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Greetings from Iron

Look ma, I got a greetings column just like Heather now!

Only two changes to LG's format this month:

  1. The author bios are the bottom of the articles again. Raj Shekhar requested this, so he can print the articles and read them off-line while still seeing the bios. As always, the lastest bio and contact info is on the author's Author page.
  2. The yellow articles table on the Front Page and Site Map is smaller now (when viewed in a graphical browser). Now, if I could just make it smaller vertically....

SSC was closed Christmas week so I had a wonderful five days off. I finished a long-awaited project, updating the Cheetah Users' Guide.

Then I started putting together a computer for my mom. Right now she's got Windows 95 on a 486. I gave her the Linux in the Workplace book a month ago so that the transition to Linux won't be a total shock. The book goes over the KDE user interface step by step with lots of screenshots. Then I had her open her Word documents on my computer so she could verify they opened properly and that the user interface was OK, before I commandeer her monitor and keyboard for the new computer. I had her try out AbiWord, KWord (part of the KOffice suite) and OpenOffice Writer. Both AbiWord and OpenOffice opened all the documents, but OpenOffice handled her headers/footers and tabs the best and had a slightly better user interface. KWord failed to open two of the documents, which had a .doc extension but were really RTF (Rich Text Format). She doesn't know how they got that way. So I used "Save As..." in OpenOffice to convert them back to Word format.

Rather than installing Debian from scratch and remembering all my customizations, I decided to clone my existing partitions and delete what she won't use. That went well enough, although again I had to use "linear" in /etc/lilo.conf instead of "lba32". That's the third drive it's happened with, which confirms that it's my BIOS' fault, not the drives'. We'll see what the new motherboard does when I connect it up.

I did have trouble making a boot floppy. First, I couldn't find my Debian rescue disk. Then I found a disk that booted my current system. It contained just a kernel, no LILO. I could use rdev to change the root device, but I didn't want to sabotage my only boot floppy, so I tried to make another boot floppy. But every time I copied the kernel to a disk and booted from it, it would hang after the "Uncompressing Linux..." message, saying something like, "unexpected end of compressed data: system halted". One disk gave an I/O error so I threw it out, but it wouldn't work on two other disks either. I tried both cp'ing and dd'ing the kernel, but neither way worked. Then I realized I could set up LILO for my new system from my old system, so I did that instead. The first time I got the "L 99 99 99" error, but the second time it worked.

Friday my DSL went down, and I spent four days calling Qwest and The River (my ISP) to do something about it. Actually, it's not "down" but there's 99% packet loss, which is essentially the same thing. It would come up every several hours just long enough for a bit of e-mail to slip in and out, and then go down again. The ISP and Qwest wouldn't support Linux so I had to plug in my roommate's Windows XP box so they could troubleshoot it. We checked the IP configuration multiple times and reconfigured the DSL modem (which involves plugging in a serial "management cable" and running Minicom/Kermit/HyperTerminal and typing commands to a router OS). I kept asking, "Can you see the ping packets going back and forth? Can you see the ATM packets?" They could (sometimes), but I wasn't getting replies. I decided to call them both once a day until somebody took responsibility for it, or I cancelled the service, whichever came first. Finally on Monday, Qwest admitted they were having severe hardware problems in the DSLAM (that's the DSL connector in the central office), and that it had been going up and down for a week. Contradicting what the woman had told me Sunday, that there had been a DSLAM problem but they had fixed in at 10pm Saturday. It's doing a lot better today (Tuesday), but it's still not fixed.

Just for fun, here's a picture of me that LJ made for the December cover, then decided not to use. Here's how they would have gone together. (I can already see Ben Okopnik saying, "I knew it. I just knew it. You can't trust that Mike any farther than you can throw him....") It was Don Marti's idea, but then the Marketing department decided they couldn't have a picture of somebody smashing people with a hammer on the cover, even if they are lego people....

Wacko Topic of the Month

Thomas Adam got this from his local LUG. Ben Okopnik says it's a very old list, and he can't figure out which version of csh or Unix they apply to, certainly not to bsd-csh or tcsh under Linux.

The following extracts are typed into the Unix "Cshell":-
% ^How did the sex change^operation go?
Modifier failed.

% make love
Make: Don't know how to make love. Stop.

% man woman
No manual entry for woman.

% sleep with me
bad character

% got a light?
No match.

% man: why did you get a divorce?
man:: Too many arguments.

% scan for <<"Arnold Schwarzenegger"^J^D
"Arnold Schwarzenegger": << terminator not found

% ar m God
ar: God does not exist

% ^What is saccharine?
Bad substitute.

% %blow
%blow: No such job.

% cat 'the can of tuna'
cat: cannot open the can of tuna

$ mkdir matter; cat>matter
matter: cannot create

$ drink 

Here's another old Unix joke Walt R sent in. It's a bit late for Christmas, but at least now it's in LG for posterity.

Santa learns Unix(Author Unknown)

better !pout !cry
better watchout
lpr why
santa claus < north pole > town

cat /etc/passwd > list
ncheck list
ncheck list
cat list | grep naughty > nogiftlist
cat list | grep nice > giftlist
santa claus < north pole > town

who | grep sleeping
who | grep awake
who | grep bad || good
for (goodness sake) {be good}

echo "Oh,"
better !pout !cry
better watchout
lpr why
santa claus < north pole > town

Not The Answer Gang

when i start up my pc sometimes a window box comes up saying your system has performed an illegal operation and it reads:
spool32 caused invalid page in module spool32 exe at 0167:00402015
please help


That's normal Windows behavior.

Thomas Adam:

My only guess is that you're using Linux (good man!) and that you've neglected to realise that you currently have the BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) screensaver running. I know it is confusing, especially as you've probably only just made the crossover from Windows to Linux, but bear with us, the BSOD screensaver is only a joke!! You poor thing -- you don't have to be haunted anymore. YOU'RE FREE!! :) :) :) :)
my question is
1. The beginning of gangs?
2.their reason for joining a gang in those years?
3. In what state/country did gang first began?
please write as much as you can about this is for a report.


(1) What is a gang? Is a group of close friends a gang? If not, what would they have to do to be a gang? Get a name? A clubhouse? A secret handshake? Choose a bandana color? Look menacing? Sell drugs and shoot people?

(2) I bet you can already answer this. If not, you can ask some gang members, or see any of the hundreds of studies and documentaries that focus on this question. Or take any pop movie (Colors, West Side Story, American History X, 8 Mile, A Clockwork Orange, Quadrophenia, etc) and ask, why did those people join gangs? What benefits do they get by being in them? What is their family life like? Is there something missing in their family life? Is there any connection between the two?

Quadrophenia has a lot to say about this. Why is Jimmy a mod? Why is he so excited about the demonstration in Brighton? Why is he so devastated when he goes to Brighton again and it's empty? How does his mom treat him? How does his dad treat him? When he tries to convince his girlfriend not to dump him, what are their differing views about the Brighton rumble?

(3) depends on how you answer (1).

what is meant by Tier 2/3 ISPs
send tme the details if u dont mind

Rick Moen:

the details r that u dont quite grasp what "linux-questions-only@ssc.com" means. thx. have a nice day. c ya.

World of Spam

The Register has an article on how Nigeria scam money can help pay off the US national debt!

<title>Wipe Out Junk Email!</title>
a.copy:link {font-family: verdana; font-size: 13px; color: black; text-deco= ration: none; }=0D
<span style=3D"font-family: verdana; font-size: 12px;">If you can not= see this please go to:=0D

<!--TRACKING IMAGE--><!--TRACKING IMAGE-->=0D <img src=3D"http://www.mailwiper.com/images/501.gif" width=3D"1" height=3D"= 1" alt=3D"" border=3D"0">=0D <!--TRACKING IMAGE--><!--TRACKING IMAGE--></td>

Tired of Deleting Junk Mail?
Are you fed up with a flood of unwanted offensive eMails? This is referred to as junk e-mail, Spam, unsolicited e-mail...Nasty eMails etc. The problem is it's disgusting and ugly, it's an invasion of your privacy, and it is definitely a huge waste of Your time.

Wipe Out Junk Mail Forever!
XXXXX works 100% of the time or your money back!

[Spam-killing software that's advertised in a highly decorated HTML spam? That really gives me a lot of confidence. Especially when the ad has a TRACKING IMAGE built into it. How do I know this software I'm buying won't have its own tracking utility built into it too? -Iron.]

I have visited your site and I think that design looks not good now. Here we are - XXXXX.com. Check it out! We have hired 2 new designers from Indonesia. They rocks!
Do not show ugly website to people! Make cool website. Let it start here - www.liquid2d.com . Website templates are here for your website. Use most advanced design concept from the best designers. Become the best amoung other websites. Use the best designers in the world.
SPAM: -------------------- Start SpamAssassin results ----------------------
SPAM: This mail is probably spam.  The original message has been altered
SPAM: so you can recognise or block similar unwanted mail in future.
SPAM: See http://spamassassin.org/tag/ for more details.
SPAM: Content analysis details:   (25.60 hits, 5 required)
SPAM: INVALID_DATE_TZ_ABSURD (4.4 points)  Invalid Date: header (timezone does not exist)
SPAM: SUBJ_HAS_SPACES    (4.2 points)  Subject contains lots of white space
SPAM: INVALID_MSGID      (1.2 points)  Message-Id is not valid, according to RFC 2822
SPAM: BAD_CREDIT         (2.5 points)  BODY: Eliminate Bad Credit
SPAM: NO_OBLIGATION      (1.5 points)  BODY: There is no obligation.
SPAM: NO_FEE             (0.9 points)  BODY: No Fees
SPAM: MORTGAGE_OBFU      (0.7 points)  BODY: Attempt at obfuscating the word "mortgage"
SPAM: WHY_WAIT           (0.7 points)  BODY: What are you waiting for
SPAM: CLICK_BELOW        (0.3 points)  BODY: Asks you to click below
SPAM: SPAM_PHRASE_08_13  (-0.1 points) BODY: Spam phrases score is 08 to 13 (medium)
SPAM:                    [score: 8]
SPAM: HTML_70_90         (0.9 points)  BODY: Message is 70-90% HTML tags
SPAM: KNOWN_MAILING_LIST (-2.1 points) Email came from some known mailing list software
SPAM: DATE_IN_FUTURE_06_12 (1.7 points)  Date: is 6 to 12 hours after Received: date
SPAM: SUBJ_HAS_UNIQ_ID   (0.2 points)  Subject contains a unique ID
SPAM: RCVD_IN_DSBL       (3.2 points)  RBL: Received via a relay in list.dsbl.org
SPAM:                    [RBL check: found]
SPAM: RCVD_IN_MULTIHOP_DSBL (0.8 points)  RBL: Received via a relay in multihop.dsbl.org
SPAM:                    [RBL check: found]
SPAM: RCVD_IN_OSIRUSOFT_COM (0.4 points)  RBL: Received via a relay in relays.osirusoft.com
SPAM:                    [RBL check: found]
SPAM: RCVD_IN_UNCONFIRMED_DSBL (0.8 points)  RBL: Received via a relay in unconfirmed.dsbl.org
SPAM:                    [RBL check: found]
SPAM: X_OSIRU_OPEN_RELAY (2.7 points)  RBL: DNSBL: sender is Confirmed Open Relay
SPAM: CTYPE_JUST_HTML    (0.7 points)  HTML-only mail, with no text version
SPAM: -------------------- End of SpamAssassin results ---------------------

Dear in christ,
Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you. I got your name and contact from the Ivoirian chamber of commerce and industry.

I prayed over it and selected your name among other names due to its esteeming nature and the recommendations given to me as a reputable and trust worthy person that I can do business with and by the recommendation , I must not hesitate to confide in you for this simple and sincere business . I am Miss PAULINE ATTAN the only daughter of late Mr.and Mrs. ATTAN . My father was a very wealthy cocoa merchant in Abidjan , the economic capital of Ivory coast, my father was poisoned to death by his business associates on one of their outings on a business trip .

My mother died when I was a baby and since then my father took me so special. Before the death of my father on November 2001 in a private hospital here in Abidjan he secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he has the sum of eighten million,five hundred thousand United State Dollars. USD ($18.500,000) left in one of the Security Companies in overseas.

[Note the use of quotes to confuse spamfilters. -Iron.]

From: A Millionaire <success@dailypromo.com>

You May Be closer (maybe hours away) To 'Financial' 'Freedom' than you think...

If you needed '$24,000' in 24 Hours And your life depended on it?. How would you do it? 'Click' 'Here'

U-harvest turns your PC to a powerful marketing machine. It scans, in a blinding speed, every word and every page of targeted, well defined list of websites, defined by your favorite search engine and harvests e-mail addresses.

U-harvest- business at the speed of thought.

I'd like to stay informed. Could you add my home account to our mailing list? It's XXXXX@hotmail.com Thanks for adding me to your mailing list. And, if you're every in the market for music industry contacts let me know.
Please note that after years, the registration on the domain name PhpInternational.Com was not renewed and this domain had become available to register. Consequently, we have been approached to market this domain name that has beentracked an PhpInternational.Com now available from us for IMMEDIATE transfer. With so many companies that could benefit from this domain, along with what many would consider to be a "wholesale price", we hope to secure a quick transfer.

Please note that the domain name market is extremely solid at the moment and similar domains are currently selling on afternic.com, greatdomains.com (domain auction sites) and by domain name brokers, in some cases, for many thousands of US dollars.

Do you hate those annoying, unwanted pop-up ads? Sure you do!! Everyone does!! Get rid of pop-up ads with the Pop-Up Defender Software!!

For only $19.95 you can regain control of your web browsing experience and eliminate unwanted pop-ups!! SAVE $20.00 off the regular price!!

Do you want to run your own dating or adult contact site for free ? Whether you are interested in making money or new friends/contacts, running your own dating site can be the best way to do it.
I am Madam Brenda Williams wife/widow to late Gen Patrick Williams an Army Officer, im also a mother of 3 lovely boys, Patrick (12yrs), Kevin (8yrs), Dotun which is a traditional name, he his 5 yrs, and im also the last wife out of 3, married to my late husband.

Before my husband died he willed all his landed property to his elder wives and children, all the elder wives and their children enjoyed what is left of our husbands wealth, leaving me the last wife with nothing, well we did not get along well when he was alive but he loved the kids i had for him.

Things are not going too well, after 1yr of his death, i mean raising the kids, sending them to school, clothing them even shelter and feeding, my parents are already dead, just me in this miserable world and i have just 2 months to evacuate the house im staying now, all the other wives dont allow me in their houses including the house i used to live with my husband before he died or even render any kind of help, but i really loved my husband.

Why i have contacted you is because my late husband left some money for his children (7 million US Dollars) deposited in a Security Company(www.XXXXX.net) abroad, which was revealed to me by the family lawyer just 6 months ago, which he claimed to be the time stated on the will by my late husband to avoid clashes between myself and the other wives.

But this money can only be claimed when each child is up to 21yrs in age, not even myself can extract from this fund according to the will. The other option is if i can provide someone(FORIEGNER) who will stand as a caretaker for my kids and my self, and help invest this money with profit in future.

Subject: Urgent for {%Address%}
Subject: Run in DOS mode.
Content-Type: text/html;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<iframe src=cid:J3d6lrE5 height=0 width=0>

Content-Type: audio/x-midi;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64


Content-Type: application/octet-stream;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64

[Did you catch the names of those files? -Iron.]

Have you ever seen a fully automated popcorn vending machine that allows your customer to insert a coin or coins and receive a bag of freshly cooked popcorn within a minute, complete with buttery topping and a choice of delicious flavorings? Here is a unique opportunity to profit from healthy popcorn, the largest and the fastest growing segment of the snack food industry.

Happy Linuxing!

Mike ("Iron") Orr
Editor, Linux Gazette, gazette@ssc.com


Copyright © 2003, . Copying license http://www.linuxgazette.com/copying.html
Published in Issue 86 of Linux Gazette, January 2003

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