|FROM ||From: "Steve Milo"
|SUBJECT ||Re: [hangout] Linux Flourishes in Texas
I have an announcement to make at the meeting. Not a very big announcement
but a very positive one.
On Wed, 13 Oct 2004 20:33:31 +0100, Inker, Evan wrote
> I can see you doing this at BC and even better. If It can be done in
> Texas, It can only be done Bigger and Better in NY..... This is
> another point for the coming October 2004 NYLXS Board Meeting
> The Daily Texan - Focus
> Issue: 10/11/04
> Furthing Linux's life
> By Kristi Hsu
> Dressed in costumes or wearing shirts promoting "Buffy the Vampire
> Slayer," hard-core computer fans drifted in and out of convention
> rooms at the Red Lion Inn on Friday night, looking for games,
> science fiction and computer innovations.
> Welcome to Linucon 2004: Austin's first festival devoted to Linux,
> sci-fi and anime.
> While attendance was small, and Linux was hard to find, the operating
> system's fans claim its popularity is growing. It's just a matter of
> wait and see.
> Although it was first embraced by programming wizards and technology
> enthusiasts at its inception in 1991, Linux has now grown to the
> point where even average computer users have started using the system.
> "It's been a pleasure to watch it evolve from a hobbyist system to a
> mature platform for commercial use," said Stu Green, head of
> operations for Linucon's Austin branch.
> Around the globe, other cities are cashing in on the Linux
> phenomenon. Just this September, government officials in Munich,
> Germany, moved 13,000 computers from Windows to Linux. While 13,000
> computers may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to business
> giant Microsoft, some see it as a sign of changing times. Munich is
> Germany's third-largest city and considered the nation's IT capital.
> Bergan, Norway and San Paulo City, Brazil also made the Linux switch
> this summer.
> Back home, computing giant IBM runs on Linux, and AT&T is also considering
> switching, according to eWeek.com.
> Two years ago, Wal-Mart began offering computers with pre-installed Linux
> and now offers eight different computer models because of the success
> they've had with the initial offering, said Amy Colella, a Wal-Mart
> Linus Torvalds, the system's namesake, created the operating system
> in 1991 when he was a student at the University of Helsinki in
> Finland. The system's code is open source, which means anyone can
> look at the code and modify it, as long as they agree to share the
> modifications with other users in the Linux community.
> The fact that Linux is open source is one of the main reasons for the
> operating system's progress, said Eric Raymond, an open source proponent.
> "The secret of Linux's success is that there are no secrets,"
> Raymond said.
> Closed-source developers, like Microsoft, only allow their code to
> be seen by the developers they hire, so there is a limited number of
> programmers working at any time. Unlike closed-source developers,
> all Linux users can work on coding glitches, and the overall
> process of updating a system is much more streamlined.
> The constant examination of the code makes the system more secure.
> Viruses, trojans and worms that debilitate Linux systems are
> virtually unheard of.
> And then, there's the fact that it's free. Because its open source, anyone
> can get their hands on the operating system. And as any impoverished
> college student knows, free equals good.
> "I like the free part a lot," said Max Bayer, an Austin Community College
> mathematics sophomore.
> You don't have to be a computer genius
> In industries like government and business, where saving a buck is always
> top priority, administrators have taken note of the system's price
> tag of zero. Linux can be a low-cost alternative to other
> proprietary operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, whose
> licensing agreement may cost hundreds of dollars to install on
> multiple systems.
> In Austin, one of the country's technological forerunners, Linux is
> used for Web servers, blocking spam and for security issues, said
> Peter Collins, the city's chief information officer. The city
> implemented Linux in a number of servers after a pilot test last
> year had successful results.
> Collins was one of the specific officials that Friday's convention
> targeted, Green said, because they want to tout the advantage of a
> system that doesn't carry proprietary fees.
> But Friday's convention also targeted UT students, who make up a
> large percentage of the Linux community, Green said. The University
> has at least two groups devoted to the operating system - the Austin
> Student Linux User Group and SIGLinux, which is part of the
> Association of Computing Machinery.
> Mark Miller, vice president of Linucon and a UT physics freshman, created
> the student Linux user group his first year here, after he couldn't
> find a Linux group to work within.
> Miller is working on building his own Linux system from scratch,
> because, he said, "I'm bored, it's educational, and it's kinda fun."
> Jeff Strunk, a LAN administrator for UT's Institute for Computational
> Engineering and Science, heads SIGLinux and also organizes the
> group's "Installfest," which has happened twice a semester for the
> past two years, he said.
> Students bring their own computers, and SIGLinux members help the
> load Linux onto their computers.
> Strunk said his organization tries to attract normal users to these
> Installfests, so they can spread the Linux legend.
> "We're targeting users that just want their computer to surf the
> Internet, write papers and use their computers for general stuff,"
> he said.
> And despite claims that Linux is too complicated for users whose strengths
> don't lie in computers, normal users get along fine, Strunk said. After
> three years of running the program with around 200 participants,
> only one person has lost his Windows installation, he said.
> But you don't have to go to an Installfest to give Linux a try.
> Users can download Linux from thousands of Internet sites and buy
> installation CDs similar to Windows installation disks.
> Many UT computer sciences graduate students and professors use Linux
> for research, and almost all of the computers in the Applied Computational
> Engineering and Sciences building use Linux, Strunk said.
> Dan Updegrove, the vice-president for information technology
> services, said the University has considered installing Linux in
> computer labs across campus. But the software is not always
> compatible with the operating systems, and many students are not
> interested in learning to use it, he said.
> ITS is also considering migrating the e-mail server to a Linux operating
> system. It currently uses a UNIX system.
> Obstacles to a Linux world
> Many appliances, such as cell phones and toasters, use Linux, and it
> has also found a major foothold in the financial sector because it's
> secure. It's also popular in the special effects area of the movie
> But one major problem has held it back, said Eric Raymond, an open source
> Both gamers and government officials agree that more software has to
> be made compatible for Linux to become more widespread.
> "Linux cannot move into the next level of use until this problem is
> addressed," said Collins, Austin City Council spokesman. Vital
> like emergency dispatch programs cannot be run through Linux, he said.
> While more games are coming out that are compatible with Linux,
> gamers have also put the system aside until more Linux compatible
> games are produced.
> "I love Linux, but I don't want to have to mess with the system to
> get a game to work," said Denver McAnally, an ACC sophomore at Linucon.
> And then there's the problem of convincing the average user that
> Linux isn't just for computer wizards. While many simply haven't
> heard about it, others immediately associate it with programming
> language and hackers.
> "I've had lots of problems with Windows, but I think it's the
> easiest system out there," said Jeanine Heinson, a studio art
> junior. "I know the techs where I work use UNIX, but that seems way
> too difficult to master."
> These obstacles mean that for now, Linux remains limited to
> government, big business and research desktops. It also means that
> students are shelling out money when they could be using Linux for free.
> Some say they remain confident that Linux will eventually become
> "It's getting better," said Chris Tom, a UT alum and Linux fan who
> Friday's convention. "But it's not going to happen overnight
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