Stories by Kevin Railsback

  • Linux developers enjoy customisable interfaces

    A wealth of research has gone into user interface design in the past decade. The designers and developers of competing products often quickly adopt advances made on one operating system platform or software application to enhance their own. The market of end users helps to steer these developments, and in the end everyone wins - one of the biggest advantages of healthy competition in the market place.

  • Novell overhypes active directory bug

    Novell has pointed out a flaw in the way Microsoft Windows 2000's Active Directory (AD) handles security permissions for some objects. Microsoft quickly denied this bug existed, saying Novell had improperly configured its AD setup. I tested this and found that the bug exists, but only because Novell missed a security step.

  • Red Hat 6.1 shoots for the enterprise

    With Red Hat Linux 6.1, Red Hat has plunged headlong into the enterprise space. The latest version of Red Hat Linux offers an intuitive graphical installer, which makes setup and configuration easier for first-time users. It also supports network and systems management standards, including Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and Wired for Management 2.0. Also, this release has an automated system update utility that promises to eliminate the IT headaches of keeping up with system and security patches. Version 6.1 is by far the most user-friendly release of Red Hat Linux, and the management enhancements make it a strong contender for the enterprise OS space.

  • Clik Card from Iomega eases portable storage woes

    The Zip disk revolutionised portable storage by making it easy to transport large files between machines without a network connection. It also made life simple for people who want to back up important files. However, there is a drawback to this popular format for mobile users: most laptops do not have a built-in Zip drive, which means that owners of these machines must lug around a parallel-port Zip drive and power adapter. The Clik PC Card drive from Iomega, which will ship in the third quarter of this year, offers a simple solution for mobile workers by packing a 40MB Clik disk drive into a PC card.

  • Intel chip awaits new applications

    With all of the marketing hype surrounding Intel's Pentium III processor, it is tough to know whether it will actually help a business. I compared the performance of two typical business desktop systems, from Compaq and Hewlett-Packard, testing with both Pentium II and Pentium III CPUs. Many vendors are now, or soon will be, shipping business desktop machines that include the new chip.