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Re: Linux is great, but is it cool?

From: ray
Subject: Re: Linux is great, but is it cool?
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2008 14:29:09 -0700
User-agent: Pan/0.14.2 (This is not a psychotic episode. It's a cleansing moment of clarity.)

On Tue, 15 Jan 2008 09:15:41 -0800, plenty900 wrote:

> One thing that drew me to computers from the start
> was going to computer clubs and seeing the cool hacks
> that people had managed to get working using their
> computers. For instance, I once saw a VIC-20 with
> a "real" 80x25 video card, for instance, and a guy
> who created his own OS.
> As time went by, clubs were less important and the
> Internet took over as a place to swap ideas and
> clever software hacks. For instance, there is the
> typesetting system TeX, and a guy once put
> an entire TeX DVI viewer with fonts into just one small
> executable, enabling me to do real word processing
> on a 386 DX.
> Later, some guy named Linus did what others
> had also done -- the Mach group for example --
> he created a workstation-class kernel for the 486, however
> Linus did something wonderful. He didn't try to price-gouge
> consumers with it, nor refuse to give it away while whining
> about how parts of the OS were owned by such-and-such
> Regents. No, he gave it away for free. Soon after,
> some clever people had ported X Windows to it, and
> suddenly my 486 DX2 laptop was something like
> a workstation -- it was really civilized.
> In every case of something amazing like this
> happening, I remarked that it was "cool", clever or novel.
> Just as was the subsequent creation of LAME and the
> posting of MP3 files to Usenet. And later the creation
> of Divx and Xvid.
> However I am not entirely sure that the hobbyist
> movement has continued to be cool, clever, and
> doing novel things. The hobbyist was always
> the core of such successes, pushing the envelope
> for fun, not because he was paid to. Today however
> Linux is rather business-minded, and money
> seems to be the primary concern of everyone.
> It's become mainly a bandwagon for business.
> I am not convinced that truly cool things
> are happening any longer, because I am not
> seeing barriers being broken through at least
> in the area of software. Indeed, nor in hardware.
> Everyone involved in Linux seems to be using
> a hot-rod system that offers no barriers.
> Where is the cool?

What I've recently found to be cool - the WalMart $200 computer - buying
the same mobo for $60 from clubit, populating it with 2gb ddr2 for $25 and
installing the 'distro of the month' from the Linux Pro DVD.

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