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Help Wanted -- Article Ideas

 Date: Sun, 30 Nov 1997 14:08:24 +0000
From: David Stern kotsya@mailhost2.cac.washington.edu
Subject: Help Wanted -- Article Ideas

I'm at that point in my Linux development where I'm comfortable with the basics, and am venturing out to learn and discover the myriad of alternatives which exist. While I appreciate the many alternatives, it can be difficult for someone with little experience to decide which MUA, MTA, proxy..is most suitable. When each individual must personally begin anew to evaluate the field, unnecessary repetion of efforts results and often a selection is made based on incomplete information. When the user later discovers a more suitable alternative, and possibly later another, a glutton of inefficiency results.

On that note, I'd like to suggest "head-to-head" comparision articles of similar programs. A chart with columns and rows which represent the programs and the features would be invaluable for Linux users ranging from completely new to advanced, thus I would consider that a necessity. Optionally, different recognitions may be given for exceptional achievement. Notes on individual programs or categories, and a brief summary would probably be required.

If thorough analytical evaluations were performed, this may exceed the resources and other imposed limitations of Linux Gazzette, but I'm not asking for that much depth. I'm just looking for a cursory examination of programs with a comparison of features in a "side-by-side" format.

While I appreciate the reviews of individual programs, and enjoy the deeper attention which can be given, there is an ever-increasing number of alternatives available to the Linux user, and summary comparisons of programs is now a very real need, and the importance will only increase with time.

Please consider adding a side by side summary comparison of programs feature article. I think this would not only make Linux Gazzette better than it already is, but also expand the readership. Thanks and sincerely,

David Stern

 Date: Fri, 28 Nov 1997 08:35:04
From: Erwin Penders ependers@cobweb.nl
Subject: passwd shadow convert problem

I am running RedHat 4.2 with normal passwords since a couple of month's. Now i read the shadow-password howto and i wanted this also to work on my system. After reading the manual i went to a 'blank' redhat system with a couple of users and i ran /usr/sbin/pwconv5 and the shadow was up and running fine. BUT on another system (same as the first) but with a lot more users the pwconv5 runs but won't stop. It makes an empty shadow file and i have to kill pwconv5 because it isn't doing anything.

I then copied the passwd file from the second to the first system and tried on the first system... and the same problem.. no shadow.

Can anybody tell me what i do wrong !?

Thanks everybody.

Erwin Penders

 Date: Fri, 21 Nov 1997 01:39:51
From: Manish Oberoi oberoi@coeibm.rutgers.edu
Subject: printing problems

Anyone that can help me. I'd love to hear it. I try running the lpr, but everytime I get no name for local machine. How do I set this and/or what is the problem.

Manish Oberoi

 Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 20:33:38 -0800
From: Nolan Zak nzak@uniserve.com
Subject: Help Wanted!

I'm running RH 4.2 with kernel 2.0.30 on an Intel P90, I've only been at this for a couple weeks so go easy on me if this is a stupid question. :)

I'm trying to get ppp to working for dialing into my ISP, but no matter what I do it disconnects.

Here's a small description of what is going on: I set up /dev/modem --> /dev/cua1 and enabled full permissions on both. Set the jumpers on my modem for com2, irq3. Ran setserial to setup the proper device settings. Re-compiled the kernel for ppp. checked my modem init strings.

Now, no matter what I use (minicom, shell scripts, netcfg), the chat script goes through the proper procedure and starts up ppp on the server side, passes control to pppd, which connects ppp0 <--> /dev/modem, and after that, the modem hangs up (within about 2 seconds).

I've tried all kinds of command line args to pppd, with no luck. Can anyone help me out here?

Later, Nolan

My webpage--> http://users.uniserve.com/~nzak/welcome.htm

 Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 22:20:54 -0500
From: "atm" atm@dapa.com
Subject: Linux and routing

I have heard that you can connect a LAN to the internet via just 1 assigned IP address. This is what I am planning on doing, however, I do not know how one would go about doing it, and I would like to ask you if you could do an article about it. (Any takers among our readers? --Editor)

I plan on getting a cable modem soon, so the bandwidth would be pretty high, so that is why I have decided to try to make this connection provide for my whole house via a LAN connection in my home. What I have read is that you could use the private IPs, meaning the 10.x.x.x or so, 192.168.x.x and some others for the IP of the LAN and have these connect to some box (the LINUX box?) that would provide its connection to the internet to the inside LAN connected to the box. Is the problem that you would have to route the assigned address to the private IPs for the LAN use. I have also read that this would slow down the connection a bit or something, but that is a price I am willing to pay. So, the summary of the question is how would I be able to connect many computers to the internet via just 1 assigned IP address? I would like to be able to do it using my LINUX box connected to the internet via cable modem, and to my LAN via an Ethernet link. Any help is much appreciated, thanks.

 Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 10:41:54 +0000
From: John Fisher john@Atropos.apana.org.au
Subject: Of Mouse and Men (no Cheese)

A very new boy to all this I am :-)


Using a 486 pc & Slackware I'm unable to use my mouse due to this error:

Too many symbolic links encountered /dev/console

Would very much apprecaite some help.


John Fisher

 Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 09:23:14 -0500
From: Wenhao_Meng@dadebehring.com
Subject: try to use a 386 computer

I am new in the Linux world. How new? I am so new that I have just ordered a Redhat release 5.0. Though this is a new world I am very glad I am one of you, the Linux lovers.

I used to have a 386 25 MHz computer. Not long time ago I bought a Pentium 200 MHz computer. Since then I have not played with 386. Is there any easy and economical way to connect the 386 to the Pentinum computer where I will install the Release 5.0. If so, what I can do with it or at lease what I can learn from it.

Thank you very much. Waiting for talking to you.

 Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 08:44:15 -0700
From: Doug Milligan doug@nwrks.com
Subject: Help Wanted: RedHat 5.0 sound

Have installed RedHat 5.0 and configured the sound card using sndconfig. All went well and I heard the demo sound bite of Linus. However, I have never heard another sound since. When browsing web sites with sound, no audio is played. Anyone have any ideas?

Doug Milligan

 Date: Thu, 25 Dec 1997 12:45:29 -0800 (PST)
From: karl rossing unixb0y@yahoo.com

I was wondering if it is possble to get windows 95/NT to authenticate to LINUX (using nis or nis+). I'm really getting tired of adding accounts on the nt boxes for the linux boxes (for smb)...Is there any commercial software availible?

I know of d-sync [http://www.m-tech.ab.ca/psynch/index.html] and NSGINA [http://www.dcs.qmw.ac.uk/~williams/] which seems a bit of work to setup...

I'm not really looking for passwd syncronisation, i'd like to consolidate it to the linux box, because the users use both linux/95/nt.

nuff said

Karl Rossing

 Date: Sun, 04 Jan 1998 23:54:37 +0100
From: Gabriele Giansante gvgsoft@madnet.it
Subject: Perl and HTML

please pardon me for my bad english. I need help for one exam in my university. I have to do a script CGI in Perl and I have to recall with HTML. I have done all. Perl compile without errors the script but when I run the HTML page and choose the link to the script, I obtain only a list of script. Why is it? I put in the Perl script the line #!/usr/local/bin/perl. I know this is used to indicate the Perl compiler. I work on Linux RedHat 4.1 trying to execute the script with browser ARENA and NETSCAPE. I enjoy if you can help me. I see Linux Gazette now the first time and like it because I find many help on my questions. Pardon my english and Thank you.

General Mail

 Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 11:15:36 PST
From: Marty Leisner leisner@sdsp.mc.xerox.com
Subject: some requests

When including more than a few lines of code, include a link to the code (i.e. the original source files).

In issue 22, I had problems with the line breaks cutting and pasting a program from netscape into a window, saving and recompiling.


 Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 13:36:05 -0600 (CST)
From: Justin Dossey dossey@ou.edu
Subject: Help for trival problems

I notice that a lot of people write the Gazette with fairly trivial problems that are difficult to solve via non-interactive media (email). I'd like to remind some and inform others of the Linux Internet Support Cooperative. An excerpt from the LISC home page (http://www.linpeople.org) says:

"Since 1994, a small and somewhat foolish group of Linux system users and administrators have been giving free technical support for Linux under the name LinPeople, on Internet Relay Chat (IRC). With Linux being a free operating system, it only seemed appropriate to provide a free means of supporting it.Since 1994, a small and somewhat foolish group of Linux system users and administrators have been giving free technical support for Linux under the name LinPeople, on Internet Relay Chat (IRC). With Linux being a free operating system, it only seemed appropriate to provide a free means of supporting it."

It sometimes seems to linux users with problems that no one is interested in helping them. They post to news and don't get a reply, they send email to the Gazette and feel ignored. When you have a problem, especially if you suspect that others might have the same, try LISC. With most internet-connected Linux boxen, it's just a matter of typing:

ircii irc.linpeople.org /join #linpeople

and then asking the question.

The people at LISC will do what they can to solve your problem, teaching you about Linux at the same time.

Justin Dossey

 Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 06:35:00 -0500 (EST)
From: Benjmin Lee Adamson ladamson@itd.nrl.navy.mil
Subject: Ah... Goodstuff...

I just found the Linux Gazette... I haven't read all of them yet, but I really dig what I've found so far... :)

Really really really really goodstuff. :)

 Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 01:03:04 +0100
From: Diego Cortassa cortassa.diego@usa.net
Subject: Netscape Hidden tips:w

I saw Ivan Griffin's 'Netscape Hidden "Easter Eggs"' tip on Linux Gazette Issue 23 and I've got one more cool special URL:


Read the message and take a look to the N animation while downloading a web page ! :-)

P.S. Linux Gazette is GREAT !!!!!!!!!

Diego Cortassa

 Date: Sat, 20 Dec 1997 06:13:59 -0700
From: Sengan Baring-Gould senganb@cyrix.com
Subject: Loading times


Thanks for the great work at linuxgazette.com. I'd like to suggest an improvement: that the loading does not get paused while the massive Linux Gazette banner at the top of the page gets loaded... it's a pain on a slow link.



(You might try turning off the display of graphical images using your browser. Alternatively, you can wait a short while and then stop the loading. Although the graphics may be incomplete, the text should be there. --Editor)

 Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 20:03:32 +0100
From: Ingo Oeser ioe@informatik.tu-chemnitz.de
Subject: Kewl new cover image

The subject just says what I would like to tell you: The cover image (the one with "Linux Gazette" inside) really looks great!


 Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 09:52:10 -0500 (EST)
From: Kragen Sittler sittler@erim-int.com
Subject: http://www.operasoftware.com/alt_os.html

Using WinNT at work, I discovered this fabulous browser called Opera. It's the fastest web browser I've ever used, including Lynx, but has most of the features I want from Netscape. Also, it's fairly small -- right now, my Opera process is under 5000K, even though it has six fairly heavy web-pages open, and the download size just grew over one megabyte.

They're doing this funky pledge-drive thing where they ask people to promise to buy copies of Opera for $35 for other platforms -- Mac, Be, OS/2, and Linux -- before they've started developing Opera for those platforms. They say they haven't gotten much support from the Linux community -- perhaps it's because not many people have heard of them?

(I learned about Opera from Borland's web pages, btw.)


 Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 20:37:26 +0530
From: Sudhir Krishnan sudhir@kaveri.tifr.res.in
Subject: Can I help you?

I have been using Linux for more than a year now. There's no other OS that fascinates me more than Linux! I have been programming in Linux using gcc. I have made my own text editor for Linux, with various modes for emulating emacs, vi and turbo c editor keystrokes. Also there are modes for C, C++ and Pascal programs so that the keywords are highlighted. My home page's location is:


Here I have an entire page dedicated to Linux tips and help, meant for the Linux newbie. There are sections regarding PPP configuration, kernel compilation, installation and partitioning etc. Please let me know if any of these could be of help in any way.

- sud -

 Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 14:23:26 PST
From: Marty Leisner leisner@sdsp.mc.xerox.com
Subject: Troff/Tex debate

I read Andrew Young's (aty@mintaka.sdsu.edu) letter in December, then read Larry Ayers Issue 22 column...

I take issue with two of Larry's statements: "Groff is the epitome of the non-user-friendly and cryptic unix command-line tool." Larry also says: "Learning to use Groff on a Linux system might be an uphill battle, though Linux software developers must have learned enough of it at one time or other, as most programs come with Groff-tagged man-page files. Groff's apparent opacity and difficulty make LaTeX look easy in contrast!"

I'm not sure LaTeX is an improvement in these areas. I've used troff for over 10 years and recently started to use LaTeX (in fact, many times LaTeX is far more obscure then troff). And there are a few features in LaTeX I miss (like:

.sy stat \n(.F | fgrep Change >change.time
.so change.time
.sy rm change.time
to get the document time into the document (as opposed to the "TeX" time, or having to manually change the date, which is invariably wrong. I have a makefile which puts this in a file, then includes the file)

The biggest problem is the lack of reference materials for troff. I've used Unix Text Processing (Dougherty/O'Reilly) which Andrew mentions...I've never seen or heard of the other book...

There are some references for troff/pic/indexing tools on: http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/cstr.html (including the one mentioned later) There are also good papers on troff in: 4.4BSD User's Supplementary Documents (I'm not sure which ones can be redistributed and which ones are only in the book).

FYI, from Eric Raymond's online jargon file: :troff:: /T'rof/ or /trof/ /n./ [Unix] The gray eminence of Unix text processing; a formatting and phototypesetting program, written originally in PDP-11 assembler and then in barely-structured early C by the late Joseph Ossanna, modeled after the earlier ROFF which was in turn modeled after Multics' RUNOFF by Jerome Saltzer (*that* name came from the expression "to run off a copy"). A companion program, {nroff}, formats output for terminals and line printers.

In 1979, Brian Kernighan modified troff so that it could drive phototypesetters other than the Graphic Systems CAT. His paper describing that work ("A Typesetter-independent troff," AT&T CSTR #97) explains troff's durability. After discussing the program's "obvious deficiencies -- a rebarbative input syntax, mysterious and undocumented properties in some areas, and a voracious appetite for computer resources" and noting the ugliness and extreme hairiness of the code and internals, Kernighan concludes:

None of these remarks should be taken as denigrating Ossanna's accomplishment with TROFF. It has proven a remarkably robust tool, taking unbelievable abuse from a variety of preprocessors and being forced into uses that were never conceived of in the original design, all with considerable grace under fire.
The success of {{TeX}} and desktop publishing systems have reduced `troff''s relative importance, but this tribute perfectly captures the strengths that secured `troff' a place in hacker folklore; indeed, it could be taken more generally as an indication of those qualities of good programs that, in the long run, hackers most admire.


 Date: Fri, 02 Jan 1998 15:33:15 +0100
From: Wolfgang Laun Wolfgang Laun@aut.alcatel.at
Subject: Linux Gazette/GNU/Linux Benchmarking

A recent LG article by André Balsa on benchmarking provided interesting material to me.

Having a little experience with benchmarks myself (some of it while checking optimizing efforts myself on a compiler) I have found that caching on Intel CPUs can significantly distort results. In the first part you mention that caching can be disabled via the BIOS setup. If you write your own benchmarks (or have the source), you could also consider using the pertaining CPU instructions, easily inserted using gcc's _asm_. This could be used to keep caching up while running the code you want to measure and to flush between cycles, in order not to "carry over" a cache bonus from the previous iteration.


Published in Linux Gazette Issue 24, January 1998

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