Linux Gazette MailBag LG #41

Answers to these questions should be sent directly to the e-mail address of the inquirer with or without a copy to Answers that are copied to LG will be printed in the next issue in the Tips column.

envelope-8745376 Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 17:59:43 -0400 (EDT)
From: Scott Searcy, searcys@BAYDENOC.CC.MI.US
Subject: Macintosh Disks

Is it possible to read from, write to and format 3.5 floppies that use the Macintosh format?

Scott Searcy

(Check out the HFS utility programs: hcd, hcopy, hdel, hmount, et al. There’s even a GUI for them called hfs. –Editor)

envelope-8745376 Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 11:24:45 +0100 (GMT)
From: Jason Douglas Brand,
Subject: Can Linux extract frames from an AVI?

I only have one question. Can Linux extract frames from a compressed AVI? If so, what is the software called and where can I get it. I have heard that xanim can play AVI file but can it extract frames from them. Please help me!! You are my only hope.


envelope-8745376 Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 12:30:01 -0200
From: Clovis Sena,
Subject: Network boot disk for i386 without hd

I have a Linux machine in my office network and several i386 that has no hd, but has 1.44 floppy. They also have ne2000 network card, without no proms. Is there a way to make a boot disk that allow my i386 to boot and login into my Linux machine??? I searched the web but found only solutions that reffer to using network cards with eproms/proms. Thanks.

Clovis Sena

envelope-8745376 Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 18:35:49 -0700
From: Mark Waddle
Subject: Linux partitions from Windows

I got a question for ya… is there a driver or application I can use to get at least read access to my Linux partitions from Windows? Thanks,

Mark Waddle

envelope-8745376 Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 19:29:44 -0700 (PDT)
From: Will Stevenson,
Subject: FTP access methods…

Ok tough guys, I have written down more one-liners and cool tricks from the Linux Gazette pages than from anywhere else.

And I finally have a good question: In both Window$ and O$/2 I had apps that would treat ftp sites as folders (directories). It worked real well with keeping data in sync off-site. Is there a tool that will allow an FTP site to be mounted under Linux? It seems fairly useful to me, but freshmeat and other resources turned up nada.

I am working on a cool 1 disk Linux distro that has pilot backup features and other remote file access ideas that could really benefit from this.

Thanks for your input guys…


envelope-8745376 Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 09:42:13 -0500
From: « Trace & Sandy Schroeder »,
Subject: question for the board

I am confused about what I will need to install Red Hat 5.2 on my new dell system last attempt met me with a command line only — xfree was needed for my video card TNT chipset however I was looking for the files – and I am hoping for RPMS outr there for me to do it the easy way

Are there RPMS out there? and if not, why does the RPMS lag behind the releases – thank you very much I am anxious to get rid of the bloatware of ms on this zippy pentium 3


envelope-8745376 Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 00:23:52 +0100
From: « Darren McAndrew »,
Subject: a.out binaries not working

I have recently installed Linux RH5.2 and have started learning some C. When I compile programs however I am left with an a.out binary which does not execute. I get the message no such command when I try to run it. I have loaded the aout libs from the cdrom but it still does not work! When I check file permissions on it it is listed as an executable. Could you please help me on what idiotic thing I am doing wrong? All help appreciated.


envelope-8745376 Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 14:32:48 +0200
From: Pawel Szabelski,
Subject: SCSI problem

I’ve got some problems with my SCSI disk (IBM DDRS Ultra2Wide) and the adapter (AIC 7880): There are some errors during read/write operations (specially in the case of big files). The message on the screen is like that:

Apr 28 14:28:57 vega kernel: scsi : aborting command due to timeout :
pid 38902,
 scsi0, channel 0, id 6, lun 0 Write (10) 00 00 2b 80 93 00 00 04 00
Apr 28 14:28:57 vega kernel: scsi : aborting command due to timeout :
pid 38903,
 scsi0, channel 0, id 6, lun 0 Write (10) 00 00 2b a3 ff 00 00 f4 00
Apr 28 14:28:59 vega kernel: SCSI host 0 abort (pid 38902) timed out -
Apr 28 14:28:59 vega kernel: SCSI bus is being reset for host 0 channel
Apr 28 14:28:59 vega kernel: (scsi0:0:6:0) Synchronous at 11.4
Mbyte/sec, offset

I do not use shielded cable. What to do with this? Thank for any help.


envelope-8745376 Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 11:55:47 +0200
From: Pepijn Schmitz,
Subject: Windows NT and Linux hate each other?

I’ve installed Linux Red Hat 5.2 on my friend’s computer, and now for some extremely odd reason the Red Hat machine and the NT Server 4.0 that’s on his other machine can’t see each other over the network. At all. They don’t even respond to each other’s ARP requests.

The link is alive (judging from the lights on his switching hub), and the machines can see each other fine when he runs Windows 95 on the machine where I’ve installed Red Hat. TCP/IP is installed and configured correctly on both machines. The Red Hat machine has a 10 Mbps 3COM card, the NT machine a 100 Mbps 3COM, and the lights on the hub say that it’s using those speeds on the interfaces that the machines are on, regardless of whether the one machine is running Linux or Windows 95.

What on Earth could be going on here?


envelope-8745376 Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 07:03:42 -0400
Subject: Question: Editing x client fonts

I experienced a dirty shutdown when some software went bezerk and repeatly copied files from a cdrom until a HD partition filled. Running fsck seems to have cleaned up most things, but one permanent result was that x client fonts (the title bar and menus of windows) are a large Helvetica regular that causes difficulty.

I run Red Hat 5.2. I found no .fvwm2rc on that system. So I copied the file /etc/X11/fvwm2/system.fvwm2rc as .fvwm2rc into my home directory and edited the specification for WindowFont and MenuFont. I restarted Fvwm2, but nothing changed (my system fonts are accessible).

Is a copy of .fvwm2rc mandatory or only optional if one wants the user to define x client fonts, etc.? Should a copy of system.fvwm2rc as .fvwm2rc into my home directory have provided the user with the ability to customize X client fonts?

Haines Brown

envelope-8745376 Date: Sat, 01 May 1999 13:13:45 +0700
From: Ruangvith Tantibhaedhyangkul,
Subject: Need help on Internet connection with Linux

I’m having (rather serious) problems with Linux. I’m using Caldera’s OpenLinux 1.3 with KDE 1.0 on Pentium 200, RAM 64 MB and SupraExpress 336i on COM3 (which works fine on ‘Microsoft’ Windows 98), the 2.0.35 kernel was compiled to support pentium and ppp internally. It can’t be configured to connect to Internet at all.

First I used kppp (script based), it dialed, logged in, and told me that it was ‘logging on to network’. But that was that, it stayed put, until timed-out.

Here’s what happened on script debug window:

CONNECT 115200Welcome to Asia-Access Internet 
Host: US1 
Port: S6/2 
Username: ruangvit 
PPP session from ( to beginning. 

And the corresponding /var/log/messages:

Apr 10 17:41:39 janbond syslog: ROOT LOGIN ON tty1 
Apr 10 17:42:00 janbond CRON[810]: (root) CMD ([ -x /usr/sbin/cronloop ] 
&& /usr/sbin/cronloop Hourly) 
Apr 10 17:45:42 janbond xntpd[643]: synchronized to LOCAL(0), stratum=3d7 
Apr 10 17:45:42 janbond xntpd[643]: kernel pll status change 89 
Apr 10 17:47:01 janbond kernel: registered device ppp0 
Apr 10 17:47:01 janbond pppd[842]: pppd 2.2.0 started by root, uid 0 
Apr 10 17:47:01 janbond pppd[842]: Using interface ppp0 
Apr 10 17:47:01 janbond pppd[842]: Connect: ppp0 /dev/modem 
Apr 10 17:47:32 janbond pppd[842]: LCP: timeout sending Config-Requests 
Apr 10 17:47:32 janbond pppd[842]: Connection terminated. 

Someone told me to try minicom. I could log in, quited without resetting and typed at commnd prompt ‘pppd /dev/modem 38400 crtscts modem defaultroute’. I also commented out /etc/ppp/options. Here’s what happened:

----------start of /var/log/messages---------- 
Apr 13 18:25:03 janbond pppd[947]: pppd 2.2.0 started by root, uid 0 
Apr 13 18:25:03 janbond pppd[947]: Using interface ppp0 
Apr 13 18:25:03 janbond pppd[947]: Connect: ppp0 /dev/modem 
Apr 13 18:28:03 janbond pppd[947]: LCP: timeout sending Config-Requests 
Apr 13 18:28:03 janbond pppd[947]: Connection terminated. 
----------end of /var/log/messages---------- 

Of course, on interface, it was nothing but quiet.

I tried minicom again, this time using /etc/ppp/options which looked like:

----------start of /etc/ppp/options---------- 
asyncmap 0 
mtu 552 
mru 552 
lcp-max-configure 60 
----------end of /etc/ppp/options---------- 

Here’s what happened on the terminal:

----------start of login terminal---------- 
CONNECT 115200 
Welcome to Asia-Access Internet 
Host: US1 
Port: S6/2 
Username: ruangvit 
PPP session from ( to beginning. 
----------end of login terminal---------- 

I then pppd, which resulted:

----------start of pppd result---------- 
[root@janbond /root]# pppd 
~=ff}#=c0!}!}!} }8}!}$}"(}"}&} } } } }%}& =ac=93=f6}'}"}(}"]}.~~=ff}#=c0!}!=
}!} }} } } 
}%}& =ac=93=f6}'}"}(}"]}.~~=ff} 
----------end of pppd result---------- 

And this is the corresponding /var/log/messages:

----------start of /var/log/options---------- 
Apr 14 11:16:41 janbond pppd[831]: pppd 2.2.0 started by root, uid 0 
Apr 14 11:16:41 janbond pppd[831]: Using interface ppp0 
Apr 14 11:16:41 janbond pppd[831]: Connect: ppp0 /dev/ttyp0 
Apr 14 11:19:41 janbond pppd[831]: LCP: timeout sending Config-Requests 
Apr 14 11:19:41 janbond pppd[831]: Connection terminated. 
Apr 14 11:19:41 janbond pppd[831]: Receive serial link is not 8-bit clean: 
Apr 14 11:19:41 janbond pppd[831]: Problem: nothing was received 
Apr 14 11:19:41 janbond pppd[831]: Exit. 
----------end of /var/log/messages---------- 

I tried looking up the howto’s. Nothing seems to help. Neither do those gur= us in any Linux webboard. 🙁

Waiting for your kindly reply.

Ruangvith Tantibhaedhyangkul

envelope-8745376 Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 05:47:53 +1000
From: « Andrew K Smith »,
Subject: Linux and Subnets over PPP

I’ve tried searching the Internet for this and got generally quite confused about how to do it (and unable to get it to work!) What I need to know is how to setup a PPP access to my Linux computer where I give a subnet to the computer dialled in rather than just a single IP address (i.e. networking two networks together – ISP side) The target machine dialling in via PPP is actually WindowsNT – get no problems when it is setup as a single IP address (and the WindowsNT machine has it’s own IP address not in my subnet) but can’t seem to get it right when the NT machine has part of my subnet. Any help greatly appreciated Thanks,


envelope-8745376 Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 14:01:47 +0200 (MEST)
From: Stephan Petersen,
Subject: Re: « Web pages design under Linux » (#39)

I just browsed to the latest Linux Gazette, and for the life of me I can’t figure out how the article « Web pages design under Linux » got in there. I’m not a fequent reader of the LG (but a subscriber to LJ almost from the beginning :-), and I’m pleasantly surprised about the good quality and high standards of the other contributions in this issue. Given that, how did this article made it in there? 🙂

READ  Software - Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL)

If I were new to Linux, but knew something about web design, after reading this article I would say even DOS must be a better choice of OS for web design! If I knew Linux, but I’m new to web design, this article would easily convince me that Linux has next to nothing to offer to get a gentle start into web design. And if you know both, well, you wonder how many people who count themselves to the previous two groups get scared off…

The title has not much at all to do with the article. Giving an overview is fine, but not mentioning even a fraction of the many great tools that Linux *does* have for web design, and not even giving *one* useful link to follow up on and to find a page that *does* have some info that deserves the name of the title, but instead sports silly things like « A true web page is made by hand » should be enough reason to not publish such an article until its reworked.

An article doesn’t have to be long to be right for LG, nor does it have to cover a subject completely. But an article with *this* title should give the reader a little kickstart in the right direction, and I just don’t see that happening.

Otherwise, keep up the great work, I enjoy the LG! I consider it a very useful addition to LJ.

All the best,


envelope-8745376 Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 17:07:52 -0400
From: « Scott Carle »,
Subject: Web page design under Linux

I have a request. Find some programs equivalent to FrontPage by Microsoft that can run under Linux and do a second article in the Linux Gazette. I found your statement that « A true web page is made by hand » to be very narrow minded and limiting.

I learned how to code by hand a long time ago and was never so happy as when WYSIWYG editors came out. Coding by hand is incredibly slow compared to a decent program such as Aolpress, FrontPage, Hotdog, Dreamweaver, NetObjects Fusion, or one of the other drag and drop editors. Today’s websites with Java scripts and dhtml and all the other extras that are taken for granted would take forever to develop by hand. I agree that hand coding is leaner and meaner but trade offs have to be made between that and speed, especially when done commercially and charged by the hour. Also the site management features offered in a decent websuite are something that a webmaster/developer desperatly needs on large multi-page sites. Thank You,


envelope-8745376 Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 23:48:51 -0600
From: Warren Young,
Subject: LG email on DTP under Linux

In Issue 40, there’s an e-mail from Michael J. Hammel answering some complaints someone had about the current state of GUI prepress software for Linux. In it, he said that « there aren’t any such tools yet announced for Linux ». That hasn’t been true for a couple of months now: like many other people, he’s forgotten that Corel has a full-scale publishing package: Corel Ventura.

As everyone’s heard now, Corel has promised to port all their apps to Linux by the beginning of next year. So far as I recall, this includes Ventura.

One other nit: Michael wrote that Windows has an 8-year lead on Linux. Actually, it has a 14-year lead: Windows 1.0 was released in 1985, and their focus has always been on ease of use. Recall that Windows was started in late 1983 after some Microsoft folk visited Apple and saw preproduction versions of the Mac.

Although X was started around the same time, Michael is right that the X world hasn’t focused on newbie-user simplicity until very recently. Sure, X makes a Unix box easier to use just because it’s a GUI, but until GNOME and KDE came on the scene, X never really hid anything the way that the Mac and Windows do.


envelope-8745376 Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 09:26:01 -0500
From: « Clements, John »,
Subject: Linux Gazette Format

Maybe a detail,

Many of us have and use Linux, but are still bound by the need to standardize in the corporate world to the Windows environment. As a Linux newbie, I still do not have a high speed modem bought and installed on my Linux box at home so have no way to get the tar, etc formats, and, of course, many of us have a higher speed lines at work. Is there a way to download the file in a format that can be unzipped, etc. on a Windows workstation then print out? Also, a format easily read by Windows machines would make publicizing the Linux system possible to others now using Windows. For example, our local PCC users club(Coastal Areas PC Users Group, has a web site. I guess what I’m saying, is if we only publish Linux documents in formats that Linux users and/or Linux gurus can use, how do we grow the user base?

Thanks for listening to the rant…


(I must admit to being a total Linux/UNIX person. Our office is a Linux shop and UNIX tools are what I have access to. I have never used Windows and have no idea what sort of files might be compatible with that system. I assume HTML is, so when you are at work, just download the TWDT file. Perhaps someone else knows a better answer. –Editor)

envelope-8745376 Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 08:37:00 -0500
From: Dwain Hargrave,

I like the changes you made to it. It look very good. Thought I let you know.


envelope-8745376 Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 00:49:46 -0800
From: Richard Mckinney,
Subject: Not Linux

Replace the Explorer in the shell= statement of your system.ini file and watch those mouse addicts cringe in horror.


envelope-8745376 Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 17:10:50 -0500
From: « Ronald E. Bloss »,
Subject: re: KDE is bloated and slow

Hear, Hear.

I feel the same way. One very obvious example is running StarOffice 5.0. Under KDE, I thought it was really slow and would not have even considered using it. However, under just fvwm2 or another standard window manager, it is quite responsive. I was ready to throw StarOffice away until I tried without KDE.

Ronald E. Bloss

envelope-8745376 Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 22:09:58 -0500
From: « Diane Gartner »,
Subject: Linux people excluded

On Tuesday, April 27th, I stopped by the Ralph Nader/James Love « Appraising Microsoft » site, just to see what was up with their upcoming conference on April 30th. I found the pages outlining their agenda plus speakers.

At, you’ll find their Agenda, where the last panel supposedly covers…

  • Panel Four 3:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
  • Non antitrust remedies
    • Government and private procurement policies
      • Consumer Boycotts
      • Linux, xBSD and other free software
      • Alternative commercial operating systems, such as
      • BeOS, Mac-X OS, Amiga, New Deal

Notice that NewDeal Office, which isn’t an operating system, is listed there, while OS/2, DOS, Netware, QNX, etc. are missing. Secondly, the workshops don’t actually discuss the other OSs in an detail; so even if those platforms are listed, they still have no representatives at the conference.

The same applies to Linux. If you check their list of speakers [URL below], you’ll see that while the list includes CEOs from Caldera and RedHat, it has no corporate official from other software vendors, nor any independent Linux programmers, resellers, or user groups who could offer their own insights to the public.

This conference is much like their first one in Nov 1997. After so many of us had protested the first conference’s mistakes and had asked for corrections to the A.M. site– e.g. their handling of operating systems and user groups– it’s hard to just sit back and attribute this 2nd conference as some sort of « mistake » or « oversight » based merely on ignorance.

James Love isn’t merely forgetting about the software and groups we care about. He simply doesn’t _respect_ us and doesn’t want to include us in his conference.

As he told me in a telephone conversation, « [not verbatim] « What have these user groups and programmers done? What remedies have these people ever proposed that would convince us they deserve to be included? We need people who have ideas, who know what they’re talking about, who can speak…. »

It’s time to send him your answers to his questions.

Steps you can take:

  1. Go to the A.M. website, and check out the Speakers [] and Agenda [ pages.
  2. E-mail a respectful complaint to James Love and Ralph Nader. Politely let them know that their conference should be open and inclusive to all OSs, user groups, developers, resellers etc..

    NOTE! If you yourself belong to a group that should be included, then give Love all the contact info he needs to reach you, so that you may be invited to his next conference. Insist on it. 🙂

  3. If you can telephone them, consider calling the A.M. contact person, Donna Colvin, at 202-387-8030, where James Love also can be reached.

— Diane Gartner, IACT Co-ordinator

International Alliance for Compatible Technology,

envelope-8745376 Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 19:11:31 -0700
From: « John F. Kohler »,
Subject: Re: Something for very new beginners

I suggest a portion of your publication be devoted to really simple answere to very basic questions.

I have installed Red Hat Linux in an i486 computer, and have just picked up bits and pieces of how to connect to a modem, how to setup ppp configuration using the command line prompts, and how to start XFree86.

For old-time experienced Linux users, these must sound like very simple tasks, but from my ignorant state, they are like unclimbable mountains.


(Well, the way it works is you send your questions to me, I post them in the Mail Bag and then you get answers by e-mail. Copies of answers sent to me are posted in the 2 Cent tip section. We get a lot of basic questions so you could just search issues for keywords. (When the search works again–hopefully next week.)

Ron Jenkins series Linux Primer is really good for newcomers. He’s done 9 installments now so go back and read the first one.

I hope you’ll find answers in our mag. If not today, then send in your questions. I guarantee you’ll get plenty of answers. –Editor)

Published in Linux Gazette Issue 41, May 1999

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This page written and maintained by the Editor of Linux Gazette,
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