Hardware Platforms: Worth a Change?

There were an amazing number of people (around 300,000) who visited OSNews recently to read Scot Hacker's article on MacOSX. As part of the camp of BeOS refugees, I have been searching for some time for a suitable replacement. Many come close - FreeBSD is fantastic, but still complicated, the new school of Linuxes are very close to ready for me, even Windows XP has come a long way. My x86 machine is pretty fun - it gets a new OS every two weeks or so. But what does that say - that I like variety or that I can't find what I want? I'd suggest most of us still feel that we're missing something - otherwise, why read osnews.com?

FBI Warns of WindowsXP Security Hole

The FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center has urged users of Microsoft's WindowsXP operating system to disable a feature that could leave computers open to attacks from hackers. In a statement issued Saturday, the FBI's NIPC, which usually leaves computer security warnings to the private sector, said it held technical discussions with Microsoft and industry experts Friday to identify ways to minimize the risk from security holes in the XP software, which was launched in late October.

Mercury 0.1 for AtheOS Released

Just in time for Christmas, one of the well known AtheOS developers, Kristian Van Der Vliet ('Vanders'), released as a Christmas gift to the AtheOS community the first full scale native AtheOS application, the email client Mercury. We normally do not post on such application releases, but this app is indeed a major step for AtheOS. From Vanders and all of us here at OSNews, Merry Christmas to all !

Compiling the Linux Kernel

At the time I was writing this article, the Linux kernel 2.4.17 was released only 3 days ago and these holly days you may find some more time to experiement with it. The following article includes step-by-step instructions on how to compile a Linux 2.4.X kernel, an article mostly targetting people who have never dared to compile their own kernel yet. Read on and we promise, it is not that hard to do so.

FreeBSD Gets a Java Injection from Sun

From the announcement: "The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to announce that it has secured a license from Sun Microsystems to distribute a native FreeBSD version of both the Java Development Kit (JDK) and the Java Runtime Environment (JRE). Thanks to the great efforts of the FreeBSD Java team, these should be available for inclusion with the upcoming release of FreeBSD 4.5 in January, 2002. The general availability of a distributable version of Java will benefit end users, commercial users, and developers who use FreeBSD. Java continues to grow in popularity and has become heavily used in server side web applications, one of FreeBSD's core areas of strength. With an officially licensed binary Java distribution, FreeBSD becomes an ideal platform for execution, development, and deployment of Java based solutions."

The End of a Chapter for Be & BeOS

The Be website has been updated and now mostly contains stock info and other legalese. Also hints at a liquidation auction to be held on January 16th are to be found in the new pages. The http://free.be.com (BeOS) sub-domain does not work anymore, and all the developer info, BeBook, Developer's newsletters, sample code etc, are all gone from that server. However, you can still access the old web site from archives.org and their old ftp site from PlanetMirror. In the meantime, Palm's David Nagel (the person who leads the subsidiary that Be engineers are working under, and he also has control over Be's IP) has said that parts of the Be technology will be used in a new, 32-bit, PalmOS, but sources say that he has firmly declined any further desktop versions of BeOS, as the desktop is not Palm's focus.

Virtual Machines & VMware, Part I

"Ever want to try out a new operating system on your pc without trashing your existing Operating System? Got a legacy application that won't run on your current OS? Are you a developer who needs to test your code on a number of platforms? Would you like to test distributed applications on a network without requiring a server farm? Find out what companies like Symantec and Merrill Lynch know--you can do these tasks with a Virtual Machine (VM) on a single PC." Read the very interesting and in-depth article at ExtremeTech regarding how exactly Virtual Machines work.

Caldera Open Sources AIM Benchmark Under the GPL

Caldera announced it has made Suites VII and IX of the AIM Benchmark available under the GPL. The AIM Benchmark Suites - "AIM Multiuser Benchmark" and the "Independent Resource Benchmark" - are expected to be available shortly as a SourceForge project. They are currently available via FTP from Caldera's site. The AIM Benchmark technology has proved useful for more than a decade in measuring performance of hardware and versions of the UNIX operating system. The benchmarks have been licensed by nearly all of the vendors of UNIX system hardware. In all, more than 70 companies have used these benchmarks to compare and tune products. In addition, because of the stressful multi-dimensional nature of the AIM Benchmark workload, many OS and hardware vendors have used the benchmarks as part of their quality assurance process.

MacOSX 10.1.2 Released

Macslash.com reports that according to the Software Update readme, the 30.3 MB MacOSX upgrade brings the following: "The 10.1.2 update delivers improvements and new functionality, as well as expanded peripheral support for Mac OS X. Enhancements include: Updated and new USB and FireWire device support, including FireWire-based digital cameras, PC Card storage devices, including media readers, IrDA modem support for FireWire-based PowerBook models, Audio, Display, and Speech improvements, Networking and Printing improvements, AirPort v2.0, Apache web server v1.3.22, AppleScript v1.8". Update: Of the version that potentially will become 10.2 or 10.5, leaked screenshots have been released on the web.

Microsoft Sues Linux Start Up “Lindows” Over Name

"Microsoft asked a court on Thursday to stop a Linux start-up from using a name the software giant contends infringes on the Windows trademark. The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant filed a motion with the U.S. Court for the Western District of Washington against Lindows, which is developing a version of the Linux operating system that will run popular applications written for Microsoft's Windows OS. Microsoft contends the company, which plans to formally release its product next year, purposely is trying to confuse Lindows with Windows." The story is at CNet|News. In related news, the Editor-in-Chief of NewsForge and Linux.com wrote yesterday that he decided his web sites will not report on Lindows because he believes that the Lindows product is pure... vaporware. OSNews have recently contacted the Lindows CEO for an interview with some important questions on the Lindows product, its development & licencing, but we have not heard back. Update: The Lindows CEO, Michael Robertson, replied to our request for an interview, read on.

MacOSX Week: Blast from the Past: OSNews Coverage of OSX (Rhapsody) in 1997

Back in 1997, there was exciting news coming out of Cupertino. Apple had spurned Be and acquired Steve Jobs ... er... NeXT and announced its grand new OS strategy. We all know how the story ends, but it's fun to remember how the story began. The first article is a real blast from the past, since it talks about Apple's Network Computer strategy. The second article is a non-programmer's journey into Objective C prgramming with the NeXT tools, then called the Yelow Box, now called Cocoa. Enjoy!

Eclipse’s First Plugin a Reality

Eclipse, IBMs open sourced development tool donation (which is now supported by an organization of a number of companies), just got a little stronger as the released their first plugin sub-project. The C and C++ IDE for the Eclipse platform, with focus on Linux development and deployment. On a similar note, developerWorks is offering a trial download for WebSphere Studio Application Developer for Linux which is a pluggable tool-development and integration platform that incorporates the technology found on Eclipse.

Yet Another Security Hole for the Windows Platform

"Microsoft may have touted Windows XP as the most secure operating system it has made, but the company on Thursday released a bug fix for a security hole that could leave some people's systems open to malicious attack. Microsoft is recommending that every Windows XP customer apply the patch immediately. Customers using Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition and Windows ME with the "Universal Plug and Play" service up and running should also use the patch, the company said." And this comes only a few days after the serious IE6 security hole where Microsoft also urged the users to upgrade immediately.

KDE Development Team Announces KDE 3.0 Beta1

The KDE Project today announced the immediate release of KDE 3.0beta1 based on QT 3.0, the third generation of KDE's free & easy-to-use, Internet-enabled desktop for Linux and other UNIXes. This second pre-release of KDE 3.0, which follows two months after the release of KDE 3.0alpha, ships with the core KDE libraries, the core desktop environment, and over 100 applications from the other base KDE packages (administration, multimedia, network, PIM, utilities, development, etc.). KDE 3.0 is scheduled for final release in the second quarter 2002, with one or more intervening "RC" releases preceding the final release. Read the changes made to Beta1.

The Crime of the Distributed.NET Computing

"A college computer technician who offered his school's unused computer processing power for an encryption research project will be tried next month in Georgia for computer theft and trespassing charges that carry a potential total of 120 years in jail." Read the unusual story at TheRegister, where this technician is facing jail because he installed the Distributed.NET client on some (mostly) idle computers. The authorities are charging him with "hacking" even if they realize that no hack took place. Our Take: When I left my pre-previous job, I left the distributed.NET client running on the Dell dual PII-450 PC I used to work with...