On the Desktop
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See also: last week's Commerce page.
Here comes the Itanium. Intel chose this week to announce the official launch of the Itanium processor, with the first systems hitting the market in June. People have been waiting for this processor for a long time - even the Linux 2.4 kernel showed up first. The various distributors have wasted no time in announcing distributions for this processor; see this week's Distributions page for the list.
The processor itself is interesting, but not earth shaking - it's just another CPU chip in the end. It will not be the first 64-bit chip to run Linux, or the first RISC chip. The Itanium does not provide any exciting new capabilities, just more speed.
What makes this release interesting is the reflection that, as recently as a few years ago, it was not at all clear that Linux would run on this processor. All of the relevant information was locked up behind nondisclosure agreements, and the Itanium club was an expensive one to join. Without the ability to see the documentation and release the resulting code, an Itanium port would not be possible.
What happened, of course, is that Intel figured out that a Linux port was very much in its interest, and provided the necessary support. The result is that Linux will be one of the flagship operating systems on the Itanium - it was the first system to run on that processor, and may well prove to be the one that makes the best use of it. After all, Linux has supported 64-bit processors for many years.
The "Linux and Itanium" announcements are already rolling in. Some of the more interesting ones so far include:
Perl CD Bookshelf, Version 2.0. O'Reilly and Associates has announced the release of the second edition of the "Perl CD Bookshelf." This CD contains five O'Reilly Perl books in HTML form.
Open Source Development Lab Adds Second Facility. The Open Source Development Lab (OSDL) has announced the establishment of a second facility outside Tokyo. OSDL is a non-profit organization supported by NEC, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Mitsubishi Electric, Miracle Linux and another 14 companies.
WireX and Counterpane form partnership. WireX (creators of the Immunix distribution) and Counterpane (home of Bruce Schneier) have announced a partnership, which seems to be mostly oriented around (further) hardening Immunix.
Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM and NEC announce commitment to enhance Linux enterprise capabilities. Fujitsu Limited, Hitachi Limited, IBM, and NEC Corp. have announced a partnership to refine features needed to drive Linux further into the enterprise. The partnership plans to address issues like scalability, problem isolation, and NUMA systems.
IEMS5 available for major Linux distributions. International Messaging Associates (IMA) has released Beta 18 of its latest Internet Exchange Messaging Server (IEMS) 5 for public evaluation. The current enhancements include new operating system support for six major Linux distributions: Red Hat, SuSE, Mandrake, TurboLinux, VALinux, and Caldera.
Linux Stock Index for May 24 to May 30, 2001
LSI at closing on May 24, 2001 35.09
The high for the week was 35.23
Open source products
Distributions and bundled products
Proprietary Products for Linux
Hardware and bundled products
Products and Services Using Linux
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Books & Training
Investments and Acquisitions
Personnel & New Offices
Linux At Work
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.
May 31, 2001