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GeoCrawler bills itself as "The Knowledge Archive." What it really is is an extensive archive of mailing lists oriented around free software. It lacks a nice threaded browsing interface, but it can be useful when searching for something specific.
How about another distribution? GeekLinux is a new distribution seemingly aimed at relatively technical users. They plan to offer the biggest selection of packages, be security oriented, and so on. They are trying for a release by LinuxWorld (next week).
Section Editor: Jon Corbet
January 27, 2000
Letters to the editor should be sent to email@example.com. Preference will be given to letters which are short, to the point, and well written. If you want your email address "anti-spammed" in some way please be sure to let us know. We do not have a policy against anonymous letters, but we will be reluctant to include them.
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 01:22:14 -0600 (CST) From: Dave Finton <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Chris_Browne@amrcorp.com Subject: Thoughts on Kermit I read your letter in LWN's weekly news. It's a good read, but I thought I'd clarify a matter or two with one statement you made: > This is extremely encouraging; Kermit has a long history of being > an exceptionally good data transfer system. It used to be the one of > the best interoperability systems to transfer data between UNIX, DOS, > VMS, and mainframe systems. The popularity of TCP/IP and decline of > widespread mainframe use has diminished the value somewhat (who uses > non-TCP/IP networking anymore?), but I'm pleased to see it able to be > used with Linux. Think: cell phones, pagers, automated phone servicing (hypothetically). I worked for a company that used a little C script that called a kermit script that would page the network admin in case any of the servers went down. The page would go out with the IP address of the server in question. It worked beautifully (except when it would page us when we'd rather not fix broken machines, like over breakfast :^). The whole world isn't TCP/IP. In fact there is enough "obsolete" networking out there (i.e. the phone system) where the inclusion of KERMIT can help Linux launch itself into more than a few key markets. Now that it is more-or-less free (and there's a free version besides) I might take a look into it a bit more to see if I can do any neat stuff with it. :^P - Dave Finton --------------------------------------------------------- | If an infinite number of monkeys typed randomly at | | an infinite number of typewriters for an infinite | | amount of time, they would eventually type out | | this sentencdfjg sd84wUUlksaWQE~kd ::. | | ----------------------------------------------------- | | Name: Dave Finton | | E-mail: email@example.com | | Web Page: http://surazal.nerp.net/ | ---------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 09:15:18 -0800 From: Pascal Martin <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Transmeta conspiracy I don't know if you noticed, but the Transmeta's story is more and more looking like a scenario for the X-Files serie: 1- A highly secretive company, with seemingly unlimited funds, hire the best brains of Silicon Valley (beside Linus..) and work for years on unidentified projects. 2- Obscure forces in the stock markets organize a Linux stock hype, hitting the billion dollars level, with no identified profit to talk about. 3- At the hypest moment, Transmeta takes the market by storm in a highly publicized show, boasting "PC hardware for Linux". Sounds like Hollywood has been outdone here :-). Beside that, I want a Transmeta-powered laptop. Vendor, anyone ? ------------------------------------------------------------------ Pascal F. Martin.
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 17:37:14 -0500 From: Tom Kreutz <kreutz@Princeton.EDU> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Jerome Loisel's vituperation Hi, I believe that you do yourself a dis-service by posting the letter from Jerome Loisel, which trashes Nikolai Bezroukov's critique of "The Cathedral and the Bazaar". I thought that the latter was pretty well reasoned and highlighted some of the weaker points in Eric Raymond's excellent treatise. On the other hand, Jerome Loisel's rant seemed pretty pointless. By the way, thanks for running a fabulous site! I read it eagerly each week. Tom Kreutz Dr. Thomas G. Kreutz Center for Energy and Environmental Studies Princeton University H-111 Engineering Quadrangle Princeton, NJ 08540 Phone: (609) 258-5691 FAX: (609) 258-3661 email@example.com
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 17:13:59 -0700 From: Bruce Ide <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Why do you Bother With the Gartner Group? In the 1/20 edition we get some more predictions from the Gartner group. I'd like to note that in matters relating to Linux, you're as likely to get correct answers from the Psychic Talk hotline or a monkey with a dart board. I've watched with amusement as prediction after prediction about Linux from the Gartner Group has turned out to be completely wrong. Not just a little wrong, mind you. Embarassingly, "God we can't believe we said that," wrong. Very much like almost everything coming out of the Ziff Davis conglomerate, come to think of it. At least ZD's writers are starting to see the writing on the wall and jump on the bandwagon. And yet they persist, and We (And by We, I mean You) continue to quote them. I assume because you want to give us all a good laugh. Well it's working. I get a nice big belly laugh out of just about every statement that comes out of that group. I really don't understand why people pay so much money for their reports. Maybe the industry really is stuck in 1980's technology. Come on, guys, it's the 0?'s (Uh-Oh's?) now and we HAVE 32 BIT PROCESSORS! Hell, we HAVE 64 BIT PROCESSORS! And One OS runs on them all. And it ain't Windows. Which will apparently continue to make you deal with 16 bit bletcherisms (At least at the workstation level) for the foreseeable future since the game manufacturers want direct access which you're not going to do a very good job of getting with the NT kernel. You want my own predictions, huh? These aren't based on any knowledge proprietary to IBM by the way, they're based on watching the web, the news and the open source community for the past 5 years. I predict that the proprietary Unices will start to merge with Linux. Most of the companies with their own versions of UNIX only use that UNIX to sell hardware. Gone are the days when you can screw a customer out of $1500 for a !#%! C compiler (Sorry, pet peeve.) So Linux makes sense to most of those people, except SCO. Why maintain your own UNIX when there's a whole community out there that's willing to do it for free? We're already starting to see this trend now. The wholesale embracing of the open source community by the proprietary UNIX vendors will cause UNIX to defragment back into a unified whole. Security will be global -- when you fix a hole, you will be fixing it for all platforms. Support will be interchangable since everyone will have the source to a unified OS. Competition among support companies will encourage said companies to provide high quality support. As far as I can tell, this will be a first in the industry. I'm expecting the Merced to be a flop. It wouldn't surpise me if AMD doesn't step up to the plate within plus-or-minus a few weeks of the Merced release with an ultra-fast 64 bit chip of their own. First one to dump 32 bit legacy support wins. I don't expect Compaq to stand still with the Alpha or Sun to stand still with the Sparc chips either. Note that both those chips are 64 bit TODAY, as are the MIPS chips but we don't see many of those anymore AFAIK. It also wouldn't surprise me to see some sort of alliance between AMD and Compaq for Alpha technology. And of course someone's gotta be working on a 64 bit PowerPC. It wouldn't make sense not to. As people start buying hardware for Linux support, hardware manufacturers will increasingly realize that they have to open their specs or go out of business (Or at the very least provide binary drivers.) We're starting to see a trend there as well. Expect more patents and less trade secrets in the hardare arena. Expect to see substantial gains for Linux in server and desktop systems in the next 3 years. Since Linux scales so well, if you need a bigger web server, you can buy some big blue iron. I'd like to see Mindcraft put a Linux-running apache-serving S/390 in their crack pipe and smoke it. You think your pathetic little quad Xeon will stand up to that? Despite Wintel protestations to the contrary, PC's are still toys compared to the big blue iron. Against a unified UNIX (Linux,) high quality desktop interfaces and open Internet standards, Microsoft and Apple have quite a race ahead of them. I think they realize it to, or are starting to realize it. Finally, I predict that RedHat or VA Linux will buy the Gartner Group within in the next few years and fire everyone. Well, maybe not, but I can dream, right? All opinions mine and not my employer's. -- ---------------- Bruce Ide firstname.lastname@example.org Silly Rabbit! CICS are for Trids!
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 17:58:15 GMT From: Superuser (Duncan Simpson) <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: 32 bit PIDs may have a down side 32 bit PIDs are not a win in every direction. In particular with the present size check ps (http://checkps.alcom.co.uk) can sensibly build a PID list by asking kill(2) about all the possible UIDs. This detects all the current root kits that work by not mentioning things in /proc and "fixing" this is not something script kiddies can cope with. With 32 bit UIDs this strategy would be useless of course, which would make checkps a less formidable torjan detector. Most current crackers are not looking for it right now and it will presumably contiune to be effective until eveyrone starts using it :-)
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 18:12:47 -0600 From: mike <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: roving squad of ruthless trademark lawyers? Let me tell you about my experience with Linus's "ruthless trademark lawyers". I started a Linux training company last month. I originally wanted to call it Migrate To Linux, Inc. My lawyer advised against this since I may choose to use the corporation for something else one day and I'd be stuck with explaining what Migrate To Linux is all about. So we settled on Migrate, Inc., and the deal was done. Before we abbreviated the name to "Migrate", my lawyer went about looking for permission from Linus to use the word "Linux". He eventually found the attorney (singular) who helped him establish the trademark. In trademark law, a trademark needs to be defended by the entity that owns it. If a trademark isn't enforced, there is the risk of it becoming a "naked trademark" which means it can be used by other entities without the owner's permission since it was never contested in the past. If Linus (or his attorneys) never bothers to enforce his trademark, he can lose it. Linus's attorney was trying to get him to recognize this issue and set up some kind of formal process by which entities could use "Linux" for a small fee. This way, if a software company from Redmond, Washington came along and tried to bring a product to market called Linux for Windows, Linus has legal remedy since there would be an established pattern of enforcement. Otherwise, a judge could rule that he never bothered to defend his trademark in the past, so the trademark essentially means nothing. What happened to Serious Domains was a good thing. If Linus let it go, he could have put the trademark in serious jeopardy. Mike Frost www.migratetolinux.com
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 14:58:35 -0600 From: Garrett Goebel <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Editorial Proposal: Red Hot! Get 'yer Civil Liberties! Well, as of today, I've finally put my money behind my ethics and joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation. To my knowledge, there is no single organization that better represents the interests of electronic civil liberties than the EFF. For those vocal and lurking around the DeCSS issue, isn't it time to join the ranks? What is the EFF doing? They are representing defendants in the DVD-CCA case in California and are involved in a similar case in New York. They are making relevant information accessible and available on the internet. This is nothing new. The EFF has a history of protecting online civil liberties in the United States since 1990. On a personal note, I don't own a single DVD title. However, I'll defend with my EFF membership dues your "fair use" to do with your property as you please. Our readers outside the USA may be asking themselves what any of this means to them. Answer: The U.S. government's legal stance on electronic civil liberties translates into the building blocks and infrastructure of the technology and products you buy today, and what you will buy tomorrow. -Regardless of whether you are buying a product manufactured in America and sold in Japan, or something manufactured in Botswana and sold in the USA. There are some parties who believe that free speech is less important than poorly designed "protection" schemes which are geared more towards a tight coupling of product and means of utilizing it, than protecting the consumers ability to make "fair use" of the copyrighted materials they've purchased. Indeed one could venture to guess that circumventing the "fair use" of copyrighted materials is the very right they hold more dear than free speech. If you do decide to join the EFF, when you do so, send a note stating why you joined to email@example.com to let them know why you joined. [Disclaimer: I don't work for, represent, or receive any compensation from the EFF. -As of today, they represent me!]