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You Want A WAR? I'll Give You A War!

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Linux

Choose any metaphor you like. The gauntlet has been thrown down, I’m-a callin’ you out, I’ve only begun to fight…it doesn’t really matter which you choose. The war has begun…long ago actually, and there are even arguements as to who started it. Regardless of who or when, the war “is”. It is the war of bits and bytes, of file systems and desktops.

It is a war between Linux and Microsoft. Soldiers on each side have locked and loaded.

I have lamented often about the plight of Linux. Some claim that I am overly harsh and critical about the Linux operating system and some of the people involved with it. I am…and for my own good reasons. Many people see no “war”, they see no conflict or damage being done by either side. To those who believe this way, it is you who have the most to lose and if Microsoft wins; you lose something more valuable than gold.

Your freedom to choose.

Microsoft has amassed a fortune and not in just financial assets. Their fortune lies in the minds of people who think that Microsoft products are the only real choice they have…and Microsoft markets to these people extensively. You need to look to Europe where the bloodiest battle of the war is currently being fought. Linux and Open Source have engaged the enemy there on the battlefield of patents and monopolies. Many feel the battle there is already lost, but I disagree. People in Europe tend to pay a bit more attention than we Americans do, and that is to their advantage. Had the Europeans not been paying attention, figuratively, they would have been shot in the back.

The war is being fought over what people believe…what they know and use. I challenge you to answer me because many of you have been either kept ignorant or just outright lied to. This is what I want to know:

*Why do you insist on reformating your hard drive after a virus destroys your data and replace your system with software that allowed the damage to occur in the first place?

*Why do you use a product from a company that demands your ignorance and counts upon it to succeed?

*Why do you allow a company to dictate to you when and how you are to use the software YOU paid for?

*Why do you pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for software when there is a better alternative and it is free?

I can only guess as to what the answers to these questions might be. If it is due to the fact that you simply do not know your options, then I am doing my best to make you aware of them. Many of you are just plain lazy and do not want to learn anything new. Why should you? If things are perfect inside that little beige box under your desk, then maybe you are justified in your apathy. For now. The acid test of your judgement skills will come when things go terribly wrong…and if you use Microsoft Windows, eventually they will. Take a minute and look at

http://www.help2go.com/postt14465.html

or

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4080420.stm

In a nutshell, you will read that over 900 million viri, trojans and malware tools are spread via email on any given day. that number is projected to climb to 4200 million a day by 2009. The main target for these weapons are Windows computers. The second link is going to tell you that as a Windows home user, your defenses are almost cut in half by the new and varying attacks.

And you just keep clicking without a care in the world.

Microsoft is the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike. the onslaught is continuous and unforgiving and eventually, they are going to lose the fight. Don’t you dare spend a second contemplating pity for them. They knew what they were doing when they coded their operating system. They simply under estimated the number of jerks and script kiddies in the world. Within 72 hours of Microsoft making available their anti-spyware tool, three exploits were published to the web to get by it. In fact, one of them actually used the code within the tool to do its dirty work. Those tiny cracks are starting to gush water.

While all of this has been going on, the developers of the Linux Kernel have been quietly and effectively strengthening and hardening the Linux Operating System. Many argue that once Linux achieves a higher status and user base, then attacks against it are inevitable.

Bring it on.

See, Linux has no registry. The file system in Linux is a fortress by design and it will take much more effort than downloading a script from a rogue page and infecting someone via email. Much more, so much more in fact that most people will just give up. Don’t underestimate the maliciousness of some people…they will try no doubt. They will not find the fertile ground that is found in Windows.

I sat on my deck this morning at 5 AM, wanting to greet my day as it arrived. Somewhere between my first cup of coffee and my second cigarette, a powerful yet calming thought came to mind. I have been wrong about something important. I have complained loudly that Linux is too fragmented by both the number of distributions and the geographical disparity of its developers. What I saw as a weakness is indeed Linux’s main strength. There is no one focal point to attack…no corporation to bring down or group of stockholders or hardware manufacturers to blackmail. Gates and Ballmer must be swilling Malox by the gallon and just for the reasons I outlined above. Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman and Eric Raymond…please accept my apology. I was wrong. It is you who are truly the genius.

And brave soldiers as well.

All-righty then

helios

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