To:"Mike Swier" <mswier@YAHOO.COM>
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 16:34:34 -0400 (EDT)
From:"Linux Pipeline Newsletter" <>
Subject: [LXP] LInux Pipeline Newsletter - 10-19-2004 - Linux On Your Lap? Linux Pipeline Newsletter | Linux On Your Lap? | 10.19.2004
Linux Pipeline Newsletter
Tuesday, October 19, 2004

In This Issue:
  • Editor's Note: Linux On Your Lap?
  • Top Linux News
        - New Tool Checks Legality Of Open-Source Software
        - Novell Warns Against Potential Linux Lawsuits
        - JBoss Unveils Workflow Engine
        - More News...
  • Editor's Picks
        - Feature: Can Linux Do 'Hard' Time?
        - Special: TechWeb's 'Best Independent Tech Blog' Readers' Choice Award
        - Opinion: You Can Learn A Lot From A Pig
        - More Picks...
  • Voting Booth: What Do You Think Of The GPL?
  • Get More Out Of Linux Pipeline
  • Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

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    Editor's Note: Linux On Your Lap?

    The Linux parade is headed for Main Street. Finally, after years of nay-saying (and the occasional grumpy analyst report), we're seeing more evidence that open-source is ready to become something more than an asterisk in the mainstream market.

    Yet the true test for mass-market Linux isn't the desktop—it's the laptop. And while desktop Linux keeps moving towards the head of the class, its laptop cousin still has some homework to do.

    There are a number of reasons why the laptop market isn't yet friendly territory for Linux, but the most vexing is probably hardware support. Laptop vendors are notorious for tweaking their hardware configurations and chipsets—and in some cases, they'll make changes without bothering to change the model number. Since most laptop hardware still relies on third-party Linux drivers, developers are often one or two steps behind the vendors—and as a result, users spend too much time wrestling with basic hardware issues. I've seen experienced Linux users go half-mad dealing with broken drivers, and I guarantee this kind of trouble won't play in Peoria.

    If you'd like to find other headaches for Laptop Linux users, take your pick: power management, wireless networking, graphics, and peripheral management are all giving somebody, somewhere, a serious headache as you read this. And as usual, the typical ways to find answers to these problems—user groups, newsgroups, or the Linux geek next door—simply don't compute for 98 percent of the computer-using population, even if they're actively interested in using Linux and open-source software.

    Now that I've delivered the bad news (with inexplicable glee, as usual), here's the good news: Things aren't nearly as bad for laptop Linux as they used to be, and they're likely to get much better very soon. Already, if you want a first-rate laptop system with a choice of Linux distros, no hassles with hardware or drivers, and reliable support, firms such as LinuxCertified are filling the gap that major vendors aren't yet willing to cross. And the Linux 2.6 kernel, which is now a part of the Red Hat and SUSE distros and should be appearing elsewhere over the next several months, includes new software-suspend and wireless support capabilities, along with the ability to change processor speed based on a laptop's power profile.

    And then there's the Linux-based laptop system HP introduced last month. It's the first such offering from a major laptop manufacturer, and as a result it got more press coverage than most hardware announcements. It's also the first, and perhaps the most important, test for laptop Linux. Although some analysts are already predicting that other major vendors will have to follow suit with their own Linux-based laptops, HP is still treating this as an experiment rather than a permanent addition to its product line. In other words, the HP honeymoon could still end in a quick divorce.

    While we're waiting for the jury to come in on laptop Linux, I'd like to hear your own experiences purchasing, installing, and using Linux on laptop computers. Let me know what you think, and I'll share the best responses here on Linux Pipeline.

    Matthew McKenzie
    Editor, Linux Pipeline

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    Top Linux News

    New Tool Checks Legality Of Open-Source Software
    Black Duck Software says it will provide a tool for legal professionals to identify potential intellectual property conflicts.

    Novell Warns Against Potential Linux Lawsuits
    Novell Corp. executives this week fired a warning shot in the continuing industry battle over software patent lawsuits.

    JBoss Unveils Workflow Engine
    Open-source company JBoss Inc. on Monday introduced a workflow engine that broadens the company's middleware stack.

    Red Hat Launches Linux Runtime For Appliances
    Red Hat takes a second stab at the embedded systems market with a new partner program and a run-time edition of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.

    Open-Source TCO Favors Large European Firms
    Small and mid-sized companies have little to gain switching from Windows to open-source applications, according to a European IT resarch firm.

    Excite Co-Founders Turn Wikis Into Development Platform
    A new company named JotSpot aims to extend wiki technology into the realm of enterprise workgroup applications.

    Editor's Picks

    Feature: Can Linux Do 'Hard' Time?
    The Unix world is littered with failed real-time kernel projects. Will Montevista's real-time Linux plans fare any better?

    Special: TechWeb's 'Best Independent Tech Blog' Readers'=20 Choice Award
    Do you have a favorite tech blog? Which tech bloggers keep you coming back for more? Help us find the best tech blogs and spread the word by nominating up to five of your favorites. We'll pick ten finalists for a head-to-head showdown starting November 1.
    The rules are simple: To qualify, a blog must cover technology, and it must be an independent publication (in other words, no blogs associated with online publishing companies like CMP Media). Nominations are open through October 29.

    Opinion: You Can Learn A Lot From A Pig
    Security Pipeline editor Mitch Wagner shares a fairy tale about three little pigs—along with some unrelated discussion about Microsoft vs. open-source security. Really. Completely unrelated.

    Feature: IBM Gives Details On 'Atlantic' Release
    IBM Rational sets a late December launch date for its next- generation enterprise development platform.

    InternetWeek: eBay Dominates Search, Site Traffic
    As the most searched-for brand, eBay attracts more than one-third of visitors to shopping sites.

    How-To: 64-Bit Processors: Twice As Nice
    Ready to jump on the 64-bit Linux bandwagon? Here's a guide to picking the right processor to suit your needs.

    Voting Booth:

    Cast Your Vote Now!
    What Do You Think Of The GPL?

    This week, we'd like to know what you think of the GPL as a license for your open-source software projects. Does it work? Is it a problem? Do you even worry about it? The polls are still open and every vote counts. Vote today!

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    This issue sponsored by the new IIBM eServer(tm) OpenPower(tm)
    Introducing IBM eServer OpenPower servers, featuring proven Power Architecture(tm) technology enhanced to run Linux. It's the power to handle both 32 and 64 bit; the power to have over 1000 apps; the power to innovate. Learn to flex your Linux muscles at


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