Dave Johnson on open web technologies, social software and software development
Everex debuts $399 ultramobile PC: The Cloudbook is designed for Internet usage, not for heavy duty graphics applications. Like the gPC, it will come with software or links to FireFox, gMail, Meebo, Skype, Google Documents & Spreadsheets, Google Calendar, Google News, Google Maps, Wikipedia, Google Product Search, GIMP, Blogger, YouTube, Xine Movie Player, RhythmBox, Faqly, Facebook and OpenOffice.org 2.3.
The gOS operating system looks pretty cool. It's based on Ubuntu Linux plus the slick Enlightenment Window manager and the desktop and menus make Google "your entire computing experience. I can see how geeks like me and the kids we've brainwashed into digging the GIMP might like it, but aren't most folks going to be scratching their heads and asking how well it runs MS Word? I'd love to know how Everex's existing $200 gOS powered desktop is selling.
First, some social software links.
And second, some feel-good PHP, Rails and Linux links.
I've been itching to try Ubuntu so I decided to install it on my old Dell box, which as running Debian. I downloaded Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy Eft, burned it to CD, backed up my data and booted off the new CD.
While I expected my Mac upgrade to go smoothly, I was expecting this upgrade to require a long morning of opening the computer, growling and cursing under my breath. That didn't happen. The Linux installers I've used in the past didn't give me the option to resize partitions and I've been using one big partition, so I was pleasantly surprised that the installer has the built-in ability to resize my partition without losing data. I was also happy to see that my video card was configured properly, which is a first for me -- previously, I've always had to edit X config files to get things right. So far, it's thumbs up to Ubuntu.
I'm replacing Redhat 9 Linux with Gentoo 2004.0 Linux on my old AMD Athlon 1600+ box tonight. So far, the process has gone very smoothly.
Update: Around the time that I wrote "the process has gone very smoothly" my install suddenly took a bad turn. I am in the bootstrapping part of the install and, every time I run the bootstrap script, the build fails with a compiler, assembler, or loader crash. Each time, it fails in a slighly different part of the process; once in gettext and once in ncurses. One of the error messages indicated a hardware problem and the guys on the #gentoo IRC channel say the same thing. Perhaps I have some faulty memory./p>
Another update: Turns out, I did have a bad memory module and I forgot to properly configure my swap partition. I removed the bad module, configured my swap partition, and the bootstrap build proceded without a hitch.
What Linux trends are you seeing with BEA software?
Huge adoption curve climbing very fast for BEA over the last six to nine months. A lot of focus in the financial services marketplace, where there's a lot of experimentation and initial deployment going on with Linux on Intel. And I think the motivation in that arena is simplification and cost reduction, so they are looking to buy significantly less expensive hardware.
What's the breakdown of platforms on which BEA software is running?
About 50% is on Sun, and about 23%, 24% is on Hewlett-Packard. Hewlett-Packard has both Intel and non-Intel platforms in there. And then it drops off pretty quick. IBM hardware, I think, is 5% or 7%. In some countries, we sell a lot of IBM's hardware.
What about the Linux operating system?
Linux is around the 15% to 20% range, which has climbed pretty quickly.