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DAMN the reply button (two beers later)

mattdm@mattdm.org wrote:
> > (IMHO, maybe CPU, but BIOS for the sake of discussion).  LINUX should
> > read (and not "soft" read) a serial number out of the BIOS, and not hold
> > it in software to be hacked.  BIOS manufacture might be easier to
> Any scheme like this can be hacked. Especially -- but certainly not limited
> to -- when you have the source to look at.
> But more importantly, Linux is about free software. No matter where one is
> on the software-freedom morality spectrum, it's plain fact that Linux's
> strength is in open source. Do we really want to bend over backwards to
> encourage closed software?

Closed software NOW on a Free kernel is the bridge to Free Software

> If the issue were destroying microsoft, schemes like this might be worth it.
> But if the idea is to improve software for everyone, I'm not sure it's so
> great.

Really, I am not thinking of MS.  MS can screw itself.  I am thinking of
MSI and the other UNIX software vendors that rely on SUN and IRIX #'s,
and feel that there $2000 a pop applications will continue to sell every
year as long as they are not pirated.  Not MSWord, which we all know is
pirated more than boughted anyway, thus resulting in the $50 educational
version price.

I guess I work in an environment that is very "anti-MicroSoft" but even
more "anti-Linux" because they believe it products that work, and have
can not exist at all without IRIX.  Believe it or not, MSI "OWNS" many
research projects, because without INSITE, much of the research in
Chemistry simply could not happen.  No one likes IRIX or SGI hardware
(because of security and price), but MSI will only port thier
applications to IRIX because of the S/N thing, and therefore we drop a
absolute minimum of $5000 a year just to use it.

Now, based on benchmarks and avaliable hardware, a Intel box could be a
much better platform as far as the Bang for the Buck thing goes, we
could do much better number crunching on new $2000 Intel boxes that the
4 year old IRIX boxes with $1,200 a year support contracts, but the fact
is we NEED MSI software, as do probably at least one research group in
every university chemistry department in the world.  What do we do?  MSI
won't port, and won't even consider it without at S/N IRIX style
security of anti-piracy, so, we're screwed.

GNU replacements would me absolutely awsome, but realistically will
NEVER happen give the current situation.  Because MSI has boutht
Insight, who made the application absolutely nessary to some research
projects, and doesn't care.  No source, no interest in the GNU
community, and the worst problem is, the people who need the app all run
IRIX, which runs on SGI hardware, which doesn't run a GNU OS at
acceptable levels yet.

So, what are they suppose to do, buy all new hardware, install linux,
and pray someone will develop an application?  It won't happen.  You
can't expect them to buy the hardware and install an OS without the
application they need.  And you can't expect anyone to develop an
application that no one who would use it has the hardware and OS to run
it on.  Catch 22.  If you expect it to happen, without any effort, your
dead wrong.

You have to start somewhere.  Linux can give, and make SOME step twards
opening the door.  By trying to allow propriatary ISV apps to run
securely on LINUX platforms without fear of piracy.  But if you expect
GNU software development to occure without any incentive (no user base
interested, no one cares, no one has the hardware) that won't happen. 
If you expect ISV's to just go "oh hell, let's port to Linux, who cares
if all of a sudden our sales which are already small to be cut by 90%
due to piracy" that won't happen either.

You have to start somewhere.  I am just bringing up an issue.  I don't
know the answer... If I did, I would just do it myself.  But I do think
it needs to be addressed.

"Robert W. Current" <rob@current.nu> - email
http://www.current.nu                - personal web site
"Hey mister, turn it on, turn it up, and turn me loose." - Dwight Yoakam

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