SCO; Open-Source; MIT

What open-source alternatives remain, now that some are becoming almost as costly as Microsoft's products?

January 16, 2004

3 Min Read
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To Err Is ...
Thanks for a fair column on Darl McBride and SCO ("SCO's House of Suits," Dec. 9 2003). Many of us have seen this thing go from a realistic goal (the COFF Libraries) to asinine ("We own millions of lines of Linux code!"). We have been surprised at the media's presumption of weight of the company's proof.

McBride's behavior has matched the worst I have seen in my career in the industry--that is, the failure to admit making a mistake. It is an object lesson that would serve companies well, because people will respect you more if you admit your failings.

McBride and the SCO Group probably won't do that, though: They show no signs of slowing down, or of thinking at all.

There are some who mistake honesty for failure, but I would rather be honest than to deny reality. Thanks again for a realistic view of the dangers of denial.
Charles Talk
Content Management Lead (Company name withheld by request)
[email protected]

Priced Out
Like Rob Preston, I welcome the open-source community and what it could do for IT. But Novell and others now embracing open source are somewhat misguided ("Novell's Time Has Come," Nov. 25, 2003).

At one time, someone with a limited budget could download the latest version of Red Hat or SuSE and install it on an old server to test the systems and perhaps replace expensive and unreliable Windows boxes. But, as it stands now, I cannot evaluate Novell Nterprise for Linux without buying at least one copy of Red Hat AS or SuSE E at $700 apiece.

I manage a small network consisting mostly of Windows NT/2000 boxes. Our management team is familiar with and prefers Windows-based solutions. We are about to dump NT and move to an LDAP solution, and I stand little chance of bringing in an alternative to Active Directory. Windows has become more stable, and with its focus and money, Microsoft will make the OS more secure. For those of us trying to implement alternatives, what choices remain, now that some are becoming almost as costly as Microsoft's products?

Novell and other vendors embracing open source should make their products available to the grassroots movement in

user-limited versions, running on freely distributed distros. Then we can evaluate these products outside the IT budget microscope. In the long run, the vendors will sell more products, find increased acceptance in the open-source community and further erode the monopoly.
Ron Fisher
Systems Engineer
[email protected]

School Rules

My school has been barring executables in e-mail messages for three years. What took MIT so long? ("MIT: Executables Be Gone!," BuzzCut, Nov. 13, 2003).

Barring executables has

lessened the stress we have about new viruses. We simply uphold our policy, and Network Associates' GroupShield for Exchange strips the executables out of our e-mail.
Mark Challender, MCSE
Network Administrator; Mt. Baker School District
[email protected]

In our Dec. 9, 2003 FUDBusters, we misidentified a company Yahoo had acquired. The company was Inktomi.

In the Aug. 7 2003 Full Nelson column ("Legacy Connection,"), we wrote that SMC acquired Western Digital back in the mid-1990s. In fact, SMC purchased only one division of Western Digital, not the entire company.

Tell us how you really feel. Send e-mail to us at [email protected], fax to (516) 562-7293 or mail letters to Network Computing, 600 Community Drive, Manhasset, NY 11030. Include your name, title, company name, e-mail address and phone number. All correspondence becomes the property of Network Computing.

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