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2004 Feb 18 01:32

The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox-tech mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox-tech] FSTAB Questions
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Re: [vox-tech] FSTAB Questions

Dave Margolis said:
> On Tue, 17 Feb 2004, ME wrote:
>> One of the amazing things with software is that it can grow beyond the
>> confines and limitations that people try to impose on it. Luckily, since
>> we use Linux, we do not need to "limit" ourselves to only use software
>> as
>> it was expected.
> Hmmm. Your use of the word limit in quotes comes dangerously close to
> being condescending, but I'll assume that's not how it was meant.

It was not at all an attack. It is meant to highlight a theme in the
response-- that of choice vs. limits. It was not a comment on you or your
question. It was an emphasis to my content.

> Anyway, I was asking a question, not making a statement.  I asked 'What
> is?'.  I didn't make the statement 'There is no such thing...'

Excellent. Answers were provided to this too.

>> Consider a laptop that is used at installfests to act as a server of
>> files
>> for installs, a gateway/masquerading unit, and a shell server for
>> multi-user access.
> I don't see why any of the above machines require dual-boot with Windows.

I thought an example was obvious and omitted at least one example for
this, but here is at least one: The person who owns the laptop may want to
also use windows too, another? it is not their own personal laptop, but
provided by their work, and they are required to use Windows-only apps in
the field.

All you need is for at least one user to desire Windows on such a laptop
for the example to be valid. The point was for me to answer the questions
as to "why a user might want to have a multi-user system with dual boot to

I assumed that what was being asked for was an example of a case where
such a dual-boot window/linux multi-user system  might be desired.

>> Also, consider hybrid systems with wine being used remotely.
> Depending on how your run Wine, yes, but not neccesary.

The examples are not necessary but sufficient. They are, by definitions,
examples of reasons why someone would want to dual boot-- answers to your

>> Just because a person cannot see a use for something does not mean that
>> a
>> use does not exist for it. You want more examples? Read on...
> I didn't suggest that a use didn't exist.  I just suggested the solutions
> being offered got off the track of answering the original question, which
> sounded to me like it was coming from a desktop user.  But I would never
> suggest that a desktop can't scale into something more, or that security
> shouldn't be considered because of some vague definition of how a computer
> is used.

I did not make the assumption the machine was a single-user machine. Since
such archives are available for peer review, I'd rather have an answer
that may provide someone (and others) with advice that could be used in
the general case rather than a specific implied case based on the content
of the thread. The solution I provided is a very good one for servers and
for single user systems. The directions for making it work for both are
the same.It is a very useful system. Nobody else pointed it out in the
thread so I added it. It is archived for people to find with google. It
has many advantages-- including teaching single user system admins a
method they can apply if they should ever decide to grow into a server
with multiple users.

Encouraging people to provide useful answers is what helps to build or
grow a support system for opensource products. Discouraging useful answers
harms documentation for opensource products. If you had approached me in
private about your concern, I would have replied to my post in public
pointing out that I did not mean what it seems you read from the post and
offer an appology.

>> Our uni Networking and CS labs are this way. 1 Windows install and 2
>> different Linux installs. Yes, we do utilize the multi-user functions on
>> these systems in our experiments.
> Yeah, experiments, not real multi-user machines that also happen to
> dual-boot.  Perhaps I'm muddling multi-user with REMOTE-user, but I would
> suggest for unix boxes that's more often the case than not.

Semantics-- difference of definition:
I view a "multi user machine" a machine used by "multiple users"
interactively at the same time as sufficient. Your definition *also*
includes a concept of uptime. We can never agree on this point while we
have different definitions. ("also" used in * and * to empasize that we
both share "multiple simultaneous interactive users" as part of our
definitions of "multi users system" but yours also includes uptime as a
further refinement. The point of this empahsis is to address the
similarities, not the differences.)

Your definition is not a bad one just as mine is not; they are only
different. Each is valid. The difference? Lumping vs. Splitting.

>> Well, we have different machines that have specific purposes. Also,
>> there
>> are still some systems out there that require the admin to boot to
>> windows
>> Other cases for having a bootable windows systems:
>> BIOS Upgrades for the system
>> SCSI Card Firmware updates that only run from DOS or windows
>> System hardware initialization for hardware that uses proprietary code
>> to
>> start the hardware working so that Linux can use it
>> Being required by the  hardware vendor to run diagnostic software that
>> only runs in windows before you can have parts replaced
> All but the last of the examples above suggests dual-booting DOS, not
> Windows, or even booting from a DOS floppy when possible.  I made myself a
> DOS bootable CDROM which I find comes in handy every now and
> then...

DOS is sufficient. Windows 9X is sufficient. You only asked for examples.
Whether the users's preference is Windows or DOS does not matter,  A
reason is still provided-- Several reasons actually. Some people may
prefer to have the windows interface instead of DOS. All it takes is at
least one person who does this to choose windows instead of dos for their
solution to be an example of a case where someone would want to dual boot
windows and linux on the same multi-user system.

> I don't know.  I just consider dual-booting something that you grow
> out of as a desktop user and not really something appropriate for
> production Linux boxes.  That's why I asked the question about the lab or
> public access computer, which was a scenario I thought up where a
> dual-boot,
> multi-user system made sense.

You can only grow out of it to the point where your vendors of hardware
permit it. If the hardware vendor you use does not provide a Linux path
for resolving the examples listed above, then there is little opportunity
to outgrow it- unless you have the time and resources to reverse engineer
the missing tools and build them.

For future hardware purchases, the consumer can take the time to buy
hardware which is better supported, but the existing older hardware still
exists and may be used.

>> (many more reasons if you think about it)
> Or not so many, or perhaps you would have listed them to back up your
> argument.

First you ask me what reasons could exist for such a system, and when I
provide exmples you respond like you were being personally attacked. This
does not encourage me to answer questions you have. I do not want to have
my text viewed as an attack or harmful. It is possible that you will view
this reply as harmful, and this is also not an intention. :-/

Where is the reward for taking the time to provide an answer to a question
when you feel your words are being read in such a way to sound offensive?
Look at the archive of messages written here by me. Have I been abusive?
Do my replies look negative or suggestive?

People wonder why my responses are often long; it is because people tend
to read things into the text. There comes a point, where choosing not to
answer a question is more rearding than the pleasure gained in helping
fellow Linux users. If you don't like what I write, or I offend you, let
me know-- preferrably in private so that I can appologise in public and in
a personal letter.

Consider how you treat people who take the time to reply to you. I do not
think I deserved  your response. Others may be critical of how you treat
people who take the time to answer you based on how you are treating me.

My original reply was not negative or sarcastic. I did not make fun of you
or your question. Why take offense? Relax. Know that I am not attacking
you or making fun of you.

If you were offended by my response, please accept my appology-- I have no
intention to cause you harm or suggest anything negative about you.


P.S.: You needed more examples: Citrix, vmware, netboot windows served
from Linux,  Small projects (3-5 people) who use their own machines as
servers (cvs and the line) who mke apps for windows and also use their own
machines for testing in Windows...

And there are even more! Just take some some and consider them.

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