Novell is to move its networking services to the open-source Linux platform.
Nterprise Linux Services will consist of Novell's file, print, messaging, directory, and management services tailored to the Red Hat and SuSE distributions of Linux. It wil ship at the end of the year.
Also being announced are partnerships with IBM, Dell Computer and Hewlett-Packard, who will offer the suite to their PC-based customers with full training and support, according to Novell.
The company has been eyeing up datacentre environments deploying Linux, according to Jeff Hawkins, vice-president of the Linux business office at Novell.
One analyst said Novell's Linux move was a logical one.
"Novell has a long history of providing scalable, reliable, secure and manageable products," said analyst Dan Kusnetzky, vice-president of system software research at IDC.
"It has a long history of being a part of the enterprise infrastructure. This is exactly what end-users tell us they want from Linux. So, Linux users or prospective Linux users who feel that these things are important just might feel a little more comfortable when Novell's directory services software, combined with Novell's management and security software, are combined with Linux."
A closed beta program for Nterprise Linux Services, for approximately 150 customers, will begin next month.
With the file services in the product, users can manage files based on Samba, an open-source software platform providing compatibility with Windows clients on file protocols, Hawkins said.
The iFolder function in the package will protect personal information and enable file-sharing between PCs.
Enterprise print capabilities in Nterprise Linux Services, hosted on Linux servers, will enable users to access multiple printers via a listing set up on a company's website.
Paul Krill writes for InfoWorld
Linux Security: The Seven Most Deadly Sins
JUN 20, 2003 By Bob Toxen. Article is provided courtesy of Prentice Hall PTR.
The difference between Linux and Windows, according to Bob Toxen, is that with knowledge and a little effort, Linux can be made very secure. However, there are seven problems that affect all unhardened Linux systems regardless of their use. Indulge any of these seven sins and almost certainly your systems will be broken into in one to twelve months. In this detailed excerpt from his book, Real World Linux Security, Bob lays out no-nonsense, thoroughly explained, practical advice that will boost the security of an "out of the box" Linux system by an order of magnitude.
Debian soon to be 10 years old
The Debian GNU/Linux distribution will have been around for a decade
on August 16th, and project members have planning celebrations on
several continents. While few details have been confirmed at this
stage, debconf.org has put together a page to coordinate efforts. In
the UK, a party in Cambridge has been proposed, but there's still
time for alternative proposals.
Frederick Noronha (FN) | http://www.fredericknoronha.net
Freelance Journalist | http://www.bytesforall.org
Indialists.org: Taking the development debate online to discuss issues
related to India's health, education, environment and more...
New initiative packages Free Software for Governments
SOMEWHERE IN CYBERSPACE, June 20: Governments bold enough to opt for the
freedom that comes with Free Software now have another tool in their
armoury that will make their switchover easier.
A Free Software package know as Government Distro was launched on June
19th by the Free Software Consortium (FSC), a global organisation dedicated to
the promotion and distribution of Free Sofware.
Free Software gives its users the freedom to run, study, redistribute and
improve the vital code that goes into the software programs, and a number
of governments across the globe have been either opting for it or
seriously studing its potential in anticipation of a switch-over.
Some governments have favoured Free Software not just for its
technological prowess, but also for the transparency it offers, its
affordability and its very 'sharable' nature without being encumbered by
Government Distro is a compilation of programmes that are already
being widely used by the public sector in Brazil, Argentina and Spain.
It contains the GNU/Linux Operating System, an Office suite called Open
Office, email and instant messenger, and many other applications,
according to a statement from the Free Software Consortium.
"Government Distro is meant to be the first big step towards the
implementation of Free Software in the public sector around the world",
says Jaco Ainzenman, one of the FSC founders, and current Business
Development Government Body Coordinator.
"All these programs have been used and tested previously, in order to
certify its functionality. They have all being designed by highly
talented hackers all around the world," said Ainzenman.
The a full version of Government Distro is available for download at
All the programmes in Government Distro are user-friendly and have been in
used since 1999. Besides, Free Software Consortium is offering technical
assitance for Government Distro users.
More information is available from governmentdistro(a)fsc.cc
---------- Forwarded message ----------
>From the PRC (Project Resource Centre) mailing list on sarai.net (Delhi):
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2003 23:51:02 +0530
From: Sagar Behere <behere(a)sancharnet.in>
Subject: [PRC] final update: project successfully completed :-)))
We are the robotics guys. For those who were not following the initial
posts (but clicked on this one after reading the subject ;-), here is a
"We were planning to build a robot and control it using free software."
Now let's move on to the results.
We have build a 4 degree of freedom SCARA type robot. SCARA stands for
Selective Compliance Assembly Robotic Arm. A SCARA robot has an elbow
and a forearm (both rotate) and a vertical linear arm. There is a last
roll axis which is used for orientation of the tool.
The joints used stepper motors as their actuators.
We adapted the Enhanced Machine Controller software for our purposes. We
wrote the robot kinematics module and the same has been successfully
integrated into the mainstream code.
Here is what the control software can make the robot do:
1) The robot can be programmed using the CNC industry standard G and M
codes. You can create a drawing in a CAM software, it generates these
codes. The codes can then be fed to the robot controller and the robot
starts moving. Effectively, you draw a shape in the CAM software, and
the robot will trace out exactly the same path.
2) The robot has pick-and-place capabilities and point-to-point motion.
3) It is also possible to have "continuous path control" over the robot.
This means that the tool tip can be made to follow a desired trajectory
4) Of course, the velocities and accelerations and other things are
5) The software is capable of other things like driving servo motors,
backlash compensation, PID control etc.
6) Ther eis a backplotter which graphically shows the motion of the tool
tip as it moves.
7) Many, many other features :-)
A few applications the robot will be useful for are:
1) Spot welding
2) arc welding
3) Applications like applying sealants, glue etc. in manufacturing
4) vertical assembly operations.
5) certain types of machine loading and unloading.
6) painting and coating two and a half degree surfaces
7) light machining operations like drilling, boring, reamming, tapping
In conclusion, the robot has successfully achieved its design goals :-)
If there are any questions, we'll be glad to answer.
prc mailing list
End of prc Digest
How Linus Torvalds, the man behind Linux, keeps the revolution from becoming a jihad.
By David Diamond
It's no accident that Linus Torvalds has been calling the shots for Linux longer than most world leaders have been in power. In the 12 years since he uploaded his operating system and became de facto master of the open source universe, the 33-year-old programmer has endured waves of attacks from developer zealots seeking to hijack open source to further their own agendas - toppling Microsoft, fighting the music industry, stopping the commercialization of open source software. Through it all, Torvalds has maintained a Zen-like ability to defuse political opposition and saved Linux from being either co-opted or abandoned. Torvalds, who holds down a day job as a software engineer at chipmaker Transmeta, told Wired how he keeps the peace.
WIRED: The open source community has all manner of rabid devotees. What's your strategy for keeping these forces at bay?
TORVALDS: My basic strategy has always been to not care too much. It actually ends up working wonders - avoiding confrontation by just walking away. The thing is, I don't usually feel as deeply about some of the issues they feel strongly about, and that makes it easier just to ignore the politics - and as a result, the political consequences. That also allows me to concentrate on the things I do enjoy, namely the technical discussions.
How long will that work?
Well, it's worked so far. Every once in a while an issue comes up where I have to make a statement. I can't totally avoid all political issues, but I try my best to minimize them. When I do make a statement, I try to be fairly neutral. Again, that comes from me caring a lot more about the technology than about the politics, and that usually means that my opinions are colored mostly by what I think is the right thing to do technically rather than for some nebulous good.
You got royally flamed for a recent statement on Slashdot.org in which you defended digital rights management, which is hated by many in the open source community because it allows hardware to lock out some applications. Why did you stick your neck out?
I rewrote that post three times. I expected to offend some people, but I wanted to make sure I was fairly noninflammatory. I used humor and tried not to make it a black and white thing.
You basically said you're OK with DRM. What effect will that have?
The whole point of that post was to set developer expectations right. We've allowed a lot of the technology that DRM requires for a long while already, but from my discussions with some kernel developers, it was clear that not everybody was on the same page as to what that meant for Linux. To avoid future clashes and disappointment, I would much rather bring the issue into the open and make sure people know about it. That way developers can make up their own minds about whether they want to work on a system that may someday be used in ways they don't agree with.
Have you lost any sleep over the DRM flamefest?
I lose sleep if I end up feeling bad about something I've said. Usually that happens when I send something out without having read it over a few times, or when I call somebody names. I like being on friendly terms with most people. This time it's been a fairly amicable discussion. I expected much worse.
Most leaders expend a lot of energy trying to stay in power. What do you do to maintain support?
To me, the most important part has always been a certain aura of neutrality. By staying neutral, I end up being somebody that everybody can trust. Even if they don't always agree with my decisions, they know I'm not working against them. People know that when I make a technical decision, it's not politically motivated. Obviously, I also try to maintain support by just being good at what I do.
Don't you run the risk of alienating supporters out on the fringes?
Part of my job is managing expectations. I have a nagging fear that someone will come up to me years from now and say, "I gave you the best five years of my life, and look what you've let Linux become."
You seem pretty thick-skinned and even-keeled. Do you ever doubt yourself?
Not really. But I think part of that is because I'm fairly comfortable with the notion of saying "Sorry, I was wrong," even in public. Another way of putting it: I don't have to doubt myself, because to some degree I don't have to care whether I'm right or wrong. If I'm right, I'm right, and if I'm wrong we can go back and fix it. The only thing you generally can't go back and fix later on is that small detail of trust, which is another reason I'd rather bring these things out in the open, so that people know what I think.
You've said that you're "just an engineer." What do you mean by that?
I wear that as a badge of honor. I think of myself as an engineer, not as a visionary or "big thinker." I don't have any lofty goals. I just want to have fun making the best damn operating system I can.
David Diamond (ddiamond(a)well.com) wrote about Philippine labor exports in Wired 10.06. He's the coauthor, with Torvalds, of Just For Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary.
I remember M$ touting a new file system called CIFS. I wonder what happened
to that... This time they're playing the WinFS horn in their new OS
WinFS is supposed to be M$'s new file system that will make searches faster
by maintaining multiple indexes. Also, it also has a built-in RDBMS engine
for tracking files...
More here: http://www.tomshardware.com/storage/20030617/index.html
Those who follow security will find the following amusing:
An anonymous person has again posted vulnerability information gleaned from
the Computer Emergency Response Center (CERT) approximately 10 days in
advance of CERT's intended release of information to the public.
The vulnerability involves Adobe PDF files; the files might be able to
execute arbitrary commands on a system viewing a PDF file that contains
In past months, the anonymous poster who goes by the alias "Hack4life," has
somehow managed to obtain private information from CERT without the
company's knowledge and subsequently disclosed that information to the
public before vendors were ready to do so. CERT works with vendors who
experience security problems to coordinate patch and information release.
The anonymous person's antics undermine that process.
More here: http://www.wininformant.com/Articles/Index.cfm?ArticleID=39320
CERT walks the middle ground and does a good job of it, but it is a little
humorous to see an entity dedicated to security struggle to protect its own
information. The anonymous being behind the leaks even tells the world when
new information will be released, and yet his or her identity remains a
The lesson here is that security is only as good as your ability to discern
the lack of it. If you ever reach a point where you think you're secure, you
are at your most vulnerable then.
>From: "Soundara Rajan N.S." <searchlight(a)sancharnet.in>
>Subject: [Fsf-friends] The Peacemaker
>How Linus Torvalds, the man behind Linux, keeps the revolution from
>becoming a jihad.
>By David Diamond
>It's no accident that Linus Torvalds has been calling the shots for Linux
>longer than most world leaders have been in power. In the 12 years since
>he uploaded his operating system and became de facto master of the open
Linus Torvalds is an amiable guy, granted. But, it
is perhaps a grave mistake to reduce an entire
movement to simply building a technically
Loaded terms by the media don't help either (e.g.
"keeps the revolution from becoming a jihad").
Free Software is no more about software alone. It has
grown far beyond that. Today, it is challenging the
manner in which artificial blocks are used to control
the spread of knowledge and information in fields
ranging from education to music, from journalism
to scientific knowledge. We need to take the
boundaries of this debate further.
This is an issue that affects the lives of hundreds,
if not thousands, of millions. We in the
information-deficit, knowledge-scarce regions
face this daily.
Linus seems to look at the word "politics" as
something negative. One could argue that even the
decision to "keep out politics" is a very
political stand in itself.
Last year, when I visited Finland in connection with
the FLOSS-in-the-developing-world study, there was
quite some debate on Linus "just for fun" approach.
Someone came up with the suggestion that he was
keen to make himself seem less political, so as not
to become unacceptable in the US.
Sam Williams biography of RMS has an interesting
To quote Williams: "Most importantly, the MacArthur
(genius grant) money gave Stallman more freedom.
Already dedicated to the issue of software freedom,
Stallman chose to use the additional freedom to
increase his travels in support of the GNU Project
"Interestingly, the ultimate success of the GNU
Project and the free software movement in general would
stem from one of those trips. In 1990, Stallman paid
a visit to the Polytechnic University in Helsinki,
Finland. Among the audience members was 21-year-old
Linus Torvalds, future developer of the Linux
kernel -- the free software kernel destined to
fill the GNU Project's most sizable gap."
(Okay, one can expect disagreement here from
Free Software enthusiasts over the "sizable gap"...)
Williams continues: "When it was time to release the
0.12 version of Linux, the first to include a fully
integrated version of GCC, Torvalds decided to voice his
allegiance with the free software movement. He
discarded the old kernel license and replaced it with the
GPL. The decision triggered a porting spree, as
Torvalds and his collaborators looked to other GNU
programs to fold into the growing Linux stew."
Without intending to turn this into a Linus-versus-RMS
or Linux-versus-GNU tug-of-war, we must not reduce
the entire idealism (or politics, if you want to call
it that) that has gone into this movement which is
nearly two decades old.
Should we diminish the goal to just building
technically efficient software? Or is this a battle
over whether knowledge itself becomes another
commodity, sold to the highest bidder? FN
PS: They say, reasonable men change to the ways of the world. Therefore,
all progress depends on unreasonable men....
Frederick Noronha (FN) | http://www.fredericknoronha.net
Freelance Journalist | http://www.bytesforall.orghttp://goalinks.pitas.com | http://joingoanet.shorturl.comhttp://linuxinindia.pitas.com | http://www.livejournal.com/users/goalinks
T: 0091.832.2409490 or 2409783 M: 0 9822 122436
Looks like Microsoft is doing its bit to
promote Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS)
in the more affluent parts of the globe, like the Gulf.
Some background of an interesting case.
Interesting, many of the key players in the Gulf
FLOSS movement seem to be expat Indians, at least going
by the active posters on this list. FN
PS: As typical, the newspaper report has mixed up
Free Software with "freeware".
>From Linux-middleeast(a)yahoogroups.com Wed Jun 18 21:50:07 2003
To subscribe send an email to:
Linux Movement in the Middle East is sponsored by GoldenSun Internet Consulting & Research,
Phone :971-4-2728310 /Fax:971-4-2728320
Moderator GSC Prabhakar James - Linux User Group -Founded 1999.
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2003 04:46:30 -0000
From: "prabhags" <prabhags(a)goldensun.com>
Subject: Re: Business Software Alliance's faxes to Companies
Sorry for the late response. I expected other members would write about BSA
's faxes to companies.BSA is a watchdog for Microsoft and dozen other
It is not a government organisation. But they think they are government and
misrepresent to the companies like that. BSA was founded primarily by
Microsoft and they operate from Microsoft office in Dubai. You need not
give any information to BSA about the software in your company. They have no
authorisation. But they can inform people about legalising the proprietary
software and educating about anti-piracy on behalf of their sponsors.
Anyway I have taken the arrogant faxes sent by BSA to companies in the UAE
very seriously and warned BSA not to send any annoying faxes to Companies
asking for Private software details in the guise of Software Audit and
passing the information to BSA members. I am forwarding the copies of my
letters to BSA and other information to the LUG members.
We as Linux Users, who advocate and use Open Source should fight this type
of dubious data collection by BSA who threaten companies indirectly to use
their proprietary software.
--- In Linux-middleeast(a)yahoogroups.com, "Montuewed T.F.S"
> Many companies received faxes from BSA asking the companies to furnish
> details about the software they have in their company ? They have given
> deadline to submit information about the software with the copies of
> licences and invoices to be sent to them. They have also attached
> newpapers cuttings of people arrested for piracy and warning the
> My question is What is the role of BSA ? Is it a government company ? Do
> we have to give information on the software we have in our companies ?
> Where BSA office is located ? How to answer to BSA faxes? Cannot we use a
> computer without any Microsoft software ?
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2003 21:52:07 -0700 (PDT)
From: John Joseph <jjk_saji(a)yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Re: Business Software Alliance's faxes to Companies
Thanks for the information , even I thought it is a govt body , actually
they are propagating open source in an indirect way. Bulling others and
indirectly forcing them to look for alternative OS and application
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2003 08:55:29 +0400
From: "GSC Prabhakar \(R\)" <prabhags(a)goldensun.com>
Subject: OOT -Copy of the FAX sent to BSA for their
Following is the copy of the Fax which I sent to BSA .
COPY of the FAX sent to BSA Chairman.
6th May 2003
Mr. Jawad Al Redha
Phone : 8004828
Business Software Alliance
Post Box 9275
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dear Mr. Jawad,
I happened to see your faxes signed by you sent to our organization asking
for details of software installed at our company and also informing that
your records (?) currently do not show that our company as having purchased
any software ( in all these years of our operation?!) . We would be glad to
respond and enlighten BSA on various methods and alternatives available to
curb software issues and initiate best alternative solutions available to
all the software users in the middle east.
Before we respond to your queries please fax the following information to
1. Your trading license and list of personnel involved in the software data
2. Copy of the authorization letter obtained from the appropriate
government ministry to collect this data from companies.
3. We know that BSA is working with Microsoft, functioning from Microsoft
premises, Dubai, I would like to know whether your people have verified
before sending the fax about the details about our company from your
co-tenant Microsoft regarding the Software licenses obtained for our company
? It seems that proper data was not verified before sending faxes, signed by
you. Unfortunately they have not even verified whom to send the fax.
4. I have a question, If we have more licenses but less number of computers
which would use the software can you help us get the refund for the
unutilized part of the licenses from Microsoft and other BSA members?
5. May we also know your Computer configuration, network security setup,
Anti-virus software , other productivity and database software which you use
, so we can get enlightened on the various software available for productive
use. By the way can we get your phone number ( not the anonymous voice mail
8004828 number ), so we can call and get your advice or various matters ?
6. I appreciate your assistance for managing our valuable software licenses.
As a matter of reciprocating your kindness we are glad to offer FREE
awareness programs by Educating and Training BSA personnel and also to the
companies which you recommend in HOW TO ACHIEVE ZERO PIRACY IN COMPUTERS.
This would greatly help fighting Software Piracy. Please let us know when we
can schedule this FREE awareness program.
7. I am glad to invite you and your friends to my office to have a cup of
tea with us and know about us.
We are with you in fighting Software Piracy though we use another effective
method, which I would like to share with you soon.
Chief Executive Officer
GoldenSun Internet Consulting & Research
Anti-piracy watchdog prod irks free software promoters - GULF NEWS 17th
Dubai | By Jay B. Hilotin | 17/06/2003
Proponents of freeware and Open Source in the UAE have been incensed by
repeated warnings and veiled threats of raids from the Business Software
Alliance (BSA), a global software anti-piracy watchdog funded by giants
such as Microsoft.
Open Source, a consortium composed of software publishers that promote
zero piracy through 'freeware' and full access to application source
codes, offers alternatives to what they call 'proprietary' programmes
for which companies and individual users must pay to legally use a
Dr G.S.C. Prabhakar James, CEO of GoldenSun Internet Consulting and
Research, refused to submit an inventory of software used in his company
to the BSA, saying that the alliance has no authority to demand private
"We're not questioning the anti-piracy drive. We are for the protection
of intellectual property rights. Open Source actually helps to achieve
zero piracy by giving the source codes away for the basic applications.
"We think BSA's behaviour is arrogant, pestering companies for
information on the software they are using. They need to be more polite
and professional in their communication to the companies in the UAE. BSA
is asking other people to do their homework for them," he told Gulf
Source codes are the slew of commands that enable software programmers
to customise or debug applications according to their requirement. The
Open Source community encourages enhancements to be open for further
"What is the assurance that when companies submit a list of their
software assets, the information won't be misused?" asked Prabhakar, an
ex-Microsoft employee who currently considers himself an Open Source
"These warning letters are a form of bullying. Even government
departments in the UAE don't employ this strong-arm tactics when they
ask for specific information from companies. They assure people the
information will be used only for a specific purpose. The BSA is not
even a government organisation but is trying to act as one."
BSA-Middle East on its part said in a letter posted to companies in the
UAE that it will not disclose any information concerning software
inventory of customers who cooperate with them, except to the concerned
members in order for them to offer support, upgrades, and promotional
The letter, signed by Jawad Al Redha, the alliance's co-chairman in
Middle East, urges companies to fill out a software asset management
form, along with newspaper clippings of raids conducted by UAE
authorities in conjunction with the alliance.
"This is something that we've been doing for many years now," said Al
Redha. He maintained that such reminders are part of their regular
campaign to curb software piracy.
The letter says: "Because our records do not currently show your company
as having purchased any software licenses, it could well be that the
software in your possession has been installed without appropriate
licenses and perhaps even without your knowledge."
The form asks for a list of software applications, along with the copies
of licenses. BSA also reiterated that for every copy of software being
used, companies must purchase a user license. Therefore, a company that
has 10 computers must have purchased 10 licenses.
The group said that the campaign helps companies that use legal software
own an inventory that can assist them in keeping tabs on software
assets. It also help them identify upgradation requirements for the
"The campaigns give users of illegal software a chance to benefit from
the discounted rates offered by BSA members, in addition to saving time
and money through free audits."
Says Prabakhar: "If BSA has proper authorisation, they are welcome to
check my software assets anytime."
Another Open Source user is unfazed. "The tribe (of Open Source users)
is growing," he said, pointing out that Apache, a freeware product
developed by the Open Source community, now accounts for over 62 per
cent of the market for Internet servers, while Microsoft accounts for 27
BSA reiterated that the campaign is just a request to customers to show
that they are complying with the country's copyright laws. The campaign,
which began in April 2003, ran for two months. According to BSA, the
compliance rate will only be available after data from the current
campaign has been collected.
"Even if 99 per cent of the companies send their private data to the
BSA, I won't comply with their demand, simply because of one basic
principle: they have no right to demand so," said Prabhakar.
He pointed out that there are many Open Source users now in the UAE, and
he is willing to offer a free course on the subject to the BSA members
here. "Even banks and government departments are now starting to migrate
to use Open Source applications."
C Al Nisr Publishing LLC - Gulf News Online