Alpha in the New Processors Market LG #59

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OLinux: Alpha supports all major Linux distributions these days. How has been the relation between Alpha and Linux companies and Alpha and Linux community?

Richard Payne: I think the relationship is great, Alpha support is usually second only to i386 in the Linux kernel and most applications. There have been a few areas where we’ve had problems (for example Netscape) and there various companies have helped out (for example Compaq releasing the Tru64 libraries so Linux users can run the Tru64 version of Netscape).

In addition I know that both API and Compaq work quite closely with the various distributions, providing assistance when it’s necessary.

OLinux: Can you detail the relation between alpha and Li.org?

Richard Payne: Both API and Compaq are members of LI.

OLinux: Does Alpha sponsor any FS/OS event? Or organization?

Richard Payne: Both API and Compaq sponsor various organizations. API has recently sent two machines to the Alsa group to ensure that Alsa stays supported on Alpha. I know of many kernel developers that have Alphas that have been donated by API or Compaq. API has also donated a machine to the AlphaLinux Organization (www.alphalinux.org) and is currently buying banner ad time from ALO.

In addition both companies (and sometimes alphalinux.org) can also usually be found at the major Linux shows.

OLinux: Linux companies are struggling to prove that investor won’t have to wait a decade e to see profits or their investments back. Those stocks have lost its initial and phenomenal glamour. Is clear for you that Linux companies can make money and be profitable?

Richard Payne: I think they can, however it’s going to take time. I think over the next few years we’re really going to see software become a commodity. If you look back of the last few decades we’ve had an incredible duplication of effort out there. How many different UNIX types did we have? All with massive development and support organizations behind them. I can’t help thinking this is just a massive waste of resources, especially when everybody all of those version basically perform the same functions.

OLinux: Transmeta is planing an IPO and have already launched Crusoe. How do you analyze Trasmeta innovation? Are there any direct moves of aplha related to Crusoe comp competition on chip market?

Richard Payne: Alpha and Crusoe and in different markets. Transmeta is going after the small low power segment. I see them more competing with the mobile Intel and PowerPC offerings. Alpha is at the other end of the spectrum, high performance but also high power usage and heat, not ideal for a laptop!

OLinux: Alpha supports all major Linux distributions these days. How has been the relation between alpha and Linux companies and Alpha and Linux community?

Richard Payne: I think the relationship is great, Alpha support is usually second only to i386 in the Linux kernel and most applications. There have been a few areas where we’ve had problems (for example Netscape) and there various companies have helped out (for example Compaq releasing the Tru64 libraries so Linux users can run the Tru64 version of Netscape).

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In addition I know that both API and Compaq work quite closely with the various distributions, providing assistance when it’s necessary.

OLinux: Can you detail the relation between alpha and Li.org?

Richard Payne: Both API and Compaq are members of LI.

OLinux: Does Alpha sponsor any FS/OS event? Or organization?

Richard Payne: Both API and Compaq sponsor various organizations. API has recently sent two machines to the Alsa group to ensure that Alsa stays supported on Alpha. I know of many kernel developers that have Alphas that have been donated by API or Compaq. API has also donated a machine to the AlphaLinux Organization (www.alphalinux.org) and is currently buying banner ad time from ALO.

In addition both companies (and sometimes alphalinux.org) can also usually be found at the major Linux shows.

OLinux: Linux companies are struggling to prove that investor won’t have to wait a decade e to see profits or their investments back. Those stocks have lost its initial and phenomenal glamour. Is clear for you that Linux companies can make money and be profitable?

Richard Payne: I think they can, however it’s going to take time. I think over the next few years we’re really going to see software become a commodity. If you look back of the last few decades we’ve had an incredible duplication of effort out there. How many different UNIX types did we have? All with massive development and support organizations behind them. I can’t help thinking this is just a massive waste of resources, especially when everybody all of those version basically perform the same functions.

OLinux: Transmeta is planing an IPO and have already launched Crusoe. How do you analyze Trasmeta innovation? Are there any direct moves of aplha related to Crusoe comp competition on chip market?

Richard Payne: Alpha and Crusoe and in different markets. Transmeta is going after the small low power segment. I see them more competing with the mobile Intel and PowerPC offerings. Alpha is at the other end of the spectrum, high performance but also high power usage and heat, not ideal for a laptop!

Copyright © 2000, Fernando Ribeiro Corrêa. Copying license http://www.linuxgazette.com/copying.html
Published in Issue 59 of Linux Gazette, November 2000