LJ Archive


Readers sound off.

Captive Audience and CAD

Your magazine is my absolute favorite! Over the last few years (while in prison), I have become a radical fanatic of the Linux/Open Source Movement, and since I have a captive audience, I preach the virtues and advantages of open-source apps and the power of the Linux OS to anyone that will listen. Needless to say, I have had many spirited discussions concerning that other OS while in the shower. Regardless, I'm sending out “Fresh Meat” to the streets with the Linux message.

Seriously though, I just wanted to relay my profound respect to all the hackers and followers out there whose genius and devotion has created and sustained this computing revolution.

Finally, I am interested in Computer Aided Drafting and Design programs and the formatting standards used by manufacturers. Thus, I am wondering if there are any open-source CADD programs used by industry or projects in the works, because I don't recall reading anything regarding this subject.

PS: Because I will be released very soon (3/2/05) and I want to get involved (seriously involved) with the Linux/Open Source Movement, I hope to someday meet and become friends with all of you at the Linux Journal.

Mark Allen Laliberte
(AKA Mr Linux)

Thanks for writing. There is a GPL program called QCad that looks promising. We'll look for an article on open-source CAD for a future issue. When you get out, check the Industry Events section of our Web site for conferences and tradeshows where you can meet us in person. —Ed.

What to Call the Users?

I would like to propose a temporary moratorium on the use of the terms Linux and user-friendly in the same sentence. More and more users are adopting Linux as their OS of choice because what they consider friendly is being redefined. A friend might attempt to educate you, or expect you to raise your level of awareness to realize the full potential of your friendship. But a friend would never answer your phone without permission, give personal information to strangers that come to your door or announce to the world where you hide your spare key!

Therefore, I hereby petition the editors of this, my favorite publication, to replace the term user-friendly with abuser-friendly where appropriate. As in: “A major consideration of most home PC users when considering a REAL OS, such as Linux or, on that rare occasion, some lesser alternative, is the level of abuser-friendliness...”, or, “Many industry insiders are of the opinion that Linux will never be what you might call an abuser-friendly OS.”

R. B.

Open Up Old Articles, Please

I was quite surprised at being greeted with a subscription-only viewing of articles printed in your highly esteemed magazine. Is there some way that you can open up articles in kernel land only, which are a month or two old, for general viewing, something similar to what Linux Magazine does?


Bus Reading

I've been an LJ subscriber for three years or so, and sometimes I take a first look at the magazine on the bus while going to work. Today, a funny thing happened to me. A person came to ask if this is a Linux-dedicated journal and where could he get it. Linux has little expression in Portugal and Linux-related publications are hard to find, so I gave him the LJ subscription form that comes with the magazine, hoping that one more person will learn the advantages of using a open-source OS.


Starting Young on the Kernel Books

I thought you might get a kick out of my son Gus examining my IA64 Linux Kernel book. He also enjoys chewing on it, though that does make it a bit more difficult, and soggy, for me to use.

Dave Lloyd

Pumpkin Project

Here is my family's Tux-O-Lantern from Halloween 2004. The Tux-O-Lantern repelled bad spirits while attracting the attention of kids and Linux fans alike—like there is much of a difference between kids and Linux fans!


Luca's Birthday Issue

I know, I know, too much babies and Linux, but don't blame me, it's the best day of my life. This is my recently born son, named Luca, with an issue of Linux Journal, the day after he was born. He felt tired and decided to take a nap after browsing all the LJ material.


Take-Anywhere Desktop?

The basic objective for me is a common desktop or desktop continuity; XFCE calls it persistent desktop. I want the same desktop at home and work—and there are plenty of options for solving this problem.

The most recent suggestion is a bootable mini-distro on a thumbdrive; however, that means that the hardware has to be USB-bootable. And then there are the discussions about the lifespan of the Flash thumbdrives.


If you carry a live CD for each hardware architecture you use plus a copy of your home directory on a thumbdrive, you can work even on hardware that won't boot from USB. —Ed.

Geekcorps Needs Linux Radio Gurus

In the past, you've written good articles about Geekcorps' work (www.linuxjournal.com/article/6017) and we thank you. Now, we're in the enviable position of offering volunteering opportunities to Linux professionals again, and we're wondering if you can help us spread the word.

Geekcorps (www.geekcorps.org) is looking for a few volunteers to travel to Mali, West Africa to help teach Malian radio stations and community centers how to work with audio tools and software on Linux-based systems, connect the systems by Wi-Fi over several kilometers and maintain both the systems and connections with great ingenuity and minimal expense. These volunteers are needed immediately (January–February 2005) and would stay in Mali about four months, teaching small groups in a hands-on setting. More volunteers will be needed starting in March or April to continue the experience.

Fluent French and at least 3–5 years of professional experience with advanced audio tools and/or Wi-Fi on Linux is a must. Radio broadcasting and/or Wi-Fi antenna and mast construction experience preferred. Willingness to work with people and innovate with minimal technical equipment in a developing country also is a must. Airfare, lodging, a small living stipend and dedicated in-country staff are provided.

Wayan Vota

Missing Code?

I'd have to agree with an earlier Letter to the Editor, please put the code samples back in the magazine. What if I'm on a plane and have no connection to the Net? I'd gladly pay an extra $5 for my subscription.

Jeff Macdonald

We never took any code examples out. We merely consolidated big lists of URLs into jump pages on our Web site. The code examples are still there, and we're keeping it that way. Besides the examples that appear in print, we sometimes put a whole application on the FTP site to save you some typing. —Ed.

HP Laptop Support

I am surprised that HP will support a laptop with Linux. Every time I call in or send an e-mail for support I am told that it is not supported on any HP laptops.

Henry Gleason

Try it now. We got Linux phone support for the HP nx5000 on our first call from the second person we talked to. —Ed.

Photo of the Month: Antarctic Dawn

We were prepping for dive operations near the Bismark/Gerlache Straits at about 1:30 AM when my coworker Fred Stuart strolled out on deck carrying my November copy of LJ. I told him “Fred, only you would walk out into a beautiful Antarctic dawn reading Linux Journal.”

Brent Evers

Fred Stuart

Photo of the month gets you a one-year subscription or a one-year extension. Photos to info@linuxjournal.com.

Send Your What on a Postcard?

I was astounded when I saw what was on the cover of the Linux Journal that I received today—a form to fill out to order the archive CD and a space to fill in credit card info and it's all conveniently mailable on a POSTCARD????

Anyone dumb enough to fill out that info on a POSTCARD and send it in would, I would think, barely have the capability to read and, unfortunately, some of them would likely blame LJ if and when they found out how someone had obtained their credit card number, expiration date and even their signature.

I would advise you to mention this oversight to the marketing department or whoever is responsible for this. No offense to you or any other individuals there, but it seems like an incredibly obvious oversight for no one to have thought of this before it was sent.


We left out the blanks for your root password and bike-lock combination. —Ed.

LJ Archive