HP, Intel, IBM and NEC announce the ``Open Source Development Lab'', which makes large hardware available to Linux developers for benchmarking and testing.
``I'm a bastard. I have absolutely no clue why people can ever think otherwise. Yet they do. People think I'm a nice guy, and the fact is that I'm a scheming, conniving bastard who doesn't care for any hurt feelings or lost hours of work if it just results in what I consider to be a better system.''--Linus Torvalds trying to change his image.
The RSA patent expires, allowing for secure web transactions without proprietary software.
Trolltech releases the Qt library under the GPL, putting a definitive end to a long-running and unpleasant license flame war.
The CueCat fiasco begins. Digital Convergence attempts to shut down programmers who have written Linux drivers for its CueCat bar code scanner. The company has given out large numbers of these scanners for free, expecting people to use them with its proprietary software and web site. The threats cause the drivers to become marginally harder to find for a short period, after which the company declares victory and moves on.
Microsoft says that penguins can mutate in a European print ad that quickly becomes famous.
``I was dumbfounded to discover that installing Linux was easy. Why? Well, the world has changed. No more do you have to understand everything about Linux before you install it, downloading the many chunks of code necessary to run a complete system and getting them all to work together. That was BSW--before shrink-wrap. With companies such as Red Hat and Corel putting all the software you need in a box, the pain is (nearly) gone.''--John Schwartz, Washington Post
IBM announces plans to invest $1 billion in Linux in 2001.
The long-awaited 2.4.0 kernel was released on January 4.
The US National Security Agency (NSA) releases SELinux under the GPL. SELinux offers an additional layer of security checks in addition to the standard UNIX-like permissions system.
The Linux 2.5 kernel summit is held in San Jose, California; it is, perhaps, the most complete gathering of Linux kernel hackers in history.
IBM gets into trouble over its ``Peace, Love and Linux'' graffiti in several cities.
``Slackware has always made money (who else producing a commercial distribution can say that?), but with BSDi we ended up strapped to a sinking ship.''--Patrick Volkerding
Sony's PlayStation Linux kit, shipped in Japan, sells out in eight minutes despite a doubling of the available stock.
Sharp announces its upcoming Linux PDA based on Lineo's Embedix system.
VA Linux Systems exits the hardware business, choosing to focus on SourceForge instead. Later VA drops the word ``Linux'' from its name altogether, relaunching as VA Software Corporation.
``In a press release issued Wednesday afternoon, VA Linux CEO Larry M. Augustin called the shift in strategy a logical move. 'Our differentiating strength has always been our software expertise', Augustin said''.--Wired. You only thought VA was a hardware company.
Free Dmitry! Dmitry Sklyarov is arrested in Las Vegas after Adobe complains about the Advanced eBook Processor. The following month he is charged with DMCA violations and conspiracy: the potential penalties add up to 25 years in prison. Dmitry's defense is based on constitutional challenges to the DMCA, on free speech and jurisdictional issues. Later in the year, charges are dropped, conditional on one year of good behavior and testimony in the ElcomSoft trial.
``Although Adobe withdrew its support for the criminal complaint against Dmitry Sklyarov, we respect the grand jury and federal government's decision to prosecute the company, ElcomSoft, and as a law-abiding corporate citizen, Adobe intends to cooperate fully with the government as required by law.''--Adobe's position