LJ Archive



Issue #70, February 2000

Readers sound off.


In the November issue of Linux Journal on page 18, Terra Soft Solutions, Inc. is presented with the URL of www.blacklablinux.com, which is not our corporate web site (http://www.terrasoftsolutions.com/), and again, one sentence later, our primary distribution Yellow Dog Linux is presented with the URL of www.yellowdog.com, which is a completely nonassociated design firm on the East Coast who then called us and complained that Yellow Dog Linux customers are now calling them asking for sales and support information. The correct URL is http://www.yellowdoglinux.com/.

—Kai Staats, Terra Soft Solutions, Inc.kstaats@terraplex.com

I apologize most sincerely for this faux pas —Editor

Merger of the Month

November 15 marks a significant day in the history of Cygnus, Red Hat, free software and open-source software. Both Cygnus and Red Hat have long admired each other's organization and innovative leadership in engineering, promoting and maintaining Linux software. We are both proud of the fact that the software developed and maintained by our companies has become fundamental to the free software and open-source communities and is becoming fundamental to the larger commercial markets as well. We are also mindful of the fact that we did not get to this point alone.

Having spent a lot of time over the past few months contemplating and discussing a possible merger, we have amicably and willingly signed a definitive agreement to merge. To say that we are excited about the possibilities is the understatement of the decade. We believe by enabling developers from both companies to work together more closely, with a common and larger purpose, we can drive the open-source revolution faster and further than would otherwise be possible.

We hope you will continue your support of both organizations as one and help us move open source even further. Please don't hesitate to e-mail us or anyone else you know at either company if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions about how we can make this merger a “Good Thing” for everybody.

—Donnie Barnes and Michael Tiemann djb@redhat.com

Ads, Ads, Ads

I have been receiving Linux Journal for almost a year now, and it has drastically changed in this short period. I am referring to the annoying ads on every page. It seems your magazine is no longer content-oriented, it is now stuff oriented. I know you're just trying to make money, but when do you have enough? This really bothers me, and I will probably not resubscribe to your magazine.

—Kyle E. Wright tachyon9@purdue.edu

You are right: we do have a lot more ads now—with the growth in Linux popularity and products, more companies are placing ads with us. We are a major advertising spot for them. However, we have not decreased our content pages. Instead, we have expanded the number of pages in each issue. We are now at 132 pages, where just a few months ago, we had only 100. (This issue, February, will have 156.) Advertising money pays for us to grow and offer you more and better content and services for your subscription —Editor

USB and Linux

I noticed an error in a letter from a Mr. Ellerby in the November LJ, which mentioned a lack of Linux USB support.

Last Thursday (October 21, 1999) evening in Austin, TX, Mr. David Nelson (davido@austin.rr.com) demonstrated to the Austin Linux Users Group (ALG) a USB HP scanner and a USB camera on an i386 Red Hat Linux machine. The camera was supplied by Jason Cohen of Photodex Corp., producer of Compupic 4.6 beta 20.x Linux. It worked! David's home page lists information on this topic. The URL is http://www.jump.net/~dnelson/.

—Donn Washburn n5xwb@inetport.com

One thing to remember is the November issue came out in mid-October before this announcement, and had been put to bed more than a month earlier —Editor

Too Much Red Hat?

I've been following your journal for about a year, and had a look at older issues from the Web. All went well until #66. News about Red Hat shares was okay, but now in #67, I started feeling that these are advertisements, rather than news. If Linux Journal is a “journal” rather than a magazine, I think these writings should be classified as advertisements. You may say that these help the advocation of Linux, but as long as you don't advocate the other companies, it will look as if you're advocating only Red Hat Linux.

I have been using Red Hat Linux for about two years, both for servers and my desktop machine, so I have no antipathy toward Red Hat. But I am not buying your journal with the dream of making money on Wall Street, and I am not interested in how profitable investing in Linux can be.

—Can Bican bican@metu.edu.tr

The upFRONT section was created so that we would have a place to put information we felt was of interest to our readers that was not necessarily technical. Being the first and only Linux IPO so far, we thought people would be interested in the numbers —Editor

Praise Indeed

“Hacking an Industry” by Doc Searls in the November issue is a very well-written and appropriate article—it is the stuff I tend to look for and reference in Linux Journal!

—Russell McOrmond russell@flora.ottawa.on.ca

May I blush? Thank you. —Doc Searls, info@linuxjournal.com

The Ties that Bind

I just wanted to correct one error in the interview with Guido van Rossum in your December issue. Guido thought the KDE/Qt Python bindings weren't being actively maintained. That's just not the case. Phil Thompson very actively develops the PyKDE/PyQt bindings—the PyQt bindings even work with the Windows Qt. It's a very slick tool kit, very easy to use, and since it's based on an object-oriented tool kit, fits very neatly into the Python way of programming.

The bindings are at http://www.river-bank.demon.co.uk/software/, and you can find a tutorial on my web site: www.xs4all.nl/~bsarempt/python/tutorial.html. There's also a mailing list at http://mats.gmd.de/mailman/listinfo/pykde/.

—Boudewijn Rempt boud@rempt.xs4all.nl

Getting Ready for the Millennium

Best article (“Millennial Musings”, Peter Salus, December 1999) I've seen so far on the subject—reset that one VCR, and it will be good for another century—that is what a lot of the answers will be; just reset whatever needs it.

There is one more thing: in January 2000, we will start building the Y2.1K problem. Really, it's because two-digit dates cover a man's lifetime.

—Dan Tillmanns tillmanns@earthlink.net

Hot Damn

I was just reading Doc Searls' “Linux for Suits” column in the December LJ. That's it; it's over; I can go home now—he is generating ESR-like sound bites better than mine. In particular:

Freedom is an efficiency that drives value.

That's so good, it gives me goosebumps. I wish I'd thought of it first.

—Eric S. Raymond esr@thyrsus.com


Thanks so much for the great interview with Guido van Rossum (Dec. '99) which has sparked my interest in Python.

Not only was the article entertaining, but he and writer Phil Hughes confirmed my own first impressions of that other language, Perl: “All the speed of BASIC combined with the readability of FORTH.”

A quick visit to the newsgroup comp.lang.python this morning also proved interesting: there's an attitude of helpfulness there that is a real breath of fresh air after all the smoke and flame in the *perl groups.

I hope LJ will continue to publish articles featuring a wide variety of programming languages. No single language is right for everyone, so when it comes to choosing one, a few examples from actual users with real applications can be far more valuable than any number of man pages written by ace programmers who list their second language as “human”.

—Irv Mullins irv@ellijay.com

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