Week of April 3

News from the Rookery
April 7

Vocalizations! "Thus, the open source community ... is sustained not by government regulation, or even by contract law, but by essentially voluntary norms founded in enlightened self-interest. And that's the way we in that community want to keep it. We experience Microsoft's attempts to monopolize and the government's attempt to regulate as equally threatening, equally disruptive, equally evil." Eric S. Raymond, from an on-line debate, "Should Public Policy Support Open-Source Software?", sponsored by The American Prospect.org.

Linux Slavery is Freedom, Linux Wars are Peace: Bill Henning writes in to let the Rookery know about his "LinuxWars: Distribution War III.3" comparison review of some of the main Linux distributions going around, including Caldera OpenLinux 2.3, Red Hat 6.1 Deluxe, SuSE 6.3, Corel Deluxe, Mandrake Linux 7.0. Bill, who's an editor for both CPU Review and AboutLinux.com, covers comparison areas such as printed documentation, best desktop, networking configuring and more. What's most reasonable about Bill's review (compared with most) is that he doesn't seek out a distribution uber alles, but instead points users toward distributions that may suit their needs best, whether a user demands maximum ease of install or simply wants to get his or her hands on as much software as possible.

Red Hat Powers Up Dells PowerApp: We've told you before that Dell servers increasingly were wearing red hats (in the article of the same name). Well, we've recently learned that Dell Computer Corporation and Red Hat have teamed up to put Red Hat Linux 6.2 on Dell's new line of PowerApp.web appliance servers. According to Michael Lambert, senior VP for Dell's Enterprise Systems Group, the PowerApp.web for Linux appliance server "removes the complexities of installing, configuring and supporting" Linux-based Web infrastructures. How so? In part, due to Dell's PowerApp Kick-start Utility, a network configuration tool that provides for easier input of basic network information, and Dell's PowerApp Admin Tool, a "unified management interface" operators can use to configure, deploy and manage the appliance servers. Red Hat will also provide technical support for the PowerApp.web for Linux appliance server.

"Oh, What Will Ya Do with a Drunken Hacker ..." Have no fear ... Die Linuxbierwanderung 2000 is here! Well, not quite here yet. But for any hacker who thinks he or she may find him or herself in England this summer, the Linux Beer Hike 2000 may be something to put near the top of the itinerary. The Linux Beer Hike is scheduled for July 30 through August 6 and, last year, about 60 came from around the world to gather in northeastern Bavaria for days of hiking, evenings of Linux discussion and plenty of food and beer in between (for those who are interested in such things as sustenance and inebriation). This year, the Linux Beer Hike 2000 will be held in Coniston in the Lake district, an area allegedly rhapsodized by such Romantic poets and William Wordsworth and others. Accommodations will be in hotels, youth hostels, B&Bs and camp sites. No registration fee is required and all participants pay their own way. "You do not have to go on any of the hikes,"says the Die Linuxbierwanderung 2000 Web site, "drink beer or even know much about Linux.". Visit their Web site for more information. By the way, the event is co-supported by Cyber Ware and SuSE.

Clued-in/Clued-out "Now, a couple of bad months erases neither the huge returns Linux stocks have run up since their IPOs in 1999, nor the operating system's genuine technological merit. But Linux's winter of discontent may serve as a reminder that its market power is finite." David Orenstein, in his article "Linux Salvation?", from Upside.com