Armchair CEO: Apple
Saturday, August 23, 2003
Oooh! When geeks pick a fight...

Linux Online - SCO Controversy

Well, I've written something about this already, but thought this link really sets the record straight. Bottom line, SCO is a bunch of drunk monkeys with brass knuckles, stumbling around looking for a fight because they've got nothing better to do... Babies.


Success is very sweet when it comes to technological troubleshooting. I remember as a kid when debugging Applesoft BASIC programs-- it was a rush to finally get something to work.

And now I think I might have fixed my G3. You know, the old blue & white that was constantly crashing? After all these many years ultimately it looks like it was the hard drive that came with the stupid thing.

Which is odd, because Apple had always been renowned for superior hardware, in particular choosing premium drives where PC manufacturers would skimp. Oh well, I'm just glad I might have figured it out.

So after replacing the 6 GB drive with a modern, functional, 40 GB drive, I partitioned it in 3 equal segments. Then, I put OS 9, OS X, and Linux on it! So far so good.

This weekend I'm running OS X to see if it stays stable the whole time. But the real test will be putting Jaguar on it...
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Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Well, they've got to be doing something right.

PowerPC LinuxPPC: Yellow Dog Linux for PowerPC Computers

This simple little Linux distro saved my near-obsolete G3. The crappy blue & white that wouldn't work right is (so far) running like a dream under YDL. And they told me it could, but I didn't believe them.

It wasn't an easy task though. After nearly 7 install attempts, it actually booted into YDL 3. Supposedly I can still boot into OS 9, but I have yet to get that to work.

So the real test will be when I attempt to install a new primary HD. About a year ago I tried to put in a bigger HD (as the machine came with a paltry 6 GB) and no matter what I did, the bootloader in the machine wouldn't recognize the drive. In fact, the ONLY way I could get the thing to boot was that original drive in the primary slot...

Hopefully yaboot will understand things a little better. And hopefully Linux will continue to run smoothly.

The one wrinkle will be putting OS X and OS 9 as partitions on the 40 GB drive I'll install. Now, I won't be booting into those partitions, but I do want to be using the VERY cool Mac on Linux.

I actually blew some minds by launching OS 9 in a little window within YDL. Very cool!

What's neat about all this, as I'm a Linux newbie, is recapturing that spirit of early computing. I'm seeing the early stages of a new paradigm. Granted, Linux has been around for a while, but only when installs are easy, and configuration straightforward will it really catch on. Just like the difference between DOS and Windows, or an Apple ][ and a Macintosh.

Let the journey begin...
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Wednesday, August 13, 2003
Silly Billy and the $4 billion question

The question of the week at Spymac was: are you going to renew your .Mac service?

See here:
Apple .Mac Welcome

And of course, I'm no different. I am absolutely going to renew my .Mac! WHY?

Well, for one, it paid for itself the first year (which was $50 at the time, now it'll be $100). Apple gave us several dozen free iPhoto prints, which added up to the total cost of .Mac for that year.

Even without that I have Virex to protect my computer from the (admittedly small) risk of virus infection. I also have an excellent backup system-- which I could fully automate.

But the most used components: webmail (in sync with my app-based mail), free homepages that are easy to put together, and iSync.

Let's talk about that. I read an interesting interview with Bill Gates a few weeks ago wherein the wunderkind was referring to the "ability to access your data anywhere, anytime." Yeah, that's a nice concept, but I have yet to see it happen from Microsoft. And yet, here's little old Apple, with barely 1/10th the R&D budget of the software behemoth, and they manage to actually get the much-vaunted "web services" to work...

iSync not only allows you to synchronize your iCal (calendar software) and Address Book with online counterparts and Palms and certain cell phones, but also creates a web-accessible syncronized version of your bookmarks (only in Apple's Safari browser).

What's interesting is that I heard someone talk about how great Apple's stuff is, but they didn't "want to buy everything from them." Well, if it works?

But realistically, you *don't* buy everything from Apple. What you get from them is tight integration of product, because it's the advantage of a one-source supplier.

Anyone see the irony here? Microsoft claims the same thing.

I think in 10 years, all of this will be moot. With technologies like XML, and an application that can run any OS on any iron, "integration" will more likely be left to the app writer. Or apps will just work in the background, and documents will be the center of our universe. That's the way it should be...
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Saturday, August 09, 2003
Bill Gates must be a really happy dork these days thanks to these morons:
SCO | SCO Grows Your Business

Yes, the Linux community seems unfazed by the latest bout of techno-supidity. Now, I'm a relative newbie to UNIX, Linux, and so forth (having been in a Mac coccoon all these years), but from what I can gather from news sites and the Dukes of Hazzard, apparently not all may be well in the world of Linux.

Apparently this SCO can't figure out how to make any money, so in true American form, they're going to SUE them up some profits! Yep, apparently their claim is on the UNIX underpinnings of Linux, so all that free Linux y'all have been using lo these many years is apparently NOT free. It belongs to SCO. From IBM to Microsoft (somehow), to probably Apple and The God Foundation, and perhaps even France, SCO intends to wring might monies.

Well, Microsoft has already paid up. Pundits (me included) assume this is an attempt by MS to 1) bolster SCO's claim, and 2) give them $$$ for more lawyers.

However, at a recent Linux trade show no one seemed to care. IBM and Red Hat, and others appeared to be on track with their products SCO or not.

And why should this matter? Well, for one, it could jack up the cost of Linux-based offerings. Obviously this makes Bill a very happy boy, as he hopes to bring the cost of Linux UP to match his exorbitantly expensive MS Server 2003 lineup.

Once again, this is a BAD thing for consumers. It's also a stupid thing on SCO's part. I remember a small company once attempting to sue anyone who'd used GIF's because they claimed they (the company) owned patents on the tech.

Apparently new management had arrived at said company, and in an effort to bolster sagging profits, they looked to SUE them up some profits... Clearly someone went rifling through some old file cabinets... I can just see an assistant coming up with this asinine plan and going "dude, we can make MILLIONS, BILLIONS cuz everybody's using animated GIF's on their site!" And frantically waving papers in the air.

So, have you been served? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Of course, SCO is killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Which, again, makes Bill a Very Happy Boy.

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Saturday, August 02, 2003
Itchy & Scratchy Land

Robots. Long have I dreamed of creating a robot. Anyone interested in building a robot, let me know.

But what I've long been disappointed by is the lack of progress in the consumer robotic field. Years ago I subscribed to a monthly electronics magazine. I remember reading an article (series of them) on building a lawnmower robot. Now, someone makes one. But it took over a decade to create such a product. Why?

It can't just be battery technology. Granted, a lot has been done there, and there's still a lot to do... It's probably price point. Hoping I'll gain more insight into this in the coming years as I begin an MBA program.

Right now there are only a couple of consumer bots that have any level of success. The Sony AIBO line, the Roomba vacuum, and that mowing bot. Notice I'm talking about REAL robots, not the stupid toys sold in stores...

But I could see many more robotic applications. For instance, a constant problem at our house: spider webs and spiders in general. We aren't slobs, we just don't do all the details. So, house spiders sometimes build tiny webs in corners and crevices (under less used toys for instance). Wouldn't it be nice if there was a small, wall-climbing robot to take care of this? Something with enough suction to safely climb a wall, and still remove the webs.

Something else is the development of a true robotic assistant. I had blueprints of an iMac sitting atop a moving base with arms when the new iMacs came out. Granted, it'd probably have to run Linux... But you could actually have an iBook inside the bot, running linux, running the subsystems, and network it with the iMac atop. The iMac would serve as the interface (obviously the screen would be modified to become a touch screen) and possibly be motorized to move, hey, even mounting an iSight on it!

iGuy? iMan? iDude? I guess that irks the ladies huh? Hmmm...

iBot, no that's taken. Oh well, back to the drawing board.
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