YALB – A Look Back after Three Years

Quietly and without fanfare, Yet Another Linux Blog has reached the ripe old age of 3 years. I started it small and hosted at home during May of 2004. Back then it was hosted on a domain called fatalfame.org (since expired). In December 2004, I switched domains to linuxblog.sytes.net and switched to Serendipity for blogging (hence, lost data from May 2004 – Dec 2004) and it is that month that houses my first and oldest post on the s9y platform…and it’s also the month I discovered Technorati and pingbacks 😀 which gives rise to being indexed for the first time then. The oldest snapshot the internet archive has is December 2004…take a look at how the blog looked then (warning, slow loading).

Back then, it was all about trying new Linux desktops and finding things that worked for my wife and I. Today, it’s still all about the Linux Desktop. YALB hasn’t changed its focus and has made some weak minded enemies along the way, but still is managing just fine.

Today, I’d like to take the time to reflect a little bit and post some links of my favorite posts, as well as share some statistical information about YALB.

The New Distro is Microsoft

These companies are now paying Microsoft. Sure, Microsoft is paying them as well…but the kicker is this: These companies are paying Microsoft for Linux.

Oh, but ask the CEO who made the deal if they think Linux infringes patents and they’ll say “No way! We don’t think Linux violates any patents…we’re just paying in case Microsoft tries to sue us”. Well, let’s put this into perspective shall we?

If I was a store owner in Anycity, USA and paid the mob to not rob my store blind…you know, not because they were robbing it…but just in case. Does that mean that I’m not part of the money that the mob uses to do their dirty deeds? Does that make the cash I’m sending back to them clean? Should my conscience be clear?

Now, I’m not saying Microsoft is the mob…I’m just using that as an example. But they do have a good racket going on here. They get many highly publicized deals where Linux appears to be ‘giving in’ to Microsoft. Microsoft looks to be reasonable with these deals as well saying “hey, we won’t sue you…see, we’re the good guys”. The bottom line is though that Microsoft has no claims on Linux at all…if they did, they would have revealed it already. The reason they don’t reveal anything is because they don’t have anything to reveal. It’s all talk and no walk.

What about the Community?

These companies forgot one thing…the power is with the consumer. The power is in the community. Ubuntu realizes that…they’ve embraced the community and look what’s happened! The community holds the power to make or break…the power of spoken word cannot be underestimated. These companies have either forgotten that or don’t care. My guess is that they don’t care…they worry about making money and not about the tread marks they’re leaving up the back of the community. The community isn’t part of their formula even though it should be the common denominator.

The open source business model hasn’t been around for very long and many are still learning about it. The one no-no that these companies have completely ignored is that they have alienated their own PR system; their own word of mouth. In the end, they didn’t look at what it could cost them to do this deal or they didn’t care. One thing is certain by looking at many examples in the last 20 years…the community doesn’t forget.

MS Now Makes Money from Linux

Microsoft has carved a niche way for itself to make money off of Linux. Are you one of those that are paying Microsoft to use Linux? Are you helping them establish an umbrella Linux distribution made up of all the Linux distros signing up to be a part of their ‘protection’? If so, congratulations on buying your new Microsoft Linux. Have fun over there with Novell, Xandros, LG, and whoever else believes the vaporous and non existing threats from a callow company trying to keep itself meaningful. For myself, my family, my friends, and my distribution…we shall never pay any company that brokers this patent protection deal with Microsoft…you can take that to the bank.

UPDATE 06-14-2007

Looks like I was right! Linspire has also signed a patent racket er…protection agreement with Microsoft. Up next, the other two big hitters in Linux…Mandriva and Ubuntu. 1 down, three to go Microsoft.

Author: devnet

devnet has been a project manager for a Fortune 500 company, a Unix and Linux administrator, a Technical Writer, a System Analyst, and a Systems Engineer during his 20+ years working with Technology.

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