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<title>Title of Article Issue 16</title>
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<H4>
&quot;Linux Gazette...<I>making Linux just a little more fun!</I>&quot;
</H4>

<P> <HR> <P> 
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<center>
<H2>UniForum'97, March 12-14</H2>
<H4>By Marjorie L. Richardson,
<a href="mailto:gazette@ssc.com">gazette@ssc.com</a></H4>
</center>
<P> <HR> <P> 
<A HREF="./photos.html">UniForum Photo Album</A> 
<P> <HR> <P> 
My trip to San Francisco to attend UniForum'97 was very satisfyng as I
got to see two great luminaries of our time--the Hale-Bopp comet and
Linus Torvalds. Hale-Bopp was visible in the pre-dawn sky on March 12 
and 13. Linus was visible at the Keynote speech on March 13 and was 
definitely the brighter of the two.
<p>
The president of UniForum, Tom Mace, was present to welcome Linus, and 
Douglas Michaels of SCO presented Linus with UniForum's
Achievement Award. The award itself is a clear,
pyramid-shaped trophy, about which Linus said he was pleased to have
something "physical" to show for his work. Linus' acceptance speech was
brief and self-effacing as usual. He referred to himself as the "spider at
the center of the web" with many others working around him. Tove and their
3 month old baby girl, Patricia Miranda, had accompanied Linus and both
tolerated my pushiness in taking pictures. After the keynote, Linus and Tove
made the rounds of the Exhibit Hall, visiting all their fans in the Linux
Pavillion. Tove confided that they were enjoying the weather (no snow), but
that the arrival of their furniture had been delayed by a bad storm that
had forced the ship back
to Germany.
<p>
Mitchell Kertzman of Sybase gave a vibrant keynote speech that morning, 
in which he ignored Linux as a possible factor in a paradigm shift that 
might topple Microsoft. Perhaps he hasn't heard that Linus' goal is "world
domination". Kertzman compared today's software industry
to the automobile industry of the fifties--that it is designing
products to be obsolete in 3 years, while consumers are wanting long 
term reliability. Sounds to me like consumers are looking for Linux.
<p>
While 7000 people had pre-registered for UniForum, only about 75% of those
actually attended. Perhaps they went to one of the competing shows such as
Internet World. At any rate, at times the floor was crowded with attendees,
while at other times (particularly toward the end of the day) it was quite
empty. The Linux Pavillion was placed in the right rear corner of the
floor, yet it seemed to me that most attendees were gravitating over to
check out this upstart operating system that dares to be freely available.
SSC gave away their stock of magazines and bumper stickers, as well as
displaying t-shirts, reference cards and the new "Tux" mugs. IBM
and Lucent Technologies both had central positions on the floor, but I saw
many people passing them by to visit Digital to check out both the Alpha
and Jon "maddog" Hall's new Linux setup for Digital's Intel box. Jon is
providing us with a short article about this setup that will appear next
month.
<p>
I attended two of the talks: one on Electronic Document Interchange and one
on high speed Internet access. Both were well presented and full of good
information. I was particularly impressed with Jeff Wilbur's thoughts on
the directions that access to the Internet will take in the future (i.e.,
cable modems, xDSL, satellite, ISDN), and so asked him for an article. 
<p>
Since UniForum'97 was my first conference as Editor of Linux Journal, I met
many people that I had only heard about before, including Joel Goldberg of
InfoMagic (who is a sponsor of Linux Gazette), Mark Bolzern of WGS, Adam
Richter of Yggdrasil, and of course, Jon "maddog" Hall of Digital. Jon
introduced me to Ted Cook of BRU, who told me of his plan to give away Bru
software to Linux User Groups at the upcoming Linux Expo and to groups that
are members of <A HREF="http://www.ssc.com/glue/">G.L.U.E.</A> 
<p>
On Wednesday night Joanne Wagner, one of our advertising representatives,
and I attended a press conference/party put on by XiGraphics--free food
and drink, always a plus. The press conference was held to announce the
recent name change (from X Inside) and the latest release of Xi's
Accelerated X software. The president and founder of the company, Thomas
Roell, gave a short presentation in which he described the directions he
envisions for Xi Graphics.
<p>
All in all, I had a good time at the conference and a pleasant stay in San
Francisco.

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<P> <hr> <P> 
<center><H5>Copyright &copy; 1997, Marjorie L. Richardson <BR> 
Published in Issue 16 of the Linux Gazette, April 1997</H5></center>

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