2003 Editors' Choice Awards
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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