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 April Linux Journal

The April issue of Linux Journal will be hitting the newsstands March 6. The focus of this issue is Workplace Solutions with articles on Marketing Linux, WordPerfect 7, Satellite Remote Sensing, Linux in Biomedical Labs and much more. Check out the Table of Contents.

 Washington, DC Linux Users Group InstallFest

1 Feb 1998
On March 28, 1998, the Washington DC area Linux User Group (DC LUG) will have its next Linux Installation Fest. Volunteer experts from several local Linux user groups will assist computer users interested in trying out Linux, the operating system that Byte Magazine, Wired, PC Magazine and other industry publications agree is a significant software phenomenon. Bring your PC and leave with Linux co-installed, or just visit the demo room to see what Linux is all about.

Started as an exercise in Internet-based collaboration among hundreds of software developers around the globe, Linux has acquired a reputation for superior power and robustness, along with a relentless pace of improvements, a combination rarely matched by the mainstream software Unix and Windows NT industry.

Linux has attracted an estimated 3 to 15 million users, and also garnered commercial support, evidenced by several shrinkwrap vendors with shelf space in mass-market computer stores. Even though in most cases an installation of Linux is a simple procedure, DC LUG will help those who may have unusual configurations or simply some trepidations about jumping in. Representatives from RedHat Software, one of Linux vendors, will also attend and provide advice.

The InstallFest will be held at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the medical school at the Bethesda Naval Medical complex, just inside the Beltway between Wisconsin and Connecticut Avenues.

Doors open at 10 AM through 4 PM, Saturday 28 March 1998. See http://www.tux.org/fest for details and a requested pre-registration form.

For more information:
David Lesher, wb8foz@nrk.com, (301) 608-9775
Przemek Klosowski, przemek@tux.org, (301) 975-6249

 Linux in the News

A new spot to get Linux news information is http://www.eklektix.com/lwn/, and don't forget http://www.linuxhq.com/.

Linux for Dummies by Jon "maddog" Hall and others and Linux for Dummies Quick Reference by Phil Hughes are out from IDG books. Get your copy today.

InfoWorld's 02/02/98 issue names Red Hat Linux 5.0 as it's OS of the year for 1997. The article can be found on-line at http://www.infoworld.com/cgi-bin/displayArchive.pl?/98/05/poy2a.dat.htm under the Operating Systems heading.
Red Hat's Press Release

 Debian Year 2000 Compliance

1 Feb 1998
Debian's Y2K compliance statement is at http://www.debian.org/news.html#19980104

For more information:
Bruce Perens, bruce@pixar.com

 "open source" -- new term for libre software

10 Feb 1998
The Open Source Definitionby Bruce Perens

Goodbye, "free software"; hello, "open source" by Eric Raymond

For more information:

 Linux receives the Softwarove noviny "Product of the year" award

1 Feb 1998
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 1998 13:53:30 GMT

The Czech computer monthly "Softwarove noviny" awarded the Linux 2.0 operating system with its award "Product of the Year 1997". This award is regularly (for the sixth time this year) assigned to the best computer products available on the Czech market without any other limitation. The "Product of the Year" award is strictly non-commercial, no fee is paid and no application is put in. Among the criteria is technical excellence, amount of innovation, price / performance ratio as well as the amount of value added by the domestic vendor. The award was granted to 18 products for the past year, among them two operating systems.

Softwarove noviny (www.softnov.cz) is a prestigious Czech computer monthly. Its name (with meaning Software News) is rather traditional than descriptive: actually it is a generally oriented computer magazine that focuses on software as well as hardware, networking and other aspects of IT market. It is published in Czech language and distributed in both Czech and Slovak Republics. The Softwarove noviny reader?s group includes professional IT users, entrepreneurs and managers. The Softwarove noviny is the only Czech computer monthly prepared entirely from domestic sources without translated articles from American or German industry press. Softwarove noviny magazine publishes now 16,000 copies (total population of Czech Republic is 10 million), 85 % of which are paid (1/3 by subscribers). About 40 % of the magazine are occupied by advertisements of both Czech and worldwide IT companies. According the independent surveys from November 1996, the Softwarové noviny magazine is the most known IT magazine in the Czech Republic.

The WWW page of Softwarove noviny is available at http://www.softnov.cz/. The Czech Linux Users' Group has its WWW page at http://www.linux.cz/czlug/.

For more information:
Jan "Yenya" Kasprzak, kas@informatics.muni.cz, http://www.fi.muni.cz/~kas/

 WWW: inofficial StarOffice 4.0 for Linux FAQ

16 Feb 1998
Michael Hoennig has collected some questions and answers into an inofficial FAQ of Linux (and some UNIX-) specific topics of StarOffice 4.0. This FAQ in the German language can be found at:


This FAQ in an English version can be found at:


For more information:
Michael Hoennig, mhoennig@on-line.de

 WANTED: Project LEAP: Linux-Equipped Astronauts Project

1 Feb 1998

17 Feb 1998
Recent articles on the International Space Station (ISS) have mentioned that astronauts will be issued laptop computers running MSWin95. Other reports have predicted disastrous trouble with the station control software, because of poor engineering practices and unrealistic schedules.

This situation creates a real opportunity for Linux. While we (probably) can't help with the main station software, at least the astronauts can be freed from Win95 crashes. Imagine the sound bites: "At least our laptops don't crash all the time."

PEAL is a project to port the applications that the astronauts use to run under Linux, so each astronaut has a choice of operating systems. Many of them will continue using MSWin95, for a time, but if any astronaut chooses Linux, the others will begin to pick it up, just as happens on the ground.

Anyone who wants to take over the web page, design a project logo, set up a mail reflector, create a newsgroup, become group leader, or (almost forgot :-) port software, please write. We need to know what codes the astronauts need ported, and where the sources are. The project web page, for now, is:


For more information:
Nathan Myers, ncm@nospam.cantrip.org, http://www.cantrip.org/

 4th Annual Linux Expo, May 28-30th

February 17, 1998:
Linux is making waves in the news, and now is the opportunity for the world to find out why. It's time to get ready for the largest gathering of the best and brightest minds in the computer world. For three business-centered and technology-packed days, May 28-30, the fourth annual Linux Expo will take over Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

This year's Linux Expo is shaping up to be a can't-miss event. Visit the record number of Expo exhibitors (there is still time for your company to become involved) showing the latest in Linux-based hardware, software, and service solutions. And stop in on the business and technical discussions to hear talks by some of the most important names in technology today.

Yes, Linus Torvalds will be there. And so will many others.

Technical track speakers include:

There will also be Tutorial Sessions featuring among others:

Business track speakers include:

For more information:
linux@linuxexpo.org http://www.linuxexpo.org/

 WWW: linux for starters WWW-page

Fri, 20 Feb 1998 08:29:00 GMT
Here's Yet Another Page Concerning Linux For Starters. In case anyone's interested... http://www.ping.be/leminator/leminator.htm

For more information:
Koen Janssens, trott@mail.dma.be

 WANTED: OpenBIOS - Freeware x86 BIOS iniatitive

1 Feb 1998

Fri, 20 Feb 1998 08:42:53 GMT
Some discussion about the possibility of a freeware 'GNU' BIOS was casually mentioned on the Linux kernel mailing list last week. Talk about it escalated, and a mailing list was quickly formed. After a few more days of ideas, it seems like a very good possibility and some people just hell bent on getting started.

What we are looking for now are people with a high degree of knowledge about the low-level workings of the x86 PC architecture, and real mode programming experience. Please join the mailing list and offer what help you can.

Also understand that many Linux people are involved with this, but the purpose is a COMPLETE BIOS replacement for use with all Intel x86 OS's, not just some new boot loader.

To subscribe to the OpenBIOS Mailing list, write an email To: openbios-request@linkscape.net Subject [leave blank!] subscribe [in the body] It is a majordomo managed list. Feel free to use extended MD commands as needed.

OpenBIOS web pages: (DO NOT expect to find much here yet! ) http://www.linkscape.net/openbios/

For more information:
Dave Cinege

 Linus Torvalds at next SVLUG meeting March 4th

1 Feb 1998

20 Feb 1998
March 4, 1998, Linus Torvalds will speak at the Silicon Valley Linux Users Group (SVLUG) meeting. The meeting begins at 7pm.

This meeting will be held at our new location, the GateWay Conference Center, Building J, ciscoSystems. The address for this conference center is:

255 W. Tasman Drive
San Jose, CA 95134

Please enter through the front entrance of the building, and the conference center will be to your left. There will be signs.

For more information:
Rob Walker, rob@svlug.org

 [gtk-list] Qt/KDE Netscape -- An estimate of Work!

1 Feb 1998
John McNulty wrote: I'm sure after Netscape's source code announcement, a number of people (like me) must have wondered about the possibility of a port to KDE and/or Qt. So I asked one of the Netscape engineers for an opinion on this. Below is the answer I got.

Depending on the number of people working on it, it could take anywhere between 2 months to an year. Of course, stripped down versions are possible in a shorter period of time.

So if anyone put there is thinking about this, you can use this as a guideline to figure out how much work is involved.

Software Announcements

 ZINC Software

9 Feb 1998
Zinc's flagship product, Zinc Application Framework, is a very high- quality C++ GUI API and interface builder which supports popular desktop operating systems (Windows, Motif, DOS, ...) *and* which is scalable to embedded platforms as well (in 1/10th the space of Windows CE!).

Zinc has recently negotiated distribution agreements with popular Linux vendors to include ZAF with their CD-ROM distribution. Zinc has also been engaged by top embedded operating systems' vendors to provide reference ports of ZAF for their embedded OS.

For more information:
Robert Bishop, rbishop@zinc.com
Zinc Software Incorporated, http://www.zinc.com/

 EDA Software: Linux VHDL Simulator Sells Via Web

9 Feb 1998
Essex Junction, Vt. -- Despite considerable user interest, very few Linux-based EDA tools have become available. One of the first is a new Linux version of the Green Mountain Computing Systems VHDL compiler, available for $169 via the World Wide Web.

Green Mountain currently offers a DOS-based VHDL simulator, and Accolade Design Automation (Duvall, Wash.) sells a Windows-based version of the same simulator. The new version 2 of the Green Mountain VHDL compiler supports most, but not all, of the features of IEEE 1076-87 and 1993 VHDL.

The Linux version is a port of the DOS version and includes all the same features, except for the user interface. Both versions come with two simulation environments for batch or interactive simulation, precompiled IEEE packages, an online VHDL tutorial, a Motorola HC11 microcontroller example model and free technical support via e-mail.

Scott Thibault, president of Green Mountain Computing Systems, said he developed the Linux version because that freely distributed operating system is becoming more important in universities, which have made up Green Mountain's primary market. He said the Linux version is slightly slower than the DOS version because of its support for multitasking.

Linux has gained a following because it's viewed as a stable, robust operating system that gives PCs full Unix compatibility. Thus, commonly used Unix utilities such as "make" are available. Linux also has minimal memory requirements. The Green Mountain Linux VHDL compiler can run in about 8 Mbytes of RAM. The simulator can be ordered only by mail or over the Internet.

For more information:


for AMIGA, Atari, Mac 68k and all computers based on the Motorola MC680x0 CPU is now available. The end user delivery starts the first week of March. Linux is pre-available on CDR for press and magazines.

Eagle Computer Products GmbH,
S.u.S.E. GmbH

Update CDs will follow every 2-3 months. Planned versionen which will come soon:

For more information:
Dragon Internet Design, Frank Rosendahl & Klaus-Peter Walter linux@eagle-cp.com

 Olicom Linux Token-Ring driver released

6 Feb 1998
Olicom is pleased to announce the release of a Linux Driver for Olicom's high performance Token-Ring Adapters OC-3118 and OC-3137. The driver is also compatible with the older OC-3136 adapter. The combination of Olicom's Token-Ring adapters and new Linux drivers provide superior performance in a Linux Token-Ring environment.

The driver has been tested with the (currently) latest version of the 2.0 kernel, 2.0.33. It will probably work with any 2.0 kernel, i.e. all of the kernels used by the Linux distributions, but this has not been tested and can not be guaranteed.

For the current development versions of Linux 2.1 the driver has been tested with version 2.1.78. Changes to the development kernel are occurring in rapid pace and compatibility can not be guaranteed.

The Olicom Linux driver is available from Olicom's WEB site http://www.olicom.dk/ (Europe) or http://www.olicom.com/ (US).

Pre-compiled kernels with the driver builtin - based on Linux 2.0.33 - for RedHat 4.2, RedHat 5.0 and other systems using the Linux 2.0.x kernel, are available from


For more information:
http://www.olicom.dk/ (Europe)
http://www.olicom.com/ (US)

 GNU plotting utilities 2.0 released

6 Feb 1998
Release 2.0 of the GNU plotting utilities is now available at ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/plotutils-2.0.tar.gz . It should soon be available via ftp from the GNU mirror sites. A list of mirror sites is appended below; please try them before you try ftp.gnu.org.

This is a major release. The centerpiece of the package is now `libplot', a function library for 2-D device-independent graphics. Libplot is installed as a DLL (dynamically linked library), on systems that support DLL's. Libplot now supports Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language (HP-GL and HP-GL/2) output, in addition to Postscript, xfig, Tektronix, and X11 output. So HP LaserJet and other PCL 5 printers are now supported.

The manual for the plotting utilities is now over 100 pages long. To install and print the documentation, be sure that you have the current release of the GNU texinfo package (v. 3.11) installed on your system. You may retrieve it from ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/texinfo-3.11.tar.gz .

For more information:
Mathematics Department, University of Arizona
Robert S. Maier, rsm@math.arizona.edu

 Data Plotting Library DISLIN 6.3c

6 Feb 1998
DISLIN is a high-level and easy to use plotting library for displaying data as curves, bar graphs, pie charts, 3D-colour plots, surfaces, contours and maps. Several output formats are supported such as X11, VGA, PostScript, CGM, HPGL, TIFF and Prescribe. The library contains about 400 plotting and parameter setting routines and is available for several C, Fortran 77 and Fortran 90 compilers.

Version 6.3c of DISLIN is now released for Linux. The supported compilers are GCC, G77, Imagine F, NAGf90, Absoft f77 and Absoft f90. Plotting extensions for the programming languages Perl 5.003 and Python 1.5 are included.

All DISLIN distributions for Linux are free. DISLIN is available from the DISLIN Home Page:
and via FTP from the server:

For more information:
Max-Planck-Institut fuer Aeronomie
Helmut Michels, michels@linax1.mpae.gwdg.de

 ktalkd-0.4.1 - Enhanced talk daemon

6 Feb 1998
ktalkd is an enhanced talk daemon with answering machine for Unix systems, designed to work under KDE, but can also work without it. It is available at:

Tested on Linux or BSD, with or without KDE.

For more information:
David Faure, david.faure@ifhamy.insa-lyon.fr

 angela! 1.7 BETA - graph editor w/ Tcl/Tk interface

9 Feb 1998
angela! stands for:

		      A ngela is a
                      N atural
                      G raph
                      E ditor with
                      L ayout
                      A lgorithms

angela! is free of charge (GPL LICENSE)

It is intended to help the user creating simple graphs for courses, technical diagrams or simply demonstrating what graph algorithms can do.

The developpment platform is Linux 2.0.32 with glibc libraries as there are provided with RedHat 5.0. Porting angela! to other systems should not be difficult as it uses these Programs:

For binary distributions, only Tcl/Tk Version 8.0p2 and Tix 4.1 are necessary. Contact your system administrator to help you installing these tools (also used by other programs, so the disk space is not wasted ;) )

The actual version is at this time under the following URL:


For more information:
Oliver Pabst, olpa@itm.uni-sb.de
University of Saarland, Computing Center, Germany.

 Tsinvest, version 0.4, stock trading program released.

9 Feb 1998
The C sources to a stock trading program, tsinvest.tar.gz, version 0.4, are available at ftp://sunsite.unc.edu:/pub/Linux/Incoming/"> or ftp://sunsite.unc.edu:/pub/Linux/apps/financial/investment/. The sources are free for non-commercial use.

The program tsinvest is for quantitative financial analysis of equity values. An optimal portfolio investment strategy for multiple equities is computed. The program decides which of all available equities to invest in at any single time, by calculating the instantaneous future value of all equities, and using statistical estimation techniques to estimate the accuracy of the calculated values. Entropic techniques are used throughout. A tutorial is presented in the man(1) pages. A companion equity market simulation program is included.

For more information:
John Conover, conover@netcom.com

 Linux Logo 1.04 - shows system info with a linux logo

9 Feb 1998
linux_logo outputs a color ansi version of a penguin, accompanied by system info gathered from proc. SUPPORTS Linux, SMP, Atari m68k, and even some non-Linux OS's

USES [instructions included]:

http://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/Incoming/linux_logo-1.04.tar.gz -- at first http://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/logos/penguin/linux_logo-1.04.tar.gz

Check out other programs at http://www.glue.umd.edu/~weave/vmwprod

For more information:
Vince Weaver, weave@eng.umd.edu, http://www.glue.umd.edu/~weave/

 xfpovray v1.3 - An X interface for POV-Ray raytracer

16 Feb 1998
I would like to present a new version (1.3) of my xforms interface to the ray tracer POV-Ray. If you have ever used POV-Ray from the command line, you might find this program useful. Check:

Source code is available in tgz, bzip2, and rpm formats.

For more information:
Robert S. Mallozzi, mallors@crazyhorse.msfc.nasa.gov http://cspar.uah.edu/~mallozzir/
University of Alabama

 Casio Digital Diary Backup/restore v2.2

17 Feb 1998
Casio Diary is a package that allows communication to the CASIO series of hand-held organizers based on a protocol posted by Knut Radloff, knut@krhh.hanse.de.

Version 2.2 has been tested on Linux2.x , Solaris2.x, sunos4.x. For both the BOSS and ILLUMINATOR models and is released under the GPL.

It is provided as is i.e. jamal is not to be responsible for any damages it causes to you, your CASIO or your environment.

Primary-site: http://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/apps/comm/
100kB casio22.tgz, 1kB casio.lsm Alternate-site: ftp://ftp.cyberus.ca/pub/users/hadi/casio/casio22.tgz

For more information:
Jamal Hadi Salim, hadi@cyberus.ca
Ottawa, Canada

 Telnet98 - updated telnet source distribution

18 Feb 1998
Telnet98 is a new release of the ubiquitous "telnet" utility, based on the 1995 MIT telnet distribution from ftp.cray.com and net-dist.mit.edu. Telnet98 adds some new features to the distribution including new 'configure' based build and install scripts and support for additional authentication and encryption types.

Telnet98 can be downloaded from ftp://quasimodo.stanford.edu/pub/telnet/, and US/Canadian users can find instructions there for downloading source with strong (128-bit) encryption enabled.

For more information:
Thomas Wu, tjw@xenon.stanford.edu
Stanford University: Computer Science Department, CA USA

 Subject: fetchmail-4.3.7 - mail retriever for POP and IMAP

18 Feb 1998
The 4.3.7 release of fetchmail is now available at the usual locations, including http://earthspace.net/~esr/fetchmail/. Here are the release

For more information:
Eric S. Raymond, esr@snark.thyrsus.com
Organization: Eric Conspiracy Secret Labs, http://earthspace.net/~esr

 leap 1.1.9 - A free RDBMS

20 Feb 1998

LEAP is a free RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) that has been used as an educational tool in Universities around the world to aid students as they learn database theory. It allows relational algebra expressions to be entered directly into the system, and the results to be queried. It supports relational closure, so complete expressions can be deeply nested. Examples are included from popular database texts, including C.J.Date's "An introduction to database systems".

LEAP is entirely free (it is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License), and is very easy to install. All distributions contain the full 'C' source code. Versions exist for all Unix implementations, and Windoze 95/3.1/NT. Full documentation is included in the distribution, and is available on the web. LEAP is in active development (on a Linux 2.0 slackware system) by the author.

Full details, including links to the main ftp archives, are available on the LEAP web page:


Strictly speaking LEAP 1.1.9 is BETA software, but extensive testing has shown no major problems.

For more information:
Richard Leyton, rleyton@acm.org

 WMF - WebMailFolder 1.0.1 mail folder to html converter

20 Feb 1998
This tool is for converting mails to html and can be used for mailinglist archive.

It can be found on: ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/incoming/Linux/ or ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/Incoming/ should be moved to ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/apps/www/converters/

ftp://ftp.lugs.ch/incoming should be moved to ftp://ftp.lugs.ch/pub/linux/mail

For more details see the doc/ChangeLog or Norbert Kuemin, Swisscom, Norbert.Kuemin@gd2.swissptt.ch

 bash Book Released

27 Feb 1998
New Edition of the "Definitive Guide to bash" released--O'Reilly's Learning the bash Shell By Cameron Newham & Bill Rosenblatt now covers Version 2.0. This second edition covers all of the features of bash Version 2.0, while still applying to bash Version 1.x. New features include one-dimensional arrays, parameter expansion, and more pattern-matching operations. In addition, bash 2.0 is POSIX.2 conformant. This updated edition covers new commands, security improvements, additions to ReadLine, improved configuration and installation, and an additional programming aid, the bash shell debugger.

For more information:
O'Reilly & Associates, info@ora.com, http://www.oreilly.com/

Published in Linux Gazette Issue 26, March 1998

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