It’s Christmas, but as the line goes, wars and rumours of wars continue. Yugoslav forces rolled into Kosovo today. The Iraqi people are still digging themselves out from rubble. And the far eastern economic crisis, continues to cause violence; particularly in Indonesia. On the bright side of things, the International Space Station may be the star in the east at millenium’s end and perhaps our last, best hope to quote the opening sequence of Babylon 5. If you’re given to prayer, remember it’s the best of times and worst of times after you sit down to dinner, but before you dig in.

Here, we have some business to announce. The 26th, we’ll be ungrading our primary server, making our websites and email touch and go for the morning. But, you’ll be spending time with the family, right? Or is that shopping, training junior capitalists and generally insuring that the U.S. economy is immune to the slings and arrows of capitalism’s outrageous cycles of fate…

In addition, we’ll be making minor improvements, here and there. Most will be barely visible, but should make the site smoother, faster and more useful. For instance, today’s links open in different windows than the one you’re reading our page in. So, you can pull up the site we’re talking about without waiting until you finish reading about it here. We’ll also be posting a page on all the listservs we run. If you’re into poetry, there’s probably something here for you. We’ve avoided forcing people to load a current browser. And older browsers will still work fine. But, we’re going to use a few features that are best seen in a current browser, like Netscape, Opera or Internet Explorer. Netscape is already available for almost every Operating System out there. Internet Explorer is available for Windows, Macintosh and a few others. Opera is available for Windows, with versions coming for Mac, Be, Linux/Unix and others.

Back to the present… if you prefer to boycott such americanism as the mall over the next several days and sit in front of a browser instead, we have a few suggestions.

Apple Computer 1984 ad ( long load; if a different window doesn’t appear, click here ) that aired just once –during that year’s Super Bowl. The commercial produces an emotional response that rivals that of scenes in great war movies and stories of the underdog triumphing against all the odds. It gives those who are not Macintosh users an insight into why so many people refuse to give up on the platform… Fast-forward fifteen years. The end of the millenium is at hand and a ’new’ operating system –Linux– is grabbing incredible attention because, in many ways, it is better than Windows: more stable, faster and controlled by no one. In some ways, the biggest thing missing from Linux –Mind Share– has nothing to do with programmers. Microsoft specializes in Market Share: how many boxes can you shove. Mind Share is different: it’s what Apple’s 1984 commercial generated. As the year closes, several websites have appeared whose main purpose seems to be creating Linux Mind Share. The best –funny, interesting and very very smart– is appropriately titled Propaganda. When the site comes up, click on the doctored kennedy photo. That’ll take you to a new page. Click on the timeline link on the left. And, if you’re not familiar with Linux, the effort was started by one Linux Torvaldes of Finland. Enjoy!

Once you’ve read that, if you need more humor you might check out Linux declared “ready for the Enterprise” . It’s a wonderful little mix of industry humor and pop culture.