UpFront

LJ Index, Stop the Presses and more.
Sources:

1-3: Simon Renshaw, manager of the Dixie Chicks, in the New York Times

4-7: New York Times

8-11: US Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration

12-14: US Department of Commerce

15-17: eWeek

18-22: BBC

Netcraft

Usually the news from the Netcraft Web Server Survey is upbeat for Linux folks, but the latest report (March 2002) isn't. Look at the main graphs at www.netcraft.com/survey, and you'll see a tug of war between Apache and Microsoft IIS web servers that's been going on since 1998. In 2001 IIS made some significant gains on Apache, which held shares upwards of 60%, but those finally seemed to reverse in February 2002. But in March, IIS gained 4.89%, while Apache dropped 4.67%, to percentages among Top Developers of 57.36% for Apache and 34.02% for IIS.

Netcraft says this represents a shift of about two million sites, “primarily as a result of register.com and Network Solutions migrating their domain parking facilities to a Windows front end. Register.com had been serving from Apache on Linux and is in the midst of migrating to Windows”, Netcraft reports.

Of course, parked domains are a lot less functional than active ones, so this probably doesn't say much about the real and practical uses of the Web from the server side. But it's still annoying to lose even a few bragging rights share points.

Perhaps when these big registrars finish migrating to the Dark Side, the Apache share erosion will cease, or even turn around.

—Doc Searls

It's Trivial

Questions

Q1. One day in the 1940s, Harvard's famed Mark II, the precursor to today's computers, failed. When the problem was investigated, Grace Hopper and her colleagues found that a moth had lodged itself in the circuits, causing the machine to malfunction. The moth was removed with a pair of tweezers (and later was preserved at the Naval Museum in Dahlgren, along with Homer's logs). What word is derived from this incident?

Q2. We have all heard of various flavours of UNIX: AIX, Digital UNIX, HP-UX, Sun-Solaris, IRIX, SCO UNIX. The question is simple: which organization was responsible for development of Xenix, a version of UNIX that ran on PCs and was compatible with AT&T's System V Definition?

Q3. This person is often known as the Wizard of Woz. When he was 18 years old, he used to sell an illegal device called Blue Box at Homebrew Computers, which enabled people to make free long-distance calls. He used the name Oak Toebark, and his first call with this device was to the Pope in the Vatican to make a confession. Who is he?

Q4. In the lobby of Cyrix Corporation's headquarters in Texas there is a huge tomb. What famous words are inscribed on the tomb? (Guessable if you think of the competitors.)

Q5. How and where would you most probably read the following:

And the beast shall come forth surrounded by a roiling cloud of vengeance. The house of the unbelievers shall be razed and they shall be scorched to the earth. Their tags shall blink until the end of days.

Q6. The author of this program had worked for a year as a volunteer with a project in southern Uganda. After he returned, he found his heart was still there. So, he made a program that we all probably use: Charityware. According to the author, “You can use and copy it as much as you like, but you are encouraged to make a donation to orphans in Uganda.” Who is the author and which program are we talking about?

Q7. Ian Hutton, a Microsoft spokesman, admitted a certain wrongdoing on Microsoft's part. He also complained that Microsoft and its PR firm had been receiving malicious and obscene e-mail from Linux fans. In response to this, Eric S. Raymond said, “One wonders if Hutton believes it would be unprofessional to address strong language to a burglar caught nipping the family silver.” What event is being talked about here?

Q8. Charles Augustus Lindbergh was the first Time: Man of the Year in 1927. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was Time: Man of the Year three times, in 1932, 1934 and 1941. Who was the Time: Man of the Year in 1982?

Q9. He was a wild Greek centaur who tried to abduct Deianira, Hercules' new bride, while ferrying her across the River Evenus. Hercules heard her cries and shot an arrow into the heart of this centaur. The teenage author of an open-source security software was looking for a name for his project when he chanced upon this name while flipping through the pages of a mythology book. Immediately taken by how cool it sounded, he named his software after this centaur. Name this centaur/software.

Q10. I am a member of the Merrill Lynch's Technology Advisory Board and appeared as a supporting artist in two record albums: “A Song of Gods Gone Mad” and “Full Circle”. I am close to completing a science fiction book titled Shadows and Stars and am a Tae Kwon Do Federation 1st Dan Black Belt. Netscape Communications described my paper as a major factor in their decision to release their client software as open source, and I have never taken any courses in computer science or software engineering. Who am I?

Answers

A1. Apparently, on discovering the moth, Hopper exclaimed, “There is a bug in the computer.” From then on, whenever there was a problem with the computer, scientists said they were looking for bugs. Even today, any software mistake is called a bug.

A2. Surprising as it may sound, Xenix was developed by Microsoft Corporation.

A3. Steve Wozniak of Apple Computers fame. According to John T. Draper, the call was made at 4 A.M. and went like this: “Is the Pope there? I'm calling from California, and I need to confess!”

A4. Intel Inside

A5. When you type “about:mozilla” in the location bar of Netscape.

A6. Bram Moolenaar and Vim.

A7. The Mindcraft test fiasco and its aftermath.

A8. The personal computer. More information is available at www.time.com/time/special/moy/1982.html.

A9. Nessus. Renaud Deraison, the author, was just 18 years old when he wrote it.

A10. Eric S. Raymond

—Sumit Dhar

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