2003 Editors' Choice Awards

When time for the Editors' Choice awards comes around, we ask for suggestions from all our columnists and contributing editors. This year, we have some familiar names among the winners and a few newcomers to Linux.
Server Appliance (hardware)

Sputnik AP 120 www.sputnik.com/products/ap120.html

Want to offer wireless Net access to your customers or neighbors? You can build a custom box with NoCatAuth, sign with one of the expensive startups or take your chances and go wide open—until now. Sputnik performed a marvel of Linux miniaturization to get a usable portal onto a relatively inexpensive access point.

Sputnik's access point includes centrally managed authentication.

Security Tool (hardware or software)

Netfilter/iptables kernel.org

Security Editor Mick Bauer writes, “The packet-filtering code in the Linux 2.4 kernel, although not new to 2003, really came into its own, bringing Linux firewalling up to the level of many commercial products. It's flexible and intelligent, with impressive connection-state-tracking capabilities.” Mick also points out that you can use the ubiquitous Netfilter right on the bastion host to add an extra layer of firewall protection, even if you use another firewall at the network edge.

Server

Newisys 2100 www.newisys.com/products/2100.html

Michael Baxter called this dual Opteron, 1U server “superbly engineered”, as the 64-bit Opteron breaks through the memory limitations of x86 while keeping backward compatibility. Newisys-based servers are a hot item in today's competitive Linux server market, with many Linux server vendors whose integration and service we like offering them. And, they start GNU Emacs almost as quickly as most people's computers start Vim.

Workstation

Dell Precision 650n www.dell.com/precision

Our reviewer Glenn Stone calls this dual-Xeon desktop system “serious hardware for serious work”, and admires the performance of its 320MB/s SCSI RAID subsystem and Dell's on-site service plan.

Web Browser or Client

Mozilla 1.4 www.mozilla.org

Tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking, bookmark keywords—when we're stuck with other browsers they simply seem archaic, restrictive and awful. Konqueror is good too, but this time Mozilla barely beat it out as the browser for people who want to make the Web work their way.

Graphics Software

Jahshaka www.jahshaka.com

No, this isn't the special prize for “not being The GIMP because they always win”. Greg Kroah-Hartman brings this bleeding-edge, alpha-stage video editing application to our attention, and we can't wait to do a full tutorial. More than only video editing, Jahshaka offers animation, effects, a character generator and file-sharing capabilities.

Communication Tool

Gaim gaim.sourceforge.net

Marcel Gagnéwrites, “I used to scoff at instant messaging, but in the last few months, I have discovered it to be an amazingly useful communications tool. Sometimes, nothing beats a real-time, ongoing conversation when trying to resolve technical issues.” Gaim is, well, instant messaging for people whose friends don't agree on instant-messaging systems. As we go to press, Gaim supports AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu and Zephyr.

Desktop Software

OpenOffice.org www.openoffice.org

Marcel also recommends OpenOffice.org, citing “nearly perfect support of Microsoft Office documents”. Everyone seems to like the word processor, but other useful parts of the suite include a drawing program and a presentation package.

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