2001 05 10

                    LINUX NEWS
              Thursday, May 10, 2001
       Read By 5,000 Linux Enthusiasts Weekly!


1) Sean’s Notes

2) Linux News

.COMs Gone, Google Races On
Behind AnandTech - 2001 Server Upgrade
Mozilla 0.9 Released
RLX Outed

3) Linux Resources

Unresolved Symbols in Kernel Modules
Creating a Driver for the PC Speaker
Network Security Bible
Apocalypse 2
Learning to Count on Perl at the Census Bureau

4) App o’ the week

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1) Sean's Notes
For the past week or so, I've been seeing stories about how
Microsoft is looking to move to a subscription-based revenue
stream.  There was even talk about making Office XP available
on a yearly contract, rather than buying the licence outright.
All of this is designed to change people from customers into
revenue streams.

Not that it's wrong in any way to make a buck.  The problem
lies in the fact that a subscription delivery of software
takes choice away from the consumer.  Thought you were happy
with the '97 version of your office suite?  "No", says
Microsoft. That's four years of income they've been missing
out on!  According to Microsoft, about 60% of people are
using versions of Microsoft Office that are pre-2000.


Open Source is about choice.  Do you want to stay with your
1997 era kernel?  No one is stopping you.  You've got the
source, just rebuild it on your machine.  (Yes, things change
and upgrades are sometimes necessary, but there are almost
always workarounds).

Linux, being a product of the Open Source movement, embraces
this philosophy.  There are several window managers to choose
from. Darn near everything can be customized to some extent.
There are several word processors, database systems,
development environments, and any other common application.
The choice is yours.  Most of the time, if you have a feature
request, you can speak directly with the author.

Another advantage is support.  Remember Y2K?  Remember having
to upgrade Windows?  With Linux, you had the source.  Chances
were that no matter what version you were running, you could
find the appropriate patches.  Even if Linus decides that no
one should ever run anything older than 2.2, you'll still be
able to find someone that supports it.  Running an Alpha
processor?  What did you think about Microsoft dropping
support for it?  Guess what?  That didn't happen under Linux.

So, to counter Open Source, Microsoft makes up "Shared
Source", and presents it along with the usual Fear,
Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD):


Linus Torvalds responds:

Alan Cox responds:

Take away the source, take away the choice.  Without the
choice, we're left only with what we're told we want.

What does the future hold?  I don't have a clue.  What I do
know is that I've got the source to my operating system and
applications, and that no company can take that away.

Long Live the Penguin,


Visit the Linux News Board at

2) Linux News

.COMs Gone, Google Races On
Google is a great example of the power of distributed
computing. Using 4,000 Linux boxes around the Internet,
Google creates a search engine out of commodity hardware.
They're at 4,000 nodes now, and growing to over 8,000!


Behind AnandTech - 2001 Server Upgrade
AnadTech is a web site that specializes in hardware news and
reviews. Though their main system is running on NT, they
were able to use the Linux Virtual Server project to build a
scalable, redundant web cluster. Lots of pictures and
descriptions of the hardware that went into it are included.


Mozilla 0.9 Released
According to the release notes, the Mozilla team has done a
lot to improve the performance of their browser and email
software, including a complete rewrite of the image
rendering library.


RLX Outed
One rack is 42 Rack Units, which gives you around 80
processors. The RLX uses Transmeta chips, and gives you
336 processors at a fraction of the power consumption.
It's not truly SMP, so Databases are out, but serving web
pages is where this device is positioned.


3) Linux Resources

Unresolved Symbols in Kernel Modules
If you've ever compiled your own kernel, you may have seen
unresolvable symbols when trying to load certain modules. As
this page shows, it's tied back into module versioning-- the
kernel is set up to do it, but the module doesn't support it.


Creating a Driver for the PC Speaker
While most of us have little intention of writing a kernel
driver ourselves, knowing more about the kernel couldn't
hurt. This article is about one person's effort to make a
driver for the PC Speaker that looks like a sound card. It
explores what drivers do and how they function.


Network Security Bible
The intent of this site is to be a resource for security
papers across the Internet. There are almost 100 links to
papers on all aspects of security.


Apocalypse 2
Any time Larry Wall, the creator of PERL, speaks, it's worth
a listen. His Apocalypse series of articles have to do with
what's going on under the hood of Perl 6. If you code a bit
of Perl, reading this is a good idea!


Learning to Count on Perl at the Census Bureau
And, while I'm on a Perl trend, here is a case study on how
Perl is used at the US Census Bureau. In fact, Perl and PHP
enabled the 2000 census to be used on the Internet, resulting
in a huge savings.


4) App o' the week
Slashcode, the software that runs Slashdot and many other
sites, is this week's App. Version 2.0.0, "Bender" was just
released, with a slew of new features. If you're looking
for a dynamic news system that can handle the load, this
might be the one for you.


(C) 2001 BrainBuzz.com. All Rights Reserved.


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