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SubjectRe: Ken Thompson interview in IEEE Computer magazine (fwd)
"Henning P. Schmiedehausen" wrote:

> Banks run their databases on real iron. Machines with downtimes in the
> realm of seconds per year. Where you can upgrade your OS, Kernel,
> hardware and almost everything else while running. No bank runs a
> database on Microsoft software. Machines you can fire bullets at and
> they continue to run.

Very good machines they are. I also run machines that stay up for years without
downtime. No, they don't like bullets but they do have stability and performance.

> So what? These are ATM machines. If they're down, you don't lose
> money. If your database server is down, you do.

So what? My money is insured. If the insides crash, I'll get my money back. My
concern is getting my money when I want it. I switched from one bank because they
used NT for all the workstations in the branch. Too many derogatory comments
slipped about how slow things were going that day or that the programmers had the
system offline for a little bit to `take a peek at it'.

It's all good that there are machines that eat bullets and keep on going. After
we spend the amount of time, effort, and money comparable to their development, I
expect Linux to stand a ready peer.

In the meantime, Linux does very nicely and yes it is not perfect. However, I
think there is too much shortage of acclaim to those that have put such an effort
into what we have. Linux _does_ do amazing things and with a skilled person can
set records of all sorts for making playtoy hardware achieve numbers worthy of
five and six digit figure machines.

I am not evangelising. I am firmly believing in the future of Linux. I am not
blind to shortcommings and I'll do as I can to aid. The path we're taking is
hurtling along with a blood rushing speed. The code isn't perfect, but it's
making waves. Big waves. It's changing the way people think about software.

If Linux can come this far in this last decade, can you imagine where it can be
five years from now? :)

Some of the tasty treats I see in the near future are teh bullet proofing,
journalled FS, seriously larger limits (or none) on all the limits we have now.
Extensive performance and other subsystem monitoring.

Constructive criticism is good, but it is really hard to give criticism and it be
good. Let's take all the little bugs, line them up and thwack them one by one.

Success is here, let's improve on it. Sidetracking by comparing with NT isn't
going to get us very far. Fix and make better.

Kudos to every person doing their little part making this wave.


This is Linux Country. On a quiet night, you can hear Windows NT reboot!
Do you remember how to -think- ? Do you remember how to experiment? Linux
__ is an operating system that brings back the fun and adventure in computing.
\/ for linux-kernel: please read linux/Documentation/* before posting problems

"Everything you see and believe in is there because you believe in it. You
have no idea how much you're missing, simply because you don't have a wider
frame of reference. And what keeps you from expanding your frame of
reference is fear. When you release your fear you begin to see things in a
whole new way. What was always right in front of you suddenly comes to

--James F. Twyman, From the book, Emissary of Light

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