Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Another busy week for Linux in the press. Actually, every week is busy
We have not included "windows refund" stories in the press page this week.
There are far too many of them, and they are mostly all the same. Folks
interested in collecting the whole set may want to head over to The Open Directory Project windows refund page, where you can read
windows refund stories all day long...
For this week's recommended reading:
There were a few articles on the 2.2 kernel release, perhaps fewer than one
might have expected.
- J. William Gurley takes into the world of
Big Fat Web Sites in this News.com column. BFW's are server farms
built to serve the needs of very high bandwidth web servers.
Gurley points out that the design needs are very different for this
sort of system, and talks about the sorts of tools that engineers
use. "Another interesting development is the rise of
open-source computing... While few information system managers have
the desire to dive deep into the source code of SAP financials,
engineers assigned to scale a big Web site typically are more than
willing to 'open the hood' and see if a few personalized tweaks
might allow for a few more page views per minute."
- This editorial in Doctor Dobb's Journal puts forward an interesting
question: what happens when large numbers of Windows programmers
get shifted over into the Linux world and start "fixing up" things
they don't like? "Once even a small portion of the Linux
development community gets religious about usability and human
factors issues, which might only happen through a demographic
shift, the product could change radically in a single major
release." (Thanks to David Magda).
- The Guardian ran a couple of articles on the 21st about Eric
Raymond's talks in London, and comparing him to Richard Stallman.
"EVERY software company would like to own the
software that runs the Internet, but an American libertarian `gun
nut' and martial arts expert called Eric Raymond stands in their
way. `If the Microsoft ninja attack squad comes calling, I'll be
ready for them,' he says, laughing heartily."
"However, [Stallman] sees the freedom to change, to copy, and to
share software as being more important than anything else, because
it is an ethical issue. Raymond thinks it's more important for
software to be good than for it to be free: `if we can't win by
producing the best software then we don't deserve to win any moral
crusades,' he says."
- Eric Raymond has published
an article in Intellectual Capital, a relatively conservative,
business-oriented electronic publication. It does speak well to
that audience, worth a read. "...it probably will not be long
before buying closed-source software for your key infrastructure is
considered the height of irresponsibility." (Found in
- The (U.S.) National Public Radio ran another segment on Linux over
the weekend. You can listen to it via RealAudio from
this NPR page (near the bottom). It talks about installation
difficulties, great performance, and the fact that the real battle
is being fought in corporate computer rooms. "Imagine paying
thousands of dollars for an operating system that crashes
constantly. And then consider that there's a free and stable
alternative." (Thanks to Michael Rutter).
IEEE Software special issue on Linux is now available on the
web. Articles are available in PDF format only, and registration is
required (though the "cypherpunks" account works as usual).
- Sm@rt Reseller
covers the 2.2 kernel release. "Microsoft Corp. will shout it out
to the world when Windows 2000 finally ships. Linux creator Linus
Torvald [sic] announced the arrival of the next generation of Linux,
version 2.2, with a simple note to the Linux-kernel mailing
- The "ITinfo Newsletter" ran
an article about the 2.2.0 release and Linux in general. "If
you're in the IT business and you haven't tested Linux yet, get
with it. It's the future of IT network services, and it's a snap to
install and learn." (Thanks to Henrik Soderstrom).
- News.com had some
pre-release 2.2 coverage. Their emphasis is on how the new
kernel will make things work better for businesses. "Linux
developers emphasize that Linux is a constant work in progress,
though. Watching the kernel version click past 2.2.0 is like
watching your car's odometer click past 50,000 miles." (Thanks
to David Fred).
As is generally the case any more, a great portion of the coverage of Linux
had to do with Linux in and around business.
We came across a number of articles in the non-English press:
- Loki Entertainment Software is in the news, following their
announcement that they will be porting "Civilization: Call to
Power" to Linux. Games Mania ran
a brief article on the subject. GameSpot dug just a little
this piece. And here's another in
- Computer Reseller News
covers TurboLinux. "Of all the Linux companies, Pacific HiTech
officials said they are the world's second largest, having shipped
more than 1 million units of TurboLinux since 1998."
covers the arrival of TurboLinux in the U.S. "Primarily a big
player in the Asian computing market, Pacific HiTech needs to
establish itself in the U.S. market, analysts and company
- "Linux yet to impact job market" proclaims
this very short ZDNet UK article. "Of the six IT recruitment
firms contacted by ZDNN, none had found an increase in demand for
- PC Week says
Linux boxes show promise for the enterprise. The story ranges over
the Netwinder (in cluster configuration), Lotus, and the Windows
refund effort. "What if you are suffering an embarrassment of
riches at the same time you are suffering the legal embarrassment
of being labeled a marauding monopolist by the Justice Department?
... Why not refund the $100 (my estimate) Windows PC license fee
for users who prefer Linux, BeOS or OS/2 on their systems?"
- This introductory article in Business Week can't manage to say
anything good without putting in a "but..." somewhere. "To sell
more computers to Linux buffs, Hewlett-Packard Co. (HWP) will
create Linux-based servers in the next few months, says Nigel Ball,
head of HP's Internet application server unit." (Thanks to
- Performance Computing has run
a lengthy review of Xi Graphics' "MaXimum CDE" product - a
bundling of Linux with their AcceleratedX server and CDE. "All
in all, I found this a workable version of the CDE. It looked,
felt, and acted exactly as if I were running the CDE on other
systems, which is the true goal of this product."
- Information Week
reviews the Netwinder. They like it quite a bit, though, seemingly,
mostly for its small size. "Once we stop revering the server as
the great IT centerpiece and think of it as a commodity, new
possibilities emerge. Want a backup server? Keep one in the
closet. Don't even keep it turned off: Spend the watts and keep it
progressively backing up the primary server's file system. Need
extra security? Lock it in a file cabinet or store it in a safety
- The February issue of the Red Herring has a long feature on free
software. The article has not yet surfaced on
their web site, but should
eventually (we'll let you know). "But despite the real and
considerable benefits of this development model, open-source
software is not likely to upset the balance of power between big
players and newer entrants in the software markets. And despite
the publicity surrounding a few companies that focus exclusively no
open-source software, it will not be the force thast drives the
next wave of startups to success." The article has also made
Linus Torvalds into the Chief Technology Officer at Transmeta....
- Linux bandwagon grows according to InfoWorld. This article covers a
number of business activities around Linux, touching on HP, Compaq,
IBM, and Lotus. "'I have to admit that I was skeptical about
why the world needed another Unix, but the advantages are now clear
to me,' said Lotus CEO Jeff Papows"
- Linux pecking order emerges according to PC Week. The article is
about the competition between Red Hat and Caldera. "On the
surface, all Linux vendors claim to have a huge stake in resellers
and integrators. But Caldera's channel program runs circles around
those from Red Hat, S.u.S.E. Inc. and Pacific HiTech..."
- The Age has
an article about Australian company Cybersource, and its Red Hat
support business. "Cybersource's business model, and that of
other Red Hat support partners, is around offering the software for
free, but charging for support and service."
- The National Post
looks at Compaq and Red Hat. They also mention briefly the Canadian
National Railway and its use of Linux, then wander back into the
same old territory: "I don't think that means the people who are
using the strategy are really planning to go away from Microsoft
software. They just want as viable alternative so that when
they're doing negotiations they can say, 'We don't like your
pricing, we're going over here." (Thanks to Ariel Andres).
- The Washington Post
examines Microsoft's "Linux defense". "Asked whether Linux poses a
competitive threat to Microsoft's dominance of the desktop
operating system market, [Red Hat CEO] Young chortled. 'It just
tells you how desperate Microsoft is for a competitor that they're
holding up a software box produced by 100 guys in the hills of
North Carolina,' he said. 'Who are they trying to kid?'"
(Thanks to Tony Aparicio).
- Jesse Berst, noted expert, tells us
How to persuade your boss to take the Linux plunge. "...if it
is ever to join the mainstream as a bona fide rival to Windows NT,
Linux will have to provide logical business reasons, not just
- Also in AnchorDesk: a brief articleabout reseller programs. "In the end, the winner may be the one that
jumps on the channel bandwagon first. On the surface, all Linux vendors
claim to have a huge interest in resellers and integrators. But Caldera's
channel program runs circles around those from Red Hat, S.u.S.E. Inc., and
And here's the introductory articles and other pieces that we were unable
to otherwise classify:
an article (in Swedish) in Dagens Nyheter, Sweden's largest daily
paper. (Thanks to Martin Skjöldebrand).
- Dutch-capable readers may want to check out
this article on the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs web
site. It appears to be a quite thorough introduction to Linux,
with tables comparing the distributions, pointers to documentation,
etc. (Thanks to Jeroen Baten).
- C't ran
a review of SuSE 6.0. The review is in German. They do not appear to have
an English version online, so
Babelfishmust be used. (Thanks to Matthias Hettler).
- For our readers who can read Icelandic: here is
an article about
the Icelandic version of KDE. According to Ingimar Robertsson, who sent us
the pointer to the article, "The newspiece tells about the
translation to Icelandic and that one of the reasons the
translation project started was that the Icelandic Government had
started negotiations with Microsoft about an Icelandic version of
- Finalmente un articolo in italiano...The high profile Italian new
magazine L'Espresso has published
a lengthy introductory article on Linux. Here is
the Babelfish link, however, be warned that something seems to
cause Babelfish to choke on this article.
So here, in your editor's poor translation, is a piece of the closing
paragraph: "The most interesting, thing, though, is the economic
and productive model that free software demonstrates: cooperative
and distributed work, intellectual synergies, reciprocal interests
which bring about the growth of a sort of communal good which
belongs to everybody and nobody."
- See also
Hacker di tutto il mondo, unitevi ("Hackers of the world, unite") in the
same issue, which talks of some of the protagonists of free
- For those who read Danish:
this article in Aktuelt evidently talks about the evils of having
one company dominate the software scene, and proposes Linux as an
alternative. (Thanks to Eik Kristensen).
- Multimédium ran an article about
AFUL's meeting with the office of the French
Prime Minister a couple of weeks ago. (Babelfish translation available here).
- PC Week
contemplates the future of Linux
in this opinion piece. "Only when Linux
has the requisite infrastructure can it hope to compete with
Windows 2000 over the long term."
- ZDTV invites you to take the
Supergeek challenge for Linux lovers. There are some seriously hardball
Who is credited with creating Linux?
a. Red Hat Software
b. Mr. John Linux
c. Linus Torvalds
d. No one knows
an introductory article which ran in the India Times. Quoting a
local "Internet buff": "Linux is clearly the hottest software
out there... But strip away the gobbledygook and geek-talk, and you
find much more than a software programme. You find a world
community with enormous energy and a big heart." (Found in
- The Newspaper Association of America ran
an introductory article in their "TechNews" publication.
"Newspaper supplier Gannett Media Technologies International has
already produced a PC-based Linux version of its Digital
Collections archive that costs about a quarter of the full-fledged
system price." (Found in
- The Denver Post came out with
comparing Windows and Linux.
"Linux is supposed
to be a hard-core hacker's operating system, while Windows 98 is a
mainstream product. The Windows wizards are supposed to shield you
from horrible places like IRQ conflicts and 'SCSI Hell.' But
installing Linux on an old machine took about two hours... After
three weeks of intermittent struggle, I still don't have Windows 98
running, even with some help from the local gurus."
January 28, 1999