Microsoft is trying to push the idea of the Tablet PC in the last few months but sources say that their product won't be ready for another year, while Apple may already have a tablet product already in the works. There are a lot of rumors flying around recently regarding next week's MacWorld, but these rumors are mostly about a possible iMac upgrade with an LCD display. Imagination among the Macintosh fans fly though, some even say that this is the reason (more illustrated/rendered screenshots 2, 3 and 4) as to why Apple writes to their web site "Beyond the rumor sites. Way beyond.". Others, say that the "secret" device that Apple is hiding is actually called iWalk and it is a PDA. In any case, we will know for sure on Monday. Our Take: Personally, all I want to see (and buy) is a iMac G4 600 Mhz with a DVD/CD-RW combo drive and an ATi Radeon VE 32MB, all for $999 USD...
The 2002 is here and everyone's seems busy writing editorials as to what it might bring to Linux. Some are optimistic, others are not so much. Judging from the amount of the... almanac Linux articles on the web, one thing is for sure: people are worried about its further success. Newsforge says (wisely) that Linux doesn't have to beat with Windows while ZDNews has three articles already: "Is it time for Linux on the desktop?", "2002 prediction: Linux won't make it this year" and "Will Linux survive the dot-com crash?"
KernelTrap has interviewed Matthew Dillon, a well-known FreeBSD kernel hacker. He has recently been in the spotlight due to many impressive NFS related bug fixes, as well as fixes to the TCP stack. In the KernelTrap interview he talks about these bug fixes as well as his history with computers, programming and FreeBSD. He also discusses Linux, open source, embedded systems, the Amiga (and his DICE C compiler), and much more. OSNews also interviewed Matt a few months ago.
Less than two months ago an email from Microsoft's Brian Valentine was leaked and TheRegister published it, a second email comes to light today, again with the same outlined subject: Linux Vs Windows. Interesting read (if the email is actually original), and lots of disclaimers to the email recipients from Mr Valentine to not distribute the email (too late!).
Good news for the Krusader fans, as version 1.0 was released today after 1.5 years of development. Krusader is a KDE/QT-based file manager and being similar to Norton or Midnight Commander it should already have lots of friends among the Linux users. Krusader seems to be today the only real & viable alternative to Konqueror or Nautilus today under a Linux desktop. In a related note, Gnumeric 1.0, the Gnome Office spreadsheet was released recently.
We hail those who attempt to create new operating systems from scratch. They are the leaders, the visionaries, the influencers of this great tech-age. There will always be only 2 areas of how an OS can be great - great marketing (which provides great third party support), and great design. Microsoft has always invested more in the former, and Apple in the latter. This article discusses some design aspects. Update: The article has been updated at several places.
2001 is almost over (and already over for a lot of our readers), and there are plenty of ways to look at the past twelve months. LinuxPlanet has put together a list of their Linux best and worst of 2001: Favorite distro, desktop environment, browser, mail client and more. Oh, and Happy New Year everyone!
The 'Tales of a BeOS Refugee' seems to have touched a nerve. In the two weeks since it was published at OSNews, I have received more than 500 email responses from users of Mac OS, BeOS, Linux, and Windows. Most of the responses were point-by-point rejoinders to facts and observations in the original piece, some of them highly detailed. Because it was impossible to respond to everyone individually, and because I thought many people would appreciate being able to read some of the comments and my reactions to them, I've assembled this addendum: Reactions to "Tales of a BeOS Refugee". The piece includes further clarifications and extrapolations on my ideas about the Creator code and application binding, plus dozens of miscellaneous notes and continued comparisons between BeOS and OS X. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to write. As always, comments are welcome, but no guarantees on responses.
A reader over at Slashdot noted that the folks making Debian GNU/Hurd have released a new snapshot in 4 CD images. This is up from three CDs in the G1 release we noted in October, although only the first CD is required to install a basic system.
Amiga's CEO has posted his latest executive update in which Bill writes about the progress being made. Also included are videos of AmigaDE software running binary identical on various devices. For instance the Compaq iPAQ and Sharp Collie. Also Luca Diana recently visited the Amiga's headquarters and made a little report with pictures for us to enjoy, included is a picture of a PDA by Casio running the AmigaDE.
LinuxBIOS is a project aimed at replacing the proprietary legacy BIOSes of x86 PC hardware with an open, free, fast, and customizable BIOS. Eric Biederman of Linux NetworX has written an excellent article explaining how the BIOS works, how the boot process on x86 differs from PowerPC, SPARC, Alpha, and Itanium, and what people are using LinuxBIOS for.
"From our perspective, we believe VMware 3.0 is a big improvement from Version 2.0, which had some technical problems and limitations, a non-intuitive user interface, and required users to edit config files at times to gain added features (much like configuring Linux). It also presented misleading messages occasionally. Version 3.0 brings a big change to the UI, with a cleaner more intuitive look, and more descriptive messages. The help system has been expanded, with far fewer references to the Web (which was a real problem in Version 2)." This is the second part of the excellent two-part article on Virtual Machines and VMWare at ExtremeTech. Read the first part here.
After years of crashes, BSODs (Blue Screen of Death), Stop errors and dozens of other problems, Microsoft finally has delivered what most of us would think impossible from them: a rock stable operating system. Granted, Windows 2000 was a decent try, but it had its share of system crashes, even with the neatest possible installation. It was more susceptible to bad written device drivers than Windows XP, and that shows. Of course, it’s not like you can throw anything at XP and it will stay unharmed, drivers are a very important component of an operating system, and if they’re buggy they make the whole system unstable, whatever OS it is.
"Opera bills itself as "the fastest browser on earth!" -- and indeed it is fast. But to laud it only for its speed would miss the point. Much more impressive are Opera's other features for surfing the World Wide Web. Consider the menu item for quickly deleting cookie files that Web sites leave behind to track you. Or the item for rejecting pop-up windows, such as those pitching wireless cameras from X10." Read the rest of the review at CNN.
"Microsoft Corp. watchers are dubbing 2002 "the year of .Net" as the software company prepares to release products that will build on its software-as-a-service vision. Releases slated for the new year include the Visual Studio .Net 2002 development suite, the Windows .Net Server family and the Tablet PC. The company's teams are also working on the next version of Office and the next version of Windows, code-named Longhorn, as well as Visual Studio .Net 2003." Read the rest of the article at ExtremeTech.
"Even for self-styled Mac pros, the introduction of the consumer-friendly iMac remains a watershed event in the history of Apple. Between its striking industrial design and appealing specs, the entry-level desktop system proved that master marketer Steve Jobs was truly back in Apple's saddle: The all-in-one system's distinctive aura of one-button consumer cool recalled the earliest Mac models, but its sub-$1,500 price point appealed to a far wider audience than those $3,000, mid-'80s trailblazers." Read the rest of the analysis at ExtremeTech.
You may or may not have heard about Lindows already. Lindows (the company) is a new Linux start-up, launched earlier this year by former MP3.com CEO Michael Robertson. The promise of Lindows (the Operating System) is to be an affordable alternative (Operating System) to Microsoft Windows. And, as an extra boon, this alternative to Windows (which promises to run all your Windows applications), will run Linux applications as well.
ELX is a new Linux desktop distribution aimed to attract Windows users. (We previously mentioned it about three weeks ago.) ELX 1.0 Pre 1 is now available for download on two binary CD images via FTP or HTTP. There are also 20 screenshots to entice, mostly of configuration tools and apps under the default KDE desktop.
Kerneltrap interviewed Dave Jones who currently lives in London, employed by SuSE as a Linux kernel hacker. In the past six months since he graduated from the University of Glamorgan he has gotten involved in an impressive range of kernel related projects, including Powertweak, x86info, OProfile and the Kernel Janitors Project. Additionally, he maintains a -dj patch for the 2.5 development kernel, helping to sync it with the stable 2.4 kernel as well as offering increased stability.
In the year 2000, some pundits suggested the growing enthusiasm about open source was destined to give out. Once economic conditions returned to pre-dot-com levels, they reasoned, open source would be seen as a fad, just like the pet rock. The editorial at InfoWorld concludes that "the hype surrounding open source did not survive the year. But open source itself not only survived, it began to thrive in the business world."