Re: Red Hat vs Craftworks Linux AXP

David Morton (mortond@dnai.com)
Sat, 16 Nov 1996 09:20:14 -0800

Stephen Gaudet wrote:

>Craftworks as do Red Hat put out a fine product. However, I would like to
>see the correct people get the recognition they deserve, Jim Paradis(who
>started the Alpha port), Jay Estabrook, Andy Reibs, David Rusling, Rich
>Groton, David Mosberger-Tang, Erik Troan, Laurie Hunter, Jon "Maddog" Hall
>and others who have made this port successful and write the drivers that
>everyone uses.
>
>THESE are the people that made it happen. In addition, Red Hat deserves
>credit for taking on this port with Digital when no one else would.
>
>I'd also like to point out that the Adaptec 2940UW driver was a combined
>effort of Jay Estabrook, David Mosberger and David Rusling. There are I'm
>sure more that helped but these are the key players.
>
>All those that now enjoy the rewards of larger than 2Gb disks on their Alpha
>systems can do so because of David Mosberger's patches and Jay Estabrook who
>did some early on testing.
>
>As I mentioned earlier both packages are GREAT and we support both.

These sentiments are well deserved for the above mentioned individuals.
They have spent their time and efforts in the furtherance of the general
adoption
of Alphas and Linux and should be acknowledged for that.

I was contacted by a Digital sales representative, a while back, and
encouraged to
purchase an Alpha machine as a superior alternative to Intel hardware. With
a faster
machine and increasing native software available and the promise of 70%
speed for
MS software under FX!32, Digital assured me their product is the way to go!

Similarly RedHat and Craftworks, amongst others, are promoting their products as
working editions of Linux that will run on Digital machines.

All these claims are obviously made in the name of selling product.

I investigated the Alpha PC164 and decided that it did, indeed, have many
advantages and at
least one native program that I needed, albeit running under NT.
FX!32 does work, not at 70% and not with a large number of programs but it
is useful.
Available native programs are usually twice the price of Intel counterparts.
I am comfortable with my decision and believe Digital will continue to
improve FX!32 and the software
situation even if only not to be the next IBM.

Linux is a different kettle of fish.

As I understand it; Linux is available for download from various sites,
free, and for people
who have the inclination and expertise to work with the software and make it
run this is the method
of choice.

As an alternative for those of us without the time, inclination or ability
to follow this path
various companies offer to sell CDs that do not require the above mentioned
expertise.
These products are promoted as plug and play.

My Alpha has a 2940UW installed, despite all the rhetoric to the contrary,
this card is not a product
from Mars but a widely accepted card being used in many machines that has
been available for some time.
My first choice was a BusLogic UW but Stephen told me this was not supported
by Digital firmware.

I spent the $99.00 plus $12.95 for five day overnight shipping and received
the RedHat CD together
with an outdated manual.
This product does not work on my machine.

I am told the hardware supported list "should" have been listed in the
product listing, it was not.
Tech. support have not responded to my request for support 10/30.
Several offers to write drivers etc. have been received but nothing has
materialized. To be honest
even if it did I would probably not know how to employ them.
Stephen Gaudet writes that 'his' version supports the 2940UW and PC164. Why
doesn't RedHats.
Stephen ships his machines with Linux installed. When I bought mine, from
him, the 2940 stuff was not
available.
Craftworks say their product works with a 2940UW and PC164, Stephen says it
doesn't.
Redhat are investigating why my questions are as yet not answered.

This is all fine and dandy but RedHat have $111.95 of my money. I have had a
useless CD for 3 weeks.
I am not a programmer, therefore, for me to make Linux run I need a product
to be almost plug and play.
I read somewhere that's what I was being sold!

So, when and from whom will I be able to purchase a CD of the Linux OS that
I can put in my CD player
and install using "normal" commands that will run on a PC164 with a 2940UW
without patching this,
deciphering that and generally becoming extremely frustrated and PO'd?
Or, should I just stick with NT and forget Linux and leave it in the
university computer labs.
Me and all the other people Linux Journal have been trying to recruit since
issue 1.

I would, respectfully, suggest that all vendors ensure their product works
the way they advertise
before they are marketed. Should this mean waiting a while, then so be it.
We know Bill does that.
But you ain't Bill yet.
If you want Beta testers, say so. Give them copies of your product for
testing, but don't expect your
customers to pay for the privilege of developing your profits.
At present you are doing a disservice both to the above (way above)
mentioned people and your own companies.

Sorry for the diatribe but all I've read so far, on this subject, is
straight from the Redmond fables and
should not be allowed to continue as if it were a normal practice. One
perpetrator is quite enough!
If its free I can't bitch, but if I pay money for it then I am entitled to
get what I am told I am buying.
If the vendor chooses to ignore me then I see no reason not to make any
future customers aware of problems.

David Morton

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