Readers sound off.
Spinning the Web

I read with interest Doc Searls' comments on operating systems being used on web servers (upFRONT, January 2000). My own site is being hosted by Virtualis, and they use FreeBSD quite extensively for virtual hosting. Their dedicated servers come with two options, namely NT/FreeBSD. Upon enquiring for a client, one of the support staff for Virtualis stated that NT is buggy as far as virtual hosting is concerned.

To come back to the Media Metrix survey, two of the five sites being hosted on NT belong to Microsoft—namely, msn.com and microsoft.com. I guess one can ignore those two, which brings the NT tally to 3...

Thanks for a most enjoyable magazine!

—Johan Pretorius JohanPretorius@flysaa.com

Ranting and Raving

Do you wanna know what really pisses me off about Linux? It's touted as a “free” OS (in other words, you can get it without paying a cent) but it's obviously not. I'd like to try Linux and see if it really is a good competitor to Windows. I understand there is very little software sold that can actually run under Linux, but I am still interested to see how the OS works. My question is simple: why pay some vendor my hard-earned money for an OS that finding software for is such a chore? And why should I trust anyone that says “it's free” and then wants to charge me for it?! I understand it costs money to make and distribute CD-ROMs, but why can't I simply download it if it really is free? Your web site says I can, yet I see no link to the FTP site. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to spot this lie.

As for Windows, I firmly believe Microsoft earned their market share by the fact that they created a terrific OS that a vast majority of computer users love. It's called supply and demand (duh). Yet I tend to scratch my head in wonder when I hear about some OS that's being touted as better (more stable), and free (when I can't even find the free software on the Internet) and especially when I don't see software that says it works under Linux. Usually, when a better product exists, there is a very competitive market for it (such as cars—Ford and GM are a perfect example).

My conclusion is this: Linux is nothing more than a cult following, like Apple's Macintosh. Mac users are cut from a strange cloth. They seem to insist on using a Mac, simply because they want to be different. They also appear to hate Microsoft, just because Microsoft has created some of the best software on Earth and millions of people gobbled it up like turkey sales at Thanksgiving.

As for the (corrupted) Justice Dept. vs. Microsoft... well, just because someone makes a superior product that has overwhelming customer demand doesn't make them a criminal enterprise.

—Scott Moore scottbomb@hotmail.com

Actually, we didn't think it took a brain surgeon to find Linux on the Internet. Just click on our “How to Get Linux” button, and you will find many download sites. More and more software products support Linux every day. Check out the ads in our magazine and the Linux Software Map at http://www.ExecPc.com/lsm/ —Editor