Will the Clue Train Stop at the ThinkPad Factory?

Having just bought an IBM ThinkPad (great piece of hardware), declined the license agreement and installed Linux, I thought you might be interested to hear of my ongoing communication with IBM on this subject. Here's an excerpt from their first e-mail:

Our legal department has provided the following response: “IBM does not sell its notebook or desktop personal computers without an operating system. Today, all IBM personal computers are preloaded with a Microsoft Windows operating system. From time to time, we also have offered certain ThinkPad notebooks with the Linux operating system. All of IBM's personal computers ship as a complete system. IBM does not accept the return of individual software items separate from the system. We will, however, accept return of the entire system within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.”

This fight continues to be a burden to us all, and I'd be interested in any upcoming revival of Windows Refund Day. It's not the money, it's the principle involved.

—Alan Wardroper

IBM's ThinkPad and legal departments must not have been on the list for Lou Gerstner's “we support Linux” memo. Somebody send us an extra copy and we'll make sure they get it.


Read My Lips, You Will

I found your article very interesting on how ILM works with Linux. I was intrigued by the fact that they had a more real-looking Yoda than George wanted (which made sense). However, I was wondering if you could ask the guys in your interview if they could release a little video with the real-looking Yoda. I am curious as to how that one would have looked.

—Kreg Steppe

Robin Rowe replies: Getting pictures is often the most challenging part when researching movie studio stories. Hollywood clears a limited number of stock images for publicity. Writers don't usually get a choice of what pictures they will receive. I'm fortunate to receive the cooperation of the studios for Linux screenshots, but don't get everything I ask for.

Vendors Can Help Sponsor Projects

I am an avid shooter and compete in a number of shooting competitions. One thing that a number of the shooting supplies vendors do when you place an order is ask if it is okay to add $1.00 to your order for a contribution to the NRA. Millions of dollars are contributed to the NRA this way. Many Linux and open-source projects and programs could really use funding assistance. I thought the same sort of program could be used to assist these programs and projects. Perhaps each of the vendors in Linux could “adopt” a project and collect for that specifically. Perhaps the buyer could be given a choice, or the funds could go into a common pot and be doled out as needed. I know I would not have a problem if your folks asked me for $1.00 when I renewed my subscription or bought something from ThinkGeek, SuSE or Mandrake.

—Jim Krebs

Some vendors already do this—linux-cd.com will let you put a donation on the order form when you get Debian CDs.


Where's Broadcast2000?

I read your review about NLE video editors [LJ, February 2002] for Linux and am interested in the Broadcast2000 source. How can I get it?

—Joel Estes

Robin Rowe replies: Cinelerra replaces Broadcast2000. You can find that at heroinewarrior.com/cinelerra.php3. Getting Cinelerra support can be difficult, but LMA (www.lmahd.com) supports Cinelerra with purchase of its editing workstations.

Turn That Thing Down!

As an aging 37-year-old rock musician and IT administrator, I'm finding it more and more painful working around the increasingly loud forest of fans, hard drives, etc. Even the whine of the hard drive in my Mac Cube bothered me enough to dump it. I would absolutely love to see an article on how we with sensitive eardrums could build the “Ultimate Silent Home Linux Box”. Anyone up for the task?

—Dave Scarbrough

maddog's Story of LI's Founding

I would like to thank you for the mentions of some of the things that LI has done for the Linux community over the years in the calendar of your 100th issue. However, both in your calendar and in the quote from me on page 22, you had me listed as the “Founder of Linux International”. That honor goes to Patrick D'Cruze, of Australia. Patrick came up with the idea that Linux needed an organization that thought about the business side of Linux. He helped with deciphering the GPL, protecting the trademark “Linux”, organizing tradeshows and formed Linux International.

However, he also recognized that it would be harder to start the organization from Australia, so he contacted a couple of companies in the US, and basically transferred the incorporation to the US. In September 1995, Alan Fedder, of Uniforum, accepted the voluntary position of Executive Director of Linux International.

I joined the Board of Directors of LI in November 1995 as the representative of Digital Equipment Corporation. At that time we had several other companies on board, including Linux Journal.

In May 1996, Alan had to devote more of his time to his paid positions and stepped down from the executive directorship, although he was kind enough to remain the treasurer. The members decided that I would fill the still-volunteer position. I have been in that position ever since.