On the Desktop
Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux History page.
Six years ago Kenneth Harker announced his new Linux Laptop page. After all those years, this page lives on at a new URL, and remains the definitive source of information for anybody installing Linux on a laptop system.
Three years ago (October 15, 1998 LWN): The word went around that Oracle was about to launch its own Linux distribution. Three years later, one can probably say that the rumor has not stood the test of time.
If Microsoft could crush us, it would already have done so. It is now several months too late for them to succeed.
Well, it seemed that way at the time...
Larry Wall was the recipient of the first Free Software Foundation Award.
The development kernel was 2.1.125; Linus announced that the last of the showstopper bugs had been fixed, and that it was about time to move into the pre-2.2 series. Meanwhile, one kernel hacker decided to go looking for foul language in the kernel source, and was not pleased with the results. We posted the resulting linux-kernel posting with a warning that it wasn't for the easily offended; it was one of the most popular files we have ever put up.
And no, the kernel source has not gotten any cleaner, at least not in the comments. User-visible output is held to a "suitable for children" standard, but comments in the source itself are unregulated... It would be interesting to know how other operating systems compare to Linux in this regard.
Two years ago (October 14, 1999 LWN): TurboLinux racked up its first big round of equity financing. Longstanding retailer LinuxMall.com also pulled in a sizeable investment from SCO, which was clearly beginning to realize that it needed to take Linux more seriously. Both of these investments were announced at the Atlanta Linux Showcase, which was underway.
Mr. Miller says that about 40 investors have approached Turbolinux, offering a total of nearly $200 million in potential funding. A lot has changed since Mr. Miller and his wife founded Turbolinux seven years ago.
Of course, a lot has changed yet again since the above was written. Turbolinux is no longer turning down financing opportunities, the Millers are long gone, and LinuxMall.com, as part of EBIZ, is currently in bankruptcy.
OpenSSH 1.0 was released; it was the first free ssh release in a very long time.
VA Linux Systems, O'Reilly & Associates, and SGI announced plans to produce a commercial, boxed version of the Debian distribution.
VA also filed for its initial public offering of stock, setting in motion what was to be the most spectacular IPO of the year.
In making such a bold move (Solaris is their core product) Sun is embracing everything that has made the Open Source movement such a success. Everything, that is, except that bit about opening up their source code.
One year ago (October 12, 2000 LWN): the KDE project was worrying about its public relations. The project felt that it had better code than its rival, but that it had been outmaneuvered on the PR front.
Scyld Computing announced its "Beowulf 2" software.
The first Python 2.0 release candidate came out, as did the first beta of the Opera browser for Linux. Bind 9 was released. KDE 2.0 was supposed to be released, but was pushed back one week to deal with a few remaining issues.
Three core PostgreSQL developers joined Great Bridge; they have since lost those jobs, and the PostgreSQL project has been relatively quiet for the last couple of months. Looks can be deceiving - the PostgreSQL hackers are as busy as ever. The Great Bridge team have not immediately found other PostgreSQL jobs, however.
There are now black boxes, whether in hardware or software, that are illegal to peek inside. You can pay for it and use it, but you are not allowed to open up the hood. You cannot look to see if the box violates your privacy or has a security vulnerability that puts you at risk.
Section Editor: Jonathan Corbet.
October 11, 2001