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On the Web

New Product Hype

Heather Mead

Issue #118, February 2004

If you're considering switching to a new distribution or purchasing some new hardware, stop by our on-line product review section first.

Trying to keep up with all the new product announcements that come across our desks would be a full-time job. Luckily, we have a pool of reviewers who take on much of the responsibility for trying out new hardware, software, books, games and every type of gadget they can get their hands on. Because we have only enough print space to run one or two reviews per issue, the Linux Journal Web site has become our best source for reviews.

The much shorter time frame involved in getting articles published on the Web makes our Web site an ideal place to post reviews of new distribution releases. The final Fedora Core 1 release arrived early in November 2003, and within a week, Adam Jenkins' “Fedora at a Glance” was posted on our site (www.linuxjournal.com/article/7257). Adam shared his experiences with downloading and installing Fedora and then discussed Fedora's features—what it had, what it didn't have and what was on its way. As more users probably will be making the switch to Fedora in the coming months, Adam's article provides some insight into what they'll be getting when they make the move.

If you're thinking about giving Gentoo a try, Sean Bossinger's “Gentoo Linux” product review is worth a read (www.linuxjournal.com/article/7002). Sean focuses his review on Gentoo's installation process, which is more manual than the commercial distributions. The upside of the manual input is you can optimize the compiled code for the settings specific to your system, which is part of Gentoo's goal of being a highly customizable distribution. The downside is all that customization can take quite a bit of time to achieve.

If you're still riding the Opteron wave, check out Steve Hastings' review of the “Appro Rackmount Dual Opteron Server” (www.linuxjournal.com/article/6883). Or if you're looking for something a bit more fun, something in the way of a gadget, we recently reviewed two Linux handheld devices. Apparently the really cool PDAs aren't available in the US; luckily, you can order them on the Web from international resellers. The Yopy 3700 that Guylhem Aznar reviewed (www.linuxjournal.com/article/6933) was ordered through a French reseller. Although it looks good and has a better keyboard, Guylhem isn't sure the Yopy is a better purchase than a Zaurus. And Tony Steidler-Dennison's review of the Sharp Zaurus SL-C760 (www.linuxjournal.com/article/7162) certainly makes it sound like this is the coolest Zaurus and the coolest PDA ever. Its superior screen display and its ability to function in either landscape or desktop mode, thanks to a pivot hinge, might be enough to convince you that you need one.

I haven't even mentioned all the book reviews you can browse on our site. So before you lay out any money on new purchases, visit the Linux Journal Web site and click on Product Review or Book Reviews under Topics. If you're interested in joining our reviewers mailing list and helping us test all this stuff, send me an e-mail at info@linuxjournal.com.

Heather Mead is senior editor of Linux Journal.

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