Re: Linux has a long way to go before it becomes the major OS

From: Ben Measures (
Date: 02/10/04

Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 00:38:57 +0000

Ron Matthews wrote:
> Joe <> wrote:
>>>But linux doesn't give you a deeper understanding of a system.
>>>Linux is the system. Gaining a deep enough understanding of linux
>>>to make the hardware work takes more effort than gaining a deep
>>>enough understanding of windows to make the computer work.
>>You seem certain that an understanding of the computer is important.
> It is if you are going to write system software.

Does that sentence serve any point? What does that have to do with the
previous postings?

Here's my chance to use a word I learnt recently: You, my dear Sir, are

>>Why? A computer is a collection of extremely secret and proprietary
>>hardware that evolves rapidly.
> Nonsense.

Not at all.

Whilst the overall structure of the way the hardware is put together is
based on standards, the actual hardware components are increasingly
complex from generation to generation.

This complexity is tightly guarded by Patents and lack of public
schematics and documentation, to protect the increasing cost of R&D.

So why the "nonsense" brushing aside?

>>Nobody fixes broken computers, they just throw away complete,
>>unrepairable subassemblies and buy new ones. After a couple of
>>years, they throw away complete, *working* subassemblies and buy
>>new ones. Why do you need to know how they work?
> You need to understand the hardware so that you can write the
> software.

There are three cases in which you need to know about the hardware:
1.) You're programming in assembly;
2.) You're writing drivers;
3.) You're writing kernel code.

Very few people are insane enough to do 1 anymore. Nobody does big
projects with assembly code as the main language.

You can only do 2 if you have the right documentation. This usually
comes either: by being an employee of the hardware manufacturer, or by
getting hold of very rare public documentation, usually by begging the

You can only do 3 with free software. That means not Windows.

In short, what are you trying to do except cause argument?

>>What you need to know about is software.
> What kind of software are you talking about? Stuff written in
> Java? Visual Basic?
> Cobol?

Huh? You seem to know the names of a few languages. So what?

> You don't know what you're talking about.

If anything, you helped Joe's case. That leads me to think the above
applies to you.

> cordially, as always,
> rm

I really don't see anything hearty, sincere, warm or affectionate in
your post.

Please, if you're going to post make sure you have a point and that it's
relevant to the previous postings.

Ben M.
What are Software Patents for?
To protect the small enterprise from bigger companies.
What do Software Patents do?
In its current form, they protect only companies with
big legal departments as they:
a.) Patent everything no matter how general
b.) Sue everybody. Even if the patent can be argued
	invalid, small companies can ill-afford	the
	typical $500k cost of a law-suit (not to mention
	years of harassment).
Don't let them take away your right to program
whatever you like. Make a stand on Software Patents
before its too late.
Read about the ongoing battle at

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