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Corel, in for a penny, in for a pound

By Zeram in News
Thu Nov 30, 2000 at 08:55:59 AM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)
Software

Recently several sites have called into question Corels comitment to Linux. Without passing any sort of judgement on Corel, and/or their distribution, I think that rumors of them droping Linux are just that rumors. Their latest newsletter paints a picture of the next version of Corel Linux.


The end of corel Linux was mentioned in this article. However in the latest edition of The Cube (Corel's Linux newsletter) they refute this claim.

"Corel's Linux development team is hard at work on the next desktop version, as well as server and enterprise editions of Corel LINUX OS. Not too many secrets have been revealed as of yet, but users can expect future versions of Corel LINUX OS to include the latest enhancements to the Linux enviroment, including KDE 2.0, Debian Woody, XFree86 4.0, Kernel 2.4 and much more!"

The news letter also goes on to mention that Corel has partnered with PCTEL for the "industry's first Linux-compatable software modem" and that they are teaming with Sair Linux Inc. In addition to a mentioning that they are one of the founding members of the KDE league.

What this really means I don't know, maybe it's a ploy, but why bother? It makes alot of sense for Microsoft to have an "IN" in the Linux community for their .NET service. Also, even though I have never used Corel Linux (and dispite all the bad things I have heard about the distrubtion from people who have used it) many reviewers have said that it is extremely easy to install, surpassing even Mandrake. The relative merits of a more "newbie" freindly Linux is a whole 'nother story, but in general it seems like a good thing.

So it seems that Corel is not giving up on Linux, I guess the real question now is, what exactly do they have instore?

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Poll
Corel Linux
o Good to get non-technical people into Linux. 36%
o Just plain stinks! 15%
o Might be on in the future with some work. 18%
o The spawn of the devil! 6%
o Whats Linux? 6%
o Alright, listen up you primative screwheads! 17%

Votes: 82
Results | Other Polls

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Corel, in for a penny, in for a pound | 17 comments (15 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
Software modem (3.16 / 6) (#1)
by Elendale on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 10:28:39 PM EST

Do we really want a software modem? Maybe if it would work with all those winModems out there then its worth it, otherwise there's no reason for it. On a completely unrelated note, i expressed my supreme unsurprise at Corel dropping Linux. I stand corrected... maybe.

-Elendale
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


Software modems are lazy engineering (3.75 / 4) (#3)
by MoxFulder on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 10:45:33 PM EST

I agree. Software modems are pretty much lazy engineering. There's hardly any cost savings on them anyway. I bought a fully functional PCI modem (not a winmodem) for about $15. Most people simply get winmodems because they don't know any better or they come with their systems.

I insist on cheap, high-quality, non-crippled, non-hyped products, whether hardware or software ... I use AMD, Linux, and no-name brands ... :-)

"If good things lasted forever, would we realize how special they are?"
--Calvin and Hobbes


[ Parent ]
lazy engineering (2.66 / 3) (#5)
by Elendale on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 11:21:19 PM EST

Plus the fact that non-winmodems are next to impossible to find in most big stores (think best buy and kin). When i put my last computer together, i ended up using mainly name-brand parts (but the ones that are non-hyped and actually high quality) but it was actually pretty cheap (sub 2k the best computer on my campus)

-Elendale (not that i like to brag or anything... there just isn't much other use for it...)
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
And lazy engineering is a good thing (4.00 / 1) (#16)
by sigwinch on Thu Nov 30, 2000 at 06:08:30 PM EST

Software modems are pretty much lazy engineering.

In other words, good engineering -- making do with less.

There's hardly any cost savings on them anyway.

$5/unit * 500000 units = $2.5M.  An engineer who gratuitously puts an extra five bucks of components on a mass-market circuit board has pissed away more money than they will ever make.  That is, if they give 100% of their income to the company for the rest of their life, they will not have compensated for the blunder.

The real problem with WinModems is the closed specification/mind problem.  Think about it:  a WinModem is basically a specialized sound card, but these bozos are protecting the interface secrets like they're nuclear missile launch codes.  The WinModem business strategy consists of riding the Internet exponential wave while simultaneously pissing on (or should I say pissing off?) early-adopters, techno-geeks, and hackers.

How many people have you seen tossing a bunch of $20 WinModems into a Linux box as a dialup server?  None.  Has anyone created a system for synchronizing clocks using WinModems?  No.  Are people buying them because they have a reputation for being cool techno artifacts?  No. 

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

But (none / 0) (#17)
by Elendale on Fri Dec 01, 2000 at 05:14:50 PM EST

The manufacturer's will just up the price $5. Mind you, that doesn't mean the extras will cost nothing to the manufacturers (might be fewer purchases).

-Elendale
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
WinModems (4.00 / 1) (#12)
by reshippie on Thu Nov 30, 2000 at 02:12:42 PM EST

I think that part of it is marketing.

Think about it, many people use windows because it's easy. They see WinModem, and automatically recognize that it is similar to WinDows. Therefore, the WinModem must work for WinDows.

I mean why else would they call it that. It's really a Software Modem since it uses software to do a lot of its work.

Those who don't know me, probably shouldn't trust me. Those who do DEFINITELY shouldn't trust me. :-)
[ Parent ]

PCTel software modems (4.00 / 1) (#13)
by nstenz on Thu Nov 30, 2000 at 02:24:49 PM EST

Corel could've picked a better partner for this modem venture... I have one of those cheap integrated Celeron machines with a PCTel chip in it. It's nothing but trouble. I've flashed the thing to 3 different ROM versions, and I've tried a bunch of different drivers (looks like a no-name modem since it's just basically a chip and the little bit of circuitry necessary to interface with the phone line). I've read nothing but negative comments about them. Try getting a V.90 PCTel modem to connect and STAY connected to your ISP for more than 2 minutes on decent phone lines out in the country...

Having said that, I will say the PCTel chip in my brother's Presario works SLIGHTLY better than the one I had... but not much. Since I couldn't get a decent speed to do NAT for 4 computers, I ended up shelling out a lot of money for a WebRamp analog router. That connected at 45,333 and stayed connected for 20 days at a time without a problem - I don't think it was the phone lines. Maybe the chip in that PCTel modem just didn't like Portmaster 3's... I had slightly better luck with another dial-up server... The name escapes me, but it had a 'Max' and a 'TNT' in it... =)

But anyhow, I'm quite happy with my speedy cable modem service now; this is just a warning to those of you out there who might not have any experience with PCTel products. I don't think this is a good idea.

[ Parent ]
Modems (3.00 / 1) (#15)
by Elendale on Thu Nov 30, 2000 at 05:33:17 PM EST

Actually i'm not planning on buying a modem ever again in my life. If i live in a non-broadband i'll still have some old modems i can use in my new computers. Much like floppy drives, i don't believe modems will go through any new revolutionary changes.

-Elendale (of course, i could be wrong...)
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
Ease of use and Linux distros ... (3.66 / 6) (#2)
by MoxFulder on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 10:38:42 PM EST

I haven't yet used Corel Linux myself, but one thing that I don't like from what I've heard is that it's almost exclusively geared towards Linux newbies. Invariably this will lead to dumbing down ... will they cut out the compiler, text mode, etc. eventually? I certainly hope not, but it worries me anyway ...
Dumbing down is what turned MS-DOS, a poorly designed but highly hackable operating system, into MS Windows, a bland and inflexible environment for both users and programmers.

Contrast Corel's strategy with Mandrake's: Corel just wants to make Linux in to an easy to use operating system; Mandrake is not only trying to make it user friendly, but also more efficient (Pentium optimization), more stable, and more hardware-compatible.

Compare Corel's Cube Linux Newsletter with the Mandrake user-support site. The Cube articles mostly just tell users to use XYZ Corel graphical installation/configuration tool, while the MandrakeUser articles tell you how the software works, and tell you how to edit the config files by hand!

(Disclaimer: I've been using Mandrake for a year and a half and I love it!)

"If good things lasted forever, would we realize how special they are?"
--Calvin and Hobbes


That'lll get 'em started. (3.00 / 5) (#8)
by Luke Scharf on Thu Nov 30, 2000 at 12:27:14 AM EST

haven't yet used Corel Linux myself, but one thing that I don't like from what I've heard is that it's almost exclusively geared towards Linux newbies. Invariably this will lead to dumbing down ...

A distribution like Corel or RedHat will get people comfortable with Linux. When they need more power and control, then they can change to a more manly distribution.

This is a good thing - people can start using our pet OS more easily.



[ Parent ]
Corel actually has a good position, too (3.33 / 3) (#10)
by ramses0 on Thu Nov 30, 2000 at 01:43:42 AM EST

...since it's based on Debian, which is not the kind of distribution that will ever hide the command line from the user.

And because Corel did the right thing when they made their version of Corel Linux, all of Corel's extra bonus widgets are Debian packages, which means you can just: "apt-get remove corel-gui-feel-good-stuff; apt-get install macho-console-tools" and out goes 20mb of cruft, in comes 10mb of macho perl scripts and stuff.

The other 900mb of standard unix stuff (like 'perl' and 'xclock' or whatever) don't need changing. But if Corel gets their gui configurators right, there won't be any reason (besides HD space) to ever remove the extra gui-controls, since it's whole purpose is to make managing a linux system easier.

--Robert
[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]
[ Parent ]

downside to Corelization of debian (3.00 / 2) (#14)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Nov 30, 2000 at 03:06:44 PM EST

Unless things have changed since the 1.0 release, Corel made many packages incompatible with Debian. I was looking forward to Corel, but was disapointed after seeing all the complaint's about package incompatibilities. Storm proved that one could build a first class distribution on top of Debian without the incompatibilities of Corel. Moving from Storm to Debian or from Debian to Storm is a breeze which is why I now run Storm and not Corel at my workstation at home.

[ Parent ]

debian woody? (2.60 / 5) (#6)
by daystar on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 11:34:26 PM EST

.. is one of the "latest enhancements" that they're gonna include?

Well, I guess corel will have a pretty good distribution: Debian!

--
There is no God, and I am his prophet.
Well, yes. (3.50 / 2) (#11)
by bgarcia on Thu Nov 30, 2000 at 11:35:36 AM EST

For those who haven't heard, Corel's distribution is based on Debian. Sort of like how Mandrake used to be based on RedHat.

[ Parent ]
Poll (1.54 / 11) (#7)
by joeyo on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 11:49:26 PM EST

Alright, listen up you primative screwheads!

This, Is my BOOMSTICK!

--
"Give me enough variables to work with, and I can probably do away with the notion of human free will." -- demi

Corel, in for a penny, in for a pound | 17 comments (15 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
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