Open source info::::: Summary

From: Nathan Johnson (
Date: Tue Aug 10 1999 - 12:21:21 CDT

---------- Forwarded Message ----------
Subject: Re: Fwd: Re: Open source info
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1999 13:29:26 -0400
From: Nathan Johnson <>

Again I like to thank all of you for all your help, and I apologize for not
posting a summary to this little tale.
I have included a few of the ones I receive as well as one that I have
framed and put on my wall.
These that I have included represent the over all consensus of what I

 Here we go:

Note one

I am the Admin for a regional ISP. I have been using open source for many
years and have had very good support from the associated lists or
news groups. Some facts your new manager may wish to consider.

1. Sun Micro started out using the Open Source BSD Unix.
2. BIND (the standard resolver and nameserver) is opensource and the
    versions that ship with commercial unices are based on older versions
    of the source tree which may not be patched against newly found
    security issues.
3. send mail is also open source.
4. Best Internet Communications, Inc. replaced most of their SGI boxes
    running Irix with PC's running FreeBSD because they found it easier to
    support an OS having the source available instead of having to go to a
    vendor who may have a different opinion of a problems urgency.
5. At this point in time open source software provides more than 50% of
    web services, more than 75% of mail delivery, and nearly 99% of DNS
    services on Internet.
6. If all open source software was removed from all commercial unices you
    would not be able to send any mail or resolve hostnames to IP
7. Microsoft supports nearly 50 million mailboxes using a combination of
    open source software and internally written extensions to an open source

Note two

A lot of open source software is of very high quality:
I recently used the tar that came with solaris 2.7 to tar up /etc/. When
I went to untar it, tar bombed out. I then used gnu tar to untar the
file - no problems. So the tar from the most recent solaris was unable
to untar a file it had created! I could have called sun for software
support but using gnu tar was far quicker.

Another advantage of using gnu tools is that you can use the same tools
on many different flavours unix.

The argument about "that there is no one to call in case of a problem."
is just false. We use Legato's Networker for backups and I am subscribed
to a mail list of users. There was recently a discussion on the list
about the quality of the support (purchased) from legato. The general
feeling was the support was poor and that the help received from the
mail list was superior and quicker (cheaper too). I am subscribed to a
few other mail lists and generally find help comes quickly. So having
some one to call doesn't mean you'll get the correct answer quickly.

The bottom line is that their is a lot of very good free software
out there and the support via maillists and usenet is also good - IT
WORKS. There are also companies that are providing commercial support
for free software.

And the that we all love

That kind of ignorance is pathetic, especially for a manager. We use
   the following software on production machines daily, ALL of which is

        * DNS/BIND, used for resolving hostnames into IP addresses
        * Sendmail, for message transfer
        * Qmail, for message transfer (better than sendmail)
        * Apache, our webserver
        * Perl, an interpreted scripting language which handles text better
          than just about anything

   DNS and sendmail basically make the Internet function. If he doesn't
   like the fact that you use both, what is he planning on replacing them

This issue is still being debated and has not been resolved. We are still
using open source
And plan to continue to do so.

Unit Description:
Nathan A Johnson
Technical Support Group
University Computing Center
Computing and Communications Division
Wayne State University
Phone: (313) 577-6838
Fax: (313)577-1338
Failure is not an option.....

My heart does not know fear For I am The Great Bear.
My claws do not know shame. For I am a warrior.
My Clan shall not be disgraced  
With my tongue I offer fealty.
With my claws I unsheathe victory.
With my head bowed I lie down.And offer up my life for

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