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SCO Road Show

© October 2003 Tony Lawrence

Thu Oct 9 21:55:20 GMT 2003 SCO Road Show

I attended the Boston SCO Road Show today. Attendance was light; probably less than twenty-five people overall and that included at least five from SCO itself. Oh, and one more: a very serious young woman security guard who eyed me suspiciously every time I headed for the men's room. Well, when she's in her fifties, let's see how well she does with six cups of coffee.

The security was unnecessary. Although side conversations certainly did include mention of unhappiness with the lawsuit issues, no one challenged the speakers directly, and while their comments were certainly slanted in favor of SCO's corporate stance, they weren't outrageously inaccurate or even provocative to any but the most die hard SCO haters. These folks seem to honestly believe that SCO has been ripped off, and as I have said here more than once, if code really has been misused, they have every right to sue. As usual, I need to add that just because you CAN do something, that doesn't necessarily mean that you SHOULD, but even in private conversation these folks think they are in the right.

Tee shirts were available proclaiming


Fact: SCO owns the legal copyright to Unix System V
Fact: SCO owns all claims arising out of violations by Unix licensees
Fact: SCO has proof of direct copying of System V into Linux

It's that last part that we out here are having more and more trouble believing, of course.

But never mind that. SCO is once again talking to its resellers (what few of us are left) and once again telling us that things will change. We've all heard it before, and of course we all want to believe it, but I didn't see any walking on water or raising of the dead.

Perhaps I am wrong: while it certainly isn't dead, the OpenServer product hasn't had a lot of respect in recent years. It wasn't all that long ago that SCO told us it would soon be phased out in favor of Unixware. Apparently the owners of the several million installed systems didn't like that idea, or at least enough didn't to make an impression, because that talk is all gone, and wonder of wonders, they are actually talking about OpenServer having kernel threads, larger than 2GB file sizes, and larger memory models. To the uninitiated, this sounds like an automobile manufacturer announcing the coming availability of air-bags, but you have to understand that they've been trying for years to push people to Unixware where those things have been present for some time now. Also, there supposedly were (and I assume still are) serious obstacles in the base design of OSR5 that makes adding those features more than a little difficult. So this really is interesting and important news, not because of the feature support per se (which can be had just about everywhere but OSR5 nowadays) but because of what it means about the expected lifespan of the product. There's some kick left in the old dame yet, and it looks like she's about to get a new lease on life.

I got a chance to talk with the new VP of Marketing, who seems like a straight shooter with good ideas. I don't envy him his job: marketing at SCO has been nothing short of awful for many years. The refreshing thing is that he seems to know that and wants to do better. I did ask him why the comp.unix.sco.announce newsgroup hasn't seen anything from SCO recently, and he explained that the legal folks don't want much said right now. Probably not a bad idea, I agree, but I asked why that would extend to patch and security announcements, and he seemed to agree that it probably should not, and said he'd look into it. I hope that will come back soon.

I couldn't stay for the whole presentation, although I really would have liked to. The last segment I got to hear was on SCO Authentication (link dead, sorry) , which is a new offering allowing single user identity for HP/UX, Solaris, Linux and of course Unixware and Openserver with Microsoft's Active Directory. For the first time in a while, it seems like SCO might actually be offering something worthwhile at the right time. Too often they have been a day late and a dollar short, playing catchup with the rest of the world. Of course there are plenty of other ways to do this, but this looks pretty well done.

Well, I had to leave to give my daughter a ride to pick up her new car. They (my daughter and her husband) just bought their first home not a quarter mile from us, and of course right then their five year old car gave up the ghost. Maybe just the gods doing their usual "they look too happy, let's punish them" thing. Anyway, they bought a nice little Saab 93, a very good choice, Dad thinks. Let's hope SCO makes some good choices in the next few years too.

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More Articles by © Tony Lawrence

Fri Jul 6 12:54:17 2012: 11180   TonyLawrence


As we now know, all those "facts" were wrong.. still, I wish I had bought one of those T-shirts :)

Fri Jul 6 16:56:23 2012: 11181   BigDumbDinosaur


As we now know, all those "facts" were wrong.. still, I wish I had bought one of those T-shirts :)

Yeppers, a real collector's item, right up there with my SCO coffee mug and old UNIX 3.2 licenses. :)

Fri Jul 6 16:57:58 2012: 11182   TonyLawrence


I have a SCO jean jacket too. My silly wife keeps trying to throw it away :)


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