Linux vs. BSD

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stephen balbach

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Mar 16, 1993, 4:56:14 AM3/16/93
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Other than the fact Linux has a cool name, could someone explain why I should use Linux over BSD?

Thanks,

Linus Torvalds

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Mar 16, 1993, 10:25:41 AM3/16/93
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In article <1o487u...@access.digex.com> ste...@access.digex.com (stephen balbach) writes:
>
> Other than the fact Linux has a cool name, could someone explain why I
> should use Linux over BSD?

No. That's it. The cool name, that is. We worked very hard on
creating a name that would appeal to the majority of people, and it
certainly paid off: thousands of people are using linux just to be able
to say "OS/2? Hah. I've got Linux. What a cool name". 386BSD made the
mistake of putting a lot of numbers and weird abbreviations into the
name, and is scaring away a lot of people just because it sounds too
technical.

Seriously, the standard answer to this is "try them both". Not because
people don't have any opinions, but most of the informed people are
trying to avoid a flamewar, which is only too easy when it comes to
operating systems (and editors, and..). If you don't want to try them
both (and it does require some work to do it), you can either flip
coins, or try to make a reasonably intelligent decision based on some
data-points. Here are a few of mine, and maybe somebody else will come
up with others.

Linux:
- disorganized, but has a largish base of binaries and is reasonably
stable. Wins big in the shared library department: while shared libs
exist under 386bsd, they aren't used very widely due to not being
standard. 386bsd is reportedly getting superior shared libs, but I
wouldn't trust the "superior" too far: shared libraries are a cludge
almost any way you look at it, and there are always tradeoffs.
- linux is actually the older of the two when it comes to "being
available for the 386" - judging by what I've seen on the net, linux
is more stable in some respects. But see networking..
- linux networking is very young: there are some bugs in there still
that people are fighting. Nothing major, but 386bsd still has an
edge in having tried-and-true routines when it comes to net code.
- Linux is copylefted ((C) me and others, but the copyright is the same
one as used by all GNU programs). 386bsd is not: it has a less
demanding copyright. It depends on what you want which is better:
some people don't care, others feel strongly one way or the other.

386bsd:
- organized: fewer releases, but they are more "final". Some people
curse this, as it can result in bugs not being corrected in a long
time (or needing less than official patches), but others prefer to
have a known version to rely on.
- it's the real McCoy: people used to BSD4.3 are used to 386bsd. There
are differences introduced by using gcc etc, but the similarities are
bigger.
- networking. It's there, and has been for a long time. Not that
linux is exactly unstable in this regard (many are using networking
with linux quite happily, including NFS-mounting major parts of their
filesystems), but bsd is proven and people are used to it (it also
has some features linux currently lacks).
- [ the bsd people can probably fill this out.. ]

It actually depends quite a lot on what you need to do. I've had a few
reports that linux feels more responsive, and it certainly generally is
considered to need less resources. That can tip the scales, but so can
networking etc..

Linus

Gary Heston

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Mar 16, 1993, 12:49:26 PM3/16/93
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In article <1o487u...@access.digex.com> ste...@access.digex.com (stephen balbach) writes:

>Other than the fact Linux has a cool name, could someone explain why I
>should use Linux over BSD?

I don't know--perhaps you want a SysV-like environment instead of BSD-like?

--
Gary Heston SCI Systems, Inc. ga...@sci34hub.sci.com site admin
The Chairman of the Board and the CFO speak for SCI. I'm neither.
Remember: A majority of the American people voted against *all* of the
Presidential Candidates. How encouraging....

Eric Wallengren

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Mar 16, 1993, 3:29:00 PM3/16/93
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UNIVEL SETS NEW PRICE STANDARD FOR ADVANCED
32-BIT OPERATING SYSTEMS ON INTEL COMPUTERS

Move Aimed at Accelerating the Growth of Client-Server Computing

See Us at Uniforum in Booth #2333

SAN JOSE, California-- March 15, 1993-- Univel, a partnership
between Novell, Inc. and UNIX System Laboratories, Inc., today
significantly lowered prices for the desktop and application server
versions of UnixWare, taking away one of the few remaining
constraints to the rapid market adoption of the UNIX system as a
client-server solution on Intel-based computers.

The UnixWare price reductions are designed to meet customer needs
for next generation 32-bit operating system technology that takes
advantage of the processing power available from the millions of
advanced Intel-based computers shipping each month. UnixWare
enables customers to deploy the thousands of UNIX applications
already running on workstations, mid-range and mainframe computers
on industry standard Intel computers. In addition, UnixWare
provides the scalability and integration with network services to
meet the needs of enterprise computing.

At the same time, Univel also expanded capabilities of the UnixWare
Personal Edition to run DOS and MS Windows applications under UNIX.
UnixWare is designed to support client-server computing solutions
by supporting both the high-end UNIX applications base as well as
the PC spawned DOS and MS Windows applications community.

The UnixWare Personal Edition, for desktop users is reduced 50% to
$249.00 from $495.00 (US). The UnixWare Application Server, an
ideal solution for downsizing applications in a client-server
environment, is reduced 48% to $1299.00 from $2495.00 (US). The
Software Development Kit is reduced 40% to $599.00 from $995.00
(US).

"Our customers are asking for an affordable and easy-to-use
advanced operating system that takes advantage of the desktop
computers across their organization." said Joel A. Appelbaum,
Univel president and CEO. "We believe that by reducing the prices
on UnixWare we have removed the cost barrier to customer
implementation of stable 32-bit operating system technology for
desktop computers. Our objective is to accelerate the development
and deployment of client/server applications that can grow the UNIX
and network computing markets dramatically."

The previous implementation of UnixWare supported DOS applications.
The incorporation of the MS Windows Merge capabilities permits
UnixWare to support MS Windows 3.0 and 3.1 applications under
UNIX. This ensures that all of a users' desktop applications will
run on UnixWare. Previously the MS Windows capability was an
add-on product priced at $395, with the announcement today it is
being included with the UnixWare Personal Edition at no extra
charge.

The UnixWare Personal Edition and UnixWare Application Server for
Intel-based computers began shipping in December 1992. UnixWare
products are sold through computer product distributors, system
integrators and value added resellers worldwide.

Univel, founded in December of 1991, is a joint venture of Novell,
Inc. and UNIX System Laboratories, Inc. The company is chartered
with growing the UNIX system and network computing market by
providing open system software solutions for distributed
enterprise-wide computing. Univel's UnixWare family of products
incorporate the most powerful, user-friendly, graphical UNIX SVR4.2
operating system available today while providing seamless
integration to NetWare. Univel, headquartered in San Jose, is
located at 2180 Fortune Drive, San Jose, CA 95131. Telephone:
408/729-2300. Fax: 408/729-2310.

Univel and UnixWare are trademarks of Univel.
UNIX is a registered trademark of UNIX System Laboratories, Inc.
NetWare is a registered trademark of Novell, Inc.
All other company, brand, and product names are registered
trademarks or trademarks of their respective holders.


John Hood

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Mar 16, 1993, 7:04:21 PM3/16/93
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In article <1o487u...@access.digex.com> ste...@access.digex.com
(stephen balbach) writes:

>Other than the fact Linux has a cool name, could someone explain why
>I should use Linux over BSD?

One more iron into the fire: I'm currently pondering Linux vs. 386bsd.
Linux does not have crash-resistant filesystems with
synchronous/ordered directory/inode writes. (At least not yet,
anyway. The rate at which Linux features pop up makes me think it'll
be there tomorrow or the next day.) This makes me a little leery of
putting it up on my main mail/news system, but I may do it anyway.

Linux, in the SLS releases anyway, appears to be much easier to
install. To get a current version of 386bsd going, you have to load
everything, load 110 patches, install them, and recompile the world.
This also means you need more disk space for 386bsd.

--jh
--
John Hood Cthulhu-- just imagine it!
jh...@smoke.marlboro.vt.us
Duke U, 1980: "Okay, so a few systems have the net started. What next?"

H.J. Lu

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Mar 16, 1993, 8:05:34 PM3/16/93
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In article <1993Mar16.1...@sci34hub.sci.com>, ga...@sci34hub.sci.com (Gary Heston) writes:
|> In article <1o487u...@access.digex.com> ste...@access.digex.com (stephen balbach) writes:
|>
|> >Other than the fact Linux has a cool name, could someone explain why I
|> >should use Linux over BSD?
|>
|> I don't know--perhaps you want a SysV-like environment instead of BSD-like?
|>
|>

What do you mean by that? If you are talking the Linux C library, you can
compile 90% BSD/SYSV code without much trouble. The Linux C library
is POSIX compliant with LOTS of BSD and SYSV stuff.


H.J.

Lars Hammarstrand

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Mar 17, 1993, 6:48:37 AM3/17/93
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er...@univel.COM (Eric Wallengren) writes:

:
: UNIVEL SETS NEW PRICE STANDARD FOR ADVANCED


: 32-BIT OPERATING SYSTEMS ON INTEL COMPUTERS

:

Very good indeed, but who is taking care of the UnixWare channels here in Europe?
(No reseller channels and no UnixWare knowledge == no sales nor any future of UnixWare)

Regards,

Lars Hammarstrand.

Gary Heston

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Mar 17, 1993, 11:35:13 AM3/17/93
to

Hmmmm.... The original article also appeared in comp.sys.novell, but it
wasn't crossposted between here and there, it was posted separately...
Don't understand that. My followup there won't show up here. Oh, well...

In article <1o5nvc$5...@agate.berkeley.edu> ila...@violet.berkeley.edu (Geraldo Veiga) writes:


>In article <1993Mar16.2...@univel.com> er...@univel.COM (Eric Wallengren) writes:
>>The UnixWare Personal Edition, for desktop users is reduced 50% to
>>$249.00 from $495.00 (US). The UnixWare Application Server, an
>>ideal solution for downsizing applications in a client-server
>>environment, is reduced 48% to $1299.00 from $2495.00 (US). The
>>Software Development Kit is reduced 40% to $599.00 from $995.00
>>(US).

I commented in c.s.novell that I think this is a good thing.

>What are the prices for the add-on packages? From what I've seen of
>the Personal edition, it does not include some absolute essentials (like
>the ksh, sysadm and others). So for a development platform, I assume
>you would need to add the utilities set, sysadmim, and motif.

The Personal Utilities is $395, I think.

For a development platform, you'd probably want to start with the
AS and add the SDK plus whichever of the specialized development kits
you'd need. The AS includes the Utilities as well as TCP/IP, while not
limiting the number of users. Basically you pay about $300 for unlimited
users, which isn't too unreasonable. $1898 gets you an unlimited user
version with development tools, as long as you don't want to do device
drivers or Motif. This is better than some versions of SysVr4.0, and
far more reasonable than ODT.

>Still, this looks like a major move by Univel.

Yes, and in the right direction.

Joao Costa

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Mar 17, 1993, 12:38:13 PM3/17/93
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: (No reseller channels and no UnixWare knowledge == no sales nor any future of UnixWare)

Try pestering your local Novell reseller. He'll find it for you.
Here in Portugal it was easy. And the reseller is making deals with the
more technical Unix VAR's for support.
--
Joao Costa
jco...@quimic.pt Tel: 351-1-545787 Fax: 351-1-3159074
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lars Hammarstrand

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Mar 18, 1993, 3:08:34 AM3/18/93
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jco...@quimi486.quimic.pt (Joao Costa) writes:

:
: Try pestering your local Novell reseller. He'll find it for you.


: Here in Portugal it was easy. And the reseller is making deals with the
: more technical Unix VAR's for support.
: --

Yepp, that's the right way to go, but not very much has happend here and I know
that's also true for many other European countries. The problem seems to be
that the Novell VARs don't get any local support from Novell/Univel in terms of
know-how and market support, because this new to them and they don't know how
to handle this type product, therefor they don't know how to sell it. To bad,
it's a very nice product with very large potentials but hopefully this is only
a temporary problem (we will se).
--

regards,

Lars Hammarstrand.

william E Davidsen

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Mar 18, 1993, 1:44:19 PM3/18/93
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| Linux, in the SLS releases anyway, appears to be much easier to
| install. To get a current version of 386bsd going, you have to load
| everything, load 110 patches, install them, and recompile the world.
| This also means you need more disk space for 386bsd.

linux is being updated and changed a lot more than BSD. From a
standpoint of production use I've been bothered by some of the changes,
in that they often change some pretty low level stuff like names of
devices and how memory mapping works.

The biggie for me is that the stock kernel still doesn't have IPC, and
the kernel is being changed in such a way that the IPC package patches
don't even work from release to release.

I think the future of Linux is brighter than BSD, but you have to pick
a point in time, find things which work at that time, and stop upgrading
your system. Either that or be resigned to fixing and recompiling all
your source with each new release.

--
bill davidsen, GE Corp. R&D Center; Box 8; Schenectady NY 12345

william E Davidsen

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Mar 18, 1993, 1:52:43 PM3/18/93
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In article <1o5nvc$5...@agate.berkeley.edu>, ila...@violet.berkeley.edu (Geraldo Veiga) writes:

| What are the prices for the add-on packages? From what I've seen of
| the Personal edition, it does not include some absolute essentials (like
| the ksh, sysadm and others). So for a development platform, I assume
| you would need to add the utilities set, sysadmim, and motif.

I see that the ads say that wksh is included, the other stuff seems
extra.

They still don't see that there is not much between a "personal"
machine and a server other than number of users. Older packaging had 2
user and unlimited user versions, but the new way is to offer a cheap
package which seems mainly useful to use a PC as a X terminal.

It's nice that the price is coming down, but the truth is that very
few users will be able to get along without the full blown version.

Rich Braun

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Mar 21, 1993, 10:50:17 AM3/21/93
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jco...@quimi486.quimic.pt (Joao Costa) writes:
>: Try pestering your local Novell reseller. He'll find it for you.
>: Here in Portugal it was easy. And the reseller is making deals with the
>: more technical Unix VAR's for support.

la...@hk01.hk.ncc.se (Lars Hammarstrand) writes:
>Yepp, that's the right way to go, but not very much has happend here and I

>know that's also true for many other European countries. ...this is new to


>them and they don't know how to handle this type product, therefor they
>don't know how to sell it.

That's also, perhaps surprisingly, true right here in one of the software
capitals of the world: Massachusetts. When I was calling vendors to
buy a Novell upgrade about two months ago, I started by getting a referral
of Platinum certified dealers directly from Novell. In addition to getting
a quote on the upgrade, I asked each of them what they knew about
UnixWare and how it could fit into our enterprise.

The line went dead for a moment in each case. These so-called Platinum
dealers were rendered speechless by a simple request for info about
Unix. It was like calling from another planet. (I do work at Jupiter,
I do admit). (If I were serious about UnixWare, I could probably have
gotten referrals from Univel rather than Novell, but my point here is
that Univel's distribution network pales by contrast to Novell's.)

Given this complete lack of knowledge about the product, Univel is
doing the right thing by making the system more turnkey. But I'll wager
they have a long way to go; it never did seem obvious to me why, for
simplicity's sake, 386-Unix vendors didn't go the way of DEC, IBM and
Sun: just bundle *everything* into the package and if buyers don't want
a component, they can de-install it. Makes for far fewer headaches from
my point of view as a user, purchasing agent and administrator.

-rich

Rich Braun

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Mar 21, 1993, 10:52:29 AM3/21/93
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jh...@smoke.marlboro.vt.us (John Hood) writes:
>Linux does not have crash-resistant filesystems with
>synchronous/ordered directory/inode writes. (At least not yet,
>anyway. The rate at which Linux features pop up makes me think it'll
>be there tomorrow or the next day.) This makes me a little leery of
>putting it up on my main mail/news system, but I may do it anyway.

_Mail_ and _news_??? These aren't exactly mission-critical
applications. I've never found netnews to be all that reliable to
begin with, no matter how reliable I make my hub system.

Somehow I find it more of a problem losing my _work_ than a news
spool partition...

-rich

Marc Unangst

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Mar 21, 1993, 10:43:22 PM3/21/93
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In article <1993Mar21....@rkbhome.jti.com> ri...@rkbhome.jti.com (Rich Braun) writes:
[Calls a Novell dealer and asks for UnixWare info]

>The line went dead for a moment in each case. These so-called Platinum
>dealers were rendered speechless by a simple request for info about
>Unix.

Of course they were. UnixWare is a Univel product, not a Novell
product. I'd expect the same reaction if I called an IBM OS/2 dealer
and asked for Pink info.

>simplicity's sake, 386-Unix vendors didn't go the way of DEC, IBM and
>Sun: just bundle *everything* into the package and if buyers don't want
>a component, they can de-install it.

Unfortunately this pushes the price of the package into the
stratosphere, and forces people to pay for things for which they have
no need. Why should J. Random User, who just wants to run
shrinkwrapped apps, have to buy a development kit? Why should he have
to buy the TCP/IP networking stuff if he's only going to be on a
Novell IPX network, or no network at all?

If Univel can sell a complete package, with unlimited users, a dev
kit, TCP/IP, and all the other goodies for $99, more power to them.
If not, then I'd prefer that they sell a "personal edition" for $99,
rather than making the only available version cost $1000.

>Makes for far fewer headaches from my point of view as a user,
>purchasing agent and administrator.

You mean that as a purchasing agent, you find it just as easy to get
51 $1000 OS purchases approved as you do 50 $100 OS purchases and one
$2000 purchase? That's $51,000 vs. $7,000; quite a difference to most
purchasing departments, I would think.

--
Marc Unangst, N8VRH | "Of course, in order to understand this you
m...@mudos.ann-arbor.mi.us | have to remember that the nucleus of the atom
| is squishy."
| -W. Scheider, from a Physics lecture

Keith Barrett

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Mar 22, 1993, 11:26:10 AM3/22/93
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For Amiga fans/users, another pro about Linux is that it is currently
being ported to the Amiga, while the BSD effort has stopped.

If you are into amigas, and want to run the same *IX system on your amiga
and intel systems - go Linux.


Keith

Richard Braun

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Mar 23, 1993, 5:28:21 PM3/23/93
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m...@mudos.ann-arbor.mi.us (Marc Unangst) writes:
>[Calls a Novell dealer and asks for UnixWare info]
>>The line went dead for a moment in each case. These so-called Platinum
>>dealers were rendered speechless by a simple request for info about
>>Unix.
>
>Of course they were. UnixWare is a Univel product, not a Novell
>product. I'd expect the same reaction if I called an IBM OS/2 dealer
>and asked for Pink info.

Come on, don't skip a line of attribution just to make me look like an
idiot! Here's the attribution you ignored:

>(If I were serious about UnixWare, I could probably have
>gotten referrals from Univel rather than Novell, but my point here is
>that Univel's distribution network pales by contrast to Novell's.)

I'm reposting to re-iterate that point. The comparison is more like
going to a Honda dealer back in '87 and inquiring about Acura. They
ought to have a ready answer.

>Unfortunately [bundling] pushes the price of the package into the


>stratosphere, and forces people to pay for things for which they have

>no need. ... If Univel can sell a complete package, with unlimited
>users, a dev kit, TCP/IP, and all the other goodies for $99 ...

I _thought_ that was the idea behind the outright purchase of USL. You're
darn right they _can_ sell a complete developer package for that price,
or something comparable. There's no one out there to tell them they
can't.

Will they? (Last I checked, it cost about $1 to press a CD-ROM.)

-rich

Richard Warner

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Mar 23, 1993, 6:26:05 PM3/23/93
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ri...@jti.com (Richard Braun) writes:

And hundreds of thousands or millions of $$$ to get the stuff ready to
press onto the CD. Most of the cost of software is development costs,
not media cost. That has to be paid for through the purchase of the
software. Number of packages sold * price of package > development costs.
If this is not true, then the package flounders and the company may
die with it. So lowering the price per package is only a good strategy
*if* there it results in an equal or greater number of packages sold.

One thing everyone is ignoring here, also, is the rather light-footed
approach Novell must take. They cannot undercut their clients! If
UNIVEL prices go too low, then SCO, Sun/Interactive, Consensys, and
a whole host of USL customers will be unhappy and may move to an
alternative vendor (OEM's NT, NET/2, etc.).

>-rich

Richard Braun

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Mar 26, 1993, 5:14:18 PM3/26/93
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ri...@sjsumcs.sjsu.edu (Richard Warner) writes:
>>Will they? (Last I checked, it cost about $1 to press a CD-ROM.)
>
>And hundreds of thousands or millions of $$$ to get the stuff ready to
>press onto the CD. Most of the cost of software is development costs,
>not media cost. That has to be paid for through the purchase of the
>software.

Novell paid a sum total of about $400 million to buy out USL. It also
owns Univel, which had a product out before the USL purchase. All of
these are investments already made. To "get the stuff ready" is now a
matter of deciding which features are lacking as compared to the competition,
adding extensions where necessary.

Since duplication costs are trivial, the question now becomes how to
trade off revenue per customer vs. market share.

>So lowering the price per package is only a good strategy
>*if* there it results in an equal or greater number of packages sold.

Right, Econ 101.

>One thing everyone is ignoring here, also, is the rather light-footed
>approach Novell must take. They cannot undercut their clients! If
>UNIVEL prices go too low, then SCO, Sun/Interactive, Consensys, and
>a whole host of USL customers will be unhappy and may move to an
>alternative vendor (OEM's NT, NET/2, etc.).

True, though if I were in their shoes this would be a minor issue compared
with the overwhelming number of PCs and competing operating systems sold
every month. The entire market share of SCO, Sun, Consensys, et al, pales
by contrast to that of Microsoft (I'll bet even Apple can beat most of
these Unix vendors).

The Unix marketplace is just so small today, what Univel should be (and
apparently is) doing is looking at future markets rather than past ones.

-rich

Richard Warner

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Mar 26, 1993, 7:47:58 PM3/26/93
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ri...@jti.com (Richard Braun) writes:

>ri...@sjsumcs.sjsu.edu (Richard Warner) writes:
>>>Will they? (Last I checked, it cost about $1 to press a CD-ROM.)
>>
>>And hundreds of thousands or millions of $$$ to get the stuff ready to
>>press onto the CD. Most of the cost of software is development costs,
>>not media cost. That has to be paid for through the purchase of the
>>software.

>Novell paid a sum total of about $400 million to buy out USL. It also
>owns Univel, which had a product out before the USL purchase. All of
>these are investments already made. To "get the stuff ready" is now a
>matter of deciding which features are lacking as compared to the competition,
>adding extensions where necessary.

Actually, Novell paid $0 for USL. What they gave was stock, valued at
the time of the announcement at ~$400 Million.

But that is neither here nor there in this discussion. The heart of the
matter is that USL (irregardless of ownership) has to recoup past
investments and fund future development from sales. If revenues sink,
programmers are laid off, and future extensions are delayed or not
developed.

>Since duplication costs are trivial, the question now becomes how to
>trade off revenue per customer vs. market share.

Right. AT&T dominated board at USL wanted to maximize revenue per
customer. Novell wants to increase market share. They made both
statements last week in announcing the price reductions.

>>So lowering the price per package is only a good strategy
>>*if* there it results in an equal or greater number of packages sold.

>Right, Econ 101.

>>One thing everyone is ignoring here, also, is the rather light-footed
>>approach Novell must take. They cannot undercut their clients! If
>>UNIVEL prices go too low, then SCO, Sun/Interactive, Consensys, and
>>a whole host of USL customers will be unhappy and may move to an
>>alternative vendor (OEM's NT, NET/2, etc.).

>True, though if I were in their shoes this would be a minor issue compared
>with the overwhelming number of PCs and competing operating systems sold
>every month. The entire market share of SCO, Sun, Consensys, et al, pales
>by contrast to that of Microsoft (I'll bet even Apple can beat most of
>these Unix vendors).

No, it has to be a major issue. Unless they want to walk all over
the USL client base; and if they show any intention of doing so they
will not get regulatory approval for the buyout (the sale is still
pending regulatory agency review).

Bill Fulton

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Mar 28, 1993, 7:02:12 PM3/28/93
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In article <C4IoF...@jti.com> ri...@jti.com (Richard Braun) writes:
>ri...@sjsumcs.sjsu.edu (Richard Warner) writes:
>Novell paid a sum total of about $400 million to buy out USL. It also
>owns Univel, which had a product out before the USL purchase. All of
>these are investments already made. To "get the stuff ready" is now a
>matter of deciding which features are lacking as compared to the competition,
>adding extensions where necessary.

... and cutting features where considered "desirable", e.g.
> things that they don't want to support. (Novell is used to making money
from networking software, the "Unix thingie" is just a way to do that
some more).
> things they can unbundle and charge for. (Novell likes to charge a lot of
money for their products, and likes to break them up so they can charge a
lot of money a lot of times).

Personal Opinion: Novell is going to castrate Unix, to make it easier to
support. It could be a while until they have decided how much to snip.

--
Bill Fulton (Home Alone) | I always wanted to be someone ...
bi...@wafbox.gwinnett.com | I should have been more specific.

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