Stop the Presses, LJ Index and more.
Figure 1. midi.c
#include <signal.h> /* for kill */
#include <unistd.h> /* fork & execlp */
#define MID "YOURMIDIFILE.mid"
int play_midi(void) {
  int pid; /* process id of playmidi */
  if ((pid=fork()))
    return(pid); /* return process id */
  return 0; /* to placate gcc */
int main(void) {
  int pid; /* playmidi process id */
  long int c; /* just a counter */
  pid=play_midi(); /* here we go! */
  for (c=1; c>0; c++) {
    /* this counts for a while as the music
     * plays. you could do anything here,
     * ie a scrolltext and artsy animation!
  kill(pid,1); /* kill playmidi process */
  return 1; /* and exit our program */
Listing 2. MikMod
/* Check out the MikMod web site
 * for mikmod and libmikmod
 * documentation and tutorials
 * http://mikmod.darkorb.net/
 * gcc -O2 filename.c -lmikmod
#include <unistd.h>
#include <mikmod.h>
int main(void)
  MODULE *module;
  if(MikMod_Init("")) {
       "Could not initialize sound, reason: %s\n",
    return 0;
  module = Player_Load(INTROMOD,64,0);
  while (Player_Active()) {
  return 1;

During the month of November, people were talking about:

  • Red Hat's takeover of Cygnus and what it will mean to the Open Source community. Who will be next? Talk is, it will be Corel. By the time this prints, we may know the answer.

  • Sun Microsystems recently released version 1.2.2 of their JDK (Java Developers Kit). They initially failed to give credit to the Blackdown Team for its early development work. Sun later apologized. Oh, and Inprise helped Sun with the JDK, too. Sorry, I forgot!

  • Everyone talks about the money to be made with Linux. I learned the VA Linux IPO date from my morning barista. Point being, everywhere I turn, people want in on the “Linux” stock. On opening day, VA stock soared and the jubilation was heard worldwide.

  • Speculation as to when kernel 2.4 will be released, along with much discussion of its new features and changes.

—Jason Schumaker


During the past two years many companies have come to support the Linux operating system, but most do not come to open source—their software products remain proprietary. Even those who do open source their software usually do it only for Linux, keeping Windows and UNIX versions closed. On December 7, this trend was reversed in a big way.

Matra DataVision, a French company, announced it would be making its product open source, not just for Linux, but for every platform it supports. And this isn't some little do-nothing product, either. It is an enterprise level product for geometric modeling, ranging from CAD to 3-D geological mapping. Also, Matra is not a small company looking for publicity for their product; its CAS.CADE product accounts for 10% of the total market.

Matra has taken a good look at the Open Source movement and seen the advantages that can be had with an open-source product. The company believes this move will enable them to extend their market outside its current limits with gains, not losses, in profitability. They intend to concentrate their efforts in support and development of technical applications for specific needs of customers. These are exactly the areas most mentioned by advocates of open-source business models. It is quite refreshing to see a major company take the movement so seriously that they are willing to base their whole business model on it.

Matra also intends to give its developments back to the community. They have a team of 50 people dedicated to furthering open-source development in this area and a web site at http://www.opencascade.org/ that is dedicated to open source. I talked to Sana Abou-Haidar, Matra Marketing Manager, on December 10 and she told me, “We have decided to base the business model on the service part, so the development part can be true open source. The license is completely LGPL-compliant.” Our conversation can be found on the LJ web site at http://www.linuxjournal.com/articles/conversations/009.html.

Linux has needed an enterprise-level CAD application, and now it has one—one that not only supports Linux, but is also open source. I wish Matra success and hope more companies will follow their example in the coming months.

—Marjorie Richardson

Potential: Red Hat went from a Linux company to an Open Source company just before the Cygnus merger announcement. This seems to open up a whole new area of “merging” potential.

Fact: The African Penguin is the most endangered of penguin species. This millennium has seen the numbers drop from several million to less than 50,000 pairs. To help, contact SANCCOB (South African National Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (http://www.sanccob.org.za/).

Penguin Fact: A penguin's eyes are adapted for underwater vision. In air, penguins are nearsighted. --Sea World, www.seaworld.org/Penguins/senses.html

Quote: “I am a wandering anthropologist and trouble-making philosopher.” --ESR at Fall Internet World, NYC.

Fact: A DSL connection is 10 to 25 times faster than that of a 56K modem. Most DSL service performs at a minimum level of 256Kbps. (US West Communications)

Rumorville: Word has it that The Big Red Machine (i.e., Red Hat) may be buying Corel. What affect would this have on Linux competition?

Questions: My repeated attempts to have a short e-mail interview with Bill Gates continue to be thwarted. What questions do you have for “the master”? Send ideas to jason@ssc.com.

Fact: VA and Loki are partnering to distribute Debian/GNU Linux in the retail market. Profits will go to Software in the Public Interest. This looks like a win/win situation for everyone.

Predictions: VA Linux and Transmeta will announce a partnering relationship during the first quarter of 2000. —Jason Schumaker, 12-2-99