LAB NOTES

LAB NOTES

Red Hat 7 standard. VA Linux Systems Inc. of Fremont, Calif., this month began installing the new Red Hat 7.0 Linux operating system from Red Hat Inc. of Durham, N.C., as a standard server or workstation software load.

Red Hat Linux and other flavors of the open-source OS also are downloadable free from sourceforge.net/mirrors, a mirror site operated by VA Linux Systems. Read more about mirror sites below.

War games. According to the Cable News Network, Marine Corps teams in Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina are training with state-of-the-art, virtual-combat software that civilians would call video games.

The war games are supposed to teach Marines about battlefield tactics and decision making under stressful, warlike conditions.

'If they spend a whole lot of time doing that, in an operating environment that's kind of confusing, noisy, like a real battlefield situation, they will be that much more effective as a unit in a real battlefield environment,' Marine Sgt. Dan Snyder was quoted as saying.

The Marines customized the games so that users fight against humans with M-16 rifles.

For more information, see www.cnn.com/TECH/9604/07/marine.games/index.html.

The incredible shrinking pen tablet. Fujitsu PC Corp.'s new lightweight and ultrathin Stylistic LT C-500 pen tablet computer has a 500-MHz Intel Celeron processor, an 8.4-inch LCD screen, a 6G hard drive, up to 256M of RAM, a lithium-ion battery, a 56-Kbps modem and a 10/100-Mbps

Ethernet module.

Although it weighs only 2.5 pounds, the Stylistic LT C-500 comes with a choice of heavyweight operating systems: Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition with Pen Services 2.0 and PenX 1.7, or Windows 2000 Professional with PenX 2.0.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company claims the 9.6- by 6.3- by 1.1-inch Stylistic LT C-500 can provide decision support or be used as a notebook PC to write reports or log on to the Internet.

Prices for the LT C-500 start around $3,700. For more information, see Fujitsu's Web site, at www.fujitsu-pc.com.

Computer lingo. Don't go to a mirror site expecting to see your reflection.

Mirror sites are replicas of already existing sites, designed to balance network traffic.

Often you'll notice the availability of mirror sites when downloading popular data. Mirror sites are prevalent in open-source software development because of heavy downloading activity at the original sites.

' Carlos A. Soto

E-mail: Csoto@gcnlab.com

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