News from the High-Tech Battlefield

Linux on the Nintendo DS, Linux in Good Hands, and A Very Large Small Drive

Mario, Luigi, Meet Tux

According to the DS Linux project (http://www.dslinux.org/), Linux now boots on the Nintendo DS portable game player. Pictured at right, the DS runs the Sash shell and a few text games.

While the Nintendo DS is the most recent game system to host Linux, it’s certainly not the only one. Sony offers an official kit to run Linux on its PlayStation 2 ($99, available at http://playstation2-linux.com/), while hobbyists have ported Linux to Nintendo’s Gamecube (http://www.gc-linux.org/), SEGA’s defunct Dreamcast (http://linuxdc.sourceforge.net/), the DS’s predecessor, the GameBoy Advance (http://linux.gbadev.org/), and even the Atari ST (http://aranym.sourceforge.net/).
What platform is next? How about the XBox 360? It’s just a matter of time…

The Sun Never Sets on Linux Development

Writing for Newsfactor (http://newsfactor.com), Stuart Cohen, the CEO of Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), claims that the perception that Linux is developed by “thousands of renegade hackers coding in the dark in their parents’ basement” is simply an urban legend, a myth. Instead, Cohen says, Linux is “in professional hands.”
According to Cohen, 90% of the top 25 contributors to the Linux kernel are employed by leading technology companies. Moreover, the process used to create Linux is not “freewheeling.” Individual contributors submit new and modified code to Linux’s “subsystem maintainers,” who vet the code thoroughly before including it in the kernel. And every contributor must agree to the kernel’s Developer’s Certificate of Origin, a license that acknowledges that each code author has the necessary rights to grant usage of the material to Linux.
But don’t let all of this formality fool you that Linux development is stoic, Cohen says. After all, the Sun never sets on Linux development. “To its great credit,” Cohen says, “the Linux development community takes full advantage of its inherent strengths: the culture of collaboration, the global talent pool, and the `speed-of-light’ nature of the network that connects them.”

Have 100 Gigabytes, Can Travel

Proving that you can take it with you, both Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (http://www.hitachigst.com) and Fujitsu (http://www.fcpa.fujitsu.com/products/hard-drives/) have started shipping laptop hard drives with a maximum capacity of 100 GB.
The Hitachi Travelstar 7K100 series and Fujitsu’s MHV2100BH (MHV) are 2.5-inch drives. The Travelstar spins at 7,200 rpm, while the MHV drive spins at 5,400 rpm, the typical speed of most notebook drives.
In addition to the rotational speed boost, the Hitachi drive boasts improved surviveability of operating shocks caused by falls or abrupt movement and a higher areal density, leading to faster transfer times. The Travelstar offers Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) or Serial ATA (SATA) interfaces; the Fujitsu only offers SATA connections.
Both companies are producing the new drives in large quantities. The Travelstar 7K100 is first to market with desktop-class performance for notebook systems such as Dell’s Inspiron XPS Gen 2 system.

I’ll Take Linux and Supersize It!

Micro Center (http://www.microcenter.com/), a nationwide computer and electronics retailer, has announced that it is now offering Linspire Five-O in all of its twenty locations. Micro Center customers can buy the boxed version of Linspire’s Linux distribution and can purchase a number of laptops and desktops with Linspire already pre-installed.
Micro Center offers Linspire pre-installed on a number of PowerSpec desktop computers with prices ranging from $199 to $499. WinBook brand laptops with Linspire start at $699. System builders and hobbyists can also purchase specially-priced OEM editions of Linspire in Micro Center’s “Build-Your-Own-PC” areas, bundling the affordable operating system with motherboards and other system components.
In addition to advertising and selling Linspire products, the two companies also launched a campaign to educate Micro Center customers on the security, stability, and cost benefits of desktop Linux. Each Micro Center store nationwide now features a dedicated desktop Linux section with an employee specifically trained as a Linux expert.
According to Micro Center, its own surveys reveal that more than 75 percent of its customers have an interest in running a Linux-based operating system. For a review of Linspire Five-O, see last month’s issue of Linux Magazine.

News, press releases, and announcements can be sent to class="emailaddress">editors@linux-mag.com.

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