Linux Demo Day

It is planned that the Demo-day is to be held in the halls of the English Preparatory and Secondary School (EPSS). Demo-day is a combined effort of many interested individuals to contribute knowledge and participate in a global effort to learn and advance our worldwide community. This paper discusses the contents of Demo-day.

What is Linux?

Linux is an Operating System. Operating Systems are programs written to make a computer work the way we want them to. Operating Systems are installed on every computer and they come in different flavours and are made by different companies or programmers. Microsoft Windows 95/98, 2000, NT, MacOS are some of the Operating Systems (or OS for short) available today. Linux belongs to a variety of Operating Systems called Unix. Unix is a world standard.

Why Linux?

Unlike many other OS, Linux is Free and was conceived by an individual by the name of Linus Torvalds at the University of Helsinki in Finland. These days it is supported and maintained by academics and enthusiasts around the globe. Linux, brought to life in 1991, has proven to be a stable and formidable Operating System today. It is widely used in many fields. Among them, as servers on the World Wide Web of the Internet, as scientific number crunching supercomputers and as desktop computers for word-processing, spreadsheets and games. It was chosen for the Demo-day because:

1. It has academic value Linux has been developed with combined efforts from academics and enthusiasts. Contributions to it were made mostly by computer science students around the world in an effort to learn and teach others at the same time. This has added to its immense popularity and its threat to major OS vendor companies. Linux will thus prove itself worthy for the student trying to learn more about the personal computer and the workings of the Operating System. Demo-day will show exhibits of what can be achieved with this Operating System of the next generation.

2. It is Open-source Linux is an Open-source program. This means that the source code (or the code written by the programmers) is available for others to see, change and distribute at will. The Open-source nature of Linux lets students and others to play around, learn and perhaps contribute to the Linux project or even create something new altogether.

3. It encourages sharing of knowledge Linux is maintained and updated by hundreds of contributing academics and enthusiasts around the globe. They communicate with each other via email or other electronic means. Due to its Open-source nature, developers have to share their programming skills and tricks with others. Therefore by using Linux as an educational tool, students are able to share valuable knowledge with others from around the world.

4. It lets us be part of a global effort Using Linux as an educational tool, learning from it and teaching ourselves the technology used in computers today we are contributing to not only extending our knowledge but also to the global community as a whole. Its lets us be part of a global effort to create a better Operating System for the future.

Demo-day features

Demo-day, planned for the 17th of February 2000, will feature some of the following:

1. Clustering Clustering is a means of connecting several computers together and using their combined calculating prowess to do a single or many tasks. Clustering has been used in the real world in such breakthrough movies as Toy Story, Titanic and others. It is being used for scientific calculations that require heavy computational power such as nuclear energy simulations, fluid dynamics and weather forecasting.

Demo-day will feature three to four computers connected via a network and will show the rendition of a ray-traced image on the screen.

2. Desktop applications

Many desktop applications for the Linux OS will be exhibited showing that Linux is a viable solution for not only the scientific and academic community but also as a replacement for most popular Operating Systems. Among the applications will be:

a. Corel Applications Developed by Corel Corporation of Canada. Corel Word Perfect.

b. Star Office Star Office comprises of a complete desktop word-processing, spreadsheet and personal information management system much like the Microsoft Office suite.

c. GIMP. Image manupulation software.

3. Network solutions Demo-day will feature an exhibit that demonstrates intranet networking solutions. It will show how to provide cheap and viable networking for information servers. With webservers (Apache), mail servers (sendmail) and irc servers(ircd).


Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.