Wrong.

Story: The Biggest Blunder: Or why Red Hat and Novell just left the door wide open to UbuntuTotal Replies: 60
Author Content
cjcox

Apr 21, 2008
7:36 AM EST
Sigh... I know that people have a great deal of fun making up stories about Novell.

Novell currently sells the SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) which has been VERY successful and there are numerous deployments.

What Novell is saying is that the idea that EVERYONE is going to scrap Windows and move to a Linux based desktop is probably 5 years out or more. Now, it is true for the moment, that Red Hat isn't wanting to get back into the enterprise desktop space... sure, but they'll probably get back in once they believe they can make good money at it too.

Novell currently has a desktop solution AND for SOME companies, it's a nice fit. Ubuntu is NOT a silver bullet... last time I checked it was still LINUX. And therefore Ubuntu, like SLED or ANY other desktop distribution is NOT going to run even 50%... shoot not even TEN PERCENT of the available Windows applications of which a good 75% do not have even a relatively close approximation in the FOSS or even commercial Linux space.

Folks... I love Linux (I dare say I love it more than most of you)... but let's not make up stories... ok? Let's at least be honest when talking to people about the realities of where Linux and its applications are. Is Linux a useful desktop? I think so. In fact if (like myself) you have been using Linux as your ONLY desktop since 1994, you have no problems thinking of Linux as a desktop (and that's the truth and NOT a story or fairy tale). But if I walk into a contemporary shop using a plethora of contemporary Windows applications and try to tell them they can make a painless or even semi-painless migration to Linux, I am doing them a DISSERVICE. Unless your goal to purposefully make people HATE Linux.

Look.. people hate Microsoft because of the frustrations that come with the platform. Don't drag Ubuntu down to that level by trying to tell people it's something that is is NOT.

If you're a Unix user (e.g. Solaris, etc) on the desktop, I can almost guarantee you that you'll find a Linux desktop experience to be superior in almost every single way.

If you want to play EVERY 3D game (Steam, etc.) that you spent hundreds of dollars on.. if you want every proprietary corporate .Net application.... if you want every piece of hardware (many of which are Windows ONLY) to work with ..... Linux.... no way. Probably not happening soon, if ever. At least not with that kind of Windows-ONLY way of determing what software and hardware you want to deploy. You'd have to change your reasoning and expectations in order to make the jump to Linux... is it worth it? I think so, but many will NOT agree. Ever try to remove full blown (every feature used, updated, etc) Exchange from a corporate back office? Shoot... ever try to remove a robust usage of Microsoft Office and replace it with something like OpenOffice (which supports less than 20% of MS Office's functionlity... just happens to support >90% of what a basic-average MS Office user needs)?... etc.

So... be pro-Linux. Start with YOUSELF. The best way to start migrating users to Linux is one-by-one and is starts with "moi". Are you a dual booter? Stop. If you want to see Linux on the desktop prove that it works... prove it by starting at home. Make your house an all Linux household..... eventually, your colleagues at work will migrate once they see the flexilbility advantages.... make them envy your desktop.

With that said, you'll still have to use remote desktop or VMware or something for Windows applications (usually). Why? For the reasons I already mentioned. Especially on the corporate side.... they're not going to use Linux as their litmus test for application roll-out... not yet. It takes time... (a LONG time).

Even my wife (who uses openSUSE 10.3 as her desktop on a Dell D630), has to use VMware with XP so she can use Microsoft Office 2007... why? That's what she HAS to teach as a part of her job (hello? Is anyone listening?). If it weren't for that, she wouldn't need Windows at all. She even has a dual boot area which runs Vista... why? Well.. blame me for that one, it's our only Vista instance in the house and I need access to that for troubleshooting people's Vista problems.

I'll get off my soap box... just getting tired of the Xanadu trend with regards to Linux. It's great, but it's not GOD. Let's not tell people that it is. Show them what it can and CANNOT do today. Leave the lack of integrity for the folks in Redmond to use when talking....





garymax

Apr 21, 2008
7:56 AM EST
/quote/What Novell is saying is that the idea that EVERYONE is going to scrap Windows and move to a Linux based desktop is probably 5 years out or more./quote/

And that is the point of the article.

I know full well that Novell is selling enterprise desktop solutions but their attitude toward the consumer desktop means they will have no initiative there.

Read the article more closely.

If they truly believe that the consumer Linux desktop is 5 years out they will not commit resources towards this market and will incrementally lose mindshare because Shuttleworth believes the Linux desktop is NOW and will have had a 5 year head start when Novell finally starts to take any action--given their current position.

This gives Canonical 5 years of little to no competition at the level of a Red Hat or Novell to integrate and sell end-to-end solutions with very little market pressure.

And that was and is the point of the article.
cjcox

Apr 21, 2008
10:30 AM EST
Ubuntu doesn't have some kind of magic Ubuntu-only license.... right? Anything that the community (which IS NOT Ubuntu) comes up with benefits all of the desktop players, be it Fedora, openSUSE or Ubuntu. If Ubuntu comes out with an ENTERPRISE desktop platform to compete with SLED, so be it. But Canonical CANNOT and WILL NOT deliver something else, for the same reason that Novell doesn't today.

Think about WHY Novell doesn't try to support every kernel version, every application version, etc. What exactly are you expecting Canonical to do?
garymax

Apr 21, 2008
11:08 AM EST
The whole point of the article is NOT what Canonical can do differently in terms of technology; the whole point is that by Red Hat and Novell taking to the sidelines where the consumer desktop is concerned it leaves the door wide open for Canonical and Ubuntu to gain market and mind share. To establish a position that when once achieved is hard for other players to enter into.

I agree that whatever the community does with technology can be of benefit to other open source players. That's not the issue here. The issue is one of brand recognition and mind share.

It isn't easy for a Linux distributor who has not been supporting the desktop to just wake up one day and decide to play in the sandbox. It's much more involved than that.

As to what I expect Canonical and Ubuntu to do? Just what I said in the article: they will continue to gain mind and market share and take over the desktop and server niches--unless, of course, Red Hat and Novell decide to steer a different course than they are now on.
theboomboomcars

Apr 21, 2008
11:21 AM EST
I don't think that Ubuntu will gain much more than what it has until it is marketed.

There is a lot of word of mouth that has been happening, but as we have seen with the linux market, that will only take you so far. It needs to be Marketed to gain mind share. It's hard to gain the mind share if minds are not aware.
garymax

Apr 21, 2008
11:31 AM EST
theboomboomcars,

I think you may be getting marketing and advertising confused. Canonical has done a great job of marketing. Advertising their business is something they can always and should always do more of.

But of all of the Linux distributions, when you mention "desktop Linux", Ubuntu has become synonymous with the term. Whether or not this is deserved is for others to decide. But it wasn't long ago that another article came out on the net that asked the question: Is Ubuntu becoming the generic Linux?

This garnered recognition is due to the massive amount of marketing, blogging, and, yes, hype that has surrounded Ubuntu. And any publicity is good when you're looking for name and brand recognition.

Please note that I am not stating that Ubuntu has "earned" any rights to the desktop although the distro has earned a reputation for ease of use. I am only pointing out the fact that Canonical has a great opportunity to expand now that two other major players have abdicated their moves towards the consumer desktop.

Time will tell what happens...

rijelkentaurus

Apr 21, 2008
11:32 AM EST
Quoting: the whole point is that by Red Hat and Novell taking to the sidelines where the consumer desktop is concerned it leaves the door wide open for Canonical and Ubuntu to gain market and mind share.


That would be essentially how a sub-par (okay, ABSOLUTE GARBAGE) operating system from Redmond was able to displace Netware in the server room, by getting people familiar with it on the desktop and gaining mindshare, then market share.
alc

Apr 21, 2008
11:35 AM EST
There's no question that the Ubuntu name is out there right now,but as long as Novell supports Open Suse I don't think they will be that far away from the desktop.And don't forget Mandriva,they seem to be another Company that's not leaving the desktop market anytime soon.I would agree that Canonical is gaining mind share right now,and that should really help them in the future.
tracyanne

Apr 21, 2008
12:34 PM EST
GaryMax I don't believe I've read anywhere that Mandriva or Linspire (cough) or Xandros or Mepis, to name a few commercial desktop Linux companies - companies that actually sell desktop versions of Linux, rather than simply give it away - are about to give up the Linux desktop. So waht if Red Hat ot Novell don't want it, there are other companies out there, other than Cannonical (who actually give away their desktop version, when do they expect to make money from, and what doe you think all the freeloaders are going to do when they are asked to pay?), working to make Linux a commercially viable desktop. That fact more than anything else is why what you've written is crap.
garymax

Apr 21, 2008
12:53 PM EST
tracyanne,

Now be honest. Out of all of the distros you mentioned none of them have the infrastructure, the community nor the financial backing that Ubuntu has. You're making the same mistake as others who have chided in prematurely that what I have written is short sighted. Or, as you put it, "crap."

I never said that there wasn't other distros aiming for the desktop. But you should know that out of all of the contenders to the desktop throne Ubuntu has the most mind share at the moment. Not to mention the community and the financial backing to make a very big splash--as it has already done.

All I am saying is that out of the three biggest Linux companies that have the name recognition and the capital to make a run for the consumer desktop, two have essentially backed out for the time being--giving Canonical the opportunity to make an even stronger move towards the desktop (as if it hasn't already).

You make mention of Canonical expecting customers--sorry, freeloaders as you put it--to pay. Canonical has stated in their charter that they will never charge for their desktop version--they charge for support from which they receive, I believe I read, 70% of their revenue. If Canonical pulled an "mp3" here by getting to be a standard and then charging for it, they would fail immediately having lost credibility in the eyes of the Linux community.

I do not intend to downplay other distros; I am simply stating what appears to be a fact in the market at the moment. Let's see what the future holds and enjoy the crap...er...ride. :-)

tracyanne

Apr 21, 2008
12:58 PM EST
Gary What will the freeloaders do when Mark wants his return on investment?

Mandriva Users tend to contribute financially to Mandriva, as do Linspire users, as do Xandros users.
rijelkentaurus

Apr 21, 2008
1:01 PM EST
Quoting: Out of all of the distros you mentioned none of them have the infrastructure, the community nor the financial backing that Ubuntu has.


I understand Shuttleworth has a lot of money, but Ubuntu itself has yet to prove itself as a commercial success. I would not expect him to stick with it forever, and if he decides to ever pull funding it will collapse under its own weight.

Quoting: All I am saying is that out of the three biggest Linux companies that have the name recognition and the capital to make a run for the consumer desktop, two have essentially backed out for the time being


Dunno what their plans for the desktop are (probably none, of course), but by far and away (by billions and billions of $$) the largest company that distributes a Linux is Oracle. Sure, a Red Hat clone, but it could potentially position them to readily and easily expand into a zone where they already have a large footprint. Probably won't happen, but I think it could expand their reach in the enterprise if they wanted to push it. And Oracle fears no one and nothing, particularly the likes of MS, Ubuntu and especially Red Hat.
garymax

Apr 21, 2008
1:02 PM EST
tracyanne,

I am not aware of any plans on Canonical's part to charge for the desktop version.

Shuttleworth seems to want to seed his product and extract revenue from support contracts. As I just got finished writing, if Canonical ever charges for their desktop product, then Canonical is doomed having violated the trust of the Linux community.

By the way, I do respect your opinion as a regular here at LXer. No hard feelings. :-)
garymax

Apr 21, 2008
1:05 PM EST
rijelkentaurus,

/quote/the largest company that distributes a Linux is Oracle. Sure, a Red Hat clone, but it could potentially position them to readily and easily expand into a zone where they already have a large footprint.../quote/

Excellent point. They have been quiet concerning their long range plans and I did write without regards to Oracle because, quite frankly, they aren't a player on the desktop. At least not right now.

But if they got into the game, then everything changes...
garymax

Apr 21, 2008
1:15 PM EST
rijelkentaurus,

/I understand Shuttleworth has a lot of money, but Ubuntu itself has yet to prove itself as a commercial success. I would not expect him to stick with it forever, and if he decides to ever pull funding it will collapse under its own weight./

Remember, Mark Shuttleworth also set up the Ubuntu Foundation as a way to support the distro should he ever go his own way. But I agree that as high a profile as Shuttleworth is, if he ever left the project, it would not sink due to a financial crisis, but would sink because its figurehead had moved on.
tracyanne

Apr 21, 2008
2:09 PM EST
Quoting:if Canonical ever charges for their desktop product, then Canonical is doomed having violated the trust of the Linux community.


They won't have violated my trust, Mandriva certainly haven't violated mine, and I am one of Mandriva's paying customers.

On the other hand when I made a suggestion directly to the Management of Mandriva, I received a polite thank you in French and English, from Francois Bachilon. A similar suggestion to Mark Shuttleworth elicited an abrupt "Mr Shuttleworth is too busy to deal with this right now, he will contact you when the latest release has been finalised" from some office flunky, that was 2 years ago. I guess he just doesn't have the time for the little people. That was when I was considering selling hardware with Ubuntu pre installed.

I consider what Connonical did a violation of my trust.
garymax

Apr 21, 2008
2:24 PM EST
tracyanne,

I understand your position as one's trust can be violated by the company's attitude and actions--not just their fiscal behavior.

For what it's worth, I used Mandrake/Mandriva and received an email from Gael Duval when I wrote an article for the Linux Journal a few years back. To take the time to do that was really a nice touch.

Of course, they let him go and that was one of the reason's I gave up on Mandriva because they never had a firm grasp on where they were headed--towards the server market or the desktop.

Maybe this has changed?

By the way, are you located in Australia and if so, what part?
tracyanne

Apr 21, 2008
2:30 PM EST
Yes, Queensland, Fraser Coast (near Hervey Bay)
garymax

Apr 21, 2008
2:32 PM EST
tracyanne,

I used to talk to a girl who lived in Wattles Grove near Sydney. :-)
tracyanne

Apr 21, 2008
2:47 PM EST
I used to live in Sydney (Balmain, an inner city suburb about 10 minutes by car - on a weekend - from George street, the main street of Sydney), but Sydney is a long way from where I am now. I'm half an hour by plane north of Brisbane, and Brisbane is 2 hours by plane north of Sydney.

Go to Google maps and type in "Fraser Island" then scroll back untill you can see Sydney, that will give you some idea.
tracyanne

Apr 21, 2008
3:12 PM EST
Quoting:I gave up on Mandriva because they never had a firm grasp on where they were headed--towards the server market or the desktop.


Both by the look of things, they have a very strong Enterprise solution, and the Desktop is incredible. Mandriva Linux Control Centre is what does it.
rijelkentaurus

Apr 21, 2008
3:19 PM EST
Quoting: Both by the look of things, they have a very strong Enterprise solution, and the Desktop is incredible. Mandriva Linux Control Centre is what does it.


I haven't used the server, but the desktop is absolutely wonderful, I purchased 2008.1 PP for my fiance to use, and I have it installed on my work lappy. I think Mandriva is a good candidate for a hardware company to buy, it would be like a nice and stable Linux alternative to OS X, from the server to the desktop. And the Control Center (in Mandriva and PCLOS) is very nice indeed.
garymax

Apr 21, 2008
3:24 PM EST
tracyanne,

/Go to Google maps and type in "Fraser Island"/

It looks like paradise from what I saw on Google. Why did you move--job transfer?
tuxchick

Apr 21, 2008
3:26 PM EST
Has Mandriva conquered the too-many-config menus problem yet? Last time I looked at it, which was quite some time ago, it had too many conflicting ways to do the same thing- Mandriva's own control panel, plus all the other Linux/gnome/KDE config tools in existence. What I remember is painless installations, and then gradual decline into chaos and problems.
rijelkentaurus

Apr 21, 2008
3:39 PM EST
TC, I always make use of the KDE Control Center for the looks and colors, etc, but the Mandriva Control Center is used for everything else, including the installation and updating of software (that's pretty big of its own accord). Hardware configuration, etc, is easily accomplished from the MCC. I don't envision continuing entropy.
tracyanne

Apr 21, 2008
4:26 PM EST
@GM, long story My business went bust, my partner wanted to get out of the city. We're Country girls at heart.
tracyanne

Apr 21, 2008
7:01 PM EST
TC, what rij* said. KDE control Centre for desktop foofery, and Mandriva Linux Control Centre for all the System stuff. After 6 years, I wouldn't be without it.

It makes me laugh, every time there's a new Ubuntu releases there's a slew of articles telling people how to do things on this really really easy to use Linux, and invariably they involve a requirement that one have knowledge of a bunch of CLI stuff that noobs and windows refugees are supposed to be afraid of, and which computer illiterati have panic attacks even thinking about.
theboomboomcars

Apr 21, 2008
7:16 PM EST
Gary-

Ubuntu does have good mind share within a very small circle, but most people I talk to about linux and such still don't know what linux, ubuntu, etc. are. Even though Novell is one of the top employers in my city, most people don't know what they do around here.

Ubuntu is getting a good mind share among the computer literate who are looking for linux, but for the people who use their computers as a magic tool that allows them to type things and talk to family on the other side of the world, they still have no clue (and they would benefit the most). All of these people know about Windows, and most are not satisfied with it, they just have no idea that there is something different.

They feel it's in the same thing as gas prices. It sucks but there is nothing that they can do about it. I do what I can to help these people, and have had some success. But with some clever marketing to the general populace I think Linux could have better success than apple, which is doing very well right now in my neck of the woods. In my school I would say almost half of the laptops I see are Macbooks.

I understand that Canoical is not under any obligation to push linux to those who don't know what it is, but it would help there market/mind share if they did.
garymax

Apr 21, 2008
7:28 PM EST
theboomboomcars,

No doubt Canonical would benefit from pushing Ubuntu to the masses. I think they have established themselves and are ready to start doing just that.

It'll take a while but I think Shuttleworth and company could pull it off.

As I have said, time will tell if Canonical takes advantage of the opportunity it has been given.

tracyanne

Apr 21, 2008
9:57 PM EST
It's precisely because Mandriva can be administered without recourse to the CLI that I recommend it to "the people who use their computers as a magic tool that allows them to type things and talk to family on the other side of the world".
DiBosco

Apr 21, 2008
11:56 PM EST
I guess the question is: Who is likely to do the marketing?"

Strikes me that the [hypothetical] people who would do best by it would be a company who are marking computers (hardware) and using Linux as a tool to sell he hardware as more secure, more reliable and cheaper than machines that are running Microsoft operating systems. (Competition against Apple, would be on price rather than security I guess.)

Although Dell are selling Linux machines, they're not really marketing it are they? Novell are the people who seem to be closest to actually marketing it with their series of adverts with the Mac and PC guys and the Linux woman. Anyway, the thought that keeps coming back to me is that I'd like to set-up a company selling PCs with Linux preinstalled, selling it on the points above and running courses periodically which showed both home users and small to medium businesses how to migrate (and why they would benefit from it). Then, when I start thinking about small to medium businesses I can't get away from the theory that it's companies, or corporates as the word seems to be these days, that are likely to be the thing that brings Linux to the attention of the masses. Reason being that once you show people who run companies that Linux and open source software could save them a fortune, - in terms of cash, because you're not buying software, and time, in terms of stability and security, the "ordinary" computer user will be forced to run Linux and soon get used to it. Once they get that, they'll be happy to use it at home too.

And we're back to the same question: "Who's going to do that?" Is there any reason why it couldn't or shouldn't be someone like one of us? If you read Helios' blogs that are linked to from here, you start to think "why not"! I'm possibly being hopelessly optimistic though, big companies seem to have a stranglehold on most parts of life.
dinotrac

Apr 22, 2008
3:08 AM EST
>All of these people know about Windows, and most are not satisfied with it, they just have no idea that there is something different.

That's close to correct, but not quite there. First, they do know that there is something different because most people are aware of Macs. Mac use, in fact, has been growing by leaps and bounds. Apple sells a ton of them, enough to be the third or fourth largest PC company in the US, depending on whose numbers and which quarter you examine.

Even so, lots of people aren't making the switch for a variety of reasons. Won't run the software they need, machines are a bit pricy, they don't know any Mac experts, etc.

Fewer people know about Linux and that hurts uptake significantly. But...the software and guru problems would remain even if everybody was ready to give it a test drive.

Linux has a lot of growth potential compared to its present base, but taking 10% of the desktops ain't happening any time soon. When it does, popping corks will be in order.







theboomboomcars

Apr 22, 2008
4:23 AM EST
Thanks tracyanne I'll have to look into mandriva again. The last time I tried it was when it was still mandrake. I did download an iso of the latest version, but the live CD wouldn't work in my VM, it would just go to the install screen. Perhaps another download is in order.
dowdle

Apr 22, 2008
5:31 AM EST
What is it such a tragedy that Red Hat doesn't want to release a commercial desktop distribution for mainstream / home users? There is Fedora.

Ubuntu is a charity project of Canonical. It isn't a commercial success. Like several people have already said, if it had to stand on its own two feet, it would probably fail. I don't want to say, "No you can't"... I wish the Ubuntu people success in turning their free distribution into a commercial success someday but it isn't clear to me how that is going to happen.

I also don't see the logical jump from desktop to server... at least for a distribution that is best known as being for newbies to Linux. I wish them success in that arena too, but again... their path isn't clear. I'd think Ubuntu users looking for a server OS would be more likely to go with Debian... or the commercial leaders of Red Hat and Novell. Canonical may be giving back to upstream some but it is just a fraction of what Red Hat and Novell give back.

I think Red Hat is smart in not wanting to throw away money on a desktop distro for mainstream consumers... while at the same time sponsoring Fedora and sponsoring the development of a significant number of desktop technologies.

How are Linspire and Xandros doing? They have been in the mainstream desktop distro business since their beginning.
dinotrac

Apr 22, 2008
5:37 AM EST
dowdle -

There would be a tragedy if people wanted to buy one. It would represent missed opportunity. And, let's face it -- lots of people are used to going to the story and buying something, preferably with a user's guide. Boxed sets of linux with good manuals sitting on store shelves would be a great boon -- if people wanted to buy them.

As it stands, people don't and you are right. Red Hat is being smart. They are in business to make money, not to evangelize. Evangelizing is a sideline that cannot be pursued if the business goes under, so keeping priorities straight is a good thing.
jdixon

Apr 22, 2008
5:43 AM EST
> There is Fedora.

Fedora is not an official Red Hat product and is not supported by Red Hat.

> I also don't see the logical jump from desktop to server...

Neither did Novell. Ask then how their Netware products are doing.

> I think Red Hat is smart in not wanting to throw away money on a desktop distro for mainstream consumers

So does Red Hat. But there are tradeoffs to every decision. Red Hat has chosen higher profitability now at the cost of market and mind share. Canonical has made the opposite decision. We'll see which is correct.
dinotrac

Apr 22, 2008
7:20 AM EST
>Red Hat has chosen higher profitability now at the cost of market and mind share

When you can take the pebble from my hand, grasshopper, perhaps you will understand that market and mind share can be lost only when they exist in the first place.
jdixon

Apr 22, 2008
7:32 AM EST
> ...perhaps you will understand that market and mind share can be lost only when they exist in the first place.

Dino, freelinuxsupport had a lot of people asking questions about Red Hat Linux. I tried to answer them when I had time. Red Hat's knowledge base was a great resource, as were their online manuals.

There were copies of Red Hat Linux in Staples. They seemed to sell at least a few of them.

There was a market, albeit a not particularly profitable one, and Red Hat owned the mind share among Linux users. That's all gone now. I'm not a business person, so I can't judge whether Red Hat made the right decision or not, but I do know the price they paid. Like I said, Canonical has made the opposite decision. The market will decide, and we'll see who was right.
dinotrac

Apr 22, 2008
8:27 AM EST
jdixon -

Red Hat used to have a lot more mind share, but Linux mind share has always been a slippery beast. At various times, Debian, Slackware, Red Hat, Suse, Mandrake, Caldera, have enjoyed notable mind share.

All lovely, but to what end?

If you are a company, you need to make money. Companies must decide where they can best do that.
Steven_Rosenber

Apr 22, 2008
8:31 AM EST
There are plenty of distributions to pick up the slack if Ubuntu should falter. And in the absence of Canonical, I bet it could keep going. There's certainly enough community interest for that. But there are dozens of others out there ...
jdixon

Apr 22, 2008
8:45 AM EST
> If you are a company, you need to make money. Companies must decide where they can best do that.

No disagreement there. As I said, it's a judgment call. Red Hat has made their call, and Canonical is gambling they were wrong. Time will tell who's right. Fortunately, this is not a case of "there can only be one".
Steven_Rosenber

Apr 22, 2008
8:52 AM EST
You think Canonical makes money out of the Dell deal via support? Is there any support built-in to the purchase?
jdixon

Apr 22, 2008
10:13 AM EST
> Is there any support built-in to the purchase?

No. Support is an optional add-on. Thirty days of "starter support" is $65, one year of "basic support" is $125, and one year of "standard support" is $275. I assume that money goes to Canonical.
rijelkentaurus

Apr 22, 2008
10:31 AM EST
Quoting: Is there any support built-in to the purchase?


Nope. There is the opportunity to purchase it, however, though they likely don't. I think they really do want that elusive "mind share" at the moment, but they were probably more than a little disappointed that Dell decided not to start preinstalling the server version, that could have been a nice chunk of change. It still wouldn't have been guaranteed money (need a Red Hat server? Order a certified Red Hat server and then buy it with no OS, install CentOS!) but they would have sold quite a bit.
Steven_Rosenber

Apr 22, 2008
11:07 AM EST
Quoting:Order a certified Red Hat server and then buy it with no OS, install CentOS!)


It's nice that they will sell with no OS. Maybe they could start doing the same thing with desktops ...
rijelkentaurus

Apr 22, 2008
11:28 AM EST
They do, just not on the low-end consumer models.

http://www.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/precn_n?c...

EDIT: You know, these are comparable (hypothetically, at least) to Macs, being high-end Linux machines not marketed towards Joe User at all (Macs are marketed a lot at Joseph User, his well-to-do cousin).
rijelkentaurus

Apr 22, 2008
11:34 AM EST
Quoting: PROCESSOR Quad Core Intel® Xeon® Processor E5405 (2.00GHz,2X6M L2,1333) edit 2ND PROCESSOR Quad Core Intel® Xeon® Processor E5405 (2.00GHz,2X6M L2,1333) edit OPERATING SYSTEM Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS v5 for EM64T 64bit system w/ 1 YR RHN, w/ Media edit VIDEO CARD Dual 256MB PCIe x16 nVidia NVS 290, Quad Monitor DVI Capable edit CHASSIS CONFIGURATION AND 1394 Mini-Tower Chassis Configuration edit MEMORY 2GB, DDR2 SDRAM FBD Memory, 667MHz, ECC (2 DIMMS) edit OPTICAL DRIVE 16XDVD AND 16XDVD+/-RW, Data Only edit RAID CONFIGURATION C2 All SATA drives, Non-RAID, 2 drive total configuration edit HARD DRIVE 250GB SATA 3.0Gb/s,7200 RPM Hard Drive with 8MB DataBurst Cache™ edit 2ND HARD DRIVE 250GB SATA 3.0Gb/s,7200 RPM Hard Drive with 8MB DataBurst Cache™ edit MONITOR Free Free 19 inch E198FPW Flat Panel edit SYSTEM DOCUMENTATION No Resource DVD edit My Accessories KEYBOARD USB Entry Quietkey, No Hot Keys edit MOUSE Dell USB 2-Button Mechanical Mouse with Scroll edit FLOPPY & MEDIA READER No Floppy Drive edit SPEAKERS No Speaker option edit My Services & Warranties WARRANTY & SERVICE 3 Year Limited Hardware Warranty with Next Business Day On-Site Service edit ACCIDENTAL DAMAGE SERVICE 3 Year CompleteCare Accidental Damage Protection edit ON-SITE SYSTEM SETUP No Onsite System Setup edit


For $2331, not really bad at all.
jdixon

Apr 22, 2008
11:41 AM EST
> For $2331, not really bad at all.

Yeah, but I think I'd rather have an 4G Eee for $399. :)
rijelkentaurus

Apr 22, 2008
11:47 AM EST
Quoting: Yeah, but I think I'd rather have an 4G Eee for $399. :)


LOL, perhaps...but then we're really talking two different market segments. Apple doesn't try to touch that low-end segment, you have to sell too many units to make a good profit. I think some hardware vendor needs to attack the high end with a quality product. The Dell N series might be that, but they don't market it at all.
jdixon

Apr 22, 2008
11:51 AM EST
> ...but then we're really talking two different market segments.

Only one of which I'm capable of participating in. :(
rijelkentaurus

Apr 22, 2008
3:42 PM EST
Quoting: Only one of which I'm capable of participating in. :(


Don't feel too alone...I ran through the configurator, I didn't hit "Add to cart". :)
techiem2

Apr 22, 2008
3:44 PM EST
lol...I can't count how many times I've done that...find a nice server box..config it to the max just to see what it would cost...dream...
rijelkentaurus

Apr 22, 2008
4:25 PM EST
Quoting: config it to the max just to see what it would cost...dream...


And then go to Newegg, price it from components, and realize that a $4,000 box can be built for $1800...and then dream about that one too...gotta love it!!
Steven_Rosenber

Apr 22, 2008
7:31 PM EST
Buy the Dell servers of yesteryear at pacificgeek.com ...
Sander_Marechal

Apr 22, 2008
8:12 PM EST
I like the MacPro http://www.apple.com/macpro/ but at $25,000 their most expensive model is a tad too pricy... Then again, I bet Debian would fly on eight 3.2 Ghz cores with 32 GiB of RAM :-)
helios

Apr 23, 2008
3:59 AM EST
We recently were solicited by a mid-sized real estate company here in Austin to work up a migration plan for them. I spent a couple of hours touring their facility, sitting at their machines, inspecting their server needs (minimal at best) and talking with the employees. There were two major challenges in my observation there. One, they use an online database called MLS (Multi-Listing System or something such). It only will allow IE into it's inner sanctum. Once I demonstrated to the Office Manager the inherent insecurity of IE, he was outraged that he was forced to use such a vehicle to get to where he needed to go. We did a simple test. I hooked an old machine running xp (sp2) with an suspect power supply up and got it online. It had Norton 2004 on it with the other usual suspects of MS protection. I downloaded firefox then began the demonstration.

Note - Do NOT do this if you are running windows...you will damage your software system!

I opened Firefox and navigated to astalavista.box.sk. You who are in the know, realize there are a zillion java scripts running on this page and about a quarter of them are malicious. We spent about 3 minutes navigating some of the less offensive links on the page and then closed Firefox. We then opened IE (6) and performed an identical pattern of navigation. Almost immediately, the machine was brought to its knees with popups, spyware and messenger windows. Control alt delete wouldn't even bring up the dialog to show or kill the processes running. We had to do a hard shutdown of the system. On reboot, the IE browser had been hijacked to some prOn page and no amount of configuration would change it.

The guy was flabbergasted by this. Until we seal the deal on the migration, Firefox is used by all except for the MLS transactions.

To my great pleasure, I found a project called open MLS that when adopted by the real estate business, will end this IE only non sense...not to mention the fees associated with annual usage.

Now after all of that, to my point. After analyzing his system completely, we settled on Mandriva for his system. I mentioned two challenges. The second challenge was his print/fax/copy infrastructure. His entire office ran on Ricoh reproduction equipment and Mandriva surprisingly has worked with Ricoh to create an entire Linux Solution for their equipment. Challenge two was only a challenge until I found this out. Once the Manager realized his stuff would work with Linux, he was extremely happy. So...now we're just negotiating dollar amounts.

The fact that Mandriva would run his reproduction equipment OOTB when no other distro would do so is an indicator of just how serious Mandriva is about the desktop for business and Userland. I'm sold...and the different configuration schemas? Not a problem once I showed the user the difference between system configs and environment configs. He understood that without any problem.

h
rijelkentaurus

Apr 23, 2008
4:34 AM EST
Cool stuff. I am also impressed with Mandriva, I am using the PP 2008.1 right now on my work laptop (thankfully I am able to leave Windows, which I dual boot with, behind for today).

If for some reason you can't dump the IE any time soon, you can always put in a proxy server with Dansguardian, configure IE to use that and then blacklist everything except the work website. Does IEs4Linux work with the site? That will help out more, because then the viruses, etc, won't run on the workstations at all anyway. IE on Linux is far safer than IE on Windows, when you're able to use it. The company I work for uses ConnectWise as their ERP, it's a .NOT application and requires IE for the web interface. It works very well on Linux with IE, however.
Steven_Rosenber

Apr 23, 2008
8:48 AM EST
I've never tried Mandriva. Now I think I will.
tracyanne

Apr 23, 2008
12:54 PM EST
Steve I've been using Mandriva since they were Mandrake (full time since 2002), I've seen them do some pretty shit things with Mandrake 2005/10.2 (or there abouts) - About then I started looking at other distros, then 2006.0 came out, and every release since then has been better than last. 2008.1 I,in my opinion, is streets ahead of anything else.
helios

Apr 23, 2008
2:58 PM EST
Yes, IE4linux works great on Mandriva 08.1 That will be our solution for this migration. I neglected to mention that above. I want to skip the proxy stuff if I can in the event I have to remotely administrate their system...it just adds another layer of complexity I don't need. It works without a hitch with MLS...thankfully. I have moved two of my production machines to Mandriva because of their super stability and the other runs Mepis...I abuse most installs with software I test and never remove...Mandriva and Mepis have handled my abusive nature without so much as a glitch. I also run Mandriva on my Laptop...I've turned it into a "demo" machine for new user ohh's and ahhh's. The offshoots of Mandriva haven't fared as well for me stability-wise...they eventually corrupt and fail unfortunately but for the average user, they work well too. I don't know too many people that pile on the amount of software I do and forget about it.

h
tracyanne

Apr 23, 2008
11:55 PM EST
ken, when you've finished this job, would you like to let the Mandriva folks know how this all went, if you haven't already.

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