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Linux in the news

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Upside Magazine interviews Bruce Perens. "With the Internet, we're as powerful as political lobbies used to be. We have the power of the press. We don't need the New York Times to print something to get people to hear about it. Let's build on it. I'm just trying to turn that power onto things that hackers don't traditionally like."

Thresh's Firingsquad, a gaming site, ran this introductory article which is long and quite positive. "The three biggest draws to Linux are it's stability, versatility, and raw performance. When compared to the OS's most people are used to, Linux is an extraordinary stable system." (Thanks to John Thacker).

The Red Herring looks at Red Hat's stock price. "Red Hat's success means that Linux could now be safe for corporate America, and Linux products will no longer be whispered about in wired closets but openly discussed in corporate boardrooms."

See also: this Washington Post article about V-One's stock. "It used to be that the word 'Internet' was what it took to blast a stock into outer space, but this week it was 'Linux' that sent shares of V-One Corp. rocketing like the World War II buzz bomb of that name."

Hmm...it must be about time for another one of those "free software as communism" articles. This one is in Salon Magazine. "But Barbrook's analysis does jibe well with fears expressed by some software programmers concerning the possibility that free software could prove to be an economic disaster for the software industry. As these programmers see it, the GNU General Public License that ensures that source code to GPL-protected programs will always remain free is a real-live communist virus designed to wipe out profitability in the software biz."

Cobalt, Unify and Other Stocks:

Here's a News.com article about Cobalt's IPO filing. "Cobalt's IPO filing puts the company a step ahead of VA Linux, another manufacturer of Linux computers. VA's chief executive, Larry Augustin, predicted in August that his company would be the second Linux IPO after software seller Red Hat." (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann).

Inter@ctive Week ran this article about Cobalt's IPO filing. "Besides counting on Linux's popularity surge, Cobalt is trusting the validity of Dataquest's predictions that the server market will grow from 1999's 2.2 billion to $15.8 billion by 2003."

CBS Marketwatch looks at Unify's stock price. "The Linux party was in full swing when Unify decided to arrive fashionably late. Shares of Unify (UNFY: news, msgs) soared 21 percent when news of an extended relationship with Red Hat hit the tape."

E-Commerce Times looks at Unify's latest announcements and partnership with Red Hat. "The move, which builds upon a strategic developer partnership established in May, will allow users of Unify's eWave Engine and Unify WebNow! to tap into the power of open-source through Red Hat Linux 6.0 package. The two companies, according to their original agreement, will also be developing co-marketing initiatives."

The Rocky Mountain News looks at eSoft's stock price. "ESoft Chief Executive Jeff Finn said investors are probably eyeing his company as an inexpensive Linux play. 'Brokers and investors have started looking for alternatives in the marketplace since stocks like Red Hat have become so expensive,' Finn said."


TechWeb looks at Compaq's new thin client systems. "The desktop system will be available in the fourth quarter, with two models, one running Windows CE and another running Linux. The Linux system will be designed for users who require a browser resident on the thin client itself, rather than the Windows NT server.... The Linux model will also be designed for users who desire a product without the taint of Microsoft." (Thanks to Martin Eskildsen).

Computer Reseller News looks forward to the 2.4 kernel. "These developments, made possible by kernel improvements, likely will help dispel the notion that Linux is not ready for corporate prime time, advocates hope."

Sm@rt Reseller looks at operating systems for the Merced processor and concludes that nothing will be ready for a while. "Once Intel lifts its Merced nondisclosure agreements, Trillian plans to put the entire IA-64 Linux source tree on the Web. Then the group will approach Linux founder Linus Torvalds about including its work in the next Linux build."

Here is a lengthy review of VA Linux Systems' VARServer S3500e system in Performance Computing. "VA's technical support proved to be excellent. We really tested out VA's support-because of a glitch, the company shipped a misconfigured system. The S3500e systems come with Linux preinstalled, though, so most users won't have to deal with any of this."

Linux and the US Federal Government:

Here is (until it moves) the Federal Times story about how the U.S. government is going to look into ways to better use free software and diversify away from Microsoft products. "Linux, an open-source operating system similar in functionality to Microsoft Windows, is being given serious consideration as an alternative for government computer users, the official said. Access to the Linux source code 'gives us some confidence,' the White House official said, adding that it simplifies patching security breeches and correcting routine errors."

Linux grabbing more federal biz says Federal Computer Week. "In one of the first public pronouncements by a government official of the advantages of Linux, Przemek Klosowski, a scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, said the history of Linux - a 1960s-vintage operating system - shows that it has made a 'sneaky entry' into the government." Sneaky indeed, if it has been there since the 1960's...

See also this OS Opinion editorial on the subject. "Uncle Sam dropped a bombshell this weekend on the Internet. An article from the Federal News web site publicly told Microsoft that its software was expensive, its OS was buggy and both were as secure as a porcelain piggy bank with a cork in its belly."

The Linux Revolution:

Money's to be made in the Linux revolution says the Globe and Mail. "Now, many people are eager to discount the potential of Linux to create wealth because it is obtainable for free and isn't owned by a person or company. I beg to differ: The massive global adoption of Linux under way throughout many sectors of the high-technology community means there's plenty of money to be made, even as its fundamentally free philosophy remains intact." (Thanks to Peter Koster).

Here's a Computer Reseller News article about Gateway's entry into the Linux systems market. "[Gateway manager] Berger left open the possibility Gateway would offer other vendors' Linux operating systems in the future. 'At this stage, we're concentrating on Red Hat,' he said. 'That brand, that company, has a leading market share, and market momentum. But if that changes, we could work with someone else in the future.'"

Also in Computer Reseller News: this look at SGI's future. "One move illustrative of the new Silicon Graphics is its contract to provide a 128-node Linux cluster for the Ohio Supercomputer Center, Columbus, Ohio. The system will be preloaded with SGI Linux Environment with Red Hat Linux 6.0 on an SGI 1400L server."

From PC Week: Linux enters adolescence. "The outlaw operating system that was developed by geeks with too much free time on their hands is perched on the edge of the invisible dividing line between its early-adopter childhood and late early-adopter adolescence. Corporate IT managers no longer risk their jobs by admitting publicly that they are testing Linux--maybe even deploying it in some back-room application."

ComputerWorld ran this article about the pros and cons of open source software in business. "Hazier future: Software developed by a consensus of part-time programmers is unlikely to ever have the razor-sharp focus on the future that you'll get from a company like Microsoft Corp. Open-source software tends to follow trends: As developers find a use for something, they add the code. Commercial software can help define trends by creating uses and anticipating problems before customers even know they exist."

Red Hat:

Red Hat's Japan office wants to make $9 million in sales its first year, according to this AsiaBizTech article. Given that the U.S. office sold just a little more than that last year, they are being ambitious. "However, at a press conference, there was no concrete explanation about the business plan, nor were questions regarding the amount of capitalization and other aspects of business management answered."

PC Week interviews Red Hat's Bob Young. "This term "Linux community" and the implication to outsiders that the community is cohesive -- it has never been cohesive. It is, far and away, the most argumentative, acerbic group I have ever had the misfortune to be a part of. But don't get me wrong. That has been good for the technology. It's a community that values the truth and values engineering excellence over marketing and compromise."


21st Century Penguin (aka LinuxPower) presents Making Movies with Linux, Part 5, which deals with adding sound to video clips.

Time speculates on what Transmeta is doing. But they don't know any more than the rest of us. "Like many start-ups, Transmeta has no announced products. But unlike those other IPO-seeking missiles, it has never issued a press release. Nor does it have a p.r. department. No one even knows how many people work there. Or what they're working on."

Michael Dell says that NT will prevail over Linux, according to this article on IDG.net. "'I don't think it will happen,' responded Dell, when asked when he thought the much-talked-about Linux operating system will ship in more Dell servers than Microsoft's NT." (Found in NNL).

Nicholas Petreley gives a possible future for the proprietary software business as a mafia-style protection racket in this InfoWorld column. "The best way to illustrate how this works is through a sample sales pitch. Imagine being paid a visit by a rather large fellow (about the size of a minivan) in a dark suit with a white tie. He opens the conversation with, 'The Don gives youse guys his sincerest regards and wants to know how his software is working for your business.'"

PC World ran one of those "live a week without Windows" experiments. "For a week, I created and edited files using StarDivision's free StarOffice 5.1 suite (with word processor, spreadsheet, and more), browsed the Web and sent mail with Netscape Communicator, and even played Quake II. But I couldn't quite cut the umbilical cord to Redmond."

Here's a free version of the Wall Street Journal article about FreeBSD. "BSD buffs like to think of themselves as a slightly more grown-up version of the 'open source' movement, which distributes underlying programming instructions so users can study and modify software. Although Torvalds has full control of Linux, for example, FreeBSD is overseen by a 15-person group called the 'Core.' What's more, the various BSDs say that their software, by virtue of its head start on Linux, is more mature and stable." (Thanks to Paul Dickson).

The Washington Post has this article about the Microsoft trial. The Linux Defense is back... "A Microsoft attorney said the company will point to the remarkable financial success of Red Hat Inc., a leading vendor of the upstart Linux software operating system. Red Hat stock has soared from $14 on its first day trading last month to close Thursday at $123.25." (Thanks to Dan York).

Why I hate Linux is the title of the latest troll in osOpinion. "I took a big step back, and realized that if all code was free, no programmers would eat, or at least very few of them would. Of course, thinking thoughts like that is unacceptable, and may be cause to put on your asbestos suit because if you challenge the Gnu Public License, the flames are going to get you."

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol

September 16, 1999


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