[Beowulf] Linux laptops, and M$ advertisement

Peter St. John peter.st.john at gmail.com
Tue Apr 17 08:53:47 PDT 2007


On 4/16/07, Joe Landman <landman at scalableinformatics.com> wrote:
> Peter St. John wrote:
> > While looking around for a laptop I discovered that MS is paying Google
> > for the keyword "linux" to point to a "Get the Facts!" page (reminds me
> > of TheTruth.com) with testomonials about why MS is better than Linux for
> > clustering (!). What struck me was that I wasn't googling "linux
> > cluster" but just "linux notebook", yet the page is about MS
> > cluster installations at research facilitites.
> Heh... I notice lots of MSFT adverts on Linux Mag and other sites.

In fact I just picked up one of (innumerable) Linux magazines to see what
things were like these days.

> > The ad is http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver/facts/default.mspx?R=cf
> >
> > The testamonials all seem to be equivalent to "I"m a PhD in Rocket
> > Science but setting up a Linux Cluster is too complex, so using MS saves
> Yeah, well ...
> > me time to do Rocket Science". None of them mention if their MS clusters
> > were in any way subsidized by MS. Also, I assume that essentially they
> Lets ask CTC, UIUC and others.

Yes yes. That's what I've been trying to drive at. I'd like to see someone
(not necessarily an aeronautical engineer, but generally, a Rocket Scientist
Type) write in (to us) and say, "we had a capital improvement budget of $X
and a operationg budget projection of  $Y/yr to compute simulations of
combing the hair on fibre bundles on worm holes, and we chose Microsoft
Cluster Clux, spending Z per node on licensing and hardware ABC, and we
believe this is economical compared to Linux Flavor Du Jour X.3 on hardware
DEF because of ..." etc. As opposed to someone receiving a kajillion dollars
of equipment at their non-profit lab and understandably responding with a
quotable thank-you note. Not that that is what happened in all the
testimonial cases cited, I wouldn't know.

I think we should make a video (RGB can write the script) with interviews
and demos from a  bunch of Rocket Science places, and pitch it to the
History Channel ("Modern Marvels") or the Discovery Channel or someplace, to
raise money for a Refactor Linux Before the Imminent Singularity project.

> are paying their vendor to do the setup & support, and they don't say if
> > that compares economically to, say, paying Joe to do that, only that it
> > saves them time themselves. Sure, if I had that budget, I'd pay Joe and
> > RGB to come and work for me and I would have more time for other things.
> >
> > Be all that as it may, I"m wondering what laptop to get. There are two
> > issues: one, that it used to be scary to get all the device drivers for
> > linux (maybe not anymore); and two, that one would prefer not to pay the
> > tax associated with the disk manufacturer contracting to preinstall
> > Vista etc. Toshiba, which used to be a fair linux platform IIRC,
> > promotes itself as the Premier Vista Notebook now (understandably).
> FWIW:  We happily run Linux (SuSE, RHEL/Centos, Ubuntu) on our HP
> Pavilion laptops.  I try to stick with the nVidia chip sets, I have
> never had good luck with ATI.

Man, I had a HP inkjet for my Sys V 286 (it would have been 386 by then) and
could not get a driver (I had to write a filter to add carriage returns to
newlines, to print directly, else port to DOS partition and reboot to
pretty-print a document)...HP made the printer, they had their own brand of
unix (HP/UX), but I could not get a driver for the printer to save my life.
Made me nuts. But yeah nVidia seems good and I had forgotten pavilions; most
"votes" have been for Thinkpads.

A fair number of our customers have asked us to look into Linux desktops
> (and we sold a pair very recently, nice units ... ).  Haven't had
> requests for Linux laptops yet, though it would be fun.
> >
> > I ran into http://www.linuxcertified.com/linux-laptop-lc2100.html via a
> > couple routes but of course it's a no-frills site, dunno what it wouuld
> > be like to find/get accessories etc. Anyone want to pitch me their
> > laptop favorite?
> I installed Feisty Fawn on HP Pavilion, IBM T60p, and many others.

It's just amazing I can google "Feisty Fawn" while typing. I'm even starting
to say "google" (verb) instead of "grep the net". So, ubuntu version++

> >
> > Thanks,
> > Peter
> >
> >

And thanks again.

> >
> >
> >
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> --
> Joseph Landman, Ph.D
> Founder and CEO
> Scalable Informatics LLC,
> email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
> web  : http://www.scalableinformatics.com
> phone: +1 734 786 8423
> fax  : +1 734 786 8452
> cell : +1 734 612 4615
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