Originally Published: Monday, 21 February 2000 Author: Jerry Hatchett
Published to: featured_articles/Featured Articles Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

The Good And Bad Of It All

Only recently, I read somewhere that my TiVo Personal TV Receiver is powered by Linux. (Just in case you're not familiar with TiVo, it's a really smart VCR with hard drives instead of tape mechanisms.) I like the idea of Linux branching out beyond the computer room in my home; it fits nicely within my vision of the many ways in which Linux will be used in the future.

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As is often the case, the past week was a tug-of-war mixture of good and bad. Allow me to share some snippets and tidbits with you.

The Internet In General

Good: eToys capitulated to etoy, and thrilled much of the Internet community in the process. Big Money apparently lost and Little People are claiming victory. To commemorate the moment, etoy is serving up a smashing rendition of "Yankee Doodle" on their home page as they triumphantly proclaim that the war is over!

Bad: The whole thing brought up nasty memories of how much money I lost on eToys stock. {gulp}

The Level Of Debate

Good: The replies to last week's article (yes, I read them all) were thoughtful, well composed, and free of rancor. Thank you! Whether in agreement or not, the open exchange of ideas and opinions in a civil and respectful way is a great thing.

Bad: None.

The Business Of Linux

Good: Judging from the stock price performance of the Linux bell-weathers last week, good news must have been declared top secret within the hallowed halls of Corporate Linux.

Bad: See above. If you're a Linux bull, last week was painful. Disclaimer: I am indeed a Linux bull, therefore I am among those suffering.

Open Source

Good: Financial media player Bloomberg quoted one William Gates as having said that he might be willing to open up the source code of Windows as part of a settlement with the Government.

Bad: Financial conglomerate Microsoft disavows any and all knowledge of such a statement.

Windows 2000

Good: I installed Windows 2000 on the Windows half of my dual-boot home PC Thursday night. It works. It has not crashed a single time, and as a result I have not seen the reportedly new and improved (Red?) Screen of Death. I know I'm here in the world of Linux aficionados, but I must be honest and tell you that so far I'm impressed with its improved stability, once installed?

Bad: I attempted to install it at the office, where improved stability is sorely needed. Unfortunately, the Windows 2000 installation process performed an illegal operation within the Windows 98 OS, and was shut down. In fact, I tried installing it eight times, and on eight occasions it performed an illegal operation and was shut down. After trying everything that my tired brain could dream up, I finally gave up in a fit of frustration and vowed to fight another day.

Beyond The Computer

Good: Only recently, I read somewhere that my TiVo Personal TV Receiver is powered by Linux. (Just in case you're not familiar with TiVo, it's a really smart VCR with hard drives instead of tape mechanisms.) I like the idea of Linux branching out beyond the computer room in my home; it fits nicely within my vision of the many ways in which Linux will be used in the future.

Bad: Somebody at DirecTV fouled up when they entered the data into the Program Guide. The satellite receiver fed this faulty information to my TiVo, and now I have hard drives filled with Gunsmoke instead of Gomer Pyle. Matt Dillon instead of Sargent Carter. Shazam.

Finally, In Conclusion

I'd like to respond briefly to some of last week's comments to last week's article:

And what purpose does the jab at Microsoft serve in this article?

I regularly vent frustrations as I write, and this was a classic example. The computers at work run Windows 98 by necessity, and the OS gives me grief on a daily basis. I feel totally justified in jabbing.

The quote "I can absolutely guarantee you .... nothing could be further from the truth!" is not very confidence inspiring.

Another respondent kindly said as much, but let me also say that if this language doesn't inspire confidence in my truthfulness on the matter, I know of nothing else to say that would. I was speaking the unvarnished truth and simply wanted to convey that as emphatically and unequivocally as I could.

Your integrity has already been called into question. I just hope that VA Linux pays enough to make it worth it for you........

For the sake of clarity, VA Linux pays me nothing, zero, zilch, not one thin dime. And so as not to leave any ambiguity, Linux.com pays me the exact same amount. My integrity resides within my own heart and soul and is not for sale, period. I hope you will believe that.

You cant cut pay for someone who works for nothing!

Amen! :-)

As always, folks, I thank you for taking the time to read my musings and hope that you find some value or at least some entertainment therein. May the good always outweigh the bad for you and yours!

Jerry Hatchett is a 40-year-old entrepreneur who loves the online world and the technology that drives it. He believes that Linux is a key component in the future of that world, and enjoys sharing his meandering thoughts in support of the community that made and makes Linux possible.





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