Wikipedia Converts to Ubuntu — is Change Coming?

October 10 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future
Category: Technology   Year: 2008   Rating: 5 Hot

The Wikimedia Foundation, home of Wikipedia, the 8th ranked site on the internet, is switching its servers (all 400 of them) over to an Ubuntu operating system. “Wikimedia’s move to Ubuntu is part of an effort to simplify administration of the organization’s 400 servers, which previously ran a mix of various versions of Red Hat and Fedora.” The volunteers and staff (consisting of five people) cite ease of use and simplicity of server migration making everything “a million times easier.”

So what is the appeal of Ubuntu?

For starters, it’s free. Anyone staring at a Mac or Windows Operating System at your local tech-mart knows that to get a good operating system you may have to shell out as much as $200.

Secondly, Ubuntu is open-source. Although many are still confused or wary of open-source software, we’re seeing an explosion of it in the last few years. Firefox, a popular open-source web browser, has gone from 3% of the global market in 2005 to almost 20% today with over 500 million downloads. There’s just something about open-source software that appeals to many people — the idea that you’re using something from a community and not a corporation.

So what does this mean in the long run? Although Ubuntu may take a while to get used to, we will see it gracing the desktops of users more and more in the next five years. If it really takes off, Microsoft may find itself a company that builds applications instead of operating systems. Even Apple is expecting some heated competition for its iPhone operating system with the release of the Linux-based Google Android mobile phone software.

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Linux Kernal on the iPhone — Does Android Dominate the Mobile Future?

December 01 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2010   Rating: 2

AndroidThe Linux community could be described as a group of people across the globe with the best of intentions, but even within the Linux community there are still splits and divisions.

While the idea is to create community-based software that is free to everyone, getting quality software can be hard since instead of working on one program which can, let's say, edit video, there are multiple programs out there to perform this function.  This has always surprised me about the Linux community.  I always figured there would be just one program developers would work on to make the best instead of wasting their resources by working on multiple programs that perform the same function.

Why are there tons of media players when there should just be one?  Why are there various operating systems when there should be just one?  Even Ubuntu has multiple off-shoots which is understandable since people want to gear their computer towards gaming or speed specifically.  But a media player?

But now it seems we might be seeing one platform dominating a field where previously there had been over 50 varieties.

Android has made Linux users happy with their Open Source Operating System.  You can tell by looking through many of the different forums or sites Linux users use.  Just about anytime you see a reference to a mobile phone operating system, Android is referenced in spades.  A team of developers recently put the Linux kernal onto the iPhone.  The reaction?  People couldn't wait to try and put Android onto the iPhone.  And while Apple has tried its best to keep the iPhone from being re-programmed, it may prove futile in the end.

The only hope Apple has now of avoiding the loss of its operating system (and becoming only a hardware manufacturer) is if it too opens up its programming to users and generates support from the community.  As of now the iPhone is a novelty that, once Android is able to replicate or exceed, will eventually wear off.  Then again, it may already be too late for Apple.