Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Here's this week's recommended reading:
ZDNet has put up
an open letter to Netscape's Marc Andreessen. The advice is pretty
radical, given the source: "Now is not the
time to become second-string technologist at AOL... Instead, grab
the bull by the horns and re-establish yourself at the center of
the Internet revolution. Only, this time, become the chief champion
of the Open Source movement."
A new category, valid for the next couple of weeks, is that of
"retrospectives and predictions." Here's what we've encountered thus far.
- The author of
this PC Week column takes an egalitarian approach: he complains
about all operating systems equally. "That's why I see
businesses forcing vendors to work together. The consumers will
push Microsoft to accept Linux; they'll push for development of
stronger NT development (for example, Winsock) APIs on the Linux
kernel. They'll push Microsoft to accept NDS because consumers
don't plan to dump it." An interesting read, actually.
- First Monday has put up
a long, academic article about free software and its
"anarcho-communist" roots. It suffers from some annoying flaws (everything
is "shareware"), but is worth a look anyway. "The commercial survival
of Netscape depends upon successfully collaborating with hackers from the
hi-tech gift economy. Anarcho-communism is now sponsored by corporate
capital." (Thanks to Dunstan Vavasour).
- Jimmy Aitken pointed out
this article in New Scientist. It is an unusually extensive and
accurate introductory article, a good one to pass to people who
don't yet "get" free software. "The 'open source' movement is
Microsoft's worst nightmare: a group of programmers that it cannot
outcompete because its members are not motivated by profit, and
which it cannot buy because they do not exist as a formal
company. And because the results of their work are so good, more
and more of Microsoft's potential customers are turning to
- The Independent has
a far-ranging article that is all about the benefits of open
source development. It's well written and very positive. "The
momentum behind open-source software is moving it to the
mission-critical environment where Sun currently operates. It is
not just the humble spreadsheets, but large-scale e-commerce,
banking and high-traffic websites that will soon be using
open-source software." (Thanks to Jimmy Aitken).
a brief mention in TechWeek's predictions for 1999. "1999 is
also shaping up to be the year of open source software, evidenced
by the enthusiasm for the Linux operating system..." (Scroll
toward the bottom of the page).
- CNN has a
Top 10 IT news stories for 1998 column up, evidently reprinted from
Network World Fusion. One of them is "Linux becomes a household
- Dan Gillmor at the San Jose Mercury also has a
"looking back" column. "I'm skeptical of predictions that Linux
represents a threat to Windows on desktop computers, but I'm
increasingly convinced that Linux has a real chance to challenge
the next version of Windows NT, a.k.a. Windows 2000, on more
powerful ``server'' machines in coming years."
- Here's one ComputerWorld columnist's negative
predictions for 1999. "Linux takes its rightful place. Among other
niche operating systems, that is... Microsoft is what it is
because there are tens of thousands of independent developers
worldwide working on the Microsoft platform. That isn't Linux, not
today, not in 12 months, and probably not ever."
Linux in and around corporations remains a topic of interest, of course.
- This article in Network World Fusion talks about Linux in
corporations via a number of examples. "Linux proponents have
something to prove to chief information officers: Anything
commercial operating systems can do, Linux can do better."
(Note that NW Fusion is a registration-required site; the
usual "cypherpunks" account works there for those who do not wish
to register). (Thanks to Marty Leisner).
- Service News, "the newspaper for computer service and support,"
discovers Linux. The article is mostly positive; one senses that they
see an opportunity there. "For [Cisco engineer] Dart, support
isn't an issue because he 'never has any problems.'"
- GameWeek has a brief article about Loki Software and their plan to port
commercial games to Linux.
- News.com also ran an article about Loki Software. "...there are an estimated 7.5
million Linux users out there today, a growing and largely
- Computer Currents
coversthe latest moves by Pacific HiTech. "...an unnamed Japanese
organization ... is switching an installation of 20,000 machines
based on Hewlett-Packard's Unix to Turbo Linux. In some other
examples of recent big wins for the company, Kyoto University will
install the operating system on 600 machines and a large
telecommunications company will begin installing the OS on
desktops." (Thanks to Nancy Pomeroy).
- CBS MarketWatch talks about Netscape, open source, and the new rendering engine.
"With so many developers and companies all concurrently adding features
and fixing bugs, what results via the open-source-code system is often
measurably superior to proprietary software alternatives. "
- News.com has
an articleabout the Word Perfect release. "Although
Corel will offer a free version of WordPerfect for personal users,
Corel also plans to sell the software to business users and to
personal users who want manuals, a CD-ROM, clip art, and technical
support. Email-based technical support will be available for a fee
for users of the downloaded version."
The rest we'll group into "miscellaneous and introductory articles."
- MIT's Technology Review has an article about GNOME. It's quite long,
covering the GNOME project by starting with Richard Stallman
20 years ago; thus it
turns into an extensive introductory article. It's reasonably well
done and accurate, worth a look. "GNOME users, de Icaza
promises flatly, will not turn off their computers by clicking a
button labeled 'Start.'"
- There is
an introductory article in AsiaWeek. It's somewhat positive,
despite a certain amount of "no support" and "no applications" FUD.
"With Linux out in the open, there is no clear road map for its
future evolution, nor any help line for users. Troubleshooting is
done by sending a question to a Linux newsgroup on the Net. Can
CEOs sleep soundly knowing that their firm's health might depend on
a sleepless seventeen-year-old in Idaho?"
- The Malaysian "The Star" ran a whole set of Linux articles in a separate
pullout section; the
InTech pullout page points to the whole set. That link will certainly
go stale shortly, so here are pointers to the individual articles,
which should hopefully stay put:
Taking the world by storm is a fairly standard introductory piece;
What's new in Red Hat 5.1? is a slightly behind-the-times review;
Linux myths debunked! is an advocacy page addressing myths some of us
never knew existed (i.e. "Linux is hard to network");
Where do you want to be dragged today? covers the Halloween memos;
Caught in the Linux web is a list of links; and
Getting the FAQ's right is their own attempt at an installation FAQ.
(Thanks to Kenny Lim).
- ComputerWorld has
a brief article on the Linux Beer Hike. "But not all Linux
users are enthused about combining beer and business. One user,
responding to a Web site that posted news of the tour, sent the
following reminder: 'Friends don't let friends hack drunk.'"
- Also in ComputerWorld:
an article about the search for OS alternatives. "However,
because Linux predates Windows NT and has problems taking advantage
of capabilities packed in current-generation hardware, Enderle said
he doubts the operating system will ever become a mainstream
- The folks at OS/2 Headquarters have put out
part 3 of their 'Learning from Linux' series, which is an analysis of the
Halloween memos from an OS/2 point of view.
- Windows Magazine
discusses Linux. The article leans toward the negative, but concludes:
"I hope Linux can mature into an OS that will give Microsoft
some real competition. It's worth watching, and I'm keeping my
copy alive for further testing." (Found in
- This article in the Boston Globe is about Tim O'Reilly and open
source. "...open-sourcing possesses an economic logic so
powerful that O'Reilly thinks it could transform the software
industry so completely that, in the end, it would bear a stronger
resemblance to the social organization of the scientific community
than to, say, the industrial organization of the oil business."
(Found in Linux Today).
- There is
an introductory article in the New Zealand Listener. "...as
geek girls pursue Torvalds like a pop star, and major software
vendors begin to develop versions of their applications for Linux,
Microsoft may be facing its sternest challenge yet." (Found in
- David Strom's Web Informant
learns to love Linux. "It doesn't take long to install, and indeed is
easier to get onto a new machine than NT or even Windows 98. Once
you get it set up to your liking, the system will run like a top,
and keep running forever." (Thanks to Nancy Pomeroy).
- ZDNet has
a brief blurb showing that they have discovered Samba. "Web
development workgroup managers should be aware that setting up a
Linux file and Web server is easier than ever. This is an important
piece of the puzzle for those rooting for the Linux penguin as it
waddles pluckily into Microsoft territory."
- Last, and perhaps least, EDN magazine ran this anti-Unix hatchet job
"Are you telling me that the supposedly brightest OS minds in the
business can't adopt a more uniform directory structure? Just choose a
shell-any shell. You don't need a half-dozen shells in which 75% of the
commands are the same and 25% couldn't be more different." (Found in
December 17, 1998