Joe Barr

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When I first heard about IBM's Linux Technology Center, my ears pricked up because Austin, Texas, was regularly mentioned in conjunction with it. I pictured the LTC as part of IBM's complex of buildings on and around Braker Lane in north Austin. That impression was so firmly entrenched in my mind that I contacted IBM and asked about visiting the center and interviewing some of the company's top Linux geeks. Big Blue gently informed me that I was mistaken; the LTC is a virtual center, not a physical one. Still, my curiosity about the LTC remained high. This week, I'll present what I've learned about the LTC since then. Many of the LTC's key players are my neighbors: for example, Sheila Harnett, the LTC technical lead; George Kraft of the Linux Standards Base; and Steve Best, who leads the team porting IBM's JFS (journaled filesystem) to Linux. But of course, the LTC ... (more)

Understanding stealth scans: Forewarned is forearmed

If you stay connected to the Internet, you will be scanned. It's a fact of life. If you have a continuous connection, you'll be scanned regularly, quite often by someone with bad intentions. This week's column is a basic primer on scanning: what it is, why it's done, and the wonderful world of "secret handshakes" and stealth scans. Scanning a system, or a network, is normally done in order to find out what services are available. But remember, there are two groups who do it regularly. The good guys -- system administrators and network security folk -- do it to see what is exposed... (more)

Meet the Perens (Part 2): Secret preloads, Bitkeeper and TCO

(LinuxWorld) — Here it is, just as promised. This is the conclusion of the Perens extravaganza begun last week. This week's column is made up of excerpts from my conversation with Perens two weeks ago. The conversation followed no set course. My questions were not pre-ordained; they wandered over the Linux terrain like it was a cow-path in Texas. But Perens' responses were lucid, well-informed and very interesting. I have trimmed and edited the conversation a bit in order to pack as much of it as I could into this week's space. Lobbying for change LW: Let's say that I, as a hot-h... (more)

Larry McVoy on BitKeeper, kernel development, Linus Torvalds & Bruce Perens

Not long after the second part of the most recent Perens interview went online, we got email from Larry McVoy. He said there were some factual errors in the Perens piece and asked what our policy was on corrections. We assured him that we always tried to make corrections when they were needed and asked what the errors had been. He pointed out two: Perens' claims that BitMover (McVoy's company, which produces BitKeeper,) had trouble making payroll and that McVoy was constantly threatening to sue him. Thinking that a story on BitKeeper — the controversial proprietary source managem... (more)

Linux at NASCAR.com: It's the pits

(LinuxWorld) — Joe Aramendia, my son-in-law, has made his first two starts in NASCAR Busch Series events this year: first at Rockingham, then in Las Vegas. As a result, I've been practicing saying "tar" instead of tire, pondering the meaning of phrases like "driving off the hood" and "drive it like you stole it," and hanging out on NASCAR.com to learn what's new during the week prior to the race. Susan has broken me of the habit of scuffing up my "tars" while driving into town. NASCAR.com, as you might have guessed, is the official Web site of NASCAR. Turner Interactive, a... (more)