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The Mailbag

HELP WANTED : Article Ideas

Send tech-support questions, Tips, answers and article ideas to The Answer Gang <tag@lists.linuxgazette.net>. Other mail (including questions or comments about the Gazette itself) should go to <gazette@linuxgazette.net>. All material sent to either of these addresses will be considered for publication in the next issue. Please send answers to the original querent too, so that s/he can get the answer without waiting for the next issue.

Unanswered questions might appear here. Questions with answers--or answers only--appear in The Answer Gang, 2-Cent Tips, or here, depending on their content. There is no guarantee that questions will ever be answered, especially if not related to Linux.

Before asking a question, please check the Linux Gazette FAQ to see if it has been answered there.

LWN links

Thu, 11 Oct 2001 12:00:51 -0700
Mike Orr (LG Editor)

Linux Weekly News needs fresh sponsorship soon. See our News Bytes for details (there's a mailing list).

Your Editor would be greatly saddened to see LWN disappear. -Mike

Many of the Gang use it; Jim and I would sorely miss it... We do have a 2c Tip this month pointing at LWN, too. - Heather

Linux support call handling

Wed, 03 Oct 2001 14:55:14 -0400
(darlenefield from mindspring.com)


I have been searching through the Linux Gazette website for anyting on the industry average of call handling times for Linux support. So far I have not found anything.

I was wondering if you had done an article or come across this. I was wondering if there were any industry documents that measured the average time it would take a customer to call in for support till the time that their problem was resolved.

Any information that you may have would be very helpful.

Thanks, Darlene

I don't think we've ever covered that topic. -- Mike
If anyone has enough information that isn't under some sort of NDA, to write such an article, it'd be interesting to see. Unfortunately statistics about how long an Answer Gang member takes to answer a querent are a bit fuzzy; we don't get docked for answering late, nor promise we'll answer at all; some "answers" are really requests for more data and touched with tidbits in the hopes it will help somehow -- and we may or may not ever learn if our reader got the answer they needed. (Well, that last part's no different from phone support, anyway.) -- Heather

BTW.. I tried sending this message to tag@lists.linuxgazette.net (documented on your website) and my mail was returned.

That address was changed because of the large number of off-topic questions we received. The address was posted widely on web pages with no explanation that it was for Linux questions or that querents are supposed to do their own research first. The current address is linux-questions-only at ssc.com. Where did you see tag@lists.linuxgazette.net documented? We changed the home page and the current issue, although we haven't changed the back issues. -- Mike

...but our readers are helpful souls. Thanks, Darlene! ...

I found tag@lists.linuxgazette.net refrenced twice on the FAQ page under # 4 Guidelines for answering questions.

OK, thanks. We used to have a mailback running after we turned the tag address off. Then the mailback got into a mail loop with one address and we turned it off, but didn't think about updating the FAQ. -- Mike

DSL Drivers

Fri, 5 Oct 2001 17:37:48 -0400
Douglas M (douglas from diocorner.com)

Hello eveyone at the gazette I've been all over the net trying to find out the answer about problem im having I have an Efficient Networks 4060 USB Modem . I want to run Mandrake 8.1 but dont know if there any drivers or if they even exist.maybe you guys can help me with any info

Lots of people have been caught with DSL USB modems without Linux drivers. So there may be a driver, but it's not too likely. Your best bet may be to return it for an external modem that connects to an Ethernet card. These are much more Linux-friendly.
TAG members, are there any USB and/or internal DSL modems that do have Linux drivers? -- Mike
Apparently not enough of TAG use USB for serial gadgetry, so perhaps you can help us out, dear readers! -- Heather

university engineering team

Thu, 11 Oct 2001 09:52:11 -0700
Yogesh Raut (yogesh.raut from deeproot.co.in)
This request originally arrived as a letter to "our HR department." We advised them we aren't a company. They hope that our readership at large will have a good idea or two about something specific they can contribute to.
By the way, before you start groaning about Visual Basic not being Linux, check out GNOME Basic at http://www.gnome.org/gb ... -- Heather

Thank you sir, as per your directions we are sending you same letter addressed to linux users . so please publish it in your mailbag. Also if you are having mail ids of some more organisations having projects related to drivers, we request you to send them to us, so that we can cntact them also.

We don't have a list of projects related to drivers. But there are thousands of them.
Answer Gang, is there a list somewhere of Linux driver projects these people can contribute to, or nonexistent drivers that need to be written? -- Mike

To, Linux Users,

Subject: about getting sponsorship (technical guidance)

Respected sir,

We are students from 'College of Engineering, Pandharpur'(India),studing in class B.E.Computer Science & Engineering.As we are entering into last year of our curriculum, we are looking for Challenging and innovative projects.Our project group is consisting of enthusiastic and motivated students with good academic record,listed below

  1. Mr. Yogesh Raut
  2. Mr. Ajinkya Chavan
  3. Ms. Sujata Silam
  4. Ms. Varsha Sartape
  5. Mr. Sachin Joshi

Sir, all of us have participated in different Paper Presentation and

software contests. We have completed following projects-

  1. 'Design,Analysis,Simulation:Slider Crank Mechanism And Inversions'- got 'FIRST PRIZE' at 'TECHNOGLIMPSE 2001' a state level software project contest.Also presented at 'DIPEX 2001' a state level project exhibition. written in C++.
  2. 'OTHELLO'- a computer game presented at 'Insearch 2000', state level software contest. Written in C language,involves 'artificial intelligence'.
  3. A 'fighter game' which can be simultaneously played on two computers by two different users and uses it's own protocol for networking. Written in C++.
  4. A multimedia application created in Visual Basic.
  5. A bankig software project.
  6. Some system software projects- assemblers, editors, lexical analyzers & parsers. Some graphical s/w as computer games, small images processing s/w.

We have also participated in paper presentation Contests and presented following papers

  1. 'Web Technology'- presented at 'Technomillenium 2000'
  2. 'Data mining and Data-warehousing'- at 'Threshold 2001'
  3. 'Network Security' presented at National Level
  4. 'E-commerce' presented at Shree Vision 2001 a National level Paper Presentation contest.

As we the Computer Engineering students we are interested in system level projects like

  • Device Drivers
  • Operating system internals

As Linux is emerging as new leading Operating System of this era, we are mostly interested in 'Device Driver' projects in Linux (or Unix).We are looking for any such project which we are eager to do.

Sir, if you can sponsor us for any such project we will be grateful to you. If you are not having any project, you can just sponsor project decided by us. We don't expect any financial help from you, but just technical support. We assure you that if you give us a single chance, we shall work with our full strength and complete it within given period of time with quality assurance.

We are eagerly waiting for your positive response. If you are affirmative to our request, please tell us about further procedure to complete remaining formalities. We are ready to personally come to your Company for further procedure.

our E-mail address is

our postal address is:

Mr. Sachin Suresh Joshi,
College of Engineering
Gopalpur-Ranjani Road,
Dist- Solapur.
State- Maharashtra.
Pin - 413304

Your's faithfully,

sachin S. Joshi
[B.E. C.S.E. College of Engg. pandharpur]

Deleting items in KDE 2.1.1 "Run Command"

Thu, 27 Sep 2001 23:50:31 -0400
Andre Dubuc (aajdubuc from webhart.net)

The number of items listed in KDE's 2.1.1 "Run Command" is getting ridiculous.

I'd like to edit this list. I've tried "Clear" but it merely clears the item in the box, but retains the list. I've also tried editing "History= . . ." in /home/username/.kde(2)/share/config/kdesktoprc file. Unfortunately, the list remains intact whether I restart kde or not.

Will this list eventually seize control of my hd? :^gt;

TIA, Andre

GUI and CMOS clock (2 Questions)

Sun, 28 Oct 2001 16:43:11 -0000
James Rutter (james.rutter from ntlworld.com)

I am new to Linux and am desperate to solve 2 problems. I run a new Evesham PC with a 1.4GHz Athlon chip, NVIDIA GeForce 2MX graphics card with a Taxan crystal vision 680 TCO99-S monitor.

When I boot my SuSE 7.1 installation from the floppy, the boot process hangs at 'setting up CMOS clock'. I have to hit the restet button, boot Windows, shut down Windows and restart Linux. I other words, I cannot get Linux to boot sucessfully twice in a row. I have to boot WIndows in between.

My second problem is with XFree86 ver4.0.2. The windowing system seems to have a mind of its own. Usually when I arrive at the graphical login, the scree is offset about 2 inches to the right. If I go into Sax2 to configure using Xfine the screen display will 'snap' into place when I stick with the 600x800 setting. When I come out of Sax2 sometimes the setting will be saved. Sometimes the virtual desktop space is larger that the actual resolution setting. If I try to configure for 1024x768, this does not work at all. On the limited occasion I have got an 800x600 screen set up successfully, if I shut down and reboot, the same problem reappears even thought I have apparantly saved the settings.


James Rutter


Fri, 19 Oct 2001 22:40:26 +0200
Rams Grzegorz (grzegram from priv5.onet.pl)

I'm a teacher of the computer study and I take care of the school laboratory in the Special Secondery School. The real name of my school is - Szkoła Zawodowa Specjalna nr 4 w Nowym Sączu.

My pupils are different than the healthy children so I have to do everything what is the best for them. Because for some years I have been using Linux (Rh 5.0) in my private computer I thought about my pupils. So lately I have started to learn them the Linux system at school. Now we've got only Linux in our laboratory.

At the moment I'm looking for some posters or calendars or advertisements or others informations about Linux. I want put them on the walls in my classroom. I hope that my pupils'll be more interested in Linux this way. So if you can help me please write how can I get these things which I wrote before or how can I buy them. Thanks a lot for helping me.

Rams Grzegorz
33-300 Nowy Sacz
ul.Kunegundy 68
[Mike Martin] Off the top of my head Publicity departments of the following Linux cos

Red Hat
Caldera? (sorry - a bit of bias)
and Linux friendly cos

IBM (with their linux promo budget they must have posters to give away)
and of course it would be worth checkong on debian and linux.com
[Frank] Hi there!
I don't have any posters right now, but I've learned that most companies are very willing to help with material like that, especially if they feel they might gain future customers that way.
I had some very good experiences with SuSE, which sent me tons of materials when I explained that I was active in some user groups and was always out of folders. They still send me a professional version of every new distibution for free, even though I mostly use Mandrake now.
Given that you're in Europe, just like me, SuSE might be your best choice for this anyhow - although Red Hat, for instance, might like a chance to get a bigger market too G
Just check company's websites for a contact e-mail (I happen to know the SuSE-addy: suse@suse.de).
Hope this helps you!
We can send you the covers from several Linux Journal magazines over the past year. Would you like that?
You can preview the images at http://noframes.linuxjournal.com/lj-issues/mags.html , and click on the links for issues 76-91, and tell us which covers you'd like. Also, is your mailing address correct?
We are also looking for other organizations who may have other posters.
There is also something called the Linux Image Montage Project. I don't have the URL offhand, but they are collecting linux-related images and putting them together into a huge penguin image. -- Mike
Penguin Computing has some very amusing posters.
And there's always some potential to find cool things at ThinkGeek.com -- Heather

How to configure AutoFS to automount NFS exported volumes

Fri, 12 Oct 2001 14:04:37 -0600
Aaron Bloomfield (abloom from novell.com)

I need to set up a RH Linux 7.1 system to automatically mount exported NFS filesystems on the fly. I realize the security implications inherint in such a request, but require the functionality despite the dangers right now. On my Unix boxes I could simply add a line in the auto_master file "/net -hosts -soft,noac" and set a couple of flags in the nfsconf file (AUTOFS=3D1, NFS_CLIENT=3D1, NFS_SERVER=3D1) and everything works fine. I've tried this on the Linux box without success. Is there something I'm missing?

Thanks in advance, Aaron

Net bios code

Fri, 28 Sep 2001 22:50:14 +0530
karunakar Reddy BV (bvkreddy from eIQnetworks.com)

Hai ,

Can you send the netbios code for interction b/n linux and windows

systems .Through this code I want windows system properties(like user name, IP,memory like) display on linux system.

waiting for reply.

Karunakar Reddy B.V

A little hard to read, but I think he's asking a different question than Samba answers. Does anyone know how to ask a linux server about the peers out there which are connected to its shares? If he knew an application that does this, then he could read its source...
Note well, that all MSwin style shares involving a Linux box are going to be over TCP/IP, not NETBIOS. Even Microsoft doesn't recommend NETBIOS anymore - it's a noisy protocol, so it scales horribly. -- Heather

does anyone know how one can set quotas in linux for a directory rather than home

Tue, 23 Oct 2001 13:06:36 +0630
FRANCO FERNANDES (franco from lauren.co.in)
gazette (gazette@linuxgazette.net, Joel@HammersHome.com, jerry@samba.org,)

Hi! Does anyone know how we can set quota to some directory for eg /info/software to limit say 50mb.I went through the man pages but was unsuccessfull in setting the same.

Pls help

Thanks Franco.F

Quotas are usually by userid, aren't they? The only thing that I can think of is creating a filesystem image of ext2 type, and loopback mounting it at that directory. But using quotas effectively would make a great article... especially if you have some real world examples that get solved. Making enterprise Linux a little more fun? :D -- Heather


suggestion for "A need for Documentation" article

Mon, 15 Oct 2001 11:09:25 +0200
Eran Levy (eranle from netvision.net.il)

Dear LinuxGazette,

I have been reading your article "A need for Documentation". Very interesting article.

I have made a Linux documentation website project. Why I hear people say we need documentation, there no lots of good documents, etc.? Im trying to advertise my Linux documentation project for lots of time, but no one reply me. I think that I made a really good work in this documentation website. Im trying to tell websites like you, LinuxGazette, to get my documents and give them to the Linux community, but I get no reply from that sites. Maybe the need of documents isnt so urgent.

Please, check my website. I think there are good guides for variety of Linux subjects. I think they can help the Linux community in the search for good documentation in the net. I will really appreciate your interest in my project. Thank you very much.

-- Best Regards, Eran Levy.

"This is Linux country. If you listen carefully, you can hear Windows reboot..."

WebSite: http://levy.dyn.dhs.org

I think that you and Matthias [the article's author] are talking about two different things, although you both support the cause of documentation. You are trying to provide a documentation portal for various types of Linux questions. Matthias is trying to get program developers to document their own projects better. If they do that, it will mean more content to put on your site. -- Mike

Hi Mike, I really appreciate your reply for my E-mail. All the websites that I sent E-mail to them about my Linux project website didnt reply me. I hope that all the Linux sites will read the E-mails as you read. Keep up with your excellent work! I hope for you and for Linux Gazette the best.

Whiptail vs Dialog

Wed, 17 Oct 2001 00:44:48 -0500
Kent West (westk from westek.acu.edu)

In Issue 69 of the LinuxGazette (http://linuxgazette.net/issue69/issue69.html) Heather Stern recommends using Dialog over Whiptail, implying that Whiptail is brain-damaged. Having just started to play with Whiptail (and having never done much scripting, and none with Dialog), I was just wondering if she might expound on this a bit more. I did a google search and a dogpile search for "whiptail versus dialog", and this article was about the only relevant hit I found, so as of now Heather's recommendation is all I have to go on.



Hi Kent!
There are at this point a large handful of variants which branched off from Dialog 0.60 or so. The one in the Debian version (0.9a) is actively maintained; it had at some time been in the hands of a different linux flavor, which I wouldn't know except it was mentioned in the examples. I consider whiptail wimpy because its features are not nearly as complete. With dialog, I can actually do some very cool things with the --and-widget feature, and the progress-bar gadget can be convinced to work. Essentially I see whiptail as having made a pot shot at being dialog-compatible, but working from an old revision, and at the time I wrote that article, I was fuming about it because it was being strange about screen sizing. my annoyance was made greater by the fact I couldn't get rid of the stupid package since the debian base expected it for something, even though I had dialog installed. I think that's fixed, these days. Anyway, there's a decent amount of history at: http://www.AdvancedResearch.org/dialog -- Heather

Linux in Africa

Mon, 22 Oct 2001 14:17:05 +0300 (EAT)
gatheru (gatheru from treasury.go.ke)

I saw about the above article on linux gazette and I feel that it is worthy. Though I'am not experienced in projects of that kind, I'am sure I can help in the training. Please if you have any comments or suggestions e-mail me.

Kamau Gatheru

Good luck, Kamau. Let us know if you find anything.

The article Kamau is referring to is a Mailbag letter at


See also GLUE (Groups of Linux Users Everywhere) at http://www.linuxjournal.com/glue . -- Mike

Sklyarov case mischaracterized

Wed, 17 Oct 2001 15:54:04 -0700
Bryan Henderson (bryanh from giraffe-data.com )

There is a bit of common misinformation about the Dmitry Sklyarov DMCA case in the October News Bytes.

It says, "Companies are using [DMCA] to ... jail a foreign programmer for writing (in his home country) a program that is legal in his home country."

Sklyarov was arrested on suspicion of distributing that program in the United States, not for writing it.

The most strenuous supporters of DMCA do not claim it should outlaw writing of software when done outside the US.

-- Bryan Henderson

[Mike] According to the EFF FAQ at http://www.eff.org/IP/DMCA/US_v_Sklyarov/us_v_sklyarov_faq.html#ProsecutionQuestions the charges are both that he "trafficked" in the device and "aided and abetted" his company in doing so. We don't know how the prosecutor will word his case, but he could claim that writing code is "aiding and abetting".

He could. But since he hasn't yet, it's really putting words in his mouth to say that Sklyarov was arrested for writing a program. -Bryan

[Mike] No more misleading than to say, as you did, "Sklyarov was arrested on suspicion of distributing that program in the United States." When did he distribute it?

Better to say he was arrested for trafficking. But even if he argues that writing the program alone was aiding and abetting its importation into the US, it's misleading to say he was jailed for writing a program. That's like saying that a person who shot someone to death was jailed for discharging a firearm.

[Mike] So we agree that he was not arrested for selling/soliciting/giving away the program during this trip. So when did he distribute it? The US jurisdictional claim rests on the web site, so they would have to show he was somehow involved with it, or that by his association with the company he was indirectly involved. His only role seems to be writing the program. Thus, why I say he was arrested "for" writing it. I just don't like the overemphasis on distribution/trafficking in some accounts, because it suggests Dmitry had more involvement in that end of things than we have reason to believe.
Dmitry was in the US to give a talk at a conference, not to sell a program.

Right. The other common misconception of the case is that Sklyarov was arrested for something he did on his trip to the US. Again, the authorities have made no such claim.

[Heather] I can read this two different ways. Either you are being sarcastic when you say "Right" and you are declaring the statement that he was here to speak at a conference, to be a misconception... which if so, has at least some fallacy to it, as he was definitely here to present at a conference.
Or, you are agreeing that he was arrested for something he didn't do in the US, which means that your disagreement with our point of view is merely that you believe they had the right (perhaps the duty) to snap him up like that, and we don't.
By the way the analogy would be closer to saying that the designer of a certain variety of bullet shells was being held on charges that bullets are used to murder people, never minding that they are also used to hunt dangerous vermin and for food gathering in rural areas, including the rural areas of other countries where one really does have to hunt for food, and in areas where gun-toting is legally mandated.
Dmitry didn't "murder" anyone's eBook. (Hmm, he might have dissected several, but it is likely provable that he had Rights to the copies in question.) It's still as illegal as ever to clone a readable book, e- or otherwise, without having been granted the right-to-copy. It's legal to own hammers but not to smash unconsenting people's windows with them. I recommend that you read the Copyright act in better detail: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17 There are a number of rights explicitly granted to libraries, which may not be implementable if the DMCA is allowed its broadest scope. That, I'd say, is a bug.
[Mike] The DMCA's supporters would like to see it applied worldwide in any way they can. This can be by claiming US jurisdiction or by getting it written into international treaties and other countries' laws. California has a "long-arm" law under which it claims jurisdiction for any web site which is accessible to a Californian, whether or not the site is located in California. This concept will continue to be pushed and pushed.
Granted, the Department of Justice did not go that far in the Sklyarov case. It merely claimed that because ElcomSoft had a web site in the US selling the product, that was enough for US jurisdiction. Of course ElcomSoft had already shut down the site voluntarily at Adobe's "request" before this brou-ha-ha happened, and there's no allegation that Dmitry was personally involved in that site or that he is an officer or marketing directory for ElcomSoft rather than just a programmer.
So, the DMCA supporters may reluctantly accept that it cannot be applied outside the US, but that doesn't make them stop trying to extend its reach.

I haven't seen this. Statements I've seen by supporters indicate they want it applied the same way a country's laws traditionally are applied vis a vis other countries. I don't see anything new or anything unique to the US. But maybe I haven't been reading radical enough web pages.

Sure, Adobe would like there to be an international law applying to every human being. But that wish is a long way from an actual present claim against Sklyarov, and such a claim reported in LG is the basis of my original letter.

[Heather] I don't know whether to apply quite that level of slippery slope ... a law to every human being ... to Adobe themselves. But I don't feel any qualms about applying it to the people who wrote and voted for the DMCA itself. I believe that what the DMCA supporters want is to be able to sell and restrict every piece of data that might flow past them, until they are more wealthy than the Ferengi clan who has the exclusive concession on Q-tips(tm) cotton swabs.
The present claim may be unfounded; I personally believe it to be worse than that since I think Adobe is biting the hand that would feed them Russian customers. But I think the precedent that speakers can be picked up and singled out for their corporate entities' infractions, to be a quite terrifying one. You see, I don't honestly believe that someone has a plane-bomb with my photograph taped to its nose, or that I am any more likely to be in a building that gets toasted by terrorism, than I am to merely get run over by a car when walking to the supermarket, or struck by lightning the next time I go hiking, or win the local Lotto. But I do expect to speak at events, and someday for those events to be in other countries, who may have even weirder laws, be more abitrary about making them, or have worse treatment of accused people. If I end up in a situation where such a country has half a case, I no longer expect the US to be able to protect me much ... because they've already burned us in that regard. Alan Cox won't be at ALS -- because he's refusing to travel here while this sort of nonsense is considered or even claimed to be the law of our land. This has been called the "chilling effect" in literature that follows censorship cases.
I'm not a lawyer, I'm a frightened human being, and I wrote my own opinion. If you don't like it, tough. It's my free speech and our free press... and I'd very much like to keep it that way. If that means speaking up for the freedom to speak as well as the freedom to say particular things - I'll do it.

Actually, ElcomSoft hired a company located in the US to collect the money. I think the web site in question was that company's. However, the company also has offices, employees, etc. on US soil. That's not insignificant.

[Heather] It makes it even worse. If EIcomSoft's US partner is the offender, it's their top brass that should be standing in court. If EIcomSoft themselves are the offenders, it's their export agents who should be standing there -- but in no case the programmer, because the code's legal and even REQUIRED elsewhere, and reverse engineering itself, by fair means but not foul, is (for the moment at least) legal here.
There's also precedent that "Code is Speech, and to be protected as such." As for whether sanity will prevail, only time will tell.
[Mike] I guess we're just going around in circles now, and the thing to do is wait until the case is presented and see what the lawyers say then...

What we're really down to is the issue of what Sklyarov did vs what he is accused of. I don't even pretend to know the detailed facts of the case, so I won't argue whether he distributed, trafficked, aided, or abetted. I don't know. And you know what? The FBI and US attorney don't either. It takes a trial to answer questions like that.

I just think when one says "was jailed for..." in this pre-sentence context, one is talking about what the person's accused of, not what he did. I don't think Sklyarov is accused of writing a program. But I think there are people, including LG readers, who believe that the FBI would also arrest a person who wrote a copyright-busting program even if it never entered the US. And that isn't true.

[Heather] 'Tis a fact he wrote a program. 'Tis unknown if it entered here; or if it did, that it did anything they can claim as directly damaging; but probable that it was published in the proceedings of his conference. I think that if he is accused of something they manage to make stick, it will be quite a slippery slope, the top point being, he wrote the program, because they know he won't wriggle out of that one. As for what the FBI would or would not do, I don't think am ad hominem argument on their behalf is any more appropriate here than "I have kids and a wife, can I go home now?" would be a good defense for Dmitry in court, and I don't believe that you know what the FBI would or would not do, anyway. I do believe that you trust them with your rights, further than I trust them with mine.
The damage has already been done. I think it will take some very brave judges.


PDA user request

Sun, 30 Sep 2001 09:05:01 -0700
Pat Parson (rndgui57 from directvinternet.com)


I know this my be a little much, but seeing as how palmtops are so abundant these days. I was thinking how great it would be ig Linux Gazzette newest issue was available at the same web page monthly so it could be synched as as Avantgo (www.avantgo.com) channel.

There is a link http://www.linuxgazette.net/current that points to the current issue. This was originally requested by somebody with a palmtop, because he said it made it easier to download the latest issue to his palmtop. Does this do what you want?
You can also go to http://MY.FAVORITE.LG.MIRROR.com/current and get the same thing. -- Mike

Yes, thank you.

I don't want to favor one brand of palmtops or one commercial channel site over another. (Is Avantgo commercial?) -- Mike

Also, not trying to be bothersome but if everything but the links to the articles was removed it would better. But if that is too much could you please at least remove this section from the bottom:

TWDT 1 (gzipped text file)
TWDT 2 (HTML file)

are files containing the entire issue: one in text format, one in HTML. They are provided strictly as a way to save the contents as one file for later printing in the format of your choice; there is no guarantee of working links in the HTML version. It would remove about 1Mb from the size or my download when I download the page everything 1 link deep (I only have 16 Mb RAM) also if you were to do that it would make a good Avantgo channel if they will carry it and possibly get some other readers. Thanks.

We get many requests from readers to offer LG in different formats, make the TWDT files better, remove the TWDT files, etc. We can't please everybody. What we have is a compromise that has evolved over the years. I'm not happy with the TWDT files either--it means any time I make a correction I have to change the same thing in three files--but there is so much reader demand for them that we cannot drop them.
Perhaps you can arrange with a mirror to offer a customized version of LG optimized for palmtop reading. The mirror could make a script that downloads the files and removes the TWDT versions, or replaces them with small files that explain that the larger files are available only on normal mirrors. -- Mike

Some of the mirrors seem not to be functioning.

The mirrors page is way out of date. We're moving the entries into a database to make updating easier ... but the project isn't done quite yet. [Update 31-Oct-2001: But it is done now. See the next message.] -- Mike

I just thought it would be nice to be able to keep up a little better (information overload you know).

Thanks for all your suggestions. When readers show enough interest in the Gazette to suggest improvements, it makes us feel like our work is worthwhile. -- Mike

Yes I forgot avantgo is commercial. It is free to use personally, but they charge for providing content (I think). They used to allow users to share custom channels but not currently. Plus they support mainly WindowsCE.

Would you like to be our palmtop researcher? We could put a section on the Mirrors page about LG resources for PDA users. That way it wouldn't matter if they were commercial, because the Mirrors page is supposed to list everything. What we'd need would be solutions for a variety of palmtops.
Are there any articles you might like to write about Linux and palmtops? Or any 2-Cent Tips you can provide on reading LG on your palmtop?
What exactly are these "channels"? Are they just a set of links to the articles in the current issue?
LG has an RSS file now. http://www.linuxgazette.net/lg.rss. This was originally created at Linux Focus' request so we can share current article links. (We put LF's links in News Bytes.) Any site may parse this file and use it to generate links to the current LG articles on their web page. -- Mike

Are there any linux apps that keep you up to date on html content (ie channel subscriptions).

There are programs that moniter a list of webpages and let you know whether any have changed. I haven't used any of them. Look in your distribution. You can also write a program in Python to do this, using the urllib module. -- Mike
[Faber] You mean like plucker (http://plkr.org) ?
I think you'll want to take a look at Sitescooper (http://www.sitescooper.org) - while it's rather Palm specific, I think it uses Plucker under the hood. Of course it's source available and already knows a whole bunch of PDA formats so it can almost certainly be tweaked to other handhelds and PDA-doc formats. Linux Gazette is there already, item 135 in their list last I looked :) -- Heather

One last thought on the original matter, if the html file TWDT 2 (HTML file) provided at the bottom of the page was named http://www.linuxgazette.net/current/current.html that would work also.

Starting with this issue, I have made TWDT.html a symlink to issue##.html. Give yourself a bookmark of http://www.linuxgazette.net/current/TWDT.html. -- Mike
If anyone wants to do a mirror of LG that is dedicated to keeping it in formats friendly for handhelds -- provide the results on a publicly accessible site, and we'll gladly add you to the mirrors database.
The license that the Linux Gazette is under certainly allows for this sort of transformation. Other sites might give you more of a complaint, but we sure won't! -- Heather

LG Mirrors page renovation

Wed Oct 31 23:24:13 PST 2001
Mike Orr (LG Editor)

The LG mirrors page has been revamped. 25 new sites have been added, and the HTML has been regularized. All the entries are now in a database, making Your Editor's task easier.

This project originally started in February, with me cutting-and-pasting the data into a text file in mail-header format. This was taking forever, so I got Dan Wilder to write me an awk script. This saved 90% of the typing, although I still had to make lots of manual changes due to the irregularities in the original HTML document (created many moons ago, and added to over time). I wrote a small Python program to load the mail-header file into MySQL, then used mysqldump/mysql to make further changes.

The HTML is generated by a Python script and a Cheetah (http://www.cheetahtemplate.org/) template.

I plan to write an article about all this, but first I want to write a routine to verify the links and delete the ones that are persistently down. In the meantime, the program listing and template are on my web site http://iron.cx/cheetah/index.html#lgmirrors (temporary link).

Thanks to all the mirrors for their patience, especially those like http://www.gazette.linux.ru.net/ (Russian translation), http://linux.osso.org.co/, etc. that submitted their links several times during the transition.

All mirrors, please check your entry and let me know if it's incorrect.

This page edited and maintained by the Editors of Linux Gazette Copyright © 2001
Published in issue 72 of Linux Gazette November 2001
HTML script maintained by Heather Stern of Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/
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