[Linux-aus] Re: Utter tripe in CIO magazine

David Ruwoldt david.ruwoldt at adelaide.edu.au
Fri Apr 7 11:24:01 UTC 2006

Dear Greg,

Yes it is FUD. Yes technical people would see it as lacking 
understanding. However the magazine is not aimed at people with 
technical understanding. It is aimed at people who typcially make 
business (read money) decisions.

The article gives a poor perception of linux. Reality never seems to 
matter in marketing. Perception is often the thing that determines and 
leads to reality in marketing.

The other important point is trust. People are much more likely to 
believe a negative inference about something than a positive one. This 
is human nature. For every negative inference people usually like 5 - 10 
positive things to disprove the negative inference. This is true for 
magazine articles as well. People need to have a trust built up and that 
takes time and articles.

If we read something negative we like to see at least 3+ positive 
artciles before we think "Hey this could be good". This means that all 
those CIO's that rely on such magazines for technical direction (I would 
bet there are alot of them out there) will take the article at face value.

As an organisation and community we not only need to dispute such 
articles but also produce enough good and positive liturature to sway 
perception. That will then lead to real market changes.

Yours sincerely

David Ruwoldt

Greg 'groggy' Lehey wrote:

> On Friday,  7 April 2006 at 10:22:26 +1000, Martin Pool wrote:
>>On 07/04/2006, at 10:01 AM, Jonathan Oxer wrote:
>>>On 4/7/06, Minnie Constan <MConstan at austexhibit.com.au> wrote:
>>>>Which issue of CIO magazine?
>>Ironically this is quite a good (if ungrammatical) description of
>>many Linux installations:
>>   [...] it takes a bit of effort for an albatross to get airborne.
>>However, when they do they become an aeronautical marvel.  A bird
>>that is capable of flying nearly 2000 kilometres in a single day.
> It's a strange mixture of understanding and completely missing the
> point.:
>>Everywhere you looked in Dunedin there seemed to be someone sporting
>>a black T shirt with a penguin on it. I must admit that I found
>>their earnest technological enthusiasm somewhat nauseating.
> There are times when I find people a little too self-congratulatory,
> but it's strange that a CIO should find technical enthusiasm
> nauseating.
>>I suspect my current cynicism is perhaps a reflection of the painful
>>lessons Unix devotees like me learned back then. In the end, what we
>>thought was an advantage was in fact a huge negative. Unix's
>>independence and source code availability actually resulted in a
>>loss of control over the development of the operating
>>system. Everyone ended up doing their own thing. The result was many
>>hybrid versions of Unix, which meant there was never any certainty
>>whether a program could or could not be ported to an alternative
>>Unix environment. Even in its simplest form the goal of open systems
>>proved elusive.
> Having been the (and written the book), I can only say that he's
> completely wrong here.  People *have* learnt the lesson; Linux is the
> standard (and as a BSD person, I can point out that the BSDs ensure
> that the sources are compatible enough with Linux to be able to build
> just about any product).  In those days, vendors tried to "enhance"
> their UNIX by adding incompatible, proprietary changes.  Today's
> problems are elsewhere.
>>When I look at Linux it seems another case of history repeating
>>itself. Those devotees in Dunedin may think they are going to slay
>>the Microsoft dragon, but I think that all they really do is
>>highlight their own business naivety.
> Certainly "those devotees" are not businessmen.  And I'd agree that
> many people are paying too much attention to "slaying the dragon" (and
> in an inappropriate way IMO), but that has nothing to do with history
> repeating itself.  He doesn't explain what he means.
> All in all, more a FUD article than anything else.  He certainly
> doesn't come out of it looking as if he knows what he's talking about.
> Greg
> --
> Finger grog at lemis.com for PGP public key.
> See complete headers for address and phone numbers.

David Ruwoldt
Lead Systems Architect
Information Technology Services
Level 7, 10 Pulteney St

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