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Recommended Reading.

Here's a Motley Fool "Fool on the hill" column about intellectual property. "A system based on charging people for copies they can easily make for themselves for free is not a stable situation. It just doesn't make any sense. More restrictive laws can't substitute for the consent of the governed.... The only way to deal with industries that refuse to change, and bet their existence on sustaining an obsolete status quo, is to hasten their destruction. Call it a mercy killing."

Perhaps even a second quote is called for: "The reason Red Hat has been so much more successful than, say, Caldera Systems, is that Red Hat sees what it does as a service, and Caldera sees its intellectual property as a product it can control."

Reports from LinuxWorld.

Upside looks forward to LinuxWorld. "Here at Open Season headquarters we noticed the number of press releases, party invites and phone calls from P.R. folk rising about three weeks ago. In our heroic efforts to protect those downstream from a crushing wave of strategic partnership and incremental upgrade announcements, we've done our best to stem the flow. Unfortunately, with LinuxWorld only two working days away, we're going to have to resort to a controlled release."

The Red Herring reports from LinuxWorld. "Trade shows like the Linuxworld Expo remain a safe haven for geeks, thanks to leaders like Linus Torvalds. Mr. Torvalds feels comfortable taking the main stage wearing shorts, white socks and sandals, and a yellow polo shirt featuring a Bugs Bunny cartoon. But Linuxworld is also now a must-attend event for buttoned-down executives like Michael Dell, whose keynote speech here Tuesday morning reinforces a growing theme: Linux is not only safe for business, it's a great way to make money."

The San Francisco Chronicle covers LinuxWorld. "One sign of Linux's changing role was a keynote speech by Michael Dell, chief executive of Dell Computer, who has long been considered one of Microsoft's most loyal supporters in the industry." (Thanks to Michael J. Miller).

The San Jose Mercury covers the LinuxWorld Geek Bowl. "The CEOs of three leading Linux companies did the worst -- Ransom Love of Caldera, Bob Young of Red Hat Inc. and Larry Augustin of VA Linux. Apparently CEOs don't have enough time to be geeks."

The DukeOfUrl has put up some brief coverage of the first day at LinuxWorld. "This year's Expo is a bittersweet review of the whirlwind that the Linux community has gone through in the last year. We have seen numerous Linux companies go public and fall out of the IPO sky like flies. Yet, despite the financial backlash that Linux has received, we have not given up the fight."

A couple of articles have popped up reporting on Michael Dell's LinuxWorld keynote:

  • Dell looks to keep Sun at bay with Linux is News.com's contribution. "Dell's presence is among the strongest indicators of the widespread adoption of Linux. At the same time, though, Dell hasn't tried to buddy up with open-source programmers the way IBM, SGI, Compaq Computer, Hewlett-Packard and other competitors have."

  • Michael Dell sings out Linux's praises is ZDNet's version. "Dell Computer Corp. Chairman and CEO Michael Dell needed to walk a fine line in his LinuxWorld keynote address here Tuesday to praise Linux without dissing Windows. And despite some fairly obvious skepticism on the part of attendees toward his opening speech, Dell seemed to accomplish his task well."

The San Jose Mercury looks at LinuxWorld with a heavy emphasis on the end of the Linux stock mania. "This week's conference will focus less on stocks and business models and more on new products. From wristwatches to supercomputers, companies will show the 17,000 attendees the products they've only talked about in the last year."

The Mercury has also put out a Linux timeline which begins in 1998.

Articles Inspired by LinuxWorld Announcements.

  • Flocking to LinuxWorld (ABC News) is a routine summary of what's up at LinuxWorld. "As the new kid on the block, the Linux computer operating system once had few friends besides the stereotypical technology geek whose idea of fun was spending hours rewriting software code. But as that same kid begins to gather dozens of new electronic toys around it, Linux has suddenly become part of the in crowd - and an increasing threat to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows monopoly."

  • News.com looks forward to upcoming announcements at LinuxWorld. "IBM will announce a plan to release several software packages to the 'open-source' community of programmers who collectively create Linux, said Robert LeBlanc, vice president of IBM's software group. Among them are the Andrew File System, a software package for sharing files across a network; a collection of 100 new printer drivers and the Omni printer driver framework for writing new drivers; and 'dynamic probe' software to uncover bugs in software."

  • The New York Times reports on upcoming GNOME announcements at LinuxWorld, including the establishment of the "GNOME foundation," funded by IBM, HP, Sun, and others. "Sun Microsystems also plans to announce that it will adopt the Gnome desktop user interface for its Solaris operating system. The move is part of the Linux effort to create a larger market for application developers." (The New York Times is a registration-required site).

  • News.com covers the establishment of the GNOME Foundation. "A future version of the Gnome user interface will be adopted by Sun Microsystems for its Solaris operating system, and Sun will contribute more than 50 programmers to the effort to advance Gnome, sources familiar with the plans said. Sun uses the CDE user interface but will first add Gnome, then eventually make it the default."

  • ZDNet's Charles Babcock reports on the GNOME press conference. "Jim Gettys, a developer at Compaq Computer and developer of the X Window System on which Gnome and other Unix user interfaces sit, said his company sees Gnome as a potentially rich user interface for the iPaq handheld computer, or pocket PC, which sports a 2-inch by 3.25-inch screen manipulated with a stylus."

  • Here's Information Week's take on HP's Linux support. "HP's support for Linux, which follows IBM's endorsement of the platform, will give Linux a boost with infrastructure companies, says AMR Research analyst Dennis Gaughan. But Linux won't really take off until application vendors begin to adopt it, he adds."

  • Gnome Linux to attack Windows is about the upcoming GNOME announcements. They have a real scoop: "Another company expected to back GNOME in a major way is Helix Code Inc."

  • Key firms give Linux a big boost (Boston Globe) looks at companies jumping onto GNOME. "In the consumer market, Linux is expected to gain further momentum from IBM, which is set to announce today a line of ThinkPad laptop computers that will run a Gnome version of Linux."

  • IBM to Sell Computers With Red Hat Software (LA Times) reports on developments at the show. "The Gnome Foundation is designed to be a neutral group that will establish standards that developers can use to build software that runs on Linux. Establishing an independent body ensures that no one company can set standards that would make the programs favor its systems over a rival's product."

  • Sledgehammering Linux? looks at AMD's new processor chip and the lack of enthusiasm for supporting it.

  • SuSE to help AMD bring Linux to Sledgehammer covers AMD's funding of SuSE to make Linux work on its latest processor. "SuSE said one of its programmers, Jan Hubicka, has produced the first versions of programming tools necessary to develop Linux and other software for Sledgehammer."

  • ZDNet: VA Linux Offers Customization For Servers is about VA Linux Systems' new ordering setup.

  • ZDNET: VA Linux: Have it your way is a completely different article about VA's new ordering system.

  • VA to unveil build-to-order software model is the San Jose Mercury's look at VA's new ordering system, and LinuxWorld announcements in general.

  • Linux Designers Stay Course is a general "state of Linux" article.

  • Red Hat and Caldera get in the ring looks at competition between distributors, and predicts a big showdown between Caldera and Red Hat. This one is worth a look.

  • Red Hat buys secure Web server maker is Upside's look at Red Hat's latest acquisition. "The deal gives Red Hat a foothold in the secure Web server market, of which Stronghold claims about a 30 percent share."

  • IBM, Red Hat tighten Linux alliance (News.com) reports on the latest deal between the two companies. "Although the deal isn't an exclusive relationship for either company, it's the most important Linux pact IBM has signed thus far on its road to weaving Linux into the fabric of the entire company..."

  • Transvirtual putting Linux on PDAs covers Transvirtual's "Pocket Linux Developer Kit" which will be announced on Tuesday.

  • Caldera-SCO deal may scuttle Monterey sees the end of SCO's Unix efforts, and suggests that maybe it's all an IBM plot.

  • Caldera sails Monterey down the river on ZDNet UK predicts the death of Monterey. "Monterey may be good technology, but that does not automatically equate with customer acceptance. In the Intel space, it is possible now to see such 'acceptance' leaning in just two directions: Windows 2000 and Linux."

  • Linuxcare's Near Death Experience checks in with Linuxcare and finds that things are going well.

  • Was MS right about Linux? (ZDNet) explores whether Microsoft's antitrust trial claims that Linux is a strong competitor were true. "Microsoft was characteristically overstating the threat; more than a year later, however, Linux is rapidly emerging as the real deal -- not enough to upset the constellation of forces in the software world, but surely enough to merit serious consideration by business and increasingly, home users."

  • Eazel Interface Puts Linux Against Windows is Forbes' latest look at Nautilus. "Nautilus could be just the thing to kick-start Linux in the PC market--the only area in which the free operating system has not caught fire."

  • Linux Enjoying Enthusiastic Growth (San Francisco Chronicle) is a conversation with Bob Young. "Our success is not dependent on getting people to unplug their working Windows desktop. Our opportunity is the rapid growth that's occurring on Internet servers talking to Internet appliances."

  • Linux wins acceptance in computer mainstream (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) also reports from the show. "If you still think Linux isn't legit, you should be here right now."

  • Linux stocks land in the poorhouse (Red Herring) is about Linux stock prices. "It's just that the Linux companies are having a hard time figuring out how to make money from something that's free. Quelle surprise. Last year the entire sector generated a measly $67 million in revenue, which pales in comparison to operating system revenue from Microsoft alone. The Evil Empire, Linux is not."

  • Hewlett-Packard supports Linux (USA Today) covers HP's announcements. "H-P's announcement underscores growing demand for the Linux system, which in two years has risen from geek gear to being used by nearly one in five companies in some capacity."


ZDNet looks at IBM's server deal with SuSE. "Unlike a traditional bundling deal, where customers have the option of having an operating system pre-installed on a server when they buy it, IBM will load SuSE Linux 7.0 with all of the Linux servers it ships, according to sources familiar with the two companies' plans."

ComputerWorld has posted this look at IBM's upcoming AIX release. "Linux application programming interfaces will be rehosted and optimized for AIX, while standard AIX libraries will be enhanced to support Linux. Linux applications on IA-64 based systems will be able to run on IA-64 based AIX 5L systems with a simple recompilation of the source code, according to IBM."

Network World Fusion looks forward to IBM's LinuxWorld announcements. "Allowing Linux to exploit IBM's Chip Kill technology is a first for the open source operating system, according to IBM officials. The capability allows users to recover from 8-bit memory failures or even entire chip set failures."

The Industry Standard reports on IBM's Linux watch. "Beyond telling time, the prototype has a to-do list, phone numbers, a condensed calendar, and the ability to store an image. IBM is working on enabling the gadget to understand voice commands, and eventually, the wristwatch would be able to download applications from a desktop and connect to the Internet and other devices through infrared."

Upside chimes in on IBM's Linux-powered watch. "Sometimes you have to wonder what really goes on inside IBM. I mean, despite the Lou Gerstner makeover, the company still looks like a blue-suited behemoth that out-earns (and outspends) most developing nations. And yet, every once in a while, something beautifully trivial bubbles to the surface, giving a hint of the tortured engineering soul lying just below."

Wired News looks at IBM's Linux watch. " When IBM announced that its research department had produced a Linux-powered watch on Monday, officials expected the news to be greeted with joy, if not downright reverence. Instead, many in the media and open source community responded with jokes about 'cluster clocks' and 'Dick Tracy watches.'"


ZDNet comments on Michael Cowpland's departure from Corel. "Time and trouble had finally caught up with Cowpland. There was no longer enough belief in his early magic--magic that had enabled him to draw the fire of the Microsoft dragon and survive. With ever-mounting losses, key personnel departures and few left who believed that Corel was one more transformation away from profitability, Cowpland's day was done."

Upside looks at the BSD systems, and cites applications and support issues as the reason for BSD being less popular than Linux. "However, as [Jordan] Hubbard and other FreeBSD loyalists are quick to point out, a savvy user can install MySQL or PostgreSQL -- two open source databases -- in a matter of minutes, using only a few make commands. To make things any simpler is to invite in users who have no business using the software."

News.com looks at HP's Linux plans. "Like IBM, HP is bringing its entire server software line over to Linux. The effort started with HP's OpenMail email software, already used on Linux servers to power more than a million email accounts. It will be extended to include management software such as OmniBack backup software, Web QOS (quality of service) software to ensure priority Web site visitors get a snappy response, the TopTools device manager, and the Network Node Manager component of HP's OpenView management software."

Reuters has run a brief article anticipating an announcement from HP. "Computing giant Hewlett-Packard Co on Monday will designate Linux as one of its three 'strategic operating systems' and add new products and services to support it."

The Salt Lake Tribune inquires into the whereabouts of Lineo's IPO. "Lineo does have the advantage of selling Linux software for embedded devices -- considered a promising market. That is Lineo's saving grace, said Corey Ostman, chief technology officer of Alert IPO, a Web site on pending IPOs. He expects Lineo to complete its IPO, although the company may have to delay it until this fall."

EE Times reports on the upcoming release of Blue Cat Linux 3.0. "LynuxWorks engineers say that the new operating system, known as BlueCat Linux 3.0, will serve as a foundation that ultimately could take Linux into new territory, including mission-critical applications in military and aerospace, as well as in printers and other low-end consumer products."

News.com covers the posting of AOL for Linux on Techpages.com. "The company plans to use its Linux-based service in future Net gadgets. It has already struck partnerships with chipmaker Transmeta and PC maker Gateway to produce Linux-powered appliances slated for release later this year."

Dan Gillmor looks at Aimster (a marriage of Gnutella and AOL's instant messaging system) in this San Jose Mercury column. "I'm no lawyer, but I suspect that the paranoid recording industry will sic its well-paid legal sharks on Aimster. I also suspect they'll lose this time, but the law has been tilted strongly toward copyright holders lately." The column also contains a long quote from John Gillmore on copying protocols which is worth a read.

Here's a NewsBytes article on Aimster. "[Aimster spokesman John] Deep said that the company hopes to make Aimster an open-source platform capable of making other messaging programs such as ICQ available to Aimster users."

News.com looks at the release of AOL's messaging service for Linux. "The move highlights the increasing legitimacy of Linux, a clone of Unix mostly used on heavy-duty server computers but increasingly popular as a desktop operating system."

Gamecenter.com has an article about Indrema's upcoming console. "Indrema is a six-month-old California firm that's hoping to give Sony, Nintendo, Sega, and Microsoft a run for their money with its Linux-based open-source console platform. The Indrema L600 console will have a 600-MHz processor, 64MB of memory, an Nvidia graphics chip, and a GPU Slide Bay, which will allow gamers to upgrade the graphics processor every year for between $50 and $100 so they won't need to purchase a new console."


Here's a Business Week Daily column which suggests that Linux stock prices may have bottomed out. "Linux was practically unknown for the first seven years of its life until the media discovered it in 1998. Then it was hailed as the cure-all for every computer woe. This hubbub has finally died down. That's good news for those with money to invest. Even as the Linux stocks reenter the atmosphere, prospects for the operating system are blasting off."

c't has run a detailed comparison (in German) of Linux and Windows, focusing on three particular usage scenarios. English text (partial - the article is long) is available via Babelfish.

Heise Online has run a brief article on the comparison, talking primarily about web server performance (which was more-or-less identical between the two systems). Here's the Babelfish link. (Thanks to Manfred Scheible).

ZDNet reports on the release of Oracle Internet Application Server for Linux. "If you doubt that this is anything save Oracle making a public relations point, think again. The Linux version of Oracle iAS is available for order today. Its Windows NT/2000 brother won't be out until September. Oracle is dead serious about supporting Linux as an enterprise platform."

Here's News.com's take on the Netscape and Mozilla alpha releases. "Having seen Netscape's once dominant market share steadily eroded by Microsoft, some question whether the latest releases are too little, too late. Mozilla, which has long enjoyed the near-unanimous backing of the Web standards community for its commitment to producing a standards-compliant browser, has seen some support crumble in recent weeks because of continued delays."

ZDNet questions the extent to which companies are really using Linux. "That Linux has appeal among Internet service providers and application hosting firms is a given. But just how much of a hold Linux already has established among Fortune 500 companies continues to be up for debate."


The LinuxDevices.com Embedded Linux Weekly Newsletter for August 10 is out.


Tom's Hardware reviews five NVIDIA 3D cards under Linux. "One thing is a fact, NVIDIA's new Linux driver philosophy has finally opened up Linux as an operating system for serious 3D-gamers as well. It is certainly true that Linux doesn't support DirectX games, but there are quite a few Linux ports of OpenGL-based 3D-games available." (Thanks to Douglas Gilbert).

Here's a review of HancomWord on the LinuxOrbit site. "In addition to the font problems, HancomWord doesn't have a spell checker in the pre-release version. I think most users will agree that a word processor without a spell checker is like eating soup with a fork, mighty frustrating and not very satisfying."

LinuxDevices.com has posted this in-depth look at the Aplio Internet phone. "Since the idea of embedding Linux in small devices has only been around for a little over a year, the Aplio/Phone which was introduced in March, 1998 used the pSOS 'embedded' operating system as its initial software platform. But when it came time to design the next generation device, the Aplio/PRO, Aplio opted to switch to Embedded Linux -- for two main reasons: first, Linux is free from royalty costs; second, Linux source code is fully and freely available, resulting in great flexibility and configurability."


O Linux interviews Brian Behlendorf. "The software development is done without much serious coordination; basically we all just share a CVS tree and check in changes and enhancements. We do split it up by project and module, and each small subgroup has their own way of deciding what new features to add (or remove). Again, very decentralized."

Linuxdevices' Rick Lehrbaum interviews Victor Yodaiken, project leader for RTLinux. "Yodaiken: I came up with RTLinux at NMT, but I had been working on realtime and related issues even back to my graduate student research. I started working at real-time programming to get a feeling for what were the hard things to understand, and it came to me that one of the hardest and most difficult things in trying to validate that a real-time program works, was to show that the non-real-time components didn't interfere with the real-time components. This led me to think about how you could make sure this didn't happen. "

LinuxDevices has an interview with Alex Morrow, "IBM Fellow" at IBM's TJ Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, and project leader of the IBM Linux Wrist Watch project. "Morrow: We think [the Linux Wrist Watch] is a breakthrough in Linux, getting Linux down into this size device. It's a good example of what we're trying to do, which is to see how broadly we can use Linux, and to demonstrate our commitment to having open platforms. Did you see the news about [Linux] going up into the Blue Gene computer, with Linux?"


ZDNet looks at criticisms of Linux in this column. "These pieces, while not incorrect, indicate an ongoing and fundamental misunderstanding of Linux by chunks of the investment community. Linux is gaining market share while dramatically shrinking the operating system revenue base. There's no question that the hype of Linux is gone, but then it was these same analysts, not the Linux technical community, that superheated these prices in the first place."

CFONet says to stay away from Linux in this report on servers. "[Meta group analyst Peter] Firstbrook objects to the very feature that most tout as Linux's number one asset--the fact that anyone can tweak the code--because it creates a situation in which an IT staffer may make changes that no one else knows about, and that probably go undocumented."

News.com has run a column from Gartner analyst George Weiss that is dismissive of HP's Linux strategy. "HP has been somewhat disorganized in its earlier attempts to articulate its position, as fragments of Linux and open-source projects--for example, print servers, E-Speak and Linux for PA-RISC--have appeared in numerous parts of the company, with no unifying management or central focus."

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol

August 17, 2000


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