Current issues commentary by Starshine’s Jim Dennis

By Jim Dennis

I perused my latest issue of InfoWorld and noted the following
that might be of interest to the Linux community:

“Software publishers don’t really want customers to see license
terms presale (InfoWorld)”

Ed Foster’s alarming article on the “Article 2B Proposed Changes
to the U.S. UCC or Uniform Commercial Code” (relating to increasing
the enforceability of licensing terms for shrink-wrapped software)
are just about the best argument I’ve yet seen for mainstream
corporations, academic institutions, government agencies and other
organizations to use *free* software.

This was in InfoWorld’s Nov. 30, 1998 (vo. 20 no 48) issue.


More than you ever wanted to know about InforWorld’s coverage of
the Article 2B issues can be found at:

Article 2B: Previous columns (InfoWorld)



On page 46 IW has a brief clip about OpenPGP moving a step
closer to IETF standardizations as it’s granted “draft” status.
They mention Network Associates (which aquired PGP Inc last year),
and make no mention of the GNU Privacy Guard Project (GPG). What’s
ironic about this omission is that GPG is the primary development
that allows OpenPGP to move forward through the IETF process. The
IETF requires multiple interoperable and independent
implementations of a protocol for standards adoption. (No URL
available for this tidbit).

More information about GPG can be found at:

GnuPG – The GNU Privacy Guard


IW also ran a rather run-of-the-mill “Linux is gaining momentum”
article. This isn’t on their web site yet — but a search on Linux
returns 689 hits, and an incremental search on “momentum” leaves 30
from prior to this issue.

Searches on “Microsoft” (~9400), “NT” (~7600), “MacOS” (281),
“Macintosh” (~1600), “Unix” (~3300), and “Solaris” (~1200) gives us
some sense of the proportions of their coverage. They only have 12
times more articles on NT and fifteen times more articles on
Microsoft than they do on Linux. For a dark horse late comer that’s
not bad.

No, there wasnt’ anything worth commenting in the article


IBM’s Transarc Plans/Announces Upcoming Release of AFS

On p. 19 of this issue IW notes that IBM’s Transarc division
will release Linux clients and servers for their AFS “Enterprise
Network File Sharing System” (formerly the “Andrew Filesystem” from
Carnegie-Mellon University).

Naturally no mention is made of the free AFS clients that have
been available for Linux for several years. There is also no
mention of CODA, the “next generation AFS” which is an ongoing
research project at CMU and is avaialable on Linux, FreeBSD, and

One of those free clients is called Arla and can be found at:

The Linux-AFS FAQ can be found at:

Linux AFS FAQ http://www.umlug.umd.edu/linuxafs/linuxafs.html


Moving away from InfoWorld and on to the big fish we cast out
attention to yesterday’s:

Wall Street Journal

where they have an article, front page, first column, about
Matthew Szulik, new president of Red Hat Inc.

This personal interest, executive profile piece only mentions
Linux in passing. However, it convinces me that Mr. Szulik will be
a major figure in the commercial Linux world.

Here’s a few quotes:

“Red Hat’s chief executive, Robert Young, employed a kind of
“reverse” psychology. He showed up in a sputtering 20-year-old
Mercedes, and then tried to talk Mr. Szulik out of considering the
move to Red Hat, which involves competing directly against
Microsoft Corp.”

… and

“ “I told him what a bad idea it would be” to jump jobs and
join Red Hat, Mr. Young says. The company had more than $10 million
in sales and 85 employees, mostly inexperienced young people. It
owned no intellectual property, in the form of patents or
copyrights. It’s business consisted mostly of shrinkwrapped
software “tools” to support a free, open operating system known as
Linux, a form of Unix and an alternative to Microsoft’s Windows

… and more important (the real focus of this story):

“Mr. Szulik was ready to walk away from Relativity, “gut
wrenching” as it was recalls. There was only one remaining
obstacle: his son.”

and the story goes on to relate that Bob Young passed muster for
little nine year old Brendan Szulik. “Dad” went to work for Red Hat
Inc. on Nov. 16.