[geeks] The best things in the world
jdboyd at jdboyd.net
Thu Sep 11 16:37:23 CDT 2008
On Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 05:07:44PM -0400, der Mouse wrote:
> >>> I find it hard to believe that we would have affordable choice if
> >>> it weren't for linux.
> >> Why? 4.3BSD predates Linux. [...]
> > I saw no sign of them taking off. I never heard of any BSD for the
> > PC (although I certainly had heard of BSD in general) until long
> > after I was using linux. That suggests to me that BSD was for some
> > reason incapable of really cementing unix on the PC as a viable
> > alternative to Windows.
> At the time, it was. But this is a classic example of the "post hoc
> ergo propter hoc" ("after this therefore because of this") fallacy -
> just because BSD became a contender about the time Linux took off does
> not mean there is any direct causal relationship between the two.
> Indeed, I suspect that the causal relationships are pretty tangled.
> Part of it is probably UCB releasing a non-encumbered BSD; part of it
> is probably general uptake of computers, and in particular the
> availability of cheap and relatively powerful mass-market hardware;
> there are doubtless plenty of other parts too.
Certainly, complex things were happening, and who knows what would have
happened if you changed only a single item.
If I had heard of NetBSD instead of linux in 1995, who knows what I
would think now? But I didn't hear of NetBSD, and if I did, it may have
taken a long time to get NetBSD, since I got linux by buying a cd at a
computer show. I'd been reading about Unix for years and had just been
able to start using Solaris over a dial up, and so I was extremely
excited when I saw linux and was able to get linux for home.
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