LJ Archive

New Products

James Gray

Issue #158, June 2007

Introversion Software's DEFCON

The UK's Introversion Software was proud to tell us that it is “keen supporters of the Linux community” and, therefore, is releasing its third and latest Linux-based game, DEFCON. DEFCON is an on-line, competitive, multiplayer strategy game based around the theme of global thermonuclear war. Inspired by the 1983 cult-classic Wargames, the game “evokes the tension, paranoia and suspicion surrounding the Cold War era”. The player assumes the role of a general hidden in an underground bunker, whose mission is to exterminate the enemy's civilian population while simultaneously disabling the enemy's ability to retaliate. PC Gamer UK described DEFCON as “pure, deep, utterly unconscionable fun”. A Windows version is already available. Introversion should get an award for best URL to boot!



Ever feel like voting your conscience by supporting the Penguin Party rather than settling for the lesser of two “Republicrat” or “Demopublican” evils? To solve this dilemma, alternative (and Constitutional and increasingly popular) voting methods, such as single transferable vote (STV) and instant runoff voting have evolved that allow one to rank candidates in an election. If your Penguin Party candidate has no chance in hell to win, your vote counts instead for your lower-ranked choice who has a shot at winning. Sorting out these voting preferences is the job of OpenSTV, now in version 1.1, an open-source application that tabulates votes according to the respective voting rules. Data generally comes from from paper ballots and is dumped into OpenSTV. The lead developer says that “some of the voting rules have been extensively verified by comparing the results over hundreds of elections against other software”. OpenSTV runs on Linux, Mac OS X or Windows and can be downloaded from SourceForge.


TotalView Technologies' MemoryScape

The company you've known as Etnus has rechristened itself as TotalView Technologies, and to celebrate, it has released version 2.0 of its MemoryScape standalone interactive memory debugger. MemoryScape “helps developers identify, inspect and resolve difficult memory problems in C, C++ and FORTRAN, including complex multiprocess and multithreaded programs”, says TotalView. Some key features include tools that allow developers “to monitor heap memory, view memory usage, locate memory leaks, track memory events and show corrupted memory”. Developers also can save and compare memory states, compile memory reports and find memory problems without recompiling. New features in MemoryScape 2.0 include support for MPI programs and remote memory debugging. A trial version is available for download from TotalView's Web site.


Woven Systems' EFX-1000 Ethernet Fabric Switch

Woven Systems has put more than a beach bucket's worth of VC money into its new switch product, the EFX-1000. The end result, says Woven, is the first of a new class of Ethernet Fabric Switches, intended to meet the needs that accompany multicore servers, server consolidation and virtualization, IP storage and data center grids. Ethernet Fabric Switches can be interconnected to build “resilient, low-latency, non-blocking meshed Layer 2 fabrics scaling to more than 4,000 10GbE ports”. The 10GbE EFX-1000 switch “incorporates the performance and low cost of InfiniBand, the reliability of Fibre Channel, and the plug-and-play interoperability of Ethernet”, all at a significantly reduced per-port price. Woven Systems has been dubbed one of the “Top 10 Startups to Watch” by the publication Byte and Switch due to its “potentially disruptive data center technology”, as well as “Cool Vendor” by the Gartner Group.


Xandros Server

Xandros' new Server 2.0 just hit the streets and contains new features like integrated OpenDocument collaboration and comprehensive server backup and restore. The OpenDocument collaboration extension, created in tandem with the firm O3Spaces B.V., “provides OpenDocument and MS-Office document collaboration, management and retention services” and serves as an alternative to the Microsoft Office SharePoint server. For server backup and restore, Xandros has integrated SEP AG's “SEP sesam application, which provides comprehensive data security for the Xandros Linux Server, including full integration with its new Scalix 11 collaboration platform”.


Moonwalk Software Suite

The Aussie firm Moonwalk made its own giant leap for our kind, this one to these North American shores, by unveiling version 6.0 of its self-titled, “all-inclusive data management and protection software”. Moonwalk's raison d'etre is to “automate and proactively manage the migration, copying and movement of data transparently throughout the enterprise” regardless of platform, including Linux, Windows, UNIX and NetWare. The application exploits secondary over primary storage by migrating, copying and moving data according to user-defined rules and policies based on criteria such as age, size, file type, filename, file creator and so on. It further “dispenses with tiered or hierarchical storage approaches and SRM applications that merely provide visibility into storage usage”. Moonwalk is compatible with available backup solutions.


Concurrent Real-Time Computing Solutions

The real-time computing specialist, Concurrent, released three new products in April 2007, namely its RedHawk Linux 4.2, NightStar Tools 4.1 and SIMulation Workbench. First, the new release of RedHawk, Concurrent's real-time Linux OS, features a Linux kernel with many of Ingo Molnar's accepted real-time patches, performance and stability enhancements, support for the latest Intel quad-core processors and 32/64-bit OSes on AMD Opteron processors. Second, NightStar Tools 4.1, an integrated toolset for developing time-critical applications, adds an enhanced Qt-based GUI, an application illumination feature and tuning enhancements. Finally, SIMulation Workbench is a new simulation software product to simplify real-time modeling, providing a complete framework to develop and execute real-time hardware-in-the-loop simulations.


Pogo Linux's StorageDirector 3000

Our pals at Pogo Linux passed on news of their new series of network attached storage (NAS) appliances, called StorageDirector 3000. The philosophy behind StorageDirector is to take a “simple, efficient approach to storage management”, leveraging open architectures to reduce costs yet “still providing a high-end feature set” that targets Pogo's core customer, “the SMB with enterprise aspirations”. Powered by the custom StorageDirector OS, the new product line enables the following: simple, secure management of storage and backup via a Web browser; cross-platform file sharing and utilization of all major file-sharing protocols; disaster recovery and backup; multi-pathing; advanced monitoring and alerts and both hardware and software RAID, including RAID 6 (double-parity). Customers can configure their own StorageDirector 3000 on Pogo's Web site.


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