November 19, 2001

Weekly news wrap-up: Reviews of SuSE, Red Hat, Netscape

Author: JT Smith

- By Grant Gross -

It seemed to be review week in the Open Source world, with several recent releases of Linux distributions and related software earning interesting reviews. Among those were SuSE Linux 7.3 Personal Edition, Red Hat Linux 7.2 Professional, and Netscape 6.2 for Linux.

SuSE 7.3 Personal earned generally solid reviews, at least after the reviewers got the darned thing installed. NewsForge's Tina Gasperson compared the distribution to having a baby, a painful and lengthy installation process but well worth the effort once it's working right. I haven't birthed any babies, so I'll take her word on that. On the other hand, our friends at The Register loved SuSE 7.3 Personal through and through, saying it's superior to both Red Hat's Linux distribution and Windows XP.

Red Hat 7.2 Professional got it's own review this week, however. ReactiveLinux.com called its $199 price tag a bit steep for another flavor of Linux. The reviewer did say that "Red Hat 7.2 features a refreshing addition to its arsenal in the form of ext3 support. But that's really about it."

If you've already got your favorite flavor of Linux installed, and you just want to do some browsing, check out NewsForge editor in chief Robin "Roblimo" Miller's review of the new Netscape 6.2. For the first time in years, he says, he's happy with the browser on his screen. Me too, by the way, but I crashed it about 20 minutes after downloading it. Some things never change.

A bunch of Microsoft news

Well, OK, you won't find every kind of Microsoft news here, but we do note some issues the big, ol' monopolist has with the Open Source community -- again.

The Register reported on a memo circulating among Microsoftie salespeople calling Linux the long-term threat to their core business. Gee, we'll take that as a compliment.

Not in response to that memo, but just in response to the way Microsoft does business, one writer renewed the call for a Microsoft boycott.

And finally, for a chuckle, check out what some British Linux fans think of the new Windows XP. I guess you'd call that the Blue Billboard of Death.

New at NewsForge and Linux.com

Other stories that NewsForge and Linux.com reported first this week:

Jeff Field reviewed the Intel Pentium IV 1.9GHz chip's performance with Linux and found it not really worth the price.

At an intellectual property conference in Washington, D.C., several critics of copyright law suggested it has gone too far and will continue to impact the Open Source community.

Tina Gasperson found that the new copy-protected CDs will play on Windows, but not Linux or Mac. Hmmmm.

Stock news

Open Source-related stocks, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq market in general, had a pretty good week, with the Nasdaq up 3.8 percent to 1898.58. That was a 70.10-point gain for the week. Reuters said technology stocks are on fire, although it might be a little early to get too excited. Invest wisely.

Almost all the Open Source-related stocks in the handy little table below rose this week, in particular Caldera and VA Linux, the parent company of Linux.com and NewsForge. Reuters suggested the steep increases, 118 percent in two days for Caldera, came because of positive comments by IBM about Linux.

IBM continued support of Linux by announcing a pre-packaged cluster suite for Linux. IBM's Linux types predict the easy-to-install package will help bring more Linux clusters to the business market.

Here's how Open Source and related stocks ended this past week:

Company Name Symbol 11/09 Close 11/16 Close
Apple AAPL 18.71 18.97
Borland Software Int'l BORL 13.52 13.80
Caldera International CALD 0.30 0.57
Hewlett-Packard HWP 18.99 21.50
IBM IBM 114.08 114.50
MandrakeSoft 4477.PA e3.70 e5.00
Red Hat RHAT 5.40 6.00
Sun Microsystems SUNW 12.92 13.39
TiVo TIVO 5.98 6.00
VA Linux Systems LNUX 1.73 2.90
Wind River Systems WIND 16.95 18.79
Click Here!