Letters to the Editor
I just read your PageSat article. We've been waiting for our system for three months. Unfortunately if you dial the main PageSat number you get another number to call, 415-493-9592—which says PageSat is history, gone, no longer in service. (It was a good article anyway.)
It's too bad. I was eagerly waiting for this, since our Newsfeed is very poor. Do you have any other suggestions for an alternate newsfeed? Ed Longstrom email@example.com
Rich Myers, who wrote the article in question, recently sent us e-mail on this very question:
NCIT (aka Pagesat) has ceased operations effective 12/4/96. Norman Gillaspie is starting a new business, PC-Sat, to continue the satellite newsfeed for both current and future customers.
We should have a web page on-line by the time you read this. The location of the web page will be: http://www.pc-sat.com.
Would you please pass on this info to the interested parties?
Thanks in advance for your assistance! Rich Myers firstname.lastname@example.org
First let me say that I enjoy LJ very much and get a lot out of every issue.
I'm considering using Linux in some commercial installations and have held off because of a glaring omission in the networking subsystem. I can find no evidence of Linux support for the NFS lockd and statd network lock managers which are required to guarantee exclusive file access over NFS. Our application support software uses a shared NFS mounted file system and must have this to work. I believe the lack of this capability will impede Linux's acceptance in enterprise computing environments that depend on robust networking support. Other than that, it seems Linux offers the most bang for the buck for Unix computing and networking. Toby L. Kraft email@example.com
I read with interest your editorial (“The Politics of Freedom”, Phil Hughes) in the October 1996 Linux Journal, #30, and thanks for webbing Richard M. Stallman's letter for background. Will you entertain a comment from an outsider?
It's too bad the word “political” has such a bad flavor. Virtually everyone wants to make things better in his community (the polis) and tries to persuade others to cooperate in doing so, i.e., acts politically... the catch, of course, being how to decide what is “better”.
I don't use Linux. I make a living writing commercial software for commercial platforms. I have also written, published, and placed in the public domain a few utility programs. I did so for at least three reasons I'm consciously aware of (not necessarily in priority order):
to make useful tools available to others
to share my pleasure in solving a problem elegantly
to show off what a clever bugger I am
At least one of these motivations—the desire to benefit my fellows—RMS also feels. Perhaps he feels the others as well. Nothing wrong with any of 'em.
You suggest RMS “feels that everyone has to believe exactly the same things he does.” I read his letter somewhat differently.
First, let's dispose of the myth of “free” software. They ain't no sech animal. Even if you obtain it without exchange of valuta, you must still invest time and skullsweat to use it—both scarce and valuable commodities, perhaps more so than money. So, any system competes with all others for your investment, whether cash changes hands or not.
Perception is reality. If Linux and GNU do not share a name, they are more likely to be perceived as distinct rather than variants of the same thing (one of RMS's points, and I agree). If they are distinct, they compete.
And “free” software already competes with the notion “if it really was valuable, you'd be charging us for it”—as Heinlein pointed out, why do you think they take collection in church? Added competition between Linux and GNU can't help but drain both against the “common enemy”, which I think is what he is saying.
I'm sorry to have to disagree with Linus Torvalds, but it does matter what people call Linux, and this is why. Since Adam's day, to name a thing is to have power over it... and to be trapped by its paradigm.
(Insert clever pun about “Paradigms Lost” here. Oh, never mind.) That's my two pfennigs, anyway. Hope you enjoyed it.Davidson CorryDAVIDSCO@Attachmate.com
Phil Hughes points out RMS asked for and was offered the opportunity to respond, but so far, we've not heard from him.
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