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Gary Anthes over at Computer World has a great time line of Unix from start to present.
Ever wonder about how Unix got started, not to mention all the twists and turns it took along the way? Here are some milestones of the operating system’s four-decade-long history.
Here is one I think is pretty significant:
1973 – Unix matures. The “pipe,” a mechanism for sharing information between two programs, which will influence operating systems for decades, is added to Unix. Unix is rewritten from assembler into C.
By now we’ve all seen the “I’m a PC” and “I’m a mac” ad’s on the TV and on the Internet. Now the Linux Foundation is holding a contest and getting community members to submit their best “I’m Linux” videos and picking a winner which will be revealed in April. Some of the videos are actually pretty cool.
Over at Internet News Sean Kerner writes that the IT industry is turning to Linux in our current economic downturn.
A new report out today from IDC, sponsored by Linux vendor Novell indicates that the current economic downturn is a good thing for Linux adoption. with more than half of the IT executives surveyed planning to accelerate Linux adoption in 2009… According to IDC, in a poll of 300 IT professionals more than 72 percent reported that, “they are either actively evaluating or have already decided to increase their adoption of Linux on the server in 2009.”
I’m sure most of our readers have heard that Linux, as well as open source, is a great option during times of economic stress. Companies and even every day users are turning to cheaper and free alternatives to expensive software and operating systems and Linux is just the right place to turn.
This is a great thing for Linux, even though it sucks for our current state of the economy. Let’s just hope Linux can prove worthy and benefit in these tough times.
LinuxHaxor recently wrote a blog post discussing how every year hundreds of writers come out of the woodwork to discuss how “this is the year for Linux” or that Linux is finally ready for the masses.
Every year, every major Linux development, every major distribution release sparks a volley of so-called expert opinion of this being finally the year of the Linux. As they provide arguments and counter-arguments over certain news of Dell/HP/IBM/Asus releasing pre-installed Linux computer; and how this will single-handedly fix every problems and finally allow Linux to take over the world.
I agree that these “expert opinions” do always contain the suggestion that this could finally be the year Linux launches into a much higher stratosphere and knocks out major competition. However, most of these “expert opinion” articles that I read every year, or every major release, mainly focus on how Linux is getting closer to becoming a much better operating system than the competition has to offer. Isn’t that all that really matters?
As another year is coming to an end, and another major distribution is around the corner; this might be a good time to remind everyone how next year will not be much different from this year. It took years and years of dedication and innovation for MacOS to finally reach 8% market share. Depending on your level of cynicism, Linux Desktop market share is at somewhere around 1%-5% (being generous).
Sure, lets stop looking at every single Linux advancement or breakthrough with the “this is it! we’ve done it” mentality, I can agree with that. But really, if you look at the facts, 2008 was a great year for Linux. In fact, the past five years have been “the year of the Linux“. Linux will continue to grow over time. After all, Linux is an open source operating system. Anyone can contribute, anytime, and the number of contributors continues to grow every year. Eventually these developers will have worked out all the pesky kinks that stop most users from switching to Linux. It’s really only a matter of time before the mainstream users decide to make the switch to the Linux operating system they keep hearing more and more about.
There is a great comparison on WikiVS for those of you wondering if you should choose MySQL or PostgreSQL as your database language.
From the MySQL vs PostgreSQL page:
MySQL vs PostgreSQL is a decision many must make when approaching open-source relational databases management systems. Both are time-proven solutions that compete strongly with propriety database software. MySQL has long been assumed to be the faster but featureless of the two database systems, while PostgreSQL was assumed to be a more densely featured database system often described as an open-source version of Oracle. MySQL has been popular among various software projects because of its speed and ease of use, while PostgreSQL has had a close following from developers who come from an Oracle or SQL Server background.
It’s been rumored in the past week or so that HP may be developing a flavor of Linux to allow them to move past all of the headaches that come with Windows Vista. Nobody really knows at this point, but I do think that if it is true, it’s both a good move for HP, and a good thing for the Linux community in general.
If HP were to develop a flavor of Linux for their systems, there are a number of things that could finally come to the forefront for Linux. A wider audience, official hardware and driver support, and better technical support, to name a few. However, it’s unlikely that HP will develop a flavor of Linux made for distribution across all hardware platforms, though the Linux implementation may be easier to move to new systems than it’s current proprietary Unix implementation HP-UX. But that doesn’t mean the contributions to further improve Linux will not help the entire community.
For Linux to finally make it as a mainstream desktop operating system, a backing like this from a major player such as HP is the final push it needs to compete with Apple and Microsoft. This could mean big things for Linux. Let’s hope the rumors are true, it could be interesting.
In a mailing list post dated September 8th, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth announced plans for Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope, scheduled for release in April, 2009.
Shuttleworth starts out by making a bold statement that we can expect Ubuntu to be shipping on millions of devices by next year, thus setting the bar very high for Ubuntu in order to compete with the major players, Microsoft and Apple.
Goals of Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope
Mark also lays out two specific goals that Jaunty Jackalope will have. The first being faster boot time and faster resume time. I really think this is a great area for Ubuntu 9.04 to address. Boot time can certainly be improved and would make the experience of Ubuntu that much better. The second goal will be to work towards blurring web services and desktop applications. “Is it a deer? Is it a bunny? Or is it a weblication – a desktop application that seamlessly integrates the web!”
This release looks promising and I really can’t wait to start testing the beta versions.
As for now, Ubuntu 8.10 is scheduled to be released next month, so I’m looking forward to the Intrepid Ibex for now.
After visiting LinuxWorld in San Francisco, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols took away a common theme with the panels he sat in on, “What does Linux need to do to compete more successfully on the desktop?” What he came up with was three specific things that Linux needs to do in order to beat Windows on the desktop.
In short, the three points are
Better power management. This goes far beyond ACPI.
Applications. Wine, virtualization, or alternative software.
I agree with Steven in that these three areas should be at the top of the list for Linux developers. There is no excuse for Linux being behind in any of these areas and we should be doing everything we can to make sure Linux at least can compete with Windows and Mac in these three simple areas.
If you didn’t know already, Linux is not just a platform that runs on desktops and servers. Many of us use devices everyday that run Linux or Unix without even knowing. A number of mobile phones, Digital Video Recorders, and MP3 players run a variant of Linux or Unix.