File: issue16.txt

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lg-issue16 4-4
  • links: PTS
  • area: main
  • in suites: woody
  • size: 1,256 kB
  • ctags: 77
  • sloc: tcl: 89; makefile: 37; sh: 4
file content (6625 lines) | stat: -rw-r--r-- 186,013 bytes parent folder | download | duplicates (2)
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                                 LINUX GAZETTE
                                       
      Copyright © 1997 Specialized Systems Consultants, Inc.
      For information regarding copying and distribution of this material see
      the Copying License.
      
   
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
                        WELCOME TO LINUX GAZETTE! (TM)
                                       
   
   
   Sponsored by:
   
                                 INFOMAGIC 
                                       
   
   
   Our sponsors make financial contributions toward the costs of
   publishing Linux Gazette. If you would like to become a sponsor of LG,
   e-mail us at sponsor@ssc.com.
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
                          TABLE OF CONTENTS ISSUE #16
                                       
   
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
     * The Front Page
     * The MailBag
          + Help Wanted -- Article Ideas
          + General Mail
     * More 2 Cent Tips
          + Checking if You're Boot
          + XV vs Xli
          + Bash Shell Scripting
     * News Bytes
          + News in General
          + Software Announcements
     * The Answer Guy, by James T. Dennis
          + SATAN URL Correction
          + EDI on Linux
          + zmodem
          + Running the Internet with Linux
          + Respawning Too Fast
          + Problems with Keyboard Mapping
          + Modem Speed
          + Duplicating a Linux Installed Hard Drive
          + Using Linux Box as a Firewall
     * A brief Introduction to the kunf Library, by Marc Welz
     * Clueless at the Prompt: A Column for New Users, by Mike List
     * CeBit'97, March 13-19, by Belinda Frazier
     * Dynamic IP Web Solution Using Geocities Web Account, by Henry H.
       Lu
     * Graphics Muse, by Michael J. Hammel
     * LGEI Interviews the LG Editor, by Francesco De Carlo
     * More Linux Security, by Andrew Berkheimer
     * New Release Reviews, by Larry Ayers
          + An Alternate to Ghostview
          + XEmacs 19.15
     * SuSE Linux Installation & Getting Started, by Larry Ayers
     * UniForum'97 March 12-14 by Marjorie L. Richardson
     * Weekend Mechanic, by John M. Fisk
     * The Back Page
          + About This Month's Authors
          + Not Linux
            
   
   
   The Answer Guy
   
   
   Weekend Mechanic
   
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   TWDT 1 (text)
   TWDT 2 (HTML)
   are files containing the entire issue: one in text format, one in
   HTML. They are provided strictly as a way to save the contents as one
   file for later printing in the format of your choice; there is no
   guarantee of working links in the HTML version.
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   Got any great ideas for improvements! Send your comments, criticisms,
   suggestions and ideas.
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   This page written and maintained by the Editor of Linux Gazette,
   gazette@ssc.com
   
    "Linux Gazette...making Linux just a little more fun!"
    
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
The Mailbag!

   Write the Gazette at gazette@ssc.com
   
  CONTENTS:
     * Help Wanted -- Article Ideas
       
   
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  HELP WANTED -- ARTICLE IDEAS
  
   Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 16:32:30 -0600 Subject: great 
   
   From: Francisco Benavides, >txmfrbg@txm.ericsson.se 
   
   The work being done with the LG is great! As for ideas, taking into
   account that most known applications are those which are for the PCs (
   DOS based or Windog based ) why not a section dedicated to those (
   like me ) that wish that soon we will get a Linuz that will be
   filesystem wise, a Linux wich will run DOS applications without having
   to distinguish from those meant for Linux/Unix, and things like that.
   
   -- Bye/Francisco :)
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   Date: Wed, 05 Mar 97 11:24:23 -0500
   Subject: Request 
   From: Bill R. Williams, brw@etsu-tn.edu
   
   Actually, this is more a request than a "Letter to the Editor";
   however, you may use it as/if you see fit.
   
   A fundamental element of security is the use of "shadow" passwords.
   Linux (and some commercial un*x!) systems do not necessarily include
   this feature by default. (I have thus far always used Slackware and it
   does not install with the Shadow Password Suite (SPS) configured.)
   
   I consider SPS absolutely essential to any un*x (Linux) system which
   is accessable by users. In other words: No, I don't need it on my home
   Linux because that system is not connected to a network and I'm the
   only one using it. While there are worse things than having to install
   the SPS it is a task that I really dread. Makes me very nervous.
   
   So here's a question for those of you who have evaluated the various
   Linux distributions: Do any of the distributions provide Linux with
   the SPS installed and all the appropriate utilities and other
   pre-built packages built against the SPS? (Such as sudo and wu-ftpd.)
   
   A related question which is not immediately obvious: Using a given
   distribution -- Red Hat or Debian or whatever -- are there any
   potential hazards in bringing in packages which may not be part of
   that distribution? Since I have no experience with anything other than
   Slackware I do not know what is involved in the packaging software
   used by other vendors; however, I am aware that some vendors do have
   utilities which can track the levels of various components. If I were
   to install some software package which might not be part of the
   "installed" distribution what is the probability that I will "step on"
   the original installation's package tracking? As a trivial example:
   Suppose I want to install 'Doom' from my old Slackware CD-ROM onto my
   "Miranda v0.01" distribution of Linux. Am I going to have a problem
   over this when I go to update my "Miranda" with a new release? (Linus
   had a new "Miranda" in January! See, it could happen. ;-)
   
   And on an entirely different subject... There has GOT to be,
   somewhere, a utility which can be used to CORRECTLY configure the
   monitor settings for XFree! I have tried. I really have. Every time I
   come across an item on this subject I read and study it, but no matter
   how hard I try I can't seem to get it through my thick head as to
   what's what. The supplied servers can figure out the video cards with
   no problem, but then there's the stuff dealing with the monitor and
   refresh rates and Hz and KHz and bandwidth and dot clocks and... this
   is where I lose it completely. Something with heuristic abilities
   which would allow me to just type in everything in my monitor's manual
   which the program would parse out into the significant lines for the
   XF86config file such than when I start X I have *no* modes which cause
   the output to skew off to the side and thereby causing me to worry
   that I've fried the tube. (*sigh*)
   
   I have the new X (v3.4?) with the graphic setup utility. Better. But
   there are *still* modes which are frightening to see. "...push down
   one place it just bubbles up somewhere else."
   
   Comments, articles, and/or suggestions on all the above from the fine
   folks at "Linux Journal" and the readers thereof will be much
   appreciated!
   
   Bill R. Williams
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   Date: Sat, 01 Mar 1997 20:49:13 -0800
   Subject: X Windows Depth...Linear Addressing Problem. 
   From: Nicky Wilson, benson@znet.com
   
   After fiddling with the xf86config file in a concerted effort to coax
   X into displaying 16 bit color, I was dismayed to learn that with my
   current hardware (16 megs RAM and a Cirrus Logic GL-5426) 16 bit color
   is *impossible*...not because of any hardware incapability, but
   because of a certain limitation of X Windows itself...a problem with
   linear addressing. Seems that to have 16 bit color under X, one must
   have linear addressing enabled, which only works if the system has *no
   more than 14 megs RAM*.
   
   (*blink*)
   
   So I'm just two megs from the 16 bit color I so took for granted under
   Win95. I can't even pull out two megs (downgrading my system to work
   under Linux?!) because of my one 16 meg memory chip.
   
   There has *got* to be a way. I was hoping to work on my graphics stuff
   under Linux, but 256 colors just doesn't cut it.
   
   Does anyone at Linux Gazette have a solution? I heard something about
   making a two meg "memory hole" (?), or a program that fools the system
   into thinking that there's less RAM than there actually is. Any ideas?
   (I wonder if the X development team are working on this problem?)
   
   Thanks for any input.
   Your Friendly Local Neighborhood Novice,
   Nicky
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   Date: Sat, 15 Mar 1997 03:41:04 GMT
   Subject: Soundcard under Linux 
   From: L Hatch, tn00607@ibm.net
   
   After recompiling my kernel I managed to get my soundcard working
   under Linux ... the only problem is that I have to boot into dos first
   to set up the card ... the card is softset through my autoexec bat ...
   its an ESS Audiodrive .. any suggestions
   
   Another question as well ... I want to connect two machines together
   using a modem dialup connection .. I want to be able to dial from a
   standard comm prg under dos, win, win95, etc and turn control of the
   terminal over to the person on the other end so that they can use a
   linux shell in their comm prg ... managed to do it under dos by
   getting a mdm connection and then doing a ctty com2: at the command
   prompt to turn control over to them ... they would get a C:> and be
   able to enter commands, and get the output in their comm prg ... any
   suggestions of how to do it under linux thanks
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   Date: Mon, 17 Mar 1997 15:11:45 -0800
   Subject: Stupid question 
   From: Steve Arnold, sarnold@rain.org
   
   Howdy: I just searched your site looking for an answer, but failing
   that, I'll just ask directly:
   
   What the heck is the screen-blanker that runs under the console by
   default (ie, what is the name, where is it started, etc)?
   
   In the old RedHat 2.1 (kernel 1.2.13) it was disabled after X starts,
   but in the new Redhat 4.0 (kernel 2.0.28) it still kicks in under X,
   even when running xlock or something similar.
   
   What binary and what switch do I throw to disable the console
   screen-blanker under X?
   
   Thanks in advance, Steve Arnold
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   Date: Sun, 23 Mar 1997 11:55:35 -0500 (EST)
   Subject: Linux Question 
   From: Peter Pereira Stamford, stamford@bme.unc.edu
   
   Hi, I am a gazette reader and have a question that might be of
   interest to others too. It's a mixture of hardware + software problem.
   Before I sent this mail I did a quick overview of all the gazette's
   table of contents and Linux How-To's. I didn't find any help in these
   two places. If this is a common question and I missed it please
   forgive me.
   
   With the spread of different systems, many can end up owning several
   small monitors. Instead of acquiring a new, bigger, more expensive,
   monitor one can use two monitors that can work as one big screen.
   
   I am trying to install a second monitor to effectively get this bigger
   screen, since I have an extra monitor and card. I'm not trying to
   display the same image on both monitors. It is my understanding that
   MetroX (comes with my redhat version) permits me to have X divided
   into multiple virtual screens (forgive the lack of the official
   technical terms) and view two X virtual screens side by side on
   separate the monitors (I'm sure others Xservers do the same). Thus I
   can have different applications opened in each virtual screen avoiding
   clutering. (I'm tring to be precise because I have tried to get info
   before and was missunderstood).
   
   My work place has an extra monitor and video card that I am willing to
   take advantage of. But currently when I have both video cards
   installed, I can't BOOT. I have been told that this is because only
   one of the video BIOS is accepted by ROM BIOS, requiring the second
   video BIOS to be turned off. My cards don't have this option (I don't
   think). Others told me that it is a setting on the mother board.
   
   The software configuration of Metro-X for this seems easy and
   intuitive, but how do I set up the hardware? Maybe an explanation on
   X86Free on this would be good, but my problem is setting up the
   hardware.
   
   Could you please help? If I need a special card is there a recommended
   one?
   
   Thanks for any help, Peter. 
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  GENERAL MAIL
  
   
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   Date: Tue, 04 Mar 1997 20:02:22 -0500
   Subject: broken issue14 
   From: Pinwu Xu, pxu@perigee.net
   
   Hi there,
   It's true that the issue14.html was broken. But one can fix it using
   the Netscape editor (or save/print directly from the editor). That
   works for me.
   
   Thanks for your excellent work.
   -- Pinwu Xu
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   Date: Wed, 05 Mar 1997 18:39:17 -0800
   Subject: thanks 
   From: arne, asnow@cdepot.net
   
   
   Just a note to say thanks for your work on the Linux Gazette. I'm a
   brand new Linux user and I have found the articles geared toward the
   new user invaluable. Thanks again.
   
   Arne, Rocky Road Ranch
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   Date: Sun, 09 Mar 1997 16:08:06 -0500
   Subject: Love the service 
   From: Thomas L. Gossard, tgossard@ix.netcom.com
   
   
   I've been using Linux for aprox. 2 years now and have been a
   subscriber to "Linux Journal" for about a year of that. I like what
   you have even better. I love the 2 cent section, has great tips and
   ideas. If you sold this as a magazine on the news stands or
   subscription I would be an avid buyer. As it is I've got this link at
   the top of my bookmarks. Keep up the great job.
   
   Thomas L. Gossard
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   Date: Sun, 09 Mar 1997 01:19:54 -0600
   Subject: Netscape 
   From: Anthony Scott, ascott@Interaccess.com
   
   Could you please tell me where Netscape for Linux is located....How
   much does is cost.
   
   thx, tony (You can download it free from Netscape's home page. --Ed.)
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   Date: Sat, 8 Mar 1997 18:25:28
   Subject: Thanks 
   From: Lance A. DeVooght, devooght@flash.net
   
   Just a note of gratitude for all your hard work in producing the BEST
   online magazine! Also, kudos to the sponsor, Infomagic. Rest assured I
   won't forget them next time I'm going to make a software purchase. And
   finally, I am very impressed with the fine writers you've assembled.
   
   In Your Debt,
   Lance DeVooght
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997 11:01:23 +0100 (GMT+0100)
   Subject: Good non-fiction book! The Cuckoo's egg 
   From: Tomas Brostroem, tbc@rcc.se
   
   A nice book that should interest all Linux-fans. "The cuckoo's egg" by
   Cliff (Clifford) Stoll.
   
   Computer-security at it's worst.
   
   I.m.h.o. the best non-fiction book I've ever read.
   
   Regards, Tomas
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   Published in Linux Gazette Issue 16, April 1997
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   [ TABLE OF CONTENTS ] [ FRONT PAGE ] Next 
   
      This page written and maintained by the Editor of Linux Gazette,
      gazette@ssc.com
      Copyright © 1997 Specialized Systems Consultants, Inc.
      
   
   
    "Linux Gazette...making Linux just a little more fun! "
    
   
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
                                MORE 2� TIPS!
                                       
   
   Send Linux Tips and Tricks to gazette@ssc.com 
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  CONTENTS:
     * How to ftp Back Home
     * Checking if You're Boot
     * XV vs Xli
     * Bash Shell Scripting
     * Bash Shell Script 1
     * Bash Shell Script 2
     * Bash Shell Script 3
       
   
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   
   
  HOW TO FTP BACK HOME
  
   
   
   Date:Sat Mar 30 14:23:24 (PST)
   From:Phil Hughes, phil@ssc.com
   
   
   
   Many businesses place a firewall between the Internet and the inside
   systems. This is good protection and it just makes good sense. One
   common firewalling technique is to serverly restrict access through
   the firewall from the outside but allow a user on the inside to do
   most anything through the firewall to the outside.
   
   When I am at home, I routinely need to move files between home and
   work. But, because of the firewall, I can ftp from work to home but
   not the other way around. What this means is that I need to establish
   an interactive connection (using ssh) from home to work and then
   initiate the ftp from work to home.
   
   So far, so good. But, what I call "home" consists of various
   locations, all connected with a dial-up connection through one of four
   ISPs. All four ISPs use dynamic IP addresses meaning that each time I
   connect I have a different IP address for my home system. Even though
   the ISP knows what the current IP address for my system, the name
   server at work doesn't.
   
   The solution is to enter the IP address of my home system into the ftp
   command at work. First, I need to find out what the IP address is. To
   do that, I execute the ifconfig command on my home system:

$ /sbin/ifconfig

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback
          inet addr:127.0.0.1  Bcast:127.255.255.255  Mask:255.0.0.0
          UP BROADCAST LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:2000  Metric:1
          RX packets:19 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0
          TX packets:19 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0

eth0      Link encap:10Mbps Ethernet  HWaddr 02:60:8C:8F:A2:08
          inet addr:198.186.207.131  Bcast:198.186.207.255  Mask:255.255.255.0
          UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:969719 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0
          TX packets:971132 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0
          Interrupt:9 Base address:0x280 Memory:d8000-da000

ppp0      Link encap:Point-Point Protocol
          inet addr:206.125.79.118  P-t-P:204.157.220.30  Mask:255.255.255.0
          UP POINTOPOINT RUNNING  MTU:296  Metric:1
          RX packets:5434 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0
          TX packets:5545 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0
$

   The inet addr for the ppp0 interface (206.125.79.118) is the number I
   need. Now, on my system at work I enter:

$ ftp 206.125.79.118

   ftp then prompts for a login and password. I enter my standard login
   and password for my home system and ftp is up and running.
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   
   
  CHECKING IF YOU'RE ROOT
  
   
   
   Date: Sun Mar 23 23:20:51 1997 (PST)
   From: Kevin Lyda kevin@faxint.com
   
   
   
   
   In the march gazette raul miller suggested that the most portable way
   to test if you're root is [ -w / ]. that won't work if you're root
   file system is read only. [ -w /var ] might be a better method.
   
   kevin
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   
   
  XV VS XLI
  
   
   
   Date:Wed Mar 5 16:32:49 1997(PST)
   From:Michael Hammel, mjhammel@emass.com
   
   
   I wasn't aware of Xli (rather, I haven't looked at it), however your
   statement that xv can only tile image on the background. xv allows
   qutie a bit of command line control. I use the following to put up a
   background image at work (non-tiled, takes up the whole background):


xv -root -max -quit /export/home/mjhammel/lib/images/emass3.tga

   
   
   The initial image is 601x339, with a root display of 1152x900. Since
   the original image is 24bpp the enlargement is very accurate in
   details.
   
   Michael J. Hammel
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   
   
  BASH SHELL SCRIPTING
  
   
   
   Date:Thu Mar 20 12:22;34 1997(PST)
   From:Paul Sephton paul@inet.co.ca
   
   
   I have been enjoying the fruits of the Linux Gazette for a number of
   years now. Recently, I had one of my users accidentally type rm *>bak,
   and immediately noticed something was amiss by the incoherent screams
   eminating from her office.
   
   In an attempt to ensure this would not have the same disasterous
   effect again, and to protect my eardrums in future, I spent a couple
   of days excersising my bash shell scripting skills, and came up with
   what I believe to be a decent mechanism for maintaining versioned
   backups.
   
   My attitude with regard to the normal cludges like aliasing rm and so
   on, is that it will not protect you against other programs which
   unlink files. (To date I have yet to write a C program that shells rm
   in order to unlink a file :)
   
   Whilst writing the set of three scripts, it dawned on me that although
   some more complex tools do exist which perform the same sort of
   function, the Linux community might be interested in what I did.
   
   Although it's not much more than a creative excersise in the use of
   the 'find' command, and suffers from the usual limitation of being
   restricted to the one file system, I include the three scripts for
   your perusal and possible inclusion in the gazette at your discretion.
   
   
   Don't hesitate to contact me if you need more information.
   
   Kind regards, and many thanks for the gazette.
   Paul Sephton
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   
   
  BASH SHELL SCRIPT 1
#!/bin/sh
if [ -z "$SAFEDEL" ];then
SAFEDEL=/u/safedel
fi



NDAYS=5                        #Erase files after 2 days
MAXVER=6                       # Start Overwriting versins at this count
BINDIR=$SAFEDEL/bin            # Binaries directory
DATADIR=$SAFEDEL/data          # Where links are to go
LOGFILE=$BINDIR/safedel.log    # Output messages go here
ERRLOG=$BINDIR/safedel.err     # Error output messages go here
DIRLIST=$BINDIR/safedel.dirs   # List of directories found here
LOCKFILE=$BINDIR/safedel.lock  # Lockfile to prevent re-entry

#  Process the file $1 by creating a symbolic link in the data directory
#  and an entry for the file in the index.
process-file()
{
SRC=`dirname $1`
FNAME=`basename $1`
VERSION=0
if [ ! -d $DATADIR$SRC ]; then
mkdir -p $DATADIR$SRC
#  OWNER=`find -name $SRC -printf "%u"`
#  chown $OWNER $FNAME:$VERSION
fi
  cd $DATADIR$SRC
  while [ -f $FNAME:$VERSION ]; do
  VERSION=$[ $VERSION + 1 ]
  done
  if ! ln $1 $FNAME:$VERSION 2>> $LOGFILE; then
echo "Could not link file $FNAME:$VERSION" >> $LOGFILE
    return
fi
echo -e "Linked $FNAME:$VERSION \t \tin $SRC" >> $LOGFILE
return
}

 # Erase a file
erase-file()
{
  echo "Unlinking $1 $2" >> $LOGFILE
  rm -f $1
  FN=`echo $1 | cut -f 1 -d ':'`
if ! { echo "$ERASED" | grep "$FN" - } ; then
    ERASED="$ERASED $FN"
  fi
  return
}
# We want the version numbers to follow on each other, so that the next
# file we create gets a bigger version number. This makes sure they follow.
reorganise()
{
  if [ -z $1 ]; then
    return
  fi
  FN=$1
  FILE_LIST=`ls $FN:* | sort -n -t: -k2`
  if [ "$FILE_LIST" = ":*" ]; then
    echo "All [$FN:*] files erased" >> $LOGFILE
    return
  fi
  echo -e "File list to be moved is:\n$FILE_LIST" >>$LOGFILE
  VERSION=0
  for FNAME in $FILE_LIST; do
    if [ "$FNAME" != "$FN:$VERSION" ]; then
      echo "Moving $FNAME $FN:$VERSION" >>$LOGFILE
      mv $FNAME "$FN:$VERSION"
      VERSION=$[ $VERSION + 1 ]
    fi
  done
}

# The main shell script starts here...

cd $BINDIR
if [ -f $LOCKFILE ]; then
  exit 0
fi
touch $LOCKFILE
date >> $LOGFILE
cat $DIRLIST |
(
  while read SRC ; do
    if [ `echo $SRC | cut -b 1` != "#" ]; then
      echo "Finding files in $SRC" >> $LOGFILE
      echo "Point 1 ($SRC)"
      for FNAME in `find $SRC -type f -xdev -links 1 -print`; do
        process-file $FNAME
      done
    fi
  done
  ERASED=""
  echo "Point 2"
  for FNAME in `find $DATADIR -type f -links 1 -ctime $NDAYS -print`; do
    erase-file $FNAME "(older than $NDAYS days)"
  done
  echo "Point 3"
  for FNAME in `find $DATADIR -type f -name "*:$MAXVER" -print`; do
    FN=`echo $FNAME | cut -f 1 -d ':'`
    erase-file $FN:0 "Too many versions (VERSION > $MAXVER)"
  done
  echo "Point 4"
  for FNAME in "$ERASED"; do
    reorganise $FNAME
  done
) 2> $ERRLOG > /dev/null
rm -f $LOCKFILE

   
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   
   
  BASH SHELL SCRIPT 2

#!/bin/sh
CURRDIR=`pwd`/
if [ -z $SAFEDEL ]; then
  SAFEDEL=/u/safedel
fi

DATADIR=$SAFEDEL/data
BINDIR=$SAFEDEL/bin
cd $DATADIR$CURRDIR
if [ -z "$1" ]; then
  echo
  echo "Restores files unintentionally deleted"
  echo
  echo "Useage <salvage <filename>[:version] [dest]> from within the directory"
  echo "       in which the file was deleted."
  echo
  echo "The following is a list of your backed up files and their versions:"
  echo "  Salvageable Files:"
  find . -xdev -type f -maxdepth 1 -links 1 -printf "%P\n" | column
  echo "  Files Currently in Use:"
  find . -xdev -type f -maxdepth 1 -not -links 1 -printf "%P\n" | column
else
  FN=`echo "$1:end" | cut -f 1 -d ':'`
  VER=`echo "$1:end" | cut -f 2 -d ':'`
  EXIST=`find $CURRDIR -name "$FN"`
#  echo "[$EXIST]"
  if [ -n "$EXIST" ]; then
    echo "Incorrect file specification: File(s) are not deleted. ($FN)"
    exit 0
  fi
  if [ "$VER" = "end" -o "$VER" = "*" ]; then
    VER=""
  fi
  FILE_LIST=`find . -name "$FN:*" -printf "%f "`
  FLIST=""
#  echo "FILE_LIST is $FILE_LIST"
  for FNAME in $FILE_LIST; do
    FN=`echo "$FNAME:end" | cut -f 1 -d ':'`
    FOUND=0
#    echo "Looking for [$FN] in [$FLIST]"
    for F in $FLIST; do
      if [ "$F" = "$FN" ]; then
        FOUND=1
      fi
    done
    if [ "$FOUND" = "0" ]; then
      FLIST="$FLIST $FN"
    fi
  done
#  echo "FLIST is $FLIST"
  for FNAME in $FLIST; do
    if [ -z "$VER" ]; then
      VERSION=0
      NEXTVER=1
      while [ -f $FNAME:$NEXTVER ]; do
        VERSION=$NEXTVER
        NEXTVER=$[ $NEXTVER + 1 ]
      done
    else
      VERSION=$VER
    fi

    if [ ! -f $FNAME:$VERSION ]; then
      echo "File $FNAME:$VERSION not found"
      exit 0
    fi

    if [ -z "$2" ]; then
      DEST=$CURRDIR$FNAME
    else
      DEST=$CURRDIR$2
    fi

    if ln $FNAME:$VERSION $DEST 2> /dev/null; then
      echo "File $FNAME:$VERSION successfully recovered"
    else
      echo "Cannot link $FNAME:$VERSION to $DEST"
    fi
  done
fi

   
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   
   
  BASH SHELL SCRIPT 3

#!/bin/sh

if [ -z $SAFEDEL ]; then
  SAFEDEL=/u/safedel
fi

BINDIR=$SAFEDEL/bin            # Binaries directory
DATADIR=$SAFEDEL/data          # Where links are to go

# Erase a file
reorganise()
{
  if [ -z $1 ]; then
    return
  fi
  FN=`echo "$1:end" | cut -f 1 -d ':'`
  FILE_LIST=`ls $FN:* | sort -n -t: -k2`
  if [ "$FILE_LIST" = ":*" ]; then
    echo "All [$FN:*] files erased"
    return
  fi
#  echo -e "File list to be moved is:\n$FILE_LIST"
  VERSION=0
  for FNAME in $FILE_LIST; do
    if [ "$FNAME" != "$FN:$VERSION" ]; then
      echo "Moving $FNAME $FN:$VERSION"
      mv $FNAME "$FN:$VERSION"
      VERSION=$[ $VERSION + 1 ]
    fi
  done
}

# The main shell script starts here...

CURRDIR=`pwd`/

echo "Safedel: Purging extra versions in $CURRDIR"

cd $BINDIR
find $DATADIR$CURRDIR -type f -maxdepth 1 -links 1 -exec rm {} \;
for FNAME in `find $DATADIR$CURRDIR -type f -maxdepth 1 -print`; do
  reorganise $FNAME
done

   
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   Published in Linux Gazette Issue 16, April 1997
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   [ TABLE OF CONTENTS ] [ FRONT PAGE ] Back Next 
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
      This page maintained by the Assistant Editor of Linux Gazette,
      gazette@ssc.com
      Copyright &copy; 1997 Specialized Systems Consultants, Inc.
      
   
   
    "Linux Gazette...making Linux just a little more fun!"
    
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   News Bytes
   
  CONTENTS:
     * News in General
     * Software Announcements
       
   
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  NEWS IN GENERAL
  
   
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  HARDWARE FORUMS IN DALLAS, TEXAS
  
   
   
   Readers in the Dallas, Texas area may be interested in two forums for
   purchasing hardware that may not exist in other areas. The first is
   the North Texas PC Users Group meeting. This monthly meeting is held
   at the Infomart in Dallas (I-35E at Oak Lawn). The meeting is held on
   one Saturday a month and opens at 8:00 AM. A number of reputable local
   vendors show up to sell hardware and software. (In fact, a few months
   ago the vendor area was moved from the basement to a larger room
   because they were running out of space.) Prices at the NTPCUG meeting
   are generally cheaper than these vendors have in their own stores, and
   these vendors offer warranties and support as well. Call NTPCUG at ?
   to find out when the next meeting is. And stop by the local Linux
   User's Group booth and say hi, or ask them to load Linux on your newly
   purchased machine for free.
   
   The other venue is truly unique. The First Saturday Sale is a monthly
   flea market held (surprise) on the first Saturday of every month. It
   is held outdoors under the Ross Street bridge. Take the Pearl Ave.
   exit to get there. Hang a left on Ross and follow the crowd. Selling
   officially starts at 6:00 AM, but feel free to show up earlier. Again,
   many of the vendors own local storefronts and offer the same service
   and warranty their storefront customers receive.
   
   While these markets may not be the best place for a beginner to shop,
   a knowledgeable buyer can walk away from either of these markets with
   a crate of new gear at significant discounts.
   
   -Matthew Mucker
   
   Bedford, Texas
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  COMDEX/SPRING '97
  
   Come For the Linux Pavilion at COMDEX/Spring '97
   
   Linux International (LI) will be hosting a Linux Pavilion at
   COMDEX/Spring '97, which runs from June 2 - 5 in Atlanta, GA.
   
   On June 7 & 8, the weekend following COMDEX/Spring '97, LI and the
   Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts (ALE), in cooperation with COMDEX, will be
   hosting the Atlanta Linux Showcase. The Atlanta Linux Showcase will
   feature vendors of Linux hardware, software, and services as well as
   conference sessions on various Linux topics. Attendees of COMDEX will
   be admitted to the showcase floor for free, and pre-registrants to the
   Atlanta Linux Showcase will receive free passes to the COMDEX trade
   show floor.
   
   Some of the vendors on the showcase floor are:
     * Red Hat Software, Inc.
     * Caldera, Inc.
     * Linux Journal (Specialized Systems Consultants, Inc.)
     * Linux Hardware Solutions
     * Digital Equipment Corporation
       
   
   
   The Atlanta Linux Showcase will be held at the Inforum in downtown
   Atlanta, GA, just a few blocks away from the Georgia World Congress
   Center, site of COMDEX/Spring '97. The show floor will be open from 9
   a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 7, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on
   Sunday, June 8. The conference sessions will run concurrently.
   
   The Inforum is located at 250 Williams St., Atlanta, GA.
   
   More information on the Atlanta Linux Showcase can be found at
   http:www.ale.org/showcase
   
   More informaiton on COMDEX/Spring '97 can be found at
   http://www.comdex.com/comdex/owa/event_home?v_event?id=26 
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  ANNOUNCING IT HORIZON '97 SYMPOSIOM
  
   
   
   The Fisher Center for Information Technology and Management, Walter A.
   Hass School of Business , UC Berkley announces: IT Horizon '97
   Symposiom, Workshop and Solutions Showcase "From the NC to the
   Networked Enterprise: Thin Clients, Robust Servers, Universal Access"
   June 9-11 Red Lion Hotel, San Jose, CA
   
   Send you submission(s) by April 4, 1997 to Deborah Murray,
   Director-Professional Training, UniForum Association, 2901 Tasman
   Drive, Suite 205, Santa Clara, CA 95054 -OR- E-mail to
   dmurray@uniforum.org
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  LINUS NEWS
  
   
   
   Linus Torvalds received Uniforum's "Lifetime Achievement Award" for
   his work on Linux.
   
   Linus (as always) pointed out that he would accept the award, but that
   it really belonged to the entire Linux development community.
   
   The award, which has been presented annually since 1983, recognizes
   individuals or groups whose work has significantly advanced the cause
   of open systems over time, or has had an immediate and positive impact
   on the industry with long term ramifications.
   
   To give the idea of others who have received it, James Gosling also
   accepted an award at this meeting for his work on Java. Linus was in
   good company.
   
   You can see pictures of him receiving the award at:
   
   http://daily.comdex.com/events/uf97/photos3.htm
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  HOWTO UPDATE
  
   
   
   A major update of the Linux Commercial HOWTO, a listing of commercial
   software products for Linux, has been published. The new release
   includes new categories, descriptions of more software packages than
   ever and updates of existing entries.
   
   The listing can be obtained from its primary site at
   http://www.cyrius.com/tbm/Commercial-HOWTO and from LDP mirrors all
   around the world. 
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  SOFTWARE ANNOUNCEMENTS
  
   
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  ANNOUNCING DECISION PCCOM8
  
   
   
   Announcing the availability of a Linux driver for the Decision PCCOM8
   multiport serial card.
   
   Signum Support, a company specialising in free software support and
   Linux, was approached by MYDATA Automation AB, a Swedish robotics
   company, to write a Linux device driver for the Decision PCCOM8
   multi-port serial card. The driver and was written by Christer
   Weinigel (wingel@signum.se) and Mikael Cardell (mc@signum.se). Any
   questions regarding this driver can be sent to pccom8@signum.se
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  ANNOUNCING THE SHUTTLE CONNECTION (EPST)
  
   
   
   Signum Support, a company specialising in free software support and
   Linux, was approached by MYDATA Automation AB, a Swedish robotics
   company, to write a Linux device driver for a parallel port SCSI
   interface. This driver for the Shuttle Connection was written by
   Christer Weinigelwingel@signum.se at Signum Support.
   
   This driver can be found as ftp://ftp.signum.se/pub/epst/epst-0.9.diff
   
   
   The diff was made against a version 2.0.29 kernel. This driver
   (probably) still contains bugs and should be considered as ALPHA
   software.
   
   Please note that there exists two incompatible devices, both which are
   called `Shuttle Connection'. To find out what model you have, take a
   look at the sticker on the back of the device, you ought to see either
   `EPSA' or `EPST' written on it.
   
   This driver is works with the EPST model; if you own an EPSA model,
   take a look at http://www.torque.net/epsa.html where you'll find a
   device driver for that device.
   
   Any questions regarding this driver can be sent to epst@signum.se 
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  NEW RELEASE OF MTOOLS
  
   
   
   Announcing a new release of mtools, a collection of utilities to
   access MS-DOS disks from Unix without mounting them.
   
   Mtools-3.3 fixes a typo in mdel, which made it command unusuable.
   
   Mtools supports Win'95 style long file names, OS/2 Xdf disks and 2m
   disks (store up to 1992k on a high density 3 1/2 disk). The most
   notable new feature (over 3.1) is FAT 32 support. There is also
   mpartition, a simple partitioning programing to setup Zip and Jaz
   media on non-PC machines (SunOs, Solaris and HP/UX).
   
   Mtools can currently be found at the following places:
     * http://linux.wauug.org/pub/knaff/mtools
     * http://www.club.innet.lu/~year.mtools
       
   
   
   and soon at:
     * ftp://prep.ai.mit.edu/pub/gnu/mtools-3.3.src.tar.gz
     * ftp://pub/Linux/utils/disk-management/mtools-3.3.src.tar.gz
     *
       ftp://tsx-11.mit.edu/pub/linux/wources/usr.bin/mtools-3.3.src.tar.g
       z
       
   
   
   There is an mtools mailing list at mtools@linux.wauug.org. To
   subscribe to it, send a message containing 'subscribe mtools' in its
   body to majordomo@linux.wauug.org.
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  GV 2.9.4 ANNOUNCEMENT
  
   
   
   gv 2.9.4 is now available. gv allows to view and navigate through
   PostScript and PDF documents on an X display by providing a user
   interface for the ghostscript interpreter. It may be obtained either
   from its homepage at: http://wwwthep.physic.uni-mainz.de/~plass/gv/"
   or via anonymous ftp from: ftp://thep.physik.uni-mainz.de/pub/gv
   
   Please note that gv is derived from Tim Theisen's ghostview 1.5.
   
   gv surely works on
     * Linux (gcc 2.7.2.1)
     * OpenVMS AXP (DECC 5.2,DECC 5.0)
       
   
   
   I also got reports of happy users on
     * Solaris
     * FreeBSD
     * NetBSD
     * Digital UNIX
     * SunOS
     * HP/UX
     * Irix
     * OSF/1
       
   
   
   gv requires Kaleb Keithley's Xaw3d widget set. VMS users will find
   everything needed to install this widget set at the locations listed
   above.
   
   For Unix users working on a system not equipped with this widget set
   the page http://wwwthep.physik.uni-mainz.de/~plass/gv/Xaw3d.html may
   provide some assistance when trying to install it.
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  SAFEPASSAGE WEB PROXY
  
   
   
   Oakland, CA -- C2Net Software, Inc., and UK Web, Ltd., announced the
   1.0 release of a new product, "SafePassage Web Proxy." This product,
   developed entirely outside of the United States, provides
   full-strength, non-escrowed cryptography for users of any standard web
   browser.
   
   SafePassage is an enhancement for "export" browsers, an add-on product
   that works with any standard web browser. Acting as an intermediary,
   or proxy, it intercepts weakly encrypted connections on their way out
   and transforms them to use full-strength cryptography. "The weak
   connection never leaves your PC," explains Parekh, "it gets decrypted
   and then re-encrypted with a full-strength cipher."
   
   SafePassage provides secure connections using strong cryptography for
   any browser that supports standard SSL tunneling, a feature normally
   used by firewall software. It currently runs on Windows 3.1, Windows
   95, and Windows NT.
   
   Evaluation versions of SafePassage can be downloaded at no cost from
   UK Web's site at: http://stronghold.ukweb.com/safepassage It is
   currently unavailable for distribution within the US and Canada, but a
   domestic version will be made available in the near future. A single-
   user license is $49, prices for volume licensing start at $995 for
   fifty users.
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  ANNOUNCING TURBO VISION 0.3
  
   
   
   Turbo Vision (or TV, for short) is a library that provides an
   application framework. With TV you can write a beautiful
   object-oriented character-mode user interface in a short time.
   
   TV is available in C++ and Pascal and is a product of Borland
   International. It was developed to run on MS-DOS systems, but today it
   is available for many other platforms (ported by independent
   programmers).
   
   This port is based on the Borland 2.0 version with fixes.
   
   Main changes from version 0.2 to 0.3
     * Added support for the FreeBSD operating system.
     * Added support for colored output.
     * evMouseAuto event fixed.
     * Some bugs fixed.
       
   
   
   Where to download the library
     * sunsite.unc.edu:/incoming/Linux
     * ftp.cdrom.com:/pub/FreeBSD/incoming
       
   
   
   If you don't want to wait the file to be moved to the destination
   directories, you can download a copy of it from:
   
   ftp.cdrom.com:/pub/FreeBSD/incoming/tvision-0.3.tar.gz
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  ANNOUNCING THE RELEASE OF TEAMWAVE WORKPLACE 1.0
  
   
   
   TeamWave Software Ltd. is pleased to announce the release of TeamWave
   Workplace 1.0, an Internet groupware product that lets you work
   together with colleagues in real-time or asynchronously, using
   Macintosh, Windows or Unix platforms.
   
   Check us out at http://www.teamwave.com
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  RELEASE OF SAMBA SMB FILE SERVER
  
   
   
   The release of Samba SMB File Server has been announced. The server
   includes support for Western European Languages in filenames served by
   Samba, allowing Western European users of Microsoft Windows(tm)
   products to store native language filenames on their UNIX file
   servers.
   
   Although this is a new minor version release, there have been many
   bugfixes and improvements from previous releases.
   
   The new verson is available on a GNU gziped tar file from
   
   ftp://samba.anu.edu.au/pub/samba/samba-1.9.16p11.tar.gz
   
   and should be available from mirror sites throughout the world
   shortly. For details see the main Web site for information about
   Samba, at :
   
   http://samba.canberra.edu.au/pub/samba
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  ANNOUNCING UNIPEN-RELATED SOFTWARE PACKAGE
  
   
   
   UPTOOLS3
   
   This is to announce the new release of the UNIPEN-related software
   package (works great on Linux, too):
   
   This UNIX software is mainly intended for researchers in on-line
   handwriting recognition. It allows for a hierarchical annotation of
   on-line handwritten data coming from XY digitizers or pen computers.
   The software is _not_ intended for processing off-line (i.e.,
   optically scanned) handwriting data. The purpose of this software is
   to stimulate the use of the UNIPEN file format for on-line handwriting
   recognition research. This is the same data format as is used within
   the UNIPEN recognizer benchmark project http://hwr.nici.kun.ml/unipen/
     * upview-An X-Windows program for quickly visualizing UNIPEN files.
     * upread-A program for transforming or extracting data from any
       UNIPEN file.
     * upworks-A large program using Tcl/Tk on X-Windows for browsing
       through UNIPEN files, and editing or entering .SEGMENTS. Time
       series of essential signals can be viewed. There are many options
       for changing graphical attributes (such as the color of segments).
     * uni2animgif-A program for transforming data from any UNIPEN file
       into animated GIF images.
     * unipen2eps-A program for transforming data from any UNIPEN file
       into encapsulated PostScript.
       
   
   
   An introduction to UPTOOLS3 can be found at:
   
   http://hwr.nici.kun.nl/uniopen/uptools3
   
   The new software is available via ftp at:
   
   ftp.nici.kun.nl:/pub/INIPEN/tools/uptools3.tar.gz
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  ANNOUNCING GHOSTSCRIPT SYSTEM 0.2.0
  
   
   
   The Display Ghostscript System is a free software implementation of a
   Display PostScript(tm) System. A Display PostScript System provides a
   device-independent imaging model for displaying information on a
   screen. The imaging model uses the PostScript language which has
   powerful graphics capabilities and frees the programmer from
   display-specific details like screen resolution and color issues.
   
   The Display Ghostscript System is composed of a PostScript interpreter
   (Ghostscript), the Client library, and the pswrap translator.
   
   The Display Ghostscript System uses a client/server architecture.
   Applications are linked with the Client library which communicates
   with the PostScript interpreter residing in the server. The
   application utilizes the procedures and data structures in the Client
   library which are independent of the actual PostScript interpreter.
   
   The pswrap translator allows you to take custom PostScript language
   programs and wrap them with a C function interface thus allowing your
   applications to call them directly. pswrap programs are generally more
   efficient then performing the same PostScript program purely with the
   Client library procedures.
   
   The dgs-0.2.0.tar.gz distribution file has been placed on
   ftp.gnustep.org/pub/gnustep
   
   The program requires gcc 2.7.2.1 or higher.
   
   The `.tar' file is compressed with GNU gzip. Gzip can be obtained by
   anonymous ftp at any of the GNU archive sites.
   
   For info about FTP via email, send email to ftpmail@decwrl.declcom
   with no subject line, and two-line body with line one `help' and line
   two `quit'.
   
   The most recent (not necessarily tested) snapshots of the library will
   be placed in ftp://alpha.gnu.ai.mit.edu.gnu/gnustep
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  GA PLUG-IN FOR NEXS SPREADSHEET AVAILABLE NOW
  
   
   
   X Engineering Software Systems (XESS Corp.) announces the immediate
   availability of a genetic algorithm (GA) plug-in for its NExS
   spreadsheet. Those interested in the genetic algorithm plug-in can
   download the source code and a PostScript manual from www.xess.com. A
   free, 30-day version of the NExS spreadsheet and the new
   conNExions-BETA API can also be downloaded for the HP/UX, AIX, Digital
   UNIX, SunOS, Solaris and Linux platforms.
   
   Genetic algorithms (GA) solve optimization problems by modeling
   potential solutions as chromosomes which can breed with one another to
   produce better solutions through the forces of natural selection.
   
   The GA plug-in provides one new NExS function: @GENALG(...) which
   optimizes a fitness function that is affected by a group of 1/0
   variables in the sheet. Any NExS function or combination of functions
   can be used to specify the fitness function.
   
   The GA plug-in interacts with the NExS spreadsheet through the
   conNExions-BETA API. The source code for the plug-in is being made
   available for modification and customization.
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  ANNOUUNICING MKLINUX DR2.1
  
   
   
   We are pleased to announce the release of MkLinux DR2.1. DR2.1
   includes support for the Power Macintosh 601/NuBus 601/PCI bus and
   604/PCI bus systems: the Power Macintosh 6100, 7100, and 8100; 7200;
   7500, 7600, 8200, 8500, and 9500. (Support for 603-based systems is
   forthcoming but is not yet available. DR2.1 does not yet support
   Powerbooks or most Performas at this time.)
   
   DR2.1 is our third Developer Release of MkLinux and the first Release
   to be included in our Reference Release, published by Prime Time
   Freeware (PTF). The MkLinux Reference Release consists of a 360-page
   book and 2 CD-ROMs: the Apple MkLinux DR2.1 disc and PTF's Reference
   disc, packed with lots of interesting and useful reference material.
   (The two CD-ROMs are each also sold separately.)
   
   The MkLinux Reference Release is available by mail order from PTF and
   other vendors, and is also available through many technical
   bookstores, as are the individual discs. Contact Prime Time Freeware
   for details at info@ptf.com or visit their Web site at www.ptf.com.
   
   MkLinux is available both on CD-ROM and by anonymous ftp download from
   ftp://ftp.mklinux.apple.com and our various mirror sites. (Please be
   patient with the mirror sites; it may take some of them a while to get
   DR2.1 ready for downloading!).
   
   With the release of DR2.1, DR2 will no longer be available or
   supported. We will retain the DR2 "Help and Support" information on
   our Web pages, but DR2 itself will be removed from our FTP server.
   
   Check out the Web site at:http://www.mklinux.apple.com/DR2.1 for more
   information on this release. All Readme files from the DR2.1
   Distribution, including the Release Notes (Readme First) and the
   Installation Guide (How to Install MkLinux) are reproduced on our Web
   pages.
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  METRO-X 3.1.5 NOW SHIPPING
  
   
   
   Metro Link is now shipping Metro-X 3.1.5. This is an updated version
   of Metro-X 3.1.2 for Linux, which is a commercial X server replacement
   for use with XFree86. It contains various fixes and support for the
   following additional cards:
     * Diamond Stealth 64 Graphics 2200
     * Diamond Stealth 64 Video VRAM V1.xx (TI 3026 DAC)
     * Diamond Stealth 64 Video VRAM V3.xx (IBM DAC)
     * ELSA WINNER 1000TRIO/V (TRIO64V+)
     * ELSA Winner 2000AVI
     * ELSA Winner 2000PRO/X (TI 3026 DAC)
     * Number Nine I-128 series 2
     * Toshiba Tecra 720CDT (CHIPS 65550)
       
   
   
   For a complete list of supported cards, see our cardlist:
   
   http://www.metrolink.com/products/metrox/cardlist.html
   
   For more details look at the complete product description:
   
   http://www.metroling.com/products.metrox.ess.html
   
   PRICE FOR LINUX VERSION:
   
   New Purchase: $99
   
   Upgrade from earlier release: $69
   
   CONTACT INFORMATION:
   Metro Link, Inc. http://www.metrolink.com and sales@metrolink.com
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   Published in Linux Gazette Issue 16, April 1997
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   [ TABLE OF CONTENTS ] [ FRONT PAGE ] Back Next 
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
      This page written and maintained by the Assistant Editor of Linux
      Gazette, gazette@ssc.com
      Copyright &copy; 1997 Specialized Systems Consultants, Inc.
      
   
   
    "Linux Gazette...making Linux just a little more fun!"
    
   
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
                               THE ANSWER GUY 
                                       
   
    By James T. Dennis, jimd@starshine.org
    Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/
    
   
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
  CONTENTS:
     * SATAN URL Correction
     * EDI on Linux
     * zmodem
     * Running the Internet with Linux
     * Respawning Too Fast
     * Problems with Keyboard Mapping
     * Modem Speed
     * Duplicating a Linux Installed Hard Drive
     * Using Linux Box as a Firewall
       
   
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   
   
  SATAN URL CORRECTION
  
   
   
   From: Richard White, whiter@digex.net
   In the Linux Journal #14, you made reference to
   ftp.cs.perdue.edu...(grin) Doesn't exist. I think that it was
   supposed to be ftp.cs.purdue.edu. 
   
   -- Richard D. White, Business Connectivity Technical Support 
   
   Yes! That was, of course, a typo. But other than that -- did you find
   the info useful?
   
   Yes. Very. I've just downloaded SATAN and a few of the other security
   tools. I work in customer service for leased lines and I occasionally
   assist customers in configuring their firewalls. Learning what holes
   there are and how to plug them is very worthwhile knowledge. 
   
   Have you tried cops (Dan Farmer's earlier host based auditing package)
   or Tiger (Texas A&M University)?
   
   Have you gotten tripwire running? I (and most of the rest of the Linux
   community that's tried it) had a little trouble with Tripwire. I had
   fussed it into submission a number of months ago -- forgotten about
   it. Then recently I had to fetch and build a new copy.
   
   I encountered the same problems building it -- and the same problems
   with the README.linux I found myself muttering that someone -- anyone
   -- ought to prepare a proper set of patches that allow the Linux user
   to just compile the thing with minimal effort.
   
   Now I'm not a programmer (although I do "play one on the 'net") so I
   really didn't feel qualified to do this. However I never have been
   able to inspire or manage much of a volunteer effort in others so I
   did it myself.
   
   Creating a set of patches involved teaching myself how to use CVS
   (version control system). I'm thinking of writing up an article on
   using CVS to track local changes in downloaded source trees and
   cutting diffs so you can share the work you do with others on the net.
   
   
   Naturally I'd use tripwire as one example -- probably pgp as another.
   I'm also planning on importing my kernel sources into CVS.
   
   If your interested you could get my patch and let me know if it works.
   It's about 150 lines of text that seems to work for me using Larry
   Wall's standard 'patch' program.
   
   -- Jim
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   
   
  EDI ON LINUX
  
   
   
   From: Adam Morrisom, adam@morrison.iserv.net
   I have just got management to permit me to install our first Linux
   box, right next to our not-so-mighty RS/6000. So far it has operated
   flawlessly (which is exactly what I expected). And suddenly Linux is
   a possible solution for jst about every problem we have (they loved
   the price tag). Now I have to implement EDI, and I was wondering if
   any software is available for Linux, I haven't been able to find
   anything, on the software map, sunsite or any where else. Any
   pointers or people to contact would be greatly appreciated. 
   
   Adam, 
   
   You certainly put in an good entry in Jim's "Stump the techie"
   contest.
   
   I've heard of EDI (electronic data interchange) and vaguely recalled
   that it is a data format specification for electronic commerce (mostly
   in the mainframe world where X.25 predominates over TCP/IP).
   
   However I haven't heard of any projects or products being available
   specifically for Linux.
   
   Here's a few web pages that I did dig up that might help:
     * St. Paul Software Products - UNIX
     * Shad's Bookmark file
     * Premenos Technology Corporation
     * More About Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
     * RFC Archives -- RFC1767
     * TSI International
     * 1994 EDI-L (Electronic Data Interchange Issues)
     * Mailing List Archive: Re: PC based EDI
     * Uniforum: 1995 Index
       
   
   
   I hope these help. Basically it looks like there are not "shrinkwrap"
   or "off-the-shelf" EDI packages for any platform. Good luck.
   
   One approach you may take is to contact the publishers or authors of
   your existing EDI applications and see if they can do the port for
   you.
   
   -- Jim
   
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   
   
  ZMODEM
  
   
   
   Help answer guy! I cannot download from the net! Here's the story: - I
   run linux v2.0.0. I am using minicom v1.71. I have NOT touched my
   file transfer protocols since I installed, so they would be the
   default configs. 
   
   I hate debugging serial line problems.
   
   Here's the basic litany for solving modem problems:
   
   What happens at lower speeds? What IRQ is this serial line using? What
   sort of UART is installed? What are the flow control settings? Does
   the cable have conductors for all of the flow control signals? How is
   the modem configured (hardware and init strings)?
   
   minicom 1.71 is pretty old. I have 1.75 here -- and there may be even
   newer versions up on sunsite.
   
   Incidentally -- you should probably upgrade to Linux kernel version
   2.0.29 or so.
   
   Your problem may not be related to either of these factors -- but it
   won't hurt to upgrade.
   
   The first thing I'd check is Minicom's configuration for init strings
   and flow control. Try an init string of:

        AT&C1&D2

   
   
   ... (which I remember from years of supporting PCAnywhere as well as
   seeing it in my current configuration). These set the modem's behavior
   for the DCD (device carrier detect) and flow control. I don't remember
   which is which and what the other numbers do -- look them up in your
   modem's manual if you're curious).
   
   Then make sure that minicom's "Serial port setup" specifies "Hardware
   Flow Control" is "on."
   
   When having problems with serial lines and modems I find it handy to
   get the digital equivalent of a "second opinion." -- Do you run any
   other comm software on this system (pppd, uucp/cu, mgetty -- dial-in,
   seyon)? Do those work reliably when transferring data (putting the
   line under load)?
   
   I'd suggest getting a copy of C-Kermit from Columbia University
   kermit.columbia.edu . No offense to Miguel van Smoorenburg but
   minicom was having problems on my system, too. C-Kermit is doesn't
   have any of the full screen, ncurses "feel" to it but does a good
   solid job of talking to the modem. It's scripting capabilities are
   also far more advanced than minicom's 'runscript' -- and has features
   that would be to force 'minicom' to do through an 'expect' script (for
   example).
   
   Do you have another account on another system (BBS or ISP)? Do your
   file transfers work O.K. to or from there? The problem may be with
   your ISP rather than at your end.
   
   What if you try a different protocol -- such as kermit? Kermit is
   often characterized as "slow" compared to zmodem -- but this is
   largely because it's default is tuned for the very noisy, unreliable
   connections that were common when it was created (almost 20 years
   ago).
   
   After checking with another comm. program I'd look a little lower.
   Using the commands:

        stty -a


         ... and

        setserial -a /dev/modem



        (both of these assuming you have a "modem" link to
        the appropriate /dev/ttyS* entry on your system).



        Make sure that your stty reports crtscts (for the
        flow control).  Then make sure that the cable between
        your computer and your modem has all those pins
        connected.



        Double check that you don't have an IRQ conflict.  These
        are insidious in that they may not show up until the
        port is under load.



        In addition check to see that you have a high speed
        UART (16550AFN) on that port.



        Next I'd check the modem's configuration.  You can
        see some of that with AT&V (which on many Hayes
        modems dumps the configuration date and S-register
        values to your terminal).  Look at the Init strings
        that you are using in Minicom and look in the
        modem manual for recommended init strings for similar
        software.



        After checking all of that I'd shutdown and boot
        up in DOS (if you don't have a copy of DOS you can
        consider downloading a copy of Caldera's OpenDOS.
        I'm not sure what the licensing terms will be -- but
        I did read that we're all invited to play with it for
        90 days).  Along with a copy of DOS you also need
        a Telix, Qmodem, Procomm, or other comm. package.
        There are many of these in shareware -- Telix is my
        personal favorite.



        (Note:  I am not advocating use of these packages
        without respect to their licenses.  If you choose to
        continue to use Telix or OpenDOS -- even for the
        occasional troubleshooting session; please read and
        abide by their licensing and registration.  Yes,
        I have fully legal copies of Telix (DOS and Windows)).



        In any event I like to check from plain old DOS
        since the old real mode program loader is so
        minimal.  You could try building a Linux kernel
        with no support for TCP/IP and stripping out all
        of the device drivers except the serial and console
        support and booting that in single user mode ... and
        that still isn't close.



        The idea is to see if any of your other devices or
        hardware features are conflicting.


 

 i am a best internet shell account, i believe iris but i don't
  know the version.




        I'm guessing that you mean that your account is at
        best.com and that they are running Irix (SGI).
        (Which is interesting -- since I would have guessed
        Sun/Solaris for them -- but what do I know).



        Note:  Irix and Solaris are not known for sterling
        serial line support.  They are currently geared for
        ethernet TCP/IP support -- on the assumption that
        most sites will use terminal servers (small dedicate
        devices that convert serial connections to telnet
        sessions).  Consequently I've heard that the copies
        of rz/sz that ship with these should routinely be
        replace with newer sources from the 'net.


 

i have a usrobotics sportster 28.8 modem




        
Internal or external?


        Personally I don't like the Sportster series.
        Their Courier's are nice (but spendy).  I currently
        use a Practical Peripherals -- but my next modem will
        probably be a Zyxel.


 

I typesz <filename>
    things go along fine until about 40k than i will get a couple of different
    error messages:

        BAD CRC:0

               sometimes followed by another attempt at downloading
               (usually only a bit or two) than the same error OR

       GARBAGE COUNT EXCEEDED:0

               followed by a time-out.


AARRGH!  what the heck is going on?  u can email me privately if you would
 prefer, as this is probably a totally common problem and i am just not
 looking in the right place!






        My guess would that you don't have a high speed UART.
        Or that your flow control isn't properly set.



        The reason I guess this is that 40K is a reasonable
        amound of data for the modem to get and buffer while
        you system does a context switch.  The buffer overruns
        (in a 16450 -- older, low-speed UART) could easily be
        fatal to the transfer in the first context switch.



        With the 16550 UART -- the UART has a 16 byte FIFO
        buffer.  That's enough for the UART to change
        the state on the handshaking lines (lowering the
        CTR -- clear to receive -- line) and enough still
        store the incoming data while the other system
        responds (stops sending).



        At 28.8Kbps coming into a 16450's (one byte!) buffer
        the sender will have tossed a lot of bits out before
        getting the message (that your system is dropping
        them all on the floor).



        I am copying this to the Linux Gazette *because* it
        is a common problem.  Most of us in the real world
        use modem -- we don't have T1's or ISDN/ethernet
        bridges (actually I do have a Tracell WebRamp but
        I'm not using it yet).  So we are still stuck fighting
        with these problems.



        I'm hoping that USB (IEEE 1394 "Firewire") actually
        takes off in the next year.  It's been hanging in the
        wings, timidly for about two years now and it's LONG
        overdue.



        Has anyone out there run a USB board under Linux?
        


        For those who are lost about "Firewire" refer to:
     * USAR Systems -- Fireware Info
     * The IEEE-1394 High Performance Serial Bus -- Adaptec's FAQ
     * IEEE 1394 Trade Assoc. -- Firewire, USB, serial bus


        If you have any Linux news on this topic -- mail it to
        tag@starshine.org.




--Jim




  __________________________________________________________________________








  RUNNING THE INTERNET WITH LINUX


 
From:Ricardo Romero  rromero@netfriendly.com


Hi, my name is Ricardo Ribeiro Romero and i live in Brazil, i try to run
 INTERNET from linux but this not run, you may help-me?


Tks,

 Romero, Ricardo




        At the risk of seeming unfriendly, Romero, I'd have to
        suggest that you might want to look for a local consultant
        or computer specialist to help you.



        Questions to a publication -- particularly a free publication
        which is entirely supported by the volunteer efforts of the
        writers and the generous sponsorship of SSC have to be
        fairly specific and of reasonably broad interest.



        Any reasonable distribution of Linux includes all of the
        utilities you need to connect to the Internet as a client
        and all of the utilities that most people would ever want
        to be a service provider.



        It is not clear from your message whether you are trying
        to set your system up as a server/provider or as a client
        or both.



        There are several good books that go into broad coverage
        of Networking with Linux (which is largely the same as
        networking under other forms of Unix).  My personal favorite
        would be the Linux Documentation Project's Network Administrator's
        Guide (LDP NAG for short).  This is available electronically
        (as text, postscript, TeX, or HTML) and is probably on any
        set of CD's that you'd buy.  You can also purchase a professionally
        bound and printed copy from O'Reilly & Associates (among others).



        Along with that O'Reilly also publishes a book called something
        like: "Getting Connecting: Establishing a Presence on the Internet"
        (That would be the "Pig" book) by Kevin Dowd).  If you're trying
        to set yourself up as an ISP or if your want to have a
        dedicated connection to the net (say for your office) than
        this is probably what you want.



        Personally I recommend that most small business and private
        people avoid "dedicated" or "permanent/full-time" connections
        to the 'net.  It's much less expensive to configure UUCP for
        mail and news -- and look at virtual hosting and/or co-location
        for serving up web pages and other services.  This can be
        supplemented with demand dialed PPP (using scripts or diald)
        to provide the web access -- over a modem or via ISDN.



        One of the big benefits of ISDN is the lower latency.  A
        modem connection takes about 30 seconds to 1 minute to
        dial, ring, connect, and negotiate.  ISDN can do that in
        about 3 seconds.  You'll be much less reluctant to hang
        up and quit hogging your ISP's phone line if you know that
        you can get back in about 3 seconds.



        In addition to the lower expense running your site as a
        disconnected network relieves you of quite a bit of the
        security concerns associated with a full time net connection.
        Sure -- your PPP link is inherently bi-directional (people
        can connect back to your through it and attempt to exploit
        the same services that they my attack on a fully connected
        site).  However you'll be there to notice any additional
        load or any anomalies -- and your whole site is considerably
        less attractive to crackers anyway.



        (People who connect their Linux systems to the 'net via PPP
        really should take a 1 hr course on securing their hosts.
        Maybe I'll crank out an article on that sometime).

        Romero,



        Back to your question.  Please try reading up about
        these connections and/or consider hiring a local consultant.
        I don't know anything about the phonesystems in Brazil --
        and I get a little sketchy about ISP's if I get more than
        about 200 miles inland from the Pacific Coast.




  --Jim




  __________________________________________________________________________








  RESPAWNING TOO FAST


 
From: Igor Markov imarkov@math.ucla.edu
My question is about the infamous "Resapawning too fast" message
from init. This message appears in my /var/log/messages
every 5 minutes (of course!) for xdm
I'm just guessing that this is for "The Answer Guy"

 init: Id "x" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes

However, xdm is running (I see it in ps output and I don't have
problems using it).




You don't show the appropriate lines from your
        your /etc/inittab but they should look something like:

        

        # Run xdm in runlevel 5 (and 4 for me)
                x:45:respawn:/usr/bin/X11/xdm -nodaemon



        (Note: I run xdm in 4 and 5 which unusual -- but
        4 is my custom default -- with 12 VCs, xdm in VC13
        -- accessed by the right alt-key + F1 -- and syslog
        output on VC 15, VC14 is used for stray open commands
        or to redirect pesky output from backgrounded processes).



        My guess would be that you don't have the -nodaemon
        switch on yours. (Try adding it).
        


        If I'm mistaken than the troubleshooting will be
        more involved.  Check with the vendor for your
        distribution of Linux and see if they have some
        patches.



        Red Hat users may want to look at:

        
http://www.redhat.com/support/docs/errata.html


        ... to see what's been fixed since your CD was burned.



        Also you may want to look in your xdm-config file
        (/etc/X11/xdm/xdm-config -- if you're lucky -- otherwise
        it could be in .... /usr/X11R6/....????).



        The best introduction to xdm I've ever found was in
        _The_Shell_Hacker's_Guide_to_X_and_Motif_ from John
        Wiley & Sons.


 

 It seems that init tries to spawn a second xdm.
 I couldn't confirm or reject this hypothesis...
 (egrep xdm /etc/* /etc/*/*  did not show anything promising)
 Thank you




        Respawning too fast indicates that the program
        is exiting (pretty much immediately) and that init
        figures that there must be some bad problem.  For
        example if getty is respawning it may be that it's
        attempt to grab the serial line is failing (like
        there is no serial driver configured in your kernel
        and you forgot to load the module -- or something like that).



        If xdm is loading and forking off a daemon (it's default)
        then this will look like an exit/failure to init.  The
        -nodaemon will force xdm to run from the console in which
        init started it (not try to "background" itself as it would
        do if you ran it from a command line).



        The fact that your copy is working suggests this -- but when
        you log out of your xdm session you might have to way upto
        five minutes for init to decide to try xdm again (unless
        your xdm logout configuration is doing the respawning or
        something weird).



--Jim





  __________________________________________________________________________







  PROBLEMS WITH KEYBOARD MAPPING


 
From: Gilbert R. Payson
g.payson@edina.xnc.com

Hello.  I have three (okay, four) linux machines in Germany.
 My problem is this:  In Xwindows, my keyboard mapping is almost perfect.
 But, there are a few problems:
 


 @ doesn't work.
It brings me to the last edited line (like an up-arrow)
How can I fix this?
 


 thanx!  -gil




        I think you want to look at the xmodmap command.
        You'll also want to look at the following HOW-TO
        documents:
     * Keyboard HOWTO
     * Key Setup mini-HOWTO



--Jim



  __________________________________________________________________________








  MODEM SPEED


 
From:Scott Atwood
atwood@cs.stanford.edu

 I'd like to make a comment regarding a question from "The Answer Guy"
 column in issue 13 of Linux Gazette about combining modems to increase
 speed.  This question reflects a common misconception of equating
 bandwidth with speed.  Latency is a much more important measure of
 percieved speed, especially in interactive applications, such as
 telnet sessions, and web browsing.  Combining modems will increase
 bandwidth, but latency will remain unaffected.  For a more complete
 treatment of this subject, see:
 http://rescomp.stanford.edu/~cheshire/rants/Latency.html

an essay by Stuart Cheshire, author of Bolo.





        I finally got around to reading your article.  It was
        very interesting.



        I thought I had warned the reader that doubling his
        bandwidth would only help on large, bulk transfers --
        but perhaps I overlooked it.



--Jim




  __________________________________________________________________________








  DUPLICATING A LINUX INSTALLED HARD DISK


 
 I have installed slackware on my PC and I'm completely satisfied. I want
 to duplicate my linux installed hard disk : Can I use my 1st hard disk
 as a source and copy all of its contents to a 2nd blank linux-formated
 hard disk? If I put this 2nd disk into another PC, it will boot Linux
 normally?






        You can just use the 'dd' ("disk dump" or "data dump")
        command on the raw devices.  This will work if the two drives
        are identical with no bad sectors.



        Many years ago I'd have said you were an idiot to even consider
        it.  Now I'd recommend against in much milder language.



        The difference is that modern drives -- IDE and SCSI are
        capable of autotranslation (so the BIOS and often the
        Unix/Linux disk drivers don't need to know the true
        geometry of the disk.  Most drives these days also have
        spare sectors on every track -- during a low level format
        spares are mapped into use for any bad sector on a particular
        track.  Using this scheme (which is normally completely
        transparent to the host machine -- it's all in the drive's
        electronics) it is rare to see any bad sectors on a drive
        (until all the spares for a given track are used up).



        So it is technical feasible to do this.



        However I'd say that you're much safer to spend a little
        more time and "do it right."



        Use fdisk to partition the new drive (presumably to set its
        partitions to match those on your first drive.  You can
        do this without downing the system.  I personally prefer to
        follow the advice and reboot after writing a new partition
        table -- but that's probably a force of habit from too
        many years of DOS and OS/2.



        Then do amke2fs -c /dev/hdbX (where X is the partition
        number) for each of these new partitions.



        Then do a:

                mount /dev/hdbX /mnt/tmp
                find . -mount | cpio -pvum  /mnt/tmp



        ... to each of them.



        Now your are almost done.  The only problem is that
        your lilo boot map (on your existing drive) probably
        doesn't match the lilo configuration on the new one.



        The most reliable way of dealing with that is to
        take the new drive to the new system -- boot from a
        rescue floppy  using the root=/dev/hdaX command
        line parameters (on the lilo prompt line from the
        rescue floppy) and edit the /etc/lilo.conf.  Then
        run lilo and reboot.



        That's all there is to it.  That's about seven steps
        (with 3 of them being repeated for each filesystem on
        the drive(s).  The amount of time this takes is dwarfed
        by the actual task of opening your case and getting the
        jumpers on the new drive working right (which is far worse
        for IDE than most SCSI in my experience).



        Why is this better?  Well it deals with bad blocks and
        small difference in geometry.  It also ensures that the
        new copy is defragmented.  Other than that -- it just
        "feels" like a better way.




 --Jim




  __________________________________________________________________________








  USING THE LINUX BOX AS A FIREWALL


 
From: Tim Gray 
timgray@lambdanet.com

 Hi, I have a small problem that might affect others out there..
 I am trying to get my linux box to act as a "firewall" of sorts for
 my wife's Windows 95 computer. (I haven't been able to get her to
 switch yet)
 I installed ne2000 compatable boards in each, ran cable, installed
 everything as per
 per linux network administrators guide.  The problem I have is
 getting Packets
 destined for internet to go out the modem line when it's not connected.
 I need a way to have linux automatically fire up my dial-up connection when
 it sees that the remote computers want to use it. and possibly kill the
 connection after a period of non use.



 Thank you.  Tim




        This arrangement is referred to a a "Proxy" server --
        which is only a component of certain firewall architectures.



        Specifically you appear to be trying to set up a "dial on
        demand Masquerading proxy host."  (if I understand you
        correctly).



        The first tool you need for this is called 'diald' --
        (the 'dial daemon').



        The most recent version that I know of is at:



        
ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/system/network/serial/


        ... and is named:

                 diald-0.16.tar.gz



        I just set this up (literally while this draft was
        loaded in my mailer).  It was suprisingly easy.



        Just edited the make file (just to change the
        LIBDIR, BINDIR, etc directories to point at /usr/local/...)
        did a make and a make install.  Then I created a file
        named /etc/diald.conf with just the 'lock' directive in it.
        I did this so I can more readily support multiple diald
        configurations -- as I'll explain presently:



        I created a /etc/diald/ directory and put in a
        file like:

device /dev/modem
connect "chat -f /etc/ppp/connect"
speed 38400
modem
defaultroute
crtscts
redial-timeout 120
connect-timeout 120
mode ppp
dynamic
local 192.168.1.1
remote 192.168.1.2
include /usr/lib/diald/standard.filter



        Obviously yours will differ in a few spots.
        the -f parameter to your connect line should point
        to whatever chat script you use manually.  You might
        change the device line -- although I highly recommend
        that you consistently configure all of your packages to
        use /dev/modem (which is just a symlink to the real
        serical device on my system).



        I currently have diald, pppd (manual), uucp, kermit,
        minicom, and mgetty all sharing this modem and properly
        using the same lock files throughout.



        The local and remote addresses are apparently arbitrary --
        I use addresses that are listed in RFC1918 (nee 1597)
        which reserves several sets of addresses which the
        IANA/InterNIC promise not to give out to "real" internet
        sites.



        Then added the following two lines to my /etc/rc.local:

                modprobe slip
                /usr/local/sbin/diald -f /etc/diald/rahul



        (Where the rahul file is the one I've listed above and
        refers to one of my PPP providers).



     Once you have your system reliably dialing your provider
        on demand -- the next step is to get routing working
        from your wife's system to the internet.



        I would recommend bringing up the ppp connection manually
        and doing all the routing/masquerading/proxying configuration
        and testing with the line "nailed" up.




--Jim





  __________________________________________________________________________




      Copyright &copy; 1997, James T. Dennis
      Published in Issue 16 of the Linux Gazette April 1997
      



  __________________________________________________________________________





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  __________________________________________________________________________








  A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO THE KUNF LIBRARY
  
    By Marc Welz, mwelz@sar8.ee.uct.ac.za
    
    
    Why ?
    The kunf library is an attempt to set up a uniform way of accessing
    configuration data. Currently most large applications have their own
    configuration files - these files are likely to have a varying syntax
    and have no well-specified location. On the other hand small programs
    and scripts have no configuration files at all - they have values
    hard-coded
    into them which sometimes can be overridden from the command line
    or through environment variables. This entire setup seems somewhat
    suboptimal - it can be quite daunting to the novice user.



The kunf library attempts change this - it tries to manage configuration
data on behalf of the program or script. Instead of each application
implementing its own resource file parser, an application calls a
set of library functions (in the case of a shell script that would be
a call to a utility program) which then return the configuration data.



Each piece of configuration data has a name (actually a sort of path)
which identifies it. This makes that data independent of any particular
location or configuration file. Once an application requests a data item,
the library looks up the value in a location transparent manner and
(optionally) performs a set of translations on the value. Then the value
is returned to the calling code.



This approach should have the advantage that there is a consistent
way of accessing configuration data - data for different applications
can be modified with the same utility and the economics of scale
should make it possible to construct more sophisticated maintenance
tools that would be feasible for a single application. Novice
users would not need to have to learn the location of the resource
files.




  __________________________________________________________________________


    How ?
    Once you have

downloaded, extracted (tar -xzvf filename) and installed (a
make ; make install should suffice) the library, you should be
able to make use of the shell and C interface without too much difficulty:



>From a shell script you can use the utility kunfenv to place a
particular piece of configuration data into the environment. For example,
the template configuration files contain an entry for the nntpserver
variable which is stored as news:nntp:nntpserver. A shell script
can access that information with a statement like:


#!/bin/bash
# evaluate the result of a call to kunfenv
eval `kunfenv news:nntp:nntpserver`
# Now we have the variable as news_nntp_nntpserver
echo "My nntpserver is $news_nntp_nntpserver"





A C program can access the same data with the following piece of
code:


#include <kunf.h>
  ...
  char *str;
  kunfig_open(NULL,KUNFIG_OPEN_STANDARD);
  str=kunfig_findvalue(3,"news","nntp","nntpserver");
  printf("My nntpserver is %s\n",str);
  kunfig_close();


Do not forget to link the program with the directive -lkunf.



The configuration file editor can be used to modify the value of
news:nntp:nntpserver entry. One simply invokes the editor
by typing kunfedit, navigates down to the nntpserver entry
(select the news entry ...), modifies the value (hit the escape
key to move off a field) and saves it (press escape several times -
it will ask you if you want to save).




  __________________________________________________________________________


    More ?
    There exists a
web page
which contains more information on this library. You can also
ftp the entire
package directly. The library is released under the GNU Copyleft.
You can contact the author at his difficult-to-spam-address.





  __________________________________________________________________________




      Copyright &copy; 1997, Marc Welz
      Published in Issue 16 of the Linux Gazette, April 1997
      
      



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  __________________________________________________________________________







  CLUELESS AT THE PROMPT: A COLUMN FOR NEW USERS
  
    By Mike List, troll@net-link.net
    



  __________________________________________________________________________




 [IMAGE]


Welcome to installment 3 of Clueless at the Prompt:
A Column for New Users.



 Thanks for the encouraging e-mail.In response to several requests,
here is a little information to help you get your feet wet.

  __________________________________________________________________________




    Multitasking



 If you are familiar with that other windowing thing, you may be aware of
the concept of multitasking. Using a single computer to do several
applications at once is a highly desireable trait of an OS.



  It's fairly obvious how to accomplish this in a windowing environment,
but not so obvious at the shell prompt.Here's some of the details.



When you start a program at the shell prompt, you can stop it by typing

    Ctrl-Z



Whereupon you will be returned to the shell prompt. Then type:

    bg



which will restart thet program or job in the (b)ack(g)round and allow you
to run another job while that kernel ccompiles, without changing to a
different VC. You probably know that you can change VCs by using the

    Alt-F2



through F6. Each one of these can also be used in the manner that I have
described, to the extent that you can run yourself out of resources in a
fit of deep hack mode euphoria if you aren't careful.If you get really
exuberant you could even forget what all you have going. Relax, you can
find them all by typing:

    jobs



which will list all jobs running in the background, much like the

    ps



command lists all processes that are using your precious memory and
CPU to a nub.

  __________________________________________________________________________




    Mount



When you boot up linux your file system or rather your hard drive must be
mounted, so that the file system can be read and acted on.Your floppy
drive, tape backup, or CD-ROM may not be automatically mounted, so you
could have need of the mount utility.For instance:

    mount -t ext2 /dev/fd0 /mnt  or  mount -t msdos /dev/fd0 /mnt



will mount your floppy drive that dos calls a: to a directory called /mnt
from where you can access files on floppy disks. In the first example,
the /mnt directory can be read in the ext2 filesystem, while the sescond
reads floppies written in msdos format.To read the contents of the floppy
drive, which is now /mnt you can type:

    cd /mnt



then,

    ls



or

    less filename



In a similar manner,
you can mount your other floppy drives, tape drives, CDROMs, or other
read write devices.These devices can be unmounted using the

    umount /dev/fd0  or /dev/whateveryoumounted



command.

  __________________________________________________________________________




    Some timesavers....



Here are a few  tips that can make your linux life a little easier.



When you first logon to linux there are some commands that make use of
optional switches,which you may not know or be sure of. You might make a
typo in your command that you don't catch until after you hit enter.
To try it again without retyping the whole command, just tap the up arrow
key, which will bring back the previous command so that you can return to
the scene of the crime and replace the mistyped or mistaken characters.
In fact if you tap enter several times you can go back to what you did
several commands previous.



To change back to a directory you have just left, or to scan
subdirectories, you can use :

    c -



in the following manner. change from your /home directory to the main
trunk directory:

    cd /



then, to look at the top level of each directory, for instance:

    cd usr



then:

    ls



If you didn't find what you were looking for, just:

    cd -



and you will find yourself at the trunk / again. Unfortunately you can
only go one layer deep, but it is still useful when you install a source
package and want to check out the contents of each of the subdirectories.
Sometimes, atleast at first, you may not know how to stop a program or
process that's running, but you are unwilling to let it slowly eat up your
memory or CPU overhead. You can type:

    ps  -a



to get a list of all running processes, make note of the pid (Process ID)
number and type:

    kill pidnumber      for instance   kill 2395



But there is an easier way. Browse through the LSM (Linux Software Map)
for a utility , actually a nicety called die-1.1 . You can unpack
this into a directory or use installpkg dopkg or what ever your single
package installation utility is. Then look for the /die-1.1 and cd to it.
It contains a couple of files, a source file,

    die11.c



and a documentation file,

    die.doc



Assuming that you installed the GCC compiler, just type:

   gcc -o die die11.c



hit enter and presto you've compiled a utility called die.Just mv this to
a directory in your path, and if you like, mv the die .doc to /usr/doc
or somewhere it can be with its other help text friends( but not man pages
they'll pick on it unmercifully).Next time you're in a quandary about how
to gun down a process just type:

    die commandname



and it will do the deed. To find out more about die just type:

    die



with no argument and it will give you a summary of the commands you can
try the up arrow keys on

  ; )(THIS EMOTICON IS THE ONLY ONE THAT
  DOESN'T
  MAKE ME NAUSEOUS)




  __________________________________________________________________________




    Disclaimer
    You have probaly noticed this column doesn't have as much content as the
    previous two, presumably since linux is really an easy OS to learn so
    my curve isn't as steep, or maybe it's the fact that I have gone half
    crazy trying to install a DECvt220 to a serial port and it refuses to
    cooperate



I guess I made a mistake when I said I made a mistake about the mkdir
command in DOS. Several people sent me mail that mkdir -md, rmdir-rd
and a couple ohers are synonymous with linux commands. One fella told me
he made symbolic links to several DOS commands so he can use them without
having to learn new but similar commands. Sick, but ingenious.

    Next Time- Let me know what you would like to see in here and I'll try to
    oblige just e-mailtroll@net-link.net me and ask, otherwise I'll just write
    about what gave me trouble and how I got past it.


 TTYL, Mike List





  __________________________________________________________________________




      Copyright &copy; 1997, Mike List
      Published in Issue 16 of the Linux Gazette, April 1997
      
      



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    "Linux Gazette...making Linux just a little more fun!"
    



  __________________________________________________________________________







CeBit'97, March 13-19

    By Belinda Frazier, Associate Publisher Linux Journal
    



  __________________________________________________________________________




CeBIT Photo Album



  __________________________________________________________________________




CeBIT is the world's largest computer fair, bringing together
vendors and attendees from many different countries.
If you picture landscaped fairgrounds with 27 halls for vendors
and even more auxiliary buildings with stores and restaurants
and then add 650,000 people to the picture, all visiting the location
over seven days, you are starting to get an image of CeBIT '97.
CeBIT took place in the Messegelande [umlaut over a] in Hannover,
Germany, March 13th to 19th, 1997.



This was my first time attending CeBIT, and my goal was to
look at the Linux vendors and possibly talk about Linux to vendors
whose software already ran under other Unix platforms. I also
wanted to see what such a huge computer fair would be like and
contrast it to the US's largest computer fair, Comdex, in Las Vegas,
which I have attended the past seven years.



My first stop was Hall 11 to visit Caldera, Inc.
Caldera's booth was easily recognizable as a Linux booth because
of "Tux" the penguin, (well, a stuffed rendition of Tux) sitting on top
of one of the monitors.
Caldera's booth was crowded with people every time I visited it.



Attendees were interested in Caldera's OpenLinux products and
getting information about Linux and Linux products.
The 1500 Linux Journal Buyer's Guides given away by Caldera and
their affiliated booths during CeBIT also seemed to be a hit with
attendees.
Caldera also provided information about OpenDOS 7.01,
which is free for non-commercial and educational use.
Caldera's booth staff talked about recent announcements such as the
upcoming port of Netscape software to OpenLinux, and the port
of StarOffice 3.1 to OpenLinux.



A German television station, Bayerischer Rundfunk, filmed
a short tv show about Linux at the Caldera booth.
The "tv host" Jurgend Plate warmed up for a few minutes while the
film crew continued to set up equipment.
Before they started filming, after
I identified myself as the Associate Publisher of Linux Journal,
Jurgend hollered to me that LJ was "das beste Magazin auf der Welt!"
I was told by Sebastian Hetze of LunetIX, that Jurgend Plate had been
excited about Linux for years, and that his exuberance over Linux
was real.



A second Linux stop for me was at the large Star Office booth
in Hall 2 that demonstrated among its many different ports,
StarOffice on OpenLinux.



At the third Linux stop, the large Software AG booth,
there was a signpost saying
Datenbanktechnologie and the second sign down said "ADABAS & LINUX".
Tux sat proudly on top of the workstation here by the Caldera
OpenLinux Base. Nathan Guinn gave me a free review copy of the single-user
version of LunetIX's ADABAS, an SQL Database, which I passed
along to the editor of Linux Journal.



A fourth company with a Linux product was NAG Ltd,
which among its other products, provided information on
their Linux Fortran 90 Compiler.



Other companies, such as LST Software, GmBH and LunetIX had
representatives at the show, mostly working out of Caldera's booth.



There was some press coverage about Linux.  In the special CeBIT
section of the Newspaper called "COMPUTER & KOMMUNIKATION" there was
a full-page article titled "Linux schultert Microsoft-Anwendungen"
which covered the capability of Microsoft Applications to run
under Linux using Windows Binary Application Interface (WABI).



All in all, CeBIT was an informative, busy, intensive, show.
Next time I should try it without crutches resulting from a sprained ankle.
I should also mention the color shows and performances in some booths,
including a musical story (D2-Musical) with
"Princess Digital, the Queen of the World", the artistic acrobats
at VIAG Interkom, and many cabaret-style performances, which added
a fun, colorful, entertaining diversion during CeBIT.





  __________________________________________________________________________




      Copyright &copy; 1997, Belinda Frazier
      Published in Issue 16 of the Linux Gazette, April 1997
      
      



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  __________________________________________________________________________






Dynamic IP Web Solution Using Geocities Web Account

    by Henry H Lu, fasta@geocities.com
    http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Lakes/3171/



  __________________________________________________________________________





Since I published an article "Setting Up a Dynamic IP Web Server"
in Linux Gazette issue #10, I have lost all the free school web accounts.
Because I need a permenent web page to bridge the linux dynamic web server
at home, I have been lucky to found out that Geocities free web account
can be used with a little bit hack. Geocities free web account with 2MB
space and free email can be obtained at http://www.geocities.com
.



Geocities web page can be updated by ftp method. However, geocities
ftp procedure requires that *.html files are ftped with asii mode and *.jpg,
*.tgz files are ftped by binary mode. I found out that if I use the wrong
mode, web pages can not be updated. It took about 10 minutes in my test
to update ( or overwrite) the web page after the updated file was ftped,
so that you have to be patient to wait for your result with Geocities account.



---------------------------------------------



The following is the ftp part of scripts in file web_up, web_down:



web_up:



if echo -e "ascii\ncd /pub/homestead\nput up.html dynamic.html"
\



| /usr/bin/ftp -v geocities



web_down:



if echo -e "ascii\ncd /pub/homestead\nput down.html dynamic.html"
\



| /usr/bin/ftp -v geocities



Source files like ppp-up and ppp-down are also updated to reflect the
change.



The following sentence can be added to file /etc/ppp/ppp-up in order
to use email to tell us current IP address of your linux box:



mail -s "$4" fasta@geocities.com < /etc/add



-------------------------------------------------



In conclusion, although it is not as convenient as the typical unix
shell account to update the web page by using free Geocities web account,
it serves us well for bridge to our dynamic web server at home with zero
cost. For detailed information, please read my original article in issue
#10, and check out my new web page for updated source code.





  __________________________________________________________________________




      Copyright &copy; 1997, Henry H. Lu
      Published in Issue 16 of the Linux Gazette, April 1997
      
      



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  __________________________________________________________________________

















        

                
                 Welcome to the Graphics Muse

        
                
                
                        
                                
                                Set your browser to the width of the line below
 for best viewing.
                                
                                
                                

                                &copy 1996 by
                                mjh
                                
                        
                


        
        
                
  __________________________________________________________________________


                




        
                -->
        
                 Button Bar


        
                -->
        
                
                muse:
                    1. v; to become absorbed in thought
    2. n; [ fr. Any of the nine sister goddesses of learning and the arts
       in Greek Mythology ]: a source of inspiration
       
        W elcome
       
       to the Graphics Muse!  Why a "muse"?
       
       Well, except for the sisters aspect, the above definitions are
       
       pretty much the way I'd describe my own interest in computer
       graphics:
       
       it keeps me deep in thought and it is a daily source of
       inspiration.
   
       
       
       



                
                
                [Graphics Mews]
                [Musings]
                [Resources]
                
                





        
         indent
         T his
        column is dedicated to the use, creation, distribution, and dissussion
of
        computer graphics tools for Linux systems.

        


        
        I'm sort of taking a break from the Muse this month.  Work is really
        gearing up and I've been quite busy there.  I'm also not confident
        enough in my knowledge of RenderMan Shaders that I feel I could do
        the topic justice this month.  So I'm postponing the 2nd in the 3
        part series one month.  I will be doing the next two articles,
        I just need a little more time to get them right.
        I'll also still be doing the HF-Lab review.  The POV-Ray tips I'm
        not certain I'll do myself.  I may see if I can talk someone from
        the IRTC-L mailing list into writing something up there.  I haven't
        been using POV-Ray 3.0 in awhile.  My attention has been focused on
        BMRT.
        

        
        So, all there is this month is a few announcements taken from the
        various newsgroups and info thats been passed to me directly.

        


        
        








 Graphics Mews








        
        

        
                Disclaimer:
                Before I get too far into this I should note that any of the ne
ws items I
                post in this section are just that - news.  Either I happened t
o run
                across
                them via some mailing list I was on, via some Usenet newsgroup,
 or via
                email from someone.  I'm not necessarily endorsing these produc
ts (some of
                which may be commercial), I'm just letting you know I'd heard a
bout
                them in the past month.
                




        
                 indent


        
                    Gifmap Image Navigator
    
    
    
    
    
    Gifmap is a package which supports making image collections available on
    
    
    the Web. It recurses through directory trees, building HTML pages,
    
    
    imagemap files, and client-side/server-side maps to allow the user to
    
    
    navigate through collections of thumbnail images (somewhat similar to
    
    
    xv's Visual Schnauzer) and select the image to view with a mouse click.
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Obtain gifmap from
    
    

               ftp://ftp.wizards.dupont.com/pub/ImageMagick/gifmap
                or via the Web from the Gifmap web page at
                
               http://www.cyberramp.net/~bfriesen/gifmap/.
                The Gifmap web page
                contains some sample pages you can browse through to give you a
n idea of
                what Gifmap can do.  It also contains the gifmap documentation.

                
                Gifmap is written in PERL and is compatable with PERL versions
4 and 5.
                Gifmap uses the ImageMagick package and therefore requires that
 the
                ImageMagick package be installed. ImageMagick version 3.8.0 or
later is
                recommended.

                


        
                 indent
        
                 indent

        
                    MPEG file player v0.2
    
    
    
    
    
    There was a very brief announcement for this package on
    
    

               comp.os.linux.announce which stated that
                the program can work with Pentium-60 32MB machines.
                I don't know why it wouldn't work with other systems, but
                thats what the announcement said.
                
                This file player supports MPEG layer 1, 2, 3 and Wave files
                and uses pthreads (thus it requires libpthread.so).
                Check
                
               http://adam.kaist.ac.kr/~jwj95/
                or
                
               ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/

  apps/sound/splay-0.2.tar.gz.

                


        
                 indent


        
                    Microform has rev'd their VARKON package
    
    
    
    
    
    VARKON is a high level development tool for
    
    
    CAD and engineering applications developed by
    
    
    Microform, Sweden.  It was first reported in last months
    
    
    Graphics Muse.  Mircoform has since rev'd the
    
    
    package to 1.14F and added new demo applications.
    
    
    
    The new version is available at:
    
    

               http://www.microform.se.

                


        
                 indent


        
                    MpegTV Player 1.0
    
    
    
    
    
    MpegTV Player 1.0 is a realtime software MPEG Video Player
    
    
    with audio/sync.
    
    
    


                
                This major release has many improvements over earlier
                versions, including better performances, better image
                quality, better error resilence, improved GUI and new
                features.

                   Key features:
     * High performances on Pentiums (25 frames/sec on P6-200)
     * Support for 8-bit, 16-bit and 24-bit display.
     * High Audio and Video quality
     * Fast random access
     * Frame capture
     * Takes advantage of multiprocessor platforms
     * Handles errors gracefully
     * Works in streaming/network environment
     * VCR-like graphic front-end (using the Xforms library)
     * Graphic front-end can be customized
     * Player can be controlled by any application via a simple API
       
       MpegTV is a commercial application, but a free evaluation copy
       
       is available from
       

               http://www.mpegtv.com/download.html.  More information
                is available from
                
               http://www.mpegtv.com/player.html.

                

        
                 indent
        
                 indent

        
                    The GS4500 scanner driver has been updated to Version 2.0
    
    
    
    
    
    The GS4500 scanner driver is a device driver (loadable module)
    
    
    for the Genius handheld scanners GS4500 and GS4500A (and
    
    
    probably the GS4000).  Version 2.0 includes much improved
    
    
    support for the GS4500A.
    
    
    It also includes serious bug fixes. So everybody with a 2.0.x
    
    
    kernel should update. (If you still run a 1.2.x kernel stay with
    
    
    version 1.4 !)
    
    
    


                
                Also included is a modified version of xscan. Like the name sug
gests
                it lets you scan under X11 with your GS4500.

                You can get it from
                
               http://swt-www.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/

  ~1willamo/linux.html.
                It should also be in the Sunsite and tsx-11 archives by now.

                


        
                 indent


        
                    ImageMagick rev'd yet again - 3.8.3.
    
    
    
    
    
    No word as to what this release is for, however.  Its nice to
    
    
    see such ongoing development on this very fine set of tools.  I
    
    
    just wonder if monthly releases is really necessary.
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
     indent
    
    
    
    
     indent
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Did You Know?
    
    
    
    
    
    John Bradley has now got an official home for xv on the web:
    
    

               http://www.trilon.com/xv/.  There isn't very much there
                yet except the xv source distributions and links to some patche
s,
                but that will probably change over time.



        
         indent

        
                 indent

        
         indent











 Musings








        
                No Musings this month.  I'll have some stuff for next month, th
ough.
                I promise.
                

        
                 indent










 Resources






The following links are just starting points for finding more information
about computer graphics and multimedia in general for Linux systems.  If
you have some application specific information for me, I'll add them to my
other pages or you can contact the maintainer of some other web site.  I'll
consider adding other general references here, but application or site
specific information needs to go into one of the following general
references and not listed here.








Linux Graphics mini-Howto





Unix Graphics Utilities





Linux Multimedia Page





Some of the Mailing Lists and Newsgroups I keep an eye on and where I get alot
of the information in this column:



 
               The Gimp User and Gimp Developer Mailing Lists.

 
               The IRTC-L discussion list

 
               comp.graphics.rendering.raytracing

 
               comp.graphics.rendering.renderman

 
               comp.os.linux.announce











Future Directions



Next month:
     * BMRT Part 2: Shaders
     * Height Fields with HF-Lab



Let me know what you'd like to hear about!






  __________________________________________________________________________




      Copyright &copy; 1997, Michael J. Hammel
      Published in Issue 16 of the Linux Gazette, April 1997
      
      



  __________________________________________________________________________




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  __________________________________________________________________________






I recently did an e-mail interview, in the guise of Editor of Linux
Gazette, for
the Italian Edition of Linux Gazette. I know it sounds strange,
but the Italian edition is basically our LG with a few additions
such as this interview. (I really wasn't interviewing myself.)
The questions were presented to me by Francesco De Carlo, a member of the
faculty of Computer Science at University of BARI, Italy and the Director
of the Italian Edition of Linux Gazette, which can be found at
http://www.media.it/LUGBari/index.html.



-- Marjorie L. Richardson, Editor



  __________________________________________________________________________







LGEI Interviews the Linux Gazette Editor

    By Francesco De Carlo, fdecarlo@mailbox.media.it
    



  __________________________________________________________________________




Francesco: When and why did SSC decide to publish Linux Gazette in the
current version? Originally, LG was edited only as an extra-curricular
activity by John M. Fisk.



Margie: During the summer of 1996, John Fisk decided he no longer had the time
to
keep Linux Gazette up in the fashion it deserved. LG had become very
popular, and readers were wanting it to come out on regular monthly basis.
Between school and work, John just didn't have time to do this, so he put
out feelers looking for someone to take it over. We responded and he
accepted us as the right people to continue LG.



Margie: SSC responded to John because we had always felt that Linux Gazette was
 a
worthy and necessary asset to the Linux community. We did not want to see
it either go away or be taken over by someone who would turn it into a
commercial enterprise. We promised John that LG would remain free and it
has.



Francesco: What kind of relationship does the LG have with his
"big brother" Linux
Journal? Some exchanges of articles, writers, ...?



Margie: Yes, Linux Gazette and Linux Journal do a lot of
sharing. As of February 1
of this year, I am Editor of both Linux Journal and Linux Gazette. Every
month we use an article from LG in Linux Journal, and occasionally, I will
use articles from LJ in LG--usually those about conferences and other
events surrounding Linux. And yes, I have authors who write for both
magazines, most notably the regular contributors of columns to LG:
Larry Ayers, John Fisk and Michael Hammel. Linux Gazette's
Answer Guy, Jim Dennis, has done an interview with Stronghold's Sameer
Parekh, which will be appearing in the August issue of Linux Journal.



Francesco: Are authors wishing to write for LG contacted by you or do they
send articles to you? That is:  do you prepare a list of the
subjects that will be discussed in the next issue of LG, or can users
send you any article, on any topic?



Margie: LG is managed very casually; authors can send me articles on any topic
and
I will include them. Whatever comes in during the month goes in the next
issue. There is no focus other than Linux. Also, I do not edit the
articles; they are posted just as the authors send them.



Francesco: Are you alone in producing LG? Or do you have a real
"editorial office"
with real "editors" and "reporters"? If yes, how do you make it
function?



Margie: I have no real editors or reporters to help. I depend on outside
authors in the Linux community to
make their contributions, and the wonderful thing is, they do. Some months
I have more material than others (January was really packed), but I've
never been short. I have gotten a lot of help with graphics and HTML from
SSC's webmaster, Michael Montoure. Beginning this month, I have a new
assistant, Amy Kukuk, who will be helping out by doing the News
Bytes column and perhaps more.



Francesco: What are your plans for the near future? Introducing a new LG with a
 renewed
graphic look, new articles and so on?



Margie: I intend to continue posting Linux Gazette each month
and promoting it
wherever I can. I feel it is even more of an asset than ever to both new and
experienced Linux users.



Margie: Our look seems to change periodically. With the March issue, we dropped
 the
spiral that caused so many problems. Michael is inventive, and we mainly
add things as we come up with them.



Margie: We have two new columns that will be appearing regularly,
"The Answer Guy"
by Jim Dennis, and "Clueless at the Prompt, A Column for New
Users", by
Mike List. Both columns are good for new users looking for help.



Margie: Linux Gazette is free for the readers,
but is not free for SSC. To help defray the publishing cost, LG has begun
accepting sponsors. A small acknowledgment of these sponsors will be made
on the Front Page. Our first sponsor is InfoMagic--our thanks to them for
their help.



Francesco: What do you think about our LGEI? Is it a good idea and, above all,
can
it help Italian Linux users to better understand this OS?



Margie: I think LGEI is wonderful! It'a great way to spread the word about Linu
x to
all Italy. With our regular columns and articles, as well as all the tips
and tricks people send us, I feel LGEI is an invaluable
resource to Italian Linux users, just as our English version is to Linux
users worldwide.





  __________________________________________________________________________




      Copyright &copy; 1997, Francesco De Carlo
      Published in Issue 16 of the Linux Gazette, April 1997
      
      



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    "Linux Gazette...making Linux just a little more fun!"
    



  __________________________________________________________________________







More Linux Security

    By Andrew Berkheimer, andy@tho.org
    



        Here you go, yet another article on Linux security. Some new tidbits
for all to enjoy, reinforcement of some key points, and clarification of some
things which I though were a bit misrepresented in previous articles. Note
that this is geared towards a slightly novice audience, more experience users w
ill
probably find themselves bored out of their minds at times.
        
        So you've got your system up and running, connected to the net,
maybe running an ftp server or some other service.  But you've heard all these
nasty stories of people having their computers cracked for no apparent reason,
and you're just a tad bit nervous.  You want to start securing your system
from outside intruders, but where to begin?  Contrary to popular belief,
securing your system can actually be fun, and if nothing else, informative.
So it's time to begin!



        First and foremost, stay informed! Jay mentioned reading CERT, but
I would argue that this is not enough. CERT does not release information
until they have verified that it is a problem and most of the big-name
vendors have provided patches to fix the problem. This can often cause
lag times of months between a hole being found and the CERT announcement. There
are a number of good mailing lists which I would recommend subscribing to,
including bugtraq, linux-security, and linux-alert (subscription information
is at the end of the article), where security holes are often discussed and
found long before CERT starts talking about them - the crackers know about
these places, so should you.



        Now onto some real meat. The first concern is to try and protect
yourself from attacks from unknown outsiders who may stumble upon your system
and see it as an invitation to test out their cracking skills. One of the first

things you want to check is for unused daemons running on you system. There's
really no reason to be running nfsd if you're not NFS serving to anywhere,
now is there? There are two places that you will need to check out: the
configuration file for the inet super server (typically /etc/inetd.conf),
and the system bootup scripts (located in /etc/rc.d, /etc/rc2.d, or some
similar directory).



        In inetd.conf, comment out with a # the lines for any service you
don't really need to provide...the r* services (rlogind, rshd, rexecd, etc)
are good candidates, as well as other typically unused ones like echo,
daytime, and chargen. For most people, leaving in telnetd, ftpd, and maybe
pop3d should be sufficient for the moment. Maybe fingerd too, though be
careful, finger can give out a lot of information about your computer which can
be to a potential crackers advantage. Once you finish editing your
inetd.conf, restart inetd by running "killall -HUP inetd" to get it to reread
the configuration.



        In your bootup scripts you may see references to things like portmap,
ypserv, rpc.mountd, and rpc.nfsd. Unless you are a NFS or NIS server, you have
no need for these and should not run them...in many cases the "out of the box"
versions of these programs have some pretty nasty security vulnerabilities.
Also look for sendmail (if you're not receiving mail directly you don't need
to run it), and httpd (only want this if you're running a web server).



        So, you've worked hard to get the list of unnecessary servers down...
time to start adding/upgrading software again. First and foremost, make sure
you are running the most recent version of NetKit, which contains most of the
typically network servers for Linux like telnetd, fingerd, etc. The current
version as of this writing is 0.09, it is available in
ftp://ftp.uk.linux.org/pub/linux/Networking/base. The most recent version fixes
a few known security flaws in earlier versions.



        In general, you want to try and keep everything else up to date too:
check http://www.sendmail.org for updates to sendmail (any time a new version
comes out nowadays, it is almost always to fix a security problem), as well
as http://www.apache.org for updates to the apache httpd server, etc.



        However, there is still the problem of password sniffers grabbing
your password if you telnet to your system from some other outside network.
Telnet, FTP, POP, and just about any other standard protocol out there will
transmit your password in plaintext. There are a couple of ways around this
available in external software packages. I'll look at OPIE and ssh here.



        First of all there's OPIE, also known as One-time Passwords In
Everything, a package created by the US Naval Research Labs and currently
maintained by The Inner Net. The idea behind one time passwords is that when
you login to a system from remote, it will give you a prompt like this:

        stroke login: andy
        otp-md5 271 st6747
        Response:

Instead of just typing in your password right away over the connection, you
would instead run a key generating program on your local machine, with the
parameters given in the "challenge" of the login prompt (the challenge here
being otp-md5 271 st6747). You type your password into the local program
(where it can't be grabbed by packet sniffers), and the key generator
produces a unique password which you login with. This unique, one-time password
will only work once, so even if someone grabs it in a packet sniffer, it
won't do them any good. The OPIE package is available at
ftp://ftp.nrl.navy.mil/pub/security/opie/ with more information.



        There's also another pretty popular package, ssh. The ssh package
replaces those evil rlogind, rexecd, rshd, etc. programs with sshd, which
has the same functionality, but it encrypts all communications, making it
very hard in deed for a packet sniffer to get anything useful. More information
about the package can be found at http://www.cs.hut.fi/ssh/.



        In addition to these two, there are a number of more involved,
complicated methods designed for sitewide networks, labs, and the like, which
are a tad overkill for one single host (this includes things like
Kerberos V and the like).



        That about wraps up the protecting yourself from outside crackers,
but you still have to worry about other users on your own system (or even
outside crackers if they manage to get access to a shell on your system).
Typically you will hear a lot about "buffer overflow" security holes. These
are essentially times when a binary doesn't check to see if the data it is
storing into a character buffer can fit into the memory it is being put into.
A carefully written program can take advantage of this and overwrite other
parts of memory, causing other programs to be executed. Normally this isn't
a problem until you get into setuid root binaries. Since setuid root binaries
will initially run with root privileges, then any binary executed by the
program will also be run as root. So if there is a buffer overflow which is
used to run /bin/sh as root, then blammo, any random joe suddenly has a root
shell to do what they please with.



        There are also programs which have what are called race conditions,
or times when they are doing something which may be used to a crackers
advantage if the program happens to be running as root. Through some bit
of trickery, it might very well be possible for them to get a root shell.
The bottom line: setuid root binaries are not the greatest things in the world,
keep the number of setuid root binaries on your system to a bare minimum.



        To protect yourself from buffer overflows, there isn't too much you can
do but keep up to date with information being made available about possible
security holes and fixing them ASAP.  If you have some programming experience,
you also probably want to actually look through the source code and check for
buffer overflows yourself: you just may find one that no one else knows about
yet.



        Also, an important point: you should very rarely trust binaries that
you just get off the net from an untrusted unknown source, especially if you
are going to be running those binaries as root. This is how the Bliss "virus"
spread, combined with a buffer overflow in some commonly found setuid root
games. Under any Unix, root is a very powerful user, so while normal viruses
can't exist under Unix because users typically cannot modify system binaries,
a program like Bliss is designed to try and exploit known buffer overflows to
get root access to be able to modify root owned binaries.



        And just as a last reminder, here are some points I can't help but
reinforce.If you think you've been compromised, then disconnect from the net
immediately, analyze your logs, and replace any binaries which you think may
have been compromised, maybe even reinstalling your system (after backing up
important data). And always remember to keep your passwords hard to guess and
change them regularly.
        
        Besides all this, I can't begin to emphasize the importance of
GETTING INFORMED and then STAYING INFORMED. There are many good books on the
topic of computer security, I'd especially recommend _Computer Security
Basics_ from O'Reilly and Associates for those with a beginning interest in
security. And keeping current with some of the more popular security mailing
lists will do you a world of good.  There is also a Linux Security FAQ
available online at http://www.aoy.net/Linux/Security/, which is a good
source of information. Some final advice: never get the feeling that your
system is "perfectly secure" - you're just inviting a break-in that way.



        Oh, about those mailing lists I mentioned earlier. Information about
linux-alert and linux-security can be found at the Linux Security WWW I just
mentioned (http://www.aoy.net/Linux/Security/). Information about bugtraq
may be found at http://www.geek-girl.com/bugtraq/index.html. There are also
a lot of other things which can be said about security, delving into firewalls
and other packet filtering, IP spoofing protection, more fine grained access
control to net services, and many other areas, but those are topics for
another place and time.



                                        -Andrew Berkheimer
                                        andy@tho.org, aberkhei@tjhsst.edu



Summary of Resources Mentioned

                  netkit: ftp://ftp.uk.linux.org/pub/linux/Networking/base/
                sendmail: http://www.sendmail.org/
                  apache: http://www.apache.org/
                    opie: ftp://ftp.nrl.navy.mil/pub/security/opie/
                     ssh: http://www.cs.hut.fi/ssh/
      linux security www: http://www.aoy.net/Linux/Security/
   linux-alert list info: http://www.aoy.net/Linux/Security/LinuxAlertList.html
linux-security list info:
                http://www.aoy.net/Linux/Security/LinuxSecurityList.html
       bugtraq list info: http://www.geek-girl.com/bugtraq/






  __________________________________________________________________________




      Copyright &copy; 1997, Andrew Berkheimer
      Published in Issue 16 of the Linux Gazette, April 1997
      
      



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  __________________________________________________________________________






                        GV: AN ALTERNATIVE TO GHOSTVIEW
                                       
    by Larry Ayers
    


I imagine that most Linux users have tried more than one distribution at
one time or another.  I've tried several, and after configuring a new
installation to my liking and learning its idiosyncrasies I'm reminded that
Linux is... Linux! Distributions make installation and package management
easier, but once you're up and running the differences aren't really
noticeable.



These days what I find interesting about distributions is the choice of
software packages to be found in them.  You would think that all of the
distributions would offer the same software; after all, it's mostly freely
available stuff from the 'net, available to anyone.  There is a core group of
applications which nearly all distributions provide, useful and high-quality
packages such as XV, XFree86, and Ghostscript.  But there is quite a variance
when you get down to the smaller, less basic and less necessary
packages. Every distribution I've tried has contained software which none of
the others had included.



Recently I've been using the Debian distribution.  While installing
packages I came across something called "GV", which seemed to be some sort of
Postscript viewer.  I installed it and learned that this viewer was developed
using Ghostview as a base, but it's much easier to use. Unlike Ghostview, GV
can also display PDF files.



Due to the fact that most computer monitors are wider horizontally than
vertically it's not feasible to read a standard page of a document and
see the entire height of the page at once.  GV deals with this by showing a
small rendition of the viewing window to the left of the page and highlighting
the visible portion.  Clicking the left mouse button anywhere on the displayed
page and dragging it smoothly scrolls the page up and down, while the
miniature schematic rendition window shows you where you are on the page.
If your window is too narrow to display the full width the mouse can scroll
left-to-right as well.



Here's a screenshot of GV displaying a page
of the included Postscript documentation:




 GV Window



One of GV's optional features (it can be toggled from the menubar) is
aliased fonts. When this is turned on font characters are displayed very
crisply.



Ghostview has traditionally been supplied as the default Postscript file
viewer.  I've found it to be awkward to use; it seems when I have the
magnification adjusted so that the print is legible, the window is so large
that it is difficult to navigate around the document. GV deals with this
problem (which I imagine has affected anyone with a monitor smaller than 21"!)
in a nicely intuitive way.



GV is a good example of the dynamics of the free software movement.
Several years ago Timothy Thieson wrote the Ghostview program; it was a good
program in its time, but has been static for some time now.  After all,
writing a piece of free software doesn't necessarily entail revising and
updating it forever!  But the source was still available and eventually
Johannes Plass adopted it, with GV as the result.  Then the program came to
the attention of Helmut Geyer and he made a Debian package of GV, bringing
the software to a new group of users.  Developers don't have to re-invent the
wheel, as there is probably code archived somewhere which will provide a
head-start on any sort of application.

  OBTAINING GV
  


GV can be obtained in source form from

this German FTP site.  I believe the Xaw3d widget set is required in order
to compile the source.  The Debian version can be FTP'ed from

the main Debian site or one of its mirrors.




  __________________________________________________________________________





      Copyright &copy; 1997, Larry Ayers
      Published in Issue 16 of the Linux Gazette, April 1997
      
      
      Last modified: Sun 30 Mar 1997
      
      
      



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  __________________________________________________________________________






 a new XEmacs logo





                                 XEMACS 19.15
                                       
    by Larry Ayers
    


The developers of XEmacs, the independently-maintained offshoot of GNU
Emacs, have released a new version of this versatile editor.  Version
19.15 is the last of the 19.xx series; in the future developmental
efforts will be focussed on the 20.xx series, which up to the present has been
evolving in parallel with version 19.



Aside from many bug-fixes, a good deal of the changes in this version
involve updates to many of the large extension packages which come bundled
with the editor.  Quite a large bundle it is, weighing in at over eighteen
megabytes, tarred and gzipped.



Among the new features are:


     * Incorporation of the TM package,which gives MIME reading and
       writing support to mail and usenet news packages.
     * Updated versions of Gnus, W3, VM, CC-Mode, Python-mode, and
       Hyperbole.
     * Incorporation of the Auctex TeX/LateX editing package.
     * The Custom utility, which attempts to standardise package
       customization.
     * Many documentation updates.
     * New version of hm--html-menus, which has an Info file now
     * New fancier version of time.el, which shows the time, system load,
       and mail status in the mode-line.
     * Replacement of Angeftp and dired with EFS, which merges the two.
     * A new Message mode, used by the various mail and news packages.
     * Many improvements in configuration and compilation from source.
     * Updated Viper (vi-emulation) mode.
     * Enhancements and bugfixes for many other packages and modes.
   


The members of the XEmacs team have changed with this release; former
maintainer Chuck Thompson has passed the torch to Steve Baur.  The other
maintainers are now Martin Buchholz and Kyle Jones (author of the VM mail
package), with Bob Weiner, Chuck Thompson, Ben Wing and Bill Perry helping out
as well.



It's interesting to note how the developers of the various extension
packages and of XEmacs itself have attempted to maintain a certain parallelism
with Gnu Emacs development.  Most extensions, even those written primarily
with XEmacs in mind, have support for Gnu Emacs built in.  The XEmacs team
attempts to incorporate new features and bug fixes from Gnu Emacs
development into their version; I wonder if the opposite is true?


  INSTALLATION
  


 Binary packages for 19.15 are available at
the XEmacs FTP site, but
there are several reasons why compiling your own can be advantageous.  XEmacs
uses a configure script to adapt the makefiles to your machine.  There are
many possible switches or parameters which can be given to the script
depending on your needs.  The editor supports inlined JPEG, GIF, XPM,
and PNG images; support for any of these can be disabled. If you don't plan
on running the W3 browser or using the MIME capabilities of VM or Gnus
(combined with TM) this might be a good idea. Sound support is another frill
which not everyone will want. These optional features aren't a burden if you
have a memory-laden and powerful machine, but they aren't really necessary and
can be dispensed with if the resources to use them are insufficient.  The
toolbar (and even X-Windows support) can be disabled by the configure script
if you want a leaner, less memory-hungry executable.



You will need about 80 mb. of disk space to compile from source; luckily
most of that can be reclaimed afterwards.



There's no denying that an XEmacs installation occupies quite a chunk of
disk space.  A new shell-script called gzip-el.sh is supplied with
version 19.15 which uses the Gnu find utility to recursively probe the
various LISP subdirectories, gzipping all *.el files which have a
corresponding byte-compiled *.elc file.  This alone will save about
fourteen megabytes!



If you have no intention of ever modifying or reading those *.el
Lisp files you could just delete them all, but that might be rash.  Sometimes
the only documentation for a mode or function is buried in one of those files;
others can be modified to suit your preferences.  A better alternative is to
become root and, wielding rm, dispose of some of the Lisp
packages which you don't think you'll ever need.  Try to avoid the /lisp/prim
directory, though, as the essential core files live there.  I don't know how
many times I've removed the Energize, VMS, and MH-E directories from past
installations; I'm sure I'll be removing them again in the future. A promised
feature of version 20.1 (which will be the next major release) is the
separation of some of these packages from the main distribution.  This will
allow the core of XEmacs to be obtained separately, allowing the user to
decide which of the extensions to download, depending upon his or her needs.

  CUSTOMIZATION
  


Anyone who has used XEmacs for very long, especially for writing code,
likely has had the desire to come up with a set of syntax-highlighting colors
which are both pleasing to the eye and functional.  In XEmacs, a "face" is a
combination of font and color specifications for a certain category of text.
There are many of these defined; each mode tends to have several of its own as
well as sharing system-wide faces.  It can be quite a time-consuming job
setting these in your ~/.emacs file, especially if you use a dark
background, in which case many of the default colors won't have sufficient
contrast.  XEmacs 19.14 allowed face modifications by means of the
edit-faces command.  This utility works well, appending the changes
to your ~/.emacs file.  Unfortunately the format they are saved in is
particularly difficult to read if you ever wanted to make a single change
manually; the lines are very long and the syntax is obtuse and thickety.



Per Abrahamsen, maintainer of Auctex (another of the bundled packages), has
written the Custom package in an effort to simplify the customization of
XEmacs and its many extensions.  After typing esc-x customize a buffer
appears with menu entries for not only faces but other user-definable
variables. These entries are categorized by package; selecting one causes a
cascading sub-menu to appear. The first category is just "Emacs", which allows
global settings to be made.  In order for a package to be included in the
Customize buffer the programmer must include hooks in the LISP code.  Most of
the larger packages, such as Gnus, the VM mail-reader, W3, and EFS (the new
successor to AngeFTP) have been adapted in this way.



It is wise to back up any .emacs or .xemacs-options files
which you are fond of before fooling around with any such auto-customizing
utilities.  That tempting "Options" menu with all its choices will cheerfully
overwrite your .xemacs-options file if you impulsively select the "Save
Options" item.  Remember, you can always cut-and-paste from the generated file
into your real one, then move it back.  The Custom package is more
forgiving: it appends its results to the end of your .emacs file.  I've
noticed that often when an XEmacs package such as Custom or W3
appends to your init file it will drop down several lines from the bottom
entry before writing its lines.  If you are looking at the file, curious as to
what changes have been made, scroll down past the end; it's easy to miss an
addition if it's lurking down amongst the superfluous empty lines which XEmacs
has a penchant for adding to the end of a file.



One technique which is useful for customizing XEmacs, Fvwm2, or any complex
piece of Linux software is to assume a different identity.  Just create a new
user (with adduser or equivalent) and log in to the new account.  This
way you have a clean slate and can modify, cut and paste with abandon, all the
while knowing you can return to your normal login account if things go
awry. The sample .emacs file which is found in the /etc
subdirectory of the XEmacs distribution can serve as a good starting point,
especially if you are new to Emacs-type editors in general.

  MISCELLANEOUS NOTES
  


To accommodate users who run XEmacs on a grayscale or limited-color
display, the XEmacs team has included toolbar icons which are rather plain. I
suspect that most XEmacs users eventually turn off the toolbar (the keyboard
commands are faster) but if you'd like replacement icons which are
well-designed, color-map-eating and very stylish, the AfterStep FTP site has a
set of them, in the file NeXT.XEmacs.tar.gz. (A pox on mixed-case
filenames!)  These can be dropped right in to the [XEmacs-root]/etc/toolbar
directory, overwriting the old ones. Here's a cropped screenshot:


  Replacement Toolbar Icons


  __________________________________________________________________________





The XEmacs documentation is voluminous, but there are so many obscure modes
and features included that to document them all would add megabytes to the
distribution (plus someone would have to volunteer to do it!). You would be
surprised at what can be found while browsing through the directories of Lisp
files.  As an example, the other day I happened upon a file called
xpm-mode.el in the /lisp/modes directory.  Curious, I loaded the file
into XEmacs and saw that it is a colorized mode for directly editing xpm
icon-files.  This is quite an interesting mode, but I'd never heard of it; it
was contributed to the XEmacs maintainers by Joe Rumsey and Rich Williams in
1995. Here's a sample window:




 Xpm-Mode Window



There are all sorts of obscure modes and packages buried in the lisp
subdirectories; grepping for various keywords will turn up some interesting
files.

  CONCLUSION
  


I've been following the late stages of this XEmacs beta cycle and I'm
impressed by the amount of work involved in putting together such a large,
complex package. The developers and beta-testers deserve kudos for their
efforts.



If you would like to try it out, the source is currently available at
the home XEmacs site.  This site
will probably be crowded during the first week or two after the release; if
you are unable to log on a list of mirror sites will be displayed.  If you
would rather not download the massive archive file, just wait a few weeks and
I'm sure the distribution will show up on various distribution and FTP-archive
CDROMs.




  __________________________________________________________________________




      Copyright &copy; 1997, Larry Ayers
      Published in Issue 16 of the Linux Gazette, April 1997
      
      
      Last modified: Sun 30 Mar 1997
      
      
      



  __________________________________________________________________________




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  __________________________________________________________________________







UniForum'97, March 12-14

    By Marjorie L. Richardson, gazette@ssc.com
    



  __________________________________________________________________________




UniForum Photo Album



  __________________________________________________________________________




My trip to San Francisco to attend UniForum'97 was very satisfyng as I
got to see two great luminaries of our time--the Hale-Bopp comet and
Linus Torvalds. Hale-Bopp was visible in the pre-dawn sky on March 12
and 13. Linus was visible at the Keynote speech on March 13 and was
definitely the brighter of the two.



The president of UniForum, Tom Mace, was present to welcome Linus, and
Douglas Michaels of SCO presented Linus with UniForum's
Achievement Award. The award itself is a clear,
pyramid-shaped trophy, about which Linus said he was pleased to have
something "physical" to show for his work. Linus' acceptance speech was
brief and self-effacing as usual. He referred to himself as the "spider at
the center of the web" with many others working around him. Tove and their
3 month old baby girl, Patricia Miranda, had accompanied Linus and both
tolerated my pushiness in taking pictures. After the keynote, Linus and Tove
made the rounds of the Exhibit Hall, visiting all their fans in the Linux
Pavillion. Tove confided that they were enjoying the weather (no snow), but
that the arrival of their furniture had been delayed by a bad storm that
had forced the ship back
to Germany.



Mitchell Kertzman of Sybase gave a vibrant keynote speech that morning,
in which he ignored Linux as a possible factor in a paradigm shift that
might topple Microsoft. Perhaps he hasn't heard that Linus' goal is "world
domination". Kertzman compared today's software industry
to the automobile industry of the fifties--that it is designing
products to be obsolete in 3 years, while consumers are wanting long
term reliability. Sounds to me like consumers are looking for Linux.



While 7000 people had pre-registered for UniForum, only about 75% of those
actually attended. Perhaps they went to one of the competing shows such as
Internet World. At any rate, at times the floor was crowded with attendees,
while at other times (particularly toward the end of the day) it was quite
empty. The Linux Pavillion was placed in the right rear corner of the
floor, yet it seemed to me that most attendees were gravitating over to
check out this upstart operating system that dares to be freely available.
SSC gave away their stock of magazines and bumper stickers, as well as
displaying t-shirts, reference cards and the new "Tux" mugs. IBM
and Lucent Technologies both had central positions on the floor, but I saw
many people passing them by to visit Digital to check out both the Alpha
and Jon "maddog" Hall's new Linux setup for Digital's Intel box. Jon is
providing us with a short article about this setup that will appear next
month.



I attended two of the talks: one on Electronic Document Interchange and one
on high speed Internet access. Both were well presented and full of good
information. I was particularly impressed with Jeff Wilbur's thoughts on
the directions that access to the Internet will take in the future (i.e.,
cable modems, xDSL, satellite, ISDN), and so asked him for an article.



Since UniForum'97 was my first conference as Editor of Linux Journal, I met
many people that I had only heard about before, including Joel Goldberg of
InfoMagic (who is a sponsor of Linux Gazette), Mark Bolzern of WGS, Adam
Richter of Yggdrasil, and of course, Jon "maddog" Hall of Digital. Jon
introduced me to Ted Cook of BRU, who told me of his plan to give away Bru
software to Linux User Groups at the upcoming Linux Expo and to groups that
are members of G.L.U.E.



On Wednesday night Joanne Wagner, one of our advertising representatives,
and I attended a press conference/party put on by XiGraphics--free food
and drink, always a plus. The press conference was held to announce the
recent name change (from X Inside) and the latest release of Xi's
Accelerated X software. The president and founder of the company, Thomas
Roell, gave a short presentation in which he described the directions he
envisions for Xi Graphics.



All in all, I had a good time at the conference and a pleasant stay in San
Francisco.





  __________________________________________________________________________




      Copyright &copy; 1997, Marjorie L. Richardson
      Published in Issue 16 of the Linux Gazette, April 1997
      
      



  __________________________________________________________________________




 [ TABLE OF CONTENTS ] 
 [ FRONT PAGE ] 
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  __________________________________________________________________________









    "Linux Gazette...making Linux just a little more fun!"
    



  __________________________________________________________________________







 [IMAGE]

                    WELCOME TO THE LINUX WEEKEND MECHANIC!
                                       
Published in the April 1997 Edition of the Linux Gazette


Copyright (c) 1997 John M. Fisk <fiskjm@ctrvax.vanderbilt.edu>

The Linux Gazette is Copyright(c) 1997 
Specialized Systems Consultants Inc.






  __________________________________________________________________________



Time To Become... The Linux Weekend Mechanic!



     [IMAGE]


    You've made it to the weekend and things have finally slowed down.  You
    crawl outa bed, bag the shave 'n shower 'cause it's Saturday, grab that
    much needed cup of caffeine (your favorite alkaloid), and shuffle down
    the hall to the den.  It's time to fire up the Linux box, break out the
    trusty 'ol Snap-On's, pop the hood, jack 'er up, and do a bit of
    overhauling!





  __________________________________________________________________________






Table of Contents

     * Welcome to the April 1997 Weekend Mechanic!
     * More Wallpapering ideas...
     * Wallpapering with xlock...?!
     * System Logging Ideas...
     * Closing Up The Shop
   
   



  __________________________________________________________________________






[IMAGE] Welcome to the April 1997 Weekend Mechanic!




Hey, c'mon in!




Thanks for dropping by!  How y'all been doing?




I don't know about you, but life around the Fisk household has been pretty
busy of late.  I've been having a great semester at
MTSU and enjoying my classes which are
predictably starting to crescendo in unison into a frenzy of activity.  And
we're all starting to "mood synchronize..." :-)




I apologize that the articles and such in this edition are going to be a bit
short and hurried.  I've got a couple hours' worth of time before we leave to
visit family and I'll see what I can get written up.  I've got a growing
notebook full of ideas about which I'd like to write.  Which reminds me...




Have I preached recently on the virtues of keeping a notebook...




You say, I haven't...?! :-)




Well, y'all just settle back in for a few minutes while I loosen the belt,
take a deep breath, and start in!




Seriously, I'm convinced that keeping a notebook, journal, or just a stash of
note and ideas you've come across and jotted down is like brushing and
flossing:  it's good for hygiene.  Mental hygiene, that is.  It'll help
prevent "Programmer Pattern Baldness", the kind that comes from
pulling your hair out trying to remember just the exact invocation of some
obscure, and recalcitrant, system utility or repairing that delicately
situated configuration file that you were going to make such a small little
change to...




Having notes as to what you did to some configuration file; having a hardcopy
printout of the docs/manual pages/README files on some utility; or just having
a command line invocation scribbled out on the back of the phone bill envelope
and stuff into the back of your notebook may REALLY save your "nether
parts" some day.




And lest you think that I'm more obsessive-compulsive, anal-retentive than I
really am... I've actually got a small pile of legal pads sitting on the shelf
next to the computer desk that has all those stream-of-consciousness type
scribblings and notes.  It's not very well organized, there's a huge amount of
redundancy, and some of the stuff is totally illegible or frankly incoherent
(probably penned during moments of questionable lucidity at 2:00 AM...).
Still, this stuff has come in mighty handy from time to time and it's amusing
and instructive to look it over now and then.




I've also found that keeping more or less detailed notes of installation
(which I've managed to do quite frequently over the past couple years) have
come in VERY handy when I've sat down to sketch out a new installation.  I've
worked out my own partitioning scheme that's been useful for me, developed my
own archiving and upgrading scheme, and so forth based on these notes.




Also, as I alluded to above, it's pretty useful to keep a stash of hardcopy
printouts of various README's, manual pages, and so forth.  While I appreciate
the versatility of online documentation -- info, man pages, HTML, and so
forth, nothing beats having a booklet in your hot little hand that you can
read without having to wait for Netscape to finish consuming your entire
colormap before it loads... :-)




(I know, I know... you've been there, done that, got the t-shirt... :-)




Seriously, having a printout to write all over and mark up is pretty handy.
If you keep all those things in some kind of notebook, binder, file folder, or
whatever, you'll probably save yourself some aggravation in the future.




Just a thought...




Anyway, I'm done now.  So, without further ado...




On with the show!




Hope you enjoy!




John M. Fisk

Nashville, TN

Friday, 28 March 1997






  __________________________________________________________________________






[IMAGE] More Wallpapering Ideas...




After the February WM column, Irek Koziol wrote about the wallpapering
ideas that I'd mentioned:

     
     
     Date: Wed, 12 Feb 1997 15:28:28 -0600
     From: Irek Koziol <cft-inc@worldnet.att.net>
     Subject: X Window Wallpaper
     
     
     I was using:

        xv -quit -root -max  image.gif

     
     
     (If enlarging image is a goal to fit the whole screen ).
     
     Could you please comment on it, and make a followup in LG?
     
     Cordially, George.
     



Well, let's see what we can say about this...




First, John Bradley's ubiquitous xv program is a definite must-have
utility and a veritable "Swiss Army Knife" of graphics goodies.  It
has, as all good UN*X programs do, a bazillion command line options that could
occupy a lifetime of study and reflection.  Fortunately, those that you need
to know to be productive are limited, and in the confines of the present
discussion, can be narrowed down to a manageable number.




Just for the fun of it, start up X and try something like:


        xv -help





Then stand back...




When you do this, xv disgorges something like:



Usage:
xv [-] [-/+24] [-/+2xlimit] [-/+4x3] [-/+8] [-/+acrop] [-aspect w:h] [-best24]
   [-bg color] [-black color] [-bw width] [-/+cecmap] [-cegeometry geom]
   [-/+cemap] [-cgamma rval gval bval] [-cgeometry geom] [-/+clear] [-/+close]
   [-/+cmap] [-cmtgeometry geom] [-/+cmtmap] [-crop x y w h] [-cursor char#]
   [-DEBUG level] [-dir directory] [-display disp] [-/+dither] [-drift dx dy]
   [-expand exp | hexp:vexp] [-fg color] [-/+fixed] [-flist fname]
   [-gamma val] [-geometry geom] [-grabdelay seconds] [-gsdev str]
   [-gsgeom geom] [-gsres int] [-help] [-/+hflip] [-hi color] [-/+hist]
   [-/+hsv] [-icgeometry geom] [-/+iconic] [-igeometry geom] [-/+imap]
   [-/+lbrowse] [-lo color] [-/+loadclear] [-/+max] [-/+maxpect] [-mfn font]
   [-/+mono] [-name str] [-ncols #] [-/+ninstall] [-/+nodecor] [-/+nofreecols]
   [-/+nolimits] [-/+nopos] [-/+noqcheck] [-/+noresetroot] [-/+norm]
   [-/+nostat] [-/+owncmap] [-/+perfect] [-/+poll] [-preset #] [-quick24]
   [-/+quit] [-/+random] [-/+raw] [-rbg color] [-rfg color] [-/+rgb] [-RM]
   [-rmode #] [-/+root] [-rotate deg] [-/+rv] [-/+rw] [-slow24] [-/+smooth]
   [-/+stdcmap] [-tgeometry geom] [-/+vflip] [-/+viewonly] [-visual type]
   [-/+vsdisable] [-vsgeometry geom] [-/+vsmap] [-/+vsperfect] [-wait seconds]
   [-white color] [-/+wloop] [filename ...]






Impressive... eh?




Whoops!  Whoa there!!  Don't leave me yet...




This isn't as bad as it looks.  Trust me... :-)




The basic command line options you'll need to do a bit of root window
wallpapering can be limited to the following:


        -root
        -rmode [0-9]
        -max
        -maxpect
        -quit





Now, you can go on and do more fancy things, but the above options will
certainly get you going.  So, let's take a quick look at what each of these
means.

   -root
          Display the image in the root window instead of in a separate
          window. How the image is displayed depends on the setting of
          the -rmode option (which defaults to 0).
          
   -rmode [0-9]
          Specifies how xv will display the image in the root window if
          the -root option has been given. There are currently ten
          different modes which are indicated by using a number from 0 to
          9. To see a listing of what these modes are, you can give an
          argument of -1 to the -rmode option and xv will complain a bit
          and display the information concerning the real options:
          

xv -root -rmode -1 ~/images/wallpaper/forest.gif
xv: unknown root mode '-1'.  Valid modes are:
        0: tiling
        1: integer tiling
        2: mirrored tiling
        3: integer mirrored tiling
        4: centered tiling
        5: centered on a solid background
        6: centered on a 'warp' background
        7: centered on a 'brick' background
        8: symmetrical tiling
        9: symmetrical mirrored tiling
        
   
          
          Pretty slick, eh?
          
          This is where the serious coolness comes in. You can not only
          specify your favorite 'ol image to brighten up your X window,
          but you can do all sorts of nifty things to it as well.
          
          So, I know what you're thinking... "How in the world do I know
          what each of these means...?!"
          
          Glad you asked.
          
          The easiest way to find out what each of these options does is
          to start xv, select a file to display, and then use the Root
          menu item to select the various types of root window displays:
          
          XV Image
          
          The Root menu item will display the same listing as you saw
          above. You can use the file browser to locate a file to play
          with, and then select the various menu options to see what they
          do. Once you've hit upon an option that you like, jot down
          which one it is. For instance, if you liked the "integer
          mirrored tiling" effect, you'd use something like:
          

        xv -rmode 3 -quit ~/images/wallpaper/forest.gif
        
   
          
          And xv would wallpaper your root window with the forest.gif
          image using integer mirrored tiling.
          
          And you thought this was going to be hard... :-)
          
          One last note: if you use the -rmode option, you don't have to
          specify the -root option as well as this is implicit in -rmode
          
   -max
          Another option, which Irek alluded to was the -max option. What
          this does is stretch the image so as to fit in the root window,
          without respect to the original image aspect. So, for example,
          if you had an image that was 920x740 and you were running at
          1024x768, using this option would cause the image to be
          "stretched" to fit into 1024x768. Now, depending on your
          original image, this could look a bit funny, I suppose, but at
          least it'd get the whole thing in.
          
   -maxpect
          This is quite similar to the above except that it preserves the
          image aspect. So, assuming that you were using the same 920x740
          image mentioned above, using the -maxpect option would scale
          the image up, but would keep the width:height aspect ration the
          same. In this case, it's likely that the image would be
          stretched to a height of 768, while the width would be
          something less than 1024.
          
   -quit
          Ahhh... this is the magic word that says, "Open Sesame!"...
          "please..."
          
          This option causes xv to display the first image given on the
          command line and then quietly exit once it's done. This is how
          you can add a stanza to a script or startup file and have xv
          wallpaper the root window and peacefully terminate once this is
          done.
          
          
   



See, that wasn't so bad, now was it.  So, tying it all together:  suppose that
you had a directory off your home dir called "/images/wallpaper/"
that you put your wallpaper collection in.  You want to use that nifty
forest.gif image and have it integer tiled.  Easy as cake:


xv -rmode 1 -quit ~/images/wallpaper/forest.gif





Viola!, instant gratification! :-)




Now, you can easily do this from any xterm or rxvt command line.  Heck, you
can do this from emacs or vi if you know how to execute a shell command...




(pssss...!  Hey buddy... yeah, you.  If you're using vi, just try something
like:


:!xv -rmode 1 -quit ~/images/wallpaper/forest.gif

and you're golden).




The more convenient way to do this is to put it in one of your start up
scripts.  I've recently started using FVWM-95 and so this would go in my
~/.fvwm2rc95 file under the "InitFunction" heading:


AddToFunc "InitFunction" "I" Module FvwmAuto 200
+                        "I" Module FvwmButtons
+                        "I" Module FvwmTaskBar
+                        "I" Exec syslogtk -geometry +2+2 &
+                        "I" Exec rxvt -ls -sb -sl 400 -fn 9x15 -geometry 80x32
 &
+                        "I" Exec /usr/X11/bin/xv -rmode 1 -quit ~/forest.gif &





Other window managers will have their own initialization files that will need
to be customized.  RTFM.




And speaking of RTFM, there's an extensive manual that John Bradley has
provided with xv.  "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About XV, And
Were Afraid To Ask...".  On my 'ol Slackware '96 distribution, the
documentation gets installed to /usr/doc/xv and the file to have a look at is
the xvdocs.ps file.  It's a HUGE postscript document describing the
program and all of its options and operations in detail.  If you're using xv
much at all, this is required reading.  You can use one of the postscript
viewers such as ghostscript or my current favorite, MGV, to view
the file.




Here are just a couple other thoughts on the subject of wallpapering...




Keep the number of image colors small.




If you haven't noticed, one of the more annoying things about X is that it's
remarkably easy to "use up the colormap".  Programs like Netscape
are notorious for allocating a hoggish number of entries, leaving other
programs unable to allocate colors, OR, having to install their own private
colormaps.  When this happens, you end up with that migraine-grinding,
wildly psychedelic color flashing when you move from one window to the next.




One way to help prevent this is to use images with a small number of colors.
To determine how many colors are being use, load the image and watch the
status message that xv will print in the control window.  Another option, and
one that's easy to use on the command line, is to use the xli program:


xli -ident forest.gif
forest.gif is a 256x256 GIF89a image with 32 colors





To limit the number of colors, use XV's Save function and, if you're saving
the image in GIF format, you can select the "Reduced Color" option.
You can also use the excellent ImageMagick suite of graphics tools:
use the "convert" program with the -colors option to
specify the desired maximum number of colors to use:


convert -colors 24 forest.gif forest_rc.gif


is one way to accomplish this.  If you're handy with the NetPBM
utilities, then I'm sure that you can do a similar thing.




Add wallpapering to your favorite buttonbar or menu.




Got a collection of favorite images and just can't decide which one you
like?  Do you change your wallpaper more often than your socks?  Do yourself a
favor:  add this stuff to your favorite menu or buttonbar and have it
available at a whim's notice!




For example, if you're using FVWM-95 and the FvwmButtons module, you could add
something like:


*FvwmButtons    forest  gif.xpm         Exec "" xv -rmode -1 -quit ~/wallpaper/
forest.gif &
*FvwmButtons    clouds  gif.xpm         Exec "" xv -rmode -1 -quit ~/wallpaper/
clouds.gif &
*FvwmButtons    trees   gif.xpm         Exec "" xv -rmode -1 -quit ~/wallpaper/
trees.gif &
*FvwmButtons    space   gif.xpm         Exec "" xv -rmode -1 -quit ~/wallpaper/
space.gif &
*FvwmButtons    GTO     gif.xpm         Exec "" xv -rmode -1 -quit ~/wallpaper/
GTO.gif &


and so forth.




Now, you can change the root window as easy as clicking on the buttons!  You
can also do something like this with menus.  Just create your own custom
submenu and add it to your present menu.




Also, even if you're not using a window manager that provides its own buttons,
(such as OpenWindows), you can still use programs such as tkgoodstuff
or tycoon as "aftermarket add-on's" and end up with a
splendid buttonbar nonetheless.  You can find these programs at any
well-stocked Linux FTP archive or simply do an Alta-Visa or Yahoo search for
them.




So, how about that?  Think that this will give you something to do for a
while?  Messing around with this stuff can be a HUGE time sink, so for those
dreary rainy April Saturday afternoons, just tell your spouse that you're
going to be busy all day doing a bit of "wallpapering..."




Enjoy!




John






  __________________________________________________________________________






[IMAGE] Wallpapering with xlock...!?




Yup... :-)




Since we're on the subject of wallpapering anyway, I thought I'd throw this
out for what it's worth.




There are actually quite a variety of ways to spiff up your dull and lifeless
root window.  And if you're still using that hideous black and white
cross-hatch when X starts...




We're here to the rescue!!  Hang on!




From all of the various doodles and scribblings that that I've made over the
past couple months on the subject, there seems to be AT LEAST three basic
things that you can do with wallpapering your root window:

    1. Color or color+texture
    2. Images
    3. Animations
   



You can easily try colors or colors+textures by using the xsetroot
program.  Use the -solid option with the name of a color to set the
root window color to some value.  Also, try using the -mod [x] [y]
option which gives you a plaid texture.  You need to specify an x and y value
for the pattern, which are numbers between 0 and 16.  You also can specify the
foreground and background colors to use with this using the -fg and
-bg options, respectively.




We've talked at some length about using an image in the root window using a
program such as xv.  See the previous article in this months column for
all the gory details.  FWIW, you can also use the xsetroot with the
-bitmap [filename] option to use a black and white bitmap image if
you'd like.




Finally, you can use animations on your root window.  There are all kinds of
nifty little doodad's and thingamabob's around to do such things.  My favorite
is the xearth program, although I've fooled with and enjoyed the
xfishtank and the xantfarm programs as well.  You should be able
to find these at your friendly neighborhood Linux FTP site or on that
Christmas CD your spouse reluctantly bought for you... :-)




Here's yet another suggestion that you might not have tried...




Did you know that you can use the xlock program as wallpaper?




No, seriously...  You gotta give this a try!




The xlock program has almost as many command line options as xv.  Again, if
you invoke it with the secret password...


xlock --help
xlock:  bad command line option "--help"

usage:  xlock [-help] [-resources] [-display displayname] [-name resourcename]
    [-/+mono] [-/+nolock] [-/+remote] [-/+allowroot] [-/+enablesaver]
    [-/+allowaccess] [-/+grabmouse] [-/+echokeys] [-/+usefirst] [-/+v]
    [-/+inwindow] [-/+inroot] [-/+timeelapsed] [-/+install] [-delay usecs]
    [-batchcount num] [-cycles num] [-saturation value] [-nice level]
    [-timeout seconds] [-lockdelay seconds] [-font fontname] [-bg color]
    [-fg color] [-username string] [-password string] [-info string]
    [-validate string] [-invalid string] [-geometry geom] [-/+use3d]
    [-delta3d value] [-right3d color] [-left3d color] [-program programname]
    [-messagesfile filename] [-messagefile filename] [-message string]
    [-mfont fontname] [-imagefile filename] [-gridsize] [-neighbors] [-mode ant
    | bat | blot | bouboule | bounce | braid | bug | clock | demon | eyes
    | flag | flame | forest | galaxy | geometry | grav | helix | hop | hyper
    | image | kaleid | laser | life | life1d | life3d | lissie | marquee | maze
    | mountain | nose | petal | puzzle | pyro | qix | rock | rotor | shape
    | slip | sphere | spiral | spline | swarm | swirl | triangle | wator
    | world | worm | blank | random]

Type xlock -help for a full description.





Impressive...




(... and if you're wondering why I didn't try the xlock -help
option as it suggested, the reason is that of brevity.  Try this yourself to
get the FULL description!)




The options that you want are the -inroot and the -mode [name]
 options.  To install your favorite galaxy, pyro, blot, rock, rotor,
swarm, or whathaveyou onto your root window, just do something like:


xlock -inroot -mode swarm &





And stand back and enjoy the show.  Of course, you can get a bit dizzy
watching some of these, but it's kinda fun watching the bats careen around and
the swarm chasing that one little bugger all over the screen.  Add a couple
invocations like this to your favorite 'ol buttonbar or menu and you'll be the
envy of all your neighbors.  People will think you're pretty cool...  Maybe
you'll get a promotion... The cute gal/guy in the dorm next door will tell all
their friends that you just wrok their world!...  Maybe your complexion
will clear up... Who knows...?  It's worth a try... :-)




So, what do you think?  Got any other ideas or suggestions?  If you do, drop
me a note and I'll be glad to include it in the next column.  Who knows,
maybe we'll have to write a mini-HOWTO on X Window wallpapering... :-)




See ya!




John






  __________________________________________________________________________






[IMAGE] System Logging Ideas...




Several months ago, I had someone run a Satan attack on my home Linux system
(a standalone PC connected via dialup PPP to the INTERNET) shortly after I'd
gotten a dialup connection.  The idiot got no information as I had sendmail
configured for remote mail queuing.  Without going into all the details,
suffice it to say that after getting pretty angry about this and making several
phone calls and sending email demands of explanations, the perpetrator remains
anonymous.




Now, there are several things that I know next to nothing about, and
UN*X/Linux security is one of them.  For my standalone system, I closed a
couple holes by simply no longer loading up either inetd or sendmail at system
boot.  I mention this not so much to talk about security as to segue into the
topic of system logging.




After this incident, I starting wondering how to keep track of "what's
going on" with my system in terms of processes running, login attempts,
debugging/error messages, and so forth.  One solution to this was provided by
a reader quite some time ago which involved dumping ALL system logging
information to an unused VT by adding a stanza such as the following to
/etc/syslog.conf:


*.*                             /dev/tty9


I won't go into the details of this except to mention that this sends all
logging information to VT number 9.




It occurred to me a bit later that I could also dump this information to a
file and then run tail on it to see a continuous printout of the
information.  Under X, this is accomplished easily by running an xterm or rxvt
and then running tail on the system logging file.  To do this, you could:

    1. Set up syslogd to print ALL logging information to a file by
       adding the following to your /etc/syslog.conf:

*.*                             /dev/tty9
*.*                             /var/adm/syslog
           This gives you a file with logging information from all
       facilities and from all all levels.
       
    2. Starting up an xterm or rxvt and getting a tail process running on
       the logging file. You'll obviously need read permissions on the
       file in order to do this:

rxvt -sb -sl 200 -e tail -n 50 -f /var/adm/syslog &
           My own preference is to use rxvt since it enjoys a much
       smaller memory footprint than xterms typically do. The -sb option
       gives me a very handsome scrollbar; -sl 200 saves 200 lines of
       output at a time; and the -e option instructs rxvt to execute
       everything following it on the command line.
       
       After doing this you can decrease the window size substantially by
       using a small font. Depending on how rxvt was compiled, you may be
       able to interactively change the font size using the ALT-< key
       combination (or the ALT->) -- on rxvt version 2.18 this causes a
       smaller font to be used. You can also specify which font to use
       when you invoke rxvt itself using the -fn option. Using a six or
       seven point font gives you a small, but still readable window.
       
       
   



Now, if you start up a second rxvt and run top in it, you'll find that
this will give you a good idea of what's going on with your system.  On my
box, this looks like:




 Rxvt with tail and
top




Obviously, there are MUCH more elegant and sophisticated solutions than
running a couple rxvt's with top and tail.  However, this is VERY easy to
setup and, if you add a stanza to do this in your window manager configuration
file, or add this to a menu or buttonbar, then it's very convenient as well.




I've also tinkered around with writing a small tcl/tk script that some of you
might be interested in.  The syslogtk script is a VERY simple little
program that allows you to easily view any of the logging files under
/var/adm.  On startup, it adds a menu item for each readable, regular file
under /var/adm which will then allow you to view that file.  It also
automagically loads the /var/adm/syslog file.  I've added a couple buttons to
resize the text window, move to the head and end of the file, and to update
the logging (this was a bit of a kludge since I found that the tail
process would "hang" after pppd terminated.  Any ideas as to why
this would happen... anyone?)




I've used this for the past little bit and really like it -- especially since
it lets me quickly see the status of things such as mail and print jobs.
Here's a screen dump of it in its "normal" and "maximized"
states:




 syslogtk image



The syslogtk program minimized.




 syslogtk (max) image



The syslogtk program maximized.




I'm sorry that I don't have a lot of time to discuss this simple utility more.
If you're interested in it, the sources are available here.  You can save the
following link to file OR simply load it up in your browser and save it as a
text file:

  SYSLOGTK TCL SOURCE
  



As usual, this comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTEE:  if anything breaks, you
get to keep both pieces... :-)




I'm hoping, when I have a bit more time, to write up a simple guide to setting
up and using system logging with the excellent sysklogd package.  For
the time being, you're on your own.  BTW, I wrote syslogtk under tcl/tk
versions 7.6/4.2 -- there's nothing terribly fancy in them so it'll likely
work under older and newer versions as well.  Have a look at the beginning of
the script file for items that you might want to customize, especially the
file that gets loaded when the program starts.  The code isn't terribly robust
at the moment, so if it can't find something, it'll likely just whine and do
nothing...




Well, that should about do it!




Hope you have fun.  If you have any ideas or suggestions, drop me a note OR,
better yet, drop the LG editor (Marjorie Richardson at SSC) a letter or
article!




Cheers,




John






  __________________________________________________________________________






[IMAGE] Closing Up The Shop




Well, again, I'm sorry that the articles have been a bit more rushed than I'd
hoped this month.  I just got back from visiting Bill and Sandy Emmett -- my
wife's brother and his wife and their kids -- over Easter Weekend.  We had a
great time and even got to do a bit of Linux'ing!  I recently bought some old
computer parts "As Is" from the church my wife and I attend and, after a bit
of card swapping and cable twiddling, I managed to get a working 486DX/4 100
box working.  I also found that it came with an Artisoft AE/2 NIC.




Hmmm... Serious Fun on the Horizon, Good Buddy...




My brother-in-law outfitted me with an old WD-8003 card he had lying around
and we were able to get some basic networking set up under Linux and Win95.
So, I'm going to be learning a bit of networking!  YeeeeHaaaa!!




That is, if I ever manage to get my schoolwork done so that I can pass Calc
III and Software Engineering... :-(




We'll have to see.




The other bit of news is that I'm planning on heading out to the 'ol 1997
Linux Expo at NCSU again this year!




Time for a road trip!! :-)




I'm getting seriously excited about this as the speaker roster looks like a
"Heavy-Weight Who's Who's in the Linux Community" round up.  The
conference talks all look interesting and, if this is anything like last
year's Expo, it should just be a WHOLE LOTTA FUN.  If any of you still haven't
heard about this and you're within any kind of driving, flying, running,
hitchhiking, or crawling distance from North Carolina State Univ., then by all
means...




GO!!




There's all kinds of information available at the 
Linux Expo site.  I know that they've put in a HUGE amount of
work on this together with the folks at RedHat
Software, Inc..  Drop by the page and get the low down on speakers,
exhibitors, events, conference talks, and so forth.




Several of us from 'ol Middle Tenn State Univ. are planning on taking a road
trip and making a weekend of this.  We'll be walking around with our pocket
protectors and name badges like the rest of you... if you happen to see:

     * Brad Curtis
     * Steven Edwards (aka "Maverick")
     * John Hoover
     * or, Your's Truly...
   



Walk right up, introduce yourself, and shake a hand!  We'd love to chat
with you.  If I get the chance, I'll bring along the 'ol Canon and try
to get some shots of the going's on.  If I can get my hands on a scanner, I
might even put a couple of these up in the next column (with the permission of
the Expo folks, of course).




Anyway, hope to see you all there!!




Take care, Happy Linux'ing, and Best Wishes,




John M. Fisk

Nashville, TN

Sunday, March 30, 1997






  __________________________________________________________________________





 [IMAGE]  If you'd like,
drop me a note at:
    John M. Fisk <fiskjm@ctrvax.vanderbilt.edu>
    



Last Modified: $Date: 1997/09/14 15:01:44 $






  __________________________________________________________________________




      Copyright &copy; 1997, John M. Fisk
      Published in Issue 16 of the Linux Gazette, April 1997
      
      



  __________________________________________________________________________




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      For information regarding copying and distribution of this material see
      the Copying License.
      
      



  __________________________________________________________________________





  CONTENTS:
     * About This Month's Authors
     * Not Linux
   






  __________________________________________________________________________






  ABOUT THIS MONTH'S AUTHORS
  



  __________________________________________________________________________









    Larry Ayers
    Larry Ayers lives with his family on a small farm in Northeast
    Missouri; he is a woodworker, fiddler and general
    jack-of-all-trades.
    



    John M. Fisk
    John Fisk is most noteworthy as the former editor of the
Linux Gazette.
After three years as a General Surgery resident and
Research Fellow at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center,
John decided to "hang up the stethoscope", and pursue a
career in Medical Information Management. He's currently a full
time student at the Middle Tennessee State University and hopes
to complete a graduate degree in Computer Science before
entering a Medical Informatics Fellowship. In his dwindling
free time he and his wife Faith enjoy hiking and camping in
Tennessee's beautiful Great Smoky Mountains. He has been an avid Linux fan,
since his first Slackware 2.0.0 installation a year and a half
ago.




    Michael J. Hammel
    Michael J. Hammel,
    is a transient software engineer with a background in
    everything from data communications to GUI development to Interactive Cable
    systems--all based in Unix. His interests outside of computers
    include 5K/10K races, skiing, Thai food and gardening. He suggests if you
    have any serious interest in finding out more about him, you visit his home
    pages at http://www.csn.net/~mjhammel. You'll find out more
    there than you really wanted to know.
    



    Mike List
    Mike List is a father of four teenagers, musician, printer (not
    laserjet), and recently reformed technophobe, who has been into computers
    since April,1996, and Linux since July.
    



    Henry H. Lu
    Henry H. Lu has a M.S. of Biophysics, University of Minnesota and a
    B.S. of Physics, Nankai University. He is
    currently working as contract bioinformatics analyst in HIV database of
    Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico USA, and has
    developed Java / HTML, C/C++, perl, shell applications and system tools
    for work (Solaris environment) at home Linux box or remote login to
    workstation at Lab. For fun, he likes to
    hack some of systems/networking programs, use Linux
    to learn on-line university courses
    (Operating systems / system programming, Network), and write
    Java/HTML for my own web page.
    



    Marc Welz
    Marc lives in Cape Town, South Africa. He thinks that it must be one of the
    most beautiful
    cites in the world. He should be working on his MSc, but tends to be
    distracted
    by Table Mountain, Linux or anything else.
    






  __________________________________________________________________________






  NOT LINUX
  



  __________________________________________________________________________








Thanks to all our authors, not just the ones above, but also those who wrote
giving us their tips and tricks and making suggestions. Thanks also to our
new mirror sites.



Amy Kukuk was a great help this month, putting together News Bytes, More
2 Cent Tips and The Answer Guy. I'm going to be giving her more and
more each month.




I've had a lot of fun going to see the "Star Wars" movies again. Space movies
are so much more fun at a theater. I was amazed to discover that I
can remember the first time I had seen each of them (theatre, company,
etc.). I was pleased to see so many kids there enjoying the epic for the first
time on a big screen.
Riley and I had a lot of fun competing to see who recognized new scenes
first (nudge, nudge).
I thought they did a pretty smooth job of inserting
the scenes without being annoyingly noticeable. I still have to wonder
how the people of Tatooie kept the streets clean with dinosaurs as
pack animals?



Have fun!




  __________________________________________________________________________





Marjorie L. Richardson

Editor, Linux Gazette gazette@ssc.com




  __________________________________________________________________________





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Linux Gazette Issue 16, April 1997, http://www.ssc.com/lg/

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