2001 02 08

                    LINUX NEWS
            Thursday, February 8, 2001


1) Sean’s Notes

2) Linux News

Supercomputer on a CD
Random Linus Quotes
Pack up Your Bags, Folks. It's Over
Whistler Testers Shout "Linux!"

3) Linux Resources

Guerilla Guide to Great Graphics with the GIMP
Free Oracle 9i for Linux Trial
Intro to RAID
Best Newbie Distro
Red Hat 7.1 beta

4) App o’ the week

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1) Sean's Notes
I was just reading through this week's PERL newsletter from
perl.com.  To my amazement, they announced that the WinCE
port of perl is complete, bringing the total number of
systems supported to around 70.  70!  Forget Java, PERL
is the cross platform language to learn!

You don't have to be a guru to learn PERL either.  With
its wide variety of command line options, you can get a
surprising amount of mileage out of your command line.

If you've read my article on the command line, you'll
remember that I can convert a phrase within a stream with
sed, the Stream EDitor. For example:

cat mgmtreport | sed 's/ use / utilize /' > mgmtreport.tmp
mv mgmtreport.tmp mgmtreport

--Will fix up my management report to make it a bit more
friendly to my manager.  PERL can do the editing in place
for you though:

perl -p -i.bak -e 's/ use / utilize /' mgmtreport

-p means to read a line from STDIN, do something, then run
 a print.
-i.bak tells perl to use a temporary file to do in-place
 editing for the files specified on the command line
-e means that we're passing code on the command line (that
 would be the something referenced in the -p)

That may not mean a lot to you, but without the options it
would be 14 lines of PERL code!  You only end up saving
about 30 characters over the sed method, but with the PERL
invocation you can specify multiple files (or wildcards)
instead of processing each file individually.

Another handy one is to generate repetitive lines of text.
For example, if I were setting up a new Cisco switch, I'd
need to type something like the following for every
interface (48 on some switches!):

interface fastethernet0/N
spanning-tree portfast
switchport mode access vlan 10

Or, I can copy the output of this script to the switch:

perl -e 'for($i=1;$i<H;$i++){print"interface
fastethernet0/$i  \spanning-tree portfast\nswitchport
mode access vlan 10\n"}'

(the \ means to continue the command on to the next line.
Since we're still technically within the "" of the print
statement, the \n can be skipped)

I even use stuff like this when writing this newsletter.
To save a lot of cutting and pasting for the table of
contents, I just pass the newsletter through:

while(<STDIN>) { if (/^-------/){ $_=<STDIN>;
print "\t$_";  $_=<STDIN>;} }

Presto, my table of contents is nearly generated.  This one
just looks for the headings of each resource, prints the
following line, then carries on.

Lazy?  You bet.  It's one of the three virtues of a
programmer, the other two being impatience and hubris.


PERL Homepage (great tutorials):

Linux News Board:

Long live the Penguin,


2) Linux News

Supercomputer on a CD
Clustering multiple computers isn't exactly news, but the
Open Cluster Group aims to make it so easy that anyone can
do it. "We've actually taken it to the point where a typical
high school kid who has a little bit of experience with
Linux and can get their hands on a couple of extra boxes
could set up a cluster at home," says one of the people
working on the project.


Random Linus Quotes
>From the "I've got too much time on my hands" department
comes a collection of quotes from Linus on the linux-kernel
mailing lists. Come see what Linus thinks about things
from project management to families. Well worth a read.


Pack up Your Bags, Folks. It's Over
You might have seen Microsoft's statement last week that
Linux has no future. Since Microsoft is always right
*snicker* it looks like we may as wall pack our bags
and call it quits *giggle*. I mean, why should we spend
all this time and effort when Mickeysoft is foreseeing
our demise? *laugh*


Whistler Testers Shout "Linux!"
It looks like Microsoft is going to add some serious
copy protection into Whistler. As any security measure
works, it's a tradeoff between effectiveness and ease
of use. Microsoft has not struck a good balance with
its Whistler copy protection plan, which is leading
some of the Whistler testers to threaten defection.


3) Linux Resources

Guerilla Guide to Great Graphics with the GIMP
Last week I showed you "GIMP Essentials". Maybe you're a
beginner to the world of computer graphics, and are looking
for a how-to type book. Well, the folks at Prima Tech have
answered your call. This is a great book about the GIMP,
written in an easy to follow, tutorial style manner.


Free Oracle 9i for Linux Trial
Oracle is giving away Oracle 9i Application Server trials.
Follow this link to register with Oracle and get your
software. Oracle is one vendor quick to embrace Linux by
making their core software available on the Linux platform.
(There's also a free draw for an EMPEG Linux MP3 Car Stereo.)


Intro to RAID
RAID, a Redundant Array of Independent Disks, is a technique
for spreading data across multiple disks to allow for fault
tolerance. Sure, Linux supports it in both hardware and
software, but you still need to know when RAID is appropriate
and what the different levels are. This article gives an
excellent introduction to how RAID works.


Best Newbie Distro
Every technical group has it's own religious wars, and Linux
is no exception. What is the best distribution for newbies?
Which is the easiest to install and maintain? This article
and discussion tries to tackle the issue.


Red Hat 7.1 beta
Want to be on the on the bleeding edge? Give Red Hat 7.1 a
shot. Updated packages, kernel 2.4, and more configuration
tools promise to make this beta release a good one.


4) App o' the week
I found this one the other day when trying to resolve IPs
into names in a text file. There are many programs out there
to do this for Apache style logs, but I needed a general
purpose filter so I could specify that the IP was, for
example, in the third column of comma separated values.
This week's program does all this and more.


(C) 2001 BrainBuzz.com. All Rights Reserved.


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