Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 17:16:03 -0800
From:"Linux-Pipeline-Newsletter" <linuxed@TECHWIRE.COM>
Subject: [LPN] Linux Pipeline Newsletter - 2.10.2004
February 10, 2004


Item 1: Before we get to the topic at hand, let's talk about this
week's lineup of stories.

We're pretty pleased with it. In addition to the regular run of news
and features, we're bringing you a package of stories from our
sister publication, Network Computing, providing some basic
information that IT managers will need to consider in deploying
Linux in the enterprise. Articles include a comparison of strategies
between Novell and Red Hat, and how-to guides on finding Linux
support staff and figuring out where Linux makes sense in your

Look for the Enterprise Linux Basics special report, below.

Item 2: Advocates of Linux on the desktop talk about Linux replacing
Microsoft Windows, but of course, that's not the way the computer
industry works.

Users don't replace what they already have. PCs, minicomputers and
Unix servers didn't replace mainframes, even though the vendors of
those systems kept insisting that was going to happen any day now.

Instead of replacing old technology, new technology gets deployed
for new applications.

Microsoft Windows will remain the dominant operating system for the
personal computer as long as the dominant PC applications are the
ones we're seeing today: word processing, e-mail, spreadsheets, web
browsing, and accessing enterprise applications through a client-
server or browser interface.

Simply doing those things better and cheaper will not be sufficient
to steal market share from Windows. IBM tried that strategy with
OS/2. It was marketed as "better Windows than Windows," and it was.
But it didn't get popular enough to survive.

Linux is likely to carve out a good-sized chunk of the market for
client operating systems -- and notice, by the way, I'm carefully
not saying "PC," or "desktop" systems -- but it will have to do so
by hosting a new kind of application, one that is not available on
Windows. This kind of application is known in computer marketing
circles as a "killer app," a term used to describe an application
that suddenly makes a new technology compelling. The spreadsheet was
a killer app for the PC, the web was the killer app for the

What will be the killer app for desktop Linux? I don't know,
precisely. This kind of thing is difficult to predict. The
successful few who correctly predict the emergence of a killer app
are people who become very wealthy indeed.

But I can tell you some broad areas where you might look for the
Linux killer app:

- Modular computing: Companies like Antelope Technologies and OQO
are developing handheld computers that you can plug into a dock and
use as a personal computer. Plug the pocket-sized module in to a
dock and you can use it with a full-sized monitor, keyboard and

A company called Synosphere is working on similar technology called
a Blue Dock, that can connect an existing Palm or Pocket PC system
to a monitor, keyboard and mouse. It is designed to allow users to
use their handheld computer as their main PC.

These technologies solve problems that are familiar to any user of
handheld computers. Handheld users are perpetually struggling to
find applications that synchronize between the desktop and handheld,
and making sure that the information they need is being synchronized
between the desktop and handheld. Moreover, handheld computers are
expensive - a top-of-the-line handheld can cost $600 or more, more
than half the price of a low-end notebook computer. Why not buy a
handheld that can also function as a low-powered desktop system, and
get the best of both worlds?

Right now, these technologies are focusing on existing, proprietary
operating systems, but these markets are immature. Linux already has
strong handheld computing technology, in the Sharp Zaurus, and it's
getting stronger. This week, we bring you a story about Lycoris,
which introduced a version of the KDE desktop for handheld devices.

Lycoris Offers KDE User Interface for Handhelds

The Tablet PC is another form factor that looks intriguing for the
next generation of personal computing. Right now, Microsoft is
pioneering that technology, but a smart Linux vendor could easily
steal Microsoft's small lead in this technology.

And we're seeing new technologies for e-ink and roll-up displays
that will lead to still more, new and exciting form factors over the
course of the next decade. Linux could become the dominant platform
for any or all of these devices.

- Smart appliances. Discussion of smart appliances have focused on
refrigerators that know when the contents of the refrigerator are
about to run out and go bad. I already have devices to tell me that,
these devices are called my "eyes" and "nose." Be nice if my
refrigerator would know when parts are about to wear out, though,
and could call for help over the Internet, and then nice Mr.
Refrigerator Repair Man would phone me up and see when it would be
convenient to fix the failing refrigerator BEFORE it broke down
while we were away for a week and I came home two days before my
wife and found that the house smelled like "Night of the Living
Dead" looked.

The preceding is, of course, only a hypothetical example.

(By the way, if you are throwing away potentially-spoiled bottles of
salad dressing and ketchup and mustard and things, you will have the
options of either throwing them into a plain plastic garbage bag, or
a hard-sided and sturdy garbage receptacle. Which option you choose
depends on whether you want to have a leaky garbage bag spreading
salad dressing all over your kitchen floor. I just thought you might
like to know that.)

- Peer-to-peer media. Right now, entertainment companies are hung up
on distributing content with the boat anchor of digital rights
management strapped to its ankles. Copy protection didn't work when
software companies tried it in the late 1980s, it's not going to
work any better now. Consumers don't want it. To paraphrase writer,
blogger, and net-personality Cory Doctorow: Nobody wakes up in the
morning and says, "Today, I want to buy something that enables me to
do LESS with my music and movies."

The successful media companies will be the ones that figure out a
way to make money off of unprotected peer-to-peer file sharing,
rather than struggling to suppress it. The behavior we call piracy
today, and which we prosecute in the court, will in the future be a
legitimate consumer activity, which people pay to do.

We have all the technology ingredients in place already for the
peer-to-peer media revolution: we have high-speed data connections
into homes and businesses, we have PCs, we have MP3 players, we have
personal video recorders. The world is waiting for a business model
that can make it all work.

Linux is already poised to become a key technology in this new
medium. Heard of TiVo? It runs Linux.

- New user interface: When the windows-mouse-keyboard interface was
invented, Lyndon Johnson was still in office and the Beatles were
still together. I expect there's something better. I have no idea
what it is -- it's not voice, it's not 3D virtual-reality gimmicks -
- but I expect there's something better. When it's invented, I
expect it will run on Linux before it runs on Windows.

- Linux might replace Windows after all.

I could be wrong in my prediction that Linux won't replace Windows.
When I told my co-editor Scot Finnie about the rule that new
technology doesn't replace old technology, he responded that Windows
3.x did, indeed, replace DOS. I responded that Windows 3.x was
simply the NEXT VERSION of DOS, from the same vendor with a GUI on
top, but maybe he's right and it was a case that the new technology
did replace the old. And maybe it will happen again.

Windows is more vulnerable now than it has been at any time in the
past decade. Users are balking at the relatively high license fees
being charged by Microsoft. The price of hardware has plummeted over
the past decade, but software costs have set a lower limit
preventing pricing from falling much further. The price of a PC is
pretty low - but it could be a lot lower if each new PC didn't
require a significant payment to Microsoft.

Businesses Balk At Microsoft Licenses

Meanwhile, the virus plague on Windows is getting worse, not better.
Sure, Microsoft is doing a good job making its software more secure,
but the virus-writers are staying ahead by becoming more prolific.
The Internet has been in a constant onslaught from MyDoom for the
past couple of weeks - until now, we could count on e-mail viruses
peaking and subsiding in a few days, but MyDoom just keeps on

Another MyDoom Worm Targets Already-Infected Machines

So we may see an opportunity for Linux on the desktop after all,
simply by providing a cheaper and less vulnerable alternative to

--Mitch Wagner, Co-Editor, Linux Pipeline

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1. Special Report: Enterprise Linux Basics
2. Special report: SCO vs. Linux
3. Only the Best Linux and Open-Source News
4. Review: ImageStreams' TransPort Linux Router
5. Review: IBM's DB2 Everyplace 8.1.4
6. Review: Novell's Nterprise Linux Services 1.0
7. Review: Red Hat Scores With RHEL 3.0
8. Review: SUSE 9.0: A Distro Worth Paying For
9. Trends: Kernel 2.6 Offers Advantages to Developers
10. Trends: Extremist Linux Advocates Doing More Harm Than Good
11. Voting Booth: Is Desktop Linux 5-10 Years Out?
12. Expert Views: Extremism in Defense of Linux Must Be Condemned
13. Dig Into Open Source Systems Management Tools and Utilities In
Product Finder
14. Check Out The Linux Pipeline Topic Categories
   - Core Linux
   - Applications
   - Enterprise Open Source
   - Business
15. Tell A Colleague About Linux Pipeline Newsletter
16. Have You Discovered The Other Pipelines?
17. Change Your Subscription Options


Comparing Strategies: Novell and Red Hat
Pioneer Red Hat and savvy investor Novell have different approaches,
but together they're leading the charge to bring Linux to the
enterprise--from the data center to the desktop.

Buyer's Guide: Linux Support Services
Know what each service covers and how much it costs before signing up.

Linux Migration: Are You Experienced?
Migrating to Linux requires hands-on experience your Windows admins
may not have. Look to those familiar with the command-line
interface, like switch and router experts, for help.

Figuring Out Where Linux Makes Sense In Your Organization
We sort through the areas where the OS excels and where you should
exercise caution in web services, instant messaging, application
servers, directory services, e-mail and databases.

Automaker Audi Implements Linux
Making the switch to Linux can be an ideological decision. For
carmaker Audi, it's a practical move that's calculated to pay off.

What to Think About When Considering Deploying Linux In Your Company
Everything you need to know to deploy Linux in your company,
including what to look for in IT staff, in management tools,
technical support (and where to get it), application support,
security, who's already doing it and why, and desktop Linux issues.


Expert Claims SCO-Novell Copyright Dispute Will Halt Linux Customer
A Columbia professor claims that SCO cannot move ahead with a
lawsuit against a Linux customer until its copyright dispute with
Novell is legally decided.

SCO And IBM Await Judge's Decision

SCO Tries To Tack Copyright Infringement To IBM Claim

SCO Vs. IBM: The Battle Heats Up


North American Developers Working On Open Source Projects Tops A
A recent study shows 1.1 million developers in North America are
spending at least some of their time on open source projects.

Sun Readies Next Version Of Java Enterprise Server

Mozilla Previews Newest Open-Source Browser

Linux Used In Jet Engine Testing

Microsoft Scales Down Windows For Thai Market

Another MyDoom Worm Targets Already-Infected Machines

Red Hat To Boost Security in Next Enterprise Linux

Businesses Balk At Microsoft Licenses

Sun Waffling On Joining Eclipse Development Tools Alliance

Lycoris Offers KDE User Interface for Handhelds

Developers, Disney Make Odd Couple At EclipseCon

Sun Offers Up JSE 1.5 Beta For Desktop Development

Indian Insurance Company Signs Up for StarOffice for 10,000 Users

4. REVIEW: ImageStreams' TransPort Linux Router
ImageStreams' TransPort Linux Router offers fast WAN and LAN
connections to branch offices and SOHOs

5. REVIEW: IBM's DB2 Everyplace 8.1.4
The database client supports multiple OSes, including Linux. After
you customize it, it will fill most of your mobile client needs.

6. REVIEW: Novell's Nterprise Linux Services 1.0
Nterprise Linux Services 1.0 does a good job providing file, print,
management, messaging and identity services.

7. REVIEW: Red Hat Scores With RHEL 3.0
A multitude of enhancements make Red Hat Linux Enterprise 3.0 a
natural for the data center, but licensing and support issues could
hinder widespread adoption.

8. REVIEW: SUSE 9.0: A Distro Worth Paying For
SUSE 9 offers a superb printed manual, a great installation
interface, a modern KDE system in addition to the more standard,
older GNOME interface, and a new kernel build. It's easy to see why
Novell thought enough of the software to buy the company.

9. TRENDS: Kernel 2.6 Offers Advantages to Developers
The source code is being characterized as a major release, one
imbued with features that take Linux even deeper into the realm of
mainstream computing.

10. TRENDS: Extremist Linux Advocates Doing More Harm Than Good
Foul language, abuse, and threats brought by angry Linux advocates
could be giving a good operating system technology a bad name.

11. VOTING BOOTH: Is Desktop Linux 5-10 Years Out?
Is Linus Torvalds right that "it's going to take literally five
to 10 years before 'normal users' start seeing" Linux emerge as a
serious contender on the desktop?

12. EXPERT VIEWS: Extremism in Defense of Linux Must Be Condemned
I've been doing a bit of Googling today, and I've discovered that
there's something missing from the statements by Linux leaders about
the MyDoom attack. It needs to be said: Vigilante action is wrong. -
- Mitch Wagner

Read more Linux insight on the Linux Pipeline blog


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------- Advertisement -------------------

Need to keep your sanity while working in Windows?
MKS Toolkit brings the power of Linux to Windows. Linux scripts,
commands, applications and your skills are immensely powerful tools
that when mixed with over 450 utilities and a complete application
SDK make even Windows palatable. Whether you have code to create or
systems to administer the MKS Toolkit product family is essential to
your Windows experience.  Call 800-637-8034;+1 (703) 803-3343.
Request a free 30 day Evaluation:

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