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An IT director responds to Oracle Linux

Some 19,000 of you have read our first look at Oracle's Unbreakable Linux, and you may remember we were rather negative about its chances. However, we run a lot of Oracle internally here at LXF Towers, and our IT Director - Avi Abadi - disagrees with much of what we said in that article. So, in an effort to make it look like know what the word "unbiased" means, here's his response to Oracle Linux:

Linus and loo roll

Talking of detox, I am feeling rather cleansed myself after a goodly weekend. I tidied my room, did my washing, went to a climate rally, and bought spare toilet roll for my housemates when it wasn't even my turn. Unprecedented. Then I went to the library. Did you know, Bath Central Library's copy of Just For Fun: The Story Of An Accidental Revolutionary by Linus Torvalds and David Diamond has been taken out 34 times? Make that 35 – reader, I borrowed it. Yes, I completed my honourable weekend by reading a book about Linux. At home! Voluntarily!

Bring me the head of Carol Vorderman!

My wife and I are trying out Carol Vorderman's Detox Diet. Unlike most other shabby diets around, this one isn't about losing weight: it's about making you eat the most boring food around. Meat? No. Cheese? No. Milk and butter? Out. Pasta? None of it. Potatos? Hardly. Pizza? Hah! What does that leave? Fruit and nuts. Well, fruit, nuts and vegetables, although you're not even supposed to cook the vegetables.

Why I’m backing Red Hat

So, Novell has crossed over to Microsoft's side of the fence, but what has it actually achieved? Let me summarise...

i) It shows that executives at Novell have a very short memory. Who else here remembers the Microsoft Server Crunch cereal box?

ii) It shows that Microsoft is now having its patent warchest part-funded by Novell in exchange for a promise that Microsoft won't sue Novell customers until 2012. Forget the rest of us, and forget what happens after 2012. Forget the fact that anyone with sense regards software patents as unthinkably stupid.

Hell freezing over…?

I've just spent the last hour watching the press conference in which Microsoft and Novell have committed to be really nice to each other and work together to crush Red Hat once and for all. Or, you know, um, make things easy for customers who want to run Linux and Windows.
I couldn't see whether Steve Ballmer had his fingers crossed. He certainly scowled a bit and got excited when talking about "Windows, Windows, Windows." He just comes across as so angry. You could easily see him chucking chairs at minions who accidentally wore a t-shirt with a penguin on it.

Your Name In Print!

We're running a feature on the best games Linux has to offer, and we'd like to print a box on readers' favourites. Soooo... what we're looking for is some intrepid readers to email me ( with the name of their favourite game and some words (maximum 15-20) explaining why. The funniest/most original/innovative/random entries will get printed. If it's a game that's commercial or not easily found, please attach a screenshot or - preferably - send me a link to a screenshot we can use.

Practical PHP Programming wiki goes live

I've finally finished converting my free, online PHP book into a wiki: it's available at After consultation with Nick and Graham, I've chosen to use the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence with the exception that people who contribute work grant me the right to relicense the entire book (including their work) under the GPL v2 if and when I choose.

Brain Party hits the streets

I'm proud to announce that I've just uploaded the first Brain Party code to SourceForge through Subversion. It's all licenced under the GPL, so please do go ahead and root through the 15,000 or so lines of C# that have just gone up. If you haven't been following this blog, Brain Party is an idea Graham came up with a few months ago - it's a 2D puzzle game made up of minigames, where players need to solve problems to work their way through each level.

Snooker loopy

Many moons ago, on this very blog, Rebecca mentioned that she didn't mind John Virgo's snooker "commentary." Inexplicably, she wasn't bothered by his tedious musings or overwhelming banality, and managed to find some charm in his northern northernishness. This was around the time when snooker was off the air for a few months - there was no Virgo spewing out of our TV speakers, and I started to wonder... maybe it's just me?

It’s server man!

Michael Saunders: a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent; the schoolboy who leads an exciting double-life. Fabulous secret powers were revealed to him the day a spotty man brought him to life with his cosmic dust, held aloft a magic sword and said: "HE'S THE STRONGEST, HE'S THE QUICKEST, HE'S THE BEST!"

That's Mike, that is.

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