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Mark R. Hinkle

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Top Stories by Mark R. Hinkle

The thing I like about Linux.SYS-CON.com is that most of the authors by and large practice what they preach. Every one of our staff is involved with a Linux vendor company, a non-profit, or is an active user of Open Source technology. I think it's an incredible benefit to you as a reader to have a practitioner's point-of-view rather than that of pundits who have to depend on the quality of their sources when reporting on technology. You also get to benefit from the anecdotal information they get by partnering with Linux and Open Source users to solve their problems. For example, our reviews editor Matt Frye spends his days migrating applications from Solaris to Linux, Ibrahim Haddid works for the Open Source Development Labs (the home of Linus Torvalds), Greg Wallace is the co-founder of Emu Software (www.emusoftware.com), where as of January 1 I'll be his co-worker... (more)

Linux.SYS-CON.com Exclusive: What Would UserLinux Look Like?

Last Monday at the Desktop Linux Consortium Conference at Boston University’s Tyngsboro, Massachusetts Campus there was a lot of talk about a “UserLinux” distribution. The topic was sparked by remarks by Bruce Perens who voiced a need for a distribution that was designed to meet community needs for a desktop operating system based on the Linux community favorite Debian distribution. I contacted Bruce who has been kind enough to interject some comments to my own text. They are marked [thus]. The thought of UserLinux sparked my thinking. The thing I like about Linux is that it’s ... (more)

Inflection Points

Inflection points in mathematics are those points on a graph where its concavity changes. Andy Grove, founder of Intel, defined inflection points in the business world as events that change the way we think and act. And to that end Linux is most certainly the cause of an inflection point. Linux is triggering many people to change the way they think and act with regards to computing. Over the last decade many enterprises have followed a few dominant IT vendors with commercial offerings and rarely hesitated about costs associated with their solutions. Now more enterprises are conver... (more)

Getting Pot Odds from Open Source

I'm a poker junkie. Yes, the game that's been played at kitchen tables and on riverboats for the last 150 years. The game that American folk hero Wild Bill Hickok was playing in Deadwood when he was gunned down holding two pairs - aces and eights - since then know as the dead man's hand. The same game that has taken its place side-by-side with real athletic events on ESPN and has made virtual rock stars out of the guys that a few short years ago would have been considered to be living on the fringe of society. What makes poker so seductive, at least to me, is that you can win wit... (more)

rPath: The Software Appliance Company

One of the most touted benefits of Linux and open source programs is their flexibility. However, as the popularity of Linux has grown, some of the flexibility seems to have been sacrificed. As larger Linux vendors have become more standardized to support certified applications, the freedom to mold your Linux distribution to your needs has diminished a bit. Adding an unsupported kernel module or otherwise modifying your distro may void your support contract or introduce other problems that are not easily resolved. Even larger, well-established independent software vendors who wish ... (more)