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From: hta@uninett.no (Harald T. Alvestrand)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.announce
Subject: Counting Linux users: an attempt
Date: 30 Sep 1993 22:07:17 GMT
Approved: linux-announce@tc.cornell.edu (Matt Welsh)
Message-ID: <28flal$sm3@samba.oit.unc.edu>

Hello,

there have been many attempts at defining the size of the Linux
user base. None of them contained hard data.

Now, in an attempt to establish a lower limit on the number of
Linux users, I have put up a MAIL SERVER that does counting.

So, if you are a Linux user, and want to be counted, send an E-mail
to the address

    linux-counter@uninett.no

with the subject being one of

    I use Linux at home
    I use Linux at work
    I use Linux at home and at work
    I do not use Linux

The scanner looks for the words "home", "work" and "not" to determine
where you use Linux, and sends you back an ACK that includes the current
state of the count.

The whole subject line is kept, along with your FROM address; if you
want to change your opinion, just send another mail to linux-counter.

DO NOT SEND VOTES TO MY MAILBOX!
PUT YOUR VOTE IN THE SUBJECT LINE, NOT THE BODY OF THE MESSAGE!

The Reply-to: line of this message is set to the counter, so you may try
to just juse "reply" to this message.

The current count (after announcing it on comp.os.linux.misc for 1 day,
and on no.linux for 2 days):

Total 236 users

BY COUNTRY
  56 edu       35 com       28 no        26 de        18 uk      
  13 nl         9 se         9 gov        7 fi         6 ca      
   4 at         3 dk         2 bitnet     2 unknown    2 is      
   2 us         2 fr         2 net        2 org        1 au      
   1 jp         1 nz         1 za         1 tw         1 cz      
   1 mil        1 ch      

PROBABLE DISTRIBUTION OF PLACES WHERE LINUX IS USED
 160 at home
  55 at home and at work
  11 somewhere
   8 at work
   2 not used

DISCUSSION:

I know that any counting mechanism is biased. And given what Linux is,
no mechanism will get registrations from those who don't want to be counted.
There are also a number of ways to confuse the issue, such as:

- Mass registrations from bogus accounts (aka Usenet "votes")
- Junk registrations of "I don't care what Linux is" and such things
- Trying to estimate the number of non-"voting" persons

But after a week or five of this, I will have a number, and we can start
debating whether that number is interesting or not.

Have fun voting!
-- 
                   Harald Tveit Alvestrand
                Harald.T.Alvestrand@uninett.no
      G=Harald;I=T;S=Alvestrand;O=uninett;P=uninett;C=no
                      +47 7 59 70 94
My son's name is Torbjxrn. The letter between "j" and "r" is o with a slash.


-- 
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