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News Bytes


 February 2000 Linux Journal

The February issue of Linux Journal is on the newsstands now. This issue focuses on Linux on the desktop.

Linux Journal has articles that appear "Strictly On-Line". Check out the Table of Contents at http://www.linuxjournal.com/issue70/index.html for articles in this issue as well as links to the on-line articles. To subscribe to Linux Journal, go to http://www.linuxjournal.com/subscribe/index.html.

For Subcribers Only: Linux Journal archives are available on-line at http://interactive.linuxjournal.com/

Distro News


Technology Center Hermia, Tampere, Finland - December 28, 1999

SOT, publisher of the #1 Linux in Finland - the home country of Linux and Linus - today released the beta version of their Best Linux operating system to English-speaking users around the globe.

"We now have over 3300 registered T-1 beta testers. They will be providing us important feedback, suggesting new features and testing the product thoroughly. I believe that this beta release is more stable and has better hardware support than any of the final distributions currently available." said Santeri Kannisto, CEO, SOT. "Happy Y2K!"

The English beta version is called Best Linux T-1. SOT will start shipping the CD-ROMs free-of-charge to registered beta testers this week. A ready-to-burn iso image is also available for those who don't want to wait for snail mail. Direct links to the image and additional information are available at the Best Linux web site, http://bestlinux.net

SOT will also distribute CDs from its offices in Tampere, Helsinki and Tallinn. Detailed contact information is available at http://www.sot.com


As part of its "Linux for eBusiness" strategy, Caldera Systems, Inc. has announced that its soon-to-be introduced OpenLinux eServer will ship with IBM open-source e-commerce products... http://www.ecommercetimes.com/news/articles2000/000124-8.shtml


Ottawa, Ontario - January 18, 2000 - Corel Corporation today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire up to a 30 per cent stake in OE/ONE.com, a start-up company developing an "Information Appliance" platform or thin-client Internet Appliance platform.

Founded by former Corel executive Eid Eid this past year, OE/ONE.com has developed a software tool kit, specifications and an industrial design for the product, and is currently working with OEMs - including Tier One consumer electronics manufacturers - to develop the appliance, expected to hit the market in the sub-US $500 range.

Corel will assist OE/ONE.com in implementing many Corel® LINUX® features with the OE/ONE.com software. By leveraging what Corel has done with the File Manager, Browser, Control Center and GUI (graphical user interface), OE/ONE.com can bring ease-of-use at the screen and display level to the Information Appliance while running on Linux's stability and performance. At the same time, Corel will develop a scaled-down version of the Corel LINUX OS optimized for specific devices and applications.

Corel has also released WordPerfect Office 2000 Beta for Linux on its online beta testing sites. http://www.ecommercetimes.com/news/articles2000/000131-1.shtml


Linux-Mandrake 7.0 (Air) has been released. http://www.linux-mandrake.com

 Red Hat

Red Hat announced this week that it has begun shipping a new version of its Linux OS for Compaq Alpha computer systems... http://www.ecommercetimes.com/news/articles2000/000113-5.shtml


San Francisco, CA - January 4, 2000 - SuSE is announcing the availability of a beta-quality version of SuSE Linux 6.3 for the Macintosh PowerPC at MacWorld in San Francisco. The sales release of SuSE Linux for Power PC is planned for this spring. Offering SuSE Linux on PowerPC supports SuSE's strategy of cross-platform availability.

Nuremberg, 17th January 2000 -- SuSE Linux AG, one of the leading Linux specialists worldwide, is continuing to expand its support services. The opening of a new support center in Bremen is directly connected to the worldwide success of SuSE Linux AG's existing support services. The declared aim of SuSE Linux AG is to continue with this success, and to meet the continually growing demand in the area of support services for Linux. The Support Center in Bremen will begin operating on February 15, 2000.

Langenhagen/Nuremberg, Germany - 19 January 2000 - SuSE has teamed up with Minolta to facilitate printer support. The resultant benefits are significant. Linux users can now enjoy high-quality output from the Minolta PagePro 8, 18 and 25 monochrome laser printers. The recently launched Version 6.3 of SuSE Linux features a driver utility that also includes installation support for the PagePro 8, 18 and 25 printers. In practical terms, this means that these Minolta printers will be visible and selectable in the Linux user's windows and functions such as paper trays, mail bins, etc., will also be easily selectable - an important consideration for printers with hundreds of individually customizable configurations. Another practical advantage is that Minolta has just launched an extended version of its network management utility, PageScope, to make life easier for Linux network administrators.

News in General

 Transmeta secrecy lifted

Transmeta, the company that employs Linus Torvalds, has finally let the world in on what it has been working on. On January 19, Transmeta announced a line of Crusoe CPUs. These chips utilize Code Morphing (TM) software to emulate other CPUs (most notably, Intel x86)--this is the part Linus was working on.

Transmeta is also creating a Linux distribution called Mobile Linux for computers without hard disks, with enhancements in the areas of power management and efficient memory use. The distribution will not be sold to the public, however. Instead, it will be offered to OEMs so that they can have an operating system to go with their new chip. Transmeta promises to release Mobile Linux as open-source software.

The information above was gathered from Transmeta's web pages www.transmeta.com (also known as www.crusoe.com), and especially from the FAQ http://www.transmeta.com/about/faq.html.

Analyses from the industry:

 Linux curriculum begins today in Utah Public Schools

DATC press release--

I am proud to announce what I believe to be the first ever Linux-based class to be held in any public school. Today begins the start of Linux' inroads into the mainstream educational arena here at the Davis Applied Technology Center (http://www.datc.tec.ut.us) .

The class itself, Introduction to GNU/Linux, is a course designed for people who have had some experience in computers, but do not know what Linux is, or how it operates. It does require some hands-on experience with computers, but only to make sure that students understand basic hardware and software concepts. It is also the fruit of a survey question asked of the Linux community in October's issue of the Linux Gazette (http://www.linuxgazette.com/)

This coursework (version 0.99) is currently in the process of gaining distribution approval by the Utah Attorney General's office, so that it can be posted in whole to the Linux Documentation Project. (This is because the State of Utah holds the ultimate copyright - I forsee no problems in gaining approval, however.) Once the curriculum is posted, it will be distributed under the auspices of Open Documentation, which means that it can be distributed and used much like Open Sourced software. A full declaration and conditions sheet is included in the document concerning the use and distribution of this curriculum.

The curriculum can be used as a self-paced/self-study guide (as is our normal mode of classwork here at DATC) or you can just as easily use it as an instructor's guide on the secondary educational level. I would also encourage those teaching undergrad-level college or technical courses to make full use of this document, once it is posted on the LDP.

I actively encourage all public school instructors to use this guide, and especially encourage all interested parties (be they teachers, students, or simply IT sysadmins) to feel more than free to mail me with constructive criticisms, suggestions for addition to this coursework, or even technical corrections. (Although I have tested all of the labs and coursework here, there may be some things I still may have missed.) Any questions about the course in general can be directed to me at tjmiller@datc.tec.ut.us As an aside, I am also actively working to add Sair Inc. Linux certification (http://www.linuxcertification.com) to the list of courses as well, since DATC also offers Novell, Cisco, and Microsoft MCP/MCSE courses.

My goal in writing this curriculum is simple: To bring Linux out of the back offices and hobbyists' desktops, and into the minds (and the hearts) of IT's future - the Comp Sci students of today. I find that the schools are where students discover and incorporate their loves and hates of the computer industry, and the sooner they can get started on learning the mysteries of Linux, the greater the benefits to the GNU/Linux movement in general.

 "Open-source" Books


The groundswell of Open Source, or free software, technologies has created a sea change in commercial book publishing. Several publishers, including O'Reilly & Associates, have started offering books under various open-content licenses so that they can be freely displayed on Internet sites, distributed with software on CD-ROMs, taken apart to be used for course handouts, and in some cases printed by other people besides the original publisher. As revolutionary for the publishing industry as this distribution mechanism is, some projects go even further to work directly with the developers of Open Source projects. We are likely to see the integration of professionally edited and produced documentation into the model of Open Source development over the next few years.

Having recently finished one project myself under an open-content license -- Using Samba -- and having started work on several other such projects, I'd like to invite all interested persons to a discussion on how the Open Source community and professional publishers can

1. Involve developers of open source software more directly in the development of high-quality guides and other professionally-edited content.

2. Find the development models for open documents that work well with the successful models used for open-source software.

There are many angles to consider -- quality control, Internet-time release schedules, the big-picture thinking required to keep the book's balance and structure strong during updates, risks and benefits of forking, adequate compensation for writers and publishers, dealing with the natural tendency to want to hide work in progress with competitive publishers -- so take your pick and give us a thoughtful post!

-Andy Oram, Editor, O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.

 Linsight launches

Linsight is the professional approach toward providing a single and complete information resource for Linux. By providing resources for interested readers, Linsight will advocate Linux to an entirely new audience and raise awareness of the operating system to new markets. The need for a complete Linux information resource will be met, and Linsight stands ready to accomplish this goal.

Phase 1 of Linsight, launched today, is comprised of two resources:


LinEvents (http://linevents.com) exists to make information pertaining to upcoming events that are related to Linux and Free Software/Open Source accessible.

LinEvents has been created to achieve the following goals:

  1. To provide a single and authoritative resource of all upcoming events, both geographically limited and world-wide.
  2. To assist interested Linux users in finding local Linux user groups.
  3. To assist interested Linux users in making informed decisions about upcoming events, and their importance to the community.
  4. To provide additional content for LinTraining through an upcoming workshop listings directory.
  5. To assist non-United States markets in locating geographically local events.


LinTraining (http://lintraining.com) exists to make information pertaining to Linux training and certification accessible.

LinTraining has been created to achieve the following goals:

  1. To provide a resource where interested individuals can easily locate available Linux training resources.
  2. To publicize the classes that are provided by Linux training centers.
  3. To provide resources for training centers who want to start teaching Linux classes.
  4. To encourage courseware publishers by proving that there is a market for Linux courseware material.
  5. To promote the ongoing efforts to create a Linux certification program.

Linsight (http://linsight.com/) is founded by Dave Whitinger, co-founder of Linux Today, and is wholly owned by Atipa Corporation.

 IDG/Linus Torvalds Community Award

Framingham, Mass. - January 3, 2000 - IDG World Expo today announced that The XFree86 Project, Inc. is the recipient of the February 2000 IDG/Linus Torvalds Community Award. IDG Chairman and Founder, Patrick J. McGovern and Linux creator Linus Torvalds will present the $25,000 award at LinuxWorld Conference & Expo, following Torvalds' keynote address on Wednesday, February 2, 2000 at the Jacob Javits Center, New York City, NY.

"The XFree86 Project embodies the essence of the free software movement," said Charlie Greco, IDG World Expo president and CEO. "Their work on the upcoming release of Xfree86 with Linux vendors like SuSE, VA Linux Systems and Red Hat ensures Linux compatibility with future releases of Xfree86."

 Software Carpentry's Open Source design competition

The aim of the Software Carpentry project is to create a new generation of easy-to-use software engineering tools, and to document both those tools and the working practices they are meant to support. The Advanced Computing Laboratory at Los Alamos National Laboratory is providing $860,000 of funding for Software Carpentry, which is being administered by Code Sourcery, LLC. All of the project's designs, tools, test suites, and documentation will be generally available under the terms of an Open Source license.

The first stage of the Software Carpentry project is a design competition, with $100,000 in prizes for entries in four categories:

Entries will be published on the web, along with the judging panel's comments, in order to encourage discussion, and provide examples of good practice for the community at large.

Once winners have been announced, the project will provide $200,000 for implementation, review, testing, and documentation. All tools will be required to run on both Linux and Microsoft Windows NT, and to be implemented primarily in, or scriptable with, Python.

For more information, please see the Software Carpentry web page (www.software-carpentry.com).

Greg Wilson gvwilson@nevex.com (416) 593 2428

 Wave Technologies acquires Sair

ST. LOUIS, January 11, 2000-- Wave Technologies International, Inc. (www.wavetech.com), has acquired Sair, Inc. (www.linuxcertification.com). Sair develops comprehensive vendor-neutral Linux training materials and is the architect of the Sair Linux & GNU Certification and its associated exams. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Wave intends to continue a separate Sair Linux & GNU subsidiary that will promote and market Linux training and certification programs. The combined organizations will pursue four major strategic initiatives consisting of:

1. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) sales of training materials. The companies have disclosed existing development agreements with Compaq, Linuxcare, Caldera(r) and others.

2. Certification Exams. Wave's strategic focus has been on IT certification, and Wave plans to support and continue to expand its certification programs including boot camps currently delivered for individuals pursuing the Linux Professional Institute certification, the Red Hat( Certified Engineer designation and the Sair Linux & GNU Certification.

3. Boot Camp Programs. Wave currently offers intensive integrated training programs that provide self study, Internet-based training and intensive live labs targeted at major certifications. Wave and its global network of independent distributors plan to expand Linux certification training programs.

4. Publishing and Distribution. The company plans to expand its distribution of courseware under Sair's existing Authorized Centers for Education (ACE) program and to leverage Wave's existing global distribution network for expanded training sales and distribution.

Founded in 1992, Sair is a leading provider of live Linux certification exams. The Sair Linux & GNU Certification is comprised of three levels, each containing four exams. Sair has a contract with Sylvan Prometric for delivery of the 12 Sair Linux & GNU exams, making them available to more than 140 countries. To date, four exams have been submitted to Sylvan for delivery. The three levels of certification include: Level I- Sair Linux & GNU Certified Administrator (LCA); Level II-Sair Linux & GNU Certified Engineer (LCE); and Level III-Master Sair Linux & GNU Certified Engineer (MLCE).

 Linuxnerds certification test wants contributions

Linuxnerds.com is attempting to assemble a comprehensive Linux certification test. This test would be issued over the web at no cost the Linux community. At this time we at Linuxnerds.com would like to request contributions in the form of question and answer for inclusion. People whose questions are included will be given credit for them. Questions should be submitted to Questions@Linuxnerds.com in essay form and elicit an explanation not true/false or multiple choice. On 1/30/2000 we hopefully, as a community, will sort through the contributions and post a draft certification test by 2/15/2000 with a final copy posted by 3/1/2000. Comments and questions concerning this announcement should be sent to Nerd@Linuxnerds.com.

 Colorado Linux Info Quest conference

Denver, CO (Jan 17, 2000) -- In response to the tremendous growth of Linux over the past few years, Colorado Linux Info Quest (CLIQ) is proud to announce the first ever Linux conference and exhibit to be held along the Colorado Front Range, Saturday, April 1st, 2000 at the Denver Tech Center Marriott.

CLIQ, in association with local Linux user groups and local and regional Linux business sponsors, will be holding a one day event featuring a full days schedule of Linux exhibits, invited talks, real world demonstrations and Birds of a Feather sessions.

Vendors and visitors should check the CLIQ web site, http://thecliq.org, often for more up to date information.

 Embedded Linux Polls from LinuxDevices.com

PALO ALTO, CA., December 12, 1999 -- LinuxDevices.com, the popular embedded Linux portal, today launched the web's first automated Embedded Linux Polls center. The online polls will track developer and user trends and preferences in the hot emerging market for Linux in non-desktop "embedded" system applications. These are non-desktop applications for computers where the device is not itself considered a computer, such as ATM machines, internet kiosks, industrial process control, medical instruments, and telecommunications devices.

"In contrast to the desktop PC domain" says LinuxDevices.com founder Rick Lehrbaum, "Microsoft doesn't dominate the embedded space." "The big players, here, have until recently been Wind River Systems (VxWorks), Microtec (VRTX), Microware (OS9), QNX Software Systems (QNX OS), and Lynx Real-time Systems (LynxOS)," adds Lehrbaum.

"Although over the past year, Microsoft has made a strong play for the embedded space with a dual -- though somewhat confused -- approach consisting of both Windows CE and Windows NT Embedded, most embedded developers are wary of designing a Microsoft desktop or palmtop operating system into small footprint or real-time embedded applications where performance and reliability are paramount," continues Lehrbaum. "Against this backdrop, the ability of developers to tune and customize Linux, in combination with its well known robustness, has made Linux a growing alternative to both the Microsoft Windows OSes and the traditional proprietary RTOSes," concludes Lehrbaum.

Through its new Embedded Linux Polls function, LinuxDevices.com intends to measure and characterize current and future preferences and trends of embedded system developers. Like Linux itself, the polls data collected by LinuxDevices.com will be fully available for all to review once each weekly poll has closed. A new poll will be held each week, with the results of past polls readily available for inspection. Users and prospective users of Linux in embedded applications are encouraged to participate in the polls, which can be found at http://www.linuxdevices.com/polls. Companies or developers are also invited to submit proposed poll questions to LinuxDevices.com via email, at polls@linuxdevices.com.

 Linux Links

Linux font HOWTO (from C.O.L.A.)

iNUX inc. sells Linux desktop computers "distinguished by the stunning and interactive 3D graphics of our intuitive user interface. Upon system start-up, users are presented with comfortable access to ten, instead of just one, computer desktops."

MyFreeDesk.com offers a suite of office applications run directly on their web site.

Linux-based DSL modem. (Silicon Automation Systems Limited)

LinuxLinks reached just over 8,000 verified LinuxLinks after the new Millennium. This represents a rapid increase in the number of new links entered into database per month and further demonstrates the continuing expansion of quality websites on the net covering Linux.

LinuxNetMag is a Linux ezine published in German and English.

The Linux Professional Institute has released the first exam in its Linux certification program.

Interview with Red Hat CTO Michael Tiemann

GetTux.com offers SubX: HowTo Edition, a monthly CD-ROM containing Linux HOWTOs and kernel updates. The cost is US$10 per month. A portion of each subscription cost will be donated to the Linux Documentation Project.

www.linu-x.com is a Linux news/download portal.

Software Announcements

 C.O.L.A software news

PySol 3.30 now contains 160 solitaire games. It even has its own comic strip episode.

kim is an interactive user-friendly process manager. It looks similar to Midnight Commander.

 Other software

Integrated Business Systems & Services, Inc. has certified Synapse Manufacturing and Synapse EAI+ for Linux.

Cygnus, which recently merged with Red Hat, announced a software development environment for Nintendo's Game Boy Advance video game system.

This page written and maintained by the Editor of the Linux Gazette. Copyright © 2000, gazette@ssc.com
Published in Issue 50 of Linux Gazette, February 2000
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