Qt Palmtop Version 1.4 is Available

"Trolltech is releasing version 1.4 of Qt Palmtop, a complete mobile computing platform for advanced embedded Linux devices. This release provides numerous improvements to the existing Qt Palmtop, including bug fixes, enhanced functionality, and a new user interface. Qt Palmtop provides device manufacturers and hobbyists a stunning set of productivity applications, games, multimedia software, and a Personal Information Management (PIM) suite for cutting-edge mobile computing devices. Qt Palmtop is built with Trolltech's Qt/Embedded, the embedded Linux port of the popular cross-platform application framework, Qt." The rest of the announcement can be found at TrollTech's web site.

TheRegister in Search of Echelon

"The European Parliament published its report into the Echelon spying system last week in which it concluded it did exist, was against the law and that the UK had a lot of explaining to do. We've sifted through about 100 of the 194 pages and decided that since no one had yet to officially admit its existence, you may be interested in how the European Parliament decided it was definitely out there." Read the rest of the scoop at TheRegister.

NetBSD 1.5.2 Released

NetBSD, the BSD distribution which targets multiple platforms (NetBSD supports currently 21 architectures), released a new version, v1.5.2, a patch release improving stability, fixing bugs in, and adding some features to NetBSD 1.5.1. More information is available in the 1.5.2 release announcement. Many of the FTP mirrors are now carrying the NetBSD 1.5.2

Linux Does Not Need Office, or Does It?

This commentary on ZDNews talks about the need of the Linux development community to build something new and revolutionary, something that Microsoft has not offered to its customers, instead of trying to recreate Ms Office as the main "killer application" that Linux needs in order to go mainstream. One day after the above commentary went live, there is already an answer to it made by the C|Net News.com editorial stuff here. Both editorials are a good read. Our Take: I wrote a similar editorial once, called "The Killer Application Concept", about what BeOS needs to make it through and become mainstream, and I still stand in this opinion and I believe it applies for the Linux situation as well. To summarize: The OS doors are closed, except you do create a real (r)evolution.

For Hire: Compaq’s iPaq Engineering Team

The Register writes: "Compaq's iPaq PocketPC development team seems to be so unhappy with the upcoming merger with Hewlett-Packard, they have en masse offered their services to the highest bidder on the online job search site The Vault. Under the headline "iPaq PPC Engineering Team for Hire", the "core iPaq engineering team" says it is "seeking new opportunities and want to design the next winning PPC for your company. This team is responsible for the original iPaq and other designs that are yet to be released. Our team will vault your company ahead of its competitors." Our Take: I wonder if Palm will cancel the deal of the $11 million they would pay to Be, Inc. to just get the Be engineers and send offer letters and Palm Pilots as gifts (but this time, recent models with working batteries) to the iPaq engineers. ;-)

Open Source Databases Bloom

"Databases were once the forgotten stepchild of the open-source family. Companies like Red Hat Inc. included database software with their Linux distribution disks, but the main focus was on the operating system, the kernel and the graphical interface. A database was just another add-on, like a Minesweeper clone. But now, companies and users are scrambling to realize the value locked up in quality, open-source database software," ComputerWorld writes. Following the discussion we had recently on mySQL and PostgreSQL, the article seems to agree that professional closed-source database systems still have the lead on the open source counterparts.

Interview with Peter Tattam of the PetrOS Project

Trumpet Software is mostly known for their Internet communications software package, Trumpet Winsock, which has been adopted by the Internet world back in 1995, at the times where Windows 3.1 and Win95 did not come as standard with full internet connetion capabilities. But the main product these days for Trumpet Software is PetrOS, a 32-bit Operating System, which has the goal to be compatible by all means with Microsoft Windows. We are interviewing the main architect behind the project, Peter Tattam, who talks in depth about PetrOS, and also we feature a world exclusive first screenshot of the PetrOS GUI, a GUI which is still under heavy development.

Introduction to Bonobo & ORBit

Bonobo is the component object model of the GNOME project. Bonobo provides a COM-like model, using CORBA as a location-transparent transport. It is the foundation of the GNOME vision to provide a fully Free Gnu Network Object Model Environment. In this series of three articles, Michael Meeks, component software engineer at Ximian, examines Bonobo in more detail: The first article (already published) gives an overview of what Bonobo can do for you and how it works; the second article will focus specifically on the client side and cover how to use components others have written; and the final article of the series will discuss how to write your own components.

Engineering Lessons by Joel Spolsky

For a good weekend reading, amateur and pro programmers can go to Joel On Software where Joel Spolsky gives a big number of extremely valuable hints about the process of engineering software. Joel Spolsky is one of the initiators of VBA, and led its implementation in Excel. He has recently founded his own company, Fog Creek Software. Anyone who wants to become a really good software engineer should pay a lot of attention to his essays, probably starting with The Joel Test.

First Amiga Digital Environment Demo Contest

Amiga.org is organizing the first ever AmigaDE demo competition. Demos may be written in any language of preference, but the end result must be either compiled down to Virtual Processor code or must be Java Bytecode. The demos will be shown at the World of Amiga South East Show, which is being held in the UK on the 3rd of November 2001. Read more for more information regarding the Amiga Digital Environment and Amiga demos. Mike Bouma has the details.

Microsoft Offers Beta Version of XP Embedded

In its drive to be taken seriously by the embedded community, Microsoft Corp. announced this week that it will make a broad offering of the Windows XP Embedded operating system through a special preview aimed at developers. Windows XP Embedded, being developed in parallel with the desktop version of XP, will reportedly be unveiled as a product late this year. The company said this week, however, that it is now offering the second beta edition of XP Embedded on its Web site. Developers visiting the site can also order a CD (priced at approximately $8 USD) containing the operating system. Microsoft executives said they offered the beta version as a result of demand from developers.

Preemptible Linux – A Reality Check

"Some oppose a preemptible kernel because of throughput concerns. Others oppose preemptibility because of concerns about growing complexity in the kernel. This argument is specious, because the preemption approach takes advantage of already required and in place SMP locking. No additional complexity is created. All Linux kernel engineering must already take into account SMP requirements. Some oppose continued refinement of SMP locking to achieve better SMP scaling (on higher way SMP systems); such refinement has the beneficial side effect of also reducing preemption off periods in a preemptible kernel." Read the rest of the editorial at LinuxDevices by Kevin Morgan who is the Vice President, Engineering at MontaVista Software.

First Operating Engine Without a Kernel

Unununium 111 is a completely new approach to OS developement. Using 100% x86 assembly code and the VoiD architecture, the system is completely hot-pluggable to any system and without a kernel of its own which makes it extremely dynamic. The unununium project is an effort at creating a highly dynamic environment, that can be molded into various systems capable of sharing parts, thus simplifying and reducing the time needed to develop many closely related, but not identical, specialized operating systems. Their goal is to develop a set of tools with related documentation that other projects will be able to use.

New HP Jornada released, running PocketPC 2002

On the heels of its stunning acquisition announcement, HP announced the release of new Jornada handhelds. They're the first to sport Intel's new StrongARM 206 MHz processor, and the first machines to run PocketPC 2002. One would suppose that the Jornada and the iPaq lines are going to go head to head internally to see which one has a future. If this announcement is any indication, the Jornada team isn't ready to roll over and concede to the more-popular iPaq now that they're in the same company. Read Internet.com's coverage.

DOJ Says Microsoft Should Not Break Up

The U.S. Justice Department announced today that it will not seek to break Microsoft Corp. in two during the next phase of the software maker's landmark antitrust case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in late June had overturned a lower court's order by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson that Microsoft be broken into two companies as a remedy for anticompetitive practices. At the same time, it upheld the lower court's conclusion that Microsoft has a monopoly in the market for computer operating systems and maintains that monopoly power by anticompetitive means in violation of U.S. antitrust laws.