Monday, December 26, 2011

Android a unix device?

To be honest, I do not spend that much time on Unix history. You could probably get a better idea of the history at:  http://www.robotwisdom.com/linux/timeline.html
or www.groklaw.net



Android was originally very loosely based on Linux at it's start. Now who knows. What is ironic is that Microsoft according to news reports allegedly earns almost a half billion dollars each year off of Android with their alleged software patents. Not so long ago A company called SCO claimed ownership of Unix via Novell and also claimed that Linux was directly a copy of unix. That assertion was clearly rebuked by the courts. SCO now allegedly in bankruptcy still wants to assert the same argument. They are still in Court with IBM over that assertion. www.groklaw.net has all the details. See also www.eff.org.

Linux was developed by Linux Torvalds who still has a great say in how linux is developed. Since it is a free as in speech operating system, many derivatives have been developed. In fact, if you want to start your own distribution you can get 'Linux from scratch" (www.linuxfromscratch.org/) and do just that. Though most people use an existing distro and build upon that. Ubuntu was originally built off of Debian linux. They have started straying from their roots. In fact a lot of distributions have stopped using Ubuntu as a base. Many linux distributions have gone back to Debian in parallel distros.  Today most of the people in the linux recommend Mint (linuxmint.com) over Ubuntu. If you are looking for a business linux Redhat  (www.redhat.com) or Centos (www.centos.org) Linux is commonly used. I still use Debian for my servers though. There are also many other good linux versions available. You can find a list at (www.distrowatch.com).

Apple OS/X took BSD a cousin of linux as a base and made their own variation. Microsoft has a tendency to try to copy linux and in fact tried to pass off some of the open source code as their own. They were caught red handed. Being able to remove and or replace the operating system without disturbing personal data has been available from Linux and BSD for almost two decades. Nice of Microsoft to start to catch up. which gives rise to the old slogans:

"Microsoft: Where do you want to go today?
Apple: Where do you want to go tomorrow?
Linux: Are you guys coming or what ?!?" 

It is a shame that commercial operating systems today want to go to a cartoon George Jetson inspired Rudi (Referential Universal Digital Indexer) interface. Nothing wrong in that but it leaves you less that you can do on your own to control your computer or device. Probably why people are getting keyboards to increase their access. I also question how much control you really have when you can only use certain software from a store where only the anointed are allowed to contribute applications or software can be removed from your device without your permission. Could be maybe that some computer companies are finally getting the hint. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (eff.org) says that all devices should come with software to allow user full access if they need it.

Also if it were not for system administrators doing their job, you could not get automatic software updates, access to the network, or be protected from other issues. Maybe why some settings are locked down till better software can come out to overide such features. Besides with software available today, Administrators can watch everything you do without you even knowing. system admins have become stealthy. To say you do not need system administrators at some level is not prudent. Personally I do not run my systems in administrator mode except when required.


I have rambled on long enough.

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