Week of March 16

by David Penn
March 17

Vocalizations! "We're not arrogant enough to believe that we can maintain this situation very easily, because the industry changes. So we're aggressively buying companies and partnering and shipping products. We're hiring engineers, sales and marketing people as quickly as we possibly can. We were 17 employees in September and are 70 now. We'll be buying several more companies this month and next. This is a very active quarter. It's our coming out party as the embedded Linux leader." Lineo Vice President Lyle Ball, quoted in an interview with Bruce Tober at Linuxworld.com.

Caldera's IPO: More Money, Longer Wait: Caldera, Inc. has announced that its highly anticipated initial public offering (IPO) of stock will be postponed until Tuesday. The offering has been rescheduled a couple of times, but this time the postponement comes with a bit of a surcharge: shares of "CALD" will be offered for between $10 and $12, instead of the $7 to $9 originally proposed. The increased share price has led some to suggest that demand is mounting for the IPO, which investors have been waiting for ever since Linux rival, Red Hat went public last year. Many recent stories have cast some doubt about whether Caldera's IPO will approach the dizzying heights of other Linux public offerings, especially the record-breaking offering by VA Linux Systems.

The Other Canadian Linux Conspiracy: A pair of Canadian Linux companies, Mosaic Technologies and Alta Terra Ventures have joined together in an alliance that brings Mosaic's Linux training software to Alta Terra's MaxOS Linux operating system. Mosaic's training regime is suitable for beginners and more advanced users, covering such topics as networking and programming. Alta Terra's MaxOS offers the familiar boasts of ease-of-use and ease-of-install. But with training software bundled into the package, Alta Terra is hoping that users of its distribution will now have a complete educational on-ramp to getting the most out of their Linux OS. Additionally, Mosaic noted that they are developing a Linux simulator that will allow Windows users to install and set up Linux without leaving the Windows OS.

"We're not succumbing to mass hysteria! We're jumping on the bandwagon!" If you're a gold mining exploration company looking to "diversify" into the exciting world of high technology and the Internet, where might you look in order to hit the ground running? Well, Flame Petro-Minerals, a mining corporation with major (50%) interests in the Fish Creek Claims in the Fairbanks, Alaska mining district is looking at us. The company has announced that, having acquired LinuxWizardry Systems about two months ago, it is changing its name to "LinuxWizardry Systems" to "more closely represent the Company's true business activities as a pure-play Linux company." The company's announcement says the move is also geared toward "once and forever remov(ing) confusion for potential investors." Ahem ... Mike Carpenter, CIO of LinuxWizardry says, "My goal is to build a Linux-based low-cost router at a fraction of the cost of Cisco Systems." Adds John Robertson, CEO of Flame Petro-Minerals Corporation, "Most small businesses do not have and cannot afford to have a network specialist on staff to manage the network router. A network expert is very expensive and an unskilled amateur encounters great difficulty with the current generation of products."

Clued-in/Clued-out "If anything, you're going to see a much stronger commitment to download friendliness. After all, a lot of our users are more technical and prefer to download. Sure, we like to ship paid copies as this helps support the project, but our first priority has always been do make things as good as we can, and then give it away on the net." Slackware founder Patrick Volkerding, as quoted in an interview with Slashdot readers.

March 16

Vocalizations! "From a societal perspective of trying to leverage your philanthropic dollar, investments in children are the highest-paying one. It's like in any sort of business, if you invest in the seed round and it goes all the way to being public, you dollar is worth thousands and thousands of times more."Marc Ewing, co-founder of Red Hat, quoted in The Washington Post on Wednesday

Expo is a No Go:The Raleigh News & Observer is reporting that Linux Expo 2000 has been canceled by Raleigh-Durham based Red Hat. In a statement from Red Hat, the company confirmed the news, saying "The Expo won't happen this year. This doesn't mean the project is abandoned; it just means that it won't happen this year. We are very much interested in keeping it alive."

A is for Acquisition: VA Linux Systems, Inc. has announced plans to acquire TruSolutions, designers of Linux-based, high-density rackmount servers, and NetAttach, who have developed a similarly Linux-based technology for building high-availability storage appliances. The mergers should give VA Linux a variety of new product opportunities, including an entry-level 1U server (to complement the company's high-performance 1U server. Said VA Linux president and CEO Larry Augustin, "The acquisitions of TruSolutions and NetAttach reinforce our leadership position in the Linux market by broadening our current product offerings and giving us access to tremendous engineering talent ..."

Centromine Heats up on Cold Fusion for Linux: Centromine, Inc., makers of Internet behavioral healthcare software, have announced that they will be moving from ColdFusion for NT to ColdFusion for Linux with the 4.51 release of Allaire's popular cross-platform Web server. Calling the open source community, "the most comprehensive and opportune development environment," Centromine chief information officer, Michael Bodner noted, "We are looking to Linux for stability and scalability since, as an ASP, performance and five 9s are everything." "Five 9s" refers to 99.999% availability, which often means no more than five minutes of downtime per year. Centromine deploys its ShareCare online application service, which provides access center, clinical and fiscal applications over the Internet. Adds Michael "Linux offers robust support for this effort as well as a more standard implementation of XML. We talk about 'using the Web as a mainframe'. Linux is a 'big iron' operating system, with roots in Unix and with natural multiuser/multitasking capabilities."

Clued-in/Clued-out  "Put simply, there's nothing terribly distinguishing about Caldera, which is why we're in for a potential so-so IPO. VA Linux and Red Hat have gobbled up much of the mind share, and there may not be room for many more players. Caldera said growing a brand is one of its biggest priorities. And it will need a strong brand to rise above the noise." Larry Dignan, writing about the upcoming Caldera IPO in Inter@ctive Investor.

March 15

Vocalizations!  "It's obvious why we fall into TechnoLatin even if we know better. We sound so smart when we use words no one quite understands. We sound so precise. And we sound like we belong: 'distributed platform environment' does for technology marketers what 'you know, like, whatever ...' does for teenagers." Doc Searls, from The Cluetrain Manifesto.

Count Caldera In: Caldera, Inc. will join the ranks of publicly owned Linux companies Thursday morning when it offers five million shares of common stock to the public. The shares are expected to be priced at $9 each, and will trade under the symbol "CALD" on the Nasdaq market.

SCO and Caldera Go Pro: SCO and Caldera have announced their plan to offer SCO's "professional services" to Caldera customers. And just what are "professional services"? According SCO's Tom Fox-Sellers, the company will help Caldera clients with the planning, installation, configuration and deployment of Caldera's OpenLinux systems.

The Latest from Lineo: Jennifer Finlinson of Lineo writes to tell us that John Egan, former executive vice president of EMC Corporation, is now a member of Lineo's Board of Directors. John is also general partner of Egan Managed Capital, a Boston venture capital firm that has recently made a sizeable investment in Lineo. Jennifer adds that Motorola Computer Group has also recently invested in Lineo.

Clued-in/Clued-out  "The open source development model has its limitations, and the enthusiasm around Linux cannot be ignored ... We (Linux and Microsoft) will meet in the marketplace. And that will be a better thing for both us and for the Linux community." Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, reported in WideOpenNews.

True View Development Tool: Qarbon.com and SuSE have teamed up to launch "The Linux Viewlet Project". Viewlets are a Web-based tool that changes help files, FAQs and READMEs into graphic slide presentations. Letting Linux in on the action means that Linux developers will be able to build, rearrange and exchange viewlets to answer questions that might otherwise take up more text than the question is worth. The Project motto? "Why not use a visual tool to describe a visual tool?" Take a view for yourself here, where Viewlets are being used for SuSE's Linux 6.3.

ChiliWarm, ChiliCold, ChiliHard, ChiliSoft ... Chili!Soft's new Active Server Pages for Linux is now available. Chili!Soft's ASP supports developer environments including Visual InterDev, Microsoft's FrontPage 2000, Allaire Homesite, Macromedia Drumbeat, and the VBScript and Jscript scripting languages. With Chili!Soft's ASP for Linux, Web builders can create and maintain dynamic Web applications and use ASP for live database connectivity and dynamic content. Cobalt Networks will be the first server appliance vendor to offer "a complete turnkey Active Server Pages solution" for Linux. The ASP will be a part of Cobalt's RaQ server appliance. Chili!Soft won "Best Intranet/Extranet" at LinuxWorld 2000.

Linux Hackers of the World, Embed! Rick Lehrbaum of LinuxDevices passed along the announcement of the founding of the Embedded Linux Consortium. The Consortium, or ELC, consists of representatives from several embedded technology companies including Centura Software Corporation, IBM, Motorola Computer Group, and Red Hat. Said Rick "The embedded computer market--which absorbs more than 95% of all microcomputer chips minted each year--is the next frontier. In essence, the goal of the ELC will be to amplify the depth, breadth and speed of Linux adoption in the enormous embedded computer market."

Linux Flashback The March 1995 Linux Journal, issue 11, featured "The Humble Beginnings of Linux" and included Robert Sanders' introduction to Scheme, Michael K. Johnson's report from the First Dutch International Linux Symposium, and Randolph Benton's reflections on the early days of Linux.

Wanna let everybody know? Send your announcements, thoughts, comments, rude gestures and flattering remarks to: rookery@linuxjournal.com

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