[ Prev ][ Table of Contents ][ Front Page ][ FAQ ]

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

The Back Page

Not The Answer Gang

Cracking Slackware Linux

Answered By Iron

Sir, I have just read your articles. It is really interesting and that's why i dare to send you this email. Sir, can you tell me any way to enter(hack) into slackware linux (through any program or shellscript whatever). Sir, I am eagerly waiting for your reply. Please send me the reply as quick as possible.

(!) [Iron]

Choose your favorite reply.

  1. Push the 'Hack' button on your keyboard.

  2. Sir, are you stoned or were you always this way?

  3. Real hackers wouldn't have to ask.

  4. Start by cracking something simple, like DOS 3.0.

  5. The square pegs go into the square holes, and the round pegs go into the round holes.

  6. Hi, you've reached the Linux Gazette Answer Gang....
       Linux ::::::::: a modern operating system not much like any of:
                   --- DOS -- Windows -- Solaris -- MacOS -- alien starships ---
                   ... except occasionally, an ability to run on the same hardware.
       Gazette ::::::: published more regularly than "almanac."  In our case:
                   --- a monthly web-based magazine, home:
       Answer Gang ::: Not the "lazy college student's UNstudy group"
                   --- nor the "hey d00dz help me cRaK my neighBoorZ klub"

Small sharp tools vs Bloatware

Answered By John Karns, Iron, Ben Okopnik

(!) [John]

On several occasions I've read mention of the unix philosophy where each program concentrates on doing a few things and doing them well. Thus MTA's don't generally handle POP'ing, etc. The example given of Eudora, Netscape and Outlook are phenomena of a different OS. In the case of Netscape, its roots were closely tied to unix, but most of the development was targeted for users of the other OS - and its unfortunate that some of the ISP's are designing their configurations assuming that virtuall all subscribers will be using that platform.

(!) [Iron]

And don't forget how much Netscape Mail changed the landscape. Prior to Netscape, most Unix people read mail from shell accounts, and the local machine had its own sendmail. Windows users depended on mail gateways between Internet and their Novell/Windows/Vines/whatever network, so they as users never had to configure anything. Of course, there were a few POP users here and there, but relatively few. Then Netscape Mail appeared, and suddenly ISPs and LANs were faced with large numbers of e-mailing users on Windows boxen that didn't have their own mail transport agent, so they had to rely on an upstream POP/SMTP server. Nowadays, it's just assumed that most users will connect this way. (Well, *most* users use Hotmail or one of the other webmail services....)

There's a fascinating book Digitopia that talks about how computerization has changed our society a lot more than people realize, because of the human mind's tendency to adapt to new situations and forget how things used to be. The author points out that each time a new Playstation or software update comes out, people get excited and then bored, but they forget that the new version is causing the same about of excitement and boredom as the previous version did. We think about Netscape 2 now and wonder how people could have been excited about such a crappy application, but that's because we're forgetting what the situation was like then.

AOL knights

Answered By Iron, John Karns, Ben Okopnik

(!) [Iron]

AOL became the biggest [ISP in the US] through a massive marketing campaign, sending millions of "try me out" CDs.

(!) [John]

.. and before those, floppies. I used to receive at least one of those in the mail every week. I remember a humor piece circulating on the 'net along the lines of "Creative uses for AOL floppy disks", which was quite funny.

(!) [Ben]

Heh. A FoF has made a suit of armor out of the CDs. There's also some fascinating stuff you can do with them after microwaving... Very useful, that AOL. <grin>

The two sides of a VPN

Answered By Jim Dennis

Do both sides of a VPN [Virtual Private Network] need special hardware to make a secure connection or can one side have nothing but an internet connection and the other side handle all the VPN stuff?

(!) [Jim]

I know this is going to come across as a flame; but I have to observe that this question is so clueless that I'm truly befuddled as to what sort of muddled thought process could lead to this question.

The basic question, "do both sides of a VPN need special hardware?", is flawed. Neither side of a VPN needs special *hardware*. Both sides of a VPN connection need "special" (and interoperable) hardware *or* software.

The remainder of the question is the muddled part: "... can one side have nothing but an internet connection".

That's almost like asking, "Do both ends of a phone conversation need to have phones, or can one end do all the phone stuff and on the other end have nothing but a wire?"

Bad Boy

Answered By Thomas Adam, Iron, Ben Okopnik

(!) [Thomas]


This e-mail was sent as in-line HTML.

Hey Heather....don't look at me like that. There's no need to shoot the "message-forwarder/replier" :)

(!) [Iron]

Ben's the one who usually looks at people menanicingly. He's our honorary "bad boy" because he's a KGB spy.

[Note to US FBI: Hi there! I see you're monitoring our e-mail. That Carnivore program sure is something, hey? That comment about Ben being a spy was a joke. Later doodz.]

(!) [Thomas]

Surely "linux-questions-only" means just that? So where does psychology enter into it??

(!) [Iron]

Obviously the address was harvested by a program and no human ever saw it. The most outrageous pieces of spam, off-topic questions or homework questions we ridicule on linux-questions-only or tag-admin, and then I publish them anonymously in Not The Answer Gang on the Back Page.

(!) [Ben]

</me lowers KGB-issue shades>
<glares at Mike menacingly>

# Special Carnivore-disabling code. Does a DoS on the government's
# computers which expend all their cycles trying to break the code...



Answered By Iron, Ben Okopnik

Hi Ben!
P.S.: You don't happen to stream the courses you give, do you ? Would be really interesting... :) -Robos

(!) [Iron]

A stream-of-consciousness rendering of Ben's mind? Now, that's scary.

Maybe in a thousand years somebody will be channeling that Ben Okopnik wisdom....

(!) [Ben]

You have discovered my secret plan!

Damn. *Another* good idea down the drain. Back to the CAD program...


Answered By Ben Okopnik, Iron

(!) [Ben]

... head is still spinning from Heather's explanation of how DNS works (I think I've got it, though!) which she was gracious enough to give me while I was out there on the Left Coast,

(!) [Iron]

We've got quite the little network going. I met Heather and Jim last March. Now you've met Heather. When I get back to England next year, maybe I'll meet some other TAG ppl.

(!) [Ben]

Hey, what with me travelling all over the country for work (mostly California, lately, but I just got a class in Atlanta and one in North Carolina), I could be the LG ambassador. :)

Life on a boat

Answered By Ben Okopnik

(!) [Ben]

It didn't help that Ricochet went down, and that my boat was hauled out in an area of Maryland where the hoot owls trod the chickens and TCP/IP packet routing is done by snails in their spare time. I've got a Merlin PCMCIA card now (<gag> 19200bps, when Ricochet was up to 128k...), and this gives me at least some connectivity. Certainly e-mail access, which is what's needed.

Not News Bytes


(Or as Irving Welsh would say, "Fitba".)

The Register pokes fun at an article in the Washington Post, which tongue-in-cheekly says Baltimore Ravens' coach Brian Billick blames his team loss October 14 on "the Linux operating system".

Happy Linuxing!

Mike ("Iron") Orr
Editor, Linux Gazette,

Copyright © 2001, the Editors of Linux Gazette.
Copying license
Published in Issue 72 of Linux Gazette, November 2001
[ Prev ][ Table of Contents ][ Front Page ][ FAQ ]