Linux Live to simplify set-up for new users
LinuxPPC, Inc. has released a slimline version of the open source OS that allows Mac users and owners of other PowerPC-based machines to sample the software without having to navigate the full release's tortuous installation process. Linux Live can be booted straight off a MacOS-formatted hard drive, simply by double-clicking its icon. That spares computer users keen to try Linux from backing-up and re-partitioning their hard disks, often a long process and one less technically-inclined users are rarely happy to perform. Live is based LinuxPPC Release 4.0. It includes the OS' most common commands and utilities, the KDE X Windows-based GUI, Netscape Communicator, the Gimp Photoshop clone, and other tools. The software is available now as a 40MB download from LinuxPPC, Inc.'s Web site. It requires 105MB of disk space and at least 16MB of memory. Most modern Macs are supported, though as yet the software will not run on the iMac or the new 'blue and white' Power Mac G3 machines. The site contains a full list of supported hardware, which includes Mac clones and the BeBox. ®
Apple to close Cork, Ireland plant?
Around 1,400 workers are facing redundancy at Apple's Cork assembly plant, according to a report in the Irish Times. The paper cites "industry sources" who claim the jobs are at risk through a restructure of the company's operations. The sources suggest Apple is considering consolidating its worldwide manufacturing operation to just a couple of large plants. That would leave the Cork plant, for many years the company's European production site, facing closure. There is a precedent for such a move: back in July 1998, after a review of operations mounted the previous March, Apple moved PCB production to the Far East, resulting in the loss of 150 full-time and 400 part-time jobs at Cork. However, concerns that this might ultimately lead to further, more major job cuts were eased when Apple announced the plant would manufacture European iMacs. With Apple never more keen to reduce inventory and streamline manufacture, and with the Internet-based AppleStore's build-to-order facility quite capable of being handled by the company's local resellers, rumours of the plant's death may not be exaggerated. However, an Apple spokesman, quoted in the Irish Times report, said there was no question of the company ending its manufacturing operations in Ireland. At the same time, he refused to comment on whether a restructure had been initiated or what the effect of such a restructure might be. ®