MandrakeSoft, announces the availability of boxed sets of Mandrake Linux Version 8.1 in retail outlets throughout the world and on MandrakeStore. There are four versions of the 8.1 product, each designed to suit user needs: Mandrake Linux Standard Edition 8.1, Mandrake Linux PowerPack Edition 8.1, Mandrake Linux ProSuite Edition 8.1, and Mandrake Linux ProSuite old. Also, with the help of TransGaming Technologies, developers of software portability solutions that seamlessly allow cutting edge games to operate on the Linux platform, MandrakeSoft announced the release of the Mandrake Linux Gaming Edition. Designed specifically for gamers, this release bundles Mandrake Linux 8.1 Standard Edition, with Electronic Arts' The Sims, the popular virtual simulation game that allows players to create a neighborhood of simulated people known as "Sims" and control their lives.
"Apple is becoming increasingly irritated with its prime PowerPC provider, Motorola, to the extent that it talking to fellow PowerPC partner, IBM, about how the platform can continue to evolve without the chips-to-cellphones giant's participation, sources close to the Mac maker have claimed." TheRegister analyzes the situation and proposes alternatives for Apple. In the meantime, more information about Motorola's new G5 CPU are coming to light. Our Take: The article proposes that Apple should look into Itanium and Sun SPARC CPUs to port MacOSX into, but I think the author has left out a more realistic candidate, if indeed Apple is getting a divorce from Motorola: the AMD Hammer. Except Linux and some rumours that a new version of WindowsXP may run in this new AMD 64-bit CPU, I believe that MacOSX could enrich and also gain from this new platform.
Red Hat Linux 7.2 is available for sale in stores now, and for online download. See the Red Hat Linux product website for information. Key features include easy migration to the ext3 journaled filesystem, GNOME 1.4 and Nautilus, custom Linux 2.4.7 kernel, TUX, choice of GRUB or LILO bootloaders, and more. ZDNet has a review.
After the merger of HP and Compaq, they were many these who claimed that the 64-bit Unix Tru64 will cease to exist in favor of HP's HP-UX. But the official claim is that Tru64 will continue to exist: "Our major focus today for our Tru64 UNIX customers and partners remains unchanged -- to deliver on the Alpha-based Tru64 UNIX plan-of-record which includes full support on the upcoming Alpha EV7 and EV79 systems as well as further operating system enhancements for our Alpha-based customers." More news about Tru64 can be found at Tru64.org
Borland, will announce version 2 of its Kylix package Tuesday. Kylix, introduced in January, lets software developers write programs that can be used on Linux or Windows machines. The new version will add features that improve the product's support for Web services, a representative said. Web services move tasks that took place on a PC or a single server onto a network of servers, ZDNews reports. In other development news, Python 2.2b1 was released.
Kerneltrap has posted the latest in-depth kernel hacker interview with Russell King, who originally ported Linux to ARM and continues to oversee ARM Linux development: "I started hacking on Linux for my Acorn A5000 machine back in Spring 1994 while still at Southampton University, after a fellow student, Martin Ebourne, introduced it to me. An A5000 is a desktop-like ARM based machine. It was already about 3 years old and underpowered at that time, with only 4MB of RAM but it was the machine I had." Russell talks about ARM, the 2.4 kernel, the upcoming 2.5 kernel and much more.
Terra Soft Solutions, the developer of Linux solutions for PowerPC microprocessors, announced the immediate availability of Yellow Dog Linux version 2.1. YDL 2.1 offers the following updates and improvements: YDL installer now supports individual package selection, KDE 2.2.1, XFree86 4.1.0, 2.4.10 (default) and 2.2.19, Mac-on-Linux 0.9.60 which automatically grabs the ROM image from your Mac OS partition--reducing setup to a minimum. - Webmin web-based system administration tool, Mozilla 0.9.4, Ext3 journaling file system, Sound support on iBook 1 and iBook 2 (2001), Sleep support on full range of Apple portables (include all iBooks), Improved support for Apple Network Servers and support for NVidia GeForce 2 & ATI Radeon video cards.
From Wired News: Apple on Tuesday will unveil a new portable electronic device that allows people to listen to digital music files away from the computer, according to sources familiar with the company. The device -- called the iPod -- can be synched with the computer using a high-speed cable connection that allows consumers to download their music into a portable system, which can then be accessed by either a car or home stereo system. Last Wednesday, Simple Devices released a wireless platform that allows users to stream MP3 files from a personal computer to home or car stereo systems. Motorola will roll out a wireless receiver for home stereos that runs on the new Simple Devices platform.
"...Some weeks ago we got a mail from Richard Stallman asking that we stop all mentions of non-free software in the GNOME summaries. The background for the request was that we had mentioned the beta of Star Office some time back. I argued that the purpose of the GNOME summaries was to promote GNOME and while our focus of course is free software I felt that it was natural to mention the availability of non-free software where the existence of such software where a clear advantage for GNOME. RMS replied telling us that he disagreed with my argument and saying that we are legitimatizing the use of non-free software by mentioning it..." This is part of the email that Christian Schaller sent to the Gnome Foundation mailing list asking the Gnome users for their opinion on how to proceed on the matter. So far, the replies are taking Christian's side and some mentioned that Richard Stallman's opinions are, simply put, extreme in this case.
Latest news on Mandrake Software are their release candidate Linux version for Itanium, and that their developers are now preparing Object Prelinked versions of KDE for the next Mandrake, dubbed Cooker. But there are also news about lay offs which took place recently over at MandrakeSoft, in which Kevin Lawton, the person behind Plex86 and also the original author of the x86 emulator Bochs, was layed off. Kevin doesn't know what will happen to the ambitious Plex86 project now he parted with the company that previously backed the whole project. Our Take: First of all, good luck to Kevin. We are sure he will find soon another job, as he is an extremely skilled developer. Plex86 is open source, so it may live up, but there is... a small catch. Developing for Plex86 is _extremely hard_. It requires developers with spiffy low level x86 knowledge, it is not a project about a new email or IM client or a new cool-looking window manager. There are not many developers with such deep knowledge, this is why Kevin worked on it with little help from others for so long. When I was part of the original BeUnited's admin team, we had Plex86 as one of our projects to be ported to BeOS. During the period of 1 year, the project changed 3 team leaders (one of them was a proven experienced BeOS developer), each and every one called its quits for the exact same reason: Not enough knowledge to work on such a complex project.
Motorola's PowerPC 8500 - aka the G5 - continues to move steadily toward its scheduled release, TheRegister reports. The G5 is the next major version of the PowerPC architecture and includes a new internal bus structure, a longer, ten-stage instruction pipeline, redesigned integer and floating-point maths units. It will be offered in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and fabbed using silicon-on-insulator technology at 0.13 micron. Check out the SPEC CPU benchmarks which show that the G5 outperforms the current versions of Pentium 4, by a large margin.
The latest stable version of XFree86, 4.1.0, was ported to QNX RtP by a small team of developers. The team also ported other tools as well, like a VNC server, Nedit and the LessTiff Gui Toolkit. Get the archives from SourceForge.
SkyOS is a home brewed operating system, created by Robert Szeleney in the last few years as a hobby project. As SkyOS gets bigger and more advanced, its popularity and importance are also growing, driving the 3-member team to add more and more functionality. Latest in their efforts is the -- already working according to the SkyOS web site-- Linux emulation layer which runs Linux binaries natively, without recompiling. Among their future plans is also a Windows emulation layer. But SkyOS is much more than emulation layers, it has a personality and functionality of its own. Read more for what Robert has to say about SkyOS and its future.
Adam Klobukowski wrote in to say: "Most of you think that Atari computers are dead. In fact they are, but they are still some survivors. FreeMiNT is an Open Source operating system for 16/32 bit Ataris: ATARI ST/STE/MEGA ST/Mega STE/TT/Falcon 030, and clones: Hades/Medusa/Milan. It is under continuous developent and last stable version (1.15.12) was relased about a month ago. Developers are busy working on 1.16. FreeMiNT offers preempative multitasking, memory protection (on 020+ processors), loadable filesystems (VFAT, Minix, Ext2), shared libraries and easy TCP/IP networking. The main FreeMiNT distribution is called SpareMiNT and is based on RPM. Because over the years FreeMint (formerly known as MiNT) developement was a bit messy it is coverend by few diffrent software linceses, but mainly by GNU GPL. There is also a standard C library implementation (libc) called MiNTLib (and is covered by GNU GPL and LGPL). The main future goals of FreeMINT are: adding better shared library support along with ELF support and virtual memory support."
From Wired: "It started as a crusade for free source code. Linux zealots turned it into a full-frontal assault on Microsoft. Now the battle for the desktop could snatch defeat from the jaws of moral victory." This is the teaser of a four page interesting editorial from Russ Mitchell found on Wired. The author recognises that "Linux has a real shot in the enterprise business", but he believes that Linux is never going to get a respectful share of the desktop market, and he presents a number arguments for it. He also includes statements from many people like Rob Malda and Red Hat employees who, surprisingly, state that the real enemy for their business today is not Microsoft (where most of their joe-user customers are far reached from Linux's "nerd" market), but companies like Sun and the "traditional" Unices like Solaris, IRIX, HP-UX and Tru64.
Jeffy124 reports on Slashdot: "C|net News.com is embarking on a seven day comprehensive report on how Microsoft is moving themselves into position to be The 'Gatekeeper Of The Internet' through WindowsXP. The first installment explains the basics of how this is going to happen: Reminders that last for days encouraging users to sign up for Passport, and how Windows will evenutally resemble services like AOL." The second installment explains the whole masterplan behind .NET and how it is going to position Microsoft as a kind of a... global monopoly.
The good folks over at Debian have released the first alpha CD distribution 'G1' of Debian GNU/Hurd. This release consists of three CDs, but only the first one is necessary to get a usable system running. They have a page with install information that you'll definitely want to read before trying it out. (Hint: Don't forget to run /native-install and reboot, then repeat, or you'll be stuck in single-user mode.) The primary download site at gnu.org is often busy, so try one of the GNU mirrors or this temporary mirror if you have trouble getting in. We had fun installing and playing around with the Hurd on a spare machine. As they warn, this is still very raw and experimental, but this kinder, gentler release finally makes the Hurd more accessible to the non-diehard crowd. See the GNU Hurd main website for more project information and history.
Forcing a developer to use multithreading, which is pretty complex for most programmers to code for, it is the wrong way to go for an OS. There was some controversy about this, but at the end, the experienced programmers agreed. And Maarten Hekkelman, of the Pepper fame (Maarten is also the same person who wrote the BeOS debugger when he was hired by Be to do so), seems to agree too: There won't be a Pepper for BeOS, just because the BeOS design does not make it easy to code such a big and complex app. Before you start replying in this story, make sure you read all the comments here. Our Take: I love BeOS, but BeOS is not perfect. In fact, what Be's marketing was trying to sell as the best feature of BeOS, pervasive multithreading, it is also its most weak spot. Now you know why big apps crashing too much under BeOS, and why there are not many big apps available anyway. Too hard to code big apps for such an environment, for most developers. Take Scooby for example. This person's multithreading code, is far below par, and mind you, Mr Takamatsu is an experienced developer. Scooby still crashes too much though and locks up the app_server at times, in a spaghetti multithreading confusion... Same goes for Gim-ICQ and lots of other apps.Update: Maarten Hekkelman responded to our comment section explaining his decision and Pepper's design.
In an interview with the St Petersburg Times, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer stressed most emphatically (is he ever not emphatic?) that his company is not an "Evil Empire." He says, "I don't think it's right and I think it causes people to make decisions which are not even in their best interest . . . A, we're not evil. B, we're not an empire." A Siliconvalley.com article has the entire interview with Microsoft's energetic CEO.
ReactOS is an effort to re-create the WindowsNT platform, in an open source sense (GPL). The team works towards source compatibility with NT's applications and drivers by re-creating the Microsoft APIs. More developers are always welcomed in the project, but there is already a number of them working for the last 3 years, splitted into several teams. Jason Filby, head developer of ReactOS, answers to a series of questions regarding the project.