Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Here's a lengthy profile of Linus Torvalds in the San Jose Mercury News. "Linus seems less like a reindeer caught in the global headlights than a delightful alien dropped down from another planet--possibly to show us all the madness of our ways. Nobody has ever accused Silicon Valley of having a conscience, but it looks as if this bespectacled Finn might be the closest thing."
Is Linux falling apart? asks Sm@rt Reseller. The answer is an emphatic negative - nice to see in the mainstream press. "Don't get me wrong; there will be nasty wars between the Linux vendors. With money talking, the warm 'we brave band of brothers' feeling of the early days of Linux is going to erode. But, the cold legal facts of Linux's foundations will keep Linux from ever shattering into incompatible versions that made Unix application reselling such a pain in the neck."
Sun's acquisition of Star Division (in roughly chronological order):
OSO kicks in with a favorable view of Sun's purchase of Star Division, to balance out other reactions. "All successful platforms are defined by their applications. The desktop is defined by office products and convenient Internet access. The JavaStation, coupled with Star Office, delivers both in a zero (or near zero) administrative bonus. "
Here's a Reuters article on Sun's plans with Star Division and StarPortal. "'When I am on the road, I access my corporate desktop from a Web browser,' Sun Chairman and Chief Executive Scott McNealy told Reuters in a telephone interview. 'I don't like to carry my laptop around ... I want everything I have residing somewhere on the network on a server, as opposed to something bundled in a personal mainframe under my arm.'"
See also: this News.com article on the acquisition. "Tomorrow, when Sun officially announces the Star Division acquisition in New York, the company will demonstrate the use of StarPortal on a Java-enabled PalmPilot, which is connected to a server."
The LA Times had this rticle about it. "Star has about 4 million users, Sun said, including 30% of those who use the Linux operating system instead of Windows."
Computer Reseller News ran this article about Sun's StarDivision purchase. "Sun made no bones about using Star suite as an aggerssive play in the Linux market. Among those at the New York briefing today was Roland Dyroff, chief executive of Suse Linux, AG.. who said his company has already bundled 500,000 copies of the suite with its' Linux operating system."
Here's another Reuters article about Sun and StarOffice. "Analysts said Sun's move could trigger a sea change in the software industry, with more applications and data being based on the Internet, and managed by Internet service providers, or ISPs -- much like electronic mail is now handled."
TechWeb also has its take on Sun and StarDivision. "The acquisition gives Sun an office suite deployable across diverse clients, with the current release running on Windows, OS/2, Solaris, and Linux, in addition to a network computer-oriented Java release and the technology to build a portal-based productivity application service."
The Red Herring covers Sun's acquisition of StarDivision. "Tom Dwyer, the Aberdeen Group's research director for enterprise Java, says that StarOffice's availability on Linux is a key factor in this new initiative. The combination of the office suite with Linux may prove an attractive front-end alternative to the Windows/Microsoft Office combination, he said."
Resulting fluctuations in the stock of other "Linux" firms:
This News.com article says that Sun's acquisition of StarDivision caused the fall in Corel's and Applix's stock prices. "Sun Microsystems' adoption of a new office software suite might be a good thing for Linux users, but it hasn't been so good for the makers of competing products."
Business Week looks at Corel's stock price. "Investors will need to figure if Linux could a bigger plus for Corel than Sun's StarOffice/StarPortal could be a negative. If the latter scenario prevails, the rocket that was lit under Corel's stock recently could just as quickly burn out."
Here's an August 31st look from Reuters on Corel's stock price. "The Linux updraft that carried Corel Corp. to gains of 44 percent over the last two days of trade was stilled on Tuesday."
The Ottawa Citizen reports on Corel's stock price. "Indeed, in the past three months Corel has enjoyed the unusual distinction of making the Toronto Stock Exchange's weekly list of performance stocks five times --three times on the weekly list of five top gainers and twice on the list of five worst losers."
Here's an article in the Arizona Republic about the increase in Corel's and Applix's share prices. "Investor enthusiasm for Linux-related companies has increased since the initial sale of shares by software maker Red Hat Inc., which has surged more than fivefold in two weeks."
Other stock articles include this one in CBS Marketwatch ("Trading was extremely heavy with more than 26.8 million shares changing hands in the session. Applix has only 8.8 million shares available for trading.") and this one in The Red Herring ("With no real support from Wall Street's analytic community, the question becomes, What is the source of the wind in this company's sails? Perhaps the answer is cyberspace scuttlebutt in chat rooms, where messages about the company have increased since the Red Hat initial public offering on August 11.").
News.com reports on the rise in Corel's and Applix's stock prices. "Two software companies with fledgling initiatives for the open-source operating system saw their shares soar today for a second day in a row, despite little in the way of shipping products." (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann).
CBS Marketwatch looks at the runup in Applix's share price. "'Investors took a look at Red Hat with a $5 billion market cap and us at $100 million and saw a compelling value,' Chief Financial Officer Ed Terino said in an interview."
Here's a Reuters article about Corel's stock price, which has also started to climb as people begin to recognize it as a "Linux stock." "Corel stock had languished for many sessions following Red Hat's debut but found new life last week after investors woke up."
Here's a brief Reuters article about Applix's stock price - which has doubled since late last week. Seems that people suddenly think it's a Linux stock...
Operating Systems and other Software:
Byte's Jon Udell has a look at Zope. "Last, but not least, is the fascinating story of how Zope came to be an open source project. As Jeffrey reported in our newsgroups last year, it was Digital Creations' venture capitalist who convinced the company this would be a smart move. Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."
CPU Review has a look at Debian 2.1. "The documentation, while somewhat terse, is actually pretty good. The biggest mistake they made was not to include a piece of paper (or print on the CD) a single line, which said 'See install/index.html for documentation on how to install Debian.'"
Compaq will be contributing to the development of Red Flag Linux - a Chinese distribution - according to this Computer Currents article. "Compaq China has contributed its Linux knowledge and an AlphaServer DS20 system to the partnership..."
Here's a San Jose Mercury article about Tribeworks - which is developing an open source multimedia development platform. "We're stealing a play from the Linux world. It's been amazing to us that the graphics industry has not embraced the community-based model. The advantages are the same as they are for Linux."
A review of AbiWord is now available at LinuxPower.org. "Overall, AbiWord shows a lot of promise. Though currently in a pre-release form, I feel that it could be used for minor projects as long as you do not need spell checking or very extensive layout capabilities. "
Nicholas Petreley reports on what he saw at LinuxWorld in this InfoWorld column. "But the news from LinuxWorld that will most likely have a significant impact is the imminent release of Hewlett-Packard's OpenMail for Linux."
This Detroit News article speculates that Windows 2000 may be adopted more quickly than a lot of people think, and stresses heavily the competition between that system and Linux. "'If they (Microsoft) don't ship a stable, reliable operating system by the end of this year, they're going to see Windows servers eroded by Linux,' said Peter Auditore, vice president of World Research Inc."
IT-Director.com has a look at the confusion of Windows 2000 versions - they predict nine different versions in the first year. "...the Linux community which quite rightly sees Microsoft as its obstacle to world domination will probably be pleased with the news. Linux is Linux is Linux. It comes in two basic versions 32 bit and 64 bit and after that you can specialise if you need to. The core is more coherent than that of Windows." (Found in NNL).
E-Commerce Times looks at E-Smith's new Linux-based server system. "Simplifying the process of adopting the Linux operating system (OS) is central to the e-smith corporate mission, as well as making it accessible for small and mid-sized businesses. According to the company, the product -- which combines e-mail, file sharing, routing and security capabilities -- can even convert a retired 60Mhz Pentium computer into an Internet server for a sizable office."
Compaq's dump of NT on Alpha may help Linux says InfoWorld. "Companies that have invested in the future of the Alpha platform -- such as Alpha Processor, in Concord, Mass. -- have quickly changed their tune and are now whistling Linux."
The Boston Globe reports on the future of the Alpha processor now that Windows NT will not be part of it. "[Alpha Processor VP] Borkowski figures that about 300,000 Linux servers will be sold worldwide next year. He says that if Alpha Processor can get a quarter of that - 75,000 servers - they'll do fine."
Open Source IT looks at Beowulf clusters. "The Boeing Co.'s Applied Research and Technology group, in Seattle, for example, is experimenting with a 16-cpu Beowulf cluster for designing new airplanes. Pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb has been running a 20-node cluster since February 1999. Proctor & Gamble has a 32-node system running in a research facility near Cincinnati." (Found in NNL).
This News.com article is about HP's new Linux-powered thin client system.
The Dual Millenium from Future Power offers two Celeron processors and promises to "match similar, single processor Pentium III machines in performance." The high-tower model comes with Linux installed by default for a very nice price. Controversy follows, though, since Future Power is being sued by Apple Computer, Ltd., for alleged infringements upon the iMac design. In addition, Intel has been quick to state that use of multiple Celerons on a single board, or overclocking of the processor, will void the warranty.
Here's an E-Commerce Times article about the Linux-based network testing setup created by Neal Nelson and Associates. "A joint statement disclosed that Cabletron Systems (NYSE: CS), Xylan an Alcatel Company (NYSE: ALA) and FORE Systems are utilizing Nelson's test labs to 'evaluate new products using the most extreme, real-world network traffic patterns.'" (Thanks to Sean O'Riordain).
Sm@rt Reseller ran this article about SCO's getting into the Linux consulting business. "SCO claims it has the largest staff of open-source experts of any commercial software vendor. The company's newly formed Linux and Open Source Professional Services team will span about 40 core staffers, and will provide Linux audit- and deployment-planning services."
E-Commerce Times ran this article about the investment in MandrakeSoft by AXA Placement Innovation. "Commenting on 'the post-IPO Red Hat period,' Francis Gaskins of Ziff Davis Inter@ctive noted that there are some '30 of Red Hat's competitors that should be of considerable interest to both investors and technologists.' With a host of accolades pouring in, MandrakeSoft appears to be working its way to the top of the list."
Here's a News.com article about Benchmark Capital's decision to invest in the SourceXchange. "While much skepticism exists about the business opportunity from software that must be available for free under the terms of its license, i.e open-source software, Benchmark is a convert."
The Red Herring ran this article about Red Hat's Bob Young and Marc Ewing - who were named to Red Herring's "Top Ten Entrepreneurs for 1999" list. "Under their stewardship, the company's principal product, a software operating system called Red Hat Linux, is now so attractive to corporate America that it poses a formidable threat to Microsoft's operating system monopoly."
New Scientist looks at the Red Hat community offering. "Sadly, having thrown their egalitarian principles to the wind and raided their piggybanks for the initial $1000, many were turned away. They were deemed ineligible by E*TRADE's online questionnaire, which was not tailored for postgraduates with little to invest and no experience of buying shares."
This Reuters article looks at how the Red Hat IPO has spawned more interest in Linux. "Venture capitalists intrigued by the red hot stock market debut of Linux distributor Red Hat Inc. are placing bets on new start-up open source companies built around software that is given away."
Red Herring looks at SGI's reinvention of itself. "Current efforts to move the Linux operating system to SGI, [Greg Weiss, an analyst at D.H. Brown Associates] believes, could pay off in the long run."
News.com reports on the Linux Fund credit card which was first unveiled at LinuxWorld. "If [Linux fund founder Benjamin Cox] can sign up 100,000 people, that would provide an estimated $2 million a year to fund development projects and scholarships, he said."
Time Magazine's Josh Quittner says that Linux still isn't for the masses. "Linux and the open-source movement that spawned it are among the most exciting and important things going on in the software world today. But the setup is just too complex for the average person."
Is the Linux revolution over? asks PC Week. It seems that Linus Torvalds is getting harder to reach directly, and this reporter was disappointed. "...maybe it's a good thing that Linus doesn't answer his phone anymore. Still, we'll miss the candor and self-deprecation of Torvalds, which came across so genuinely to reporters used to burning their throats on the dry, pressurized airplane air marketing being blown by most companies."
Dave Winer has put up an "installation nightmare" story - fairly normal, except that it's a Windows NT box that he bought preinstalled. "I have some advice for Microsoft. Every executive should buy a machine for themselves, from one of the clone vendors, and struggle thru the process their customers have to go thru. They're horribly vulnerable. Compared to this process, setting up Linux was a breeze." (Thanks to Bernhard Reiter).
NTKnow covers the O'Reilly conferences in classic form. "...who invited Dave Winer? Proprietary Dave set upon the free software like Carlos the Jackal at a World Trade Organisation shin-dig."
"In the grand tradition of the numerous pro-Linux, sarcastically anti-MS pieces circulating around the Web", OSO presents an article that is sarcastically anti-Linux instead: Top 10 Reasons Why Linux Will Become a Smash Desktop Success. Taken in the spirit of pure amusement, it can be enjoyed anyway. After all, we've always said that a sense of humor is a critical, innate part of the Linux community ...
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
September 2, 1999