Monday, September 29, 2008

annexing the cave of wonders

Let's see, according to it's legendary beginnings Unix has been with us in some form since the days of machine code. Unix is still a workhorse for many "big iron" machines. It is so strange that the child of Unix known as Linux casts such a little shadow, given the popularity of the PC. Big Iron companies laughed at the PC idea which grew into a new market to be swept up by S. Jobs and B. Gates. I don't know why Torvalds didn't jump into the fray with them. It had to be timing, place and a different vision. It's the results that matter and the outcomes of three directions we deal with today suggest they did not stray from the paths they choose. Mr. Jobs packaged and marketed a hardware and software product. Mr. Gates markets a software solution for the hardware made by others. Finally Mr. Torvalds designed and maintains a kernel upon which the whole of Linux is built by others and runs on hardware built by others, mostly for free, mostly by word of mouth and internet. On a large scale Linux is not marketed like Microsoft products or Apple's, instead Linux lives on the internet inline with how it began. You won't find many Linux books in smaller libraries and no commercials on TV. Linux exist on the net, in the comings and goings of an active community. Linux is always being updated, tweaked, patched, revised and rewritten. Books tend to get out of date fast, especially if they have the live-cd in the back. Still if your local library has zilch and by chance has interlibrary loans like ours does, you just might be in luck. So if you really want to know what Linux is before you jump in or forget about it, look up these books. Ubuntu Linux for Non-Geeks by Rickford Grant is a great book with lots of details and yet not technical. Show and tell, yet not technical. The other book is Moving to Ubuntu Linux by Marcel Gagne'. Marcel has been "Cooking with Linux" for years and knows all the secrets. If you live in my neighborhood, you can't get'em till I'm done.
Well that's all for now, gotta run to Linux class, later

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