2002 01 03

                    LINUX NEWS
        Resources & Links From CramSession.com
                 January 3, 2002
           7,000 Subscribers Worldwide


1) Sean’s Notes (actually, a different Sean this week)

2) Linux News

KDE Beta Ready
Red Hat Linux - The Best of the Best
SUN Still Top UNIX Vendor
Hurry Up and Get StarOffice 6

3) Linux Resources

Sendmail Denying Relaying?
Automating Network Administration
Calling the Elite...
Become Your Own Employer
Alternative Rescue Disk

4) App o’ the Week

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1) Sean's Notes

A lot of people out there seem to like making New Year's
resolutions, and I'm no different. For a few years I wanted
to quit smoking, and I would start the new year off by
tossing my pack of cigarettes. About ten years ago I finally
got it right and quit smoking. Unfortunately, quitting seems
to trigger weight gain and this was followed by many New
Year's resolutions to do something about my bloated
mid-section. Well, it's New Years again and I've got a new
resolution. It's time to get rid of all this bloating - in
my operating system, that is.

I think it was Windows XP that pushed me over the edge.
While there's no doubt that Windows XP is one of the most
stable operating systems Microsoft has ever released, it's
also one of the most intrusive and annoying. After
re-installing Windows XP on my laptop over the holidays
it's been busy nagging me to death to activate my new
installation... to get my .NET Passport... to use Windows
Update (which I had to because of all the flippin' security

I'm sick of it.

I've also had it with Microsoft's heavy-handed treatment of
me both as a user and as a Microsoft Certified Professional
(I'm an MCSE and MCT).

As a user, I'm tired of having new features I that I don't
want, and that are nearly impossible to uninstall, shoved down
my throat (e.g. Winblows Messenger). I'm also sick to death
of overly restrictive licensing agreements (I don't know if
Satan really exists or not, but I'm betting that if he does,
he makes his demons do an internship in Microsoft's legal
department). Finally, I'm tired of all the freakin' security
holes. With all their billions of dollars you'd think MS
could hire some people to double-check code for buffer
overflow exploits.

On the certification front, Microsoft's certification
programs have just about as much credibility as Bill Clinton
speaking on matters of sexual fidelity. MS makes virtually
no attempt to enforce the security of their certification
process. The end result is that any moron who can surf
braindump sites can be an MCSE for the price of a few exams.
No other certification seems to attract the sheer number of
idiots that Microsoft certifications do. This is extremely
embarrassing for those Microsoft Certified Professionals
who actually give a damn about learning the product and
rendering good service.

So here we are in 2002. While I admit to having flirted with
Linux in the past, it's been far from a steady relationship.
This year I'm ready to buy the ring and make the commitment.
I've got my SAIR GNU/Linux fundamentals courseware (more on
that next week) and three machines set aside to load Red Hat,
Debian, and Mandrake on. I've purchased some extra books
(BIND, Sendmail, and Apache by O'Reilly) and I've even warned
my Linux geek friends that I'm about to suck their brains dry.
I'm ready.

Welcome to the year of the penguin.

Sean McCormick
Recovering Microsoft User

2) Linux News

LinuxQuestions.org Member's Choice Awards
Jeremy from LinuxQuestions.org has just announced its new
Member's Choice awards. This is your chance to vote for the
person who saved your bacon by answering questions posted
in their forums.


Linux after the Dot-Com Crash
ZDNet has just published an excellent article detailing how
the dot-com crash will help Linux rather than hurt it in the
long run (there's nothing wrong with a free OS during an
economic downturn).


HP-LX Reviewed
Looking for the ultimate "hardened" GNU/Linux distribution?
HP has taken Red Hat 7.1 and fortified it to prevent a cracker
from using a compromised application to put the boots to the
rest of your system. It's pricey, but it looks like it may be
just be the thing for environments where security comes first.


MS Slagging Linux (again)
The folks at Vulture Central report that Microsoft V.P.
Brian (lookin' for love in all the wrong places) Valentine
is slinging mud again. This time he wants people to know that
a copy of Windows that you have to fork over gobs of cash for
is cheaper than a free version of Linux. Really.


3) Linux Resources

Dealing with NIC Hell
One of the first things most newbies learn about Linux is
that for an operating system that cut its teeth on the
Internet, Linux sure doesn't seem to like most network cards
out of the box. If you discover that Linux hates every single
NIC you own (like I did), then you'll want to check out
Donald Becker's page of Linux drivers for PCI Ethernet NICs.
There are a lot of drivers and solutions to be found here.


Building a Lo-fat Desktop
Looking to duplicate the feel and functionality of a Winblows
desktop without copying the sucky performance? Check out this
tutorial by John Murray. Many good suggestions on apps here:


Anti-aliased Fonts Not Exclusive to Windows XP
One of the selling points of Windows XP is the fact that
using anti-aliased fonts (ClearType) makes your screen a lot
easier to read. Well, if you have ten minutes to invest, you
too can anti-alias your desktop without buying an expensive
Windows license.


DOS vs. Linux Commands
Being experienced with DOS can be a bit of a stumbling block
when you're trying to work in a UNIX shell. I have a habit
of using old DOS commands instead of the proper UNIX/Linux
commands. If you have this same tendency, check out this
command comparison chart from HardcoreLinux.


4) App o' the week
As someone who used to love arsing around with BASIC on my
old C64, I was thrilled to discover that the C64 emulator
that I use on my Win32 platforms is also available for
Linux. Frodo version 4.1 has just been released, and fixes
the problems with 8-bit displays under \*nix (note: you'll
need SDL).


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