perhaps.

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