[TUHS] System Economics (was is Linux "officially branded UNIX")

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Thu Mar 16 06:48:34 AEST 2017

My point is that is was on the *price list, *the sources were never hidden
away.   And that a lot of people did have access to it.  Your point - the
prices to get a ticket was too high and thus, when the price was even less,
even more had access.    Which I did not (and do not) disagree.

But Unix was open, people did discussed it, people did look at it, learned
from it etc....  that was not true of "closed systems" like say Cisco's.
Our even VMS, although VM, TSS, OS/360 and the like were "Open."   That's
why we have a UNIX "industry" -- it spread beyond the "ivy league" as you
said it.   The ideas leaked out, because AT&T made it open - because they
had by the 1956 consent decree et al....

That is a clear distinction.  And please its not about a wall garden ...
because it really was not that hard.  I'm not disagreeing that it did not
happen and your point is that people were excluded ... I get that.   But
don't call Unix closed because there was a price (aka a ticket).   It just
was not "free" -- that's all I'm saying and as you have pointed out that
difference was in practice to many, many people large (which I'm not

You and I really need to have the beer together ;-)

On Wed, Mar 15, 2017 at 4:27 PM, Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 15, 2017 at 03:45:24PM -0400, Clem Cole wrote:
> > SVR4 (aka UnixWare) was available for source  - the problem is many
> people
> > did like the price to see it.   It was $100K.  But the source was
> available
> > it was open and many, many of people with PC and had access to it, wrote
> > drivers for it etc.
> That's a pretty peculiar definition of open.  Which is fine, I guess,
> but you need to realize that that's open much like a high end country
> club is open.  It's open to the rich people, to the connected people,
> everyone else is left out in the cold.
> In terms of source access, you're in the country club.  You are looking
> around and you see all these other people in the club and that turns into
> "many, many people" but it's not.  Millions of people, with the ability
> to do something with the source, did not have access to the source.
> $100K to someone with an ivy league education and a career that matched
> may have seemed fine.  What about some talented hacker in, say, Finland?
> What the so-called open people didn't get is that there was all this
> talent that could be harnessed, in many cases for free, if you gave
> them source.  It's too easy to look at your walled garden and see all
> your friends there and go "everything was fine".  It wasn't, and as Josh
> said, the world "routed around" the problem.  Which sort of proves it
> was a problem.
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