[linux-elitists] Re: [Beowulf] Linux laptops, and M$ advertisement
Tue Apr 17 03:24:44 PDT 2007
----- Forwarded message from Jim Lux <James.P.Lux@jpl.nasa.gov> -----
From: Jim Lux <James.P.Lux@jpl.nasa.gov>
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2007 17:37:47 -0700
To: "Peter St. John" <email@example.com>,
Beowulf Mailing List <Beowulf@beowulf.org>
Subject: Re: [Beowulf] Linux laptops, and M$ advertisement
X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Version 22.214.171.124
At 11:22 AM 4/16/2007, Peter St. John wrote:
While looking around for a laptop I discovered that MS is paying
Google for the keyword "linux" to point to a "Get the Facts!" page
(reminds me of TheTruth.com) with testomonials about why MS is
better than Linux for clustering (!). What struck me was that I
wasn't googling "linux cluster" but just "linux notebook", yet the
page is about MS cluster installations at research facilitites.
The ad is
The testamonials all seem to be equivalent to "I"m a PhD in Rocket
Science but setting up a Linux Cluster is too complex, so using MS
saves me time to do Rocket Science".
Well, as a rocket scientist of sorts (although not actually in
propulsion), I didn't see any rocket science folks.. I'd be willing to
bet that among those who actually DO rocket science Linux has a fairly
high penetration(at least here at JPL, it does).
But your point is well taken. And so is Microsoft's...
A more accurate model for this market would be "I'm a rocket scientist
with a Windows desktop application that provides me with a familiar
interface to a back end that might be a cluster or might not. I don't
want to have to care what's running back there in the closet, because
I'm a rocket scientist, not a sysadmin. *I* don't much care who
provides me with a turnkey solution, I'll be happy, independent of
what's under the hood. But I'll be darned if I'm going to download
ISOs off the web, burn them and build my own cluster. Talk to the
computing infrastructure people and stop bothering me. And if you're
selling something they don't like, you're doomed.".
None of them mention if their MS clusters were in any way
subsidized by MS.
The U Va one is probably the Apple Mac cluster, no?
Also, I assume that essentially they are paying their vendor to do
the setup & support, and they don't say if that compares
economically to, say, paying Joe to do that, only that it saves
them time themselves. Sure, if I had that budget, I'd pay Joe and
RGB to come and work for me and I would have more time for other
Institutional budgets are a funny thing. Many things get done that
don't make a heck of a lot of sense from the end user, but make
perfect sense from another viewpoint. This is especially true with
the parts of the "life cycle cost" that aren't in the original capital
James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
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