LXer Features

How to write an article
By Tom Adelstein Editor-in-Chief - Feb 18, 2006



Many people want to write but have a fear of rejection. When one understands the correct format to use, it makes it easier to articulate your ideas.
Howtoforge: Quality Linux Tutorials
By Tom Adelstein - Feb 18, 2006


My first encounter with Howtoforge began with "The Perfect Setup" for Debian Sarge by Falko Timme. I found a site loaded with fundamentally sound and easy to follow setups for Linux administration. This is a location on the WEB that people needing to administer Linux should bookmark. But then there's more.

On Digg.com
The Myth of a Linux Talent Shortage. Is it true? You tell us.
By Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief - Feb 17, 2006


Last fall I wrote an article entitled "Critical Shortage of Linux Talent Slowing Adoption". I composed a parody, a spoof about the ignorance of human resource management. I wrote:
Most human resource people believe Linux is an air conditioner company. They get confused between the term Linux and Lennox. So, HR recruiters define their job profiles like this:

Linux programmer needed by enterprise. Skills required:

REFRIGERANT METERING DEVICE CALIBRATION
LEAK TESTING
LIQUID & SUCTION LINE SERVICE VALVES KNOWLEDGE
START-UP
CHARGING FOR TXV SYSTEMS

Five to ten years of relevant training and master plumbers' license required. Will accept equivalent for H1B applicants. Microsoft Certifications a plus.
The article title has become an urban myth and from the comments I have read about it, most people took the title to heart and never read the article. So, let's set the record straight.

On Digg.com
How to Misunderstand the Current Impact of Open Source Software
By Tom Adelstein - Feb 16, 2006


Commercial software companies like SAP don't get it about Free or Open Source Software. Neither do Venture Capitalists. The ecosystem doesn't rely on a medium of exchange but first on faith and trust and then monetization. Those concepts don't fly well in a system where decision makers cannot take a long-term approach to business. Look how long it took Linux to get into the mainstream and look at the changes in the industry once it broke through.

On Digg.com
Charlotte Linux User Group tackles GPLv3
By DC Parris - Feb 16, 2006
  LXer Feature: 16-Feb-06

Charlotte, NC - The Charlotte Linux User Group, in a monthly meeting Saturday, discussed the provisions of the GPLv3 draft. Members of the group expressed concerns about the language used in the anti-DRM, license compatibility and license termination sections of the revision draft. The anti-DRM section was seen by some as a potential show-stopper for many developers, while the license compatibility section was seen as potentially encouraging further adoption.

On Digg.com
wyoGuide, another way to improve the Linux desktop
By Otto Wyss - Feb 14, 2006

Improving the desktop by improving the applications

Network Neutrality and an Internet with Vision
By Andy Oram, O'Reilly Media - Feb 13, 2006


In recently-aired plans by telephone companies, content providers who are willing to pay extra would get their content delivered at a higher bandwidth. While it's easy to wax indignant over telephone companies' presumptuousness in deciding what packets should travel at what times, it's harder to step back and take in the economic issues driving the proposed change. And there are technical questions about it as well.

On Digg.com
Get around MS software when using Windows with portable apps
By H.Kwint - Feb 13, 2006
  LXer feature

On a lot of locations, you are forced you to use Windows, but you are not allowed to install anything on your networked PC. Probably, you think this also forces you to use other MS software; like MS Office and Windows Messenger when using the MSN IM-protocol. Well, think again, because It is possible to put 'portable' apps like Firefox, OpenOffice and Gaim on an USB stick, and use it in Windows without installing anything.

On Digg.com
What would Linux users do without flamebait?
By Tom Adelstein - Feb 13, 2006


People new to the Linux community may not understand the controversy created in comment sections, mailing lists, etc. At first, I never did understand it myself. As a writer I learned that the craft has two jobs or functions: Interpret events so the reader can better understand them and challenge people to think in different ways. Let's take Pamela Jones as an example.
Comment of the Day - February 13, 2006 - BSA Wins OSS Promoters of the Year
By number6x - Feb 13, 2006
number6x writes: "Make sure any management types you come in contact with see this article".

Related to:
BSA Offering Rewards of $50,000 for the First Time in the USA
Comment of the Day - February 10, 2005 - Lessons Learn in Brazil
By Mario Miyojim - Feb 10, 2006
Mario writes: ",,, if any of you is young and ambitious, fear not and go ahead and fight for what is right. You will have nothing to regret in the future".

Related to:
History's on the Linux Side of the Equation
Comment of the Day - February 9, 2006 - You Misunderstand Pieces of Our License
By Ned Lilly - President/CEO, OpenMFG - Feb 09, 2006
Ned Lilly responds to yesterday's reader comment.

Related to:
Comment of the Day -February 8, 2006 - OpenMFG isn't Open Source
History's on the Linux Side of the Equation
By Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief - Feb 08, 2006


I once read an essay in which the author wrote: "No one can cheat you out of ultimate success but yourself". When it comes down to making irresponsible decisions about Linux and Open Source Software, you might make the kinds of mistakes that people have made in the past in other endeavors thinking they knew the future as it slipped through their fingers.
Comment of the Day - February 6, 2006 - I use Xandros 3.0.2
By Rajiv G Gunja - Feb 06, 2006
When we asked the question: What Linux Distribution do you use as a desktop? We received an overwhelming response. In a short time, a question posed to LXer readers generated unparalleled activity on our site and on other sites around the globe. We now have several hundred replies we can use to create a statistical model to project Linux desktop use.

We also will feature comments from the forum posts such as Rajiv's. He makes a compelling case for his favorite distribution. You can find all the posts in our Linux Meta Forum. Thank you.
Linux Training and Laptops Go Hand in Hand at LinuxCertified
By DC Parris - Feb 05, 2006
  LXer Feature: 31-Jan-06

LinuxCertified is a growing company that started off loading GNU/Linux on refurbished laptops for students, and now market their own brand. LXer's Don Parris interviewed Rajesh Goyal, LinuxCertified's Vice-President of Sales and Marketing. Meet the company that goes where you are to make sure you know how to manage your GNU/Linux systems.


IBM Offers Migration Guide for Linux as Free Download
By Tom Adelstein Editor-in-Chief - Feb 05, 2006


Rebooks became one of my favorite benefits of partnering with IBM. I even had an opportunity to write one for Global Services on how to install Insight Server. So, when Chris Almond offered their newest book on release to our readers, I jumped for it.

Now, here's how you can get ISBN 0738496081, a 446 page system administrative guide and something about the book itself.
Internet Explorer: No Catching Up with Firefox Now
By Fernando Lopez - Feb 05, 2006

Mozilla FireFox already has the technological lead in the browser market and the momentum has just started to build. So, how can Internet Explorer catch up? They would have to open the code completely and allow their community developers to start writing extensions.
New Vendor Interview: MadTux
By Herschel Cohen - Feb 05, 2006


The MadTux is a new Linux vendor with a mad idea for pushing Linux out to the wild. At present with wide pipes on their end, download speeds are limited on the client side only by the potential capacity of the users' ISP. The fees are modest, but you no longer have to wait at the mailbox looking for the latest distribution if it matches one on the MadTux list. In the interview we try to understand what attracted them to Linux and why they see this business as providing an important service to the Linux community.
Comment of the Day - February 5, 2006 - Switching to SUSE 10
By pmcc - Feb 05, 2006
sharkscott started a thread in November discussing SUSE and has 22 replies. He wrote: "Today is the day that my casual relationship with Linux gets serious". We missed pmcc's comment, however, sharkscott picked it back up today. We're pleased he did. You can see the thread if you're interested in the saga of our readers interested in SUSE.
Open source Windows Server, Microsoft's next poisonous pill?
By Hans Kwint, LXer Senior Editor - the Netherlands - Feb 05, 2006
  LXer feature

When Microsoft launched its first shared source initiative, Eric S Raymond called it a 'poisonous pill'. His opinion was, anyone who ever saw the 'shared' code, could be sued by Microsoft if the viewer ever wrote code that even looked like the shared Microsoft code. The latest Microsoft initiative to 'open source' parts of the Windows Server to settle with the EC may be one of the latest of Redmond's poisonous pills.


What Linux distribution do you use as a desktop?
By Tom Adelstein - Feb 04, 2006


I don't believe the reports from IDC and others on desktop Linux use. I keep fiddling with statistics and I get a higher figure. Now, I'm counting more than Novell's Linux Desktop and the Red Hat desktop. I'm curious if IDC even counts Linspire. But, if you start looking at downloads and do a scatter chart, the percentage runs higher than people say.

So, I started a thread in Lxer's Linux Meta Forum to get a feel for what people use.

Please go to that thread and let me know what you use. Please, also tell me why you use that distribution, if you have any annoyances with it and if you'd like something added.

On Digg.com
Comment of the Day - February 3, 2006 - The underlying value system of FLOSS
By Gary Edwards, Founder OpenDocument Foundation - Feb 04, 2006


Thanks Tom for pointing out the underlying value system of FLOSS. What makes FLOSS work isn't so much that efforts (products) are cost free, although that goes a long way towards initiating mass participation and use. It's that FLOSS is a vast exchange system where value is routinely traded, in exchange for participation and effort.

Related to :
Firefox Extensions Say it All
The Two Faces of Microsoft: Pervasive Brand Recognition
By DC Parris - Feb 03, 2006
  LXer Feature: 02-Feb-06

Microsoft is preparing a publicity campaign to address their image as a 'big' company. In this, the first of a series of four articles, LXer's Don Parris points to the pervasive nature of the Microsoft brand, and how keeping that separate from the corporate reputation keeps regular consumers in the dark.

Digg This Story
Firefox Extensions Say it All
By Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief - Feb 01, 2006


If you have any doubts about the source of innovation in information technology, you should look at the Mozilla web site. I just counted 1,028 extensions contributed by the community. Then take a look at the themes section. Even the colossus of Redmond with its billions of dollars hasn't mustered that kind of development effort for IE from its community over the years. Now, let's get familiar with underlying reasons.
Linux News Questions Corel's Support of OpenDocument
By DC Parris, Assistant Editor-in-Chief - Jan 29, 2006
  LXer Feature: 16-Jan-06

With OASIS ODF member Corel chanting a Microsoft mantra on OpenDocument - that is, they'll support it if they see customer demand - Linux News wonders aloud if a "family" connection between Corel and Microsoft exists.
Linux Growth in Developing Countries Soaring Past Microsoft
By Fernando Lopez - Jan 29, 2006

US trained technology managers proliferate developing countries. They worked in the US, they came back and they're bringing GNU/Linux with them. As for Microsoft, vendors don't even talk about them these days.
Byebye Google.
By sal paradise - Jan 29, 2006
[opionion]Google's recent decision to comply with the Chinese Governments "requirements" have brought things to a head for me. I'm not going to use Google anymore. I don't want anything to do with a company that is prepared to accommodate repression like this.
IT Professionals Don't Buy Microsoft Research & Development Hype
By DC Parris - Jan 22, 2006
  LXer Feature: 16-Jan-06

Experienced IT professionals don't buy the Microsoft hype about their R&D investments. GNU/Linux vendors can use Microsoft's questionable selling point to contrast Microsoft's investment in solving perceived problems with the libre software world's investment in solving actual problems.
Dell in Jeopardy with their Red Hat and Oracle Partnership
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 22, 2006


Ed Scannell of VarBusiness published an scathing article called Cracking Dell's Code last week. He wrote: "Shifting market conditions, poor business decisions and lagging technology are creating fissures in the direct-sales giant--and creating opportunities for solution providers." Two days later Oracle and Sun announced the renewal of their partnership. We believe Dell's luke warm commitment to Linux may make them the first casualty of the open source wave.

Also consider that Dell sold a total of 5 servers priced over $25,000 in the third quarter while HP and IBM sold thousands.
Wasted Efforts in F/OSS – Office Suites
By Herschel Cohen - Jan 22, 2006


This is the first of at least a two part series. I say that because I hold a stronger opinion today than when I first began formulating this premise. Initially, I had'nt thought out all the implications and due to the interactive nature of this format, I expect further ideas to arise.

Oddly enough, for this one instance I see a modicum of truth in one insult Microsoft throws at Linux. And that's what we'll explore together. Please don't take the polite wording of this editorial as an indication of any uncertainty on my part regarding the premise I will present. The politeness exists only because those involved seem so talented. It caused me some difficulty understanding how they arrived at the point they did.

Read on and feel free to comment with vigor as this conclusion or its consequences is not one to take lightly. Furthermore, the next part may seem quite disturbing.
Linux not standing in wait as Microsoft sinks its own ship
By Tom Adelstein, Editor in Chief - Jan 22, 2006


With the traditional Microsoft news media turning their collective ear to the rest of the industry, you have to suspect a changing of the guard. But Linux companies don't seem to guage their efforts by what the industry says about Microsoft. Linux just keeps chugging along.

So what does the Industry have to say about Microsoft? They say that though many people will swear by the invincibility of Microsoft's ship, it hasn't maneuvered all the icebergs. Collectively, the competition has started ringing up wins. With alternatives in Linux, FireFox, OpenOffice.org and Apple the Microsoft floating casino has begun to list and sway. Here's how and some of it might surprise you.
LXer Feature: Another View of the Hijack of Free/Open Source Software by the Unscrupulous
By Herschel Cohen - Jan 20, 2006


For many reasons I think, for the moment, it is better to heap praise upon our real friends than to attempt to root out the abusers. There is just too much noise to signal for even to be possible to convey the proper message.

So when the next Sap (as was so emblematicly expressed by SAP) complains about the short comings of F/OSS (because they failed to get the free labor they so ardently desired) to revive their decaying product line, just grin. I think by the most subtle means possible, in a subliminal sense, the message is being sent to the uncaring public that something is more amiss with these large corporations than their targets of the moment.

Hence, reward those worthy with praise and give scorn to those such as the above only in forums where the audience level of knowledge and interest is sufficient to understand the underlying arguments. For the rest patience, thought and contributions to the new forthcoming GPL 3. The latter, if done right, will then make it more difficult for the abusers to gain mileage with inferior products via false, misleading marketing.


GNU/Linux: An Amazing Story
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 17, 2006


Regardless of the critics, even in spite of them, the Linux Story remains one of the greatest in recorded history. You have protagonists and antagonoists, drama, plots and subplots and we have only made it through part of Act II. So much more remains for others to tell.

Perhaps, the heroics of this story makes Linux so easy to embrace.
Letter to the Editors: Major Newspapers Blocking US Technology Sector
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 16, 2006


The Dallas Morning News, Washington Post, New York Times and friends have a plan. If you work in the technology field, you don't figure into that plan. Also, why do we keep picking up the paper in our front yards and paying those monthly fees? For the Sports Section?
GNU/Linux vs Microsoft on Research & Development: What's the Truth?
By DC Parris - Jan 14, 2006
  LXer Feature: 13-Jan-06

Linux News raises questions about Microsoft's alleged $6 billion per year investment in R&D. Is it money well spent, or are they just throwing it away?

Digg Story
Comment of the Day - January 12, 2006 - Refreshing View on Piracy
By Teron - Jan 14, 2006
Teron writes: I recently rented the film Aliens vs. Predator.
Haven't watched it yet, don't know if it's cr*p or not.
But, when I put the DVD to my PS2 to watch it, up jumps a commercial.
It was that commercial that made me write this.

"You wouldn't steal this, you wouldn't steal that. You wouldn't steal a movie, right? Movie piracy is stealing. Stealing is against the law. Piracy is a crime."


Failure to Curb Microsoft Falls Over to Massachusetts
By Gary Edwards, Open Document Foundation - Jan 14, 2006


Maybe the title should have been "Does Microsoft Use the DOJ as a Shill Against Linux and any other competitive threats?"

Sadly this story carries over into the events taking place in Massachusetts, where raw intimidation of the worst kind was used to send a most chilling messages into a critically important marketplace of government information management systems.

Related to:
Does the DoJ Use Microsoft as a Shill Against Linux?
LXer Feature: Interview with IBM: DB2 in the Mid-Range Market
By TxtEdMacs - Jan 14, 2006
In a rush to arrange an interview just as the holidays rapidly approached at the end of 2005 a series of mis-communications has resulted in a more interesting set of questions and answers than might have been otherwise expected.


Comment of the Day - January 10, 2006 - MS Open Source Point Man - a Dummy
By SFN - Jan 14, 2006
SFN writes: I knew I shouldn't have read this but I guess I just can't help myself. As usual, MS - this time throwing it's voice through ventriloquist dummy Martin Gregory - is presenting us with ideas that run the gamut from baseless opinion to bald face lie. Let's take each point one at a time.

Related to:
Microsoft's open source point man
Bible Desktop 1.0 Released
By DC Parris - Jan 14, 2006
  LXer News Story: 10-Jan-06

The Bible Desktop Project released Bible Desktop 1.0, a Java-based Bible study program, on Saturday. Thanks to a committed, responsive development team, Bible Desktop is maturing into a solid Bible study tool.


Diggable
Microsoft Pushing the Platform
By Gary Edwards, Open Document Foundation - Jan 14, 2006


In response to The Boston Globe In Agony Over Peter Quinn?, Gary writes: Big media is corrupt and long ago lost the trust of their readership... Where's the Department of Justice? Or how about Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly? Talk about being asleep at the switch! And it's not just the reprehensible array of intimidation, FUD, and outrageous corruption of democratic processes to further their own business needs that should cause us all to shout loudly that Microsoft be immediately hauled back in the docket.
The Butterfly Effect Part II: Inside the Chinese Firewall
By Charles Spencer - Jan 14, 2006
This is the second part of my series on the Internet in China. I recently returned from a year teaching at a Chinese University. During my time in China, I had the pleasure of getting to know the state of the Internet in China, both directly and indirectly, through my own use of the Internet and the classes. In my last article, The Butterfly Effect: Microsoft, Security, and the Developing World, I dealt with the effect of pirated software and security and its impact on development. In this article, I would like to cover my experience of the Chinese Firewall from the inside and the way we contribute to censorship in China.
It's Microsoft Tax time again.
By Sal Paradise - Jan 14, 2006
It's nearly time folks, are you excited? That's right, the "new" version of Windows is almost upon us and down at Redmond the coffers are being readied. Microsoft are getting ready to collect another pile of money from your children, your governments, your hospitals and your paycheck.
Microsoft Getting Closer to the Fire
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006
A dispute that has kept the House Ethics Committee from considering Majority Leader Tom DeLay's activities may have ramifications for Microsoft. When one begins to untangle the remarkable political organization created by Microsoft and lobbyists Preston, Gates Ellis et al, you find some uncanny coincidences.
Does the DoJ Use Microsoft as a Shill Against Linux?
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006


Have fears of a resurgence of communism led the DoJ to suspect GNU/Linux communities of having anti-capitalistic agendas? If so, have they allowed Microsoft to engage in anti-trust to stop Free Software?


Is Microsoft Buying Anti-Virus Companies to Undermine Linux? You Decide
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006
By Quashing Linux Anti-Virus Software Support, has Microsoft Taken to Tactics in Restraint of Trade?
Did Bill Gates Invent Linux and Has He Erased the Evidence?
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006
Someone has started rearranging content on the Internet to suit their own purposes and the culprit might be a convicted monopolist. This article examines some compelling evidence and asks Congress to investigate.
A Year Without (MS) Windows: Completing the Conversion of a Windows User
By DC Parris - Jan 12, 2006
  Many people aspire to run a pure GNU/Linux environment, but often complain that some device or program is stopping them. LXer's Don Parris shares his transition from a pure Windows environment to a pure GNU/Linux environment, and how he has fared over the past year. Does he see a need to go back to dual-booting?
Following Bill Gates' Linux Attack Money
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006
Recently, we witnessed the power of Microsoft's political machine when one of the champions of free and open source software, Peter Quinn resigned as CIO of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In my opinion, Microsoft just blinked and everything went south. Other writers have also commented on the chain of events in Massachusetts. For example, Andy Undegrove writes a farewell piece in his blog to the maligned public servant. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols also writes an article about this issue in Microsoft Wins, Open Standards Lose. Steven writes: "CIO Peter Quinn's story tells us that if you go up against Microsoft, you can expect everything and the kitchen sink to be thrown at you."

Well Steven, as much respect and admiration as I have for you, Microsoft didn't even breathe hard. They looked in the direction of bean town and people started doing their bidding. That's what happens when you own a country.

One of the top stories of the year at LXer warned mightily of Microsoft's capabilities. So, I brought it back out and rewrote it. It you don't get it this time, you never will.

Anyone doubting the power of Microsoft, should consider what we said at the end of June 2005. We've also added the preceding article to this text - and made some changes. But the documents we uncovered are still in place. The people within Microsoft's grasp politically are still listed. This isn't a story you scan. This is one you read.

The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. That in its essence, is Fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any controlling private power.
What if the Microsoft trial was rigged?
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006


We're reviewing evidence, which with collaboration could demonstrate that Microsoft went around the legal system to influence the courts, that Linux was used as a straw man and our esteemed leadership not only knows it but fixed it. Keep in mind, all of this exists in theory. No proof exists and people who subscribe to the belief that these situations are true have nothing on which to rest but a conspiracy theory. In fact, no collaboration has ever come forth.

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