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Tech Review has run an article by Richard Stallman on familiar issues. "In a democracy, a law that prohibits a popular, natural and useful activity is usually soon relaxed. But the powerful publishers' lobby was determined to prevent the public from taking advantage of the power of their computers, and found copyright a suitable weapon. Under their influence, rather than relaxing copyright to suit the new circumstances, governments made it stricter than ever, imposing harsh penalties on readers caught sharing."


LinuxMall reports from Comdex in Chicago. "The Linux presence here is strong-eyeballing the expo floor map, at least a quarter of the exhibition hall's floor space is designated for Linux exhibitors-and a separate track of Linux speakers runs counter to other talks going on throughout the conference. Jon "maddog" Hall, Executive Director of Linux International, and Miguel de Icaza, CTO of Helix Code are among Wednesday's featured speakers. "

ABCNews has picked up this Reuters article on the Linux Expo in Montreal. "Students make up much of the crowd at Linux Expo 2000, although [Jon "maddog"] Hall points out that gray hair has crept in as Linux moves into the business mainstream.
There are other signs that Linux is extending its reach.

Internet.com reports from the Montreal Linux Expo. "While the crowd was large, it wasn't necessarily the corporate crowd organizers were hoping for: 'This feels more like the McGill student union than a real trade show,' said one vendor who asked for anonymity."

MSNBC covers the Montreal Linux Expo with this Reuters piece. "A corporate forecast of the Linux market evolution may not mesh with the views of developers. But the two groups do find common ground in praising the promise offered by the technology's freedom."

Here's the Ottawa Citizen's report from the Montreal Linux Expo. "The crown princes of the fading kingdom of Linux were a study in contrasts at the LinuxExpo show yesterday."


Linsider picked a difficult week to start its weekly Linux stocks summary column. "Looking at strict Linux plays, Red Hat lost 7.75 points and was down 24% for the week. Despite the dire sound of this, it wasn't the big loser. VA Linux lost just over 17 points and 37%, while Corel and Cobalt logged 34% and 38% losses. The big loser in the pure plays was Andover, which lost 42% of its value over the course of the week. Ouch."

Evan Leibovich takes a look at the post-Rush world of Linux. "So there are some -- and I'd list myself among them -- who believe that the return to earth is a Good Thing. There's nothing wrong with making a buck, but Linux doesn't benefit from being elevated beyond reality on a shaky foundation."

Here's a News.com story on how Linux companies are still interesting to investors. "After generally spectacular initial public offerings, Linux stocks have slipped downhill. Stock in three Linux companies traded last week below IPO prices, dragged down by the stock market descent. But wheeling and dealing hasn't tapered off. In addition to several IPOs in the works, Linux companies have been attracting investments from established computing companies."

Nicholas Petreley looks at Corel and VA Linux Systems in this InfoWorld column. "My advice to Corel is to fish or cut bait on its commitment to Linux. Corel stands to benefit more in the long run if it raises a family of native Linux applications rather than persisting with Windows half-breeds."

Here's a Forbes article on the state of Linux stocks. "Larry Augustin, chief executive of VA Linux, which makes Linux-based computers, has seen his personal wealth plummet from a post-IPO $2 billion to just over $200 million. That doesn't even get you a table near the kitchen in Silicon Valley."

Newsbytes reports on OnLinePhotoLab - Gimp creator Spencer Kimball's latest venture. "The Gimp is touted by the open-source Linux community as being in the same league as professional image-editing software - like an Adobe Photoshop, but coded with a sense of humor. The Gimp's amusingly named scripting capability - Script-Fu, as in Kung-Fu - is what makes Online PhotoLab possible."

ZDNet looks at Linux on the IBM S/390. "Linux on a mainframe isn't a joke. IBM thinks that by bringing Linux to a mainframe, customers will be able to run the Apache Web server, the Samba file/print servers and other popular Linux-based services on System/390s."

Michael Hammel starts a series of weekly articles summarizing activities by Linux companies that have a strong interest in the graphics market. "Mozilla steps up to SVG, Corel sets up for an early CorelDraw release, and Precision Insight wraps up early development for Voodoo 3 drivers."

This Linuxcare column makes the point that people are the most important resource in the Linux "revolution." "Thankfully, the open source revolution has momentum. We are increasingly gathering the cream of the crop into our fold. Free software is ubiquitous at universities all over the world. The best and brightest will inevitably gravitate to our working model."

Information Week looks at Home Depot's Linux deployment from a support point of view. "But the company wanted to make sure it could get help developing Linux device drivers for key pieces of retail hardware such as credit-card readers and signature-capture pads. To ensure this, Home Depot has a high-level support arrangement with Red Hat. This includes round-the-clock support, plus a dedicated point of contact to make sure it gets speedy access to programming expertise during the development process"

The Raleigh/Durham Business Journal has run this article on how Red Hat got dumped by its advertising agency. "Red Hat Software's advertising agency dropped the account only six months after winning the business, complaining that the Linux distributor doesn't have its marketing act together."

Michael J. Hammel's first Linsight column looks at technology acceptance cycles and Linux. "Linux won't take 30 years to be adopted for several reasons. The first is that Linux is not a new technology. Its the inevitable extension to the PC technology that itself has to evolve to reach its final acceptance."


Upside looks at post-Sarrat Linuxcare and at Linux stocks in general. "[Art] Tyde has based his entire business vision for Linuxcare on the notion that Linux could evolve toward a de facto standard for Internet-device operating systems. The recent swoon is merely a reminder to him that once you take away the novelty and the semi-radical social undertones, Linux quickly becomes about as sexy as asphalt, copper plumbing or any one of a dozen or so technologies we all use but rarely notice."

G2News is reporting that the anticipated ouster of Linuxcare CIO Doug Nassaur has taken place.

The Linux Mall has put up this article about events at Linuxcare. "Linuxcare may well remain in a position to 'Support the Revolution,' but critics are wondering: Whose revolution is it? Tight-lipped executives, scandalous rumors, denial and angry investors may well be critical parts of the rough and tumble world of venture capitalism and public offerings, but for many in the Linux Community, those sorts of dealings fly in the face of much of what the Open Source movement stands for."


LinuxPlanet has a tutorial on Apache. "...suppose you want to keep up with the latest and greatest Apache developments (and bugs), without having to wait for a release? How would you do it? That's what this article is all about."

Linuxcare brings us Tales From The Tech Support Pit. This edition documents one man's 'Quest for a Leaner and Meaner Kernel'. "Not all calls to Linuxcare Technical Support are from distraught customers experiencing imminent technical meltdown. Sometimes calls come from customers who simply wish to leverage the power that only an open source operating system can provide. Paul was one such customer. He had the technical know-how, but still wanted to ask a few careful questions and verify that any customizations he performed would not be irreversible."

Test & Measurement World looks at Linux device drivers. "On the other hand, writing kernel-space drivers calls for advanced C programming skills. To write them properly requires knowledge of arcane issues such as kernel headers, kernel-dependent version control, memory management, and resource control. And if your kernel-space driver doesn't work properly, it can crash your system-requiring a reboot." (Thanks to T.O. Lee).

This week's Linuxcare 'Dear Lina' column deals with color ls. "The next number is the color, in this case 34 is blue. This tells ls to paint directories in beautiful bold blue--an obvious choice for me, love!"

The Linuxcare Application of the Week is grepmail. "grepmail version 4.23, an application licensed under the GNU GPL, is a program that searches /bin/mail-style mailboxes and returns all emails containing the search string. "

Reviews and Interviews

Michael Cheek reviews the Dell laptop preinstalled with Red Hat 6.1 in this article entitled It's a bumpy ride, but Dell takes Linux on the road. The laptop only gets a C+ rating, primarily due to a lack of tuning for the hardware. For example, Michael complains of the lack of a battery monitor, something that is available, but generally must be added to the default desktop. "Dell did not include any special documentation for the Linux version of the notebook. It's needed." (Thanks to Alan S. Petrillo and Jay R. Ashworth.)

LinuxPower reviews Webdownloader for X. "Downloader for X is a neat little application for those of us who download lots of stuff from the net (meaning most Linux fans :). It rids us of many of the frustrations that the old netscape/ftp combo gave and replaces it with an easy to use and powerfull helper application."

LinuxPlanet reviews Omnis Studio for Linux. "We like the way Omnis Software's Omnis Studio brings multiplatform, database application development and delivery to Linux. Omnis has a long track record on Windows and Macintosh with its rapid application deployment (RAD) tools. Omnis provides matching development and delivery tools on all platforms, and applications created on one platform can run on the others, assuming platform-specific features are not used." (Thanks to R. McGuinness).

Here is a followup article to Nicholas Petreley's look at Word Perfect Office 2000. "I still owe Corel an apology for assuming that its stability problems were related to its decision to adapt Wine for its suite. (Wine is the open source project that brings most of the Win32 API to Linux.) I remain unconvinced that Wine was the best way to go, but Corel may yet make a convert out of me." (Thanks to "TJ").

Here's a San Francisco Chronicle article about Salon writer Andrew Leonard. "What would it mean to write in the way open source developers code? Open source code is produced collaboratively, by an international community. When hackers want to contribute to Apache, an open source server project, they literally write chunks of code (called 'patches') that are added to the server software. Can a book really be like Apache or Linux?" (Thanks to Michael Miller).

Olinux.com.br interviews Trae McCombs of Themes.org and Linux.com fame. "I started using Linux for one plain and simple reason. It was a better looking desktop than anything you could have for Windows at the time. That was Sept 96."

LinuxMall interviews Dave McAllister, the new CTO of Maxspeed. "McAllister wants to provide some of that direction from his post at Maxspeed. Maxspeed is an 11 year old company, originally founded in Santa Cruz, Calif., whose products have been largely UNIX based. At the moment, they are running their servers on Linux and their business clients are using Star Office, although they are also evaluating Corel's WordPerfect Office 2000."

CBS Marketwatch interviews Caldera CEO Ransom Love. "I would disagree (with the notion that) we're a classic IPO that popped and dropped. We came out at a very reasonable valuation, and then the market itself went through a major correction. You can't attribute that to a lack of confidence in our company."


La Bastille is the world's largest fully-functional Tetris game. It transforms Brown University's fourteen-story Sciences Library into a giant video display. CNet commented, "The game--in which a player tries to fit shapes snugly together as they drop down the screen--runs on a Linux computer connected to a network of 10,000 light bulbs, according to project architect Soren Spies." (Thanks to Michael Gerdts.)

Linux is at work at the Human Brain Project in this LinuxMall article. "Linux is surfing the curls of the human brain. In a project designed to study cerebral cortex topography as part of the Human Brain Project being carried out at the Massachusetts General Hospital Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Research Center, Linux is being used to assimilate massive amounts of data--and bring the project in under budget. "

Here's an osOpinion piece about the Linux Standard Base. "Corel, Stormlinux, Debian and the other Debian based distributions are set to immediately adopt the LSB, but what happens to those distributions which depend on the RPM's and the Redhat filesystem structure? Mandrake, Suse, etc., why would they switch, how would they switch if Redhat won't? I don't want to see market leadership become an obstacle to compatibility."

To call this Fox News article an "installation nightmare" story is perhaps a bit strong - it's more like an "unpleasant installation dream" piece. "My impressions of Corel Linux at half-time are mixed. To be fair, much of the difficulty I've had so far can be attributed to a lack of knowledge of Linux's basic procedures and directory structure. And I won't soon forget the severe pain it was installing Microsoft Windows Second Edition - caused by bugs and more bugs on the installation CD." (Thanks to Jay R. Ashworth).

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol

April 20, 2000


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