A PC World article reports that though OS/2 has enjoyed years of success in key niches such as automated banking and airline systems, those days may be numbered as Microsoft targets those markets with Windows XP. OS/2 has virtually disappeared from the desktops of all but an elite hard-core group of enthusiasts, but its stability made it popular for devices like ATMs. With IBM's support for OS/2 having waned years ago, things are looking pretty grim for its continued existence as a live product.
David Adams Archive
A proposed anti-terrorism law has civil libertarians up in arms because it would include harsh punishments for low-level computer crimes, classifying them as terrorist acts.
At Seybold Expo Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that MacOSX 10.1 would be available on September 29th. Retail price is $129, having an upgrade CD shipped to you from Apple is $19.99, and it will be available in all Apple Retail stores (and official resellers' stores) for free. Update: Saturday. A visit to our local neighborhood Apple Store (Tyson's Corner, VA) yielded no free CD. Apparently over 1000 people lined up at 6 am this morning to get theirs.
Some OS/2 fans are circulating a petition asking IBM to open the OS/2 source code. You can sign it here. Though IBM has become a good neighbor in the open source community, there are sometime tricky issues involved in open sourcing commercial software. For instance, IBM's one-time collaborator in OS/2, Microsoft, may still own some of the OS/2 technology, and may not want to see it open sourced. Nevertheless, make your voice heard. It can't hurt.
PC World compares the newest processors from AMD and Intel for high-end notebook computers and two computers that sport the new chips. The short version: the Intel chip is faster, has some nifty new features and is very expensive. The AMD is a solid performer at a more affordable price. Both chips suck battery power, though. Read the PC World article for more info.
Sun Microsystems has released a new version of Java 2 Enterprise Edition, 1.3, which includes a new specification for Enterprise JavaBeans, increased XML integration and a Java Message Service API. A ZDNet article has more details.
A PC World article says that all indications point to Apple releasing OS X 10.1 this month, as promised. The article covers some of the shortcomings that users dealt with in the 10.0 release, and how they've been addressed with 10.1. The article also mentions that Microsoft Office for OS X is expected in November. Update: A news.com article has more details, and reports that current Mac OS X users will be able to obtain the upgrade CD at no cost from Apple dealers and Apple retail stores. Apple had originally said it would charge $20 for the upgrade.
Just as these days of crisis have made for sparse technology news, the health of the technology industry has gone "from bad to worse," according to a Siliconvalley.com article. Confidence among individual consumers is down (athough I personally witnessed brisk traffic at a local outlet mall over the weekend) but more importantly, businesses are postponing large expenditures of PCs, enterprise software and other high tech equipment.
While high technology has had a major effect on the U.S. military arsenal, strategists warn that high tech weapons may not be enough to achieve importatnt aims in the U.S. war on terrorism. Capturing Osama bin Laden, for example, will likely be achieved only through local help and the old fasioned art of making friends with locals in the know. An Associated Press story outlines some of the major high tech tools to be used by the U.S. military in its search for bin Laden, and their recent track record.
A SiliconValley.com article discusses the latest high tech security devices available today and in the near future. Vendors have been quick to capitalize on the world's paranoia, offering gadgets that range from face recognition systems to microwave powered incapacitation rays to full-body x-ray machines.
PC Makers have already begun taking orders for Windows XP machines, though without much fanfare. Even before the terrorist attacks, the weak economy and dismal PC sales numbers have dampened expectations for the XP roll-out, and analysts have not been particularly ebullient about Windows XP's technical prowess, though it has received favoriable reviews. Analysts note that the PC market is very saturated, and that Windows XP is unlikely to spur huge PC sales. Of course, revenues from sales of Windows XP upgrades to existing Windows users are sure to be a boon to Microsoft, but not to the struggling PC industry. An eWeek article has more information.
With the U.S. government in turmoil over the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, congress will likely be forgetting several pending bills that stood to affect the technology sphere. An ISP News article covers the legislation that's likely to be swept away, like the E-government Act and the National Digital School Districts Act. Alas, other legislation, like broad new wiretapping rules, restriction of encrption technology, and other electronic surveillence-oriented bills have either already been passed or are likely to come to vote in the near future, in order to facilitate intelligence gathering and spycraft in America's new war on terrorism.
The cable industry is almost ready to certify DOCSIS 2.0 (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification). The new specification, which uses A-TDMA and S-CDMA technology, promises to increase cable modem bandwidth by as much as 300%, particularly upstream bandwidth. Unfortunately, the hardware to support it is a year away.
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.
News.com is reporting that Microsoft will be announcing two new versions of its PocketPC OS in a few days. The new versions (a high-end and a low-end) will sport an XP-esque look, 802.11 drivers and VPN support. It's all part of Microsoft's strategy to beat Palm in a race to widespread adoption in large corporations.