Saturday, October 28, 2006
- Yesterday we got the Declaration of Wayne Boyer, an engineer at IBM. Seems SCO's claiming to own some test suite that Boyer worked on, because it's used to validate whether Linux (or any other Unixish OS) complies to POSIX standards, and SCO claims it owns those. They seem to think they even own the fundamental concept of complying with the published standard. In SCO's universe, you can't even write a program that checks whether an OS complies with POSIX "methods and concepts" without violating those same methods and concepts. Un-freaking-believable. I know I say that all the time, but this really is.
- While we're covering GL, the latest bits about Jeffrey Leitzinger, paided BS&F shill.
- Leitzinger was even involved in the BRE-X debacle, believe it or not.
- There's no shortage of search engine hits about Leitzinger's previous work for BS&F. The thing I find most interesting is an article he helped out with titled "Economists as Experts - How to Manage and Present Them To The Jury". Some fun tidbits:
Experts are routinely cross-examined about their fees (sometimes before anything else) and their testimony derided as purchased, needless and incomprehensible. In our firm’s experience, economists’ testimony is ineffective more often than not.
A good economic expert will not merely carry out the discrete assignments given him according to the instructions of the lawyer. A good economist will be proactive, suggesting themes, models, and possible lines of attack.
It'd be interesting to know just how much involvement Leitzinger has had with the SCO case, and when his involvement began. Could he be the origin of the infamous "billion dollars a week" damage claim, by any chance?
- A few items contributed by resident trolls on the message boards. They're annoying but basically harmless, and once in a blue moon I actually check out the links they post. Here's a recent selection. First, veggie-boy has an article about the FSF and DRM, and another about the GPL3 debate, and neither supports the point he's always trying to make, insofar as he has a point. As is his wont, neither article is recent. It's still early September in his world, I guess.
- And Biff posted another link about the troubles at Xandros. I don't see why he's so surprised. Open source doesn't repeal the basic principles of economics. If your competitors are vastly larger than you are, and your product is kinda similar to theirs but not quite as good, chances are you won't last long. Like, duh.
If I wanted to indulge in cheap national stereotypes, I'd make a crack here about how Biff's from Belgium, headquarters of the EU, so naturally he'd have no idea whatsoever about how free markets work. But that wouldn't be very nice, lumping all of Belgium in with Biff. Think what you like about the EU, but Belgium does make some awfully decent beer, and I'm told the fries are quite excellent as well.
- And another bit from DDT, another piece about Linux device drivers. I don't think he realized the poster he linked to has no kind words for Windows, but trolls tend not to be very careful.
- Ok, enough with the trolls. Here's an interesting post by sk43999 about the origin of "SysV-style" IPC in Linux.
- When searching for SCO news items, I keep coming across these weekly announcements:
SCO TOASTMASTERS meets noon to 1 p.m. Thursdays at 400 Encinal St. in the Harvey West Business Park, Santa Cruz. Information: 427-6785.
400 Encinal St. is the location of the old OldSCO office in Santa Cruz, California. SCO was supposedly going to move its last employees out of the building to new and much smaller digs in Scotts Valley, a few miles away. So either that didn't happen, or it did and these people are meeting in a vast and otherwise vacant building, or the group has evaporated and nobody bothered to notify the paper to stop running weekly announcements. The group was always an oddity, perhaps the only one of its kind where they drew a pentagram first before getting down to the public speaking and such. Perhaps an unspeakable, ghastly something escaped from its crypt in the unholy catacombs beneath the SCO building, craving a few slices of toastmaster for breakfast, and afterward nobody was left to report back to the newspaper. But that's just my personal theory, and I've been rereading a bit of Lovecraft recently, what with Halloween coming up and all. So I may be biased.
GL is doing a series of "IBM's Greatest Hits", various declarations accompanying the recent PSJ filings that seem especially damaging to SCO. Today we get the Declaration of Paul McKenney, an ex-Sequent guy, disputing SCO's claims about where RCU came from. There's a fun semantic argument we can have concerning Dynix vs. Dynix/ptx; these are fairly distinct OSes: Dynix was pure BSD, while Dynix/ptx was SysV, or at least made to look highly SysV-like (as asserted here. I'd always been under the impression that Dynix/ptx was SysV, but that may not actually be true.
Years ago, I worked at a local nonprofit org, and Sequent donated a box to us. A dual-processor 386 box, about the size of a refrigerator. That was far faster than anything else we had in the building, and we joked we ought to be sacrificing goats to it or something. We never actually did that, I hasten to add. It came with Dynix, and proved to be a nice machine for running Rogue, or Nethack, or one of those old-school games. This was but a brief interlude, however, and the machine was eventually wiped in favor of Dynix/ptx, since the suits needed it to run some boring accounting package or something, and that was the end of our fun. Sigh. This may be one early origin of my dislike of SysV.