Editors' Choice Awards 2005
IBM and EmperorLinux, IBM ThinkPad T series/EmperorLinux Toucan
Ludovic Marcotte praises this system for its “excellent level of compatibility with various Linux distributions” including Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu. Several Linux Journal editors are happily using these, and all the features work under Linux. We're all about ThinkPad keyboards.
The ThinkPad line still lags the market leaders in one key area, though: availability with Linux pre-installed. After success with Linux on the nx5000 laptop, HP now offers Linux across the board—but not listed on the Web site. You have to call and order it via “Factory Express”.
This will be the last year that IBM is eligible for this award, as it has sold off the ThinkPad business to Lenovo. Maybe the brand's new owner will be more accommodating with the Linux preloads.
Jasmin F. Patry and Contributors, TuxRacer
With more than a million downloads and a stack of awards on the home page, this game doesn't need yet another one. But we're going to give it anyway. Flop on the ice and race to grab all the fish you can in this easy-to-learn game that your little penguins can play too.
This is the first GPL game to be released in an arcade version. Innovative Concepts in Entertainment calls their 400-pound cabinet a “Dazzling children's racer with adorable penguin character.”
George Schlossnagle Advanced PHP Programming
Reuven writes, “This is not a simple 'here is how to write a Web application' book, but rather a book that teaches you how to think about Web applications before you deploy them. He doesn't just tell you that you should tune your database for the Web—he shows you design patterns for talking to the database server, so as to structure your code more readably and efficiently. He doesn't just tell you that authentication is important—he gives strategies for checking that the user hasn't been switched out from under you. Even if you don't program in PHP, this book is worth reading.”
Ulf Troppens, Rainer Erkens and Wolfgang Müeller, Storage Networks Explained
Ludovic writes, “Finally a good book on SAN.” This 432-page hardcover is full of storage network examples, including InfiniBand, and is well illustrated. The book is on the expensive side, but compared to SAN mistakes, it's a bargain.
Paul Graham, Hackers & Painters
We started visiting paulgraham.com for the spam-fighting ideas, then came back for his other writing about hacking, business and culture. Now a collection of his essays is out in hardcover. Why do smart people tend to be “nerds” in high school? What business ideas did the dot-com bubble get right? And, perhaps most important, what should you look for in a programming language?
Eklektix, Inc., LWN
LWN wins again. At first glance, it looks like just another “meta-news” site with links to articles on the Web, Slashdot-style layout and comments. But look again. The clean layout is unpolluted by the annoying Macromedia Flash ads found on some Linux sites we could name, and comments come in from “subscriber gregkh” (kernel guru Greg Kroah-Hartman) and others who actually write the software we're all chattering about. LWN editor Jonathan Corbet helped plan the 2004 Kernel Summit, and LWN's coverage of the event was a must for anyone who needs to keep up with the kernel.