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 Serdar Yegulalp
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Articles by Serdar Yegulalp
posted in January 2008

So Open Source Is Mainstream -- Now What?

1/31/2008
This may not be "the year of Linux on the desktop" -- and who knows, maybe it is -- but there's little to no question that this is a pivotal year for open source as a mainstream economic phenomenon in the tech world, as my colleague Charles Babcock has indicated.  My big question is: what next?


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It's The Talent, Not Just The Technology

1/30/2008
Something I've noted in passing about the recent spate of open-source acquisitions -- Nokia and Trolltech, Sun and MySQL AB -- deserves to be expounded on at length.  What's being bought here is not the software, but the talent behind it.  The software is free, or as free as this sort of thing gets.  Talent is priceless.  That's what's being bought and sold here.


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A Chat With Movable Type's Anil Dash

1/29/2008
What with Six Apart's blogging/CMS software Movable Type now released in an open source edition, I decided to go directly to someone at the company -- namely, VP Anil Dash -- and talk to him about where his company's headed.  Movable Type's become one of my personal open source case studies, partly because I use the program myself (as does InformationWeek) and because I'v

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Nokia Snags Trolltech

1/28/2008
The latest open source acquisition just came down the pike, and from the outside it's one of the unlikelier pairings imaginable: Mobile handset vendor Nokia just made a $150+ million offer for open source software makers Trolltech.


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An Open Source Nightmare: What If It Ain't 'Open' No More?

1/24/2008
Most of my nightmares tend to be mundane nonsense about being late for school.  Folks in the open source community have nightmares about open source products becoming closed source properties.  That's nightmarish, to be sure, but I have to ask how much of the nightmare is not wholly real.


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Windows Vista SP1 Survival Guide

1/23/2008
Here's how to get ready for Windows Vista Service Pack 1, due from Microsoft in March, with its much needed performance enhancements, security upgrades, and compatibility revisions.

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How To Roll Your Own Linux Distro

1/23/2008
Whether you want to customize Knoppix, respin an existing distribution of the open-source operating system, like Puppy Linux, or are intent on creating your own package from scratch, we'll walk you through the process.

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OS/2 To Stay Closed, Says IBM

1/22/2008
Well, you can't say they didn't try.  After one of the more prominent online OS/2 communities (OS2 World) delivered a politely worded petition with 11,000 signatures to IBM to make OS/2 into an open source product, the word has come back from IBM: Sorry, but no.  Not happening.


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Microsoft 'Opens' Its Office Binary Formats

1/17/2008
If there's one document format out there that's been a de facto standard that defines de facto standards, it's the Microsoft Office .DOC format (vintage 1997-2003), which has the double whammy of being binary and proprietary, despite also being heavily reverse-engineered.  Now Microsoft has decided to kick off an open source
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The Open Source Freeloader Phenomenon

1/17/2008
After the filing of the Verizon / BusyBox suit, and after reading about any number of other, similar incidents where a company showed what could only be seen as flagrant disregard for the GPL, I had to ask myself: Why do people do this?  Are companies really that naive about the GPL, or do they just think they can get away with anything?


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Classic Games, Open Sourced: SimCity

1/15/2008
Not all open source software is Serious Business.  A project that caught my attention in the last couple of days is a port of the classic Infogrames / EA title SimCity -- released for just about every platform known to man -- into an open source implementation named Micropolis.


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Now Lenovo Loads Linux, Too

1/14/2008
When IBM sold its personal computer division to Chinese PC maker Lenovo, one of the flagship products that went along on that sale was its invaluable ThinkPad notebook line, home of some of the best engineering I've seen in notebook PCs in the entire time they've been on the market.  Now Lenovo is preparing to take the ThinkPad a step ahead and ship them with SUSE Linux preinstalled.


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Sony's Sudden Outbreak Of Common Sense

1/11/2008
Wow, that didn't take long.  Barely days after Sony's announcement about its peculiar plan to sell unprotected MP3s through a brick-and-mortar-store gift card system, it's relented and announced that it will begin selling portions of its music catalog as unprotected MP3s through -- who else? -- Amazon.com.


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Folly, Thy Name Is Sony (Again)

1/9/2008
Leave it to Sony to come up with a way to screw something up in a way that almost no one else has before.  Amidst the rush of news flooding out from CES, they announced their plan to sell music from their catalog without DRM -- and it sounds almost as dumb as DRM itself.


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Making FOSS 'Sticky'

1/8/2008
There was a lot of intriguing feedback from my last post, about the MakeTheMove.Net campaign to get people to switch to Linux.  Most of it revolved around the issue I'd touched on with my own discussion: Amongst nontechnical users, Linux (and probably open source in general) has a bit of a PR problem, and the people doing the adv

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MakeTheMove.Net: Campaigning For Linux

1/7/2008
Never underestimate the power of a clever ad campaign.  Love them or hate them, the white-studio Apple ads have made the Mac that much more visible and enticing an option to PC users.  Now a cadre of Canberra Linux Users group folks have crafted a simple Web site to compel Windows and closed-source software uses to switch to Linux/FOSS: Make The Move.  It's a great idea, but as much as I hate to admit it, I think the delivery

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From BeOS To Haiku

1/3/2008
Who remembers BeOS?  The "media OS", produced by a company with former Apple alum Jean-Louis Gassée at the helm, and which was briefly considered as a possible replacement for the Mac OS?  Well, after an all-too-brief moment of possibility, it died.  Ended up in the hands of Palm, and a few people (me included) shook their heads at what could have been.  And now, after a fashion, it's been reborn.  Me

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