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OpenSales, Linuxcare sign Dell software deal

Author: JT Smith

From a CNet
report
: “Linuxcare, Dell Computer and OpenSales have created a partnership to sell OpenSales’ e-commerce software on Dell computers, company executives said Tuesday. Dell will sell a server loaded with OpenSales’ e-commerce software, which lets people create and run shopping Web sites, bundled with support from Linuxcare. The product will be unveiled in the fourth quarter and will be called E-Shop-in-a-box.”
In a related story, OpenSales, an Open Source e-commerce applications company, and Linuxcare announced Tuesday that they have signed a comprehensive customer referral agreement designed to offer a range of enterprise services to hardware manufacturers and software vendors, reports Business Wire.

Category:

  • Open Source

Summary of Tuesday’s events at LinuxWorld

Author: JT Smith

Business Wire has provided a recap of Tuesday’s major happenings.

Category:

  • Linux

Linux Supercluster users conference announced

Author: JT Smith

The conference will be Sept. 11 to 15 in Albuquerque, N.M., according to a press release at LinuxPR.

Site sells Open Source to the medical industry

Author: JT Smith

By Grant Gross
Managing Editor

Ignacio Valdes wants to pull the medical industry into the Open Source community.

Valdes, a psychiatrist from Houston, Texas, believes an Open Source approach would reduce the reported millions of dollars health-care facilities seem to waste on IT projects. In March, he founded the Web site LinuxMedNews to spread the news about Open Source software projects being developed for medical use.

“I think I was meant to be the agent of change in medicine, and that’s what the whole site is about,” says Valdes, who worked in IT for 10 years before going to medical school. “I thought the way I could contribute now was to start a site that would unify the movement and be a cheerleader.”

Valdes had been aware of the Free Software movement when he was a computer science grad student in the late ’80s. As he moved into the medical arena, he noticed dozens of proprietary software companies competing with each other, often with wasteful results.

LinuxMedNews links to a report by Healthcare Informatics claiming that each health-care facility in the country spent between $5 million and $50 million on failed software systems during the 1990s.

“The closed source model wasn’t working, and it never had,” Valdes says. “No one [medical software] company has the engineering resources to complete a project and stay in business.”

Instead, when an Open Source medical software project fizzles out, “it’s not really a failure,” he adds. “Someone can pick the ball up and take it the next 10 yards.

“Open Source development is a very organic thing. It’ll react to changing conditions, which is essential in medicine.”

Range of medical projects

The potential for Open Source projects in medicine is virtually unlimited, Valdes says. Projects range from simple prescription-printing software to portable computers doctors can use to record patient charts, eliminating the often-illegible handwritten charts.

When Valdes began researching the need for his Web site, he found 17 Open Source projects related to medicine. The projects list on his site includes dental practice management software, a Palm OS drug database, and a project to assemble health-care records from Open Source XML components.

Valdes, known by his poker nickname “Saint” on the site, also tries to predict the future of medicine, in an article titled, Beyond This Horizon. He sees a time when Open Source projects will help first-year medical students treat simulated patients.

“By the time you’ve finished your first year, you’ve seen 3,000 patients, you’ve killed 50 of them, and you’ve been sued three times,” Valdes says about the future virtual patient software. “Medical school will be different then it is now, when you sit in a lecture hall for an entire year.”

Room for discussion

Valdes’ site, with the subtitle “Revolutionizing medical education and practice,” will look familiar to fans of popular Open Source news/discussion sites. LinuxMedNews includes room for discussion of every article, and Valdes has posted about 85 articles since late March.

Reader posts range from fan mail to, “Too much hyperbole. Stop hitting us over the head with your opinions.” The site is averaging 1,000 to 2,000 visitors a week, Valdes says, and reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.

“So far no one’s really challenged me on the validity of the idea, but I welcome that challenge,” he says. “At this point, I don’t think we’re a real threat to anybody. If someone harshly criticizes this idea, I’ll consider that a victory because that means we’re a threat.”

One frequent visitor is Tim Cook, project coordinator of the FreePM Project.

Cook, formerly a hospital information systems professional, says Valdes is providing an important service to the medical industry. “The open source medical informatics community is small but growing rapidly,” Cook adds. “Ignacio saves me time mining the Net for relevant articles.”

Cook says he frequents the site both for news links and for Valdes’ own articles. Oh, and it’s good for Cook’s ego: LinuxMedNews “occasionally mentions my Open Source project,” he jokes.

Valdes hopes the site will start reaching medical-school students “because they’re not crusty in their ways.”

“The old guys don’t get it,” he says. “Medicine changes very slowly. It’s going to be a very uphill battle for the next 10 years.”

Category:

  • Open Source

Cowpland resigns as Corel president, CEO

Author: JT Smith

The Corel chief executive has stepped down “in order to dedicate his time and resources to new start-up opportunities,” according to a
press release
at Corel’s Web site. He’ll continue at Corel as a director and technology advisor.

Category:

  • Open Source

Report: Open Source will reshape computer industry

Author: JT Smith

From a Wired.com
story
: “Open-source standards will completely reshape the software industry by 2004, according to a recent report by Forrester Research. Forrester forecasts that within four years, all traditional software vendors will need to change their proprietary business models to open-source ones, or drastically lower the price of enterprise application licenses.”

Category:

  • Open Source

Secrets of the trade show press room

Author: JT Smith

By Robin Miller
Editor in Chief

I am writing this live from the press room of IDG’s LinuxWorld show, currently
in progress at the San Jose, Calif., convention center. Because this show is
being covered top to bottom by everyone from ZDNet to the Los Aptos (California)
Times, I
thought I’d take you to the one place you won’t read about elsewhere: the press
room.

Every trade show has a press room, and you can only get into it if you have a
“press” badge. The one here at LinuxWorld is just like the ones at other shows:
a reception area for general schmoozing and casual interviews, a “briefing room”
where press conferences are held, a lounge area with free food and drinks, and a
“working press” room like the one I am in now, equipped with computers on a fast
network that people like me can use to file stories.

The computer I am using here runs Linux. It is one of the 12 provided that does.
Another five run Windows, and there is one Macintosh. Another eight writers are
using their own laptops, hooked either to the show-provided network or to the
show-provided phone hookups. Of these, one is running Linux, three are Macs, and
five are running Windows.

The main thing about this room is that it is quiet compared to the convention
show floor; it is someplace you can come and type without interruption, as I am
doing now, without having to hike back to your hotel two or four blocks away.

Now back to the lounge: Reporters are famous for scarfing down free food and
drink, and providing it is a famous way of attracting their (our) attention.
Today’s feature lunch item here was chicken fajitas. I had a taste, but stuck
mostly to coffee. A good press room has good coffee (and real milk or cream). A
bad press room has bad coffee and, worse, artificial cream or, even worse,
instant coffee fixings and powdered creamer.

But the real reason to put out all this honey to attract fly-like journalists is
to get them to attend the press briefings in the press-only conference room.
Companies that provide these briefings pay for the privilege. In the computer
field, there is such PR desperation that some of the players will do almost
anything to get media attention, up to and including paying multiple thousands
of dollars to trade show organizers for arranging these mini-press conferences,
which do have an advantage for reporters, in that they allow them to meet
with some of the show’s more notable speakers in less-crushed circumstances than
when they are giving keynote speeches.

For the reporters, aside from the “access” to briefings and Q&A sessions with
notable show speakers, the free food, and the pleasant room from which they can
file stories, the biggest attraction here in the press center is the chance to
schmooze with fellow writers and editors. Freelance assignment deals are made
here. Rumors are passed; a second ago I heard that Michael Cowpland might resign
as CEO of Corel, and the reporter who was seeking confirmation of this rumor
immediately ran toward Corel’s booth on the convention floor, trailed by several
others who were as hot as he was for this potential big-in-the-Linux-community
scoop. I stayed behind, chatting with a book publisher and several other
people who were not in the mood to chase scoops, but wanted to sit quietly and
drink coffee and generally not go face all the bustle and hustling on the show
floor.

Besides, if Cowpland resigns, everyone will cover it, and I’m sure we’ll find
the links and point to them from NewsForge, so I might as well stay here in the
quiet press area, and perhaps take in a briefing or two. Press areas are
usually the most relaxed and friendliest places at computer trade shows, and at
Linux shows they tend to be even nicer.

Believe me, if I could possibly invite you to join me here, I would. You’d like
it better than most of the noise that seems to have become the overriding
characteristic of Linux trade shows these days.

tomorrow: more Linux World Expo coverage

Category:

  • Linux

Linux wins acceptance in computer mainstream

Author: JT Smith

“The computer operating system, once barely known outside the world of nonconformist computer buffs looking for a free way around using Microsoft Corp.’s Windows, has gone mainstream.” That’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s take on the opening of LinuxWorld.

Category:

  • Linux

Dell speaks: Linux a ‘significant growth opportunity’

Author: JT Smith

LWN reports on Dell’s speech at LinuxWorld. On the desktop, Linux now has an equivalent user base to MacIntosh, which is pretty impressive, plus Linux has the largest growth of any operating system, he says. Also, Debian wins the Linus Torvalds Award.
Related stories: ZDNet says, “Michael Dell sings out Linux’s praises.” CNet’s angle on the Dell speech, “Dell looks to keep Sun at bay with Linux.”

Category:

  • Linux

Himalaya S-Series to use BSDi’s TCP/IP implementation

Author: JT Smith

From an announcement by Berkeley Software Design Inc. on BSD Today: Compaq Computer Corporation has licensed the BSD parallel library TCP/IP stack for use in Compaq’s NonStop Himalaya S-Series computers. Compaq has announced this new version of TCP/IP as Parallel Library TCP/IP.