Matt Chapman's web pages at http://www.plig.org/xwinman/are devoted to Window Managers and offer the browser a chance to vote for his favorite. Here are the results as of June 22.
What kind of computers are doing the most listening for extraterrestrial intelligence when they're not busy grinding cycles on earthbound work? The first answer is obvious. The second isn't (unless you're one of us, of course). The following graph shows the stats from http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/as of the most recent summer solstice.
No-partition Windows-based Linux Installs: Seems like everybody's trying to take the fun out of installing Linux. They want to make it easy. They want to give away the ending and spare us the story. They want to make the hacker's OS as hack-free as possible.
Well, maybe they have a point. And if they do, why not go one better? Why not make Linux installable on any Windows box as it stands? Click on your download file and install the sucker right there, from Windows, without partitioning the hard drive.
Sound crazy? Not to Cameron Cooper and Keith Broere, the founders of Phat Linux. These guys have figured out a way to load a full Linux distribution from inside Windows. When it's over, you've got a two-OS box.
The punchline? This isn't new to either of these guys. They've been on the case since they were both 14 years old—last year. Next fall they'll be sophomores in high school. But not the same high school. In fact, not even the same country. Cameron lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Keith lives in Sandusky, Ohio (“near the amusement park”). Two guys, two countries, one cool new distribution. Check it out at http://www.phatlinux.com/.
Internet Floppies Revisited: No sooner thought than done. Right on the heels of last month's Internet Floppy idea, the guys at FreeDiskSpace.com have mounted a set of sites that works for all the major platforms, including Linux.
Want extra disk storage—a place to store up to 25MB of files you can pull down from any browser anywhere? Check out http://www.FreeLinuxSpace.com/. Signup is a breeze.
The next step is to make this a value-add for ISPs and anybody else with the space and a way to make money with it. But wait a minute. They do that, too, with an affiliates program, banners and sponsors for the folders in your FreeLinuxSpace directory.
Now, how long will we have to wait for file I/O over the Net? Another whole month?
It was kind of amusing, really, fielding brickbats from testosterone-pumped twenty-somethings for whom money and Microsoft's survival are so central that they have trouble grokking that anyone can truly think outside that box. On some subjects their brains just shut down—the style reminded me a lot of the anonymous cowards on Slashdot.
—Eric Raymond to Norm Jacobowitz, June 22, discussing Eric's Microsoft speech (Complete interview can be found at linuxresources.com/articles/linux_review/19990623.html.)
At PC Forum in 1997, Jim Barksdale, then the President and CEO of Netscape, said he got the idea for opening his company's browser source code from “this guy Raymond”, and identified the originator of Linux as “Linus Pauling”. He wasn't too far off, because Linus Torvalds' parents actually named their boy after the famous American Nobel prize winner and vitamin C wacko.
And there began the tale of two pronunciations that have done nothing but permute. There is not only no consensus on how to pronounce Linux, but this condition appears to derive from an equal uncertainty about how to pronounce Linus. The Web is full of sound files in which Linus says, “Hi, my name is Leenoos Torvahlds and I pronounce Leenooks as Leenooks.” More or less. That's Jim Choi's phoneticization of the recording.
But let's face it: that's not complicated enough. Since there is only a one-letter difference between Linus and Linux, we thought we'd see how well the two mapped across the Web by searching for the coincidence of Linus and Linux with various phonetic spellings of the same. As you can see, the results are equally absorbing and inconclusive, providing plenty of grist for the disagreement mill.
Oh, by the way, Lin-ux appears to be the winner, with 72 pages showing this pronunciation.
Doc Searls is Senior Editor of Linux Journal