[linux-elitists] RE: Windows HPC (fwd)

D. Joe Anderson deejoe@raccoon.com
Sat Aug 10 09:11:49 PDT 2002

On Fri, Aug 09, 2002 at 04:10:29PM +0200, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 10:01:26 -0400
> From: Steve Gaudet <SGaudet@turbotekcomputer.com>
> To: beowulf@beowulf.org
> Subject: RE: Windows HPC


> In fact we're starting to see a serge in high schools looking at Linux.
> Why?  Slashed school budgets.  Not everyone is Cornell.  Total Cost Of
> Ownership.  There is none on Linux.  All a savvy school administrator has to
> look at is the tool set that comes with Linux, free compilers, source code,
> now office options.  The list is endless.



The benefits of running Linux et al are real enough.  They don't need
to be exaggerated with blatent nonsense like "there is no TCO for
Linux" or (from the previous forward) spreading FUD about the cost of
Microsoft licenses.*

Cost of ownershp != cost of acquisition.  Linux installations have
costs of ownership.  

I still get the feeling that even amongst some Linux Elitists,
there's almost as much (more?) anti-Microsoft to it that there is

The problem with setting oneself up in opposition, defining oneself
in terms of one's opponent, is that it's a constant reactive
scenario: You push and push against a certain set of objectional
features and then when the opponent feints in a different direction,
you stumble off balance and waste time picking yourself up, dusting
yourself off, and re-orienting yourself to your oppenents new
approach.  Not bad if the fight is what you're after, maybe, but it
can be pretty tedious if you've got other goals.

The Microsoft "shared source" initiative comes to mind as one such
feint.  Those of us used to dealing, for example, with no-cost or
low-cost source-available, research-grade academic software, but
which has redistribution restrictions, weren't at all impressed with
this.  But I think those more uncomfortable talking about freedom as
it relates to software have a harder time advocating Linux in the
face of the initiative.

The kicker is that, with Shared Source earlier, and now going after
higher-visibility HPC, clearly Microsoft are the ones in a reactive
position, trying to counter individually and in isolation
manifestations of software freedom's benefits.


* ISU and TAMU aren't *that* different in size.  Maybe TAMU is doing
something dramatically different from ISU.  I doubt it, but would be
interested to learn otherwise.  

ISU's per-year Microsoft licensing fees so far are reportedly on the
order of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, rather than
millions.  Integrated over several years, yes, under the current
model it will come to millions.  But hundreds of thousands of dollars
a year to one vendor alone are bad enough--no need to risk
credibility by exaggerating it.

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