Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Commerce page.
Bluepoint Linux is a publicly-traded company; the beginning of
trading was announced
by the company this week. Bluepoint is trading on the over-the-counter
market under the symbol BLPT; volume, thus far, is
light. For a lot of people who watch the Linux business community
Bluepoint came, well, out of the blue. What is this company, and how did
it manage to go public so quietly?
Bluepoint is a vendor of Chinese-localized Linux distributions, based in
the city of Shenzen. The "Bluepoint Linux 1.0" product is available now,
and can be downloaded from their site. It has the look of a Red
Hat-derived distribution. Bluepoint claims to have bundling agreements
with the three largest Chinese PC vendors, giving it "80% of the Chinese
Linux bundling market." Bluepoint's web site also talks about a future
embedded distribution and consulting services.
Two web sites are operated by the company, both in Chinese. bluepoint.com.cn is the regular
corporate site; they also own openunix.org, which is claimed to be "the most influential
Linux site in China." For those of us who
don't read Chinese, they also have a few pages in
One of the things Bluepoint claims is support for the Chinese character set
at the kernel level. So we pulled down their kernel source package and
checked things out. Bluepoint's kernel is a fairly vanilla 2.2.13 one,
with the addition of a pair of new codepages and support for a Chinese
console. There appears to have been a fair amount of work done to make the
console work right - a significant chunk of code has been added. No word
on whether it has ever been submitted for inclusion into the standard
kernel. Bluepoint has also included an updated set of USB drivers.
Bluepoint also claims a localized version of the X window system. Their X
work, however, is explicitly proprietary.
How Bluepoint came to be public is an interesting story. If you dig
through Bluepoint's SEC filings, you'll come across this information
statement describing a change in ownership of the corporation. It
seems that, in February, something called Shenzhen Sinx Software Company
was acquired by "MAS Acquisition XI Corp," which promptly changed its name
to "Bluepoint Linux Software Company."
MAS Acquisition XI Corp. was owned by a certain Aaron Tsai. It registered
its stock with the SEC last year; some interesting things can be found in
registration statement. MAS Acquisition XI went public as a company
with no revenue, operations, or even business plan. From the statement:
The Company's purpose is to seek, investigate and, if such
investigation warrants, acquire an interest in business
opportunities presented to it by persons or firms who or which
desire to seek the perceived advantages of an Exchange Act
registered corporation. The Company will not restrict its search
to any specific business, industry, or geographical location and
the Company may participate in a business venture of virtually any
kind or nature.
In other words, this company is a "blank check" firm that was created for
the sole purpose of providing a "back door" path for another company to go
public. Bluepoint took the opportunity; it now has a pain-free public
listing, and Mr. Tsai has a few hundred thousand shares for his pains. He
seems to be doing well in general - "MAS Acquisition XI" is not the only
company of this type he has created - numbers I through X also exist.
The current market capitalization of the company is on the order of
$3-400 million - not bad for a company that few have heard of. That
puts them in the same scale as eOn Communications, Applix, and GraphOn.
Bluepoint has higher ambitions, though. From the press release:
"Management believes Bluepoint Linux in China is similar to Red Hat
Linux (Nasdaq:RHAT) in the United States, with a $13 billion market cap,
and comparable to VA Linux Systems (Nasdaq:LNUX)."
There is no doubt that the principals of Bluepoint would like to be working
with the same sort of market capitalization. That's probably wishful
thinking for now - it is hard to get the respect of investors by coming in
through the back door. But Bluepoint does appear to be a real company
doing some real work, and the Chinese market should eventually be huge.
They may eventually get somewhere.
(See also: this
announcement from Bluepoint that Bluepoint Linux won a performance test
carried out by PC World China Weekly).
Corel news: Corel has been in the news for a few reasons this week,
O'Reilly releases 'MP3: The Definitive Guide. O'Reilly and
Associates has announced the release of the MP3:
The Definitive Guide. This book "introduces the power-user to all
aspects of MP3 technology. It delves into detail on obtaining, recording,
and optimizing MP3 files using both commercial and Open Source methods, and
covering four platforms..."
LinuxMall.com and Frank Kasper & Associates complete merger
LinuxMall.com and Frank Kasper & Associates have announced
the completion of their merger. The new company (which remains
LinuxMall.com) will now handle both retail and wholesale distribution of
Linux products, giving it a large portion of the Linux marketplace.
LinuxMall.com has also put out this
press release presenting itself as a direct challenge to Microsoft.
"Recent acquisitions and mergers, including a strategic merger with
Frank Kasper & Associates to solidify distribution channels, have poised
LinuxMall.com to assume the role of the world's largest 'arms dealer' in
the Linux revolution."
German Chameleon Inks Deal with Canadian Dust Puppy SuSE has
announced a deal with UserFriendly.org. It
seems to involve SuSE using the UserFriendly characters on its web site and
BSDi and Walnut Creek are merging into a new company to be called
"BSD Inc." This merger brings together a large vendor of a closed-source
BSD variant and a big supporter of FreeBSD, a free BSD variant. They
evidently plan to merge the two systems with the final result being still
called "FreeBSD," and being primarily an open source product. It's an
interesting development - the first big consolidation in the free BSD
world. For more information, see this Daemon News
article, where we learned everything we know...
Zend PHP Optimizer for free download. Zend Technologies has
announced the release of their Zend Optimizer,
available for free download. This is a commercial product. "The Zend
Optimizer uses multi-pass code optimizations to double the running speed of
PHP 4.0 applications. "
New Sendmail Switch product line now available Sendmail Inc. has announced
the availability of its new "Sendmail Switch" product line, with prices up
to $4500. As a sort of "by the way," they also mention that regular
sendmail 8.10 is available for download.
Meet the PeopleBot ActivMedia has
the availability of the PeopleBot, a
(relatively) low-cost robot which is programmable under Linux.
It looks like a fun toy, but with a face only a robotic mother could love.
Prices start at $6,000.
TurboLinux and Linksys sign bundling deal. TurboLinux and Linksys
a deal wherein the TurboLinux distribution will be bundled with Linksys
ethernet adapters. There will be 1.2 million copies distributed in
MontaVista receives $9 million investment. MontaVista Software, the
company behind the "Hard Hat Linux" real-time and embedded distribution,
that it has received $9 million in investments.
internet.com acquires LinuxApps.com Internet.com has announced
the acquisition of LinuxApps.com.
Section Editor: Jon Corbet.
Open Souce Products:
- OpenDocs, LLC
announced the book Developing Applications for Linux: KDE
Edition is now available.
STFB Inc. plans to change the open source market for Windows
application software by offering open source licensing on all of its
current and on all of its future accounting and ERP products. These
products include Integral Accounting for VB, Integral Accounting
for SQL, Integral Accounting for Java and Integral Accounting for
- VA Linux Systems has formally
announced the SourceForge CompileFarm - a set of systems
running different distributions allowing packages to be built for all.
Commercial Products for Linux:
announced LinuxVideos.com, which offers a variety of
Adaptec, Inc. announced that its Ultra160 SCSI product line
will support the Itanium processor, the first in Intel's IA-64
processor line. Adaptec's 64-bit drivers are already embedded in the
IA-64 Linux kernel.
- Looking for the perfect gift for the Linux geek in your life? Check
out this press
release about Elfstone Software's Attic Treasures. This disc
contains tools, applications and utilities, and much more.
eOn Communications Corporation introduced the eOn Web Center
Software Suite, an application for routing, tracking and
responding to e-mail and Internet-based communications in real time.
PowerCerv Corporation announced that its enterprise application
software solutions are certified and functional on IBM Netfinity
servers with Caldera OpenLinux eServer 2.3.
Prolific Inc. introduced ProGenesis 2000, the latest
version of its Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software.
- Quadratec Software announced that its backup and restore
application, Time Navigator, has added support for VXA-1 tape
drives from Ecrix Corporation.
- Three Axis has
announced that it will be porting Nanosaur, a Macintosh
game, to Linux.
VirtualSellers.com Inc. announced that its TAME software
has been selected for inclusion on the Red Hat Linux Application
Library CD (LAL), which will be included with the next version of Red
YARC Systems Corporation announced the release of version 1.50 of
its Postscript 3 Raster Image Processor software. This release
implements full 6 color ICC capability.
Products Using Linux:
eConnect announced that the eConnect/RGTecq Linux Transaction
server successfully sent a full Internet ATM card with PIN message
format to eFunds, which will be the United States Host processor for
eCashPad Internet originated transactions.
eConnect announced its initial global network will consist
of host systems in the United States, Ireland, Hong Kong, Australia
and the Dominican Republic, driving the eConnect eCashPad transactions
which are being routed to the eConnect Hosts by the eConnect/RGTecq
Framfab has a speaking clock that uses a PC-based server
equipped with Linux.
LLC announced the Linux-based Pop & Server and
autoSTUFFER, tools to integrate virtual stores with on-site office
computer systems across the fire wall.
Gateway introduced its first server appliance, the Gateway
Micro Server, a 7.3-inch cube that supports up to 100 users with
shared applications such as Internet services and e-mail.
Showstar Online.com, Inc. announced the introduction of its first
portal development product Showstar Webmail, which uses Linux
servers and SSL encryption.
- Lutris Technologies has
announced that it will be distributing the Enhydra application server on CD at
Products with Linux Versions:
BiTMICRO NETWORKS unveiled "the world's fastest" EIDE solid state
flash disk, the ATX35 E-Disk.
Brooktrout Technology announced that it has doubled the density of
the TR1000 high density messaging development platform, which
now supports up to 60 channels of voice and 8 channels of intelligent
fax on a single card.
Computational Engineering International released EnSight 7,
a major new release featuring a totally revamped graphical user
interface (GUI) and the ability to simultaneously visualize multiple
Computron Software, Inc. announced Linux support on Computron's
e-Cellerator technology-based product lines.
CyberStar Computer Corporation announced that they have launched
EnetPC v1.0 B2B configurator software with Personal Computer
Services, Inc. (PCSI), which allows people to configure the systems
they want online.
Dialogic, a subsidiary of Intel, announced its availability of the
DS-3 high-end network interface card.
Dot Hill Systems Corp. announced the SANnet 3200 and 4200
series of storage systems
Eizo Nanao Technologies announced FlexScan L661 and L680 18.1"
viewable-image flat-panel monitors.
Eizo Nanao Corporation announced the FlexScan F930, a 21
inch (55 cm) CRT monitor for business, CAD/CAM, graphic design and
desktop publishing applications.
GENROCO, Inc. announced TURBOstorR Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) to
Fibre Channel (FC) bridging and routing switch with software
drivers for many platforms, including Linux.
InnoMediaLogic Inc. announced the availability of its HYPER-T3
DS-3/STS-1 adapter for packet voice networks.
LSI Logic introduced the single chip SYMFC929 dual channel PCI
to Fibre Channel protocol controller for 32/64-bit 33/66MHz PCI
Lugaru Software announced the release of version 10 of the
Epsilon Programmer's Editor, a customizable and extensible
editor featuring EMACS and Brief key bindings.
NEON Systems, Inc. announced that its Diplomat product now
supports the Linux platform.
Paramount Technologies, Inc. announced the release of
B2B-WorkPlace 7.0, a Web-based procurement service.
Performance Technologies, Inc. announced the CPC376, the
latest product for T1/E1 telecom network connectivity.
RadiSys Corp. launched the EPC-3306 system controller, a
CompactPCI (cPCI)-based single board computer.
- Reliable Software announced a joint collaboration with
Swedish-based Klaralvdalens Datakonsult AB to port Code Co-op,
a full-featured version control system, to the Linux platform.
SafeTPay announced a new service that allows consumers to
purchase goods and pay bills over the Internet using their existing
ATM-card with PIN (Personal Identification Number).
Spatial Inc. announced 3DShare Enterprise (3DS-e), its
Intranet-based, CAD file translation and repair solution.
Veritools, Inc. announced a Verilog lint checker, HDL Lint
Veritools announced the release of two new products, Ut_batch
and the SuperC-SystemC Simulator, for HDL 2000.
VMware, Inc. announced the production release of VMware 2.0 for
Linux now available for immediate download.
Xenos Group announced the availability of Documorph 2.1,
now with Linux support.
Partnerships, Investments and Acquisitions:
Andover.Net and T.C.X. DataKonsult AB of Stockholm, Sweden,
publisher of the MySQL relational database, announced a joint
development program to implement database replication in MySQL.
Berkeley Systems Design, Inc., better known as BSDI, and Walnut
Creek CDROM, the primary backer of FreeBSD, are merging.
Brocker Technology Group Ltd. announced that their subsidiary
Sealcorp Computer Products will be the sole distributor of SGI
products in New Zealand.
eOn Communications Corporation announced an agreement with
Progressive Telecommunications Corporation for the purchase and
installation of eOn's eQueue 4000 communications server.
GoAhead Software and Ziatech Corporation announced a
strategic partnership to integrate GoAhead's cross-platform high
availability software with selected Ziatech CompactPCI solutions. The
end result should be available in a Linux version.
GraphOn Corporation and Tianjin Development Holdings Ltd.,
announced they have launched a joint venture called GraphOn China Ltd.
Lynx Real-Time Systems, Inc. announced delivery of
Hewlett-Packard Company's ChaiVM, embedded virtual-machine
technology on Lynx' BlueCat Linux operating system.
Merlin Software Technologies announced the signing of an
agreement with G.T. Enterprises, India's largest Linux
NaviSite, Inc. announced it had entered an alliance agreement with
Angstrom Microsystems. As part of the agreement, Angstrom
Microsystems will join NaviSite's list of premier development
partners, allowing NaviSite to work with Angstrom Microsystems to
offer a complete, end-to-end Linux-based e-business system, including
hardware, operating system, software and support.
- Qarbon.com and SuSE have
announced the "Linux Viewlet Project." "The project is
designed to provide millions of Linux developers and users with a
database of free Viewlets addressing the widest possible range of
Quantum Corporation announced that IBM's Netfinity Servers
can be equipped with Quantum's new Super DLTtape technology.
Savoir Technology Group, Inc. became an authorized distributor
of SCO's Tarantella Enterprise II Web-enabling software. A Linux
version of Tarantella is due out in April.
TCI Business Innovations and Smart World Technologies
announced a new partnership to extend free 56k Internet dialup service
to the North American Linux community.
Tech Data Corp., in conjunction with Caldera Systems Inc., is
launching an Authorized Linux Education Center for IT
Ariel Corp. reported net sales for the year ended December
31, 1999. Ariel's products run on Linux systems.
EMJ Data Systems Ltd., developer of White Dwarf Linux, announced
its second quarter results for the six months ended January 31,
eOn Communications Corporation announced financial results for
its second fiscal quarter ended January 31, 2000. They make
Linux-based communications server products.
Wave Technologies reports improved 3rd quarter results. A
strong demand for Linux certification is cited.
- Tom Adelstein, Founder and CIO of
Bynari Inc. announced the appointment of E. Scott Crist, Chief
Executive Officer of Telscape International, Inc. to their the
Board of Directors.
Caldera Systems Inc. announced that it has named Richard
Wiltbank director of sales for Caldera Europe, Middle East and
Inprise Corporation announced that C. Robert Coates, CEO of
Management Insights, Inc., has resigned from the Board of
LAND-5 Corporation announced that Alton G. Keel, Jr. has been
named Chairman and CEO.
- Red Hat has
announced the appointment of Harold Covert, Adobe's ex-CFO,
as Chief Financial Officer. No word on what happened to Manoj George,
the previous CFO...
Tripwire, Inc. announced the appointment of Denise Hayman,
successful sales and management professional, as its new vice
president of worldwide sales.
Dialogic, a subsidiary of Intel, announced that it has expanded
its operating system platform coverage with the addition of support
- eLinux.com has
announced an affiliate program. They present it as being "in
support of the Linux community" ...
Group 1 Software announced that effective March 15, 2000, the
company will add Red Hat Linux 6.1 to its list of supported
operating systems and platforms.
- The launch of MaximumLinux.com
announced. The site comes out ahead of the Maximum Linux print
magazine, due on the stands next month.
- TurboLinux has
announced the opening of a new Australian office (in Sydney).
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.
March 9, 2000