|| ||Russell Pavlicek <email@example.com>|
|| ||LINUXWORLD Day 3|
|| ||Wed, 14 Aug 2002 21:51:30 -0700 (PDT)|
LIVE FROM LINUXWORLD EXPO -- Day 3: Wednesday August 14, 2002
Special to Linux Weekly News
by Russell Pavlicek
Another new day brought more folks to the show floor at LinuxWorld Expo.
I spoke to several booth workers who indicated that the Expo floor was
almost continuously busy. Unlike some recent LinuxWorld shows, there
seemed to be a continuous stream of people at the booths during the Expo's
second day. Most booth workers looked tired, but pleased, by day's end.
The Sharp booth seemed pretty busy, especially since they are displaying
their Linux-based Zaurus SL-5500 handheld. Using a StrongArm processor,
the unit includes 64 MB of memory, a color screen, a small pull-out
keyboard, an MP3 player, and more all in a sleek, lightweight frame. And
if you fall in love with the box, you can go to the end of the booth and
plunk down the special show price of US$299 plus tax and take one home
with you. Yes, yours truly succumbed to temptation and I was using it
today to take some notes on the show floor. The only bummer was that the
Sharp booth did not stock appropriate WiFi cards at the booth so that
buyers could purchase a complete wireless Internet solution. I guess it's
off to eBay for me when I get home.
The really sad part is that it wouldn't have mattered too much at the show
anyway, since there was no official wireless connectivity to be found
anywhere at the Expo. There was an unofficial wireless access point in
the Press Room (thanks to Doc Searls), but nothing that I could find
elsewhere. I suggested to show management that they might want to
explore this possibility in the future (please!).
Today's keynotes included Doug Elix, Senior VP of IBM Global Services and
Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle. The feature presentation was a Red Hat and
Amazon.com case study, outlining Amazon's rapid migration from traditional
Unix systems to Linux. The presentation may have delivered some comfort
to managers considering Linux solutions, but technical people were left
with very few details.
I spent some time walking through the .ORG pavilion today. A number of
well-known entities were there, including the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, Free Software Foundation, and OpenOffice.org. For the
non-x86 inclined, the Aurora SPARC Linux Project and the penguinppc.org
folks were showing Linux on their respective platforms. There was a booth
marked NetBSD, but it sat empty.
I spoke with the folks over at the InHand Electronics booth, who create
single-board StrongARM computers which can be used to rapidly create
specialized handheld devices. Until recently, the boards only supported
Windows CE, but they recently added Linux support to the boards. They
said the process of making Linux run on the platforms was relatively quick
and painless. Folks who might need to create custom handheld devices
might want to look at their wares.
In one of the bigger press announcements of the day, the Free Standards
Group announced that Red Hat, SuSE, and Mandrake all have been Linux
Standards Base certified. This is a great step forward for software
developers who can now test their code against an LSB certified
distribution with the knowledge that it should fare well with other LSB
distributions. Also, the FSG announced the Linux Internationalization
Initiative (Li18nux) Certification. This certification will help
standardize international changes regarding language and regional
differences. I learned from one of the FSG members that the on-going work
in the People's Republic of China is pledged to be fully compliant with
the emerging Li18nux work. This is excellent news, indeed.
In the Linux Around the World talks, representatives from Kite
(headquartered in Boston, MA) described how they design solutions for
developing countries which need access to the Internet. They take old
PCs, install Free Software for whatever purpose is specified, provide for
telephone service and Internet hosting, and ship the entire package
overseas. Quite an ambitious project, to be sure, but one worthy of
consideration by people looking to help folks in the third world. If you
want to know more, take a trip to http://www.kiteinc.org/ .
I must admit a gross oversight on my part in yesterday's report. I
omitted one of the key highlights of Tuesday's activities: the Golden
Penguin Bowl. Hosted by Chris DiBona, the two teams were stuffed with the
usual gang of geeky suspects, including Bruce Perens, Rob Malda, Jeremy
Allison, Jay Beale, Dave Mc Allister, Dave Sifry, and Miguel De Icaza.
As in prior competitions, the game involved trivia about Open Source
software, chemistry, science fiction, and other geeky topics.
The game was decided on the last question in a hard-fought battle, but
that is not the big news. No, the real story is that the infamous Golden
Penguin jinx was broken. Jeremy Allison, who has been on the losing team
more times than most folks can remember, was finally on the winning team!
I guess we will have to wait until LinuxWorld New York to find out if
Jeremy will simply take his Penguin home and savor his victory, or if he
will try to extend his new winning streak.
And finally a shameless plug: I hope LWN readers attending Thursday's
finale will stick around to see my conference session at 1 PM on fighting
FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) regarding Linux. See you then!
to post comments)