On the Desktop
Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux History page.
Six years ago: "email@example.com," otherwise known as Bob Young at Red Hat's precursor company, announced the Linux events at New York's Unix Expo; included was a panel with Matt Welsh, Michael K. Johnson, Eric Troan, and Marc Ewing. (For those who are interested, "acc-corp.com" is now owned by American Concrete Cutting Corporation...)
Three years ago (September 10, 1998 LWN): industry journalists complained in a big way about being flamed by Linux zealots - a problem that still comes back to haunt the community at times.
Prediction of the week:
Linux will never go mainstream. But it will have a powerful influence nonetheless.
Perhaps it depends on your definition of "mainstream"...
The development kernel was 2.1.121. A fair amount of controversy surrounded the addition of the QNX filesystem, since the kernel was alleged to be in a feature freeze at the time.
Oracle announced its first set of marketing partnerships, with Red Hat, VA Research (now VA Linux), Pacific HiTech (now TurboLinux) and S.u.S.E. (now SuSE).
Dell, it was revealed, had been selling Linux-installed systems to a few big customers for a year, despite its public denials that there was even interest in such systems.
Two years ago (September 9, 1999 LWN): Licensing problems turned up with some of the code distributed with Bind 8.2, a crucial piece of network infrastructure. In the end, all was worked out, but it showed the kind of difficulties that licensing conflicts can cause.
SCO distributed a brochure in northern Europe:
Linux at this moment can be considered more a play thing for IT students rather than a serious operating system in which to place the functioning, security and future of a business. Because Linux is basically a free-for-all it means that no individual person/company is accountable should anything go wrong, plus there is no way to predict which way Linux will evolve
They certainly failed to predict how things would evolve...
Quote of the week:
Any time you're sort of slacking off or saying you're thinking of taking a day off our president says, 'You know, I'll bet Bill Gates is working today.'
Ah, the good old days:
Red Hat's stock continued its climb today, soaring by nearly 15 points to reach 122.8125 in mid-morning trading, making Red Hat founder and chief technical officer Marc Ewing and CEO Robert Young billionaires as well, at least on paper
The latest, greatest NFS patches were withheld from the 2.2.12 (and later) stable kernel release, due to fears that they would destabilize things.
Caldera 2.3 was launched this week. MandrakeSoft announced the opening of its Chinese offices, in cooperation with a little-known (at the time) company called LinuxOne. That partnership did not last long. Red Hat, meanwhile, announced "Lorax", the beta version of its 6.1 release.
One year ago (September 7, 2000 LWN): Trolltech announced that Qt 2.2 would be released under the GPL and QPL giving developers a choice of license. This was a move that should have brought an end to more than two years of controversy centered around the Qt license. However some people are never satisfied. Richard Stallman felt that the legal status of KDE remained clouded.
Qt 2.2 provides the basis to solve this secondary problem, but a certain amount of cleaning up will be needed to fix it thoroughly. Misusing a GPL-covered program permanently forfeits the right to distribute the code at all. Such situations have occurred in KDE, and now they ought to be cleaned up.
A company called Digital Convergence came up with an interesting idea. They would give away a cheap barcode reader (called the ":CueCat") and some (Windows) software. People could plug the reader into their computer, then use it to read a special code printed with advertisements and such. Naturally Linux hackers starting creating drivers for the :CueCat -- something Digital Convergence didn't like. See, in the original software each use of the :CueCat would send in some personal information, along with the serial number of the device. Every code scanned would get tied together with your information, building a nice little profile. The Linux drivers circumvented that profile building. The FBM site put together this page documenting it all, from the first release of :CueCat to the demise of Digital Convergence.
The first public release of the TUX web server happened.
A company called "iRobot" announced a new product: the "iRobot-LE", a Linux-powered robot aimed at household use. It could be monitored and controlled from anywhere on the net via a web browser. It climbed stairs, and had sonar and infrared systems for avoiding obstacles. Suggested uses include monitoring the babysitter, home security, and so on. LWN editors met iRobot at COMDEX.
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.
September 6, 2001