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The Linux Expo held in North Carolina for several years in a row isn't happening this year.Evan Leibovitch got confirmation that the show was officially cancelled and provided his reaction.

"Innocence lost. With the Linux Expo fades yet another icon of Linux's innocent early years. While my first Expo experience wasn't until the third show in 1997, even then the atmosphere was one of a small family. I found the event to be quite extraordinary: echoing the nature of Linux's openness, attendance at the conference was free of charge. If you bought admission you could sit in the theater where the presentations were given, but it cost nothing to sit in one of a number of lounges and watch it on closed-circuit screens. Given that one of the lounges was outdoors, it was a pleasant way to hear the newest Linux developments ..."


ZDNet UK reports on the release of Novell NDS for Linux. "What ZDNet US did find out was that although Novell has said at least part of the NDS for Linux code would be open source, none of it -- under any open-source licence -- is currently available. Despite years of open source lip service, the Novell Community licence remains more of a mock-up than a working model."

Here's a News.com story about the announcement of Corel Photo-Paint for Linux. "But Corel has a lead when it comes to graphics software for Linux. The biggest competitor is the Gimp, an open-source program that's distributed along with several versions of Linux. On the horizon, though, is software from graphics powerhouse Adobe, which has begun translating some of its software for Linux."

AboutLinux reviews Corel Linux Deluxe 1.0. "Corel Linux Deluxe is the first distribution (that I am aware of) that ships with a penguin!"


LinuxMall.com has put up an article about resources for blind Linux users. "The innovative and cooperative spirit of Open Source is illustrated best by a group like BLinux (or Blind + Linux). BLinux and its related pages, BLinux-list and BLinux-announce runneth over with questions, comments and tips from all kinds of users and specialists."

Forbes has chimed in with an article about Eazel which is cast in the light of the Gnome/KDE rivalry. "Eazel intends to stay true to the open source spirit by making its interface freely available, just as Linux is. But startups don't get $13 million in funding--Eazel's total so far--just so they can give stuff away. Eazel also has a business plan, which is to make money by using the Internet to remotely install, configure and manage Linux desktops for consumers and businesses."

Simson Garfinkel sounds the alarm in this Security Focus article; according to him, a flood of Linux-based viruses is just around the corner. "No, what's stopped the spread of viruses on the Linux platform isn't technology, but the lack of interest from the virus writers. Why write a Linux virus when the same skills will let you bring up a new web-site and become a millionaire in just a few weeks? But if the economy goes south, we're likely to see a suddenly bloom of viruses from out-of-work overachievers."

Wired News covers the latest in the DVD case. "With scant time to erect a defense, lawyers from the Electronic Frontier Foundation were handed a crushing defeat when a New York city judge on 20 January ordered DeCSS be yanked from the defendants' Web sites. This time, they're better prepared. The letter invokes a slew of procedural reasons arguing why the case should be dismissed -- points that likely will be raised in the New York case as well."

First Monday has run a long, academic article looking at free software as an evolutionary process. "Considering the quality of human resources in corporate realms, however, neither foresight nor individual experience by itself is an adequate account for the superior quality of Linux to its rivals on the market. Nor is it a sufficient explanation that the Linux project has produced an operating system of such complexity and coherence without central planning." (Thanks to Karl Vogel).

Open source software in the schools is the subject of this Wired News article. "Computer science teachers believe that open source encourages creativity and innovation among their students. Students can modify and improve on current software and they learn to be 'empowered programmers.'"


ZDNet interviews Richard Stallman about UCITA. "UCITA would make it harder for us to avoid liability for bugs that turn up in the free software we develop -- while giving proprietary software developers a very easy way to avoid all liability for their products, even for faults that they know about in advance. This is grossly unfair."

Infoworld has published an interview with Steve DeWitt, Cobalt's CEO, about internet server appliances. "Open source is the real value here, and the reason why you see Linux with 25-plus percent share in terms of the server side of the equation is not because people are pissed off. It's because it works. It's highly reliable."

Olinux.com.br interviews Ian Clarke, creator of the FreeNet project. "A friend of mine recently asked me a similar question: 'Don't you think that making Freenet available is like giving a knife to a room full of people when you know that one of them is a murderer?'. I replied 'No, I think it is like giving some fire to a room full of freezing people even when you know that one of them is an arsonist'".

The Washington Post asks what Marc Ewing is doing with all his money. Apparently being rich isn't as easy as it seems. "He has cashed out a portion worth $31.5 million and splashed out on new digs. He paid about $8 million for a 12-room apartment on the Upper East Side here. He spent nearly $7 million for the historic Pabst mansion on Chicago's North Shore. It has nine bedrooms and a five-car garage. Plenty of space for himself, his wife and young son."


Wired News reports on the upcoming Caldera Systems IPO. "Although Caldera only reported revenue of $500,000 for its quarter ended 31 January, analysts expect its stock will do quite well on opening day."

Inter@ctive Week chimes in on Caldera's upcoming IPO. " Despite this illustrious lineage, Caldera doesn't seem to know what it wants to be when it grows up. The company started out as a distributor of Linux. Then it veered in the direction of a professional services company, such as Linuxcare. Now the prospectus says Caldera is concentrating on providing the fully buzzword-compliant 'Linux for e-business.'"

The Red Herring takes a critical look at the Caldera Systems IPO. "Despite their struggles, the other four publicly-held Linux vendors have a big leg up on Caldera. Although the company has been operating since 1994, sales have been pathetically sluggish. Caldera lost $5.5 million in its recent quarter on sales of $553,000, which are up 3 percent from the period a year ago. What's even worse are gross profit margins of less than 1 percent."

Nonetheless, the Red Herring lists Caldera as "Red Hot" on its IPO calendar.

News.com looks at the upcoming IPO round. "'Linux companies have been getting huge pops, then the stocks settle back,' said Jeff Hirschkorn, senior analyst with IPO.com. 'Even though Caldera raised their range today, I expect to see another increase before they go out. And no matter what price they set, these companies always seem to go higher (when they debut).'"

ZDNet ran this article about the declines in Linux stock prices. "What bears watching is how Linux partners handle the cooling-off period. Major enterprise vendors such as IBM and Dell Computer Corp. have bear-hugged Linux and launched major initiatives around the platform. If such large vendors believe they got caught up in the hype, they could easily recoil and scale down investment, further affecting Linux penetration in the enterprise."

The Montreal Gazette reports on the snags in the Corel/Inprise merger. "Based on share prices before the announcement, Corel was to pay $1.1 billion U.S. in shares to acquire Inprise. The value of those shares has now fallen below $800 million U.S. Dale Fuller, Inprise's interim chief executive, told Corel's shareholders that this decline should be seen in the context of a weakness in the over-all market for Linux technology - especially considering that the Corel-Inprise merger is being billed as the making of a Linux powerhouse. 'I would be worried if the whole Linux community was going in the opposite direction to us,' he said."

The Ottawa Citizen looks at the problems with the Corel/Inprise merger. "Originally designed to create a powerhouse in the developing field for Linux-based products, the deal has suffered because Linux-based stocks have fallen out of favor with investors."

Here's a News.com article about Lineo's acquisition of United System Engineers. "The 15-year-old firm will help Lineo explain to prospective customers why they might want to switch from existing operating systems to Lineo's version of Linux for set-top boxes, factory robots and other 'embedded' devices..."

Rick Lehrbaum has written a Dr. Dobb's article on why embedded Linux is interesting. "But is Linux, like Windows, too large and demanding of system resources to fit the constraints of embedded systems? Well, unlike Windows, Linux is inherently modular and can be easily scaled into compact configurations - barely larger than DOS - that can even fit on a single floppy. What's more, since Linux source code is freely available, it's possible to customize the OS according to unique embedded system requirements."

The Australian Financial Review has posted an article about IBM's Linux team. "It is a team that is growing in line with a tenfold increase in IBM's commitment to Linux this year. IBM last month announced top-to-bottom support for the free software right across its hardware, software and services businesses."

LinuxMall.com has run a column by Mark Bolzern looking at Microsoft's position on Linux. "Microsoft's contradictory position on Linux as a viable competitor seems indicative of the difference between the marketplace and the court. It also indicates that Microsoft senses a paradigm shift similar to the shift that allowed Microsoft to replace IBM as the dominant force in the computer industry."

USA Today ran this introductory article about our favorite OS. "Linux was relatively unknown just two years ago. Today it powers 31% of all Web servers -- the machines that run Web sites -- and is used in cutting-edge devices such as pocket-size computers and set-top boxes. IBM, Sun Microsystems, Dell Computer and Intel are embracing Linux, creating products to support the operating system and investing in Linux-based businesses."


The latest Linuxcare 'Dear Lina' column is about PPP connections and converting over to Debian. "Now, wouldn't it be easier to put in another drive? Maybe. Possibly you were hoping it was easier than this. And just possibly, someone will put together a conversion kit for RedHat users, one rpm and boom, you're on Debian now. Or vice versa - it's just as hard the other way, you know."

Fairfax IT talks with an IBM executive about how almost all college graduates have Linux experience these days. "We talked to a CIO (chief information officer) of one of the top 20 websites in the world and he said he was considering moving to Linux because he couldn't get enough people with skills for his current proprietary OS."

Walter Effross reviews Neal Stephenson's "In the Beginning...Was the Command Line", calling it a new generation's "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance." "In [Stephenson's] analysis, Windows 95 becomes a 'colossal station wagon,' Windows NT a 'hulking off-road vehicle,' Apple's operating system 'sleek Euro-styled sedans' and competitor BeOS 'fully operational Batmobiles.' Best of all, though, is Linux, an indestructible, maneuverable and fuel-efficient armored vehicle that, astonishingly, is available free."

Here's an introductory article in The Hindu. "You can recognise them at twenty paces, and not just by the unwashed jeans, the unkempt hair and the thick glasses. They stand apart from other programming freaks by the sheer intensity of their commitment to their favourite operating system. For them, Linux can do no wrong."

This osOpinion column takes Linux to task for its multilingual support, or lack thereof. "For all Linux lovers, I'm sorry to say this: Linux is useless for me as a work platform. I installed it out of curiosity, a desire to learn a new way of operating the machine. There are many applications - the 'No Applications' FUD cannot be waved - but for my line of work, multilingual work, Linux lacks what I need - full Unicode support."

This OSOpinion piece looks at the dangers of over-commercialization in Linux education. "While I should have been grateful that Linux is mentioned as often as it is, There is a danger here... if you promote Linux as some simplified item, then the student will quickly be disillusioned and frustrated when he or she faces Linux' raw power (and sometimes in its raw fury, especially if you screw up a command as root.) A disillusioned Linux student stands a very good chance of becoming a hardened anti-Linux decision-maker further on down the road."

Andover.Net has run this installation nightmare story. "I think I need a nap and a few hours to let the caffeine wear off. That's not to say that I'm having a bad time -- quite the contrary. This reminds me of the time more than a decade ago when I was first becoming familiar with DOS. It was fascinating, and learning my way around Linux is no less so." (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann).

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol

March 16, 2000


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