ches_grin writes "BusinessWeek is running a nice profile on Levanta, the former dot-com poster child once known as Linuxcare. From the article: 'It's not that Matt Mosman has an easy job. As Linux continues its march deeper into Corporate America's racks and racks of servers, his small Silicon Valley company, Levanta, is one of many trying to help companies install and manage all those servers--a big, complex problem that's not being solved very well right now. Still, Mosman has one thing going for him: He can't do much worse than his predecessors.'"
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Dave Rosenberg, Principal Analyst, Open Source Development Labs, contributed this commentary piece: Despite all the open source software and services companies funded in 2005, the associated business models are still considered experimental and unproven. The new crop need only to look to the past avoid missteps. At the Open Source Business Conference in November, VCs and open source software company executives wondered aloud if what we’re seeing today is a “bubble” of open source start-ups being funded. One journalist’s recap of the event cited $144 million in open source start-ups receiving VC funding in 2005, double the venture capital flow for open source start-ups in 2004.
An anonymous reader submits "LinuxCare, famous employer of Rasmus, Tridge, and others during the go-go-90's Linux start-up days, has resurfaced as a Linux device vendor. The company, now known as Levanta, is shipping its first hardware product, which it says is the 'world's first Linux management appliance.' At nearly $8K, it's pretty expensive, but the Integra M does appear to bring some of the cool sysadmin features long available on the Windows side over to Linux IT types."
prostoalex writes "USA Today notices significant rise of Linux in the high-end enterprise environment. Although it doesn't provide obligatory pretty pictures, the paper mentions the projects at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and NASA. Also if you've missed the New York Times Google article of the day, the expose on John Doerr from Valley's venerable KPCB talks about venture fund investing $12 million in LinuxCare. NYT quote: "That's a freight train I wouldn't want to get in front of," said Mr. Doerr, explaining the importance to having a stake in a Linux-based venture. "Probably get run over.''"
Justen writes "Terra Soft, the people behind Yellow Dog Linux (YDL), announced that they will be supporting the new Power Mac G5. Since they are an Apple Authorized Reseller, you can purchase your Power Mac G5 through Terra Soft and have YDL pre-installed on a separate partition from Mac OS X. According to Terra Soft, 'as Yellow Dog Linux was in 2000 enabled for the IBM Power3 by IBM Lab and Linuxcare, and subsequently for the Power4, the effort to support the 970-based Apple computers is anticipated to be completed with relative ease.' Life is good. Anyone wanna loan me $2,000?"
We ran the "Call for questions" Monday, January 13, under the headline, Discuss BIOS and Palladium Issues With an AMIBIOS Rep. Note that Brian Richardson, AMI sales engineer, is a real engineer, not just a salesperson, and is also a staunch Slashdot reader who knows we have low tolerance for PR whitewashes around here. Brian's answers are real, not laundered, and he responded not only to the 10 questions we sent him but also to some he felt deserved answers even though they weren't moderated all the way up. Please note that in much of this interview he is speaking as "Brian Richardson, individual," and that his opinions do not necessarily reflect those of AMI's management. With that said, be prepared to learn a lot about the BIOS business, and how TCPA and Palladium relate (and don't relate) to it.
Slashback with a weekend worth of updates on Wal-Mart's OS-free PC, the End of the Simpsons, Harlan Ellison v. AOL, wireless goodies and more. Read on below for the goods.
LinuxCare founders Dave Sifry, Art Tyde and Dave LaDuke have started their second company: Sputnik. Basically, they have an ISO you can download that will turn a laptop with an 802.11b card into a wireless gateway. They also wrote a user-authentication scheme that reroutes all traffic to the gateway until the user logs in via a web form. This should sound familiar to people who stay in broadband capable hotels a lot. Using this authentication technique, the software allows you to choose who can and cannot use your gateway, and in you'll be able to charge strangers for access (with Sputnik handling the billing). This will likely get some isps a wee bit upset. NewsForge has an article detailing what they are doing. Update: Turns out the authentication wasn't written by Sputnik, my bad. They use NoCatAuth
Slashback tonight with stuff to chew on re: XFS, the baseball-Everquest connection, and whether it's safe to login at SourceForge. Oh, and yet more on the state of HAL. Please read safely.
Andrew Klaassen writes "Layoffs at SGI yesterday hit, among other things, the XFS for Linux project. Project lead Steve Lord writes, "We do intend to keep working on XFS linux, and I do intend to work really hard to get it into the distributions and Alan and Linus's kernels, [but] it will take us a little while to regroup our efforts and to work out our priorities on the project...." He also mentions that LinuxCare will no longer be helping out with funding for the port."
A reader submitted: "Just got a call from a friend who used to work for Linuxcare until about an hour ago. The merger with Turbolinux has been called off and there are heavy casualties at both companies. According to my friend, Linuxcare is now down to about 30 people." That's just hearsay - but LinuxGram has a confirmation story as well.
Jeremy Allison wrote in to tell us that Samba 2.2.0 has been released. Of course, I'm sure everyone reading this knows what that means already, so I've attached the press release. Mostly this looks like its stuff for compatibility with Windows "We just changed enough to break everyone else" 2000's implementation of the protocol. Congrats to everyone involved with what is unquesitonably among the most important server apps on Linux.
I recieved this press release at some point in the night (which I've included below). We've talked about it for a while now but the deal has been...consumated. Art Tyde, co-founder and current CEO of LinuxCare will be CTO, while T. Paul Thomas, president and CEO of TurboLinux will remain as CEO. As for the name - they are staying with TurboLinux. My hopes for LinuxLinux as the company name have been dashed.
iJosh asks: "Recently I decided to be hip and cool and update to the latest Linux Kernel (v2.4.1). Since this decision I've downloaded and tried to compile the offical source from Linus and crew on my PowerMac 7300 only to run into errors for the PowerMac PCI controller. I took this up with Paul Mackerras maintainer of the PPC kernel and his response was quite interesting to say the least and it got me thinking. He basically says that Linus is ignoring the patches from the people working on the PPC side of the kernel, and that they are keeping their own tree so people are not stranded out in the dust with kernels that will not work. My question really comes down to this: Is the linux kernel forking away from PowerPPC? Is this happening because of issues regarding OS X and the possibility of many users jumping ship, away from LinuxPPC upon release? Or is this some kind of quiet platform war from the major kernel developers?"
Newsforge [?] has a story about Turbolinux laying off a substantial portion of its staff in preparation for its planned merger with Linuxcare. We've gotten a few anonymous submissions about this as well; perhaps some Turbolinux staff - or former Turbolinux staff - who know what's going on can comment.
Dave Sifry writes: "Rusty Russell has posted the scripts that render a function call graph of all of the .c files in the Linux kernel. Each file is graphically represented and named, and function calls are graphically represented inside of each source file. The end result is a 180MB vector PostScript file. You can get the source code and then render it yourself, or if you just want to get the big finished poster, send an e-mail to Linuxcare or contact EverythingLinux if you live down under. BTW, it took us about 5 hours to get that file to print at a print shop down at LWE - that much vector PostScript really tested the limits of their big printers!"
That much software sucks -- perhaps most of it -- is hard to dispute. Except for the simplest programs, it seems like the price of complexity is a tendency to failure. Commands don't work, user interfaces are neglected to the point of ruin, and components of even the same piece of software often clash with each other. And once you start combining them and try to use more than one application at once, sometimes the best you can hope for is an operating system that neatly segregates the problems so that your word processor doesn't take down your web browser, your IDE or your e-mail client. At least those are desktop applications for individual users, though -- the trouble compounds briskly when the common faults of software manifest in multiuser environments, where one machine going down means a wasted time and frustration for a lot of people at once. In an effort to outline the ways that software could suck less is coding, reading and writing dervish chromatic.
Cerb writes: "Open Projects sounded most appealing as I was on the prowl to find one of the many IRC networks to link my idle server to. Having been involved with the open source community for quite some time, it seemed to me to be the place to be. It just seemed 'right' to link there. Now I'm simply stuck with these people. They are exactly what I was looking for. But, when I decided to help out, little did I know that I would end up in a project manager position. So here I am, it's 12.24 am in Vienna, and I'm mulling how to phrase this best."