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Linux in the news

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Salon's Andrew Leonard has added a new chapter to his "The Free Software Project" book. This chapter, the second one to be posted, is actually Chapter 6, and covers Mr. Leonard's trip to Finland. "Finland's love affair with high technology runs deep. The closer you look, the less remarkable it seems that a 21-year-old undergraduate at the University of Helsinki cooked up some code that ended up throwing the entire software industry into turmoil."


AsiaBizTech has an article about the founding of Miracle Linux in Japan. "The new company will develop Miracle Linux, based on Turbo Linux, which is a server Linux OS fine-tuned for the Oracle8i relational database management system (RDBMS). It will begin selling and supporting this Linux software in September targeting midsize companies. Also, the new venture will sell Oracle's Linux products, and offer training and consulting services." (Thanks to Maya Tamiya).

Upside reports on ZDNet's acquisition of LinuxDevices.com. "The Linux open-platform philosophy is winning over an increasing number of converts in the overly-Balkanized embedded operating systems market..."

Here's an article on the LinuxMall.com site about the FSL "Jet" cluster. "Designed and built entirely using the Linux operating system, JET will be running weather models over the next two years at a rate of 2 to 4 Teraflops."

News.com has put up this article about Applix's new spinoff VistaSource. "Applix gave VistaSource a $6 million investment, but the subsidiary will seek its own venture funding and plans an initial public offering at the end of 2000 or in early 2001..."

TechWeb looks at the high level of interest in IBM's Linux for the S/390. "Since December 1999, when IBM began offering free versions of the open-source Linux operating system for its S/390s, more than 1,100 copies have been downloaded. 'These folks are jumping on it as fast as they can,' said Chris Rohrbach, an IBM S/390 business executive. 'In fact, some of them-many of them-are beginning to adopt Linux for the S/390 in production workloads.'"

News.com looks at IBM's plans to start selling its servers with Linux preloaded. "IBM typically lets computer retailers worry about installing operating systems, but it's altering that strategy because Linux computer buyers tend to be cost-conscious and less in need of hand-holding."

Here's this week's Linsider stock summary by Michael J. Hammel. "Bluepoint Linux, up a whopping 86% from 3.625 to 6.75, announced that their offices had been visited by key Chinese officials who stated that Bluepoint Linux would be a major player in the Chinese Governments Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. Bluepoint reports they have an 80% market share in China, though Asian heavyweight TurboLinux might have something to say about that."

ZDNet looks at the decline in Linux stock prices. "The low stock prices are not stopping the whirl of mergers and acquisitions as Linux firms snap up minnows, and the largest Linux concerns can point to some high-profile financial support when queried about their financial stability."

The San Jose Mercury looks at the rise and fall of VA Linux Systems' stock. "Given the market's short attention span and sales from the flippers, it was almost inevitable that the money-losing Linux companies would come back to earth. The essential thesis that the Linux companies were worth a percentage of Microsoft was flawed. And even superb marketeers like Red Hat's chairman, Robert Young, faded into the noise."

Here's News.com's take on the departure of Linuxcare CIO Doug Nassaur. "Growing pains at start-ups aren't unusual, particularly when outside managers are brought in to take over the company from founders. But the difficulties at Linuxcare are compounded by the pessimistic stock market and the steady decline of stock in Linux companies such as Caldera Systems, Red Hat, VA Linux Systems and Andover.Net."

Here's a brief article in the Korea Herald about the "Korea Linux Council," a group of Korean Linux businesses which plans to promote the system in Korea. Among other things, they plan to distribute 1 million Linux CDs this year.

StockHouse.com interviews Corel CEO Michael Cowpland; they talk mostly about Corel's Linux strategy. "Considering that we're kind of creating the desktop for Linux from scratch because up to now, people have said it was purely a server-based OS and the market didn't exist with that stuff, I think we've begun to prove that wrong and now we're beginning to develop the market for the desktop."

Here's a ZDNet column by Evan Liebovitch on current events - especially the possible breakup of Microsoft. "Just about the only benefit I hear from others is that a separate Microsoft applications division would be more inclined to make versions of its business apps for Linux. I'm neither convinced that this would benefit the Linux community, nor that an independent MS Apps Inc. would even rush to embrace Linux."


LinuxPower looks at the GNOME Pilot Project. "The GNOME-pilot project is currently making great strides forward and from the GNOME 1.2 release and onward Palm Pilot integration will be an well functioning part of GNOME. With the groundwork now having been done and it stabilizing you can expect that many of your favourite GNOME applications will start to add Palm syncronization, at least those with developers who have a Palm :)."

This week's Dear Lina, from Linuxcare, looks at devices. "My modem is connected to /dev/ttyS1. In order to dial out as a non-root user, I changed the permissions on /dev/ttyS1 to 0666. Every time I reboot, the permissions of /dev/ttyS1 are rolled back to 0600. I have to set the permissions again every time. This is a frustrating problem. How can I change the permissions of /dev/ttyS1 permanently? I am using Red Hat Linux."

Upside looks at Linux journaling filesystems, and reiserfs by Namesys in particular. "Although the Gnu General Public License enforces a certain level of altruism upon companies such as Namesys and SGI, the fact that Namesys and SGI have plowed ahead with their own separate projects, rather than merging into one, offers proof that competition and open-source software development need not be mutually exclusive."

Commercial document image software is now available for Linux. Michelle Head takes an indepth look at 1mage's choice to port their software to Linux. "Black Tusk Technologies, a South African application service provider (ASP) company, is using 1mage's new ability to port to their strictly-Linux server. Black Tusk uses 1mage's document imaging ability to aid their manufacturing and aviation customers, DeYoung said."

The Industry Standard posted this article about the Red Hat/Piranha vulnerability. "The fact that they've been finding holes in (Unix-based) Sendmail for 20 years indicates that open-source is not the best for security..."


Take a look at what it took to get a Linux Pavilion at FOSE, the largest computer trade show targeted specifically at the US Federal government market, estimated to be over $35 billion dollars in size. "The main-floor pavillion was the brainchild of Northern Virginia LUG (NoVaLUG) member Tim Bogart, by day a network server administrator for a major telecommunications company, and furthered by Lois Rude, industry manager with FOSE. After a Washington-area Linux exposition was cancelled nearly a year ago, Bogart asked himself and fellow LUG members 'Why don't we get in on the real action?'"

Here's some Comdex coverage on the LinuxMall.com site. "On Wednesday, the Linux community showed it's lighter side when Dust Puppy from the User Friendly comic strip and Tux paired up after a press conference to take pictures with the Linux visitors. Dust Puppy was, understandably, given a wide berth, but Tux embraced members of the crowd that stepped forward to have a picture taken with the six-foot penguin."

ZDNet covers Caldera CEO Ransom Love's talk at the Linux Business Expo. "Love threw a damp towel on the revolutionary sentiments surrounding the open-source operating system and instead espoused an evolutionary approach to building momentum behind Linux. His fear is that in pushing the overthrow of the existing technological infrastructure, many options could be silenced."

Reviews and Interviews

Jerry Pournelle reviews Corel WordPerfect Office 2000 in this Byte article, which also looks at a system from Penguin Computing. "This may be worse news for Microsoft than Judge Penfield Jackson's decision. With a decent Linux box and the Corel WordPerfect Office 2000 suite you can do a good part of what you can do with Windows and Microsoft Office, and do it without a byte of Microsoft code in your system."

LinuxMall interviews Erik Hovland, founder and reigning president of the University of Southern California's Linux User Group (SCLUG). "In a recent interview with LinuxNews.com, Hovland discusses his history with Linux, his passion for robotics, his LUG with the snail mascot and Linux politics on the campus where famed hacker Kevin Mitnick once roamed free. "


The New York Times has this introductory article about Open-Source software. "There are thousands of open-source projects, of varying popularity and complexity. Aside from Linux, some of the most prominent include the PERL language, Apache server software, the Emacs text editor and the Sendmail e-mail routing program. Companies like Red Hat make money not from the code itself, which customers could get free, but from the products or services bundled with it." [The New York Times is a registration required site.] (Thanks to Marty Leisner)

Andover.Net columnist Julie Bresnick discovers the Linux community. "An industry insider once suggested to me that Linux was simply an anti-Microsoft Jihad, that its success was propelled by hatred for the big guy. Oy, what a killjoy. Linux, Open Source, will be the next standard because that's where the smartest folks go." (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann).

Salon looks at vigor, the version of vi with its very own "helpful" paper clip. "So is Vigor a sign that Microsoft-ian bloatishness will infect even the pristine world of free software? Or is it proof that irreverent hackers hold nothing sacred, to the point of blaspheming against their own holy tools?"

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol

April 27, 2000


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