The New Linux Distro

How much does it cost to buy you? Do you have a price? Can you be paid off?

I’m sure many of the CEO’s and CTO’s of various Linux companies are now asking themselves this very question this week (or should be asking themselves) as Microsoft announced yet another “patent deal”…this time, with LG Electronics.

With this, the Xandros deal, the Novell Deal, and anything else Microsoft has up its sleeve (I look for several other distros to “indemnify” themselves in the next few months…for example, Linspire and Mandriva are two prime targets for MS…the bullseye is probably painted) I think that Microsoft has created it’s own “Linux Distribution” so to speak. Let me share with you why I think they have…

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Penguin Pete’s Blog, your source for FUD about YALB

If any of you read Penguin Pete’s last two blog entries [1] [2]…you’ll find two of the most FUD filled posts about YALB on the web. He’s on the warpath…for no reason at all and has begun a smear campaign against me here. I haven’t done anything to attack him personally…yet that’s exactly what he’s done with his latest blog entries. Pete claims I’m a partner with the project and that helios from Blog of helios and I are perpetuating this as a scam
across the web. Let’s get some facts on this topic immediately:

  1. I am not part of this project
  2. I do not collect money or have access to collected money on this project
  3. I will not be part of this project as my plate is full
  4. I’ve posted a single blog entry about said project that was syndicated at various places around the web…this is normal…there are many sites that mirror YALB such as Swik and the Linux Blog Aggregator.
  5. I submitted this single blog entry on who published it
  6. also published this same post
  7. The project is being tracked monetarily by Linux Today’s editor, Brian Proffitt, and’s editor-in-chief, Don Parris. (why hasn’t Pete went to them on this? Are they part of the scam too?)
  8. Ken aka helios is my personal friend and I posted my previous entry as support of his project like any good friend would do.
  9. If I found out the project was a SCAM, I’d shut it down. I host and could snipe it out in one fell swoop. If anyone has concrete evidence that it is a scam other than pure speculation, please email me devnet at

So Pete is trying to draw major correlation between me and this project so that he can lump me in as part of his theory about it. I wouldn’t normally care, but it seems that he can’t stand up to the criticism he’s getting as he’s disabled comments. The interesting thing is he’s referring to it as comment SPAM when he has captcha enabled…which means he was getting a ton of comments he didn’t like and shut them down. He could also turn on moderation (I have automoderation after a specific time here) so that he could catch the offending spammers and publish everything else. I do that here as well.

See, when I blog, I open myself up to positive perspectives like those from avid readers. But I also open myself up to negative perspectives like those from Mr. Pete. That’s fine..he’s welcome to post anytime on this website’s comment system. He’s welcome to trash any topic of discussion I post about. I’ll never disable comments on any article because I do not have to censor anything anyone says to fit my message or make me appear to be right. If someone has a problem with a post…by me posting it publically, I have opened myself up to what they have to say. People are free to respond as they see fit to whatever topic of discussion I post about. It seems that by shutting down comments to his latest posts, Pete proves that he does not have these standards for freedom that I do.

So bookmark it folks…those two entries in Penguin Pete’s blogs can say whatever they want about the Tux500 project…that’s his right. But trying to lump me in with it is an outright lie. It’s untrue libel and FUD. Those two posts are your helping of FUD for the week. Hopefully, you see past it. Comments are open on this post and I’ll answer whatever questions readers have.

Debunking Confusion in PCLinuxOS

Active readers of this blog know that I help out with a little distribution called PCLinuxOS. I help out through my other website which is a community development website where like minded individuals can gather together to develop add-ons, customizations, and other items to PCLinuxOS to tailor it to what they want in a distro. It’s a great concept and one that has been gathering quite a bit of support from the PCLinuxOS community.

This week, Distrowatch Weekly has redone their top 10 distributions and included PCLinuxOS inside of that top ten for the first time ever. In fact, when I began using PCLinuxOS, it was around 15th on the distrowatch charts. If you look at 2005 vs. 2006 charts, you’ll see that out of the top 15 distros tracked, PCLinuxOS was the largest gainer over the course of that year. I like to think that mypclinuxos (started Mar 27, 2006) had a lot to do with that…and I don’t ask for any recognition at all…but take great satisfaction in helping what I believe to be the premiere Linux distribution for new users gain ground.

As stated, Distrowatch Weekly named PCLinuxOS as one of the “Top Ten” distributions and I was very happy about this. What was less than stellar was some of the negative feedback that resulted from this announcement. I realize that much of the feedback is based on false assumptions, ignorance, and fanboism…but just the same, I found a couple of comments I’d like to respond to so that the correct information is available for everyone to see.

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Why Having 500+ Distros is a Good Thing

I just browsed back across some old bookmarks I had made on subjects to blog about. I’ve been playing catch up for the last few days as some of my projects I’ve been working on are slowing down. During this browsing session, I happened upon a blog entry titled “So Many Distros, So Little Time” which originally jumped across the RSS reader during January of this year. I gave it an honest read and was disgusted with the article quite a bit. Let me go point for point on this:

1. “We don’t need to keep reinventing Linux, creating distributions that put critical bits in interesting and inventive if unusual places.”

This couldn’t be more wrong. We DO need to keep reinventing Linux and creating distributions that put critical bits in interesting and inventive if unusual places. Without these multiple distributions and their drive to do what isn’t “normal” or “business as usual” innovation would be left up to a small number of distros and developers. Innovation thrives in the current environment…we have seen how desktop Linux has lept & bounded during the past 3-4 years. This statement is not only false, but it shows how much people (even industry consultants/analysts/journalists with over 25 years in the business) totally miss the mark when it comes to Linux and Open Source Software.

I assume you’d prefer a ‘unified distro’ or at least fewer to choose from…one where everyone can stop spinning their wheels developing for that small time distro and all join hands and work on that larger distro and make it 1000% better right? That’s something that won’t happen and shouldn’t happen.

Perhaps you think new users will be scared of all of these choices? I bet these same new users walk around in circles when picking out a new shirt or shopping for a pair of pants…there is just too many of them isn’t there? Using this as a reason for justification of having fewer distros is silly and stupid.

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Guilty by Association

I remember a time in high school when we had a substitute teacher. This teacher was previously retired but still subbed in from time to time. His look on things was of the old school circa 1960…so he ran quite a tight ship and didn’t appreciate any adverse feedback or smart remarks from the students. I never had a problem with him until the day that I chuckled at a fellow classmate who was in a tug of war match with another student over a text book (evidently, one of them stole the other student’s textbook…whatever) and the teacher decided to get in the fray…so here we have 2 students and a teacher pulling on a textbook in three different directions. I laughed aloud…it was silly to see an older teacher and two ‘punks’ as he’d call them pulling on that book.

I was immediately reprimanded and given detention. When I asked what I did, the response was “apparently nothing but you’re going to stay after anyway”. When I pressed harder for an explanation, I was told that since I thought ‘my two buddies’ were funny, I was staying after. I had been caught in a perplexing situation many people, groups and companies find themselves in…I was guilty by association.

I was reading an article at Linux Today earlier and saw this line from the article, which was penned in defense of Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (and rightly so…I have no idea why people would call SJVN a shill…he’s the farthest thing from it). I’m not so much concerned with people attacking SJVN so much as I am with the editor’s (it’s an editor’s note) second item that he’s bugged by:

“The other reaction that bugged me was this guilt-by-association that’s been glommed onto openSUSE. Why does this product and its developers suddenly have to take the fall for the actions of Novell?”

So…people shouldn’t do this. We all know that it isn’t fair…but the main fact is they are doing this and have always done this, just like that teacher of mine in high school. I wanted to understand why people aren’t making the connection that openSuse shouldn’t be held accountable for Novell’s actions…but then it hit me…The technology and code being sunk into openSuse as a test ground will one day make it into the Novell Desktop…which, as part of the now famous deal, will make money for Microsoft.

When you look at it in this logical manner, I don’t blame the people the article is condemning for targeting openSuse and I don’t see how anyone can blame them. How many Linux users out there do you know that want to bankroll Microsoft?

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Novell is Now the New SCO

Take the second highest ranked distribution of Linux on the planet. Show the community that your developers actually care about desktop Linux. Show your attention to detail. Show your sense of duty to the community by offering that desktop for free. Develop a robust community surrounding that distribution you offer for free. Now throw it all away in one swift, idiotic motion.

If you live under a rock and haven’t heard of the Novell Microsoft ‘deal’ then please read about it then come back to find out how Novell is the new SCO. And by the way, how is it that Novell places the link above in the ‘coolsolutions’ section of its website under ‘tips’? That’s reaching quite a bit. I wouldn’t consider this a coolsolution at all..

If there was a bonehead move of the year award, Novell would win it with this latest one.

So how is Novell the new SCO? First and foremost, I’m not the first one to talk about the correlation between this deal and SCO’s indemnification licenses…Groklaw has detailed postings on it. Let’s look at this concept a bit more. This deal between Microsoft and Novell isn’t about getting Linux to play nice with Windows…it’s about patents, intellectual property, and indemnification licenses. All your patents are belong to Microsoft…well, maybe they don’t…but believe me, Microsoft would like them to. The language of the agreement puts you right in the mindset that Novell is selling indemnification licenses to their customers just like SCO. Look closely at #2 on this article, then tell me I’m crazy.

Thus, I now dub Novell “Sir ScoVell”, champion of allowing Microsoft to make bogus profits and also making bogus profits yourself while painting a target on all other distros and spreading FUD in the community. As groklaw reported many years ago, SCO sold those same licenses to its customers to make money for itself. What’s in this for ScoVell? Where are their interests? One can be sure that the community is not where they are storing those interests. One thing is sure; they’re going to make money on those licenses just like SCO did.

Microsoft isn’t a company one hears about when discussing trust. Just a few years ago circa 2001, Microsoft said Linux was a cancer. Have they changed that much since then? No they haven’t. What has changed is the world around them. They realize that it isn’t cool to say things like “Linux is Cancer” or “Linux is Communism” anymore because too many of their customers use Linux now. Saying this would alienate them from their own customers. They had to do something to show that they were part of the solution and not part of the problem. Enter ScoVell Deal.

ScoVell has waltzed into a tangled, proprietary, close source environment…one they can profit from and one they can pay Microsoft to be a member of as well. They’re in this muddy mix and are trying to drag the GPL along with them.

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