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The Mailbag
From The Readers of Linux Gazette

HELP WANTED : Article Ideas
Submit comments about articles, or articles themselves (after reading our guidelines) to The Editors of Linux Gazette, and technical answers and tips about Linux to The Answer Gang.

What do I do to make evolution sync with a Visor PDA?

Tue, 29 Oct 2002 08:18:05 -0700
Michael Havens (bmike1 from vei.net)

Is it possible? Another forums told me that it was! They told me it was yet it will not. Whenever a sync is attempted the PDA tells me that a connection "could not be established". What could I download in it's stead that I don't have to fiddle-faddle with? Perhaps it isn't reading the USB correctly. If I open the hardware browserand click 'USB Devices' it gives me a manufacturer and a driver (usb-uhci) but no device. Any help you can give me would be very much appreciated. Once I learn more how would I go about joining your team? I want to help others later who are in the same predicament that I am now :-)

Cool. Anybody who wants to be helpful is welcome to join; see http://www.linuxgazette.net/tag/members-faq.html. I'll add that a cheery sense of humor is a plus. -- Heather

One last thing, do I have to uninstall anything like in Windows? If I remember correctly the answer is 'no' but I best make sure before I erase any programs.

I'm running RedHat 7.3 with a KDE desktop (did I phrase that correctly?).

:-) ~Mike~ (-:

Yes, you did. It might be handy to know a kernel version, but we can guess you have the stock one that came with Red Hat 7.3. -- Heather

Oops, one more question. When do you release the monthly editions of your web magazine? If you already covered these issues in previous editions just refering me to the edition's URL would work.

Linux Gazette is published on the first of the month at midnight (UTC-0800). Sometimes it's a few hours late (as one smart alec in Australia noticed at 12:15am on the millenium New Year in 2000 :) ), but that's the goal. -- Mike

Redhat 7.1 freezes often

09 Nov 2002 13:59:46 +0000
Rajaraman (rajachemist from yahoo.com)


My computer version is redhat 7.1.I had two xeon processors inside. (8*512GHz) I am using gnome as my window manager.

It frezees randomly (like once a week or twice or thrice) and I can not do anything other than use the power swtich to reboot it though mouse is moving but it is not doing anything on the screen. Hardaware diganstic test, I did with a CD sayhing that there is no error.

I though it would be a temperature problem,but in UK the temperature is not so hot and there are six fan inside the cpu.I put an extra fan as well, it does not help.

I have used the cpu memory and tempertaute controller in linux to monitor the temp. chnages but it reveale normal temperture. I have not got any clue and why. I consult some body but most of the people are unware about the OS and the problems.

SO it would be helpful If you could tell me sugesstions and ideas.


How can i determine IP address of client?

Thu, 07 Nov 2002 13:53:06 -0600
Dave Nissman (daven from web-wise.com)

I have a linux server and for various reasons I have processes telneting in. I need to identify the ip address of the client fron within a c program running in the telnet session

  1. so i can tell the client his ip address from application
  2. so ican limit what that node can do.

Any thoughts Thanks in advance


Wed, 6 Nov 2002 16:22:13 -0500
Antony Gordon (agordon from bkbacademy.org)


My manager wants me to setup the network so that based on userid and IP address (more so userid) you can print anywhere in the building, or just to the printer in the room. I am doing this at a school. Any ideas as to how that can be accomplished?

TIA, -Tony

[David Mandala] Really need more information in order to answer your question. What types of computers are on the network, what types of print servers, etc.

The network consists of a server (RH 7.3) with about 50 ThinkNICs (diskless workstations) booting via PXE into Linux. The printers consist of HP DeskJets in the classroom hooked to JetDirect boxes, a LJ 4100 DTN with JD built in, and a Xerox Document Centre 425.

glibc versioning

31 Oct 2002 15:27:11 +0000
mike (mike from redtux.demon.co.uk)

Does anyone know if it is possible to compile against a specific glibc version

To be clearer, I have glibc-2.2.93 installed which contains versions up to and including 2.3

What I am trying to do is set up a build system for producing RPM's that will work on RH 7.3 setups (which is 2.2.5)

Alan Turing

Wed, 27 Nov 2002 11:10:52 -0000
Shane (shane from hairyfred.freewire.co.uk)

Hi Linux gang, I am a fairly recent convert to Linux, I am currently running a Win98 (boo hiss) and Redhat 7.2 dual boot system.

I wonder if you could help me? After delving through your back issues I came to number 75 and part one of a very interesting article about Alan Turing. What happened to part 2? Regards and thankyou for the magazine. Shane Doveton. (Scarborough, England).

The author, G James Jones, has health problems and was unable to complete the series. However, the good news is his health is now better and he's started working again on the second part. I for one really appreciate his articles because they are so readable and make the history come alive, and readers have also sent in a significant amount of positive feedback too.
If anybody else would like to write some articles about the giants in computer science history, we'd be interested in publishing them. -- Mike


Great info

Sun, 24 Nov 2002 09:29:42 -0700
lucifersam (lucifersam from shaw.ca)

I realy enjoy finding new ways to code something with examples that actualy work!

This notion came to me after I found the artical on "Adding Plugin Capabilities To Your Code" By Tom Bradley. Except for a implicit cast and some missing header file includes, the code worked like a charm.

I usualy find it difficult to find code that does what it says it does and is in a simple an understandable fasion. I have been impressed. I expect (read hope) to see more of this in the rest of your issues!


etymology of "daemon"

Mon, 18 Nov 2002 09:40:52 -0800
Bob Krovatz (krovetz from nec-labs.com)

Hi Heather,

The use of daemon/demon in Operating Systems goes back to the early 1960's. I did some further checking on the web and found that it was used by the team at Project MAC around 1963 (see http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~history/Daemon.html). On that web page Fenando Corbato attributes the inspiration to Maxwell's daemons. He says "Maxwell's daemon was an imaginary agent which helped sort molecules of different speeds and worked tirelessly in the background. We fancifully began to use the word daemon to describe background processes which worked tirelessly to perform system chores.". There is also a notion of "demon" in Artificial Intelligence; that was where I heard about the etymology from Selfridge's paper from 1958. I thought that Selfridge's work inspired their use in operating systems (since his paper was so early), but I should have done some more checking. In any case the concept of "daemon" in operating systems predates BSD by some time.


Thanks for the extra effort to chase that down. It's cool to learn about these things! Forwarding to the Answer Gang so they get to see it, and so I can get it added into The Mailbag for this month.

Have a great day

virtual beer and feature request

Wed, 6 Nov 2002 07:04:17 -0800 (PST)
Raj Shekhar (lunatech3007 from yahoo.com)

Hi folks! This letter has some feature requests, some tips and lots of virtual beer.

Heather & Mike

LG# 84 was great, awesome, cool!Keep up the good work :-).


Your list of Do's and Dont's was really in the spirit of Linux. Enjoyed it and have copied it :-)


Thanks for the tip on using Konqueror for
reading info pages.


Thanks for the tips on whatis,whereis. It seems you have something against info. I find it(info) good.

Michael Conry

Your News Byte "Venezuela and Other Government News" in LG#83 helped me a lot in writing a paper on using Free Software in egovernance in India. Your selection of sites for News Byte is always wonderful.

And now a "Feature Request" I use a cyber cafe to download TWDT(HTML) for LG. Earlier you included author bio with the article itself.

Can it be possible to append the author bio to the TWDT file. Or maybe make a TWDT for the author bio itself for each issue. I really enjoyed reading the bios :-).

I have sent my tip to TAG

May the great gnu have mercy on your soul!

Raj Shekhar

We've shared the kudos around to everybody, and I restocked the TAG fridge with your v-beer. Glad you're enjoying the 'zine. -- Heather
(regarding bios in TWDT) We'll think about this. One of the purposes of the Author pages is to have the latest contact information and bio; the articles and TWDT would not be changed after publication.
Pehaps I can put the entire bio page (minus the links to previous articles, and minus the large type in the header) at the bottom of the TWDT article, with a note that this information may be old and another link to the Author page. -- Mike

Hoping... Recovered, THANKS!

Tue, 29 Oct 2002 10:02:48 -0500
Lon Diffenderfer (profitrocket from nmax.net)
An email thread occurred which was not linux, but about rescuing documents in some oddball word processing format. A few of the Gang gave it a shot. -- Heather

To all who replied, "THANK YOU!"

With the information you provided, I was able to find a local professional who had administered Xenix systems in years past and was able to use "strings" to recover the data. I still do not understand exactly what he did, but I am elated and very grateful to your group for your assistance. If this is the kind of help I can get for Linux, maybe it's time to learn it and switch.

[Jay R. Ashworth] Probably. :-)
Outstanding; glad to ehar you got your data back. Now you understand why Unix people (and especially Linux people) are fond of textual configuration and data files whenever possible...
What he did was to use the Unix strings(1) program, which sifts through a [random] file looking for strings of characters that appear to be ASCII text, extracting them from the surrounding (binary) data, and printing them on it's output. Once you do that, it's usually just a cleanup pass.
[Thomas Adam] You're welcome!!!
I'm glad that people such as Jay, and myself, were of some use. Makes a change actually!!
He he....


Hey answer guy.

Wed, 13 Nov 2002 21:28:19 -0800
Rick Moen (the LG Answer Gang)
Once upon an email, a good question came in. Too bad it had one of those automatic confidentiality notes attached. Darn. The Answer Gang (I don't recall who at the moment) sent the fellow a little note, suggesting that we can help him if he attaches counter-disclaimers, or gives us permission. We could make him anonymous, of course.
He replied with a short, brusque note saying he found the answer elsewhere. Whose exact text, of course, we can't repeat :) -- Heather
[Rick Moen] Don't worry, we know what you really meant by that rather graceless, if not arrogant, comment: You meant "Er, sorry about failing to compensate for a dumb disclaimer that defeats the purpose of your group entirely, and if deliberate would have suggested that I don't value what you do. I'll make sure I don't do it in the future."
We understand that sometimes you just don't say what you mean, and we hear the intended message, anyway.
[Robos] Hi Rick. I normally don't post on /. but I read this there quite often and somehow this also applies in your case:


;-) How about in school, teaching the kids to have some manners and we all might get along more nicely...

Z for South, A for Africa

Fri, 8 Nov 2002 10:07:51 -0800
Richard Meyer (meyerri from au1.ibm.com)
and Chris Duncombe Rae (duncombe from ring.wcape.gov.za)

[Richard Meyer] Hi Heather,

Just a minor correction on the advice you gave the laddie asking about Net2Phone. The .za is South Africa's TLD. In case you're interested (and I admit that you may not be), in the 19th century the Afrikaners used to call South Africa, Zuid Afrika in the Dutch-descended Afrikaans. So that's where SA becomes ZA, leaving SA for Saudi Arabia? (I think).

Funny, I though we did publish a correction about that in the same Mailbag item. It must have been a letter that came in after publication. -- Mike

Keep up the good work with the Gazette.

Thanks 8). Mike's right, of course: -- Heather
[Chris Duncombe Rae] First off, ZA is South Africa's country code; Zambia is ZM.
...but the corrector had more important news than that I forgot to look up the ISO codes before going to press. -- Heather
[Chris] The http://www.linux.org.za/LDP URL leads nowhere. Hunting and pecking around from http://www.linux.org.za leads to some HOWTOs and more dead links. Speaking as one who also suffers bandwidth limitations I'd prefer to be pointed directly at the Linux Documentation Project than have to scratch around a supposedly closer site fruitlessly.
Second, I've had a look at your mirror sites in South Africa and a lot of them are very stale.
Of the ones he tried two lead to mirrors that are more than 2 years stale, one may be alive but having connection problems, and others were dead. -- Heather
[Chris] Time to update your mirror site list? Or maybe everyone turned off their sites as well as their mirrors while you were upgrading yours?
I wrote to www.linux.org.za to see if they plan to reinstate their mirror. For the others, I'll check again in a couple weeks and if they're still down I'll delete the listings.
We don't get feedback when mirrors go down unless somebody tells us, and we don't have the time to check 210 mirrors manually. I have looked into writing an automatic mirror checker or finding one off the shelf, but haven't found anything satisfactory yet, anything that can deal with timeout errors on 200 sites, do retries, and report problems back to a program in a way it can take action. -- Mike
Folks, if you are running one of our listed mirrors and decide you can't handle the bandwidth anymore, take it private, or otherwise aren't going to mirror visibly... Please, take a spare moment, and let us know that you're leaving the mirror system; we'll be glad to take all the extra visitors back off your shoulders. Our blessings to you for what you could provide aren't any less when you can't any longer.
Also, new mirrors are always welcome :) -- Heather

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Published in Issue 85 of Linux Gazette, December 2002

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