UpFRONT

Stop the Presses, LJ Index and more.
A New Linux Site for the Spanish-Speaking Linux Community.

Piensa.Com Systems has launched La Gaceta de Linux at http://www.gacetadelinux.com/. This site is the host of the Spanish edition of our sister on-line publication Linux Gazette. Gaceta de Linux is focused on providing firsthand information to the global Spanish-speaking Linux community. The site is made possible by the efforts of bilingual, English-Spanish volunteer translators who choose and select original articles in English and create a high-quality translation in just a few days. “We are fully committed to the Latin-American and Spanish-speaking use of Linux, especially in real-life business applications,” commented Felipe Barousse, CEO and General Director of BCM Piensa.Com Systems. “We believe Linux gives us a tremendous opportunity to spread technology with minimal cost and extremely high reliability and success where it is not feasible to deploy other proprietary options. La Gaceta de Linux is a great vehicle for this endeavor. Also, by the time you read this, the Portuguese edition, called Gazeta do Linux should be on-line as well.”

Translations are made by volunteers, and all articles in fact, are reviewed for quality and content, always respecting the original author copyrights. They have registered users from more than 22 countries and more than 100 translated articles since Gaceta's opening last June. To join, log onto www.gacetadelinux.com/register and help spread Linux in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions of the world.

Copyright, Guthrie Style

Stop the Presses: the Shift from Why to Why Not

At Comdex Fall in Las Vegas, the North Hall was where the wireless and telecommunications companies were concentrated. In the midst of the Internet Appliance pavilion was a booth for Be, Inc., the operating system company that has recently retooled itself to go after the Internet appliance business. While Be was making a valiant effort, the big news was quietly evident in other booths all around the floor, where Linux had quietly soaked into everything.

A company called Internet Appliance showed racks of servers featuring advanced failover technologies, dynamic content screening, browser-based setup and administration and other goodies one would hope to find in “a complete Data Center for less than $30,000”. Does it run on Linux? Yes. Is that fact a big deal? No.

While Be hustled for every bit of visibility it could muster, Linux was quietly demonstrating its new default status as commodity OS infrastructure. Here are just a few of the Linux-powered devices I encountered at the show:

  • Sony VAIO C1 PictureBook notebook computer (running on a Transmeta Crusoe processor)

  • IBM NetVista N2200 thin client

  • Ericsson Nanorouter 2 communication gateway and server

  • Nokia Mediascreen Multimedia terminals

  • e-Appliance SuperScaler network appliances

  • Agenda VR3 sub-Palm-size PDA

  • Snap Servers—portable snap-together servers from Quantum

  • ZFLinux Devices—Linux embedded on an X86 chip (and chip set)

  • Gateway's Connected Touch Pad internet appliance (also with a Transmeta Crusoe), which won “Best Consumer Product” from ZDNet and CNet judges

When I spoke with these companies in their booths, most didn't even give me reasons why they built their boxes with Linux. It was as if I asked why they used a TCP/IP stack or plastic in their cases.

Embedded Linux has become viral. Even when it isn't the subject at hand, the fact of Linux's rapid spread into embedded devices still comes up. While I was talking with a couple of guys at the Micronas booth (Micronas is a German company whose multimedia chips are in pretty much everything), they told me about a company called NetGem that makes Linux-based appliances that use televisions as monitors—very big in Europe, they report.

No doubt Be has a lot to offer. But it has to be sold. At this point, embedding Linux isn't even much of a brainer anymore. At some point in recent history, the question shifted from “why” to “why not?” Clearly there are fewer reasons every day.

They Said It

The seven worst words in cyberspace are “You just don't get it, do you?”

—Bob Metcalfe

There's no Moore's Law for software.

—Ellen Ullman

Like constipated feces, on-line advertising giant DoubleClick Inc. and handheld Internet-content leader OmniSky Corp. have impacted themselves within the growing intestinal bolus of companies experimenting with sending ads to wireless gizmos.

—Tom Matrullo

We've embarked on the beginning of the last days of the age of oil.

—Mike Bowlin, Chairman/CEO, ARCO

Build-to-flip financing is not a business model, it is a risk cap model.

—Patrick Sweet

Every extension is an amputation.

—Marshall McLuhan

Talent is always conscious of its own abundance and does not object to sharing.

—A. Solzhenitsyn

If the automobile industry had made as much progress (as the computer industry) in the past fifty years, a car today would cost a hundredth of a cent and go faster than the speed of light.

—Ray Kurzweil

Linux has to be important to General Motors. Not just to gm.com.

—Larry Augustin, VA Linux

Where there's chaos there's opportunity.

—Bryan Sparks, Lineo

Without chaos there would be no fun and games.

—Jonah Kinata

Linux is quickly becoming the operating system of choice for any new device, and the silicon vendors are sponsoring that.

—Inder Singh, LynuxWorks

There is an explosion of new devices, and more and more the assumption is that new devices will communicate.

—Michael Tiemann, Red Hat

Where devices are connected, Linux shines.

—Bryan Sparks, Lineo

The cost of hardware, software and network bandwidth are going to zero. When all three go to zero, the embedded space becomes infinite. So there is no reason anything you own should not contain some kind of intelligence. Linux as software is already there.

—Michael Tiemann, Red Hat

______________________

Doc Searls is Senior Editor of Linux Journal

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