Stories by Russell Pavlicek

A database query

One of the more common queries I hear is, “What database should I use under Linux?” That is actually a pleasantly difficult question, because there are a number of choices that depend on what you want to do.

Opinion: Let the battle begin

I have one basic prediction for open source in 2003: The competition between Microsoft and the open-source world will become fierce.

Opinion: D-word dissection

When we take a look into disruptive technologies, it is also a good time to consider the disruptive nature of open-source software. The subject is due for attention, given the recent comments I've received suggesting that open source is a form of "antibusiness communism."

Security by numbers?

A recent Aberdeen Group Inc. report claims that open source is less secure than Windows.

Opinion: It drive(r)s me crazy

Every time I buy a piece of PC hardware, I take a trip down memory lane. As I unpack the box, I generally find the device (whatever it is), an instruction booklet, and a driver diskette or CD.

A tale of two markets

In August, Caldera International held a major event to declare that its new name would be The SCO Group. According to some folks in attendance, many resellers were overjoyed with the announcement. They could once again promote the SCO name in their marketplace. Rather than working with a Linux company that sells Unix, they were now working with a Unix company that sells Linux. And they loved it.

Red-mond Hat?

I guess it's that time again. About once every quarter, someone circulates the story that the open-source world is cowering in fear over the possibility that Red Hat Inc. may become the next Microsoft Corp.

Set a Linux standard

The recently completed LinuxWorld Expo in San Francisco dealt with business -- lots of business. But one issue that concerns many companies developing solutions for Linux is the number of different Linux distributions. The earlier fragmentation of the Unix operating system left many desiring the one-size-fits-all approach promised by Microsoft Corp. -- even if it wasn't really one size and it really didn't fit all. As a result, many businesses look at the various Linux distributions and fear that history will repeat itself.

Take it for a test drive

When it comes to buying cars, I hate test drives. Maybe I've encountered just one too many used-car salesmen with bad hair and a disingenuous smile who would gladly sell his grandmother to make a buck. The specter of a high-pressure pitchman leering over my shoulder makes me uncomfortable.

Considering TCO

I'm amazed. For the first time in recent memory, I find myself in total agreement with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. According to published accounts of the Microsoft Fusion 2002 conference, Ballmer said, "We haven't figured out how to be lower-priced than Linux."

Pondering Palladium

This is one of those columns I really wish I didn't need to write. Whenever I mention Microsoft Corp. I inevitably hear from someone who thinks that I am just Microsoft-bashing. Frankly, I'd love to avoid the subject of Microsoft altogether, but there's no way to ignore the company as long as it tries to undermine the growth of open source.

Return of Cobol?

One topic that few people write about these days is Cobol. Aside from the slew of Y2K articles a couple years ago, Cobol has not mustered much attention in recent times. Although Cobol won't be mistaken for the next hot thing in computing, it still holds up more than its share of large business infrastructures across the planet.

Opinion: Shred that paper

An opinion is a funny thing. Two intelligent individuals can look at a set of facts and develop two very different opinions about the matter. As someone who writes about his opinions, I hear from reasonable people with differing opinions every week. As the saying goes, it's all good.

Open opportunities

As late as 12 months ago, the very subject of open-source desktops would have brought an endless stream of catcalls from folks who consider the concept unthinkable. A year ago, almost no one gave credence to the thought of Linux on the corporate desktop.

Analysis: Opening the desktop

I normally dont't like to write about open-source efforts until they are fairly mature, but some ideas are just too good to ignore.