[TUHS] IANAL. Kimball has ruled

Michael Davidson michael_davidson at pacbell.net
Sat Jul 19 03:03:52 AEST 2008

Jose R. Valverde wrote: 
I don't believe anybody sane would engage in deceptive action at that 
level consciously with such big players as IBM. From all the history 
of the cases it seems rather that this is a case of a change of 
management to unknowledgeable, ambitious managers who paid too much 
attention to the UNIX department on the Company and then had to put 
a straight face to defend what resulted to be an untenable position. 
   I am not going to comment on Darl's sanity. 
I think that you will find that Darl's problem was paying too little  attention to the people who actually understood what was going on, not paying too much attention. 
He certainly didn't appear to pay much attention to this: 
Try to put yourself in Darl's place: you make a decision based on the 
promises of some head of department and sue IBM and the world. Then 
little by little your move is proven wrong. What can you do? Yes, 
say sorry, close the company, fire all workers and get punished for 
admitting to a scam. Or you can put a straight face, defend that  you do actually believe the unbelievable -and look as a stupid  instead- and try to save the company, the workers and your skin 
until you can find someone else to take the hot potato. 
   I think that it was more a case of suing IBM and the world based on what  you (at the time)  sincerely believed and hoped *must* have happened, and then spending  several years and legal theories unsuccessfully trying to find any evidence for it. 
Don't let your bad experience with Microsoft spread to all vendors. Some 
have managed a long history of delivering on their promises, and Caldera 
at the time was one such. 
Personally, I think if they had stuck to Ransom Love and endured the 
harsh times for a couple of years until the "boom" of Linux they would 
have managed a lot better. Not to mention they could have unified UNIX 
at last. But there's no way to know now. 
   One promise that, at the time, Caldera had never delivered on was making  a profit. 
Caldera did some good things in the Linux world but they were a  distinctly second tier player. 
Their decision to buy SCO' s UNIX business was a bad one, based largely  on emotion not on good business sense (I know this, because I was one of the people that  helped sell it to them). 
At the time Caldera had no revenue stream but still had some cash from  their IPO, SCO had a rapidly declining revenue stream, and bunch of mostly 10 to 15 year  old technology which was still in reasonable shape but which wasn't going anywhere. Somehow (with  SCO's help) Ransom Love convinced himself that the deal made sense and that (most important  of all, because it appealed to his ego) he could succeed where everyone else had failed and  somehow unite UNIX and Linux and build a successful business out of it. 
Sadly none of that turned out to be true and, had  Ransom Love stayed as  CEO I suspect that the company would have been out of business by the end of 2003 at the  latest. 
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