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Links 31/05/2008: Free Software and GNU/Linux in Europe, Asia, Brazil

Posted in News Roundup at 3:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish




Novell’s SUSE: Xen Exclusive for Citrix and Microsoft

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux, Java, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Ubuntu, Virtualisation, Xen at 12:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Another hypervisor ‘geek party’ to which only Novell is invited

Those who have read previous posts about virtualisation might already know that there’s a worrisome pattern wherein Novell’s (and Microsoft’s) rivals get excluded from so-called ‘interoperability’ benefits [1, 2, 3]. This is no accident. The companies work in isolation, provided their collective portfolios and royalties. It is a way of keeping players like Red Hat, Debian and Ubuntu out of the loop and thus pressure them out of the datacentre. It’s brutal and unfair.

Showing this is easier not by composing long rants, but by pointing to brand-new articles. Here are some bits with highlights in red, where appropriate.

Novell says its “SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 Service Pack 2,” or SP2, is the only Xen-based solution of its kind and includes support for Microsoft for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 users.

Exclusive, eh? Coincidence? Here is another.

Novell’s Service Pack 2 for SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 released yesterday has one especially hot item in its bag of assorted goodies: the Xen 3.2 virtualization engine. Since both SUSE as well as Windows Server 2003 and 2008 run natively (and fully supported by Microsoft) on Xen 3.2, Novell customers can run both SUSE and Windows virtual guests on the platform with no loss in performance — or so Novell promises.

Bernard Golden, a Linux author and the CEO of Navica Inc. consulting, said cross-platform virtualization could be convenient for a Novell shop that wants to test or deploy a Windows application virtually on SUSE machines prior to a full-scale rollout without tying up a lot of Windows servers.

Some times ago, Citrix insisted that it paid so much money mainly for the Xen brand and less for the technology. Now it pulls a fast one, or as the article below puts it, it “pull[s] the rug from under people['s feet].”

If you’ve been watching Citrix lately, you have probably seen the Xen branding and the product push with the XenApp, XenDesktop, and XenServer product lines. Good marketing to be sure, capitalizing on the Xen name in the virtualization space.


So really, it doesn’t appear as if a whole lot is changing or that the new policy is pulling the rug from under people. What do you think about it? Are you creating a Xen based product? Are you upset that you can’t call it “XenSomething”? Or are you ok with calling it “Something for Xen”?

Some go as far as saying that Xen’s future is not bright, but would that truly be loss? We already have KVM, which is more elegant.

While Citrix Systems’ Xen’s ubiquity may help the technology earn a legacy as the invisible hypervisor, it may also prove the most challenging next step for IT administrators and developers who want to find or develop software that leverages, supports or extends the Xen hypervisor.

Sadly, the article above also puts down and dismisses Java, but not everyone agrees.

SpringSource CEO: ‘The Future of Enterprise Java is Clear and Bright’


“Organizations now have a choice that reduces the complexity associated with legacy Java EE servers,” said SpringSource CEO Rod Johnson yesterday as his company attempted to redefine the application server market by releasing the SpringSource Application Platform, an enterprise Java application server that Johnson contends provides “a dramatically simpler alternative to legacy application servers and redefines the way in which Java applications are deployed and run.”

We recently shared another article from he same source and it suggested that Java is indeed set to thrive in the clouds. Of course, that’s not what Mono developers want you to believe. They are desperate to change people’s perceptions. e.g. by heralding very prematurely a demise of Java. Sounds familiar? We present a precious find below.

“Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry. We want to place selection pressure on those companies and individuals that show a genetic weakness for competitors’ technologies, to make the industry increasingly resistant to such unhealthy strains, over time.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part III: Zen is Ten, Other Miscellany

Posted in HP, Identity Management, NetWare, Novell at 11:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nothing major to see here, so most watchers might as well move along

In general, not much has happened for Novell in the past week. The only major event, as we have shown earlier, is the release of the first RC of OpenSUSE 11.0. The financial results are another high note.

Here are some of the ‘leftover news’ that we haven’t yet shared.


Some rather obscure product called Veri-Scribe has been released as version 1.2 and it supports Novell’s Netware.

Veri-Scribe II Version 1.2 is fully compatible with the Microsoft Windows(R) Vista(R) operating system, Novell(R) Netware(R), and supports compatibility with a wide variety of legacy audio interfaces.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dell and Novell a Match Made in Hell? (Video)

Posted in Dell, NetWare, Novell, Videos at 11:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It just… almost… sort of… ‘works’

It has been quite a while since we last wrote about Novell's mysterious relationship with Dell. Someone might not be telling us the whole story.

In any event, just for kicks (maybe a kick in Novell’s and Dell’s groin), here’s a video that showed up in YouTube just a few days ago. It’s titled very nicely: “Dell+Novell = Hell.”

Here is an Ogg Theora version that we’ve produce for readers who prefer it.

Ogg Theora

It has been a tough week for Dell, which faced serious charges.

In December of 2002, I started a page on my Computer Gripes site devoted to Dell.

Accumulating gripes about Dell was like taking candy from a baby; there was no sport in it. Eventually, I gave up maintaining the page, but despite a total lack of advertising or promotion, people kept finding the page and adding their own gripes.

Now these Dell gripes are official.

In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, “good luck with all that.” Dell’s financial misconduct goes a long way back, but we won’t list it here because it’s definitely off topic. That company is at least trying to escape Microsoft's stranglehold.

Links 31/05/2008: Quick-booting Debian, Siemens Taps Linux and Much More

Posted in News Roundup at 6:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish


  • Touchpanel PC boots Linux in two seconds

    Technologic Systems is readying a rugged WVGA touchpanel PC based on a fast-booting ARM9-based single board computer (SBC). The TS-TPC-7390 Touch Panel Computer incorporates the Debian Linux-based TS-7390 SBC, which is equipped with a 200MHz ARM9 CPU from Cirrus and a Lattice FPGA (field-programmable gate array).

  • Siemens Develops PC-based Profinet IO Software Controller for Linux Systems

    With the “Softnet PN-IO Linux” software controller from Siemens, it is possible to set up open control solutions on standard PC hardware.

  • An Impressive Week with Ubuntu
  • gNewSense distro frees Ubuntu

    So why would someone want to install a less robust Ubuntu clone that most likely won’t work with some widely used hardware? To be perfectly honest, most users won’t want to use gNewSense on a daily basis, if at all. Yet, there are some benefits for developers. Putting the ideological benefits of free software aside (though they can be quite persuasive), gNewSense is the perfect distribution for developers to use to test their hardware for free software compatibility.

  • This is release 1.0-rc3 of Wine, a free implementation of Windows on Unix.
  • LGP Readies Sacred Gold Beta

    Sacred is an action role-playing game originally released on the Windows platform in 2004 with Sacred Gold, which is made up of Sacred, the Sacred Plus expansion, and the Sacred Underworld expansion, in 2005.

  • CentOS 5.2

    So when can we expect CentOS 5.2 then, well using the same 3,5 weeks we end up with a date of around June 14th 2008. This is of course a estimate it can be later or earlier.

  • Could the EEE 900 be the School Computer of the Future?

    Despite my own reservations about the eee 900, since I started loaning it out to teachers last week it’s gotten nothing but positive results.

  • Dell’s Ubuntu 8.04 Plans
  • Ubuntu desktop (LTS) 8.04
  • SaxenOS goes PCLinuxOS

    SaxenOS from Germany once based on Slackware and Zenwalk-based distribution with the Xfce desktop and designed for older, low-specification computers adopts PCLinuxOS as its base and Xfce desktop



Apple’s No-no



Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part II: Keeping Track of Microsoft-taxed GNU/Linux Distributions

Posted in GNU/Linux, Linspire, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED, Turbolinux, Xandros at 5:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Crossing over from OpenSUSE to SUSE, consider the following newly-published Master’s thesis which studies the relationship between the two.

This is the page for my master thesis at the University of Oslo. The thesis carries the title:
Managing Firm-Sponsored Open Source Communities

- A Case Study on Novell and The openSUSE Project

Read the rest of this entry »

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part I: OpenSUSE’s Week of First Release Candidate

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE at 4:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SuSE logoIn order to prevent the front page from containing too much positive Novell news, we shall begin experimenting with truncation of posts, which then requires that the reader presses the “read more” hyperlink/cue. We realise that Saturday’s postings can often ‘dilute’ (take away from) the key message and distract readers.

Let us begin with a quick roundup of OpenSUSE development.

OpenSUSE: General

Man of the week is Klaus Kämpf, who seems like quite a veteran.

Long time openSUSE developer Klaus Kämpf joined former S.u.S.E nine years ago and since then never looked back being committed to his System Management Architect job at Novell.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pamela Jones: Microsoft Will Be the Next SCO Group

Posted in Courtroom, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, SCO at 4:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fat Man and Little Boy

A decent article has just been published by Heise and you can view it right here. To quote just a fragment:

SCO vs. Linux – mixed reactions to Novell Unix copyright verdict


From hackers to financial analysts, the question of what happens next is occupying the minds of many in the IT industry – not all of them as well-informed as Pamela Jones, the good fairy behind Groklaw, a website which follows such cases. She has told Infoworld that Microsoft will be the next SCO Group; the company has been loudly rattling its patent sabres, claiming earlier this year that Linux violated mote than 235 Microsoft patents. Whether Microsoft goes beyond mere sabre rattling and whether SCO manages anything more than a last gasp is also a question of how you evaluate the course of court proceedings so far.

It ought to be re-emphasised that Novell has the potential to carry on SCO’s job. The company denied that it will ever do so, but call us cynical… the same representative who said this, namely Bruce Lowry, quit the company not so long ago. He didn’t seem too pleased because he actually cared about and advocated the use of ODF. He was the company’s PR director. No more, no less.

If you think that’s bad, consider the fact that Joseph LaSala left the company as well. Those who have followed the SCO case would know this person’s admirable role in it. One has to wonder who will (or already has) replace these two chaps. We have witnessed more than a single ‘plant job’ in the past and we watch Novell very closely for that reason, Saturday’s tedious postings being evidence of this.

“Novell is hiring .NET programmers, as we showed more than a year ago. It actually strategises on it.”Who might Microsoft put inside Novell, if anyone at all? Novell’s sympathy towards Microsoft could definitely attract candidates who share similar feelings. Novell is hiring .NET programmers, as we showed more than a year ago. It actually strategises on it.

Could Novell’s healthy sentiments for Microsoft have negative impacts? Senior managers would humbly tell you that this is just a normal business strategy. I happen to have had a long conversation about this at the gym last week (with a person who has managed several companies). Ignoring the possibility seems a tad risky.

At the moment, the worst one can do is give Microsoft ammunition, such as Microsoft’s .NET framework (or equivalent) deep inside GNU/Linux, with pragmatic and technical dependencies on it. Only Novell would benefit from this in the long term. It literally owns Mono. Remember the copyrights for example.

There is also a more philosophical aspect to all of this. The moment a suggestion of assimilation is taken into consideration and then embraced, there is danger. If GNU/Linux adopts the same rotten habits which it tries to combat, that’s the moment this fight for change become self-defeating. Why fight fire with fire? Or struggle with vapourware? Or deception? Or shill 'studies'? Why fight with .NET? Or as Matt Hartley sarcastically put it at the time:

Linux to Microsoft: Let’s Fight with Silverlight

Never try to make GNU/Linux a better Windows than Microsoft Windows. You are bound to lose on technical merits and — more importantly — you could get sued.

“When Windows NT was announced several years ago, Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman, called it a better Unix than Unix.”


Related readings:

According to the Declaration, Richard Emerson was not the only Microsoft employee Goldfarb was dealing with in connection with the BayStar investment in SCO. He mentions by name two others, from two other departments.

There you have it. At least a third of SCO’s entire market capitalization, and their entire current cash reserves, is payoffs funnelled from Microsoft. Their 10Qs reveal that every other line of cash inflow is statistical noise by comparison. The brave new SCO source business model is now clear: sue your customers, shill for Microsoft, kite your stock, and pray you stay out of jail.


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