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Linux Loyalist Party
Douglas Chick

Which computer users group do you belong, the Linux Loyalist Party, the Microsoft Monopoly Corp, or the Netware Historical Foundation? There is a division among computer people to which is the better network operating system and many people have drawn the line and taken up arms in an almost religious like fashion. It is a bitter battle that is often fought with e-mail, in newsgroups and on bulletin boards. Iíve seen heated arguments that resulted in profanity, accusing the others of being spies for Microsoft, or in one such case, demon disciples of Microsoft and the Cult of the Penguin. 

     Iíve been a network administrator/engineer for a long time now and I have no allegiance with any corporate software maker. In my career Iíve used Unix, Netware, Windows, Linux, and Banyan Vines. All of which have had their place and also this problems. Itís nice to want to belong to a group and because of this many software companies pander to these feelings and use them to keep their members list. Every cause has its evil empire that must be fought. (In computers its the company that has the most market shares) Every group has its devoted and every group is justified in its actions. 

     Another Networker recently told me that Linux reminded him of a political party like communism because its users act more like members than operators. He said that its followers preach equality and fairness, but use bully tactics to anyone that disagrees with their viewpoint. He sites that like communism, because Linux has sold itself as the freeware of the people, it has caused a dramatic reduction in the salaries to all networkers and administrators. Sean didnít want me to use his full name because he was afraid that Linux Loyalist would retaliate against him or cause him problems at his work.  I at least agree with his last statement about not being allowed ones own opinion about his or her choice of operating systems without having to be insulted. I have noticed that a great many Linux users have taken their beliefs to an almost fundamentalist state. And this bothers me a lot.  Linux users aren't the only ones, there are a lot of bitter Netware Administrators, Unix Administrators and Microsoft Administrators. Humans are a very tribal people and are willing to fight for what they believe. But I say if you're going to fight, choose the right battle. 

    Itís a nice feeling to belong to a group or association that shares a common belief, follows a similar doctrine and congregate together to show that their numbers are strong and the faith is true. The enemy will always be the group that is the largest or most enterprising, the underdogs will always be crying foul, and a network operating system is only as good as its operator as a religion is only as good as its followers.

DougChick@thenetworkadministrator.com 

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