"Ingo Molnar recently posted a patch to the Linux Kernel mailing list that, in his own words, is "a pretty radical rewrite of the Linux scheduler". He includes links to the patch for 2.5.2-pre6 and 2.4.17. The stated goals are to retain the good things from existing scheduler, fully O(1) scheduling, 'perfect' SMP scalability, better SMP affinity." Read the rest of the story, and the whole email Ingo sent to the mailing list, at KernelTrap.org. The article includes information regarding the gain in performance, new features etc that the new Kernel Scheduler brings. This is indeed great news for the Linux users, developers and performance hungry admins.
PowerToys for WindowsXP are additional programs that developers work on after a product has been released to manufacturing. They add fun and functionality to the Windows experience and they are indeed a must-have if you run XP. You will find tools ranging from "Super-Fast User Switcher" to "Virtual Desktop Manager" which lets you manage up to four desktops from the Windows taskbar! The new version, includes two new additional tools: The ISO burner lets you burn ISO using the built-in burning engine of Windows XP, while the Audio Shell Player offers buttons to control the playback of MP3s, WMAs from the Windows taskbar to save valuable screen estate.
Sony, Toshiba and IBM have reached a basic agreement on jointly developing a new operating system to be released in 2005 for computers capable of high-speed Internet connections. The OS will allow personal computers and home appliances to exchange huge volumes of data, including the high-resolution graphics of a television screen, through a broadband connection.
"Microsoft will demonstrate on Monday a tablet-shaped device that will serve as a bridge between the TV, the PC and the company's .Net services, according to sources familiar with the plans. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates will show off the device, known as Mira, during his eHome presentation Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The device is effectively a cross between a Pocket PC-based handheld computer and a TV remote control. Mira will be a wireless handheld device and contain a sizeable screen. In conjunction with a TV or a PC, Mira will deliver Internet content, serve as a portable game player in conjunction with Microsoft's Xbox video game console, and allow consumers to shop online, see program listings and perform other tasks." The story is at C|Net-News and the funny thing is that the demonstration will take place the time that Steve Jobs will be delivering his highly expected keynote at MacWorld on Monday and will be uncovering the new Apple "secret weapon". Is Microsoft trying to minimize the potential surprise Apple is preparing? Is Apple's secret weapon also a tablet Mac? We will know for sure on Monday.
Less than a month ago, the book publishers Addison Wesley released "Cocoa Programming for MacOSX," which covers the MacOSX RAD development tools, Objective-C and the Cocoa API in easy-to-follow lessons. Update: The author of the book was kind to direct us to the place where you can actually download the source code discussed in the book! Thanks Aaron.
"If KDE and GNOME are the Hatfield and McCoy of Open Source graphical desktop environments, then theKompany.com and Ximian are not exactly kissing cousins. But the philosophical beliefs of the two businesses are converging, and the community is settling down to a broader acceptance of commercial software. Assuming computer users choose their desktops before they choose their desktop applications, ostensibly theKompany's and Ximian's target markets are non-intersecting sets. But their business practices and philosophies on Open Source have been scrutinized, discussed and compared at length in public." Read the editorial at NewsForge.
XPwm is an X11 window manager and a desktop that emulates the behaviour of Windows XP. XPwm (which is an evolution of the W2Kwm, both written in Kylix) tries to be an "exact" copy of the Windows XP Interface (except the registered logos), including menu fading/dissolving and taking care of "every pixel" of each element. The author is looking for feedback and bug reports.
"nVidia Corp. will announce its next-generation desktop graphics chip, which may be known as the GeForce4, in early February. Several reports on the capabilities of the NV25 have already been published, most believing the chip will feature six pixel processing pipelines versus the four used by the GeForce3. The reports also suggest that the NV25 will feature significantly higher clock rates, faster memory interfaces, and improved antialiasing capabilities. The Nvidia spokesman declined to comment on any of the features of the new chip." Read the whole story at ExtremeTech.
"Thanks to display technology, the world is going flat. No, it's not deflating, nor was Columbus wrong (or at least not entirely). It's our desktop displays that are getting flat-- buyers have decided that flatter is better, and flat-screen sales have gone through the roof. How did this happen, and what impact might these developments have on your future purchases?" Interesting article at ExtremeTech.
"developerWorks is pleased to announce the relaunch of the Linux zone's popular GNOMEnclature column. In this incarnation of the column, Mikael Hallendal and Richard Hult of CodeFactory will give you the inside information you need to make the best use of the new GNOME 2 platform. In this series, you'll learn how to use the new and improved libraries available with GNOME 2 so that you can write your own Nautilus view, panel applets, and much more. In this article, Mikael and Richard reopen the series with a gentle introduction to GTK+ 2, the new foundation for the GNOME 2 desktop environment. By the end of this article, you'll have written and compiled a few sample GTK+ 2 programs and have a good understanding of GTK+ 2's many improvements over GTK+ 1." Detailed article, introducing the new features of GTK+ 2, such as double buffering (helps avoid flickering), full antializing, a powerful textview and more.
"Both John Siracusa at Ars Technica and Bruce Tognazzini have raised the same concerns, with Tog warning that Apple's dismal OS X user interface was leading the company into a New-Coke style disaster. But if we can indulge you, this is a battle-tested road report on rubbing along with OS X. That's eight months spent on our own personal kit, trying to justify the investment. And watching the gold CD-ROM cursor spinning, and spinning." Read the rest of the story at TheRegister.
"Intel will debut the Northwood Pentium 4 chip with 2.0GHz and 2.2GHz models next week. With double the cache and DDR memory, PCs equipped with the smaller and faster new chips promise to give AMD a new level to surpass." Read the story at ZDNews.
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.