By Carla Schroder

Carla Schroder
....2007 was a good year for computing on a number of different levels:
better cheaper hardware, Linux continued to mature and grow, and
thanks to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) there is not only some
actual competition in the tech marketplace, but real growth and

The most important thing that came to light this year is how much
Linux and FOSS drive the computer industry. It's not the oldtime
traditional commercial companies that are "driving innovation" as they
like to say, and which makes me want to hit something every time I
hear it because it's such a big fat fib, but Linux and the FOSS world.
So rather than getting all violent, let's take a look at some of the
ways that Linux is leaving everyone else in the dust.

Innovation Poster Child: OpenBIOS

....thus we have the OpenBIOS project. This has launched a number of
BIOS project such as LinuxBIOS, which is used in the OLPC (One Laptop
Per Child), and is finding its way into mainstream motherboards. The
OLPC is an amazing innovation story in itself, and which would never,
not in googol years, have emerged from any of the billionaire whiners
who can't stop badmouthing it, even as they try to horn in and cash

Security long last the FOSS world has two powerful tools to protect us
from the unknown: SELinux and AppArmor. The concepts are similar: both
craft a sturdy layer of mandatory access controls over the time-
honored, but increasingly inadequate, Unix-style discretionary access
controls. Their goals are to confine processes as narrowly as
possible, to de-fang the power of privilege escalation, and to take
away the ability of malware to exploit unprivileged processes and

[Other areas...]

Wireless Ferment

Linux Boots From Anything and Rescues Everyone

Ubuntu Storms the Planet

Vista Who?

One that changed in for me was less coverage of mixed networks and
interoperability, even though I made a bold prediction in my 2006 year-
end roundup that interoperability would continue to be a primary
focus. Windows Vista is irrelevant in my little part of the world; I
have a copy of one of the eleventeen editions on a test machine, and I
have actually booted it up and poked at it, but it's hard for me to
get past "Seven years, billions of dollars, and this 15 gigabytes of
do-nothing lard is it??" More restrictions, less ability- what a
combination. But it's you wonderful readers who matter, so next year
I'll be dishing out some juicy migration howtos, and looking at the
interesting new and old players in the interoperability arena.