The Almanac

Windows, Linux Books Coming This Spring

Here's a sampling of forthcoming books about operating systems, as reported by Publishers Weekly:

Linux on the Mainframe, by John Eilert, Maria Eisenhaendler, Dorothy Matthaeus and Ingolf Salm (Prentice Hall, May 2003)

Inside Windows Server 2003, by William Boswell (Addison-Wesley, March 2003)

Linux Server Hacks, by Rob Flickenger (O'Reilly, March 2003)

Introducing Microsoft Windows Server 2003, by Jerry Honeycutt (Microsoft Press, March 2003)

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Administrator's Companion, by Charlie Russel, Sharon Crawford and Jason Gerend (Microsoft Press, April 2003)

Inside Windows Server 2003
Linux Security Cookbook, by Daniel J. Barrett and Richard Silverman (O'Reilly, May 2003)

Windows Server 2003: A Beginner's Guide, by Martin Matthews (Osborne, April 2003)

Windows Server 2003: The Complete Reference, by Kathy Ivens (Osborne, April 2003)

Do You Need a 'Meta OS'?

As if it's not enough for CIOs to have to migrate to newer versions of Windows or decide whether to jump on the Linux bandwagon, now there's a buzz surrounding the fuzzy concept of a "meta operating system."

As analyst Amy D. Wohl, president of Wohl Associates in Narberth, Pa., recently explained in "Middleware Spectra," a meta operating system is a grand scheme to use automated tools to help IT organizations configure, monitor, manage and control their entire computing environments. Already, major vendors have meta OS initiatives under way. For example, IBM has its "autonomic computing" effort , and Sun Microsystems Inc. offers N1 management software . Grid computing, Web services and storage virtualization are also part of the trend, Wohl says.

Meanwhile, she says, "Microsoft will try to create a new scale of operating system where the desktop and the corporate server are merely pieces of some much larger operating system environment which is under Microsoft's control."

The automated management tools of a meta OS could solve a lot of problems for short-handed IT operations, but Wohl's article notes that CIOs will have to be persuaded to let a computer do work now performed by IT staffers.

Patent Watch

Eye tracking to manage computer resources. A video camera monitors which application window or display the user is looking at, so a special operating system can allocate more resources to that application or display (and less to the others). For example, if there are two monitors, the monitor that isn't being used will go into standby mode to save power. Inventor: Brian R. Nickerson at Intel Corp.

- U.S. Patent No. 6,526,159, issued Feb. 25

Running multiple Java applications simultaneously, regardless of the operating system and without invoking separate Java interpreters. An embedded software module sits between the Java virtual machine and the multiple Java applications and allows the open applications to communicate with each other, without conflicts. Inventor: Kumanan Yogaratnam at Espial Group Inc., Ottawa.

- U.S. Patent No. 6,513,158, issued Jan. 28

Intercepting certain operating system messages to make retail kiosks more user-friendly. Kiosks typically use off-the-shelf PCs and software (to keep costs down), but some of the standard features, such as tool bars, dialog boxes and the right-click of the mouse, are unnecessary or detract from the user experience at public kiosks. Those kiosks need to be foolproof, so a daemon program operates in the background to block selected operating system messages. Inventors: Michael T. Madl, William P. Shaouy and Marcus F. Nucci at IBM.

- U.S. Patent No. 6,513,071, issued Jan. 28

Research Roundup

• In a survey of 400 Linux software developers by Evans Data Corp., 94% of respondents said their Linux system hasn't been infected by a virus, and more than 75% said their Linux system has never been hacked.

• The No. 1 barrier to Linux adoption is inertia: Many users are satisfied with their current non-Linux operating systems, according to a survey of 100 IT managers by The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The No. 2 barrier is the lack of packaged applications available for Linux.

• In an Evans Data survey of 1,000 software developers in China, 65% of the respondents said they expect to write an application for Linux this year, and 44% said they have already done so.

Wide, But Not Deep

An Evans Data survey found that 60% of the respondents’ companies use Linux on servers in some capacity. But these deployments don’t run deep: Linux is confined to less than a quarter of their servers.

How many of your servers run Linux today?

Up to a quarter47.4%
A quarter to half9.3%
Half to three quarters1.3%
More than three quarters1.8%

BASE: 399 corporate programmers

Source: Evans Data Corp., Santa Cruz, Calif., November 2002

Fear the Penguin
Linux is expected to grab a quarter of the worldwide market for server operating systems by 2006
Fear the Penguin

Please click on image above for a readable version.

Source: IDC, Framingham, Mass., November 2002

Special Report

Users in the OS Slow Lane

Stories in this report:

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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