Subject: Re: Research questions WRT SCO's complaint
From: "Karsten M. Self" <>
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2003 23:06:16 +0000

Gumby, thanks...

on Sat, Mar 08, 2003 at 02:14:14PM -0800, DV Henkel-Wallace (
> On Saturday, Mar 8, 2003, at 13:26 America/Los_Angeles, Karsten M. Self 
> wrote:
> >I'm doing some factual research on the SCO issue.  In particular there
> >appear to be numerous factual errors in the complaint.
> >
> >Anyone with answers to the following:
> >
> >  - Was RMS ever faculty at MIT?  My understanding was he had a 
> >research
> >    position at the AI lab, but never held a professorship.  His
> >    biography (by Sam Williams) makes no mention.
> RMS was never on the faculty.  He started hacking at the AI around 
> 1972, or maybe a little earlier whilst still an undergraduate at 
> Harvard -- I didn't get there until later.  If I remember he quit in 
> 1984 but I didn't pay much attention since it didn't change much (he 
> still had the same office, was still around writing code etc).

Thanks, that mostly syncs with my understanding.

> >  - Early GNU/Linux development -- I know Maddog (then with DEC) got
> >    involved in 1991/92.  Any other Unix vendor types on the bandwagon
> >    early?  Cygnus also had ties to Sun IIRC.
> I don't know what you mean by "ties": John was the earliest Sun 
> customer and our first machine was one of the very first production 
> sparcstations.  Michael was consulting for Sun until the company got 
> going.

I was aware of some of the Cygnus history, in part from recent
discussion on this list.  By ties -- close associations with Sun
personel, contracts, HW contributions, etc.

What I'm trying to refute (from several directions) is SCO's claim that:

    (Paragraph 82)
    Virtually none of these software developers and hobbyists had access
    to enterprise-scale equipment and testing facilities for GNU/Linux

Direction 1 is clearly to demonstrate that these "hobbyists" had access to
enterprise-scale equipment and testing facilities (often masquerading
as, at your option, Univresity labs, and the whole fscking Internet).

Direction 2 is to point out that many of the better bits of Unix came
from a markedly similar environment:  LSD, er, UCD, in the 1970s.

> >  - Unix marketshare.  Does anyone have values for breakdown of
> >    marketshare through the 1990s of the major Unix flavors?  My
> >    understanding is that SCO was never much more than a bit player in
> >    the x86 market.  Possibly a fair number of deployments, but low
> >    overall valuation.
> Any of the usuals (Gartner, etc) can give you these numbers as well as 
> the magazines (Unix Toady etc) since they were eagerly followed by the 
> kinds of people who cared about these sort of things.  A corporate 
> library may have a collection of the trade rags.

Little access to any of these ATM.  I've been able to dig some
rudimentary stats via Google searches.  Anyone who can assist, again,
this is appreciated.


Karsten M. Self <>
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
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