Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
OK...here is this week's recommended reading:
- Feed Magazine is doing a big special on open source software,
consisting mostly of discussions with various developers and other
interesting folks. Not all of the pieces are there yet, but you
a discussion with Richard Stallman, Eric Raymond, and Eric
a comprehensive list of related readings. (Thanks to Phil
- Linux gathers critical mass needed to compete with NT says Network
World Fusion. The article is a roundup of business activity around
the system. "If you've been trying to convince your management
that Linux is the right technical choice for a server platform,
perhaps it's time to play the business angle trump card. Linux is
inexpensive to acquire, can be purchased from multiple sources, has
a growing number of applications, is endorsed by the industry's
major technology players, has ready sources of technical support
and is preferred by technology managers around the world." (NW
Fusion is a registration-required site; "cypherpunks" works as
- The next time somebody says that Linux developers are an unruly
bunch, point them at
this PC Week article about the difficulties in getting Windows NT
together. It mentions Linux as a problem, but points out that most
of the difficulties are internal. "Further complicating
matters, Windows 2000 contains 35 million lines of code and
requires 64MB to 128MB of memory -- which doesn't make for a nimble
consumer operating system, developers note."
an article in the Orange County Register about the city of Garden
Grove and its use of Linux. "Garden Grove's public works
department became the guinea pig. Linux passed that test. Then came
the Police Department, your basic round-the-clock operation that
doesn't suffer frozen computer screens well. Police brass wanted a
new $100,000 system. [City engineer] Shingledecker said Linux could
do it for $2,000. Guess who won out?" (Thanks to Christopher
There was a resurgence of introductory articles this week, and the quality
was generally better than usual. Even experienced Linux folks may want to
give some of these a glance.
- The "Daily Yomiuri" has put out
a lengthy introductory article with a strongly positive bent.
"...perhaps most importantly, Linux remains largely untested as
a platform suitable for so-called mission-critical applications
such as managing bank transactions, airline reservations and
others. But then again, so does Windows NT."
an introductory article in Scientific American. "...if
text-editing software built by hackers for hackers (such as Emacs)
is any guide, average consumers and programmers may have almost
antithetical ideas of what elegant, useful programs and
documentation look like. If the current stylistic distinctions
between open-source and commercial software persist, an
open-software revolution could lead to yet another divide between
haves and have-nots: those with the skills and connections to make
use of free software, and those who must pay high prices for
increasingly dated commercial offerings."
highly positive introductory column appeared in
Information Week. "Sure, [Linux is] a utopian, communal, hippie
kind of idea. But it's one that makes business sense. How much of a
competitive advantage has your operating system given you lately?
How much more of a competitive advantage would you have had if you
had spent money on hardware, applications, or more developers,
instead of on operating system licenses? It's thoughts like those
that make the most hardened capitalist into a hippie."
Quite a few business-oriented articles, as usual:
Various types of reviews:
- PC Week has
an article about SuSE's new cluster systems. "S.u.S.E.'s
clustering technology should be ready next month in Europe;
however, it could be several more months before it's rolled out to
- Wired News
coversthe rollout of LinuxCare's support program. "LinuxCare will
also support major software distributions, including Red Hat
Software, Caldera Systems, Debian, LinuxPPC, Linux-Mandrake,
Pacific HiTech, SuSE, and Slackware Linux." (Thanks to
- Here is
an InfoWorld article which is also about the upcoming launch of
"Perceptions of Linux as a rebel at the gates may be receding
soon, with the March 1 launch of LinuxCare, a comprehensive,
diagnostic, Linux support organization."
- ComputerWorld has put out
an article about the use of Linux in Jay Jacobs stores. Here's a
quote for the "no comment" section: "Because Linux isn't
burdened with a graphical interface, its performance is often
faster than that of Windows NT on low-end hardware, said William
Peterson, an analyst at International Data Corp..."
- Nathan Cochrane's
Openline column in The Age this week is about the increasing business
interest in Linux. "But the nature of open source means that
once it permeates a company, elements of previous proprietary
intellectual capital are likely to leak back into the
community. This may result, in SGI's case, in enhanced open source
graphics and visualisation tools to complement the likes of GIMP, a
free competitor to Adobe's cash cow, PhotoShop." (Found in
- Folks wanting Quicken under Linux will be disappointed, according
this ZDNet article. "The maker of Quicken financial planning and
tax preparation software, Intuit, currently has no plans to port
its applications over to the open-source platform, says a company
official." Since a number of Linux ports have been preceeded
by an official denial (i.e. Oracle, Lotus), the cynical among us
might plan on Quicken sometime around early summer... (Thanks to
Joerg Fehlmann and an anonymous tipster as well).
- This article in News.com is about the recent surge in
corporate-oriented Linux offerings, and about Pacific HiTech in
particular. "Pacific Hi-Tech will announce the Enterprise
Server Edition at the LinuxWorld conference March 1, along with a
less expensive, freeware-oriented little brother called the Server
Edition , Miller said. The Server Edition will cost about $199;
pricing for the Enterprise Server Edition hasn't yet been set, but
will probably be more than $2,000."
- PC Week
tells us that the big PC vendors will not be making Linux desktop
systems anytime soon. "The problems, they say, are the lack of
customer demand for the Linux desktops, the dearth of desktop apps
for the open-source operating system and a less-friendly user
- Maybe Linux should be your next desktop OS says CNN in an article
reprinted from PC Week. It's actually mostly about VA research.
"Does [VA Research President] Augustin's mother use Linux? 'Not
yet,' he says. Still, he's optimistic: 'Intuit's looking to port
(Intuit) Quicken,' he says."
evaluates Microsoft's "Linux defense." They are not impressed. "If
Microsoft really believed Linux would knock them off their perch,
why wouldn't they be rushing to move their applications to Linux?
They'd have the advantage of being first to market that way."
- Yet another VA Research article can be found in
Internet Week. "With the forthcoming release of new servers based on
the new Linux 2.2 kernal, released last week, Augustin believes
Linux is ready for prime-time corporate use."
- CPU Review has put together
a detailed review of Red Hat 5.2. It's almost entirely positive, with
occasional suggestions for improvements.
reviews DB2 for Linux and finds some glitches. "With its beta
issues resolved, IBM DB2 Universal Database 5.2 for Linux --
together with the Linux kernel update Version 2.2 -- looks
promising as an enterprise-grade database solution."
- Jeff Alami at 32bitsonline has started up a new daily Linux column
called "Linux Journeys." The
first column is a light overview of personal finance software.
- Also in 32bitsonline: a detailed comparison of several Linux distributions.
Just in case anybody hasn't seen enough "Windows refund" articles yet:
an index (in French) to a bunch of Linux articles in Le Monde;
there is an emphasis on the Windows refund. Babelfish translation
available here. (Found in NNL).
- Here is
a lengthy article in the San Francisco Examiner about open source
stuff, with an emphasis on the Windows refund, VA Research, and a
couple of other topics. "It's pretty clear that Linux users and
Linux-oriented companies mean business. It's also clear that
individuals and businesses that buy Linux systems from VA Research
won't have to participate in Windows refund day because the price
tag on VA Research machines includes no fee for Microsoft software
licenses." (Thanks to Michael Wittman)
- The Raleigh News & Observer ran
a longish "windows tax" article. "Computer vendors such as
Gateway and Dell, hyping choice, allow users to pick features from
monitor size to processing power. But when it comes to the software
that will run it, the choice is Windows 95 or Windows 98 --
Microsoft or Microsoft." (Thanks to John Thacker).
- There is
an article (in French) in Libération about the Windows refund
activities in France. It mentions a French law which prohibits the
forced coupling of products which could bolster the case of people
seeking refunds in that country. (Babelfish translation
available here). (Thanks to Stéfane Fermigier).
- See also: ABC News,
the (Christchurch, NZ)
Press, or the Detroit News.
And here's the rest of the press:
- MSNBC has put out
a personality piece on Linus, seemingly based on a reading of linux-kernel
messages. "Dozens of messages reveal a 'legend' who is
accessible to anyone, as long as you're willing to share a snippet
of code that might improve Linux. But that doesn't mean he'll be
polite about it."
- Linus Torvalds
is interviewed by the readers of Libération (in French). There
are some interesting questions. Also readable in English (sort of)
via Babelfish. (Found in
- Nicholas Petreley has handed out his
1998 Down to the Wire Awards. "The award for the Most Effective
Promotion of Linux goes to Microsoft..."
- Here is
a ZDNet UK story about an Irish ISP (connect.ie) that got shut down by
politically-motivated crackers. Their solution to the problem?
Replace their servers with Linux machines. (Thanks to David
- A note (in French) was sent out on
the NNL list pointing to
this lengthy hatchet job (also in French) one the site of one Daniel
Martin. It's an impressive read. One can only echo the words of
NNL author Jerome Kalifa: "90% de ce qui est ecrit est
parfaitement faux (difficile de ne pas laisser echapper un
hurlement d'indignation toutes les dix lignes)..." (Editor's
poor translation: "90% of is written is completely false (it is
difficult not to let out a scream of indignation every ten lines)."
The document is far too long for Babelfish, unfortunately; it just
laughs if you try.
February 11, 1999