LJ Archive



Issue #93, January 2002

Readers sound off.

The November 2001 issue of LJ arrived in the mail yesterday, and I was surprised to see on page 56 a photo of a bicycle! But after thinking about it, I thought, if any bicycle is appropriate for a Linux magazine, the Bike Friday is it. It is a quality product, the support is superlative, and it can do so many things that outsiders don't expect. And yes, I'm talking about the bicycle—and Linux. See, a perfect match! Incidentally, one of those things that the Bike Friday bicycles can do is fold. It's not mentioned in the article, but one of their biggest attractions is transporting them in airline-sized suitcases, which then can be towed behind the bicycle as a trailer.

—Larry Varney

Palm Comments

I just received your November 2001 issue, and I'm glad to see an article covering the topic of using a Palm device to talk to one's Linux box. This is a useful project that helps to prove that Linux is more than ready for the desktop, yet has not gotten the attention it deserves.

However, there are some problems with Coppieters' and Velghe's otherwise useful article. First was their use of pilot-link 0.9.3, which is an old release, and referring users to the old FTP site at Ryerson University. Pilot-link is currently at release level 0.9.5, and the source code for this can be found at www.pilot-link.org. I would also like to take the time to single out David A. Desrosier, who picked up this project two years ago and has kept it alive. Currently he is helping to add support for USB to pilot-link for the next release. And should a reader currently need to use USB to talk to her/his Palm device, there is ColdSync, which can be found at www.ooblick.com/software/coldsync.

I invite your readers who are interested in current developments with Linux and PDAs using the Palm OS to subscribe to the pilot-unix mailing list at pilot-unix@hcirisc.cs.birmington.edu. Besides working on USB support, work has begun to enable the protocol that underlies the PalmPix graphics viewer so that users can load images from their Linux box and view them on their Palm device.

—Geoffrey Burling

Some Ultimate Advice

In your article “The Ultimate Linux Box 2001: How to Design Your Dream Machine” (unabridged web version, available at /article/5563), you wrote:

The SB Live! seemed to work with the stock emu10k1.o sound module in Red Hat 7.1, but as it turns out it can't run the earphone-out jack on the LiveDrive.

Actually, it can—it just isn't set up to do so by default. I own one of these cards, a good pair of headphones, and a cheap pair of speakers, so I had reason to look into this. Here's how I got it working. First, download the drivers from opensource.creative.com:

cvs -d ':pserver:cvsguest@opensource.creative.com:/usr/local/cvsroot' login
[use the password 'cvsguest']
cvs -d ':pserver:cvsguest@opensource.creative.com:/usr/local/cvsroot' co emu10k1
Everything there is under the GPL and changes here get folded into the kernel tree, so there's no real point using this driver over the kernel one. However, there are some utilities included that let you (among other things) enable different inputs/outputs. So compile and install their emu10k1.o if you want, but there's no need to. What we're after is make tools. This gives you all sorts of tools for doing fancy things with the card, most of which I don't understand. The only one you need to get the headphones working is emu-dspmgr, located in the utils/mixer directory. With it, you can pipe your choice of inputs to your choice of outputs, e.g.:
emu-dspmgr -a'Pcm L:Phones L' emu-dspmgr
-a'Pcm R:Phones R' emu-dspmgr
-a'CD-Spdif L:Phones L'
-a'CD-Spdif R:Phones R'
--Andrew Bishop

Monarch Impostor?

Regarding your latest issue with the front cover depicting the “Ultimate Linux Box”, a computer reseller called Monarch Computer at www.monarchcomputer.com is claiming that their product is this box. They've even gone so far as to modify an image of the LJ cover to put their own company's name on the image; the image on their web site reads “Linux Journal Ultimate Linux Box Monarch Computer Systems”. According to the article, it was another hardware vendor (Los Alamos Computers) that helped put the effort into designing and building this system. So if anybody should get credit by way of business, it should be those guys. This seems very sleazy.

—Mark Travis

Mark, if you look carefully at the article, you will see that there were two boxes built—one by Los Alamos for Eric Raymond and another by Monarch for LJ Technical Editor Don Marti. It actually was Monarch's box that appeared on the cover.


No Word Yet

I much appreciated the article by Jan Schaumann, “More than Words” in the November 2001 issue. Not only did I learn some new ways to deal with .doc files, but I was pleased to see him plug TeX and LaTeX. Word processors were invented for those who want to aid and abet in their own victimization, and the users of word processors deserve all the problems and version incompatibilities they experience.

I've been a TeX and LaTeX user since 1985, and everything I've written since then still runs through typesetting with the same results. Using a simple text editor, one can generate PostScript files, Portable Document Format files and HTML files—that is, one source document can be a printable manual, a downloadable manual and a web presentation. We even use LaTeX to generate e-commerce click-to-buy pages, the generation of which is easily automated. The make utility automates generation of all of the mentioned outputs with dependency checking. Multiple authors can take part in an “expression” and have it present a consistent and always up-to-date content. Examples of our usage can be found at www.amplepower.com and www.pwrtap.com. Word processors? No thanks, I have work to do.

—David Smead

Erratum: “2001 Readers' Choice Awards”

(LJ, November 2001)

The article read:

Favorite Desktop Environment

1. KDE 2. GNOME 3. Window Maker

This was one of the most popular categories, and KDE is the clear winner, receiving 40% of all votes. GNOME came in second with 24.5%, and the favorite write-in was xfcr. And special mention, of course, for the command line.

The “favorite write-in” mentioned above should be spelled XFce and not xfcr.

—Chuck Meadwww.xfce.org

LJ Archive