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Eric Harrison Multnomah Education Service District Free Software: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow 1st, a few definitions GNU: Gnu's Not Unix. A project to create a free version of Unix. Also spawned the GNU Public License (often refered to as copyleft).

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Free Software: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow


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eric harrison multnomah education service district
Eric Harrison

Multnomah Education Service District

Free Software:Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
1st a few definitions
1st, a few definitions
  • GNU: Gnu's Not Unix. A project to create a free version of Unix. Also spawned the GNU Public License (often refered to as copyleft).
  • Free: free as in free speech, not free beer. (libre vs gratis)
  • Linux: the “kernel” that finished off the goal of the GNU project.
  • BSD: Berkely Software Distribution. A derivative from the original version of UNIX that was given away by the University of California, Berkely.
  • Open Source: software who's source code is available, but not necessarily free.
yesterday
Yesterday
  • Until the early 80's, all software was free
  • Internet core was dominated by free software.
  • In the 80's several companies pushed software as a proprietary product.
  • As a reaction to this the GNU project was formed in 1985 to promote free software (free as in free speech, not free as in free beer)
  • Early 90's:
    • a Finnish programmer makes the GNU project whole by writing the Linux kernel.
    • BSD (an original UNIX derivative) is set free
  • Late 90's, GNU/Linux gains public attention
today
Today
  • Linux and Open Source take Wall Street by storm, setting all-time-high IPO records.
  • Internet core is dominated by free software.
  • Stock Market tanks, Linux/Open Source based companies hit hard. Most go out of business, or are about to.
  • Red Hat, a Linux/Free software company makes huge inroads into running Wall Street.
  • Apple bases its new operating system on BSD.
  • IBM, HP, Intel, AMD, and other huge companies make huge commitments on Linux, on the server side. Desktop ruled by Microsoft.
tomorrow
Tomorrow
  • Only two major systems left standing: free software and Microsoft. All others reduced to tiny niches or obliterated completely.
  • Microsoft looses a HUGE percentage of the desktop market, but continues to grow in absolute numbers. (90% of the world has yet to “choose” an operating system. Only a small percentage will choose Microsoft). Profits crash hard (doomed to repeat IBM?).
  • Internet core will be dominated by free software.
  • All key infrastructure is based on free software.
  • The desktop, as we know it, is gone.
subversion disruption domination
Subversion, Disruption, Domination

Like IBM's mainframe monopoly of yore, the current proprietary monopolies will be torn apart in three stages:

  • The oppressive conditions of and unnatural monopoly will force subversive behavior. This is economics 101.
  • Once the subversive activities gain enough momentum, and the oppression grows unbearable, the combination will force huge disruptions in the market.
  • After the subversives have proven themselves, they will become the status-quo.

“First they laugh at you, then they fear you, then they fight you, then

you win.” -Ghandi

linux as a server
Linux as a Server

In the last ten years, Linux has gone from an academic toy to heir to the server throne:

  • 1991: version 0.1 released, it didn't even work. Academics only. Laughable.
  • 1995/1996: versions 1.2/2.0 released: usable for light-weight “production” servers. Early adopters such as Cisco base their global printer infrastructure on Linux. Fear, uncertainly, and doubt.
  • 2001: version 2.4, “data-center” class (after a long shaking-out period). Backed by the heavy weights such as IBM, HP, Intel, etc, etc. Gloves-off, down-and-dirty fighting.
  • 2002-????: world domination. Wall Street, Google, Hollywood, Supercomputers, department stores, IBM mainframes, appliances, wrist watches. Linux showing up everywhere.
what about the desktop
What about the desktop?

Microsoft has a 90% share of the desktop, that ain't going away soon. Right?

  • Novell used to have 90% of the LAN server market, Netscape used to have 90% share of the browser market, etc, etc.
  • It was only about five years between DOS and Windows 95, and about five years between Windows 95 and Windows 2000/XP. Ten years to domination.
  • We're in year five for the Linux desktop, what will happen in the next five years? Five more to domination?
  • What about free applications running on Windows and MacOS?
  • What about MacOS-X? The core of it is free. Will this hybrid approach work for the desktop?
  • “Linux compatibility” is driving the server market, will this happen to Microsoft and Apple on the desktop?
links
Links
  • This presentation:
    • http://k12linux.mesd.k12.or.us/nwrel/nwrel.ppt (powerpoint)
    • http://k12linux.mesd.k12.or.us/nwrel/ (html)
  • Brief history of Linux from CNN:http://www.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/02/11/mini.linux.history.idg/
  • My lousy webpage: http://k12linux.mesd.k12.or.us
  • The K12Linux project page:http://www.k12linux.org
  • MESD's webfiltering site: http://squidguard.mesd.k12.or.us
  • A great speech on technology and schools by Red Hat's CEO:http://www.technetcast.com/tnc_play_stream.html?stream_id=612
  • The Open Source NOW project:http://www.redhat.com/opensourcenow/
  • Red Hat success stories: http://www.redhat.com/solutions/migration/
  • The GPL: http://www.fsf.org/licenses/gpl.html
  • http://www.linux.org, http://www.gnu.org, http://www.freebsd.org, http://www.darwin.org, http://www.opensource.org