Fear not, gadget geeks, for in future issues we'll fully cover the new ASUS Eee PC—so much so that you'll grumble “enough already!” The Eee PC is a new, ultraportable Linux-based laptop starting at (this is not a typo) $259 US. ASUS is marketing the 700 model (2GB Flash storage, 256MB of RAM) to first-time/elderly computer users, low-income households and K–12 education, while the 701 model (4GB Flash storage, 512MB of RAM) is mainly for PC owners seeking convenient mobility. Both models feature preloaded Xandros Linux, Intel Celeron-M 900MHz processor, 7" display, 10/100Mbps LAN, 802.11 b/g wireless, three USB 2.0 ports, MMC/SD card reader, VGA out, Windows XP compatibility/drivers, built-in camera (optional on the 700) and a four-cell battery. There are no optical drives; both models weigh in at 0.9kg/2lbs. At the time of this writing, ASUS projects that dealers should have the Eee PC by late September 2007.
Who knows where you'll find Linux next? One sure spot is the embedded brain inside Olive Media Products' new OPUS 307S audio system. The OPUS 307S, part of Olive's OPUS N°3 product line, is a stylish audio component that goes in your stereo rack and contains all of your digital music on its 250GB hard drive. The OPUS can store up to 700 CDs in lossless quality. Improvements on the OPUS 307S over previous Olive devices include perpendicular recording technology for lower power consumption, higher storage density, improved long-term reliability and inaudible operation. In addition, Olive will preload up to 300 of your CDs for free.
Move over Swiss Army knife, Lantronix has released its new SecureLinx Branch (SLB) Office Manager product, an IT management appliance that integrates a console server, power management and an Ethernet switch into a 1U rack-mountable device. With SLB, system administrators can securely manage a diverse range of servers and IT infrastructure equipment in branch/remote offices from anywhere via the Internet. SLB allows enterprises to avoid the cost of dedicated technicians and other expensive overhead at each satellite location.
A year ago we saw Lenovo tepidly dip its pinky-toe into the Linux waters by certifying and supporting its ThinkPad T60p notebook with user-installed SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED). This year finds Lenovo frolicking in the balmy Linux Sea, offering SLED preloaded and supported on its business-oriented ThinkPad T Series. Lenovo says that strong demand for Linux notebooks from customers made the preload option inevitable. Preloaded ThinkPads will be available to the general public in Q4 2007.
We've been tracking the buzz surrounding Sendio's I.C.E Box, an e-mail security appliance that reputedly blocks 100% of spam with no false positives. Although the I.C.E. Box has been shipping for several months, its Linux credentials recently came to our attention. Shunning the antispam filter approach, the I.C.E. Box performs a one-time verification that the sender of the message is someone with whom you indeed wish to communicate. The result is an end to the junk while maintaining legitimate communications. The appliance integrates seamlessly with any e-mail server and LDAP environment. A built-in Kaspersky antivirus engine also is included.
Software development with open-source code is great, but it can be complicated. This is why Black Duck Software created protexIP/development (now v4.4), “a platform that helps companies govern how their software assets are created, managed and licensed.” protexIP helps developers and legal counsel in managing the use of code from open-source projects who have explicitly decided to switch to GPLv3 and those that have not. Also included is an enhanced KnowledgeBase, a library of open-source and vendor-added code software components with detailed licensing information for more than 140,000 components.
Storix, Inc., recently released SBAdmin v6.2, touted as the first backup and system recovery solution to integrate with IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM). SBAdmin complements TSM's features and capabilities for Linux and AIX systems. SBAdmin also writes directly to the TSM server, which cuts extraneous steps, saves time and increases reliability. In addition, the application provides TSM users with disaster-recovery capabilities, including a feature called Adaptable System Recovery, which enables a system restore to the same or dissimilar hardware.
In the near future, Motorola expects 60% of its handsets to run on Linux, and the new MOTOMAGX platform is a means for realizing that goal. Motorola calls MOTOMAGX its “next-generation mobile Linux platform” that will “deliver new levels of openness, flexibility and support for third-party applications” on its devices. The company also hopes to empower its developer community to innovate in exciting ways. Currently, MOTOMAGX supports apps developed in Java ME and will soon support WebUI and native Linux application environments.
Here is an audio device that is not brand-new but new to me and hopefully to you too—Trinity Audio Group's Trinity Digital Audio Workstation. This slick, all-in-one device is a portable, professional recording studio that allows one to do anything imaginable with linear audio (for example, sample, edit, mix, play back and so on). Trinity does everything your laptop with an audio interface can do, only more conveniently and portably. Trinity runs on Linux and works with WAV, MP3 and Ogg Vorbis files. Several core audio apps are included, such as Audacity, Hydrogen drum machine, Ardour and more. Built-in 802.11g Wi-Fi lets you podcast from the field.
Thankfully, firms like IBM are starting to look at our serious environmental problems as challenges rather than barriers. IBM's new Big Green Linux initiative seeks to leverage Linux and other technologies to reduce costs and energy consumption by building cooler data centers for itself and its customers. Big Green Linux is a subset of IBM's broader, yet similar, Project Big Green. Specifics of Big Green Linux include server consolidation to System x and System p platforms; new efficient products, such as the Information Server Blade; contributions to the Linux kernel (such as tickless low-power state) and others.
By the time you flip to this page, SugarCRM will have its sweet new version 5.0 ready for you. This is the ninth major release of the popular commercial open-source customer relationship management package. New features, such as the ability to build custom modules, a new Ajax e-mail client and a Multi-Instance On-Demand architecture, are said to “enhance the ability to build, customize, scale and upgrade the application”. SugarCRM says its innovations are derived from feedback from 2,000 commercial customers and thousands of Open Source community members.
Trusted Computer Solutions has long made security solutions for the CIA and other spy agencies in Washington, DC, and now its new product, Security Blanket, aims to harden your Linux system with the same fervor. Trusted Computer Solutions calls Security Blanket “a system lock-down and security management tool that enables systems administrators to configure and enhance the security level of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating platform automatically”. The product's advantage is to simplify the current arduous methods (such as using Bastille) for “hardening” systems. Its menu-driven UI allows one to run either customized profiles or predefined ones that automate industry-standard best practices from the National Institute of Standards and the Center for Internet Security. Security Blanket supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5.