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News in General
Ian Murdock, Sun, Unveil Project Indiana
In effort to grow its open source Solaris community, Sun launched an effort to make the Solaris OS more like Linux distros. Ian Murdock, founder of the Debian distro and Linux company Progeny, explained the details to Sun partners and the press in July, and in the process revealed more about his role at Sun since being hired there.
Murdock had spoken to a packed session at JavaOne, last May, and talked in general terms of improving the packaging and content of Solaris to make it friendlier to the Open Source community. Project Indiana is that effort, and adds a road map for Solaris developers.
Murdock spoke about the similarities and differences of Linux and Solaris, noting the "distro" model as a Linux "innovation" for users and developers. Both Solaris and Linux support GNOME and the X Window System, office and Web apps, he noted. "Right now, it's confusing. If you want to compile Open Solaris, you need to use Solaris Express Community Edition first," according to Murdock. "Originally, Linux didn't have a binary deliverable, so I and others stepped up."
Project Indiana aims to combine the best of both the Solaris and Linux worlds. With Murdock on-board, Sun has been looking at the distro and package model that is now intrinsic to Linux. Open Solaris will have a developer community, while still having enterprise-grade support from Sun and its partners. Sun hopes users of Open Solaris will eventually convert to full enterprise support licenses.
"We will provide Open Solaris as a binary distro, with a strong focus on unique Solaris features and the famous Solaris compatibility." The main features of Indiana will include an easier install, ZFS as default file system, and Net-based package management.
"We are competing in the same sense that RH competes with Debian, or Ubuntu competes with Debian. We are growing the Open Source environment," Murdock explained. "We can bridge the gap for developers, but we have to give them some compelling reasons to cross over. We have an opportunity here to provide the same level of choice that Linux has provided, but without the fracture..." Murdock added.
Project Indiana will be for developers and early adopters, with short 6-month release cycles, while Enterprise Solaris will have long release cycles. It will be a 2-tier model, with a dev tier more like the Linux model. The first Indiana release is planned for the Spring of 2008, with an earlier test release to selected users in the Fall of 2007.
Murdock was more closed when discussing the issue of open source licenses. First, he said, that was under consideration, and would be decided by others at Sun. He did note that the criteria would include what was best for Sun, its partners, and the Solaris community.
"We are very focused on the technology parts of this. I don't tend to find licensing discussions very interesting. To me, licenses are a necessary evil. The real question is... is the fact that Solaris is not under GPL going to matter? My view on the license changes is that if it benefits Sun and the OS community, we should do it. Another way of looking at this is... we could take the device driver code in Linux, and help make the driver support in Solaris much better than it is today. So, that to me is a reason to GPL Solaris. The ability to borrow code could be an advantage, but then our code can also be used." Murdock added that the decision process would have to include the growing developer community for Open Solaris. In May and June, Sun CEO Jonathon Schwartz expressed a strong interest in the new GPL v3, but seems to be backing away from that position more recently.
$100 Laptop for 3rd World Kids Delayed, but Intel Joins the Party
At the Usenix '07 Technical Conference in June, Mary Lou Jepson, CIO of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), detailed progress on the hardware and software development of this new portable computing platform, and explained that the first mass shipments to Third World countries was planned for the end of summer. That has now been pushed back to October, to accommodate fixes and new features and to wait for the required 3 million-order threshold. (The first generation units will cost $150-175, but will approach the $100 goal over the next year.)
Intel, whose executives had strongly criticized the non-standard technology and novel approach of OLPC, buried the conflict with OLPC in July and joined its board in July. Intel has what it sees as a competing effort with its "Classmate" mini-laptop design, based on Windows and Intel chipsets. (There is also an option to use Mandriva.) The target price for the "Classmate" is about $300, but includes newly developed educational software. A fuller description of this PC is here: http://www.classmatepc.com
In contrast, OLPC uses the open source development model, and is trying to develop a system that Third World kids and their teachers can support and fix themselves. The OS is a reduced version of Red Hat Linux, and many design changes have been incorporated from Third World pilot testers, to support tropical environments, erratic power, the likelihood of laptops falling on stone or concrete floors, etc. The keyboard is sealed to allow use in rainy environments. New designs in the LCD design and graphics controller allow the laptop screen to be scrolled without CPU involvement, and used in direct sunlight with only .1 watt per hour power consumption. That allows an OLPC unit with a charged battery to run all day and all night. There are also hand-powered generators and solar charging stations for classroom use. (Who wouldn't want one of these for camping or car trips?) The XO is also the greenest PC, in terms of manufacturing and recycling.
The OLPC "XO" units employs an efficient dual antenna, and automatically creates an inter-meshed peer-peer network across a village, with line of sight distances of up to half a kilometer between units. There is also learning software for kids called "Sugar" that is still in development. Linux kernel developers and software engineers are encouraged to join in different parts of this community project. Here is the link to sign up: http://wiki.laptop.org.
The OLPC keynote is now available on the Usenix conference archive (http://www.usenix.org/events/usenix07/tech/slides/jepsen.pdf). Photos from the presentation are available here: picasaweb.google.com/howarddy/Usenix07OLPC. OLPC is based on learning theories pioneered by Seymour Papert and Alan Kay.
Intel Hosts Moblin.org Site for Linux Mobility Developers
Moblin.org is the site that hosts the Mobile & Internet Linux Project open source community. The site allows developers to prototype new ideas, and build community around them. Intel has also garnered support from vendors Canonical and Red Flag Linux.
Currently, moblin.org hosts a number of projects, including an Image Creator, Browser, UI framework, power policy manager, and various non-PC-oriented applications and software components.
"Linux on mobile devices has gotten a lot of traction in the last few years," says Dirk Hohndel, Intel's chief Linux and open source technologist. "Moblin.org will help to improve the integration of many of the existing components targeted at such devices, and should help foster development of new use models and new features. In particular, both power management and UI need to be fine-tuned for these new form factors, and that is an area where development at moblin.org has already shown good results."
Python Database Tool First Open Source Component of Launchpad
Canonical has released Storm, a generic open source object relational mapper (ORM) for Python. Storm is designed to support communication with multiple databases simultaneously. Canonical is known for the popular Ubuntu operating system and Launchpad, a Web-based collaboration platform for open source developers.
"Storm is an ORM that simplifies the development of database-backed applications in Python, especially for projects that use very large databases or multiple databases with a seamless Web front-end", said Gustavo Niemeyer, lead developer of Storm at Canonical. "Storm is particularly designed to feel very natural to Python programmers, and exposes multiple databases as /stores/ in a clean and easy-to-use fashion."
The project has been in development for more than a year, and is now publicly available under the LGPL license. This is the first complete Launchpad component to be released as open source software. Launchpad currently includes developer data for several thousand projects, and is used by tens of thousands of developers and other free software contributors.
The Storm project welcomes participation, and has a new Web site at http://storm.canonical.com. That site includes a tutorial, and links to allow developers to download, report bugs, and join the mailing list.
Personal Package Archive Service, Free Space for Ubuntu Developers
Canonical also announced the beta release of the Launchpad Personal Package Archive (PPA) service, a new way for developers to build and publish packages of their code, documentation, and other contributions to free software.
Individuals and teams can each have a PPA, allowing groups to collaborate on sets of packages, and solo developers to publish their own versions of popular free software. Developers upload packages to a PPA, and have it built for multiple architectures against the current version of Ubuntu. Each user gets up to one gigabyte of Personal Package Archive space, which works as a standard Ubuntu software package repository. Free PPAs are available only for free ("libre") software packages.
Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, explained the significance of Launchpad Personal Package Archives for the Ubuntu community: "Many developers want to modify existing packages, or create new packages of their software. The PPA service allows anyone to publish a package, without having to ask permission or join the Ubuntu project as a developer. This is a tremendous innovation in the free software community."
The Launchpad PPA service is currently in beta. To participate in the beta program, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Launchpad PPA Service will be released for general use on August 22, 2007, and will be available at https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+ppas
Animators to Compete for 'Viking Animator' Title at SIGGRAPH 2007
SIGGRAPH officials will hold the international FJORG! competition - an "iron animator" event - where 15 competing teams from around the world have 32 hours to create the world's best character-driven animation in front of a live, "Gladiator-style" audience and judging panel, at the San Diego Convention Center.
To earn the title of "Viking Animator" and several other prizes, each team will be tasked with creating a 15-second (or longer) animation, based on a theme to be provided during the FJORG! kickoff on Monday, 6 August 2007. In the spirit of true competition, FJORG! will test contestants' skill, talent, creativity, teamwork, and physical endurance - all throughout multiple staged distractions such as live music, belly dancing, acrobatics, and martial arts performances.
FJORG! contestants will be required to complete the animations using their own talents and skills, along with technology assets supplied at the event. (Outside resources are not permitted.) Competitors will have access to the following applications:
- Sound and voiceover selections
- Rigged model for Maya
- 51 HP xw9400 Workstations with Dual Core AMD Opteron processors
- Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya
- Macromedia Flash
- Adobe Photoshop and After Effects
With support provided by AMD, DreamWorks Animation, and HP, FJORG! is being held in conjunction with SIGGRAPH 2007, the 34th International Conference and Exhibition on computer graphics and interactive techniques at the San Diego Convention Center, August 5-9, 2007. For video of the competition and the winning animations, visit http://www.workstations.tv, throughout SIGGRAPH. For more information about the competition in general, visit http://www.siggraph.org/s2007/presenters/fjorg/.
Mozilla Firefox use up, 3.7% in 4 months in Europe
Frances XiTi Monitor has reported solid gains for Mozilla-based Web browsers. Overall share of the European market grew from 24.1% to 27.8%. This growth includes Firefox's gain of nearly 7 points in the last year.
Slovenia has the highest Firefox use in Europe, with a rate that is now over 45%. Finland is close behind. For more details see: http://www.xitimonitor.com/en-us/browsers-barometer/firefox-july-2007/index-1-2-3-102.html.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Adds Open XML Document Format
The great state of Massachusetts had come out of the wilderness like a latter-day Solomon, and decided to support both Microsoft's Office Open XML format and the OASIS Open Document Format that it has previously supported. The decision to adopt the ECMA version of Open XML was made in early July, and is part of the Massachusetts Enterprise Technical Reference Model (ETRM) 4.0, a specification for the state's IT operations. The draft listed ECMA-376 as one of its major revisions. Earlier, the ETRM specified only ODF as a standard, open format.
Since its original adoption of ODF, two of the state's CIOs have been forced to resign.
Microsoft has been lining up Linux distros to be part of the Open XML Translator project, which is hosted on SourceForge. Currently, these include Linspire, Novell, and Xandros. Sun has also released its own Plugin ODF translator for Office. The state IT group took these efforts into account during its deliberations.
The Linux Foundation has challenged the decision, saying "... it is wrong for the ITD to conclude that a specification that helps to perpetuate the dominance of a single product can be properly called a true open standard", and it encouraged concerned members of the open source community to send their comments to the Massachusetts ITD at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linux Foundation board member Andrew Updegrove wrote to the Massachusetts IT Department, asking them to consider the public and historical impacts, "It is also important to the future of open document formats in the wider world, as well. The impact of Massachusetts in rectifying the historical situation has already been profound. But it has not been sufficient. Earlier this decade, Microsoft properly looked out for its stockholders' best interests by declining to participate in the OASIS working group that created ODF, thereby increasing the likelihood that ODF would die, and increasing the likelihood that its dominance would continue. That decision was not, of course, the best decision for end-users, including government purchasers, because it perpetuated a situation where long-term access to important documents was in the control of a single vendor.
"But ODF did not die. Instead, it was completed, although it received little attention, either publicly or among potential implementers. Only with the announcement of the ITD's decision and the realization that a market for ODF-compliant products might develop did interest broaden and deepen. Microsoft is hardly to be blamed for lending no support to the success of ODF. But neither should it be rewarded for launching a competing, self-serving standard as a next-best defense against erosion of its dominant position."
This issue is important in itself for the future of open standards, but the main battle is the September ballot in ISO on supporting OOXML. That could derail ODF and a wider range of open standards.
Here is a link to articles discussing the position of the Linux Foundation: http://lxer.com/module/newswire/byuser.php?user=Andy_Updegrove.
FiXs West Coast Conference
July 31 - August 1; Monterey, California; http://www.fixs.org/events.htm
Black Hat Security Conference
July 31 - August 2; Las Vegas, NV; http://www.blackhat.com/html/bh-link/briefings.html
Security '07 / HotSec '07
August 6-10; Boston, MA; http://www.usenix.org/events/hotsec07/
MetriCon 2.0, Workshop on Security Metrics
August 7; Boston, MA; http://www.securitymetrics.org/content/Wiki.jsp?page=Metricon2.0
August 5 - 9; San Diego, CA; http://www.siggraph.org/s2007/attendees/schedule/
Linux World - 2007
August 6 - 9; San Francisco, CA; Linux World - 2007
Real-World Java Seminar
August 13; Roosevelt Hotel, New York City; http://realworldjava.com/
Linux Kernel '07 Developers Summit
September 4 - 6; Cambridge, UK; http://www.usenix.org/events/kernel07/
1st International LDAPv3 Conference
September 6 - 7; Cologne, Germany; http://www.guug.de/veranstaltungen/ldapcon2007/
Rich Web Experience Conference
September 6 - 8; Fairmont Hotel, San Jose, CA; http://www.therichwebexperience.com/
BEAWorld 2007 - San Francisco
September 10 - 12; Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, CA; http://www.bea.com/beaworld/us/
RailsConf Europe 2007
September 17 - 19; Berlin, Germany; http://www.railsconfeurope.com/
Gartner Open Source and Web Innovation Summits
September 17 - 21; Las Vegas, NV; https://www.gartner.com/EvReg/evRegister?EvCd=OS3
Intel Developer Forum - 2007
September 18 - 20; Moscone Center West, San Francisco, CA; http://developer.intel.com/IDF/
Software Development Best Practices 2007 and Embedded Systems Conference
September 18 - 21; Boston, MA; http://www.sdexpo.com/2007/sdbp/
RFID World Boston
September 19 - 20; Boston, MA; http://www.shorecliffcommunications.com/boston/
AJAXWorld Conference West
September 24 - 26; Santa Clara, CA; http://www.ajaxworld.com/
Semantic Web Strategies Conference 2007
September 30 - October 1; San Jose Marriott, San Jose, CA; http://www.semanticwebstrategies.com/
Ethernet Expo 2007
October 15 - 17, 2007; Hilton, New York, NY; http://www.lightreading.com/live/event_information.asp?survey_id=306
ISPCON FALL 2007
October 16 - 18; San Jose, CA; http://www.ispcon.com/
Interop New York
October 22 - 26; http://www.interop.com/
November 3 - 9; Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Washington, DC; http://www.csiannual.com/
November 6 - 8; http://www.interop.eu/
Oracle OpenWorld San Francisco
November 11 - 15; San Francisco CA; http://www.oracle.com/openworld/
November 9 - 12; Tampa, FL; http://sc07.supercomputing.org/
The latest stable version of the Linux kernel is 22.214.171.124
Linspire 6.0, Open XML Translator Released
In late July, Linspire released the updated version of its distro, including the Microsoft media codecs and file filters. Version 6.0, based on the Ubuntu 7.04 distro, includes KDE 3.5, SMP (Dual Core) kernel support, improved boot times, and support for the current Windows Media 10 audio and video codecs. Linspire 6 will have Microsoft TrueType fonts, including Arial, Georgia, Times New Roman, and Verdana.
The Open XML Translator enables bi-directional compatibility, so that files saved in Open XML can be opened by OpenOffice.org users, and files created by OpenOffice.org can be saved in Open XML format. As a result, end users of Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.org will now be able to more easily share files, as documents will better maintain consistent formats, formulas, and style templates across the two office productivity suites.
[ Except... not really. Once you get past the hype of the Linspire press release, please see "The Commonwealth of Massachusetts adds Open XML Document Format" on this very NewsBytes page. -- Ben ]
The open source Open XML/ODF Translator project can be viewed here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/odf-converter/.
Sun Donates High Availability Cluster Code
Sun Microsystems has announced it will release the Solaris Cluster source code through the HA (High Availability) Clusters community on the OpenSolaris site. Sun's first contributions are application modules, or agents, which enable open source or commercially available applications to become highly available in a cluster environment.
The Open HA Cluster code will be made available in three phases, beginning at the end of June and continuing over the next 18 months. In the first phase of Open HA Cluster, Sun will deliver code for most of the high-availability agents offered with the Solaris Cluster product. Solaris Cluster's high-availability agents allow developers to cluster-enable applications to run as either scalable or failover services. Sun is also making available the source code for the Solaris Cluster Automated Test Environment (SCATE), along with agent-related documentation, to assist in testing new agents. The test framework and first test suite will be contributed at the end of June 2007. Among these agents are the Solaris Containers agent, the BEA Weblogic agent, and PostgreSQL.
Agents written using Open HA Cluster will also run on Solaris Cluster version 3.2 on the Solaris 10 OS. Subsequent phases of Open HA Cluster will include delivery of the code for the recently released Solaris Cluster Geographic Edition - software that enables multi-site disaster recovery by managing the availability of application services and data across geographically dispersed clusters. Later, Sun will release the code for the core Solaris Cluster infrastructure, again with SCATE infrastructure tests and documentation. Sun is using the Common Distribution and Development Licence (CDDL) for the code, as it currently does for Solaris.
To learn more about Open High Availability Cluster and the HA Clusters community on OpenSolaris, and to review a complete list of the high-availability agents offered with the Solaris Cluster product, please visit: http://www.opensolaris.org/os/community/ha-clusters/
Samba Switches to GPL v3
Samba.org has announced that future distros will be released under the new GPL v3. Prior versions of Samba will remain under the GPL v2.
In the July announcement, Samba.org specified that all versions of Samba numbered 3.2 and later will be under the GPLv3, whereas all versions of Samba numbered 3.0.x and before will remain under the GPLv2. But there is a caveat, as noted in the FAQ about the licensing change:
"The Samba Team releases libraries under two licenses: the GPLv3 and the LGPLv3. If your code is released under a "GPLv2 or later" license, it is compatible with both the GPLv3 and the LGPLv3 licensed Samba code.
"If your code is released under a 'GPLv2 only' license, it is not compatible with the Samba libraries released under the GPLv3 or LGPLv3, as the wording of the 'GPLv2 only' license prevents mixing with other licenses. If you wish to use libraries released under the LGPLv3 with your 'GPLv2 only' code, then you will need to modify the license on your code."
Software and Product News
Zenoss Releases Enterprise Edition
Zenoss, known for its existing free IT monitoring product Zenos Core 2 (released in June under GPL2, with all sub-projects under GPL or compatible licenses), has released Zenoss Enterprise Edition 2.0 on top of its Core 2 platform. Enterprise Edition 2.0 will provide all the same features as its free, open source relative, but will provide "end-user experience monitoring" for Web, e-mail, and database applications. This allows IT managers to receive integrated user reports along with the standard network and equipment statuses, while providing more depth to the IT person's understanding of users' habits. Zenoss is also releasing custom ZenPacks - a plug-in framework that allows community members to write their own features, skins, etc. - that will be published only under their Enterprise Subscription. For more information on Zenoss's products, subscriptions, and how they all relate to one another, visit http://www.zenoss.com/product/overview.
Zenoss runs on Linux (GNU build environment required; Red Hat Enterprise, Fedora Core, Ubuntu, and SUSE are known to work), FreeBSD, and Mac OS X. VMplayer and Zenoss Virtual Appliance are required to run Zenoss products on Windows.
Zenoss's homepage: http://www.zenoss.com
The Everex IMPACT GC3502 Features OpenOffice.org on Windows Vista
On July 28th, Everex announced that its IMPACT GC3502 PC will feature the open-source office suite OpenOffice.org. Aimed at back-to-school students, Everex is hoping to offer potentially low-budget consumers a powerful, fully featured package. Most PC producers offer either proprietary, high-cost office suites, which sharply increases the cost of the PC, or pre-installed trial software, which dissatisfies customers and does not look good for the producer. Everex believes that by keeping its prices low and its offers large it will get a jump start on its competitors, this quickly approaching school year.
Everex IMPACT GC3502 specifications: http://www.everex.com/gc3502/
OpenOffice.org applications included: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base, Math
OpenOffice.org's homepage: http://www.openoffice.org
Everex's homepage: http://www.everex.com
[Editor's note: While I think it is wonderful that OpenOffice.org is receiving more attention and more companies are seeing open source as more than a server side solution, I am not entirely sure that generations of Windows Office-trained users are ready for the switch. Having used OpenOffice.org on Windows and Linux platforms in two separate educational environments, now - both times as a student - I remember experiencing some formatting issues when exporting .doc files, which all my professors wanted, and printing. While I was easily able to overcome them, this just added another level of frustration that may prove too much for the average computer user. Also, most school's IT departments that I have experienced will not support non-standard Mac and Windows software. While OpenOffice.org has come leaps and bounds in solving these transitional issues, I would not want to deploy a solution in an office - or my grandparent's house - unless the basic functionality translated seamlessly. -- S. Bisbee]
Network Engines Integrates Appliance-Optimized Linux Distribution
Network Engines, Inc., a provider of storage and security appliance products and services, announced two software initiatives to help software developers deliver applications as appliances. First, Network Engines announced Appliance Certified Edition Linux (ACE Linux), the first Linux distribution to deliver integrated lifecycle management for server appliances. Second, the company also announced that Network Engines Web-based Services - NEWS - its hardware and image management system for Windows-based application appliances, is now available for ACE Linux.
Hardware and image management integration with an appliance-proven Linux release should lower costs and speed time to market for Linux-based appliances. "As the appliance market grows, ISVs recognize that they need to focus on adding value to their application, not the underlying components like the OS and management plane," said Hugh Kelly, Vice-President of Marketing for Network Engines. "We developed our Network Engines Web-based Services to provide these functions for Windows applications, and now we are making them available for Linux."
ACE Linux is a Conary-based Linux distribution that will be customized for each customer's platform. Network Engines will provide full platform support including drivers, which are commonly a drain on development resources if ISVs attempt to implement these tools themselves. In addition, NEI will provide performance qualification for all of its hardware platforms. This combination of reduced footprint and technical support will enable ISVs to deliver more secure appliances with much lower development cost.
Kelly said that integrating NEWS with the company's own distribution of Linux enables ISVs to save time, money, and engineering resources, because Network Engines eliminates the burden of qualifying new OS releases and the associated expense of update and patch distribution. The NEWS infrastructure will enable all of the software on an appliance, including the OS, applications, and management plane, to be managed by a robust update management system.
Network Engines is the only company with a full suite of appliance-related services for both Linux and Windows environments, Kelly said. "While ISVs focus on their core competencies, we provide all the services they need to deliver their solutions as true appliances in much less time," Kelly said.
XenSource Surpasses 500 Virtualization Customers
There are now over 500 commercial customers for XenEnterprise and XenServer - a doubling of their customer base in the past quarter. New customers include AmerisourceBergen, Cimex Media UK, Harvard University, Intuit, Investcorp, KBC Clearing, the Miami Herald, Moen, NASDAQ, Palm, Rollins, Inc., and Sankyo. Additionally, their free product, XenExpress has had more than 100,000 downloads, illustrating intense interest in virtualization solutions.
"Enterprises are realizing that they have a choice in virtualization and XenSource offers great products that are easy to use, offer high performance for Windows and Linux, and are very innovative and open," said John Bara, VP of marketing for XenSource.
XenSource will introduce the newest release of its XenEnterprise product, version 4.0, in late August 2007.
Borland, VMware Advance Testing of Virtual Lab Environments
Borland Software Corporation announced an integration with VMware software, to enable enterprise software development organizations to more cost-effectively perform multi-configuration and cross-platform software application testing, by maximizing the use of virtualization for test environments.
Borland will deliver native support for virtual lab environments, by integrating its SilkCentral Test Manager, a core component of Borland's Lifecycle Quality Management (LQM) solution, with VMware Lab Manager version 2.5. SilkCentral Test Manager 2007 will extend test management with seamless access to virtualized test environments in VMware Lab Manager, addressing a critical challenge to fully test applications across multiple configurations and platforms.
With the ability to call VMware Lab Manager environments directly from SilkCentral Test Manager, users can create and assign individual tests to run on many different configurations or platforms, without the high costs of hardware or time needed to administer physical systems.
Expected availability for Borland SilkCentral Test Manager 2007 is the third calendar quarter of 2007.
For more information on Borland SilkCentral Test Manager and related technologies, please visit: http://www.borland.com/us/products/silk/silkcentral_test/.
Howard Dyckoff is a long term IT professional with primary experience at
Fortune 100 and 200 firms. Before his IT career, he worked for Aviation
Week and Space Technology magazine and before that used to edit SkyCom, a
newsletter for astronomers and rocketeers. He hails from the Republic of
Brooklyn [and Polytechnic Institute] and now, after several trips to
Himalayan mountain tops, resides in the SF Bay Area with a large book
collection and several pet rocks.
Samuel Kotel Bisbee-vonKaufmann
Sam was born ('87) and raised in the Boston, MA area. His interest in all things electronic was established early by his electrician father and database designer mother. Teaching himself HTML and basic web design at the age of 10, Sam has spiraled deeper into the confusion that is computer science and the FOSS community. His first Linux install was Red Hat, which he installed on a Pentium 233GHz i686 when he was about 13. He found his way into the computer club in high school at Northfield Mount Hermon, a New England boarding school, which was lovingly named GEECS for Electronics, Engineering, Computers, and Science. This venue allowed him to share in and teach the Linux experience to fellow students and teachers alike. Late in high school Sam was abducted into the Open and Free Technology Community, had his first article published, and became more involved in the FOSS community as a whole. After a year at Boston University he decided the experience was not for him, striking out on his own as a software developer and contractor.