Linux Conference at Open Systems World/FedUNIX'94
Don Becker, who wrote most of the Ethernet drivers for Linux, is the principal investigator on a new project at NASA called Beowulf, a cluster of Linux processors, connected by parallel Ethernets. He discussed the project with an enthralled audience.
After lunch, participants returned for an inspiring talk on How To Convince Your Boss/Employer/Customer To Use Linux. Dr. Greg Wettstein from the Roger Maris Cancer Center (see Issue #5 of Linux Journal for his article about their Linux system) discussed a planned, reasonable way to present Linux to someone as a solution. He noted you should identify a specific problem that Linux can fix, explain how Linux can fix it, emphasize Linux advantages (for example, having source code available so you can make changes, its built-in networking and its support community). Don't try to replace an entire working system with Linux in one fell swoop—he emphasized, “Evolution, Not Revolution”.
Other subjects in the conference were: WINE presented by Bob Amstadt, Linux and The X Windows System presented by Przemek Klosowski and Linux and iBCS2 Compatibility by Eric Youngdale. iBCS2 defines a common object program format—a standard for PC Unix executables. The iBCS2 compatibility libraries will allow existing PC Unix applications to run on a Linux platform.
This panel discussion included Vance Petree, who is using Linux for real-time data collection at Virginia Power; Russell Carter, Sandia Labs, using Linux for a super workstation; Greg Wettstein, of the Roger Maris Cancer Center, who uses Linux for a Patient Information System, written using Perl and Tcl/Tk; Donald Becker, NASA, who is developing a cluster of Linux stations; Paul Tomblin formerly of Gandalf, who is using Linux to build test tools for testing Gandalf's networking products.
The audience at all the talks was attentive. The one-day tutorial included experts speaking on their particular area of expertise and will be covered in other articles. All in all, the conference felt like a big success with an amazing amount of information presented.