Fun with Hardware

From 64-bit servers to console conversion projects, your Linux platform choices are better than ever.
From the Editor

Fun with Hardware

From 64-bit servers to console conversion projects, your Linux platform choices are better than ever.

by Don Marti

Running Linux makes you smarter, and we've got proof. In his article on Nagios on page 52, Richard C. Harlan explains how John Deere integrated its diverse server management needs under the thumb of one Linux-based project, for a small budget.

Other cluetrain-riding people at a variety of companies talked to Doc Searls about the new balance of innovation power between informed Linux-using customers and their vendors (page 38). Freedom is changing companies behind the scenes, and thanks to your discreet tips, Doc is watching it better than anyone.

This issue also includes the year's best Linux hardware news so far. The big cheeses of the information technology industry are building servers based on AMD's new AMD64 architecture, which you may know as linux/arch/x86_64. In an interview on, AMD CEO Hector Ruiz included Linux as one of only two “operating systems that matter”, and our favorite OS was the first one released for AMD64.

You can get an idea of AMD64's abilities, and those of the Newisys two-way server that's among the first Opteron products on the market, in Michael Baxter's first look on page 58. Michael is the man to ask about Linux in the electronic design automation industry, and the new AMD architecture is already attracting attention from Cadence and others as a way to replace expensive 64-bit RISC UNIX.

Our other featured hardware article this issue covers Microsoft's Xbox video game system. On page 44, Michael Steil explains how making the Xbox run Linux is not only fun but actually useful. Try it. Upgrading an Xbox is a great way to learn about the boot process and is cheaper than a single-board computer for hobbyist embedded projects. Cut back on the coffee the day you solder those two little pads together, though.

If your web site uses free software exclusively, you might not realize how big of a deal CMF for Zope (page 14) really is. Proprietary content management systems have high-priced licenses and still require you to do substantial customizing. This might be the article that makes you a web hero at work, so pay attention.

This issue also hosts a cross-platform development-tool cage bout. Will your next project use the promising new Mono (page 74) or the reliable wxWindows (page 90)? Both are free as in Dmitry, so you can easily try both. Finally, contributor Josh Rabinowitz told me that he got hooked on using the man page index, shown in his article “How to Index Anything” (page 82), before he was even done with the article. Imagine searching all your man pages, Linux Journal archive CDs and old mail with one tool. I'm going to try it out.

Don Marti is editor in chief of Linux Journal.



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Anonymous's picture

Troll. We've all read the horror stories of LinuxCAD users. You have to spend a whole lot more than what you're indicating to get it to work properly (more modules needed) and even then it's a piece of crap.

AutoCAD is not free software, but it's extremely high quality software. You do people a disservice when you offer a less than satisfactory alternative.

64-bit RISC UNIX

Anonymous's picture

Only two operating systems that matter ?

Anonymous's picture

At a time when plenty operating systems (free or proprietary) exist, Hector Ruiz has the nerve to say that only two of those matter. What a lack of vision from the CEO of a company that has been struggling over the years to stay afloat and that resorts to the scam of performance rating just to mislead customers.

Open Source and Open Standards

Anonymous's picture

With Linus over at OSDL, does this mean the formalization of the Linux development process:

Re: From the Editor, July 2003: Fun with Hardware

Anonymous's picture

OK, so the technology is great, but to what uses to put: