2000 11 23

                    LINUX NEWS
            Thursday, November 23, 2000


1) Sean’s Notes

2) Linux News

    Torvalds Unplugged
    5th Annual Obfuscated Perl Contest Awards
    Look out, VMWare!
    Will the new TLDs fly?

3) Linux Resources

    What's with all the licences?
    Cron 101
    Fun with processes
    Linux and MP3

4) App o’ the week

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ADVERTISEMENT ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ AUDIOWHIZ

Speed up your test success - innovative and unusual study method Increases learning, retention and faster recall… Click Here To Read More:


1) Sean's Notes
One thing that no system administrator can do without is a
good editor.  Sure, pico can edit a file, but the first time
you edit a file with long lines and it conveniently wraps
them for you, you'll set out to find a new editor.  pico is
not on every system either...

VI has long been a favourite of system administrators.  Not
to get into the age old debate of VI vs EMACS, but VI is on
every UNIX system, so administrators should at least have a
passing familiarity with it. If your system has crashed and
you have limited access to your filesystems, it's going to
be a lot easier to get VI up and running than emacs.

So, here's a brief introduction to VI.

VI has two basic modes, insert and command.  If you're
typing in text, you want to be in insert mode.  If you're
moving around and doing text operations (search/replace,
deleting lines), you want to be in command mode.

All right. Let's fire up VI.

% vi

Yes, it's that difficult.  When you first start up, you'll
be in command mode.  Type 'a' to start typing.  'a' means
append, so you will start typing at the spot after the
cursor.  Type the following sentence:

I really lvoe linux.

Then hit the escape (ESC) key to get out of the insert
mode.  Oops!  We made some typos.  Move the cursor to the
'v' in lvoe.  Now type "xp".

I really love linux.

'x' means to delete the current character and store it in
the buffer.  'p' means to put the buffer out AFTER the
current character.  'P' would put it out BEFORE the current
character.  (Yes, VI is very picky about case).  So, "xp"
together is "transpose", but is actually two separate

The next thing is that "linux" should be capitalized.  Move
the cursor on top of the 'l' in linux, and type '~'.  The
tilde means to change the case of the current character.

I really love Linux.

Maybe you don't "love" linux, you just think it is cool.
Move on top of the 'l' in love. Type "cw".  'c' means to
change, 'w' means "word".  Type "think" and then hit ESC
to exit the insert mode.  To add "is cool", hit '$', which
takes you to the last character on the line. Type 'i' to
insert, then " is cool".  'i' and 'a' are pretty much the
same, except for where they start editing.  Hit "ESC" to
get out of insert mode.

I really think Linux is cool.

Most of VI builds on what you learned above.  For example,
to change one letter instead of a word, do "cl".  Note
that you can replace one letter with a whole word.  "c$"
means to change the rest of the line.  Replace the 'c'
with 'd' and you'll delete.

To save what you're working on, enter ":w" from command
mode.  You can also specify a filename, which we'll need
to do, so ":w vi.test".  To quit, ":q".  To quit without
saving, ":q!".

'i' and 'a', when capitalized, mean to start inserting at
the beginning of the line, or appending to the end of the
line respectively.

VI is a powerful editor, but you've got to remember a
bunch of little commands. Once you've got the hang of it,
you'll never touch pico again!

Here are a couple of links to get you on your way with VI:


Don't forget about the resources that BrainBuzz.com
provides in the boards.  Post your questions to one of the
Linux boards:


Finally, feel free to email me with your thoughts and comments.

Long live the Penguin,


2) Linux News

Torvalds Unplugged
In this interview, Linus talks about 2.4's SMP support and
filesystems. He also explains what was behind the Dell
server in the SpecWeb bench last month, and what's going on
in the embedded Linux world.


5th Annual Obfuscated Perl Contest Awards
Perl, "...the best language for managing a hardcore porn
website", can be hard to understand at the best of times.
Take a look at the results of this contest, where the idea
is to make elegant code that's hard to read. There is a
game of frogger (you'd swear the code was line noise),
some CGI, and much more. And I thought my code was hard
to read!


Look out, VMWare!
Plex86 is a free emulator, similiar to VMWare. It can
currently run Linux, DOS, and FreeDOS under a Linux
environment. It was recently announced that Windows 95
will work! Congrats! Check out the article for more
information, and a link to a screenshot of the system
in action.


Will the new TLDs fly?
By now you must have heard that new Top Level Domains (TLDs)
such as .biz, .info, .name, are on their way to a nameserver
near you. Did you know that there are some stringent
restrictions on who can use them? What kind of an impact
will this have on the existing TLDs?


3) Linux Resources

Winmodems... Ick
So called "Winmodems", where the real smarts are implemented
in software, are inexpensive and take care of some of those
extra processing cycles, but the software is only available
for Windows. If you have one (my laptop at work does) and want
to use it for Linux, this resource will help you find the
software you need to make your "Winmodem" into a "Linmodem".


What's with all the licences?
If you're from the Windows world, you're probably used to
just commercial and freeware software (i.e. you can either
copy it or you can't). In the Unix world, where most things
are free (as in free beer), the code itself has varying
degrees of free-ness (as in free speech). There's the GPL,
LGPL, BSD, Artistic, and PD among many. This article sets
straight some of the differences (good and bad) between
the two major Unix-derived OSs - GPL and BSD.


Cron 101
Cron is the daemon that takes care of scheduling jobs, like
cleaning up logs, running web stats, notification, etc.
It's a system administrator's best friend, since almost any
manual task can be written up in a script and automated.
This page explains the basics of cron, and how to get the
most out of it.


Fun with processes
Now that you know how to use cron, you might want to use
it to ensure that certain processes are running. This can
be a bit tricky, since you'll have to get your script to
read the process list.  Fear not, the shell's features
make this pretty easy.


Linux and MP3
Ever wondered how to play, stream, rip, or encode MP3s
under Linux? This HOWTO explains it all. There is lots of
information on various utilities that can be used to work
with MP3s and sound in general.


4) App o' the week

This week's utility may help you manage your time a bit
better. "Pete's GNOME Time Card" is a panel applet for GNOME
that allows you to enter various projects in a drop down
box, and a single click indicates that you have started or
stopped work. You can then get a report on how much time
you've spent on each task.

This is very useful for anyone who does contract work, or
who wants to know where they're spending their time.


(C) 2000 BrainBuzz.com. All Rights Reserved.


         This message is from BrainBuzz.com.

You are currently subscribed to the
   Hottest Linux News and Resources
   as: sean@ertw.com

To un-subscribe from this newsletter by e-mail:
   send a blank email message to:


To Subscribe to this newsletter by e-mail:
   send a blank email message to: