Linux Gazette MailBag Issue #23

Write the Gazette at
  • Article Ideas
  • Help Wanted
  • General Mail

We’re back in business after a one month gap–no November issue–and we need articles from you.

So, all you budding authors and Linux users out there, send me your material. Don’t depend on our regular authors to fill the gap. We want to hear about all the neat tips and tricks you’ve found, as well as all the neat applications you are writing or working with. We also like to hear how you are using Linux as a workplace solution. –Editor

envelope-4863162 Date: Mon, 06 Oct 1997 01:40:46 +0100
From: Emmet Caulfield
Subject: Newbie Stuff


I’ve noticed recently that there’s an increasing volume of questions on fairly elementary topics to your help page.

There’s probably a fairly large volume of readers, like myself, who correspond with the querants offering help, pointers, and suggestions in the hope that they may be useful. I’m NOT an expert, by any stretch of the imagination, being a recent « convert » of only 10 months vintage.

I think that there is an argument for the Gazette running a series of articles outlining a step-by-step setup procedure specifically targetted at people setting up Linux on home machines connected over the POTS in spite of the fact that this would be duplicating efforts elsewhere (in HOWTOs and such).

Just a suggestion.

I love the Gazette, you have struck a fine balance well – there is something for everyone. I read 22 « cover to cover ».

Keep up the good work,


envelope-4863162 Date: Wed, 15 Oct 1997 18:28:05 -0700
From: Todd Martin
Subject: System Back up

I would love to see an article on backing up a Red Hat 4.2 system onto a SCSI Tape drive.

I’m having trouble with it, and am finding information on it rare if not impossible to find.

If anyone could point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.

Or contact me direct if its easy enough to explain.


envelope-4863162 Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997 21:13:24 -0500
From: « Cochran »
Subject: Article Idea

Hello, I’m a Linux newbie so please forgive any inaccuracies. 🙂 I think someone should report on the Linux game scene. Different projects that are dealing with game projects like GGI and the Linux GDK. Keep the good work up everyone.


envelope-4863162 Date: Tue, 14 Oct 1997 18:54:41 -0500
From: Glenn Meuth manderflawaxe@Dynasty.Net
Subject: LJ Howto get TECH Info for NEWBIES

I have been reading LJ recently, and I would like to request that an article be written. I have recently had (2) problems which I researched, and only seemed to find dead ends for. I purchased a new computer recently 🙂 and, as is probably common with such, had some unsupported hardware. This did not surprise me, having worked with computers for some time. So I proceeded to search hardware listings, currently active projects, etc in order to find an answer, and found nothing. (My problem was with my UDMA harddrive controller card from Promise.) I began to email news groups and Promise trying to get the information I needed to write the code for the controller card myself. I could not seem to dig up any help on the subject of support for new hardware. My question: Could you please address an article on how to go about attaining the information necessary to code this? Q(2) Could you also address how to get involved in the linux project?

I have tried to get involved with projects (I am a relatively new C++ programmer (2 years)), in college, and there is little for me to do in my area of the USA in order to exercise my C & C++ skills. If you could help me out here I would appreciate it!

Glenn Meuth

envelope-4863162 Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997 04:11:55 -0800 (PST)
From: Ron Culver

Hi Folks,

First want to say I’m really glad the Gazette is on line… what a great source for finding out new things! Keep up the great work – it’s a real winner. Next, want to suggest some needs on this end you might find useful as an idea for a feature. I run a real tiny ISP biz in NM (my hometown, but live in CA) – and have LOTS of questions related to running the system (do sysadmin via telnet) – primarily system security issues, keeping the email system running right, HTTPD (actually run Apache) questions, and DNS issues. What has most plagued me is the lack of a fresh source of info to keep the system on the ‘cutting edge’ of new developements in software. One example is Java, something that came along shortly after the server was first installed, which I can not seem to get to run properly – and to date no one can tell me why. What I would like to see you try is a column that addresses the questions/concerns of small POP’s or ISP’s – actually anyone who is running Linux as a server on line would have similar questions/concerns.

Have a nice….

Ron Culver

envelope-4863162 Date: Sun, 12 Oct 1997 02:34:26 +0200
From: Guillermo S. Romero Subject: Clipboard Ideas


I am a bit new to Linux and my programming skills are poor (time solves everything), but I have brain (well, 2 overclocked neurons) and I think that Linux (and Unix) have a problem with « cut & paste », aka clipboard. GPM is fine, xclipboard too, some other systems also work, but its hard to move from one system to another, and not all data can be copied.

I want to start a team to implement a clipboard in Unix, maybe using files stored under something like /tmp/clip/ (or another /dev/foo?). :]

The main thing is that it should be able to work with text, graphics and binary (archives, ie), like other OS do. I think that if we use a system based in /dev/ , the system will support old apps (you only have to save to the correct place emulating an app behaviour, and a demon will convert non standard files to the ones supported by the clipboard). We can even made the new clipboard a multiuser one. Or one with multiple buffers per user (like Emacs, doesn’t it?).

READ  ht://Dig Table of Contents

If someone is interested, just write. I have a draft so we can start the discussion now. I must admit that my idea maybe look mad or too simple, but that only demonstrates that I believe that usefullnes is directionaly proportional to simplicity. :]


envelope-4863162 Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 11:10:08 -0500
From: Dan E. Collis
Subject: Adaptec 2940 UW adapter

I am drowning! Have called Adaptec to no avail. They say they’re not supporting Linux. Have tried all the loc’s on that I can find and have had no luck.

Is there a driver available for an Adaptec 2940UW that’s good for RedHat 4.2? I’d sure appreciate some help on this one.

Many thanks,

envelope-4863162 Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 12:23:45 -0700
From: Chad Peyton chadly@cs.WNMU.EDU
Subject: PPP

I’m trying to configure a ppp connection. So far the program mgetty has got most things working. I don’t know much about Linux, but this is what I think I need to do: get the shell to run the following command.

Puser – – /usr/sbin/pppd auth -chap +pap login kdebug 7 debug

But notice the message I get below when I call in:

Red Hat Linux release 4.2 (Biltmore) Kernel 2.0.27 on an i486

login: chad Password: Last login: Fri Nov 7 15:36:54 on ttyS0

Warning: no access to tty (Not a typewriter).

Thus no job control in this shell. It says that the shell isn’t working or something. Do I need to get tty working or what? How do I do that?

Also, after I logout the program quits on me. Is there a way to make mgetty keep working after someone hangs up? Also is there a way to make mgetty load at boot time?

Can you help me PLEASE,


envelope-4863162 Date: Sun, 09 Nov 1997 00:46:33 -0200 (br> From: Javier Salem
Subject: I need some help

I’m new using Linux but I learn so quicky. I just downloaded Communicator for Linux tar version and did all the installation steps, but I don’t understand how to set the environment variable setenv. I think that it’s my problem because I can’t see Netscape when I open xwin, so I can’t use it yet

My name is Javier from Argentina. I ‘ll be pleased if somebody could give me a hand. Really thanks.

envelope-4863162 Date: Sat, 08 Nov 1997 09:37:44 -0800
From: Ted Rolle
Subject: Accessing Win95 vfat drive

I’ve compiled vfat support into my 2.0.31 kernel. How do I mount the drives so Linux can « see » the Win95 partition?

envelope-4863162 Date: Wed, 08 Oct 1997 13:47:17 PDT
From: « HoonChul Shin »
Subject: Video woes

Greetings to every Linux lover!

When I run XFree86 ver. 3.2 with resolutions more than 640×340, and open menus and move windows around, I see white lines or streaks in my screen. It’s very annoying. And when I exit Xwindows, and return to text mode, screen becomes impossible to read. Fonts just become nasty. Is there anyone out there with same problems that I am having now? Video Card= Trident TGUI 9682 with 2 mb.


Hoon Chul

envelope-4863162 Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 12:51:25 +0200
From: Ihab Khoury
Subject: NetFlex driver..


I am trying to install RH4.2 on a compaq Proliant 2500. I have a NetFlex card built in and unable to read it..I saw that few poeple have posted this before ..I was not able to find the driver. Please e-mail me at if you have any solutions. Thank you in advance.

envelope-4863162 Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 11:52:48 +0100
From: Sven Goersmann
Subject: scanner driver or scanner codes for RELISYS Infinty/Scorpio VM3550

Hi everybody there!

I just want to ask you if you know there’s a Linux scanner driver for the RELISYS Scanner Scorpio VM3550 from the Infinity series, and if so where can I get it.

Thanks in advance, Sven.

envelope-4863162 Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 13:32:34 -0000
From: Roger Farrell
Subject: Emulators


I am looking for emulators that support the 8088 and 80188 chips.

lf you can help please reply.

Regards Roger Farrell

envelope-4863162 Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 02:08:44 PDT
From: Gilberto Persico
Subject: Transaction Processing

Have you ever heard of Transaction Processing systems (such as CICS or Encina or Tuxedo) available (free or commercial) for Linux ???

envelope-4863162 Date: Mon, 03 Nov 1997 19:06:53 +0100
From: Fabrizio
Subject: chat


I am looking for a chat program for Unix. Can you send to me some tips about this?

Thank you and best regards.

Fabrizio Piccini

envelope-4863162 Date: Sun, 2 Nov 1997 02:04:28 +1100 (EST)
From: Shao Ying Zhang
Subject: Sorry! – RE: SB16 and MIDI

I am sorry for this second mail; I forgot to tell you what the problem is. OK, the problem is that it plays without returning any errors, but simply no sound comes out.

Thanks very much!

I am using Sound Blaster 16 for my system. My Linux version is Redhat 4.2 with the kernel 2.0.30.

I recompiled the kernel properly (I think) to make my SB16 work. It now can play wave, mod, CD but NOT MIDI.

I can only use timidity to convert them into wave and then play. This means that /dev/sequencer does not work properly.

I have also noticed that a couple of other friends have the same problem.

Could you help me PLEASE???

Thanks in advance!

Shao Zhang 2/896 Anzac PDE Maroubra 2035


envelope-4863162 Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 19:51:44 +0900
From: « Chun, Sung Jin »
Subject: [Q] PCMCIA IBM CD-400 Help me.

I want to access cd-rom using my IBM cd-400 PCMCIA CDROM. But I don’t know how can I do this. Please help me.

envelope-4863162 Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 14:07:47 -0800
From: « Possanza, Christopher »
Subject: HELP! Possible to use parallel port tape drives with linux?

READ  The Linux Kernel HOWTO: Modules

Does anyone know if it’s possible to use parallel port tape drives to backup a Linux system? I’ve got the HP Colorado T1000e drive, and I’d love to be able to use it… Any suggestions?

Christopher Possanza

envelope-4863162 Date: Mon, 06 Oct 1997 18:24:12 GMT
From: Harry Baecker
Subject: Word Processing & Text Processing

In his article in Issue 22, subject as above, Larry Ayers indulges in the requisite Unixworld denigration of word processor software and its users, as contrasted with the virtues of software « which allows the writer to focus on content rather than appearance ». I suggest that there are some errors in this ritual obeisance to received wisdom.

The first is that all who yearn for the services of a word processor lust to inflict another Gibbon, « The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire », or Russell & Whitehead « Principia Mathematica » upon the world. Were that so then the world would be more than hip deep in rejected typescripts already. Rather, I, and I am sure most others, wish to prepare snailmail with some attention to personalised format and typography, which is exactly what a reasonable word processor provides. I certainly do not look for the archetypal offense in Ayers’ universe of discourse, Microsoft Word for Windows. I have borrowed, used, and rejected that, and I have owned, and given away AmiPro (WordPro) and abhorred Word Perfect since its inception. What I would like to use in Linux is some clone of Wordpad, of MS-Write, or of the word processors included with MS-Works or ClarisWorks, wherein I can govern not only the content but also the appearance of my message.

It is true that Lyx seems to be a reasonable compromise, unless you find, as I do, that the assumptions built into its templates are displeasing to the eye.

The second error is to assume as gospel the correctness of Unix conventions for ASCII text. The ASCII encoding was officially adopted by ISO in 1964. That included provision for the CR/LF pair, and a functional backspace (not left-erase). Anyone familiar with hardcopy terminals of the time, such as Flexowriters, will also remember the joys of « line reconstruction » procedures, to encode, say, lines of Algol 60 program text, in a useful internal representation. Tortuous, but that’s what we expect computers to do for us.

The text representation conventions of Unix were born together with the limited representational capabilities of video terminals, character generators with limited repertoires, no « backspace and overtstrike » abilities, hence no way of effecting backspace or CR. By the time proper graphic facilities, and hence font choices, became available the Unix conventions for ASCII text had ossified, and the flexibility actually made available by the original ASCII conventions were treated with disdain. Had Unix embraced the full flexibility offered by the ASCII encoding then things might have been otherwise.

Harry Baecker

envelope-4863162 Date: Tue, 14 Oct 1997 14:26:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: Paul Lussier
Subject: Thanks!


I’ve been reading the LG since issue 1 when I first stumbled upon John Fisk’s web page from an Alta Vista search for Linux info. All of you at SSC have done an unbelievably outstanding job with both LJ and LG, and I just wanted to say thanks. I look forward to the first week of every month when there is a new LG to grab off the net, and a new LJ waiting in my mailbox. I read them both cover to cover each and every month.

I do Unix sysadmin for a living and still benefit from so much of what is originally written with Linux in mind and am able to reuse it on other « Unices » as well.

Also, I just checked out CANLUG On-line magazine. It’s not bad. Maybe you people (and the rest of us too) who have done such a terrific job with LG, can give them a hand getting their’s off the ground. After all, the whole spirit of the Linux community is helping one another 🙂 And we can all benefit from another on-line, enjoyable source of Linux news and info 🙂

Thanks again!

Happy Linuxing,


envelope-4863162 Date: Fri, 07 Nov 1997 21:05:22 -0800
From: Andrew T. Young
Subject: word vs. text processing

While reading Larry Ayres’s comments (mostly quite sound) about TeX, LOUT, groff, etc., I noticed he was sort of behind the curve on *roff.

First, there are several *good* books on this family of text processors. I have troff Typesetting for UNIX Systems by Sandra L. Emerson and Karen Paulsell (Prentice-Hall, 1987), as well as UNIX Text Processing by Dale Dougherty and Tim O’Reilly (Hayden Books, 1987). In addition there is a rather specialized book on the tbl pre-processor called something like « setting tables with tbl » — I don’t seem to be able to lay hands on it right now. (I might add that I consider tbl to be considerably superior to LaTeX’s clumsy handling of tabular material.)

After you read these books, it’s easy to make up a set of formatting macros that do for the *roff family exactly what LaTeX does for TeX. You can then invoke these very much the way the LaTeX macros are invoked; indeed translation from the *roff to the *TeX markup is pretty easy at that point (though there are a few subtleties that cause problems). LaTeX has a very few advantages for very esoteric mathematical equations; apart from that, the systems are very similar.

Yes, the underlying engine is opaque as hell to figure out; nevertheless, it’s powerful and effective. I still prefer *roff to LaTeX, but have been forced to live with *TeX because the journals I use all employ it.

One more historical item: Larry called nroff « newer » than troff, but it’s the other way around. Originally, there was some formatter called roff (short for runoff); then came nroff for « new runoff » and then *later* came troff for typesetting. — Andrew T. Young

READ  3.2 Basic UNIX Concepts

envelope-4863162 Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997 09:17:40 -0500
From: Jack Chaney
Subject: new_user_setup


I too am a relative newbie (again) to Linux but am sold on a lot of the conceptual aspects of the system (shareware, GNU, free downloads, world wide support, etc.) I am also quite comfortable with the stability and security of the OS. I’m not, however, satisfied with the quality of support for new users or « non-experts. »

My argument is this, if you are trying to compete in the world market with the IBM’s and Microsoft’s you need to study what it is that made them so popular in the first place. Availability of applications, which Linux is doing a much better job addressing, is one of the pieces that make them so prominent, but it’s only one of the pieces. The popularity of WIN95 in particular is due to the ease of installation of the wanted systems and applications, and the focus on the end user.

In the world of computer users the highest percentage of computers are set up as single user systems linked to a network, or some central server and/or ISP. The majority of documentation material for Linux has done an excellent job of describing how to create and maintain the system as a central server, but very little copy is devoted to running Linux as a client station. Red Hat and others have made great strides toward making the install process as painless as possible (my first install attempt was back in the 0.98 days). I am able to get most of the systems up and running but any time I have questions about a particular package, the files it accesses, and where the files reside, is always viewed as a fishing expedition.

Also a great deal of software gets installed by the standard install process with descriptive text about what the application is during the install (I can’t read that fast), with a memo at the end of installation that a list of what was installed can be found in the log directory. When I went to look at the log what I found was a listing of the package titles that were installed (little more than the filename of the RPM file) and no description about what the package does. I found the HOWTO information, but I tend to work better when I can read the instructions from hard copy while I work with the application on the screen. I could (and do) print out the docs I am working with but the expense of this one-of printing is tedious since I spent extra money to get the documentation. It is also particularly annoying because the documentation has highly detailed chapters on how to recompile the kernel (which isn’t broken and works just fine) and little more than a paragraph making reference to creating a dial-up client connection to an ISP (which is what most people want).

I am a computer professional who is quite familiar with OS systems and embedded coding and would like to convince management that a Linux-based development environment would be a good new direction for our teams, but it is a hard sell when the response to on-line queries tends to come off as the respondents turning up their nose saying « that information is in the docs » and no clue as to which docs or where. If the respondents know the answer but are tired of answering this question « again » either reprint the old answer, point out where the old answer can be looked up, or answer the question « again, » not blow the person off because the question isn’t interesting enough. Microsoft and IBM got where they are by taking special interest in always answering the « elementary » questions. I realise the nature of Linux precludes focusing any resources since it doesn’t really have any. But if the general Linux public would take a better attitude toward people wanting to join up, and lend a helping hand when possible, Linux could become a major force in the computer industry.

Jack Chaney

envelope-4863162 Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 17:16:04 -0700
From: Felix Liebau
Subject: e mail subscribe?


Thanks for that great journal, Linux Gazette, which I really like to read. Can I subscribe to have new issues mailed to me?

Felix Liebau

(No, it is impractical to use e-mail to send such large files as those that make up LG–1 to 2 MB total for each issue. However, check out the Front Page for information about our new notification mail list. –Editor)

envelope-4863162 Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 23:36:43 +0000
From: I.P. Robson
Subject: More Praise

You probably get enough of it. But here’s more praise. I’ve just come accross this magazine and its the most useful and interesting thing I’ve come across since Linux itself.

Sorry to hear about the November issue but this magazine must be so fundamental to everything that isn’t Gatesian that you have to keep on going.

I wish I had a huge bundle of cash to send you, but you’ll have to make do with this E-mail instead.

You should have a logo ready to go on every Linux web page everywhere.

I don’t often gush with praise and I’d be embarassed if any of my gum chewing friends read this. But you deserve it.

I.P. Robson —

The goal of Computer Science is to build something that will last at least until we’ve finished building it.

Published in Linux Gazette Issue 23, December 1997

indexnew-5927695 homenew-5336552 fwd-4373548

This page written and maintained by the Editor of Linux Gazette,
Copyright © 1997 Specialized Systems Consultants, Inc.