Consumer grade *nix

Thursday, 22 April 2004, 2:46 PM EST

Is "Ship it now, fix it once it's sold" a good business model? It is likely an approach to get a product to market early, or perhaps more honestly, to market on time. But after an experience I had on the weekend, I wonder about the sense of this approach and worry that the push to get Linux and Unix adopted on the desktop, through low cost outlets such as Walmart, will depend on this strategy. The consequence will be a rash of viruses written for these platforms, and the reputation of Unix and Linux will take an equivalent hit.

I was helping a friend on the west coast set up a wireless network covering his property. Instead of the usual selection of computer stores to make our purchases, we had to make do with the computer department of a large drug store. When purchasing the wireless access point and border router, I discovered a device that advertised itself as filling both roles. Once I had hooked up the router I had enormous problems connecting to and maintaining a connection to the broadband network.

By Daniel Hanson at SecurityFocus.

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