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Mark R. Hinkle

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Top Stories by Mark R. Hinkle

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 infinitely customizable to meet the needs of almost any situation. However, for it to be a viable desktop for the masses there seems to me that there has to be some common features that a large number of Linux desktop users would appreciate. I thought about this quite a bit and started my li... (more)

i-Technology Viewpoint: "Open Source Is Not a Trend, It's a Paradigm Shift"

I recently read an article in the "mainstream" media that gave me pause. The author made an assertion that the current trend towards Open Source might just be a passing fad. I thought about this and looked critically at the software industry, thinking about whether there was merit in that statement. After all, we have seen plenty of high flyers peter out in a software industry riddled with buzzwords and acronyms-of-the-day. I just don't believe that open source is one of them. When I worked in the Internet Service Provider (ISP) business, we saw every new consumer Internet fad f... (more)

2008 Is the Year of the Acquisition: The Only Question Now Is, "Who's Next?"

Mark Hinkle's Socialized Software Blog Is 2008 going to be the Year of the Acquisition?  Activity in 2007 was on the rise but now things seem to be at full speed. I remember when Alta Vista and Excite! were the hot search engines, my how the world has changed.  It looks like it’s narrowing down to a two horse race with Microsoft putting the moves on Yahoo! for about $44.6 billion (Notes from SearchEngineLand). I guess it’s really on now, Google versus Microsoft in a search engine death match. Yahoo! acquired Zimbra last year. I wonder what that means for the "Exchange k... (more)

*SPECIAL Linux.SYS-CON.com ANALYSIS* Bruce Perens White Paper on UserLinux

Linux evangelist Bruce Perens has made available his first draft, UserLinux: Repairing the Economic Paradigm of Enterprise Linux. Which at first read sounds like a good idea, even though it seems to bear many similarities to United Linux. UnitedLinux to date seems to have had very little impact on the Linux user community - due to SCO’s participation and the lack of unilateral support by Linux distribution vendors, most notably Red Hat. Analysis of UnitedLinux’s results to date may be helpful to those thinking about jumping on the UserLinux bandwagon. This is not to say that UserLi... (more)

Open Source, Part of a Bigger Trend

During my career I have had the privilege and the misfortune to be involved with quite a few nascent businesses. Some have been small, with no more than five or ten employees. To this day they still have that many or less. Others grew from 50 employees to over 10,000 in a very short time. In every case there was a technology component involved in my job. During this time I have consistently been an IT buyer. I still cringe at the $3,000 a piece I spent for DX2-33 PCs with 8MB for a financial services firm back in the mid-1990s, though at the time it was a heck of a deal. I still ... (more)