Re: Red Hat’s red-hot opportunity (Jan. 21)

I think you are 100 per cent correct. They should hold onto their hat. If they (Red Hat and AOL) do move together, I believe the Red Hat

business model will be lost in the noise.

I understand what AOL is trying to do, but they would be better off doing this with a more generic Linux version (or make their own). If they are forward thinkers they might create the next wave. Since 88 per cent of all Internet connectivity today is dialup and AOL has 60 per cent of that market, AOL should gently move into the desktop market for the neophytes.

This is also looking like a more viable alternative when you take into account the recent balk in the broadband market. If AOL continues on this path to Linux then I think they will generate a grassroots acceptance of Linux by the vast majority in North America.

Kevin Alexander

Re: Software firm offers tool to prevent Walkerton-type tragedies (Jan. 16)

Thank you for the article. We wish to emphasize that the WaterTrax service does much more than “”report,”” as suggested by RiverSide’s Kevin Mercer.

By making drinking water quality information instantly accessible to all responsible parties and by providing that information in a value-added format that includes regulatory screening and health implications information, the WaterTrax service addresses several of the human and organizational factors that contributed to the Walkerton tragedy. In addition, the service is a very cost-effective way for municipalities to organize and act on the increasing complexity and volume of information that result from stringent regulation. WaterTrax can free up time and resources better spent on testing and treatment. Meeting regulatory requirements and safeguarding public health cost-effectively is the challenge that municipalities face and WaterTrax is pleased to offer services that can assist in meeting that challenge.

Chris Baisley, MBA, P.Eng.
Vice-president product management
WaterTrax Inc.

Re: Thanks! You’ve just proven that online advertising works (Jan. 16)

I have been enjoying your column very much for a while now because, in addition to being informative, you write it in a way that I understand. You see, I work in an accounting department and am not a “”techie.”” And working on the business side of things, I understand the need for advertising.

Having said that, I feel compelled to comment on a recent change that has taken place in your column and the articles on I have noticed that a bright red ad for Compaq has been appearing near the top of your page. Now, maybe your true target audience doesn’t notice/expects it/is indifferent, but frankly I find it rather annoying. Your column and the others have started looking like today’s hockey rinks: ads and information around the outside and now ads on the surface area. The screen is getting kind of cluttered. In addition, the large, brightly-coloured format with changing text is extremely distracting, making it difficult to peruse the “”plain”” black and white area to absorb your message.

Anyway, I’m sure that it’s purely a business decision and we’ll probably agree to disagree, but I wanted to spout off just the same.

Steve Hargrave



Isn’t it enough that you have ad on top and on either sides of the screen? Now you have a big ad pasted in the middle of your articles. In my opinion, this is out of hand. What’s next? A strobing screen where you can only read the article between advertisement flashes? Online commercials? I know that there is a financial incentive to place ads all over the screen, but they shouldn’t be bigger than the article. This is a real disincentive to visiting your site.

Michael Dorge

Editor’s Note: As a free news service,’s revenue is based solely upon advertising. The positioning of the advertisement in question is based upon design models commonly used by other news portals. We make every effort to ensure the size and positioning of advertisements do not impair our visitors’ ability to enjoy our content.

Re: OS/2: Never Say Die (Oct. 10)

I very much enjoyed your editorial about the virtual PC for OS/2. The reason OS/2 continues to thrive among a devoted core group of users and a large chunk of the world’s biggest companies is because it is such a powerhouse.

In particular, I think that it will eventually gain market share again, since you can avoid the licensing and hardware upgrade gerbil wheel which Microsoft has pushed most of the market into. I was glad to see you refer to this difference in migration strategy in your editorial.

OS/2 also has the fastest Java compiler of any Intel -based OS, period! Take a look at the latest JavaWorld benchmarks for proof. Since the JDK and the IP stack is ported down from AIX, it is a rock-solid, production-ready environment.

As a follow-up, you might want to write about the eComStation (eCS) produced by Serenity Systems. eCS is a re-branded OS/2 with a bunch of software apps and utilities included for free, including Lotus SmartSuite, Star Office, and many others.

I am so impressed by eCS, that I am thinking about becoming a channel partner and selling eCS solutions in the Colorado area. I have spoken with several small businesses who are sick of Microsoft windows and apps which break daily, are not virus resistant, and cost a bundle. Connectix Virtual PC will really help me sell to these companies, since they will be able to switch their equipment over to eCS for stability, and still run the few critical Windows apps they may have.

Steve Mechling
Project manager

Letters to the editor must include the writer’s name and company name along with an e-mail address or other contact information. All letters become the property of Editors reserve the right to edit submissions for length and content.

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