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Linux in the news

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The Fall issue of Crossroads, ACM's student magazine is out. The subject is Linux; there are articles on topics like parallel computing, the Linux DSP shell, and an interview with Victor Yodaiken.

Salon Magazine compares Apple and free software. "Today Apple is a niche player making a successful comeback. The free-software hackers have taken Apple's place -- they are the new brash guerrilla warriors lining up to swing their sledgehammers into the icon of the new Big Brother, now played by Microsoft." (Thanks to Paul Hewitt).

Red Hat:

Red Hat 6.1 will be released on Monday, according to this TechWeb article. "Red Hat Linux 6.1... will feature a streamlined installation, online software updates, and enhancements for managing distributed computing architectures..."

Information Week looks at Red Hat's second quarter results. "Red Hat Inc. reported sharply higher second-quarter revenue, but still reported a loss as its cost of sales kept pace with growth."

More IPOs:

TechWeb ran this article about Caldera's IPO plans. "Caldera Systems likely will file for an initial public offering after Jan. 1, 2000, rather than next month as originally planned..."

News.com looks at the Andover.net IPO. "Using the OpenIPO method is another twist on the sometimes awkward interactions between the largely volunteer open-source programming movement and the companies who hope to profit from it. The OpenIPO process, by including more than just big-name investors, lets Andover.net avoid being perceived as a parasite that doesn't give anything back to the community."

Also in News.com: this uncritical article about LinuxOne's IPO filing. "With almost 9.2 million shares to be outstanding after a planned IPO, the company would sell about a 33 percent stake and have a market value of $73.3 million if shares sell for $8 each."


The Montreal Gazette looks at Corel. "Some computer experts are calling Linux the single most serious threat to Microsoft's hegemony over the server software market. Corel is counting on getting a share of the market. Some analysts said Corel's decision to develop software that runs on Linux offers the best chance to get the stock back on track."

Here's a fairly nasty article in the National Post about Corel. "With Corel's share price now rebounding, you might think things are on the mend at the edge-of-disaster software company. They're not. Instead, Ottawa-based Corel is up to its usual tricks, with chairman Mike Cowpland bobbing, weaving and generally doing whatever he can to convince shareholders that the moribund software company is anything but. And he has found new fools to separate from their money at Slashdot." The article also describes Linus Torvalds as "a pompous Finn."

This CBS MarketWatch article has a few paragraphs on Corel, and their partnership with Ebiz. "Ebiz plans to pre-load Corel WordPerfect 8 for Linux Personal Edition onto some of its desktop computers and hand-held Internet access machines."


E-Commerce Times ran this article about the new set-top box by Lineo and MeterNet. "The Lineo product was chosen, according to MeterNet, because it will lend OEM customers a greater degree of flexibility over other platform-based solutions. The first Linux-based devices -- which will utilize a Cyrix processor and broadband Ethernet connection for access via cable, DSL or satellite -- is set to ship in the first quarter of 2000."

Andover News ran a Newsbytes story about the Lineo/MeterNet set-top box. "The non-proprietary, open standard Linux operating system (OS) is destined for America's homes." (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann).

EE Times looks at Cygnus Software's EL/IX release. "A veteran company of the open-source movement will unveil this week what it hopes will become a unifying application programming interface for using the GNU-Linux operating system in the embedded world."

InfoWorld covers Inprise's announcements of upcoming development tools for Linux. "The full embrace of Linux by Inprise across its tools and middleware offerings shows a strategic shift based on the assumption that Linux will ultimately become a major enterprise platform. Linux will also grow quickly as a preferred workstation development platform, Inprise officials said."

Computer Currents tells how to build an intranet for less. "...developers love Linux because it's flexible, which makes it easily scalable. NT may provide a friendlier environment for adding users and devices, but Linux isn't as picky about things such as configuration and drivers. Nor will Linux give up when it encounters roadblocks while trying to serve certain users, as NT has been known to do."

Here's an E-Commerce Times story about the release of OpenMerchant. "Free 'out of the box' OpenMerchant features include management modules for content, customer service, inventory, and merchandise along with a search terms manager. 'The days of creating closed and proprietary systems are over,' commented Michelle Kraus, president and CEO of OpenSales."

Upside has this article about BeOpen.com, another open source portal site attempt. "'The way I see it, the nucleus has finally come together,' says [BeOpen founder] Weiner, pointing to both the Linux operating system and the Internet infrastructure that shaped it. 'All that's missing is a way to take the remaining porridge of open source technologies, just like that porridge of organic material that originally covered the earth and shape them into some sort of living entity.'"

IT-Director.com looks at the future of software pricing. "Fair to say, then, that the cost of certain kinds of software will plummet. However, do not be taken in by vendor ploys: even likeable Linus has a vested interest. Vendors don't do anything without a reason, for example, they hope to damage their competition or attract you to other elements of their product line. Make the most of the opportunities as they present themselves, then, but remember TANSTAAFL: there ain't no such thing as a free license." (Found in NNL).

Here's an Internet Week article that says Sun won't go very far with StarOffice. "Like everything else in life, you get what you pay for. There may be plenty of users who will take advantage of a free office suite. But serious users who rely on these tools for business are far less likely to consider StarOffice a viable alternative."

Nicholas Petreley looks at Microsoft's purchase of Softway Systems and other topics in this InfoWorld column. "...some ... speculate that Microsoft bought Softway in order to deliver Linux for Windows, as a way to derail the increasing popularity of Linux. I can't adequately describe my first reaction to this notion. I simply don't know how to represent uncontrollable laughter in text. The idea of Linux for Windows sounded too much like the last resort of a company that can't find any other way to get Linux applications to crash."

Dave Winer calls on Microsoft to port its applications to Linux. "The smart thing to do, IMHO, is to fully embrace Linux. Let's work together to make Windows apps run beautifully on Linux. It'll be good for Microsoft. The only other choice is to be at odds with developers because the pull to Linux is economic and inexorable."

The Economist looks at the prospects for Windows 2000. "The wild card is Linux, the fast-growing (and free) Unix-based operating system. According to IDC, a research firm, Linux is taking about 17% of the server market and growing at the expense of both NT and other Unix systems. It may lack the features of Windows 2000, but because its source code is open it can be easily fixed or modified. And free is free."

Is Linux a legitimate network OS? asks ZDNet. "You might want to think twice, however, with applications that demand the best performance or the best reliability; Linux offers no clustering support and has immature SMP support and limited file-system support and RAID functionality." (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann).

Here's a PC Magazine article about Linux's continuing progress. "In response to the growing popularity of Unix and Linux, computer companies are scrambling to provide more Linux and Unix systems while software companies are promising more applications and customer support."

Information Week ran this look at Linux on the desktop. "Critics of Linux come in all shapes and sizes, but proponents seem to be a remarkably homogeneous group. Companies that have embraced Linux are typically either those that have been Unix shops for some time or those that employ IT staffers who champion the operating system."


Reuters talks with Linus. "Computer software prices will crash when the need for constant upgrades disappears, and this is only a matter of time, leading computer and software expert Linus Torvalds said on Thursday."

Linus Torvalds himself wouldn't have told us, but now we see what he's up to on his vacation: according to this article (in Swedish) in Aftonbladet, he is getting an honorary doctorate at the University of Stockholm. Sven Wallman, who pointed this out, translates a quote from Linus: "I dont want to be called a rebel. I'm not against anything and rebel sounds a bit negative. I've had my own view of how I want to work with computers. And genius? I've been successful and that is because I'm competent, but I've also had lots of luck"

Here's a brief Reuters article saying that Transmeta may start talking about what they are doing this November at Comdex. And it's Linus who let that information slip...


The Linux server in PC Week's hack this box contest appears to have been broken into. More details are available on the security page.

Channel One's attempt to trademark "Linux" in Germany is being withdrawn, according to this CNN article. "Hamburg-based Channel One GmbH is in the process of having its claim to the name Linux in Germany deleted, according to Achim Cloer, the chairman of Germany's Linux Association, a user group."

The Seattle Times looks at the Linux Journal. "But while Linux Journal is laced with the vocabulary of class struggle, its mission also is to help foster the success of the Linux operating system in a capitalist world."

This OS Opinion article looks at the GNU GPL and how copyleft applies to non-software information. "The GNU GPL originated for the specific goal of sharing software among computer programmers. However, looking closely at the GPL, it appears that the same License can be easily applied to non-software information."

The latest installation nightmare story comes from CNN. This time the author has a hard time with Caldera OpenLinux 1.3. No explanation of why they had to install such an old version of the distribution... "My daylong effort to install Caldera's Linux 1.3 on a PC gave me chilling flashbacks to my bewilderment in certain physics classes. I was told I had succeeded but I wasn't sure at what. For now, I'm glad I have my 'real' PC with Windows to rely on rather than the Linux PC."

A while back we got a few pointers to the Jesux distribution page, but chose not to run them. But now, MSNBC has run an article which appears to take "the distribution that will not lead you into temptation" seriously. "No one who knows Unix and the sensibilities of some Christians will be surprised to see that Jesux Developers is seriously considering replacing such common Unix names as 'kill,' 'abort,' and 'daemon.'"

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol

September 30, 1999


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