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By Michael E. Smith, LXNY

The meeting notice on Usenet (including comp.os.linux.announce) set the tone for the event: Richard M. Stallman's original announcement of the GNU project (Subject: Free Unix!) was the centerpiece. The event: the traditional LXNY meeting at UNIX EXPO (this year a part of Miller Freeman's IT Forum '97) in New York City. The speaker: Bryan Sparks, Founder and CEO of Caldera, Inc. The setting: a corner room at the Javits Center seating 75, with a crowd of approximately 100 enthusiasts overflowing into the corridor.

Jay Sulzberger of LXNY delivered a rousing introduction to the speaker, establishing a martial-revolutionary theme. After regaling the assembled troops with stories of RMS at MIT, he echoed Linus Torvalds' call for more applications and strongly cautioned Linuxers on the need to avoid internecine conflict -- the war is to be waged on many fronts in many ways, even including alliances with commercial vendors. (Caldera offers both free and commercial versions of Linux (and (DR) OpenDOS).) Sparks spoke about the Caldera international operation, non-desktop environments (especially kiosks), their partnerships, their lawsuit against Microsoft, the continuing phenomenal growth of Linux and the need for perseverance. He mentioned that Caldera has sold 2,000,000 copies of OpenDOS.

Caldera brought some of their partners to the meeting including Corel (WordPerfect for Linux), Enhanced Software Technologies (bru), AppGen Business Software, FacetCorp, TwinCom and ICentral. Also represented were VAResearch and Non-Profit Computing. Caldera provided food, T-shirts, flashlights and OpenLinux Lite CDs to all present.

LXNY's booth at the show, which contained a display of Linux publications, was as big a success as the meeting.

Copyright © 1998, Michael E. Smith
Published in Issue 24 of Linux Gazette, January 1998