From the Editor
Hi. I'm the new Editor of Linux Journal. If that gives you a sense of deja vu, you likely read a similar note in the September issue. I can only assume someone made LJ's five-day Editor an offer he couldn't refuse.
Similarly, I didn't see how I could say no when Phil Hughes, our Publisher, asked if I'd like to leave my ho-hum job at a state university and become Editor of a publication dedicated to nurturing and promoting the use of Linux. The little operating system that could is now a formidable force, and new product announcements are becoming the rule rather than the exception. The good press Linux is receiving in major media is exciting and impressive. And who would've thought Linux would do so well that the Santa Cruz Operation would start giving their Unix away?
Linux is still free and open, unlike the other Unix-like operating systems. The ability for users to contribute to the development of Linux creates a positive and vibrant scene. Because Linux actually works—and works well—it is truly useful instead of just fun.
Talented people devoting their time to Linux development make it possible for others at many levels of computing savvy to use Linux systems effectively. In many situations, users can just “plug and play” now; Linux is no longer just for hackers. Of course, Linux still has the free tools and open design to accommodate anyone who does want to start playing around with code.
So, I had to take this job, really.
I've actually been working with Specialized Systems Consultants, the company that publishes Linux Journal, for a couple of years now. I decided I needed to learn about this Linux thing I kept hearing about, joined a mailing list, found out Linux Journal needed some data entry done in the evening... moved on to copy editing, and now here I am.
My computing experience includes: playing with a Cyber on an old TI thermal printing terminal with a 300-baud acoustic coupler, calling up every BBS I could find back in the early '80s, trying to load programs on cassette tape for my TRS-80 Model 1, learning Turbo Pascal and CP/M (a functional OS in under 7K!) on a Kaypro II, taking computer science classes with VMS on old Heath 19 terminals, spending countless hours with Macs and Windoze machines, and, lately, trying everything I can find on my Linux machines. I may have a talent for programming, but I've put more energy into writing and editing, so I need to rely on the people actually making things happen on Linux systems—programmers and developers—for content. For you, the reader, this means well-written articles by people who know what they're talking about.
What I and the rest of the staff of Linux Journal want is simple: world domination. Short of that, we want to be the best source of information about Linux and to help promote its use. We think we can do that with how-to texts, programming tips, hardware and software reviews, examples of Linux in the “real world”, and articles for the beginner. Is there something you need or want to see? Please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org).