Linux Product Insider: Adobe's AIR for Linux Alpha

Welcome to the April 3rd edition of the "Linux Product Insider", our weekly round-up of new products and services in Linux and open source.

Adobe's AIR for Linux Alpha

Who woulda thought that Adobe would be so into Linux?! Adobe's exciting news is the pre-release alpha version of Adobe AIR software for Linux, a platform for using HTML, Ajax, Adobe Flash and Adobe Flex software to build rich Internet applications (RIAs) that deploy to desktops across operating systems. Adobe Flex Builder 3 for Linux is also available. Developers need not write additional platform-specific code for Linux. Adobe also states that it seeks "an open conversation with users during [its] development process, which will give [it] very valuable developer insights." The pre-release alpha version of Adobe AIR for Linux is available immediately in English as a free download from Adobe Labs. The final version is expected later this year and will be available in other languages.

Here is what's buzzing up the wires this week:

Linux Box Partners with Nagios Enterprises

Your intrepid editor is based in Michigan, and I've always gotten such joy out of hearing ads on my local NPR station for "The Linux Box", a (what I thought was) regional company in Ann Arbor that offers an array of Linux and open-source solutions. Turns out 'The Box' is bigger than I realized, and their newest foray is into supporting Nagios products nationwide. Nagios is best known for its Web-based network monitoring program. It's also great to see that The Linux Box is led by a female geek CEO, Elizabeth Ziph.

Bug Labs EDU Program

Bug Labs is a company that makes a new kind of saliva-inducing gadgets, ones that the user defines. They are essentially a collection of electronic modules that snap together to build any gadget imaginable. Each BUGmodule represents a specific gadget function (ex: a camera, a keyboard, a video output, etc.). You decide which functions to include and BUG takes care of the rest, letting you try out different combinations quickly and easily. The latest news is that Bug wants its gadgets in the hands of students, i.e. the next generation of Edisons, Bells, and Westinghouses, and is chopping prices to do so. Educational institutions, instructors and university students can all take advantage of new discounts.

FST's FancyPants v2.0 "BlueJeans"

Here's an insider's scoop for you embedded heads: FST will announce the release of its FancyPants v2.0 "BlueJeans" product at the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, California, 15-17 April, 2008. FancyPants states that its platform "lets developers create feature rich devices with advanced GUI and high performance multimedia capabilities, all with reduced hardware requirements and portability across chip sets and embedded operating systems, speeding time to market." The platform's SDK includes a powerful and intuitive API with an embedded runtime optimized for available hardware, including graphics acceleration and native codecs. Some new features include real-time screen rotation, 18- and 24-bit framebuffer support, the capability for multiple embedded applications to simultaneously run on a single screen with a seamless alpha blended user interface and support for the definition, placements, movement and visual effects of some GUI elements via an external XML file.

McObject's eXtremeDB Kernel Mode

Adding innovation to the database scene is McObject and its eXtremeDB Kernel Mode, a version of the company's in-memory embedded database system designed for deployment in the OS kernel. By operating at this innermost, privileged level of computer systems, eXtreme DB-KM leverages the high priority, zero-latency responsiveness afforded to kernel tasks, and meets the data sorting, access and retrieval needs of applications that place key functions there. Eliminated are context switches, or jumps between kernel and user space, which devour CPU cycles in most OSes. McObject asserts that representative applications perform an order of magnitude faster with eXtreme DB Kernel Mode than with the firm's standard user-mode, all-in-memory edition. Potential applications that can benefit from the database include security applications such as access control and firewalls, as well as high performance systems that place application logic in the OS kernel, such as telecommunications, operating system monitors, and financial applications including arbitrage and options trading.

Nexenta Systems Free Developer Edition of NexentaStor 1.0

Rounding out this week's announcements is NexentaStor Systems' version 1.0 of NexentaStor Developer Edition, an enterprise-class open-source-based storage NAS/SAN/iSCSI solution. The Developer Edition is a fully featured version of NexentaStor available at no cost. NexentaStor capabilities include: unlimited incremental backups with integrated search to manage them; back-up and replication capabilities, including syncing, cloning, and block level mirroring; data integrity due to end to end check-sums; 15-minute installations via wizard led installation and provisioning; one-touch safe upgrades; inherent, file system level thin provisioning and storage virtualization and freedom from capacity based pricing. The solution is available for download from Nexenta's Web site.

To send feedback on this article, or to send product news, please contact Products Editor, James Gray at

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