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Semi-geriatric Unix Hacker

I have found my distribution of choice, which happens to be Gentoo, so I am not very interested in trying out others, but you requested reader input on the matter so, expecting changes, I'll keep the DVD subscription for the immediate future.

What I'd like to say is that you should not forget that the "V" in DVD stands for "versatile." There are many other materials that can be distributed on a DVD. For example films, TV programs, and indeed plain old audio. As a start, I think a valuable item might be to offer the film Revolution OS.

As a Gentoo user who has the good fortune to have a somewhat broader band Internet connection than a POTS modem, I have no difficulty keeping my software up to date. However there are may people who don't have broadband connections. It would be a wonderful service if you could possibly make DVDs that are full collections of Open Source and Free Software source files. This would also give newcomers to the art of computer programming a corpus of work from which to learn the art.

Convenient sources of files might include:

This would be of real use and benefit to your community of readers.

Finally a comment on the layout of the magazine pages. While placing images or high saturation colored backgrounds underneath the text on a page might well be fine for hawk-eyed puppies, it is far from fine for semi-geriatric Unix hackers like me who want to keep up with the state of the art. The worst was the beginning page (p52) of the article about the GmailFS in Linux Magazine Issue 55 / June. All that texture under the type doesn't exactly make for clarity.

I know it looks nice, and it would be fine for a coffee table ornament, but your magazine is supposed to be read rather than be admired as an art work. Please, I beg of you, stop doing it, because it really does make those pages difficult to read. A small blemish on your otherwise fine and enjoyable magazine.

Christopher Sawtell, by email


Thank you for your compliments and for your suggestions! We think your list of software would make a good compilation - watch out for a DVD compilation along these lines in the future. In fact, we've had some theme-based DVDs in the past: Issue #40 DVD "Security Tools," Issue #38 DVD "501 Linux Games"). However, reader surveys and sales figures indicate that such "themed" collections are less popular with our readers than big distros such as Mandriva, Suse, and Fedora.

Sorry for the difficulties you had reading the GMailFS article. Actually, I don't see anyone in the Linux Magazine headquarters who qualifies as a hawk-eyed puppy, so it must be our affection for coffee table ornaments! The GMailFS opening page was certainly a bit over the top - we promise not to do it again. Watch for better readability in the future.

Charly's mail help

I am a subscriber, and I am trying to get the scripts referenced in June 2005 (#55) "Charly's Column: Mail Help" to work. I got mailgraph to work just fine, but the reference for queuegraph (http://www.stahl.bau.tu-bs.de/~hildeb/postfix/queuegraph) has a tar file which does not contain the cgi script. This is the part that does the graphing of the collected data.

Is there some way that I could get a good copy of this?

Dave Basener, by email


If you unpack the tar.gz in, say, /usr/local, a subdirectory /usr/local/queuegraph is created. Unfortunately, not all of the files are unpacked into this directory. Some files are unpacked into the parent directory. Check the parent directory for the missing cgi scripts.

Please send your comments and suggestions to letters@linux-magazine.com