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

 The Mailbag!

Write the Gazette at


Help Wanted -- Article Ideas

 Date: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 09:50:38 -0500
From: The Wonus House,
Subject: Accessing Microsoft SqlServer vi DB-lib or CT-lib

Do you have additional information sources on connecting to MS SqlServer via the Sybase CT/DB libraries? I am most interseted in how this could be done from a Solaris client machine.

Any info is greatly appreciated (thanks), Kevin Wonus

 Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 21:55:03 -0400 (EDT)
From: Paul 'Tok' Kiela,
Subject: R2000 Mips 2030

I just recently came into a used R2000 "Mips 2030" desktop slab. Aside from opening the box and finding that it is indeed running an R2000 CPU, I know nothing else about the computer -- literally. I have found absolutely zero information about any computer bearing the markings 'MIPS 2030'. To make matters worse, I don't have a proper BNC monitor to actually use the box yet, but I'm searching. My question, where can I find information about the R2000 port of Linux? I have visited the Linux/MIPS page, but the only mention of the R2000/3000 CPU port is an URL which points at SGI's statistics on the R3000 CPU. I was hoping I could pop Linux on on the box, and happily run it alongside the little army of Linux boxen I have now. Any help would be very appreciated.


 Date: Thu, 06 Aug 1998 12:57:21 +0000
From: Gulf Resources Co,
Subject: Some Ideas

Anyone there who is dreaming of running Delphi in Linux?

 Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 09:21:12 +0200
From: Jesus A. Muqoz,
Subject: LILO Problems

I installed Linux in a secondary IDE hard disk booting from a floppy disk. Then I tried to install LILO in the MBR of the primary IDE hard disk and I did it. My idea was to maintain Windows 95 in the primary disk. I configured LILO to be able to start Windows 95, but after installing LILO the primary disk cannot be seen either by DOS nor by Linux. If I run msdos-fdisk it says that the disk is active but in the row where it should appear FAT16 puts unknown or something like that. Can I recover the information of the hard disk ?

 Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 09:17:54 +0300
From: Mehmet Mersinligil,
Subject: Matrox Productiva G100 8M AGP !!???

Is there a way to configure my Matrox Productiva G100 8MB AGP under X? Except buying a a new accelerated X server for 125$ from http://www.xig.com ? What should I do?

 Date: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 18:21:54 +0000
From: Alexander I. Butenko,
Subject: Some questions to be published

1. I wonder can I use the EPSON Stylus Color 400 printer with Linux... The interesting thing is that my buggy GIMP beta says to be supporting it but can't really print anything....

2. Has anybody encountered such a bug? JavaICQ doesn't run properly under KDE (when I open the send or reply or even preferences window this window closes immediately). This problem is only under KDE... 3. I can't use this Real Player 5.0, because it reports the compression errors even with files obtained from www.real.com or that file that was installed with it on my hard drive...

 Date: Thu, 06 Aug 1998 15:33:37 -0400
From: Bob Brinkmann,
Subject: Being new to the Linux community

I'm in the process of developing a secure, encrypted tunnel for access to my company's enterprise network. The clients on the outside dialing into the system will be of a Windows 95, 98, NT 4.0 and probably 5.0 when it decides to rear its ugly head. My question is this, are there solutions on the terminating server side written in Linux to handle clients' tunnel access and also provide for IPSEC level encryption?

A while back I played with Red Hat's 2.0 release of the software and I just purchased Red Hat's 5.1 (Manhattan) version utilizing 2.0.34 kernel and find it to run quite nicely on both a desktop and several Toshiba portables.

Thanks for any advice or information you can provide.

Bob Brinkmann

 Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 13:07:22 -0500
From: Dennis Lambert,
Subject: Help Wanted : newbie

I recently purchased Red Hat 5.1 and got it running. Evidently I was lucky in that I have a fairly full FAT 32 Win 98 drive and kind of stumbled through the defrag / fips / boot to CD / repartition / full install with LILO process. Everything worked, but I'm a little nonplussed. A few topics I'd absolutely love to get feedback on...

I'm not an idiot, not even a "dummy", but what is a good book to answer the basic questions? I have "Linux in a Nutshell" and it has a very good command reference and a few other things, but doesn't help in tweaking things.

I don't really expect anyone to answer all of these concerns, but any little help would be greatly appreciated.

Dennis Lambert

 Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 16:54:20 +0100
Subject: Deb to RPM translator

I changed from a Debian distribution to a Red Hat 5.0 lately and was wandering if there were a tool like 'alien' to convert Debian packages to Red Hat packages. My personal e-mail is NORKAF@AOL.com

Thank you and God save Linux community :-)

 Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 13:18:31 -0400
From: Chris Bruner,
Subject: Idea's for improvments and articals

An idea for an article. (You may have already done this but I couldn't find a search engine to look up past articles). I have yet to get my Red Hat 5.1 to connect to the Internet. (Their support is GREATLY overstated.) I'm consquently using Win95 to do my Internet work. The reason for this is that my modem, network adapter and sound card are all Plug and Play (PnP). I would like to see an article detailing step by step, for a Linux beginner, how to install Tom Lee's PnP Package. This would involve recompiling the kernel which I'm not afraid of, but have no idea how to go about it. The more step by step the better. I'm from the DOS world and any assumed knowledge that I have might be wrong.

Thanks for a great magazine.

Chris Bruner

 Date: Tue, 18 Aug 1998 21:23:27 +1200
From: Andrew Gates,
Subject: Help wanted for a (Cheap) COBOL combiler for Linux

I have a friend who is doing a refresher course in Cobol in a Unix environment. I have suggested that she run Linux, and pick up a cheap / shareware copy of a Cobol compiler for Linux from somewhere. Knowing absolutely nothing about either Linux or Cobol, am I dreaming, or is there a realistic alternative to the compilers I have seen retailing for ~$1,500 US? I'd really appreciate any help/advice anyone can offer.

Andrew Gates

 Date: Wed, 19 Aug 1998 18:37:34 +0200
Subject: RadioAktiv radio tuner

I am one of those Linux users, who are not experts, even after a year or more of working with the OS. I like very much discovering by myself various aspects of Linux, trying out the many programs and help tips. What is important is that it works well and that I can use it for most of the common computer tasks (after a bit of tinkering). Now I have decided for the first time to post a following question:

After trying many radio tuners available on the net and failing to make my RadioAktiv radio card work under Linux I am stuck. Maybe someone would give me a few tips (or one TIP)?

 Date: Tue, 25 Aug 1998 15:59:21 -0500
From: Hilton, Bradley D. (Brad),
Subject: Trident 985 AGP

Is it possible to get X running on a Trident 985 AGP video card? What server would I use? Thanks,

Brad Hilton

 Date: Mon, 24 Aug 1998 17:19:21 -0700
From: dk smith,
Subject: IDE disks

If I could only find a definitive reference on setting up IDE disks, SCSI disks, and partitioning issue for running with Linux, NT, and LILO. I am new to this stuff. The docs at Red Hat, although extensive, were not enough for me.


 Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 16:05:15 +1200
From: Mark Inder,
Subject: Help Wanted: Looking for an Xwin Server software that runs under win95/nt

We use a Red Hat 4.2 machine in our office as a communications server. This is running well with the facility of telnet connections for maintenance, diald for PPP dial up - internet and email, and uucp for incoming mail.

I would like to run an X server on my windows PC to be able to use X client software on the Linux PC over the local Ethernet. Does anyone know of a shareware for freeware version which is available.

TIA Mark

 Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 00:02:28 -0500
From: Todd Thalken,
Subject: Looking Into Linux For PPP Server

I am interested in implementing Linux in our office network.

Specifically, we would like to set up a Linux box as a dial-up PPP server so that remote users can access the office intranet.

Could you explain what hardware (multiport controllers) works best with Linux, and explain the steps necessary to set the Linux box up as a PPP server. Most of our client computers will be using Windows 95/98 dial-up networking. We would like to have the server assign IP addresses dynamically.

This seems like it would be a relatively common question, so if there is already good information available please let me know where I can find it.

I have read a lot about Linux, but still consider myself a green "newbie".

Todd Thalken

General Mail

 Date: Sun, 02 Aug 1998 18:25:16 +0000
From: Gulf Resources Co,
Subject: Delphi for Linux

I am a Delphi Developer. I am also a big fan of Linux and GNU Softwares.

Anybody there who wants to join me in knocking the doors of Inprise Corp (Borland ) to convince them to port C++ Builder and Delphi to X Window.

If these things happen, Microsoft will be very upset.

What Linux needs is an innovative company like Borland or Symantec.

 Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 02:16:54 +0100 (BST)
From: Hugo Rabson,
Subject: response to Ruth Milne

I tell you, .....

Are you familiar with Nietzsche's description of the ordinary man's journey from man to superman? ...how he "goes down" into the abyss and comes up the other side? Moving from Windows to Linux is a bit like that. ;)

My adventure started in late April. I was sick and tired of Windows NT bluescreening. I read an article saying how stable Linux was in comparison. I looked into GUIs & found KDE to be to my liking.

In the end, I vaped NT because I needed the hard disk space. ;-P

It is now August. I have had ro reinstall almost a dozen times because I am still getting used to "The Linux Way". I have been using computers since i was 6; PCs since I was 16; Windows since I was 18. Linux is very stable indeed but it is eccentric & definitely not user-friendly, unless your definition of user differs wildly from mine.

I have written a "HOWTO" so that I can recover quickly if I have to reinstall the entire OS and GUI. It is currently 3500 words long, and tells me how to install RedHat, compile a new kernel, compile&install KDE 1.0, install the BackUPS software, configure dial-up networking & autodial, install AutoRPM, and .. umm... that's it, so far.

Don't get me wrong: Linux _is_ a wonderful thing. It's just ... It's _such_ a leap from Windows! I am convinced my primary client (with a dozen Windows machines) could function very well with Linux & Applixware instead of Windows & Office, just so long as they have someone competent to maintain their systems. Of course, they'll need much less maintenance under Linux than under Windows ;)

Linux requires a lot of competence & intelligence (and downloads!) if you're going to set it up. Windows doesn't. On the other hand, it seems much less prone to these embarrassing GPFs. :)

Hugo Rabson

 Date: Thu, 6 Aug 1998 13:01:42 +0200 (CEST)
From: Hugo van der Kooij,
Subject: Linux Gazette should not use abusive language!

This is my final note to you about this subject. I have not heard nor seen a single response in the past regarding this issue.

I will however request mirror sites to stop mirroring unless you remove your abusive language from the Linux Gazette.

The following text should be removed from ALL issue's:

The Whole Damn Thing 1 (text) The Whole Damn Thing 2 (HTML)

I presume I am not the only person that find this text not at all suited for a Linux publication. It is in effect offensive and could easily be removed

Hugo van der Kooij

Actually, I have answered you at least twice about this issue. I don't find the word Damn either abusive or offensive and have had no objections from anyone else. So, why don't we put it to a vote? Okay, you guys out there, let me know your feelings about this. Should I remove the "Damn" from "The Whole Damn Thing" or not? I will abide by the majority. --Editor)

 Date: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 15:48:34 -0600
From: Mark Bolzern,
Subject: Some History and Other Things LG #31



Neat issue of the Gazette, thanks for all the hard work. I'm proud to be a sponsor, Just sent another $1K.

One little teensie issue of fact though:

First the quote: The first two issues of Linux Journal were published by Robert Young. After the second issue, Robert decided to start up Red Hat Software, and Specialized Systems Consultants took over as publisher. Also with the third issue, Michael Johnson took on the role of Editor and continued in that role through the September 1996 issue. I became Editor on February 1, 1997 and began work on the May issue.

And the correction: Actually Bob (Robert) started a Linux catalog within the ACC Bookstores. It wasn't until quite a bit later when he met Marc Ewing that he folded ACC into Marc's Red Hat Software.

I wuz there ;->


 Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 15:06:37 -0700 (PDT)
From: Heather Stern, Subject: Re: those crazy links

On http://www.linuxgazette.com/issue31/tag_95slow.html, the link pointing back to the table of contents points to lg_toc30.html instead of lg_toc31.html. No, wait... all of the issue 31 answer guy pages seem to be mislinked (except the main one.) Also, the "previous section" button on the pages mentioned above seem to be mislinked as well... This isn't really important since most normal people like me use the back button like a religion, but it always helps to be consistent and have links pointing where they should, doesn't it? :)
Yes, actually, it *is* important to me, and the base files are mostly generated by a script (making it hard to get wrong). But, I broke some stuff in the footer logic, so I did a proper footer by hand and propoagted it into the tag_ files myself. So, as I go look at the template I used...

Dad-blammit, you're right!! All of the 30's in there should be 31's. (Although the copyright notice is correct.) Mea culpa!

Thanks for your time... --Charles Ulrich. p.s. May be worth the effort to try one of those link checker bots that seem ever so popular on the web these days...
Maybe, but it's being worked on in a private Linux network. Most of those "web bots" only access external sites properly.

I should have run the command 'lynx -traversal' at the top of it, so I'd have a badlink report, but I was in a last-minute rush. I've done so now, and found another error that you missed.

One of the beautiful things about the web, is that a minor misprint can actually be undone, unlike the world of print. I've submitted a corrected packet to our editor. Thanks for mentioning it.

-*- Heather Stern -*-

 Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 11:13:47 +0000
Subject: news from Irish LUG

Hello, I'm involved with the Irish Linux Users Group website and was wondering if you would please mention that we are currently compiling a list of people in Ireland that would be interested in getting the 'Linux Journal' - details are available at our website http://www.linux.ie/.

Ken Guest

 Date: Thu, 06 Aug 1998 17:30:55 +0100
From: James Mitchell,
Subject: Re: The other side of the story (or, on the other, other hand)

Just before I launch into the meat of this email, I'd like to say that the Linux Gazette is excellent. good articles, and good tips and comments.

I'm writing about the mail in the August issue "The Other Side of the Story", in which Antony Chesser compares the Windows GUI to the shell prompt, especially the line

"When Linux finishes installing, you're left with a # prompt. When WIN95 finishes installing, you've a fairly intuitive GUI that allows you to quickly and easily install and run programs, connect to the net, and **apply updates without re-compiling the kernel**"

My quibble is with the underlying assumption that a GUI (and here I assume that includes Mac, and X, as well as Windows) is more intuitive then a command line. I argue that for a complete novice one is as bad as the other, neither a command line nor a screen full of little coloured icons and a START button are instantly comprehensible to a complete computer novice.

(Before you write me off as insane - remember that a GUI is supposed to shorten the time it takes to learn how to operate the computer, they don't eliminate the time altogether.)

Do you remember the scene in the Star Trek movie (the one with the whales...) where Scotty tries to use a Mac? He talks to it, and nothing happens... the operator says "You need to use this [the mouse]", so Scotty picks up the mouse and uses it like a microphone - "Good morning computer."

Can you see where I'm going? Until someone teaches the "complete novice" the relationship between the pointer and the mouse, and what happens when you click, double-click, or drag with the mouse, they will be just as lost as a novice sitting in front of a command line. Actually, they may be worse off... we have had typewriters for a lot longer then mice, and people will grasp the concept of typing faster then clicking on pictures.

So, in summary, I think that a complete novice will have a learning curve to cope with whether they use a GUI, or a command line; and the rest of us should remember that there is a difference between "ease of use", and "what I'm used to".


 Date: Thu, 06 Aug 1998 09:22:46 EDT
From: Roger Dingledine,
Subject: Linux News Standardization/Distribution Project

We've been making progress on our proposal to standardize the format and distribution of Linux news. Our design uses the NNTP protocol to create a network of servers that will quickly and robustly share news that is interesting to the Linux community. This will allow websites like Freshmeat and Slashdot, as well as lists like Threepoint's and linux-announce, to reduce duplication of effort while still customizing their presentation. In addition, this will provide a single easy method of submitting an item of news, whether it's an announcement about a new software release, or a description of the latest article in Forbes magazine.

The end goal of organizing the Linux announcements and news articles is to encourage smaller ISVs to port to Linux, since they will see advertising their software to a wide audience as less of an obstacle. Other important benefits include greater robustness (from multiple news servers), less work for the moderators (messages will be presorted and people can specialize in their favorite type of news, resulting in faster throughput), and a uniform comprehensive archiving system allowing people to search old articles more effectively.

We are currently at the point where we are designing the standard format for a news item. We want to make it rich enough that it provides all the information that each site wants, but simple enough that we can require submissions to include all fields. At the same time we're sorting out how the NNTP-based connections between the servers should work. We've got Freshmeat and Threepoint in on it, and other groups like Debian and LinuxMall are interested. We need more news sites to provide input and feedback, to make sure everybody will want to use the system once it's ready.

If you're interested, please check out our webpage at http://linuxunited.org/projects/news/ and subscribe to the mailing list (send mail to majordomo@linuxunited.org with body 'subscribe lu-news').

Thanks for your time (this is the last mail I will send directly about this),

Roger (SEUL sysarch)

 Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 23:49:36 +0200
From: Martin Møller,
Subject: Linux Gazette to be featured on Alt Om Data's CD-ROM monthly.

This is just to inform you that some of our readers have pointed out that we ought to distribute your magazine on our Cover CD, and after having read through the lisence, I believe this will be no problem. I have, just to be safe, saved a copy of the copy lisence together with the archives and plan on distributing the new issues as the show up.

Keep up the good work!

Martin Moeller.

 Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998 20:52:14 -0400 (EDT)
From: Timothy D. Gray,
Subject: Linux reality letter

In LG#31 Michael Rasmusson wrote: "the majority of Linux users are IT professionals in some way" and alluded to the fact that Linux will be slow to be accepted due to this fact. This is very untrue. Most Linux users are in fact College and high school students. These forward thinking young minds aren't tied down by archaic IT department policy (many of which were penned in the 70's when IT was called the Processing/programming/systems/data-processing department) Linux will explode, it will do so violently. In fact it will explode so fast and vast that Microsoft will say "What happened?" The local Linux Users groups are all populated by 90% college and high school students. What do you think will happen when these students hit the computer departments at large corporations? They will install Linux, they will use Linux, and they will recommend Linux. The "explosion" has already started. Many large companies have already abandoned NOVELL and Microsoft for their servers. (The makers of the CG effects in the movie Titanic are far from small)

 Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1998 03:37:22 -0400 (EDT)
From: Paul Anderson,
Subject: Linux and new users

I've been reading the LG mailbag... A lot of people think Linux should be made easier to use. I don't think that's quite right - the idea, IMHO, should be to make it so that Linux can be used by someone who's new to computers, BUT they should have to learn to use it's full power. With power, knowledge must come or disaster will follow instead. The goal, in the end, is that the person becomes a self-sufficient user, capable of sorting out most difficulties without needing help. TTYL!

Paul Anderson

Published in Linux Gazette Issue 32, September 1998


This page written and maintained by the Editor of Linux Gazette,
Copyright © 1998 Specialized Systems Consultants, Inc.