"OLinux: What role do you play in the Open
Source world these days?
Joe Kaplenk: One of my major efforts at the
moment is in bringing Linux in the training and academic system
administration training area. ... The role I see myself playing is
in helping to develop programs for training system admins. Because
Linux allows itself to run in more places than any other operating
system it is a natural solution to the problem. Students can learn
and develop skills that they might not otherwise have. The
materials I developed over the years turned into my first two
books, the UNIX System Administrator's Interactive Workbook and the
Linux Network Administrator's Interactive Workbook. They also
formed the start of the whole Prentice-Hall series on Interactive
"OLinux:As an educator, what do you think
about this Linux certification services proliferation? ...
Joe Kaplenk: Some employers are demanding Linux
certification. My last assignment was one that required me to have
my Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE), which I have. Personally,
I think certification is overemphasized and the important thing is
what the admin has done and can do. The RHCE comes the closest to
being a true test because it has three parts. The first is multiple
choice, the second is debugging and the third is installation.
The other certifications that I am aware of do not have this. They
are only multiple choice type questions. As an instructor that uses
multiple choice questions, I am very familiar with the failings and
I try to balance this with hands-on work. ..."
"OLinux: What does mean the big companies, like
IBM, involvement with Linux? Is it really good for the Linux
Joe Kaplenk: The Linux community is tending to
go in two directions. There is the Free Software Foundation or the
GNU/Linux group that is devoted to the purity of the GNU GPL
license. ... However, the other direction is that many companies
such as IBM are getting involved. They are finding that they can
make a lot of money on Linux services. ... The operating system can
sell the hardware. If IBM can sell more boxes by using Linux then
they will. IBM is adding their apps to run on Linux. They are
pushing Linux because they know the market is going to Linux and
they can sell their apps and services on Linux and make money that
way. In IBM's world Linux is one more product to support and make
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