Linux Conference at Open Systems World/FedUNIX'94

A remarkable conference with developers, support persons and resellers results in a successful, information-packed event.
Linux and NASA: Project Beowulf

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.

Other Topics

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.

Panel: Commercial Use of Linux

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.

Letters about the Conference