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

 The Mailbag!

Write the Gazette at gazette@ssc.com


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*.


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,

 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

PAGE ]  Next

This page written and maintained by the Editor of Linux Gazette, gazette@ssc.com
Copyright © 1997 Specialized Systems Consultants, Inc.