Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wrote a memo yesterday finally admitting that Microsoft considers opens-source Linux a threat to his company's bottom line. That's nothing new. Companies in Europe and Asia have been gravitating toward Linux for the last several years. What seems to have sparked a formal declaration of war was Munich, Germany's city government's conversion of all its computer systems to Linux despite a visit by Ballmer last month (See the full article on this at PC World; http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,111036,00.asp.).
In parallel, the SCO group, a company that claims it bought the rights from Novell for Unix System V, launched a lawsuit against IBM, the major player who has announced support for Linux in commercial avenues. SCO is claiming that Linux infringes on some code they bought from Novell, and commercial users of Linux may be subject to royalty payments or penalties. Sounds like a Microsoft move, doesn't it? It is. Microsoft had approached SCO about licensing from them some Linux of their own. The lawsuit was subsequent to that.
(More articles on this at PC World are: http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid/110904,00.asp ; 110794,00.asp;110712,00.asp; and 110750,00.asp.)
And speaking of the perils of doing business with Microsoft or ATI, on a subject a little closer to home, I bought a Radeon 9000 video card to replace my All-In-Wonder Radeon in my Windows XP desktop. I had decided I wanted full cable modem speed and a quiet haven in my office rather than TV or analog video capture capability. At about 8:20 p.m. last night, I started trying to install the card into my dual boot XP/98SE machine.
I finished FOUR hours later!
The more I use Windows, the more I hate what it's done to my life.
Here's what happened:
Since I knew ATI's software installation routines don't check for prior versions before trying to install, new software, I uninstalled the AIW Radeon software from the machine before beginning the Radeon 9000 installation. I had installed Direct X 9.0a and Windows Media Encoder 9 (WME9) a week or two before so I could use ATI's latest version of their Catalyst drivers. They were working fine.
I first ran the ATI software CD under Windows XP. The installation seemed to go well. But when I tried to test out the DVD Player, the computer would bog and then give me an error message telling me of a runtime C++ error. I decided to look for generic software conflicts and started by checking what applications remained installed. I discovered that an older ATI Multimedia Center was still there; so I uninstalled it, downloaded all 9 components and installed them per instructions at the ATI Tech Support site. (That included Direct X 9.0a, WME 9, a newer version of the Catalyst driver (3.4), as well as the Control Panel, and the Multimedia Center.(MMC 8.5). All in all, that took about two of the four hours to do.
The real problem came in when I tried to install the card under Win98SE using the ATI CD included with the card. Again, I uninstalled all previous ATI software before beginning and rebooted. Win98 recognized the card as a Radeon 9000 and began asking for specific files from the ATI CD. I cycled through every directory on that CD (in and of itself a pain in the butt!) and Win98 only recognized the .inf file! No other files could be found! Not only was the OS asking for a whole bunch of them—and each one required you to tell the OS to "Skip File" during the return—but the card went through that TWICE, one for each of the two monitors the card is capable of driving. That set a video card in the Registry but left it with no active drivers installed. The installation routine hung the system because the video drivers were not correctly installed and forced a reboot. After I rebooted and was staring at the black screen part of the Windows 98 load, the system made a sound like "donk" once, telling me it had encountered some type of error, and hung. To get around that, I rebooted into SAFE mode, uninstalled all ATI components, went into DEVICE MANAGER, and removed the Radeon 9000 entries. And rebooted again.
I tried the CD a second time, got the same result, and went through the same procedure AGAIN! I then booted the system normally, clicked through the 2000 "Skip File" commands when Win98 tried to install the Radeon 9000 (again), and got onto the Internet. (Network drivers do not load in Safe Mode, so it wa s necessary to get a normal boot to get to the Internet.) I then downloaded from the ATI website the latest Catalyst drivers for Win98, installed them from my hard disk, and installed the latest Multimedia Center (MMC 8.5), the same one I had downloaded earlier and used in XP. That got everything working, but that whole mess took another two hours!
It only took 15 minutes to install a Radeon 9000 Pro in my PowerMac running Jaguar (OS 10.2).