Linux @ Cebit
Thin Soft was demonstrating its product Winconnect. Winconnect is an interesting tool that allows a Linux PC/Terminal to connect to a Windows host and run Windows applications . It can connect to Windows PCs or servers running Windows NT 4 Terminal Server, Windows 2000 Server, Windows XP Server and Windows XP Professional. Their demo client was running on a low end Pentium 75 MHz with 32 MB RAM running Linux. Winconnect extends the life of old and outdated PCs and terminals. Such capabilities are offered by other products such as Citrix but Winconnect is a cost effective solutions at 49.95 US$ per user. In addition you would also require to purchase licenses for Windows and the applications you use.
Invair Technologies was demonstrating its credit card size Filewalker PDA. Its a very small PDA that fits into a palm and is significantly small than other PDAs in the Market. Its user interface makes it easy to enter text without doing much of typing or even writing. It can synchronise with a PC running Microsoft Outlook and Exchange and will be available next month for about 600 US$.
Borland was showing off their Kylix development environement on Linux. With Kylix, developers can compile their Delphi code on Linux with relative ease. This means that all the Delphi applications out there in the market can now be made available by some bit of additional coding. Additional work is required only if Windows specific API code exists, then they have to be converted to Linux. Otherwise most of the applications should compile.
Samsung was demonstrating its printers running under Linux. They were showing how easy it was to configure their system using CUPS (Common Unix Printing System). AMD demonstrated its upcoming 64-Bit processor running Linux. The demo has both Windows and Linux but Windows was demonstrated using 32-Bit mode and Linux was the only one running in 64-Bit mode. The processor called Hammer will run both 32-Bit and 64-Bit x86 applications. The processor is expected to hit the market end of 2002.
There were serveral other interesting products on display but very few had Linux device driver support for their. Some of them said they plan to have Linux drivers in a few months but most of them had no plans since they said there wasnt any demand. If more people like me go around asking if there is Linux support, I am sure by Cebit 2003 we will see a lot more Linux compatible devices.