Member Contributed Articles
2005b: Linux Bible: Review of Christopher Negus' talk
(by Dennis Kenney; March 2005)
Linux BibleChristopher Negus
By Dennis Kenney
The speaker at the February Boston Linux and Unix SIG, Christopher Negus, worked the Wiley booth at LinuxWorld Boston 2005, promoting his latest books. The titles evolved over time and I may not have them right.
The Linux Bible, 2005 Edition was intended to cover the new Fedora product from Red Hat but ended up being a compilation of all of the popular versions of Linux including the tiny versions, which according to Wiley.com "includes Fedora Core 3, Debian Linux, SuSE Linux, Knoppix, Gentoo Linux, Slackware Linux, Mandrake Linux, Damn Small Linux, and a Linux firewall and router on DVD." The enclosed DVD includes enough of the various distributions to do comparative evaluations of the various flavors of Linux.
Red Hat Fedora and Enterprise Linux 4 describes Fedora which was designed as a safety net for the users of the Red Hat desktop version. The book "comes complete with the full DVD of Fedora Core 4, including all binary code packages and source code." Fedora is updated much more frequently than the enterprise version, and was developed for corporate and small-business America in response to the unease that business had with the desktop version of Red Hat, which isn't supposed to be ready for prime time. Immature modules were to be introduced and beta-tested in the desktop version.
Linux Toys: 13 Cool Projects for Home, Office and Entertainment sounds more intriguing than Chris' usual successful books. Now Chris is working on Linux Toys II, the sequel to Linux Toys. II will have multimedia projects, a home gaming server, and at least one wireless project. The books try to demonstrate some new tricks for Linux and old PCs.
FUD and Confusion - FUDCon 2005
Chris stalked FUDCon (Friday), which Michael Tiemann of Red Hat said had been rapidly organized over the last few months to clarify Red Hat's plans for the desktop and server versions of Red Hat Linux. Fear, uncertainty and doubt have certainly been part of the Linux World the last few years as exemplified by the SCO litigation. Red Hat organized FUDCon to explain Red Hat's cessation of support for the desktop version of Red Hat, while it concentrated its support for the $1000 a server enterprise edition. Eric Raymond was brought in by Michael to rant about the unease in the Red Hat community.
Michael shows the value that the steam engines developed by Savery, Watts et al had during its patent-protected period (used to pump water out of mines) compared to its expansion to locomotives and other applications when development and profits were released to the public domain. Michael, occasionally involved in controversy, discussed the ongoing problem of intellectual property and value-added in the free and open-source world. The founder of Cygnus Solutions is a pioneer in the open-source software movement - Cygnus Solutions was incorporated in 1989 and was acquired by Red Hat in 1999.
Eric reported that he is on a quest to subvert man. He wants the man pages in various Unices including the Red Hat and SuSE distributions to be available to browsers. He had developed a utility, clipper, which automatically converts 99% of existing man pages to HTML as his contribution to the problem. Browsers are, of course, the principle means of viewing data on the Web. When asked if he could be quoted as saying he wanted to convert mankind, Eric answered with a grin that that is his ultimate goal.
Chris was forced to speed up the ending of his talk by scenes of the Cambridge Brewery and a glass of amber beer flashing on the screen behind him. Like Pavlov's dogs, the BLU.orggers get thirsty at this time of the night. Chris had to return to the Hynes and didn't join the group including two European Sun employees that assembled at the Brewery.How am I driving? firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2005 Dennis Kenney