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Big business is showing increasing interest in Linux and free software. Consider, for a moment, Some of this week's events:
This is quite an array of announcements for one week. It is time to say that the industry has not only discovered Linux and free software, but it is beginning to actively embrace them.
Mitsubishi and Compaq have received an order for a 130-processor Beowulf cluster from the Japanese Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, according to this brief Nikkei Net article. That's 130 Alpha nodes, of course; this is going to be one fast machine. [Update: this article no longer claims that the machine in question will run Linux; it has been changed to Digital Unix instead. Oh well.]
An electronic petition is being "circulated" which requests that the U.S. government more strongly consider the use of open source software. In particular, the petition asks for "...evaluation of Open Source applications and operating systems by the Federal Government, and especially by the Federal Technology Service of the General Services Administration (GSA), whenever they are procuring or upgrading operating systems for personal computers, workstations, servers, microcomputers, or minicomputers..."
Linus Torvalds was a guest at the Finnish presidential palace for their Independence Day celebration. For some pictures, see this article (in Finnish), and (especially) this picture. Finally, this article (in Swedish) in Hufvudstadsbladet talks a bit about the Linux connection: "Everybody wanted to talk to Linus Torvalds. In the crowds, heat, and noice at this year's independence ball, our Finnish computer genius in Silicon Valley was one of the most popular persons." (Translation courtesy of Thomas Widman; this article, unfortunately, will probably go away after Monday, December 14).
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December 10, 1998