LXer Features

Foxnews: You may have lost Linux users as an audience
By Tom Adelstein - Sep 30, 2005

When you published your article, "Massachusetts Should Close Down OpenDocument", you made an error. You let someone from the Americans for Technology Leadership influence your fair and balanced reporting. Well, the story is unfair and unbalanced. Get Bill O'Reilly on the phone and have him talk to Tim.

So, here are our talking points.

(Note: For those readers who have never seen the Bill O'Reilly show on Fox, this is a parody of how he opens his show.)
What Would We Do Without David Berlind?
By Sam Hiser - Sep 28, 2005
No journalist -- no real journalist -- has covered open standards with better quality than David Berlind for ZDNet. Try his RSS Feed "Between the Lines", for starters.

Among other issues, his coverage of the MassGov declaration for OpenDocument has been informative, his analysis penetrating. Among his insights is how cynically Microsoft has played the situation and how far-reaching its impact will be.


InformationWeek's Cover Story: Open Source Goes Corporate
By Tom Adelstein - Sep 27, 2005
With a big penguin dressed in a power suite and tie, pocketing a Blackberry and holding a cell phone to his ear, InformationWeek (Sept. 26, 2005) writes "Hey, Yahoo, Disney's on the other line. Call you back." And below that, the lead says, "Open-source software, led by Linux, is barreling into big business. P. 38"

Not bad for the print friendly Microsoft publication.
Citadel: open source groupware made easy
By Art Cancro - Sep 27, 2005
Read about a unique and powerful open source groupware server that's been around for years, but you might not have known about it.
10 Days as a Windows XP User: A GNU Perspective on Things
By Tom Adelstein - Sep 26, 2005
How difficult is it for a Linux user to migrate to Windows? Not bad if you're good at playing video games.
Hellooooooo Vietnam!
By Jon 'maddog' Hall - Sep 25, 2005
maddog announces two talks in Hanoi, Vietnam, and kicks off a couple of articles about Free and Open Source Software in that country which will continue over the next couple of days.
A Linux Business Model for VARS, Consultants and Start-ups That Works
By Tom Adelstein - Sep 22, 2005
Many people wonder how to make a living selling Open Source Software. If you feel slightly stuck, here's an explanation that might make sense to you.
LXer Formalizes Features Section with Articles, Reviews and HOWTOs
By Dave Whitinger - Sep 22, 2005
Less than two years after our initial launch, LXer has become a top news site in the Linux community. Continuing progress allows us to provide services to authors wishing to publish original material. Click to read more about the announcement.
Linux Users: Consider a free anti-virus program for your desktop
By Tom Adelstein - Sep 21, 2005
After I wound up stuck on a Windows computer for a week, I noticed my mind wondering about the possibility of a virus lurking on my Linux desktop. So I tried an anti-virus program for Linux and found a surprise.
Buy Your Linux Laptop Direct and By Pass Dell
By Tom Adelstein - Sep 19, 2005
The "Name" brands do not manufacture their own laptops. They buy them from Original Design Manufacturers (ODM). These ODMs sell their computers to DELL, Toshiba, IBM, HP, Compaq, Sony and others. They then put their label on it and market it. You can find the same laptops and buy yours without an operating system.
Happy Software Freedom Day, Comrade!
By Jon 'maddog' Hall - Sep 12, 2005
Free Software is good for Russia. Lowering their balance of payments, employing local programmers, creating opportunities for local service, allowing their students to see how major pieces of software work, reducing the issues of software piracy, allowing them to adopt software to their languages and culture and giving their country better security are all reasons why the Russians (as a lot of other countries) have embraced Linux.
As Microsoft Formats Fail the Test of Time - Doesn't Linux make More Sense?
By Tom Adelstein - Sep 07, 2005
Rumors abound about the US Nuclear arsenal lacking documentation of its software from twenty years ago. Someone even said the US consulted Russia for help. With new Government regulations in place, you have to have a long-term strategy to retrieve your old documentation. Those are the business drivers that spurred OASIS to create the open document format - compliance issues that will require people to maintain records for decades. Now, try and retrieve an archived document from Microsoft Word Version 5. Oops. You just can't change formats anymore to make people buy your new products, Bill.
Sam Hiser's Comment on the MassGov ETRM Document
By Sam Hiser - Sep 06, 2005
The following is Sam Hiser's comment on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Information Domain -- Enterprise Technical Reference Models draft document, version 3.5. (The Office of the Chief Information Officer requested that public comments be made by Friday, September 9, 2005.)
Laptop Linux
By Tom Adelstein - Sep 02, 2005
Using a Thinkpad T21, I wound up doing the engineering I expect the maker of my Thinkpad to do. All the tools exist, now let's see if Lenovo will take the hint.
Lxer Story on Massachusetts Move to Open Doc Format Scoops Major News Outlets
By Tom Adelstein - Sep 01, 2005
Yesterday, Sam Hiser called to let me know he placed an article in the pending queue at Lxer. "It's a scoop," he said. Turns out he was right. The article made the major media wires shortly after hitting Google News at 3 PM on Wednesdy.
MassGov Declares OpenDocument the Standard File Format for the Commonwealth
By Sam Hiser - Aug 31, 2005

First Reported on Lxer -ED

The State of Massachusetts -- home of The Boston Tea Party, The Battle of Dorchester Heights and other underdog victories -- today released the draft document (for review & comment up until September 9) which would be the basis of the State's policy on acceptable document file formats.

Among other information standards issues covered in the document, Massachusetts declares the following formats to be the targets of migration policies:

-OASIS OpenDocument for Text, Spreadsheet & Presentation files (.odt, .ods, .odp) Migration Target: January 1, 2005
-Plain Text Format for Text files (.txt)
-Hypertext Document Format for Web Pages (.html)
-Portable Document Format for Other Documents (.pdf)

Among the applications supporting OpenDocument are OpenOffice.org 1.1.5 and 2.0, StarOffice 8, KOffice 1.4, Workplace as well as, to some partial degree, AbiWord, eZ publish, Knomos, Scribus and TextMaker. Others will follow.

The State CIO requests our comments on the document by September 9, 2007.
Increased Media Chatter Targeting Linux Desktop
By Tom Adelstein - Aug 31, 2005
The media buzz about Linux's alleged failure on the desktop probably means Linux is continuing to take a significant share of Microsoft's market - maybe even more than we think. Why else would the big Redmond company's minions write such claims? Disinformation provides an insight into someone's fears. The noise level has gone up and that probably means Linux is creating trouble for Windows.
10 Days as a Linux User: A GNU Perspective on things - The Rebuttal
By Tom Adelstein - Aug 27, 2005
After carefully reading Clarence Ladson Jr.'s story of 18 August 2005, I realized Flexbeta and the author may have tricked me and other readers. Ladson's story had little, if anything to do with a GNU Perspective. So what exactly would you call it?
Want To Join the World Trade Organization? Dump Microsoft Go With Linux
By Tom Adelstein - Aug 24, 2005
When Mark Shuttleworth asked for help in putting together a list of Government Projects for the Go Open Source Task Team conference to be held on August 22 & 23 for South Africa, he faciliated an unique database of best practices and brought to light needs of developing countries.
SuSE 9.3, my desktop OS
By Venkata Avasarala - Jul 06, 2005
I have been using SuSE for quite sometime. I started out with Red Hat. However, the initial installations had problems with the graphics card of my notebook, resulting in poor stability and performance when using X. I switched over to SuSE at the suggestion of a friend and there was no looking back. I started out with SuSE 8.9 and with every release the distribution became more polished, and easy to use. I was running SuSE 9.2 and was eagerly waiting for 9.3 to be available for ftp installation. Detailed below are my experiences installing and configuring SuSE 9.3 on my HP Ze5155 notebook.
Announcing BatchLogin
By Paul (FeriCyde) Ferris - Jun 28, 2005
Have you ever found yourself logging into several servers, serial fashion, just to do the same repetitive task and found yourself wondering why the login process itself couldn't be automated? If so, this software may be for you...
Conflict of interests of political party president in softwarepatents issue in the EU
By Hans Kwint - Jun 26, 2005
25 June 2005 -- German web fora have been agitated by online discussions and news articles about apparent interest conflicts of Klaus Heiner Lehne MEP, who, as a coordinator of the European People's Party in the Legal Affairs Committee, strongly opposed all amendments that had any limiting effect on patentability or enforcability, and actively fought in JURI as well as in Berlin and elsewhere for widest possible patentability (which also means patentability of software). It now appears that Lehne works as a Brussels lobbying consultant for multinational corporations who are the main clients of one of the leading lawfirms for patent litigation in Europe, which is also itself involved in patent lobbying and closely connected to lobbying organisations. (Quoted from ffii.org)
Patent absurdity
By Richard Stallman - Jun 21, 2005
If patent law had been applied to novels in the 1880s, great books would not have been written. If the EU applies it to software, every computer user will be restricted, says Richard Stallman
Ubuntu Linux Desktop Reviewed
By Tom Adelstein - Jun 13, 2005
Tom Adelstein has written a thorough review of the Ubuntu Linux distribution.
Linux vs Microsoft XP: Optimizations Make Linux the Killer Desktop
By Tom Adelstein - May 23, 2005
When the Linux desktop gets performance tweaks, people can see a significant difference. Windows XP just cannot keep up. With the addition of a stream of new applications and multiple ways to run Win32 applications, the case for Linux becomes irrefutable.
An Open Letter to Linux Developers
By Ken Starks aka helios - Apr 29, 2005
Girding himself in asbestos, the author makes a plea to the developers of Linux.
The GNU/Linux Desktop Adoption Drive: Revisited -or- Maybe I was wrong...
By Paul (FeriCyde) Ferris - Apr 18, 2005
A few months ago I wrote an article about how I suspected it would be a Wal-Mart like entity that would make desktop Linux a reality. This is a revisit to that same subject. Never one to take myself entirely too seriously, all I can say is that possibly I took the wrong direction about the right subject. See, I've recently changed my mind.
Windows users test Linux waters
By Ken Starks aka helios - Apr 17, 2005
"Selling" Linux: Customer reaction and the challenges we face.
Linuxcounter estimates page updated; LXer mentioned
By Hans Kwint - Apr 09, 2005
Maybe you now the Linuxcounter from the good old days. Well, it's still up, at counter.li.org, and it's age is almost 12 years now. It contained an estimates page, which estimated the number of Linux users in the world. The page was made in 2001, and needed an update. So, I decided to do just that, and of course, make a reference to the LXer migration DB.
You can view the new estimates page here. The estimate is a bit conservative however, but we shouldn't be boasting too much.
For people who had an account once: since a lot of inactive users were removed, it is possible your account was removed. Read on to see how you can reactivate.
Dell Offering Linux Desktops with Red Hat Bundle
By Tom Adelstein - Mar 31, 2005
Mainstream PC Manufacturer Could Alter the Landscape Using Linux to Unseat Apple
Rant Mode Equals One: What if Sun is the next SCO?
By Paul (FeriCyde) Ferris - Mar 22, 2005
Yes, What if? Is Sun the next SCO? Is this another company, paid off by the big boys in Redmond to play out yet another pointless FUD-oriented scam, to drag out in the marketplace and courtrooms of the future?
New P2P Internet Audio Idea
By Mike M - Mar 01, 2005
Imagine combining BitTorrent and streaming audio. Instead of a web host and mirrors serving up streaming audio content at their expense, each listener of the audio becomes a potential server for it.
Linux Threat Posed by Microsoft and Sun: In Your Dreams
By Tom Adelstein - Feb 28, 2005
Writers and analysts love to sensationalize OS Wars. But Linux keeps building momentum.
Microsoft: Coming to a Linux User Group near You? (Part Two)
By Paul (FeriCyde) Ferris - Feb 23, 2005
This is just a summary of responses to the questions from last week:
  1. "In general, how do you react to outsiders that offer to present at your Linux User Group (LUG)?"
  2. "What about commercial interests presenting to your LUG?"
  3. "What would you do if a Microsoft employee showed up at your LUG?"
  4. "If you allowed a Microsoft employee to present, just what kind of topics would you allow?

FeriCyde Chat: The Linux Virus Threat List for 2005
By Paul (FeriCyde) Ferris - Feb 08, 2005
It's hard to find a comprehensive source of pending Linux virus threats these days. Ominous warnings can be found in the press that as Linux and other Free Software projects get more popular, the threat of infection will be on the rise. Still, deep research on the subject yields very little in the way of credible results. You can turn up a lot of talk about anti-virus software and vendors selling solutions for Linux. Still, nothing could be found that really summed up the current and coming threat of viruses for someone using desktop or server Linux in a network setting.
Windows security is a 'myth', claims Linux Community Member
By Paul (FeriCyde) Ferris - Jan 31, 2005
A senior Linux community member, speaking exclusively to LXer.com, has dismissed Windows' reputation as a secure platform as a "myth", claiming that the proprietary development process, coupled with a lack of corporate accountability creates fundamental security problems.
Penguin Counter Penguin: You Say Tomato, I say "Desktop"!
By Dean Pannell and Paul Ferris - Jan 24, 2005
Today dawns a new era of discussion. In the past, Paul Ferris and Dean Pannell (FeriCyde and DinoTrac) sparred impromptu in the talkbacks of many a respectable (and otherwise :) website. Today, for the first time, they make it official. The format is called Penguin Counter Penguin, and the subject random. Today the debate is on the slighter side of the Linux Desktop. Is the Linux desktop really ready for prime-time? Who knows for sure, but you can bet that Paul and Dean have their flamethrowers tuned for the finer points of the debate!
Free Software; Closest to Freedom
By Paul (FeriCyde) Ferris - Jan 14, 2005
This is a response to Subhasish Ghosh's editorial entitled "Free Software in Reality Isn't Free". If I come across as kind of harsh here, I apologize. I know Solaris and and SunONE rather well, so this is familiar territory. Some of the concepts in Ghosh's editorial were quite baffling to me, so this editorial in fact raises more questions than it may answer. Such is discourse in the digital age :)
-- FeriCyde
Are Vendor Certifications Worth It?
By Keith Winston - Jan 12, 2005
The Information Technology (I.T.) profession is overrun with technical certifications, many of dubious value. Questions often arise about the value of a certification. I argue that vendor-neutral certifications are better value propositions in the same way that vendor-neutral standards are. A vendor-neutral certification is likely to remain relevant longer, have a longer lifetime prior to expiration, and apply more broadly. Whether you agree or disagree, there are fewer vendor-neutral certifications from which to choose.


Paul Ferris: Pundit for a Day, 2005
By Paul (FeriCyde) Ferris - Jan 02, 2005
It's that time of year, folks. Industry pundits are out shooting off predictions like so many mortars and who knows where they will land? Paul Ferris can predict with the best of them, but here's some advice: Keep hands and Feet away...
Paul Ferris: The GNU/Linux desktop-adoption drive of 2005
By Paul (FeriCyde) Ferris - Dec 22, 2004
Paul Ferris speculates that the time is ripe for a couple of heavy-hitting retail vendors to embrace GNU/Linux in the sales arena. This FeriCyde Chat continues last weeks rant, suggesting that there's cash on the table for the first vendor that matches todays security opportunity with a Linux desktop alternative.
Open Letter to Brin & Page
By Sam Hiser - Dec 14, 2004
I urge you to consider leveraging the free resources available and trust you already have the motivation, the people and resources under your employ to create something durable and important for people all over the world. One way to move ahead is by scanning the works of the libraries of Stanford, Oxford, Harvard, the University of Michigan, the New York Public Library and others into the OASIS "OpenDocument" File Format of the OpenOffice desktop office suite. This will guarantee public access to the libraries' contents as well as indirectly promote Google's interests in search.
Sun versus Linux: The Real Story
By Tom Adelstein - Nov 22, 2004
Does getting rid of UNIX favor Linux? Or Does it play right into Microsoft's hands?
Novell Linux Desktop reviewed: A New Linux Desktop for Enterprise Customers
By Tom Adelstein - Nov 15, 2004
Tom has reviewed the Novell Linux Desktop, a new desktop for enterprise customers.
Desktop Linux: The Final Hurdles
By Tom Adelstein - Nov 09, 2004
Desktop Linux is almost soup. We only have a few items left on the short list. Will we do it? If history is an indicator, the answer is yes.
Putting the Linux Desktop Closer to the User
By Tom Adelstein - Oct 19, 2004
Using Innovation to Introduce the Desktop Challenger.
The Real Sun versus Red Hat Story
By Tom Adelstein - Oct 08, 2004
Putting bias aside, interested in a frank discussion? Tom Adelstein knows a lot about Sun and sets out here to give the whole story behind Sun and Red Hat's disagreements.
Is the MSN search engine being used in the battle to kill Linux?
By Tom Adelstein - Sep 29, 2004
Author's experience with MSN bot and google research says MSN bot is bombarding open source sites. I kept wondering why my best read articles sunk lower on google and now I believe I know.
How to Build a Low Cost Linux Desktop Computer
By Tom Adelstein - Aug 11, 2004
You can build your own system and save a bundle of money while getting a top notch, high quality PC. By using Linux, you can lower you costs even further by not having to purchase proprietary software which would cost you more than your computer.
Halloween XI -- Get the FUD
By Eric S. Raymond - Jun 22, 2004
In the newest Halloween Document, I analyze Microsoft's "Get The Facts" road show. The anti-Linux arguments they are using now -- and, even more, the arguments they're *not* using -- reveal how desperate Microsoft is getting. I explain why I think we need to focus more on government adoptions, and predict serious ugliness during the next year.

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