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 Linux: From awk to sed

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Feb 11, 2002
 Comments:
About two years ago I was asked to engage in a far-reaching research project into the up-and-coming operating system Linux, or GNU/Linux as some of its more extreme supporters insist on calling it. As well as scouring noted Linux user sites, part of my research included installing a copy of Linux on a spare PC and evaluating it.

As someone who is not particularly "tech-savvy" I encountered many problems with the technology and the confusing jargon that Linux users so liberally employ, and the lack of help and even abuse I so often received when asking for advice proved to be powerful arguments against the possibility of Linux ever moving out of the bedrooms of angst- and acne-ridden teenagers and long-haired smelly sys-admins in their dank server rooms. However, I thought it would only be civil of me to provide help for others thinking of taking that first plunge into the world of open source software by providing a glossary of some of the more obscure terminology employed to keep outsiders at bay.

gnulinux

More stories about Gnu/Linux
Linux Linux Linux -- Part One -- Trying to Be a Hero
Linux in the corporate world
Kill Yr Idols - Donald Knuth
Review: Linux Mandrake 8.1
Linux Linux Linux Part Two - Crossing the Linux Fault Threshold
Alan Cox Is an Unprofessional Jerk
Richard M. Stallman: Portrait of a Pirate Hacker (in Layman's Terms)
Where Do You Stand in the GNU World Order?
Adequacy Interview With Linux Torvalds

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Apache
A free hobbyist web server program that has gained widespread adoption within the Linux community (although not outside of it). It is useful for small websites serving static content, but its lack of scalability means that it cannot be considered as a true enterprise solution for mission critical platforms.

awk
A program designed to manipulate text data in various ways, now superceded by Pearl.

Bash
Another name for the Linux shell. Comes from an old MIT hacker joke about wanting to bash the terminal as it was so difficult to use. Unfortunately, it hasn't improved much since.

BSD License
Like the GNU Public License, the BSD license is a software license designed for open source software. Unlike the GPL it does not contain any viral provisions - it simply states that you are allowed to use the source code in any manner you wish and disclaims any liability for use of the code. The name comes from the FreeBSD distro which uses this license.

C/C++
C is one of the first programming languages developed, taking a lot of ideas from Pascal and improving them. It is a general-purpose functional language and has been used to write the majority of software available today, as well as both the Linux and Windows operating systems. Today however C has been superceded by C++, an object-orientated (OO) extension to C which enables advanced OO functionality to be included in your software, and the use of C itself is generally limited to maintenance of older packages.

Compiler
A program that takes source code written in a particular language and turns it into an executable that can be run by the user.

cron
cron is a program that acts much like Window's Scheduled Tasks folder - it has a list of programs to start at different times. Programs started in this manner are often called "daemons".

CVS
CVS (Code Versioning System) is a Linux program based on older programs like PVCS and SourceSafe which has recently become popular in certain areas of the Linux programming community. Its purpose is to allow multiple versions of the source code for a program to be kept on disk.

Daemon
An executable program started by the cron program.

Distro
This is a contraction of "distribution," and refers to a specific company's version of Linux. Each distro has it's own set of tools and software, and it's own method of configuring the Linux filesystem. The choice of distro is very important when installing Linux, as due to filesystem configuration issues some software will be incompatible with certain distros!

Some of the more popular distros are:

  • Mandrake - an attempt to make a version of Linux as Windows-like as possible. More suited to the novice than any of the other distros as it comes preconfigured to handle most desktop tasks, however there have been reports of buggy installation routines trashing people's hard drives.
  • Red Hat - this distro is aimed at the corporate user, and comes with a good support package and proper liability. Out of all of the Linux distros this is the only one that stands a chance of still being in five years time thanks to their corporate focus.
  • Debian - Debian is an ideological distro, and as such should be treated very carefully by the novice user. It exists solely to provide a platform for the GNU/Linux philosophy of open source and as such excludes the majority of the more useful applications required to use Linux in a productive fashion. It also suffers from the burden of being maintained by people who are both rude and intolerant - don't expect any help for the novice here!
  • FreeBSD - this distro is designed as a server platform and by all accounts does this very well, although its extremely nonstandard configuration hinders its use as a desktop platform. Its users are very antagonistic about other Linux distros, but they can provide help for the novice and unlike most distributions there is a reasonable amount of documentation, even if it is somewhat technical.

Emacs
An all-in-one text editor written by RMS, this huge program attempts to do everything, from text editing to email to browsing the web to organising your folders. As such it is loaded with features, but requires a comprehensive knowledge of the arcane language List to use many of them, and the software takes up a staggering amount of RAM - comparible to MS Word for instance!

Eric S. Raymond
Once a member of the Free Software Foundation with Richard Stallmann, Eric S. Raymond (also known as ESR) split from that group over ideological differences. As a staunch Republican ESR argued that open source software was not incompatible with the interests of big business and that they should take corporate interests into account. However RMS's Communist leanings wouldn't let him accept the truth of this position, and ESR was forced out of the group. Since then he has written several books suitable for introducing the concept of open source to the corporate world, and pushed Linux as a worthwhile corporate solution.

Executable
A program for Linux - what would under windows be a .exe file. Unfortunately Linux doesn't use extensions as a means of identifying files, so determining which files are programs can often be quite hard.

ext2
ext2 is the name of the file system that Linux uses, similar to the FAT system used by Windows. Although ext2 is more efficient than FAT in reading and writing files, in the event of a system crash it is extremely vulnerable to corruption (due to its lack of advanced journalling functionality compared to modern file systems like FAT), which is why good Linux administrators make system backups so often.

Free Software
c.f. Open Source.

Free Software Foundation
The Free Software Foundation is a group dedicated to pushing the idea that all software should be open sourced, and in pursuit of this aim they engage in legal proceedings against people or companies they suspect of having broken the terms of the GPL and encourage programmers to give them the copyrights of their code, ostensibly to allow them to better "protect" it against... well I'm not sure.

GNOME
GNOME is a window manager for Linux. It started several years ago following a vitriolic attack on the KDE project by RMS, who claimed that KDE failed to meet his definition of free, despite it being licensed under the GPL as anyone can check for themselves. The upshot was the formation of the GNOME project to create a rival window manager. GNOME itself is now fairly usable, although it lacks the maturity of even KDE, and is said to be notoriously difficult to develop under, which may explain the lack of decent applications for it.

GPL
The GPL (which stands for GNU Public License) is a software license similar to the EULA (End User License Agreement) that you are bound by when purchasing off-the-shelf software. However unlike most commercial licenses, the aim of the GPL is to ensure the spread of open source software rather than prevent the user from pirating the software. It achieves this through a viral clause which states that whenever the software is given to anyone else, they must receive the source code as well or be in violation of the license. In addition, anyone modifying this code, or including it in another program, must also use the GPL. In this manner, the GPL "encourages" people to share the source code of programs through the threat of legal action. However, it must be noted that the GPL is still untested legally, and that it may be nothing more than a house of cards that will topple as soon as it faces a legal challenge.

grep
A program which allows a user to search for words in a file.

KDE
Like X windows, KDE is a window manager originally programmed in Germany, as evidenced in the names of software like Konqueror, but now developed across the world. The aim of KDE was to take the functionality and ease of use of the Windows desktop and replicate it under Linux, and in many ways it has been a success - usability tests repeatedly indicated that new users were more comfortable with KDE than any of the other desktops. However it still suffers from inconsistency across different parts of the interface and different applications, and has a very annoying dependancy to lock up entirely on occasion.

Kernal
The kernal is the core part of the Linux operating system, and includes everything required to run software such as the file system and GUI.

Konqueror
Konqueror is the web browser for the KDE window manager. It is small and fast, and integrates solidly with KDE in much the same manner IE does with Windows, making it ideal for new Linux users. Konqueror is one of the few pieces of Linux software that compares well with their Windows equivalents, and I hope it continues in the same vein, avoiding the vast mistakes of the Mozilla browser project.

Lunis Torrvaldez
Vaunted "creator" of the Linux operating system, this Soviet hacker took a well-respected academic's toy Unix and repackaged it as his own creation, naming it after himself in a fit of narcissism. Since then he has led programming efforts on the Linux kernal, although his lack of exposure to modern tools such as debuggers and versioning systems has made the process torturous and slow. Matters have not been helped by his shameless leveraging of his position as Linux's "creator" to obtain cushy jobs in America where he does little other than attract investment from Linux zealots for doomed dot-coms.

Minix
The original operating system which Lunis Torrvaldez took and changed to make Linux. Minix was a toy version of Unix written by Andrew Tanembaum in order to illustrate a few basic points of operating system principles, and as such lacked the necessary complexity and underlying architecture required to implement a full multitasking, multiuser operating system, and these flaws have led to serious problems with the Linux kernal such as it not having a modern virtual memory system until very recently.

Mozilla
Mozilla is the name given to the rewrite of the old Netscape Navigator web browser which is now defunct. The project was started under AOL's auspices to free them from their use of Internet Explorer, and AOL recently released a version of Mozilla under the name Netscape 6. While Mozilla is currently in a usable state, it unfortunately retains many of the flaws the Netscape codebase suffered from, and has added new ones in its attempt to be all things to all men. Until recently it has been the only browser Linux users have been able to use to view the web, but now it has a serious competitor in Konqueror, which has avoided the poor performance and stability issues that have dogged Mozilla.

M$, Micro$oft, Micro$haft Winblows, etc.
Childish insults hurled by Linux zealots at a company that has achieved market dominance through a combination of good business practice, cunning marketing and knowing what their customers want. While it may seem that these insults are being hurled by 15-year old children, it is often surprising to find out that some of these people are older than you are, and are supposedly computer "professionals"!

MySQL
The only non-commercial database available for Linux, MySQL originally started as an interface to a set of data files and was then crudely extended to try and become a full relational database, with only limited success. Although at first glance it looks impressive, a closer inspection shows that it lacks almost any of the features that make up a relational database, and performance problems continue to dog it when under heavy load. Critical missing features mean that it cannot be considered for any application where data loss matters, which is basically everything apart from personal websites.

Open source
A philosophy which states that all software should come with the source code so that users can see how the program is written, and can thus modify it if they wish to. Software which doesn't come with the source code is referred to as being "proprietary." This concept was envisioned by Richard Stallmann, director of the FSF, and later also championed by Eric Raymond, who attempted to put a business-friendly spin on the concept.

Pearl
Pearl is one of the more popular programming languages available under Linux, primarily because for a long time it was about the only alternative to C/C++. Designed by Larry Wall, a "linguist" (received an M.A. degree 20+ years ago, but as far as we can ascertain, has no actual published work in linguistics), it avoids the trend of making programming languages easier to use in favour of "natural language" constructs which make it resemble assembler more than anything else and almost impossible to learn and just goes to show why programming languages should be designed by people that actually have programming experience. Unfortunately, because Perl is only available under Linux it has attracted a hardcore of fanatic supporters who will defend it at great length even when its flaws (and there are many) are obvious.

PostgreSQL
Postgres is the second most popular database available under Linux, behind MySQL. Unlike MySQL, Postgres is a fully-featured relational database management system that supports much of the advanced functionality offered by industry standard databases such as Oracle and SQL Server, and unlike MySQL is isn't free, but available for a small charge from several vendors. Again unlike MySQL development has been rapid with progress in both features and performance being made over the last few years, but it still lakes some of the critical features which make Oracle and SQL Server the choice for truly mission-critical enterprise solutions.

Programming languages
A programming language is a particular set of source code instructions for making programs. There are hundreds of different languages in use today and each has their own ways of doing things and are generally used for different tasks. Unfortunately popular languages like Visual Basic and VC++ aren't available under Linux, and support for others such as Java is patchy, although unsurprisingly Linux zealots attack these as being inferior. Common languages used under Linux are C, C++, Python and Perl.

Python
Developed by Guido Von Rossum to replace Perl, Python is a simple language that is capable of many things thanks to its extensive library of third-party code. In the last five years it has rapidly gained in popularity thanks to many disaffected Perl programmers switching over to Python, and this trend looks set to continue. In general Python is much easier to code in than Perl and is far easier to maintain, meaning that money can be saved across the entire product lifecycle. However the one disadvantage it has against Perl is that because it isn't compiled it suffers from a performance hit, making it unsuitable for writing high-performance software.

Richard Stallmann
Richard Stallmann (often referred to as RMS, although this seems to be an affectation based on the vast number of three-letter acronyms in computing) is one of the founders and director of the Free Software Foundation, and is a tireless proponent of open source. At one point he used to be a programmer, writing software such as Emacs (a text editor) and some of the GNU/Linux tools used by Debian and other free distros. Nowadays he does nothing other than give speeches about open source software, and attack projects which don't follow his ideology, such as KDE or glibc.

Root
root (lowercase "r") is the name of the administrator account under Linux, the sole account that can configure much of the operating system and access hidden system files. While this means that users cannot delete important system files it suffers from a serious lack in a real-world environment - with only one possible administrator account you can only have one person administrating the system, and in a large multi-user environment this limits Linux's usability.

Samba
A program which allows you to access files under Linux from Windows. Often used by small companies which cannot afford a proper Microsoft server to go with their desktop machines.

sed
A program designed to manipulate streams of binary data such as pictures.

Shell
A shell is the name that system administrators give to the command prompt that comes with Linux. Whereas under Windows use of a command prompt isn't necessary thanks to Microsoft's efforts to open up computing to everyone, under Linux the command prompt is vital - many important utilities lack graphical versions, a sure sign of Linux's fragmented development plan.

Shell scripts
Shell scripts are files which contain commands which are run by the Linux shell. In a very similar fashion to VB script (.vbs) files under Windows, shell scripts are often used by hackers to spread viruses via email. Unfortunately, as shell scripts are far more widespread in the Linux world than under Windows, disabling them is not an option, making Linux machines more vulnerable to hacking by default.

Slashdot
Slashdot (charmingly referred to as "/." by its users) is the busiest and longest-running site for Linux users on the web today. The weblog format of this site means that users can post their own comments to the various stories the editors post, and this results in a free-for-all that sometimes produces gems of information, but mainly results in vitriol, abuse and outright lies by Linux zealots. During my investigation I attempted to mine the site for Linux information "from the horse's mouth" but received nothing but flamewars and mailbombings from 15 year-old Linux users with no social life or skills.

Source code
The raw instructions which computer programmers create programs. These are written in a programming language and then compiled to create an executable.

Swap
Like Windows, Linux can use a hard disk drive as extra memory. However unlike Windows Linux cannot simply allocate space on an existing drive to use, it must have it's own special "swap" area on its own hard drive, which cannot be changed once you have installed Linux. Additionally, due to design problems caused by the underlying Minix architecture, until recently there was no full virtual memory system and Linux relied on an archaic and inefficient paging scheme.

Vi
A very early text editor for Linux which has unfortunately remained popular with elitist ubergeeks who feel comfortable with its arcane syntax and modal editing. For everyone else, avoid like the plague.

Virtual memory
A modern operating system technique in which space on a hard drive is used as extra RAM, allowing users to run more programs than they otherwise could. Linux now has a full virtual memory system in version 2.4.10, but previously it used an antiquated swapping system based upon old Minix code. However, the virtual memory code is still very much in alpha, and should not be used in a production environment.

Window managers
Because of Linux's origins as a text-based operating system and the opposition of its designers to graphical user interfaces there is no standard GUI system available for Linux. Instead there are several different programs, called window managers, which implement a graphical user interface in their own manner, and GUI software is written for a specific window manager and is incompatible with the others. The more common window managers are X windows, KDE and GNOME, and all share a common flaw in that programmers (especially arrogant Linux zealots) have no idea about user interfaces, and so their window managers look like children's toys and have all the usuability of a wet paper bag.

WINE
Since Linux suffers from a vast lack of useful applications the WINE project was started to provide a way of running Windows applications under Linux. Despite several years of trying barely half of Windows programs work under WINE as we speak, and the ones that do tend to be the smaller, less useful applications.

X windows
X windows is the original window manager for Linux, based on an older design used on commercial Unixes. While it is free to use it lacks any but the most basic of GUI functionality, and has largely been superceded by KDE and GNOME.

Zealot
A Linux zealot (or alternatively an open source zealot) is one of the many people for whom their choice of operating system or software license has moved beyond practical considerations into an ideology. Most of these people practically worship Richard Stallmann, who exemplifies the zealot with his wild-eyed stare and Biblical prophet look and odor (trust me, I've smelt it!). These are the people that will flame you at even the slightest suggestion that alternatives might be possible, even when they are blatently wrong. The sad thing (for Linux that is!) is that if these people spent even a tenth as much time contributing to Linux as they did attacking Micro$oft, it might already be a truly enterprise-ready operating system that could displace Windows as the choice for tech-savvy professionals.



       
Tweet

o (none / 0) (#11)
by tkatchev on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 12:26:31 PM PST
:)


--
Peace and much love...




 
good article (none / 0) (#12)
by PotatoError on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 12:30:40 PM PST
yea for once an article which speaks mainly truth - the only parts I disagree on are mainly with some of the authors opinion but this is ok.

But all the factual stuff here is generally correct. There was no "A compiler is a hacker tool invented to kill people" and no "Apache is an illegal server used by hackers". A welcome change.

When describing KDE....
"However it still suffers from inconsistency across different parts of the interface and different applications, and has a very annoying dependancy to lock up entirely on occasion."
...You could have also been describing Windows :)


Ive never seen a blue screen in Linux :)


<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

Blue screens (5.00 / 1) (#14)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 12:45:00 PM PST
No blue screens in KDE. You just sit there, and wait, and wait, and wait, wondering what the hell your machine is doing, or not doing, as so often occurs.

I hate blue screens, but at least they tell me I'm pooched.


enter the holy command line (1.00 / 1) (#23)
by budlite on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 03:39:49 PM PST
"ps -ax | grep <processname>" and "killall <processname>" (or "kill -9 <pid>") are really superbly useful when things go wrong...


Holy secret NVIDIA drivers Batman! (5.00 / 1) (#43)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 02:40:01 AM PST
"ps -ax | grep <processname>" and "killall <processname>" (or "kill -9 <pid>") are really superbly useful when things go wrong...

You have no idea how much I would love to be able to type that when my machine locks up solid...


Still a chance. (none / 0) (#47)
by The Mad Scientist on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 05:31:46 AM PST
You have no idea how much I would love to be able to type that when my machine locks up solid...

Maybe Xs just decided to lock your console.

A solution is simple - do without. Take another machine, ssh or telnet to the locked one, kill the process in question. Another chance is to use a VT52 terminal connected to the serial port; a Nokia Communicator cellphone with (I think) bterm will do, any old (can be *very* old) laptop with terminal emulator is even better.

Good old terminals. Why do I have to live in the world where the mouses are getting better each year but the keyboards are made more and more crappy...


Er, pal... (none / 0) (#56)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 07:19:04 AM PST
We're talking about the entire machine freezing up. I have a SSH connection over ethernet. I have a serial port console. I have the magic SysRq key turned on. They're all dead. It's STILL FROZEN.

The Amiga, in the same case as the PC, is still running. It doesn't need drivers for its display, mouse or keyboard, so it actually works and doesn't freeze up all the time.

pinging the PC end of the ethernet umbilical cord simply times out. TCP/IP on the PC is dead. I open Term, the finest terminal emulator known to man. There's no response from the serial console that I lovingly configured into the kernel. I paid good money for a null modem cable with a DB25 connector on one end and a DB9 connector on the other, just for these sort of occasions. Connecting to the SSH server on the PC end with AmTelnet simply times out. Pressing Alt-SysRq-K does nothing. Holding down Alt-SysRq-O does nothing. In my machine's normal operation, Alt-SysRq-O really would turn the machine off. I configured that in deliberately, too. My machine is locked up solid. Do you understand what that means?

There have been occasions when the mouse or keyboard have stopped working (usually because they've come out of the socket), but I simply grab the Amiga's keyboard, turn on the TV, and make a SSH connection into the PC. One su root and /etc/init.d/gdm restart later, everyone's happy. However, when the evil NVIDIA drivers of doom lock up my machine, they really do lock it up. Perhaps you'll believe me, next time!


Arrrrrrrrrrgh! (none / 0) (#61)
by The Mad Scientist on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 08:42:45 AM PST
We're talking about the entire machine freezing up. I have a SSH connection over ethernet. I have a serial port console. I have the magic SysRq key turned on. They're all dead. It's STILL FROZEN.

Arrrrrrgh! Sorry, thought it's less cataclysmatical sort of crash. Looks like it goes right to the hardware.

There have been occasions when the mouse or keyboard have stopped working (usually because they've come out of the socket), but I simply grab the Amiga's keyboard, turn on the TV, and make a SSH connection into the PC.

Exactly what I was suggesting. So now I see it wouldn't help. Eww...

However, when the evil NVIDIA drivers of doom lock up my machine, they really do lock it up.

Oh, the virtues of closed-source proprietary drivers.

Perhaps you'll believe me, next time!

Hey! I believe you!


I knew this was coming: (none / 0) (#65)
by elenchos on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 11:04:14 AM PST
Oh, the virtues of closed-source proprietary drivers

L...

...F...

...T!!!!!!!!!!

Woo hoo!

Why not just get a computer that works?


I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill


Heh. (none / 0) (#70)
by The Mad Scientist on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 03:21:59 PM PST
L...
...F...
...T!!!!!!!!!!
Woo hoo!


Hey - give me source and I'll stop bitchin'. Or at least gimme the specs. Why the hell a *hardware* manufacturer has to keep the art of *talking* with their hardware a secret??? Do they have anything to hide?

Regarding hardware and specs - when you have full specs, you can do all sorts of black magic; once I assisted in a project whose part was a custom device. Its core was a microcontroller and one of its interfaces was an off-the-shelf ISA VGA card, whose signals were driven by the microcontroller itself - together with a monitor it came out cheaper than a necessary LCD display. (Good old ISA - PCI has too many various signals and too high speed and is harder to play with on this level. Reminds me I should learn USB interfacing... *sigh*) Was cheaper and faster than designing an entire display output from scratch. This sort of magic would be impossible if the complete card's specs wouldn't be available...

Why not just get a computer that works [link to Apple]?

Price? Compatibility? Special hardware like electronics development tools - chip readers/writers, later a digital 'scope card, that don't have Mac support? Lack of specs (together my paranoia about devices whose function I don't understand to the lowest level)? No el-cheapo parts to play with? No userbase here, no friends I could ask for help when in troubles (and I somehow can't believe they are trouble-free, having seen too much of electronics already)? Not knowing about any place around here where any Mac-related experience would be useful?

Maybe they're good machines. But until they'll become more common - or I'll decide to do professional graphics, which is about as probable - I will not care much about 'em.


Gimmie gimmie gimme (none / 0) (#71)
by elenchos on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 03:45:22 PM PST
In a free country, no one has to give you anything for free, Comrade. All of this wonderful technology was created by capitalism, and we aren't about to throw that all away now and revert to your "to each according to his need" system. If that works so good, why not use a Soviet computer? They come pretty cheap, I'm told.

So source code is shared or not shared as a business decision, not because it is the Mad Scientist's birthday and he can have his wish. Nor because private property was abolished. So if hardware manufacturers decide to give free beer to Lunixists, it will be because there is profit in doing so, not because they are under some obligation to help make Lunix work.

Go on working with your el-cheapo parts and go on shaking your fist at companies that don't give away what you need to get your cheap toy working. Go on wondering why they don't give you everything you want for free. No one else is confused as to why they aren't wasting their money helping you, and if you are confused, well, sorry.

Hey... why are you even asking? I thought you hackers just steal eveything you want?


I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill


...what I have the right for. (none / 0) (#77)
by The Mad Scientist on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 02:25:37 AM PST
All of this wonderful technology was created by capitalism,

All od this wonderful technology was created by military. Yes, the original purpose of computers was to make killing more effective and more accurate.

and we aren't about to throw that all away now and revert to your "to each according to his need" system.

Better than heartless money-driven one. I remember that before the Revolution people still had time for their families. And if you wanted a scientific book, the Russian ones were perfect; one-stop source for all data you needed, everything compiled together with no "copyrights" limiting access. But this apparently had to be destroyed...

If that works so good, why not use a Soviet computer? They come pretty cheap, I'm told.

Cheap and hard to come by. And if built from MILSPEC parts, *pretty damn* reliable. I still have skeletons of some Russian technology here; fitted with Taiwanese boards, but the chassis and the power supplies and in some cases the interface boards are original. 20+ years in service.

So source code is shared or not shared as a business decision, not because it is the Mad Scientist's birthday and he can have his wish. Nor because private property was abolished.

Property? When I checked last time, it was technically impossible to own an idea. It's like to own an air, or to own the sky. But this is apparently a conflict between cultures. Maybe even a "cultural cold war".

So if hardware manufacturers decide to give free beer to Lunixists, it will be because there is profit in doing so, not because they are under some obligation to help make Lunix work.

Opening specs is the cheapest way to get drivers ported to all the architectures where they are necessary, without additional costs. There are people that are willing to spend weeks of their own time if they get desperate enough. I prefer to sit and code over crawling the wall because I have a problem and don't have the specs to solve it.

Go on working with your el-cheapo parts and go on shaking your fist at companies that don't give away what you need to get your cheap toy working.

There is better thing to wave than the fist: the debuggers and disassemblers. But it's a time consuming hassle. In the case of NVidia not important enough to be done as alternatives are in place.

Go on wondering why they don't give you everything you want for free. No one else is confused as to why they aren't wasting their money helping you, and if you are confused, well, sorry.

I don't want them to waste their money. I want them to give out the registry and addressing descriptions for the boards they are making. Ie, I want a digital oscilloscope card. I am not asking for complete Linux support for it - what I want is the descs how to set up the data capture modes, the rest I'll write on my own. Maybe I'll have to contact a friend, the one that built a device for complete I/O monitoring for computer interface cards, and just tear the specs out myself.

Hey... why are you even asking? I thought you hackers just steal eveything you want?

Because it's easier to ask before. The process of liberating the specifications is tedious and time-consuming (though efforts are underway to bring together visualisation systems for chemistry and molecular biology together with the disassemblers, thus dramatically lowering the time requirements for gaining orientation in unknown complex systems).

If there's no alternative, it will be done. DVD players are a good example. The demand brings the supply.

If you worry if a proposed solution is legal, your problem apparently isn't too serious.


Please (none / 0) (#81)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 06:52:29 AM PST
was to make killing more effective

Please list for us the various levels of effectiveness possible when something is killed.


The Cost-Effectiveness of Killing: An Overview of (none / 0) (#90)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 12:24:38 PM PST
The Cost-Effectiveness of Killing: An Overview of Nazi "Euthanasia"


http://www.haciendapub.com/article21.html


 
Well... (none / 0) (#91)
by The Mad Scientist on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 12:32:43 PM PST
Please list for us the various levels of effectiveness possible when something is killed.

The first known-to-me large-scale application of electronic computers was calculation of tables for artillery fire. With more accurate tables, more accurate fire was possible. With more accurate fire, less shells were spent to achieve the same amount of kills, thus it was more effective.

Generally, there are various parameters regarding the effectivity of killing, and various classes of weapons, optimized for these parameters. A sniper rifle, optimized for long distance, high accuracy, and single targets. A machine gun, optimized for shorter distance, less accurate and allowing more targets in short timespan. A neutron bomb, optimized for distance attack, minimal damages on installations, and maximum kills. A rock, whose advantage lies mainly in affordability; its effectivity can be greatly increased by a slingshot...


Wrong (none / 0) (#106)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Feb 14th, 2002 at 02:32:39 PM PST
Your comment, and the one above it, does not answer the question.

You wrote:

All od this wonderful technology was created by military. Yes, the original purpose of computers was to make killing more effective and more accurate.

In response, I asked:

Please list for us the various levels of effectiveness possible when something is killed.

I did not ask about anything at all about the method or the weapon to be used for the killing, only about the effectiveness of the killing itself. What I would like for you to do is show me an example of when something was killed less than effectively. You will need to show that an organism was killed, but not completely, I suppose. Or that it was killed but continued to move about, ot something like that.

In the first example you gave you mentioned the use of computers to calculate changes in the position of a gun. The speed with which the changes could be calculated was improved by the application of technology but that only improved the gun itself. The killing that it did was still at the same level of effectiveness, the people who dies before a computer was used were just as dead as those who died after.

This question is particularly interesting to me as I have been doing extensive research with predators. If asked to name the worlds greatest predator people will mention loins, sharks, cheetahs, even human beings. Their preceptions of a 'great predator' often typically have quite a bit to do with the amount of violence imparted to the victim of the killing, or the athletic prowess the animal shows during the attack. I was just wondering if you were following a similar vein in thinking that the military had adpoted new technology that made it some wonderful predatory machine.


Wordplays. (none / 0) (#107)
by The Mad Scientist on Thu Feb 14th, 2002 at 04:14:25 PM PST
<I>I did not ask about anything at all about the method or the weapon to be used for the killing, only about the effectiveness of the killing itself. What I would like for you to do is show me an example of when something was killed less than effectively. You will need to show that an organism was killed, but not completely, I suppose. Or that it was killed but continued to move about, ot something like that.</I>
<P>
Effectivity is the ratio of investments vs gains. If you measure effectivity as material cost per kill, then the adversary killed with a single headshot with a 7.65mm round is killed more effectively than the same person killed with a long burst, but which is still more effective than using a much more expensive anti-tank grenade. The death is the same in all three cases (the Gain), but the cost of achieving this objective varies (the Investment), thus determining the effectivity.
<P>
This is a simplified example - in Real Life [tm] you have to count with more variables - time spent, risk, etc., but illustrates my point.
<P>
<I>In the first example you gave you mentioned the use of computers to calculate changes in the position of a gun. The speed with which the changes could be calculated was improved by the application of technology but that only improved the gun itself. The killing that it did was still at the same level of effectiveness, the people who dies before a computer was used were just as dead as those who died after.</I>
<P>
The killing was still the same, but achieved with less amount of both shells and time. Thus more effective.
<P>
Your objections seem to be based on just a misunderstanding. :)




 
uh nope (none / 0) (#108)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Feb 16th, 2002 at 02:03:02 PM PST
All of this wonderful technology was created by capitalism,

All these wonders were created by funding from mostly the US government. There was more innovation in 5 years during that time than 20 years now. Why did the US government drop out? They figured organisation could control themselves. Also it could no longer spend the necessary money. Most of it was due to 80s cold war over spending, and politicians screaming "less government".

Was there money to be made? HELL YEAH there was. A company could develop a technology, the government would fund it if they released it in the public domain or were willing to license it to any and everyone willing to pay for it.

The government had a few basic guidelines. Open standards, open source or open licensing, and no military comtracts awarded without a Unix offering. Might be why Microsoft offers software on Unix platforms. Think about it.

For more information I suggest that you read The Origins and Future of Open Source by Nathan Newman. You can follow the link or read it when it's published this fall.


 
Hey! (none / 0) (#82)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 08:34:21 AM PST
Why not just get a computer that works?

I've got a computer that works, thank you very much! It's the other computer I've got, which is thousands of times faster but doesn't work properly, that is the problem!


 
An excellent informative article (none / 0) (#13)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 12:33:59 PM PST
I commend your knowledge and your gift for sharing it. Keep up the good work!!!


Ha Ha Ha! (none / 0) (#124)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Feb 19th, 2002 at 01:22:04 PM PST
You must be joking, right?


 
Satanic (3.00 / 2) (#15)
by walwyn on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 12:58:57 PM PST
The author is misinformed concerning the antecedence of 'bash'. This is an acronym joke for the 'Bourne Again SHell' and displays the heathen nature of the system.


 
Factual and mostly true (1.00 / 1) (#16)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 01:17:45 PM PST
+1 FP, oh shit I rememvered I am not on K5.


 
it's "perl", btw (1.00 / 2) (#18)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 02:18:57 PM PST
...Pathologicall Eclectic Rubbish Lister


 
Concerned question (none / 0) (#19)
by John Wainright on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 02:23:51 PM PST
Isn't the dissemination of Hacker material and information such as this article a blatant violation of the DMCA?


Hacker Material (none / 0) (#79)
by Peej on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 06:27:42 AM PST
John, I too was concerned about the potential negative effects of the hacker information portrayed in the article. Everyone knows that most hackers are young easily influenced adolescents that could take the above information and use it for evil. Until now most hacker information has been encrypted with some kind of "techojargon" preventing our children from understanding it, but with the "demystifying" of this material as demonstrated in this article, I fear for the safety of ourselves and our children on and offline. Hopefully AOL will soon be configured to sensor this and other such illegal and damaging information, but until that time I believe we should be careful of the subject matter published on the Interweb.


 
It Seems to Me... (1.00 / 1) (#20)
by doofus on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 02:27:22 PM PST
that adequacy doesn't need yet another GNU/BSD-Linux article. Yoshi and osm (and many others, I'm sure) have been very thorough and informative in discussing technical topics in the past.

I suggest more articles on torture, pornography and skinning baby seals and diary entries on getting drunk and naked in front on one's friends. I quite enjoyed that one.


I don't think you understand (none / 0) (#25)
by Jon Erikson on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 04:35:46 PM PST
While there have been other well-documented and informative articles on similar subjects on this fine website, this is aimed at a different audience; people who may be interested in open source software and Linux, but don't know where to begin.

It's nay-sayers like you that put Joe Sixpack off of exploring open source and ensure that Linux will remain the domain of long-haired hippies with body odour problems and a bad attitude.


Jon Erikson
Senior consultant, NPO Technologies


I Stand Corrected (none / 0) (#26)
by doofus on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 04:44:06 PM PST
Yes, I suppose I lost sight of the original intent with this article.

I apologize for my initial comment.

Perhaps as a follow-up you can write a primer on internet architecture, including such cutting-edge technologies as Gigabit QoS Token Ring Ethernet and Layer-1 switching.


 
a few precisions (1.00 / 2) (#21)
by manux on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 03:16:13 PM PST
I really appreciate this attempt at clearing things up for newcomers. It is doubtless that existing documentations and support about Linux don't help its popularity among non-programmers, and that the Free Software world is full of fanatics (and I write this as a mostly satisfied Linux user). However, there are some important inaccuracies in some your definitions, and I allow myself to correct them for exactitude's sake:
  • Bash is the name of a shell. As noted above, its name stands for "Bourne Again SHell", a harmless word play because it is the successor of the "Bourne Shell", written a while ago by Steve Bourne.
  • Talking about C, the term functional language is improper: functional programming is a style fundamentally different from C's (but I agree this is academic talk beyond the purpose of this article).
  • CVS actually means "Concurrent Versions System", and it is used by developpers in the whole Unix world and beyond it (including in Windows environments).
  • A daemon is any program performing background tasks in a system.
  • Although it is often known be non-Unix users, FreeBSD is not, even remotely, a Linux distribution.
  • The proper spelling is kernel. It is actually the system's core, and it does not include any kind of GUI.
  • The name of the creator of the Linux kernel is Linus Torvalds. He is actually the one who wrote (from scratch) the initial kernel's source code, without taking anything else than well-known concepts from Minix.
  • The name of Larry Wall's programming language is actually Perl, for "Practical Extraction and Report Language".
  • Samba is the name of Linux's implementation of the SMB protocol, which is actually the primary way for Windows workgroups to communicate.
  • Sed is a tool used to process text automatically, not binary data.
  • About graphical interfaces: Gnome and KDE are not a window managers (though KDE contains one, named kwm), but desktop environments. X-Window is the underlying display system, used by both of them.
There are other inaccurate comments due to the expression of the author's opinons, and I won't argue about them because I surely don't want to start again the same old ideologic discourses. I just wanted to express these corrections for the article's credibility.

And yes, this article by itself was not absolutely necessary, as judged by the plenty of similar ones on this site.


Psst... (2.50 / 2) (#97)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Feb 14th, 2002 at 12:14:16 AM PST
Well, first off I'd like to add to this list that both Apache and Perl are extremely popular on non-Linux systems all over the world.

But more importantly, a clarifying response to this article was entirely unneccessary. This is largely due to the fact that all of the problems with this article are intentional. I am pretty sure that the editors of Adequacy are not idiots. As are most articles on Adequacy, it was most likely written because (a) it amused the author very much to write, (b) it amuses us to read it, (c) it amuses us to read posts by people who are deeply offended by or wish to correct the article, (d) It amuses us to play along with the author and make fun of anyone who doesn't get it, (e) It amuses us to see posts by people who reply to people that play along explaining why all of this is a fun joke (Like, uh, this one). The possibilities for entertaining oneself and misinforming people less bright than you are are nearly endless. I expect this response to be deleted in short order so as not to disillusion too many people. Either that, or it'll stay here because I've missed the point entirely and I am, in fact, the butt of the joke. Either way, isn't Adequacy great? God this site is fun.


 
Not bad, but... (1.00 / 2) (#22)
by budlite on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 03:33:11 PM PST
There were a few minor issues with that post.

First, the factual errors.

1) "Pearl" is in fact Perl. There is another totally different language called Pearl.

2) The acronym Bash actually expands as Bourne Again Shell, and isn't the only Unix command interpreter, just a popular, friendly (if mildly bloated) one. Look up sh, csh, tcsh, ksh (Korn shell), probably loads more I've not heard of.

3) Your description of cron is mostly accurate, but it's not normally used for running daemons. daemons are run on startup by the kernel itself, by running scripts stored in /etc/rc.d/rc.x (where x = a number indicating runlevel).

4) FreeBSD isn't a Linux distribution, it's a wholly different operating system, a descendent of Berkeley Unix.

5) There are numerous journaling file systems njow available to Linux - ReiserFS, ext3 (which has the advantage that it can be mounted as ext2 in an emergency), and more I can't remember right now. In fact, Red Hat 7.2 uses the ext3 filesystem by default, although it can be changed during installation.

6) the GNOME team did not object to KDE per se, however they DID object to the GUI toolkit used to build it - Qt, which isn't GPL'ed.

7) Perl is available under a vast majority of operating systems - Linux for starters, most Unix variants (they have it at this University on the SunOS machines), Amiga, and most importantly to you, Windows (in various forms).

8) The lack of a GUI on many Linux programs comes from the fact that Linux is based on Unix, an operating system from way back when modern GUI's like todays were but a pipe dream. Frontends are available for a significant number of the more arcane commands.

9) I can't remember ever hearing of a shell script being used to spread viruses via e-mail, especially as most Linux/Unix clients don't automatically run attachments.

10) Yes, Vi is arcane, but most people now use vim, (Vi iMproved), which is much friendlier and more advanced (but still arcane).

11) Window managers are actually 10-a-penny. X-Windows isn't actually a window MANAGER, it's what defines areas of the screen in which a program is running into windows - a window manager (such as KDE's window manager kwin, or twm, X's default window manager) is what draws the window decorations (titlebars, resizing handles, buttons, etc.). GNOME is actually a desktop manager - it actually uses other compatible window managers to provide window decorations, typically BlackBox, Sawfish, or IceWM. The best thing about all of these is that they are completely customisable, so you can design your own theme based on how you want it to look.

12) A fair number of Windows applications DO work through WINE. Microsoft Word and Excel. Microsoft Visual Basic versions 5 and 6. Various versions of Delphi. Those are the larger pieces of software I've tried, all work fine apart from a few font issues.


You also lay into people who call Microsoft "M$", "Microshaft" etc., calling them childish. It's just as childish to start calling Linus Torvalds "Lunis Torrvaldez", a Soviet hacker, and to be surprised that people you'd like to call your equals are not using Windows and *not complaining about that*.

That's all for now, otherwise pretty neutral and well-informed, and I agree - RedHat is a pretty damn good distribution.


Is there *one shred* of evidence... (5.00 / 3) (#24)
by elenchos on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 04:05:24 PM PST
...that Linux Torvalz (Tor von Alt, in the original German) even existed before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany? Where was this mystery man during the Soviet Era? And how do you explain the way the German Nazi Tor von Alt family fled the advancing Allies at the close of WWII into the welcoming arms of Stalin's KGB? Maybe you can trick yourself into believing some innocent explanation, but I'll connect the dots in the most common sense way I can:

Nazi scientists go to work for the Soviets. Their son Linux sees which way the wind is blowing at the collapse of the Evil Empire, and realizes that if Communism is to survive, it must abandon it's dying host, Russia, and move into cyberspace, where it can attract a new generation of dupes to advance the scheme of world domination.

Can it work? Well, can Communist technology ever outpace the creations of freedom-loving people working democratically? Sure, I suppose, and maybe Lunix will be the one instance of that happening, and it will show the world, once and for all. But I ain't betting on it.

They don't even have a Communist GUI that works, do they?


I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill


Dear elenchos (none / 0) (#30)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 07:15:01 PM PST
Hmmmm... You better hurry now, or you'll be late for your lobotomy appointment...


minor correction... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
by poltroon on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 08:07:21 PM PST
Due to evidence of negative side effects, the once popular lobotomy procedure was phased out of use in most western countries during the 1950s.


 
Wow (none / 0) (#50)
by budlite on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 06:05:46 AM PST
You been at the drugs cabinet again?


can you believe this? (none / 0) (#51)
by nathan on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 06:22:56 AM PST
Lunixists even have "drug cabinets" now. Will someone please stop the intolerable madness?!

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

Sarcasm... (none / 0) (#55)
by budlite on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 07:16:51 AM PST
...gets us nowhere.

Yes, my post was sarcastic, so call me a hypocrite if you really want.


I can't say... (none / 0) (#62)
by nathan on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 09:21:34 AM PST
That I care enough about it to bother.

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

 
can you believe this? (5.00 / 1) (#57)
by walwyn on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 07:31:38 AM PST
But they sure paint them up nice.


 
A swarm of Luxitic ad homeneim attacks... (none / 0) (#64)
by elenchos on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 10:58:24 AM PST
...only goes to prove my point. "Crazy" or "on drugs" or whatever. These insults are neither clever nor are they convincing. Let me tell you something, Mr. Bud Light: When you point your finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at you.

And what you are pointing at is your own bankrupt fanataicsm, bereft of facts and puffed up soley by thuggish harassment and childish taunts. I, in contrast, have made a reasonable and water-tight case.


I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill


 
RedHat Sucks! (1.00 / 1) (#41)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 11:33:07 PM PST
For a home user who doesn't care about stability and just expects it to compare with windows 98, okay maybe Redhat is a decent linux distro. But for a corporate user who expects it to integrate nicely with the corporate unix/mac/windows networks and be stable its a pain in the ass. I much prefer a distrobution where I have to install/configure the extra services myself than Redhat, who attempts to do it, then fucks it all up. In 7.2 configured for NIS, NIS users can't login with passwords longer than 8 characters. Fucked up pam.d/system-auth entry changed from 7.1 But there's a list of these fuck-ups that I have to make with each release to warn my coworkers so we can make use of the distro in a freakin enterprise network, something linux should excel at, IMO.
Aside from the configuration fuck-ups Redhat likes to play games with your compiler. Releasing pre-released compilers under conflicting names with the original FSF project for obviously capitalistic reasons is no way to run a linux company. I have to give credit where credit is due, Redhat has contributed vast amounts of money and resources to develope linux into what it is today. But the kernel is not in very good shape, IMO, at least in Redhat's default install.
*smoke bowl*
Yet my disappointment with Redhat does not affect how I feel about Linux in general or even the Redhat distro. It will get better and eventually fix these problems and move on. I just think more time needs to be spent in fixing problems than rushing to meet deadlines or pushing products out the door too early. Companies that choose to accept linux should be more open to fixing its bugs and working with in than complaining about it. Its what you make of it.


As it happens... (none / 0) (#49)
by budlite on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 06:03:41 AM PST
I'm not using Linux in a business setting. I'm using it on the desktop. In this respect RedHat an excellent distribution, and I've had no trouble with it (except for a minor niggle with KDE's media player).

The installer is a dream, much better than anything Microsoft have ever offered, it even picked up my USB mouse without even asking me what model/type I had. Having said that, the package and service configuration COULD be better, as you say. Otherwise it's pretty solid and is doing little to deter me from using it.

If you still think it's crap, try SuSE. YaST and SuSEConfig is a travesty, SaX should have been terminated at birth, and the whole distro is just far too restrictive.


 
About Python (none / 0) (#28)
by frozenwoody on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 05:17:15 PM PST
Mr. Erikson,

For the most part, I concur with your comments, but I'd like to point out that the Python language is increasing being used by illegal hackers to "root" the systems of innocent users.


So ? (none / 0) (#29)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 06:12:30 PM PST
What's the point ? Is it used more than Visual Basic, the language of viruses, ActiveX, or that Javascript some here pretend to have been invented by Microsoft ?


You know what else? (none / 0) (#34)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 08:03:54 PM PST
You may already know this, but evil hackers use these things called "computers" to steal money, steal information, destroy information, and generally do bad things... We really need to stop using these "computers" - after all, all they are are tools for evil "hackers" to use...
Now if you'll excuse me, I'll go drown in my own sarcasm.


 
Apache (none / 0) (#31)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 07:20:31 PM PST
its lack of scalability means that it cannot be considered as a true enterprise solution for mission critical platforms

I'm not sure if this was supposed to be a troll, but if apache isn't good for mission critical applications, I'm not sure what is.

It seems that most of the sites that don't use apache do so for political reasons (e.g. Sun uses Netscape, Hotmail (finally) uses Microsoft IIS) rather than practical ones.

Netcraft has a feature called "what's this site running." If you type in Amazon.com, you'll see they're running Apache. If that's not enterprise-class, than I'm not sure what (on the internet) is.


Benchmarks (none / 0) (#33)
by T Reginald Gibbons on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 07:46:51 PM PST
Remember how apache gets creamed in benchmarks all the time? Remember how it has been repeatedly proven to be incapable of handling high loads? Of course you don't. Open source zealots always forget or dismiss the bad news, in favour of inconclusive anecdotal evidence. Amazon uses apache? Well, how many machines do they need to run to keep their site alive using apache? I guarantee you that IIS would reduce this number. Apache is the epitome of cobbled-together, poorly designed open-source engineering. The lunatic adherence to the apache banner demonstrated by the open source crowd is yet another example of their inability to make objective judgements about computing.


FYI (none / 0) (#40)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 11:18:54 PM PST
Microsoft developed the Application Server so that they could offer a distributed solution for web sites. Why? Because they KNEW that they had no chance in competing against Apache. Throw in Tomcat and you have a server that will out perform and IIS/ASP server. Just so you Microsoft users know..Tomcat is for JSP's can you figure out what a JSP is?


Tomcat? Bwahaha! (none / 0) (#45)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 03:03:36 AM PST
You're offering Tomcat as competition to ASP? Are you sure you couldn't think of about five other jsp containers that make Tomcat look like the work of amateurs (which it is)? In any case, they all still get whipped by ASP. Talk about wet-behind-the-ears linux kiddies...


 
nice research (none / 0) (#115)
by Anonymous Reader on Sun Feb 17th, 2002 at 03:20:49 PM PST
Amazon uses apache? Well, how many machines do they need to run to keep their site alive using apache? I guarantee you that IIS would reduce this number.

Many Amazon.com officials have stated that they continue to save millions running Apache on Linux. Imagine the cost if they had to run IIS which only runs on Windows. If they were smart the would spend the money saved on Zeus (which only runs on unices). Zeus outperforms IIS and won PC Magazine's editors pick. Sure its easy to say that Apache runs like shit. That is when its running on Windows.

Just wondering though. Why does this site run Apache on FreeBSD and not IIS on Windows (uptime.netcraft.com)?


 
guess what microsoft runs (none / 0) (#145)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Mar 25th, 2002 at 10:46:27 PM PST
....thats right www.microsoft.com runs apache on linux mwahaha


 
Journaling Filesystems (1.00 / 1) (#32)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 07:35:42 PM PST
A journaling filesystem keeps a journal of what task it plans to do and what it has actually finished doing. That way if it gets half way through doing whatever it was doing (i.e. deleting a file) and the power goes out, it can either undo or complete that task.

Non-journaling filesystems (like ext2 and FAT) need to see if the filesystem is in a consistent state (i.e. no tasks are halfway finished) before they start up. This is why you get that annoying ScanDisk program after your Windows box crashes.

It should be noted that FAT and FAT32 (used by DOS non-NT-based versions of Windows) are not journaling filesystems. NTFS, the file system used by Windows NT, 2000 and XP is a journaling filesystem.


 
hmm.. (1.00 / 1) (#35)
by DG on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 08:06:11 PM PST
Wow.. that was so mindnumbingly boring, i can't get why this was posted. Hey osm are you smoking the same crack slashdot mods are smoking?

by and by don't group linux and freebsd together it's and insult to freebsd..
© 2002, DG. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

 
Talk about clueless (2.66 / 6) (#37)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 09:19:27 PM PST
SELECT * FROM author WHERE clue > 0

0 rows returned.


 
Xwindows (none / 0) (#38)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 10:32:06 PM PST
X windows is not a windows manager. It is a windowing system. That's just a small correction. Correcting your entire article would take 3-4 pages.


Oh, you are simply a genius. (none / 0) (#42)
by tkatchev on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 12:28:28 AM PST
You must be really smart.

Actually, no. "X Windows" is not a "windowing system". (Whatever the hell that is. Good job parroting words you don't know the meaning of.) "X Windows" is an antiquated display driver system. Although the XFree86 team is doing a good job trying to bring the monstrosity into a decent, more modern shape, I feel they are on a lost cause.

The X11 system was horrendously designed from the start. It was so bad that it was absolutely horrifying and antiquated even in the 1970's, when the first design specs were made. (I use the term "design specs" very loosely; if you can call drunken undergraduates "developers", then probably drunken, aimless coding could be called a "design specification".)




--
Peace and much love...




For once, tkatchev, (none / 0) (#44)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 02:49:16 AM PST
I thoroughly agree with you. X Windows is the bastard child of PARC. I hate the way that driving the display is left up to an "X Server" and "font server" binary executables. I hate the "network transparency". I hate the convoluted "extensions" system needed to use basic modern functionality. I hate the lack of look-and-feel documents for program authors to follow. I know programmers are lazy and don't like doing 'soft' things like make user interfaces. If there was a simple set of guidelines (like there are for the Macintosh, the Amiga, MS Windows, Athena and Motif...) then it wouldn't be so painful for them, and we might get some usable interfaces out of it.


 
life of a luser (none / 0) (#39)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Feb 11th, 2002 at 11:13:04 PM PST
You're so right. If only I contributed half as much as I waste time browsing websites and just learning from the vast amount of info one has to cover just to configure and maintain a linux system. But sadly I have gone from a commodore hacking kid to just another linux user, or luser. Maybe one day I'll learn how to program again.


 
Learn To Spell Mormon! (1.00 / 1) (#46)
by Peej on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 05:02:49 AM PST
Although your article is mostly contextually and factually correct, I am appauled by the spelling and grammar used throughout on such a high quality site as Adequacy.

I have taken the liberty of exposing these errors below in the hope that these sorts of bastardisations of the English language won't be repeated in the future:
  • superceded -> superseded
  • "The name comes from the FreeBSD distro which uses this license." -> "The name comes from the FreeBSD distro that uses this license."
  • langauge -> language
  • maintainance -> maintenance
  • "like PVCS and SourceSafe which has recently" -> "like PVCS and SourceSafe that have recently"
  • nonstandard -> non-standard
  • comphrensive -> comprehensive
  • comparible -> comparable
  • journalling -> journaling
  • persuit -> pursuit
  • acheives -> achieves
  • dependancy -> dependency
  • kernal -> kernel
  • "web browser which is now defunct" -> "web browser that is now defunct"
  • suprising -> surpising
  • "Software which doesn't come with the source code" -> "Software that doesn't come with the source code"
  • proprietry -> proprietary
  • unsuprisingly -> unsurprisingly
  • inferioir -> inferior
  • "A program which allows you to access" -> "A program that allows you to access"
  • execuatable -> executable
  • usuability -> usability
  • odor -> odour
  • blatently -> blatantly
I fear that your problem may not be your own fault and may be that of an inferior open source spell checker, I would recommend using a well tested and popular product like Microsoft Word to check your articles before posting them.

I hope this helps.

PS - The title of this comment is an Internet joke I picked up off of that Google chat room thing and is not intended to insult or offend.


Re : Learn To Spell Mormon! (5.00 / 2) (#48)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 05:49:11 AM PST
I fear that your problem may not be your own fault and may be that of an inferior open source spell checker, I would recommend using a well tested and popular product like Microsoft Word to check your articles before posting them.

Not sufficient, it seems. You wouldn't be appauled if it was


 
Inferior spell checking? (3.00 / 2) (#52)
by Skorgu on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 06:24:36 AM PST
It is painfully obvious that you used Microsoft Word to generate these corrections. Microsoft, in its habit of inventing standards has seen fit to 'invent' new grammar. The most notable, and in your case visible example of this is the substitution of which with that. Which and that are independant words and not interchangable, but the distinction is not one that any spellchecker could discern. Which is used to give non-essential information. Conversely, 'that' is used to convey information required to make the sentence coherent and logical. The use of a comma before either of these words is irrelevent and incorrect grammar. Spell checkers cannot be trusted to interpret the complex grammar rules of the english language and should not be used as such. Turn the grammar check off and get an education next time.


re: Inferior spell checking? (none / 0) (#54)
by Peej on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 06:54:19 AM PST
Contrary to popular belief, I (like many other computer users blessed with our capitalist market and western software tools) do not enjoy spending my time correcting spelling / grammar by hand when the subject matter is not of consequence to myself. As such I prefer to spend my time constructively improving myself and the lives of the people around and shun such trivial jobs as checking spelling and grammar to the likes of modern technology. I look forward to reading your corrected version of the above article with spelling and grammar corrections in place.


 
Metacorrection (none / 0) (#63)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 09:38:26 AM PST
independant - should be independent.

Bruce


 
Indeed (4.00 / 1) (#53)
by ICS Dempsey KBE on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 06:51:49 AM PST
Despite the inflammatory nature of the above comment, I nevertheless must express agreement with its sentiment. While I found the article to be quite informative, the range of spelling and grammatical errors was distinctly insulting. Such errors may be excusable in a comment, but for such detritus to appear in an article on the front page is unacceptable and displays exceeding disrespect to the readers.

In fact, I can see no reason why this article should remain in its present state in the marquee position on Adequacy, despite its quality content. For the nonce, I propose that Mr. Erikson's article be removed and later resubmitted after he has taken the time to correct this glaring abuse of the Queen's language. If Mr. Erikson lacks the inclination to industriousness needed to produce truly Adequate articles, I am sure others on the same topic may be found of a more honorable and professional quality.


 
You misspelled Pearl, several times (none / 0) (#66)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 11:18:08 AM PST
In the entry for "Python," you misspelled the language "Pearl" as "Perl." Could an editor fix this?


Thank you. (none / 0) (#67)
by tkatchev on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 12:48:00 PM PST
Sir, thank you kindly for your exceptional attention to detail. I will definitely take your comments into consideration next time. Good luck.


--
Peace and much love...




 
Both are correct... (none / 0) (#68)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 02:18:17 PM PST
In the entry for "Python," you misspelled the language "Pearl" as "Perl." Could an editor fix this?

Actually, either one is correct. "Pearl" is the name of the language and "perl" is label on the lunix icon you click to run the Pearl compiler.

Most versions of lunix don't support file names of more than 4 letters. That's why lunix icons have cryptic names like "awk" and "sed", instead of meaningful names like "Microsoft Word 8.0".




Meaningful Names... (none / 0) (#125)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Feb 19th, 2002 at 01:34:45 PM PST
like Progra~1?

You think you're funny, but you're not.


Long file names... (none / 0) (#133)
by The Mad Scientist on Wed Feb 20th, 2002 at 01:10:28 AM PST
...make tab-autocompletion on the commandline mandatory. I have to operate both Windows 95-98-2000-NT4 systems, Linuxes, and recently one BSD, and I painfully miss autocompletion in Windoze. Face it, mouse doesn't quite cut (nor paste) it.


Well then (none / 0) (#136)
by Jon Erikson on Wed Feb 20th, 2002 at 02:56:17 AM PST
I shall share my superior knowledge of the Windows environment with you my ignorant friend. Run regedit, search for "CompletionChar" and change the value to 9 and lo and behold, tab completion on the command line!

Now normally I'd charge you $$$ for this service, but consider this one a freebie.


Jon Erikson
Senior consultant, NPO Technologies


Thanks, but... (none / 0) (#138)
by The Mad Scientist on Wed Feb 20th, 2002 at 07:11:31 AM PST
...that covers only NT4 and NT5 (or 2000, who prefers it) machines. 98s are still plagued with the lack of this function.

Apropos - why filename and path autocompletion isn't on by default? Running attachments from email is, so why not this?


 
Not as bad as some of them, surprisingly. (none / 0) (#69)
by Lysidas on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 03:03:31 PM PST
I was expecting to find another "LUNIX IS AN ILLEGAL, EVIL, AND COMMUNIST OPERATION SYSTEM BY LUNIYONOS TORVOLLOTOSLS" article when I clicked on the link. Instead, I found an article that, despite some of its gleaming factual errors (like about FreeBSD), made some sense. It's a good thing that you added the line about not being very tech-savvy; otherwise, I might attribute the errors to idiocy, instead of inexperience. Though Linux (and many UNIXen for that matter) are incredible at stability and speed, the mob of you Microsoft Zealots do have a point: Linux isn't the easiest thing to use in the world. For me, that's a good thing. I despise operating systems that spend a lot of time and system resources saving you from yourself [Windows ME]. I'm much more comfortable in a shell than a GUI, and that influenced my decision as well. Enough about me though. Time to point out some of the errors in your descriptions.

Apache
A free hobbyist web server program that has gained widespread adoption within the Linux community (although not outside of it).
Very wrong. 56.5% of the Internet runs on Apache.


bash
Another name for the Linux shell . Comes from an old MIT hacker joke about wanting to bash the terminal as it was so difficult to use. Unfortunately, it hasn't improved much since.
As someone else pointed out, it's an acronym for Bourne Again SHell. Also, it's not the Linux shell. There are many to choose from.


cron
Actually, I'd say the Windows Scheduled Tasks folder acts much like cron, but I digress.


Distro::FreeBSD
As has been said before, FreeBSD is not a Linux distro. It's a version of UNIX.


Executable
Just `ls -l` and look for something with the x bit set for someone. It's very easy, actually.


ext2
...due to its lack of advanced journalling functionality compared to modern file systems like FAT...
FAT is by no means modern. It's been around since the days of QDOS -- and Microsoft's abandoned it. Why do you think Windows XP defaults to install on an NTFS partition? Also, ext3 (standard on Red Hat) has excellent journaling functionality.


Kernal
Please spell it right. Kernel.


"Lunis Torrvaldez"
Why can you never get his name right? Linus Torvalds. It's that easy. Also, UNIX systems have some of the best debuggers around, thanks to how the kernel handles memory. It's a pain in the ass in Windows (in my limited experience, anyway).


M$, Micro$oft, Micro$haft Winblows, etc.
The $ signs stand for the outrageous prices of Microsoft software, and they have by no means by "business practices" and "cunning marketing". I'll let you have the "knowing what their customers want" -- They've dumbed down Windows so much it's pitiful. "Build a system that even a fool can use and only a fool can use it." --Murphy's Law poster


Root
Actually, many *NIX systems have many administrator accounts. Just `cat /etc/passwd` and look for any UID's under 500 (user ID's). They're the administrative accounts, and there are specialized ones for different tasks. On small systems, they're rarely used.


Samba
Microsoft servers are a waste of money, IMHO.


Shell scripts
Sending someone a shell script that damages the system isn't a viable option for hacking a system; unless the user is root (and if they open attachments as root, they deserve to get hacked), no changes can be made to the system configuration. All the virus could do would be to trash the user's files. That's why you don't hear of many viruses under *NIX.


Swap
Actually, it can easily be changed. It takes some knowledge of using "parted", but it's not a hard process.


The terms that I haven't commented on are either correct, opinions, slightly wrong, or something that I'm not experienced in (and therefore won't argue about).

All in all, it's not that bad an article. Jargon can be confusing, which is why I spent a year or two getting comfortable with it before migrating to Linux.
Very funny, Scotty. Now beam down my clothes.

Erratta (none / 0) (#85)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 11:17:31 AM PST
Very wrong. 56.5% of the Internet runs on Apache.
That can't possibly be correct. Given the huge market share Microsoft Windows enjoys in the desktop market and the vast amount of Cisco equipment running things behind the scenes, the percentage of electronic devices running Apache that make up the internet doesn't approach 56.5%.

As has been said before, FreeBSD is not a Linux distro. It's a version of UNIX
I though Linux was a version of Unix?

Just `ls -l` and look for something with the x bit set for someone. It's very easy, actually.
I have no idea what an 'x bit' is, nor would I be able to tell if it was 'set for someone'. Isn't it much easier just to open the Windows Explorer and look for files with .EXE at the end?

FAT is by no means modern. It's been around since the days of QDOS
The whole of Unix has been around since before the days of QDOS, should we abandon that as well?

Also, UNIX systems have some of the best debuggers around
I think the article was referring to Linux's (the man, not the OS) distaste for debuggers rather than the availibility of them for particular systems.

The $ signs stand for the outrageous prices of Microsoft software, and they have by no means by "business practices" and "cunning marketing".- They've dumbed down Windows so much it's pitiful. "Build a system that even a fool can use and only a fool can use it." --Murphy's Law poster
The $ stands for juvenility. The prices aren't outrageous because they are set at what the market will bear, which is obvious to anyone with a hint of capitalist economic knowledge. Hard work, good will, kind intentions. None of those things create economic value. Supply and demand (you could say scarcity) do, even if the supply side is involves a resource that would be virtually unlimited if copyright law were not in the way. Also, I am not sure I would be criticizing Adequacy articles if I found wisdom in Murphy's Law posters.

unless the user is root (and if they open attachments as root, they deserve to get hacked)
Ah, the old Linux Apologist's fallback. 'Linux is secure' on one hand and 'if you get hacked its your fault' on the other.

Actually, it can easily be changed. It takes some knowledge of using "parted", but it's not a hard process.
Windows does it on its own. I prefer to allow it to do so, and spend my time reading books, versus learning about 'parted'.


Ambiguity and more... (none / 0) (#89)
by budlite on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 11:52:51 AM PST
1) I suppose it depends on how you view the internet. If you view it as simply the sum of all the computers connected to the internet in some fashion then yes, you're correct. If you look solely at the World Wide Web, and focus on the servers that drive it, THEN the 56.6% statistic becomes much more probable.

2) I suppose you're close to being right, but not quite about Linux being a "version" of Unix. The original Unix was developed at Bell Labs in the 1970s, and eventually split into two separate varieties - AT&T Unix and Berkeley Standard Distribution (BSD). These were maintained independently of each other, and the BSD Unixes OpenBSD, NetBSD and FreeBSD are all descendents of the original BSD Unix.

Many other Unix-alikes were created, among them Minix, designed to aid in the teaching of OS programming, twinned with a book by Andrew Tanenbaum. Linus Torvalds learned OS programming from this book, and basically built Linux from the ground up, probably incorporating bits of Minix in there along the way. The thing to note here is that Minix is NOT a true Unix, so by extension neither is Linux. It's true that Linux works in a very similar fashion to most Unixes and other Unix-alikes at a higher level, but there are significant differences at lower levels (kernels, base toolkit etc.). It is these differences that cause much infighting between Unix and Linux afficionados.

3) You could also say that a person who opens an e-mail attachment as Administrator on a Win2K/XP box is just as silly as someone opening an e-mail attachment as root on a Unix/Linux box.


 
oooohh ahhhhh (none / 0) (#72)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 04:23:40 PM PST
As someone who is not particularly "tech-savvy" I encountered many problems with the technology and the confusing jargon that Linux users so liberally employ,...

You are not tech-savvy yet you were asked to engage in a far-reaching research project into the up-and-coming operating system Linux, or GNU/Linux as some of its more extreme supporters insist on calling it. First off you are not tech savvy yet you attempt to write an article about Linux. And who asked you to engage in this study? Must have been an idiot. Why do I say that? Because so many dumb asses refer to linux as an operating rather than what it is, a kernel. Not to mention your obvious lack of knowledge.

Now it's time for the long list of correction. I pwon't go into the opinion based bullshit like that fact that it's Linus Torvalds not Lunis Torrvaldez.

Apache
(A "patchy" server) A widely-used public domain, UNIX-based Web server from the Apache Group (www.apache.org). It is based on, and is a plug-in replacement for, NCSA's HTTPd server Version 1.3. The name came from a body of existing code and many "patch files."

awk
(Aho Weinberger Kernighan) A UNIX programming utility developed in 1977 by Alfred Aho, Peter Weinberger and Brian Kernighan. Due to its unique pattern-matching syntax, awk is often used in data retrieval and data transformation. Awk is widely used to search for a particular occurrence of text and perform some operation on it. Awk is an interpreted language, which has been ported to other computing environments, including DOS.

bash
(Bourne Again SHell shell) A command line processor for UNIX from the Free Software Foundation. It is the de facto command processor in Linux.

BSD Unix
(Berkeley Software Distribution UNIX) A version of UNIX developed by the Computer Systems Research Group of the University of California at Berkeley from 1979 to 1993. BSD enhancements, known as the "Berkeley Extensions," include networking, virtual memory, task switching and large file names (up to 255 chars.). BSD's UNIX was distributed free, with a charge only for the media. USL code is contained in most BSD versions, and users require a valid USL license in such cases.
Bill Joy ran the group until 1982 when he co-founded Sun Microsystems, bringing 4.2BSD with him as the foundation of SunOS. The last BSD version released by BSD was 4.4BSD.
Berkeley Software Design, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO (www.bsdi.com), a private company founded in 1991, continued to develop BSD code until 2001, when Wind River Systems (www.windriver.com) acquired its software assets. Wind River also supports Free BSD, a collaborative open source effort.

C/C++
A high-level programming language developed at Bell Labs that is able to manipulate the computer at a low level like assembly language. During the last half of the 1980s, C became the language of choice for developing commercial software.
C can be compiled into machine languages for almost all computers. For example, UNIX is written in C and runs in a wide variety of micros, minis and mainframes.
C, as well as C++, are written as a series of functions that call each other for processing. Even the body of the program is a function named "main." Functions are very flexible, allowing programmers to choose from the standard library that comes with the compiler, to use third party functions from other C suppliers, or to develop their own.
Compared to other high-level programming languages, C appears complicated. Its intricate appearance is due to its extreme flexibility. C was standardized by ANSI (X3J11 committee) and ISO in 1989. The Origins of C

compiler
Software that translates a program written in a high-level programming language (COBOL, C, etc.) into machine language. A compiler usually generates assembly language first and then translates the assembly language into machine language. A utility known as a "link editor" then combines all required machine language modules into an executable program that can run in the computer.

cron
A UNIX utility (UNIX daemon) that executes commands in a crontab file at a specified time and date. Cron is used to schedule such functions as backup and maintenance procedures.

CVS
(Concurrent Versions System) A version control system for UNIX that was initially developed as a series of shell scripts in the mid-1980s. CVS maintains the changes between one source code version and another and stores all the changes in one file. It supports group collaboration by merging the files from each programmer.

daemon
A UNIX program that executes in the background ready to perform an operation when required. Functioning like an extension to the operating system, a daemon is usually an unattended process that is initiated at startup. Typical daemons are print spoolers and e-mail handlers or a scheduler that starts up another process at a designated time. The term comes from Greek mythology meaning "guardian spirit."

Emacs
(Editor MACroS) A text editor developed at MIT by Richard Stallman that is used for writing UNIX programs. It provides a wide variety of editing features including multiple windows. GNU EMACS is maintained by the Free Software Foundation.

executable
As an adjective: able to be run in its current format. As a noun: a program file ready to run in a particular environment. The file extension exe is short for executable.

Free Software
This is software that is free either through licensing (open source software such as Linux) or cost alone (freeware). The term does not imply open source.

GNU
(Gnu's Not UNIX) A project sponsored by the Free Software Foundation that develops and maintains a complete software environment including operating system kernel and utilities, editor, compiler and debugger. Many consultants and organizations provide support for GNU software, and more than 150 software products are available online or on CD-ROM. For information, visit www.gnu.org.

GNU GPL
Shory for General Public License. The license that accompanies the GNU software. Also known as a "copyleft," it gives everyone the right to use and modify the material as long as they make it available to everyone else with the same licensing stipulation.

GNOME
(GNU Network Object Modeling Environment) A GUI-based user interface for Linux and other UNIX environments that grew out of the GNU project. Providing an alternative to the KDE interface, GNOME is either pronounced "guhnome" or "nome." Companies such as Red Hat Software (www.redhat.com) and Helix Code, Inc. (www.helixcode.com) support the GNOME environment. For more information, visit www.gnome.org.

grep
(Global Regular Expression and Print) A UNIX pattern matching utility that searches files for a string of text and outputs any line that contains the pattern. Grep came from ed, the UNIX text editor, in which the expression g/re/p means "display all text in the file that matches this." That single function became a utility program itself.

KDE
(K Desktop Environment) A GUI-based user interface for UNIX workstations. It provides a complete desktop environment like Windows and the Mac with its own unique style and features. The source code is freely distributed and is maintained by developers around the world. Widely use with Linux, which is also freeware, information can be found at www.kde.org.

kernel
The fundamental part of a program, typically an operating system, that resides in memory at all times and provides the basic services. It is the part of the operating system that is closest to the machine and may activate the hardware directly or interface to another software layer that drives the hardware.

Linux
A version of UNIX that runs on a variety of hardware platforms including x86 PCs, Alpha, PowerPC and IBM's product line. Linux is open source software, which is freely available; however, the full distribution of Linux along with technical support and training are available for a fee from vendors such as Red Hat Software (www.redhat.com) and Caldera (www.caldera.com). The distribution CD-ROMs include the complete source code as well as hundreds of tools, applets and utilities.
Due to its stability, Linux has gained popularity with ISPs as the OS for hosting Web servers. Its usage is expected to grow as a server OS as well as for the desktop (see KDE and GNOME). IBM is supporting Linux for all of its hardware platforms in order to have a common OS for all product lines.
In 1990, Finnish computer science student Linus Torvalds turned Minix, a popular classroom teaching tool, into Linux, which is closer to the real UNIX. Torvalds created the kernel, and most of the supporting applications and utilities came from the GNU project of the Free Software Foundation. Many programmers have contributed to the Linux/GNU system. VA Linux Systems provides a Web site devoted entirely to Linux (www.linux.com).
As for the pronunciation of the word, if you live in Finland, you would say "lee-nooks," because Linus is pronounced "lee-noose." Since the English pronunciation of Linus is "line-us," many call it "line-ucks." Also quite common is "lin-ucks," which is somewhere in between. No matter how you say it, Linux is growing rapidly.

Minix
A version of UNIX for the PC, Mac, Amiga and Atari ST developed by Andrew Tannenbaum and published by Prentice-Hall. It comes with complete source code.

Mozilla
The code name for Netscape Navigator and Netscape's first alligator-like mascot. It stood for "Mosaic Killer." Mosaic was the Web browser that caused the Web to become popular, which was created by the same people who later founded Netscape.
In early 1998, Netscape Communicator was made free of charge, and its source code was also made available to the developer world. An internal group within Netscape, entitled "mozilla.org," was created to act as a central clearing house for improvements made to Communicator by third parties. For more information, visit www.mozilla.org.

MySQL
A version of mSQL

open source
Free source code of a program, which is made available to the development community at large. The rationale is that a broader group of programmers will utlimately produce a more useful and more bug-free product for everyone, especially because more people will be reviewing the code. Peer review is considered one of the most important safeguards to prevent buggy code, but is often not given enough, if any, attention by software companies. Peer review is a natural byproduct of open source projects.
In addition to having better code, open source software allows an organization to modify the product for its own use rather than hope that the vendor of a proprietary product will implement its suggestions in a subsequent release. Examples of popular open source programs are the Apache Web server, sendmail mail server and Linux operating system. Netscape Communicator was made open source in 1998 (see Mozilla). For more information, visit www.opensource.org.

Perl
(Practical Extraction Report Language) A programming language written by Larry Wall that combines syntax from several UNIX utilities and languages. Introduced in 1987, Perl is designed to handle a variety of system administrator functions and provides comprehensive string handling functions. It is widely used to write Web server programs for such tasks as automatically updating user accounts and newsgroup postings, processing removal requests, synchronizing databases and generating reports. Perl has also been adapted to non-UNIX platforms.

programming language
A language used to write instructions for the computer. It lets the programmer express data processing in a symbolic manner without regard to machine-specific details. Examples of programming languages include Ada, APL, BASIC, C, C++, COBOL, FORTRAN, Java, JavaScript, Pascal, Perl, Python, and Visual BASIC.

Python
A popular, object-oriented scripting language used for writing system utilities and Internet scripts. It is also used as a glue language for integrating components in C and C++. Created by Guido van Rossum in Amsterdam in the early 1990s, it was named after the BBC comedy series "Monty Python's Flying Circus." Python is an interpreted language that compiles to bytecode and requires a "virtual machine" for runtime execution. It uses elements from C, C++ and Modula and supports interfaces to popular functions and libraries such as UNIX sockets, the Tk GUI library, Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) and X11.

root
A person with unlimited access privileges who can perform any and all operations on the computer. Also called "superuser." In Windows this account is referred to as Administrator. Various other administrator-like accounts can be created or permissions can be set to give limited priviledges to other accounts in Windows, Unix, and other OSes.
The top level of a hierarchy. (For example Unix = /, Windows = \)

Samba
(SaMBa) Software that allows a UNIX server to act as a file server to Windows clients. Samba is a free, open source implementation of the CIFS file sharing protocol, which evolved from SMB, hence the SMB in SaMBa. Samba runs under Linux, FreeBSD and other UNIX variants. It can be used with any modern PC as well as other hardware, but due to its efficiency, it also lends itself to old 486s that are recycled to serve as inexpensive file, print and backup servers in a Windows environment.

sed
(Stream EDitor) A UNIX text editor that processes an entire file. It executes "ed" commands from an earlier UNIX editor, but instead of interactively editing text one line at a time, sed applies the commands to the entire file. Thus, sed is the stream-oriented version of ed.

shell
The outer layer of a program that provides the user interface, or way of commanding the computer. In UNIX, the Bourne shell was the original command processor, with C shell and Korn shell developed later. In DOS, the shell command typically specifies COMMAND.COM, the command processor that interprets commands such as Dir and Type. DOS also came with an optional user interface with menus, known as the DOS Shell, but was never very popular.

shell script
A file of executable UNIX commands that is created in a text editor. When the file is run, each command is executed until the end of the file is reached. Shell scripts are the UNIX counterpart to DOS batch files and scripts supported by the Windows Scripting Host. Once the shell script is written, it is made usable by changing its file status to "executable" with the UNIX chmode (change mode) command.

source code
Programming statements and instructions that are written by a programmer. Source code is what a programmer writes, but it is not directly executable by the computer. It must be converted into machine language by compilers, assemblers or interpreters. In some cases, source code can be machine generated by conversion programs that convert the source code of one programming language or dialect into the source code of another language or dialect.

swap file
A disk file used to temporarily save a program or part of a program running in memory.

vi
(Visual Interface) A UNIX full-screen text editor that can be run from a terminal or the system console. It is a fast, programmer-oriented utility.
(Virtual Interface) A memory to memory transport protocol that is used for high-speed transfer of data between machines. Used in clusters of two or more computers, VI enables long blocks of data to be sent from one application in one machine directly to another application in a remote machine without the overhead associated with being broken up into packets by a transport protocol. However, the lower data link protocols VI relies on to transmit over a network may or may not break up the data into frames. Another feature is VI's ability to communicate directly from the application's buffer to the network interface and bypass the operating system. Also known as Virtual Interface Architecture (VIA), VI could be considered a "remote DMA."

virtual memory
Simulating more memory than actually exists, allowing the computer to run larger programs or more programs concurrently. It breaks up the program into small segments, called "pages," and brings as many pages into memory that fit into a reserved area for that program. When additional pages are required, it makes room for them by swapping them to disk. It keeps track of pages that have been modified, so that they can be retrieved when needed again.
If a program's logic points back and forth to opposite ends of the program, excessive disk accesses, or "thrashing," can slow down execution.
Virtual memory can be implemented in software only, but efficient operation requires virtual memory hardware. Virtual memory claims are sometimes made for specific applications that bring additional parts of the program in as needed; however, true virtual memory is a hardware and operating system implementation that works with all applications.

window manager
Software incorporated into all popular GUIs, which displays a window with accompanying menus, buttons and scroll bars. It allows the windows to be relocated, overlapped, resized, minimized and maximized.

WINE
(WINdows Emulator) Software that emulates Windows applications under certain versions of UNIX (such as Linux) running on an x86 machine. It is made up of two components. The program loader loads and executes Windows binaries, and an emulation library converts Windows calls into X Window calls.

X Window
(X Window System) Also called "X Windows" and simply "X," it is a windowing system developed at MIT, which runs under UNIX and all major operating systems. It lets users run applications on other computers in the network and view the output on their own screen.
X Window generates a rudimentary window that can be enhanced with GUIs, such as Open Look and Motif, but does not require applications to conform to a GUI standard. The window manager component of the GUI allows multiple resizable, relocatable X windows to be viewed on screen at the same time.
X client software resides in the computer that performs the processing and X server software resides in the computer that displays it. Both components can also be in the same machine. This seems opposite to today's client/server terminology, but the concept is that the server is "serving up" the image.


lemme guess: (none / 0) (#73)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 04:39:08 PM PST
7 gets you 10 that your penis is miniscule. Microscopic.


 
That reminds me (none / 0) (#74)
by walwyn on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 04:45:52 PM PST
I need to go do something.


 
Small Correction to Corrections (none / 0) (#80)
by Peej on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 06:50:25 AM PST
Thank you Mr. Reader for correcting the few small errors in this otherwise excellent article. However I have spotted a few errors in your corrections which I have outlined below:

MySQL is not a version on mSQL. Here is an extract from the MySQL documentation on the subject of MySQL and mSQL:

"We once started out with the intention of using mSQL to connect to our tables using our own fast low-level (ISAM) routines. However, after some testing we came to the conclusion that mSQL was not fast enough nor flexible enough for our needs. This resulted in a new SQL interface to our database but with almost the same API interface as mSQL. This API was chosen to ease porting of third-party code."

WINE is not an abbreviation for WINdows Emulator as you suguest, according to The Wine Project WINE stands for: WINE Is Not an Emulator

Hope this clarifies this article some more


 
Emacs (none / 0) (#111)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Feb 16th, 2002 at 11:43:41 PM PST
I thought it stood for Eight Megs and Keeps swapping.


Emacs (none / 0) (#112)
by walwyn on Sun Feb 17th, 2002 at 08:16:31 AM PST
Well whilst we do all our development work on MS based machined and use VC++ as our primary compiler. Not one one of my 60+ colleagues uses the stupid builtin editor.

Emacs being the text editor of choice.

Now if only I could find a way of permanently disabling the editing facility in VC life would be so much better.


Vim is what you want (none / 0) (#123)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Feb 19th, 2002 at 01:19:29 PM PST
Vim can be used with Microsoft Visual Studio. And it's so much better than Emacs


Right! (none / 0) (#128)
by walwyn on Tue Feb 19th, 2002 at 02:26:43 PM PST
So can you click on a change reference in the source and have 'vim' automatically load the 'change document'? Click on the bug report reference and have that loaded too? Highlight and merge overlapping changes from 2 or developers? Integrate it into the companywide development process?


Face it EMACS sucks. (none / 0) (#130)
by dmg on Tue Feb 19th, 2002 at 06:06:23 PM PST
EMACS is the Radical Islam of editors. It demands total submission to its worldview.

Vi on the other hand is more like Protestant Christianity.

Sure emacs can let you run a lisp program to play towers of hanoi, or indulge you in an hilarious session with the doctor 'Eliza'. Indeed you can read net news, and surf the web within Emacs.But the question I always have to ask people is:

But can it edit text ? to which the answer is for most people "NO".

I don't want to type esc-word-forward just to move forward one word. That's just plain ridiculous and even with command completion, its not much better. I gave up on emacs long ago. Its Vi and Vim all the way for this Unix hacker.

Indeed, vi is one of the few things you will find on any unix system you log into, and as such vi is a valuable skill for any unix admin to posess.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

Vi to EMACS... (none / 0) (#132)
by The Mad Scientist on Wed Feb 20th, 2002 at 01:08:22 AM PST
...is like a masturbation to making love.

It's available everywhere, but it is not the first choice.


 
Missing a trick... (none / 0) (#135)
by walwyn on Wed Feb 20th, 2002 at 01:45:39 AM PST
I don't want to type esc-word-forward just to move forward one word.

You are ignoring the fact that you have the source code.

Noting that the more code programmer write the more bugs they introduce, we have replaced these ridiculously short command sequences with something more appropriate for example 'esc-move-one-word-forwards-only'. And to hamper any hackers, who might slip through our recruitment procedures, dead in their tracks we disabled the 'global-set-key' command and its derivates too.

The number of new bugs introduced into our system has reduced dramatically.

An added advantage is that when new recruits complain about the disablement of the 'global-set-key' command, we can call up additional surveillance of the computer usage.


 
Apache Isn't A Program! (none / 0) (#75)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 08:19:19 PM PST
No, no, no. You've got it all wrong. Apache is a "type of server operating system." I have it on the good authority of my CS networking prof.


Are you a fool? (none / 0) (#86)
by budlite on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 11:19:34 AM PST
Methinks so. Apache is a program. It runs on a host OS (just about any on which it's somehow possible to compile it). It's not an operating system, it doesn't bind the hardware components of the computer together into a single working (although modular) entity as an operating system is supposed to.

It is a series of instructions put together to perform a task, in other words, a PROGRAM. The task it performs is to accept HTTP requests from other computers on the network, and process those requests (i.e., stream HTML text back to the user's web browser).


yeah, right. We believe you. (none / 0) (#95)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 03:23:30 PM PST
I didnt catch the name of the computer science faculty where you teach networking. University of slashdot?

I thought so.


If you must know... (none / 0) (#103)
by budlite on Thu Feb 14th, 2002 at 07:50:41 AM PST
I've not looked at, or thought about looking at Slashdot in a long while.

I just don't believe that Apache, as in the HTTP server program, is an operating system as the original poster put it.


You think your so smart huh? (none / 0) (#109)
by gNinja on Sat Feb 16th, 2002 at 03:29:39 PM PST
So you think that all of a sudden because you read a few web logs you're smarter than a real computer scientist?

I don't know about anyone else but I'm more inclined to believe a highly educated network specialist than I am some highschool student who goes by the name "budlite."

Come back after you get your doctorate and then we can talk.

You geeks are so arrogant. Don't you ever wonder why no one can stand to be around you?


'scuse me? (none / 0) (#113)
by budlite on Sun Feb 17th, 2002 at 08:55:31 AM PST
This has what relevance to what I was saying, exactly?

Anyway, I'm not a high school student, if you must know, I'm 19 and studying computer science at Reading University (in ENGLAND, I should add).


this is relevant (none / 0) (#116)
by gNinja on Sun Feb 17th, 2002 at 09:13:29 PM PST
because you don't have a degree or the first clue about apache.

You're trying to correct a professor with a phd in networking and you don't understand why he refutes everything you have to say.

Here's a hint: You need to get a job and a couple years of experience before you will be able to understand the issues at hand, let alone contribute in any meaningful way.

This is nothing personal against you, but you "o1d-sty1e Lunix" kids really piss me off with your bad attitudes.




You are irrelevant. (none / 0) (#117)
by The Mad Scientist on Mon Feb 18th, 2002 at 01:56:44 AM PST
because you don't have a degree or the first clue about apache.

His claims about Apache being an user-space program instead of part of an OS are true.

You're trying to correct a professor with a phd in networking and you don't understand why he refutes everything you have to say.

If the professor made a blundrer, I see no reason why he shouldn't be corrected.

Here's a hint: You need to get a job and a couple years of experience before you will be able to understand the issues at hand, let alone contribute in any meaningful way.

I have an IT job and couple years of experience. I put the weight of them behind confirming Budlite's Apache claim. Satisfied?

This is nothing personal against you, but you "o1d-sty1e Lunix" kids really piss me off with your bad attitudes.

Using numbers in words for other reason than saving keystrokes where it matters (or for parody purposes) is really bad attitude. Otherwise I don't see what's wrong on saying what one thinks, despite that it can go against the Officially Touted Truths?


Thank you The Mad Scientist (none / 0) (#118)
by budlite on Mon Feb 18th, 2002 at 05:49:11 AM PST
Oh, and gNinja, just remember that "o1d-sty1e Lunix" kids don't tend to use "h4x0rsp34k", except in a derogatory context. Personally I favour correct (or as correct as can be) English over anything that has "cool" value. Makes for much easier conversation and makes life just that little bit easier to get through.

I'll freely admit that I don't have the experience that a lot of the posters here have, but that shouldn't earmark me or anyone else like me for snide comments about it. Perhaps a correction of factual errors and something to back up the claim that I'm wrong would be better.


 
Yes. (none / 0) (#114)
by The Mad Scientist on Sun Feb 17th, 2002 at 09:05:43 AM PST
So you think that all of a sudden because you read a few web logs you're smarter than a real computer scientist?

Depends on what he read. I seen many people with no paper credentials whom I trust much more in their areas of expertise than people with a half-dozen of titles.

I don't know about anyone else but I'm more inclined to believe a highly educated network specialist than I am some highschool student who goes by the name "budlite."

Take a real problem and throw it to them and watch them cope. That is the ultimate answer.

Come back after you get your doctorate and then we can talk.

Especially in comp.sci the formal degrees have no more worth than the worth of the paper they are printed on. Real performance is what matters. When we take a new person on board, he gets a real-life problem and then is supervised. Often this is a part of hiring interview. Paper degrees don't translate to real experiences - these two are only weakly correlated.

If an employment candidate starts claiming that Apache - a HTTP server - is an operating system or a part of one, guess if he would get the job. (Answer: No.)

You geeks are so arrogant. Don't you ever wonder why no one can stand to be around you?

Because it usually turns out at the end that we were the ones who was right?


Yup (none / 0) (#119)
by budlite on Mon Feb 18th, 2002 at 05:55:51 AM PST
--
So you think that all of a sudden because you read a few web logs you're smarter than a real computer scientist?

Depends on what he read. I seen many people with no paper credentials whom I trust much more in their areas of expertise than people with a half-dozen of titles.
--

That's true - I know a couple people who have highly-paid jobs with computer companies, who don't have degrees or any other formal education in computers, and both started working in those positions at age 19. That's how old I am.

Both of these people admin servers for their employers, and seem to be very good at it. I can usually throw just about any problem or question at them to do with networking, programming or Linux use and they'll come up trumps every time.

In fact, I have a friend here at University who could probably do exactly the same thing - I can bounce just about any question I care to ask about networking or assembly language programming and he'll give a good answer.


 
apache is a program! (none / 0) (#148)
by kidfromehs on Mon Aug 26th, 2002 at 05:28:11 PM PST
What the hell is wrong with you, do you think your opinion superceeds every one elses why doidnt you try using apache then tell us what it is


 
At least he got vi right. (none / 0) (#76)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 10:36:10 PM PST



 
I cannot believe it! the site is still up! (none / 0) (#78)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 03:44:55 AM PST
God Damnit! It is incredible those greasy linux zealots haven't hacked this site yet!

From my experiences with them in the past i learned they like
to hack any machine not running the Debian Lunix Computer Operating System and hosting any kind of web document containing the word "Debian". They even run silly competitions called "0-day hacks" where they try to demonstrate that their sexual glands are composed by a much more great ammount of cells than other zealots' sexual glands.

They are specially evil against any kind of web site not only commiting the "profanation" of the "sacred" word ("Debian")
but also trying to expose their real nature in any way: they do not tolerate any attempt of helping them to see the real nature of this whole world including of course the real nature of themselves. They hate themselves and they project that hate on anyone they think is acting against their maniacal "filosophy" and
they really go crazy if anyone dares to mention their secret plan to seize control over the whole planet technical infrastructure (Oh my God i did it!)

Once again, i cannot understand why this site has not been already destroyed.

No, I'm not too lazy to create an account, is just i'm scared about Debian Lunix Computer Operating System zealots hacking the site (it's a sure fact it's going to happen) and discovering that my real name is Juan Fernandez.


Actually its not incredible at all. (none / 0) (#84)
by dmg on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 10:09:08 AM PST
God Damnit! It is incredible those greasy linux zealots haven't hacked this site yet!

Whilst Linux Zealots would have you believe they are all 31337 h4x0rs, the reality is somewhat different. Your average Linux user is the same person who listens to the "music" of Korn, Slipknot and Limp-Bizkit. In short, a moron.

Time and again the skr1pt k1dd135 attempt to DOS adequacy, or portscan us in futile attempts to 'root' our boxen.

Fact is, the adequacy editors with their highbrow theoretical knowledge of computer security, and their able and experienced technical staff in the server rooms are more than a match for any smelly friendless 14-year old skript kiddie.

What is it about the lame hacked together piece of shit Lunix that makes everyone assume its users are rocket scientists ? The evidence points the other way. I mean, faced with an operating system that demands you learn arcane commands such as 'awk', 'sed' 'grep' and 'fsck' just to get a simple document up on the screen, or one where you click on a picture of a document, which one would the smart guy choose ?

To sum up, Adequacy has not been hacked by Linux users because they are too stupid, and we are too clever for them and good at practical security. Combine this with our formidable legal team, and I think you can understand why we are still around.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

Well... (none / 0) (#87)
by budlite on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 11:29:45 AM PST
I'd choose Linux, where the user double-clicks on a pictorial representation of a document (known as an "icon"), which is then opened in the associated application.

I've never used awk, sed, grep or fsck to display a document on the screen. Why? Because that's not what they do.

awk and sed are non-interactive text processors
grep searches through files for a specified string
fsck is Linux/Unix's equivalent of Scandisk.

By the way, I'm a Linux user. I listen to music by:

Muse
Oasis
Hundred Reasons
Mercury Rev
Hopewell
Sigur Ros
American Hi-Fi
Feeder
Deftones
Doves
Offspring
Eels
Clearlake
Primal Scream
Paul Weller

to name but a very few of the groups/artists in my large (legitimate) music collection. Yes, some of those are heavier rock, but not from the dumb, mass-appeal teen-metal market that spawned Slipknot, Korn and Limp Bizkit (in no particular order)


For those scoring at home (none / 0) (#92)
by derek3000 on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 12:58:20 PM PST
Plus 3 for Sigur Ros
Plus 4 for Mercury Rev
Minus 2 for Oasis
Minus 10 for Deftones
-------------------------
-5 (ouch!)

The Deftones might seem cooler than their counterparts--but look closer and you will see that they are no better than Korn or Limp Bizkit. For instance: don't they have dreads/crazy hair like Korn and LB? They all have white-ass 'scratching' in their shit, right? Not to mention the same rythmic and melodic tendencies.

But I don't say this to make fun of you--I say this to help you see the light. Won't you join us?




----------------
"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

hrm (none / 0) (#93)
by budlite on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 01:46:14 PM PST
'tain't a matter of "coolness", Deftones just seem to be somewhat more mature, less affected by fame, just....not wankers. Yes, they may sound somewhat similar to other metal bands, but there's something more to their music that I can't quite define.

I've seen Slipknot, Deftones and Limp Bizkit all play live at a festival, Deftones came way out on top - no gimmicks, no abuse, no "you-should-be-grateful-we're-even-here-dipshits" attitude, way better tunes and lyrics. Whether they've got dreads or not is totally irrelevant. Lastly, I've heard very little scratching or other DJ-related sounds in their music - maybe a little synth stuff on later albums, but little else.

Truth is I don't listen to a great deal of heavy rock outside what I hear on the radio or in the clubs I go to. I listen to virtually aything, but tend to buy only what I like, but with only a few exceptions either way. All I was trying to do with my post was make the point to the commenter I replied to that not all Linux users are 13-year-old moshers who dress exclusively in massive flared jeans, chains and slipknot hoodies even in midsummer, but that we're somewhat more advanced than that.

Anyway, I'll say this - it's good to find someone else who's heard of Sigur Ros.


good heavens (none / 0) (#94)
by nathan on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 03:16:05 PM PST
Are you sure that you're at a university? I couldn't get away from hipsters playing Sigur Røs as an undergrad.

See, this is what I'm saying. Cool because of listening to something obscure? Check out some Machaut or Dufay, or maybe some Indian classical music. And don't expect anything you do to make you cool. Cool is something you are, and you can't get that way with your finger testing the wind.

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

But I never... (none / 0) (#104)
by budlite on Thu Feb 14th, 2002 at 07:56:27 AM PST
I never made any claims to be "cool" as an absolute. All I did was try and correct the recent myth/propaganda that Linux users are braindead moshers who'd rather break into someone else's machine than use their own for any useful purpose.

I just listen to whatever takes my fancy. Sigur Ros did, in a big way. I don't claim to belong to any "class" of musical taste, except that I tend to stray away from the mainstream a bit.


 
Mostly logical. (none / 0) (#88)
by The Mad Scientist on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 11:35:09 AM PST
Your average Linux user is the same person who listens to the "music" of Korn, Slipknot and Limp-Bizkit. In short, a moron.

Then either my Linux-using friends aren't average Linux users, or your statement isn't entirely true. We tend to have a bit more sophisticated music tastes here. Personally, I consider Toccata and Fugue in D minor one of the best pieces of music ever produced.

Time and again the skr1pt k1dd135 attempt to DOS adequacy, or portscan us in futile attempts to 'root' our boxen.

DoS is unfair, unless warranted by ie. a need to shut down a machine that went berserk and ie. started flooding the network with packets or mails. (Then the effect validates the means and any way, maybe except a tactical nuke, is good to shut it down; any resulting mess can be solved later.) A portscan doesn't always mean a desire to hack the target; I scan quite commonly, without desire to 0wn the target - just with the curiosity what the target is. Maybe a professional deformation; even with physical objects, ie. buildings, the first thing I usually notice are the cameras and security sensors. It doesn't necessarily have to be a desire to attack; sometimes it can be just a desire to know the object or facility or system I entrust myself or my data to is adequately protected. If you are going to bungee-jump, I suppose you check the rope yourself; hell, just today I was paranoid a bit more than my duties are, and found a potentially fatal mistake in our new office's electricity wiring - maybe I prevented a fire or a death!

Fact is, the adequacy editors with their highbrow theoretical knowledge of computer security, and their able and experienced technical staff in the server rooms are more than a match for any smelly friendless 14-year old skript kiddie.

Their choice of Apache/FreeBSD, opensource and with good track record security-wise, seems to back this statement.

What is it about the lame hacked together piece of shit Lunix that makes everyone assume its users are rocket scientists ?

Most likely the dropping of standards for the users. Who was considered stupid just few years ago is now considered normal. You learn a few commands, and voila - you're considered genius. Bah. What's so special on thinking???

I mean, faced with an operating system that demands you learn arcane commands such as 'awk', 'sed' 'grep' and 'fsck' just to get a simple document up on the screen, or one where you click on a picture of a document, which one would the smart guy choose?

The system that is dependable and stores the documents in a format that will allow manual retrieval in case of a mishap - and in a format that is easy to convert to any other. The system that gives out appropriate messages when it boots, instead of hiding behind colorful graphics (which is acceptable until something goes wrong). The system that has the option to go down to the commandline in case anything goes wrong. The system that for exchange for couple days of heavy learning offers dependability. The system that installs straightforward and doesn't have the kind of problems that the one of The Corporation Whose Name Shouldn't Be Spoken. I will refrain from further comments; I could continue for much longer time, last week was Windows-2000 nightmare and the fun hadn't ended yet.

To sum up, Adequacy has not been hacked by Linux users because they are too stupid, and we are too clever for them and good at practical security.

Adequacy has not been hacked (or maybe was, but even in that case, it recovered pretty well) because of running on apparently well-configured FreeBSD, the server-side choice of experts.

Combine this with our formidable legal team, and I think you can understand why we are still around.

Lawyers are just smoke and mirrors. Technicians are what really matters!


 
Perhaps... (none / 0) (#127)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Feb 19th, 2002 at 01:43:04 PM PST
You should try Linux before you say such mean things about it.


Tried it, Rejected it. (none / 0) (#129)
by dmg on Tue Feb 19th, 2002 at 06:00:14 PM PST
I have tried Linux in several distros. Slackware, Debian and Redhat. What I found they had in common was a slapdash approach to configuration, and an UTTER CONTEMPT for the user.

Which is why I now run OpenBSD3.0 and Windows Millenium.

Of course, some people may think I am maybe a bit of an un-american terrorist hacker for running OpenBSD, but it was either that or Linux, and I wanted something that worked.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

 
Whoa! (none / 0) (#83)
by Wiener on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 08:45:30 AM PST
Damn funny article, by the way.


 
Is this research or an anti-Linux editorial ? (none / 0) (#96)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 11:39:47 PM PST
I could comment, as other posters have, on the many inaccuracies (and misspellings) of this article. However, even given a whole two years of research to get his facts straight, I must give the author credit for admitting that he is not "tech-savvy", as is so clearly evident. What bothers me about this article however is that, while it is positioned as a relatively unbiased guide to the "obscure jargon" of "arcane" Linux/Unix terminology (a worthy goal, I'm sure), it so frequently resorts to cheap stereotypes of Linux users and attacks on both the users themselves and their operating system. I almost find myself suspicious of the author's seeming naļvete, and wondering whether this isn't the plant of some secret propaganda-agent of Microsoft.

To wit: the description of current Linux-users (of whom I count myself one of the number, albeit a relative novice in number of years) as "angst- and acne-ridden teenagers and long-haired smelly sys-admins in their dank server rooms." ("Smelly" ?!!) Or the implication that "obscure terminology (is) employed to keep outsiders at bay." Or the repeated refences to Linux and related-applications as being unworthy of both enterprise and home-applications. Or the general implication that most Linux features and applications are inferior copies of Windows features (as if it wasn't quite likely the other way around....) Or the reference to Eric S Raymond's "Communist leanings". Or the unjustified rant against the FSF, the GPL itself or course "nothing more than a house of cards that will topple as soon as it faces a legal challenge." Or the reference to poor Linus (his name undoubtedly mangled intentionally) as a "Soviet hacker" who "took a well-respected academic's toy Unix and repackaged it as his own creation, naming it after himself in a fit of narcissism", and who crippled the hopes of Linux "zealots" through "his shameless leveraging of his position as Linux's "creator" to obtain cushy jobs in America."

I could continue, but the more I read this attack on us "zealots" the more it sickens me. When I started writing this, I suggested that this article was not as naļve as it seemed, and that this was in fact an intentional attack by someone affiliated with Microsoft. The more I read, the less doubt I have that this is indeed the case. I would re-read the rest of this seemingly well-intentioned guide to Linux newbies, but I fear that the underlying guile would make me vomit.

Of course, I could be wrong...I fear however that I am not.


There's no need for anti-linux editorials! (none / 0) (#100)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Feb 14th, 2002 at 03:14:41 AM PST
When you have spent two whole weeks contacting Debian Lunix Computer Operating System zealots trying to get guidance about
what would be a good document for getting started with this obscure hacker tool and all you get is a file in an strange and exotic format called "postcrypt" (can you believe it? old good Worpad cannot open it!) and after the instalation of seven different buggy, open-sourced "text processors" it turns to be a single-line text file telling "Man Apropos", you realize that there is no need for anti-linux editorials... zealots already do the best anti-linux propaganda you can think about.

Jesus, i wish i never put my eyes on that shitty CD-Covered, low-quality, magazine... I don't even like birds! (specially those of them so degenerated that they can't even fly anymore)

I hope those dangerous zealots are not guessing I'm Juan Fernandez again...


 
Err, since when Finland was part of Soviet Union (none / 0) (#99)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Feb 14th, 2002 at 12:53:09 AM PST
Linus Torvalds, the original author of the LINUX operating system studied and worked at the Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki 1988-1997

Nothin to do with ussr u stupid shit.

http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/linux/

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/fi.html




 
Is this a joke? (none / 0) (#101)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Feb 14th, 2002 at 04:04:20 AM PST
Concourse of silly cretins.


Yes. (none / 0) (#102)
by tkatchev on Thu Feb 14th, 2002 at 07:04:07 AM PST
Good boy. You figured it out; now you can have another gold star!

Yep, collect five gold stars, and you can have a toy penguin! Isn't this a fun activity?


--
Peace and much love...




don't let this wizzo Rusky fool you (none / 0) (#105)
by Juan Fernandez on Thu Feb 14th, 2002 at 08:00:36 AM PST
He is lying... there are TWO different toys you can choose among if you collect the five starts: the fat penguin and ALSO the starved bull


 
It's Sad How.. (none / 0) (#110)
by 56 on Sat Feb 16th, 2002 at 05:12:01 PM PST
People who know the least always seem to know it the loudest.

I could post a long tirade about the lack of research and obvious one-sidedness of this post, but that has been done enough already.

Suffice it to say this: Jon Erikson, you disgust me. Do some research and grow up.




More baseless accusations (none / 0) (#142)
by Jon Erikson on Fri Feb 22nd, 2002 at 09:39:45 AM PST
I could post a long tirade about the lack of research and obvious one-sidedness of this post, but that has been done enough already.

Translation: I don't like this article because it offends the zealot in me, but like most zealots I don't know enough to actually post a rebuttal.


Jon Erikson
Senior consultant, NPO Technologies


 
Not too bright, are you Jon? (none / 0) (#144)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Feb 27th, 2002 at 02:25:40 PM PST
You don't read well, do you Jon?

Did you actually read any of the dozens of replies pointing out the vast number of errors in your flame and giving corrections?

Obviously not.

You seem to be a one-note-flute, Jon, why don't you come up with some other derogative term for users of linux? Your ancestors seemed to do quite well, I can think of dozens of words: nigger, kike, fag etc.

Grow up, Jon, and get a thesaurus.




 
linux users (none / 0) (#120)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Feb 18th, 2002 at 09:34:29 AM PST
Someone needs to design a keyboard that can convert the force of BASHing at the keyboard into energy. Then these rabid linux users could run their laptops without batteries as they flame those who are users of other OS's. That would save the wasted energy of all these pfy's and scriptkiddies. Imagine, energy out of rubbish!
Linux is just a misspelling of lunatic IMHO.


uh (none / 0) (#121)
by 56 on Tue Feb 19th, 2002 at 10:24:57 AM PST
You do realize that the root post of this was basically a long, drawn out flame.

You're not very bright, are you?


Let's spell this out for you... (none / 0) (#141)
by derek3000 on Thu Feb 21st, 2002 at 12:31:42 PM PST
<sarcasm>above post</sarcasm>.

<no sarcasm>You are completely unable to understand anything that isn't explicitly pointed out to you.</no sarcasm>.




----------------
"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

 
Corectified ! (none / 0) (#122)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Feb 19th, 2002 at 12:50:52 PM PST
Let me atack you as the zealot I am but with on major difference, I WILL NOT BE TALKING A BUNCH OF BULLSHIT!

This is a giant collection of lies, not inacuracies, but facts distorted ro destroyed for the sake of telling bullshit lies.

There is nothing comunistic about Linux, RMS or Linus Torvalds. In fact it is a great deal more capitalistic than anything microshit has done.

This is CONSUMERISM my uneducated friend. It is about who gets to control the computer you paid for.

The only older paradigm that remotely resembles the hacker(NOT CRACKER=COMPUTER CRIMINAL) idealogy is the ACADEMIC world. The Sharing of knowledge for the common good.

When the capitalism and individualism not include generally giving a bit of a shit about your fellow man anymore ?

Would you buy a car witb the hood welded shut, mail it back to Japan to get the oil checked ?
Surely not, why then would you PAY AN EXHORBITANT AMOUNT OF MONEY for a program that can only be repaired, enhanced or supported by ONE COMPANY - at additional tremendous costs. More-over if that company is M$ they won't do it AT ALL. They'll just sell you an expensive work-around.

Linux allows you to use your computer your way. It ENCOURAGES COMPETITION (very comunistic hey) by allowing ANYBODY company, individual whatever to repair, upgrade or enhance your software for you if you cannot do it yourself.

VB and VC++ is not only utterly sucky pieces of bullshit invented by satan, they are part of the reason that windows crashes every day. These bullshit immitations of programming languages allows any idiot to create a program without a fucking clue what he did and then proceed to sell it completely undebugged and make money from it.

How about this, Right now I am sitting on a Linux box INSIDE KDE. I am running, a voice control application, an MP3 player (playing only songs I legally own btw), an e-mail client and a browser, all of which has been running for -lemme run uptime quickly - seven months, two weeks, 3 days and 34 minutes - no reboots no crashes.

I will not repeat the valid points made above but please do listen to me on what I do say because it is nothing but truth. Including those statements which you will undoubtedly refute as rude and ignorant insults.

Facts you misconstrued is, PostGreSQL has always been GPL'd. MySQL was designed from the ground up to be a fully functional SQL database -it was never a small filemanager - it is incredibly fast stable, PostGres on the other hands is vastly more secure than any other DB out there.
It's a case of what suits your needs.


You are surprized that Linux users we're rude to you ? If you go about and tell blatant lies like this every day you really shouldn't blame the Linux communnity for treating you like the annoying beast you are.

We have another word I would like to share. It is called FUD ! Fear Uncertainty and Doubt - invented aeons ago (quite possibly by the Catholic Church or perhaps a much older religion - I am protestant btw) It has been successfully adapted by M$ as a marketing technique. Your whole article is filled with kind of bullshit they publish on their website.
How much did they pay you ? Or are you really stupid enough to buy anything <a href=http://www.microsith.com>Darv Fences</a> has to say ?

I think I am now going to get my forty-five out of the closet and blow my brains to the floor.
Why ?
Because if the worlds population includes two of you I would rather die now than live to see what you will do to the future.


There are only to infinite ellements in the universe - hydrogen and stupidity, and I am not so sure about the hydrogen. Einstein.







You seem to be liar, not Adequacy.org (none / 0) (#126)
by dmg on Tue Feb 19th, 2002 at 01:38:10 PM PST
VB and VC++ is not only utterly sucky pieces of bullshit invented by satan, they are part of the reason that windows crashes every day.

Visual Basic and Visual C++ are Enterprise-strength programming environments used by many of the worlds top banks, brokerages and oil companies not to mention NASA and the military.

To say that Windows crashes every day is an outright lie. I am personally running Windows ME and I can proudly say that it has NEVER crashed on me

I think I am now going to get my forty-five out of the closet and blow my brains to the floor.

Normally, adequacy.org frowns on such death threats. However in this case I think we can make an exception, due to the lies contained in your posting. I would normally delete a comment such as yours for containing inaccuracies and blatant misinformation.

I have decided to let it stand in order to demonstrate to the readers of adequacy.org the kind of crap they would have to read on a regular basis were it not for our strict "zero tolerance" policy on trolling.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

Maybe not as much. (none / 0) (#134)
by The Mad Scientist on Wed Feb 20th, 2002 at 01:18:35 AM PST
Visual Basic and Visual C++ are Enterprise-strength programming environments used by many of the worlds top banks, brokerages and oil companies not to mention NASA and the military.

Maybe this is the reason why both the economy and space research goes down the drain, and why the military demands so high budgets?

To say that Windows crashes every day is an outright lie. I am personally running Windows ME and I can proudly say that it has NEVER crashed on me

I seen such cases. Usually with pampered systems where the users don't install anything than Office and never use any of its more "advanced" capabilities.

ME sucks. If Windows, then 2k or maybe XP (after cracking off that registration crap). They at least aren't built on DOS core.


Speaking of which... (none / 0) (#137)
by budlite on Wed Feb 20th, 2002 at 06:42:43 AM PST
I agree with The Mad Scientist. If Microsoft Visual Studio languages are so good, why is it that Visual C++ 6 GPFs at the splash screen (in, irony of ironies, MFC42.DLL)? But that's just my little rant, I think VC++ is pretty good (even if the environment is a little bloated). VB is what I'd rather not be using.

It's all a matter of preference. It's not who creates the programming tools you use, not whether it's free or paid for, not whether it's nice to use or not - it's whether the programs it spits out are reliable and fast, and basically whether it suits the needs of the programmers who will use it - those are the things that are important, I think.


Stop spreading LIES about Microsoft. (none / 0) (#139)
by dmg on Thu Feb 21st, 2002 at 07:07:43 AM PST
Microsoft has some problems. One of its main problems is its pervasive popularity. This popularity means that more people think they know how to admin Microsof boxen.

I found when hiring admins for the vast network at <major US investment bank must remain anonymous> that Unix admins tended to do a better job of adminning our NT systems than the MCSEs did. Go figure!

As for why is it that Visual C++ 6 GPFs at the splash screen - the answer is simple. It does not GPF. You must have some kind of screwed up system. What could have happened is that you are in what's known as 'DLL Hell' where there is some kind of version mismatch between the shared libraries on your system.

Your best bet in this case is to remove and re-install visual studio. This will most likely fix it. (However it may break whatever it was that screwed up VC in the first place).

I hope this fixes your VC++ problem.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

Nope, still broken (none / 0) (#140)
by budlite on Thu Feb 21st, 2002 at 09:24:19 AM PST
I tried the old remove-reinstall trick multiple times. This has happened on more than one computer, both running Windows 98 SE.

I first installed VC++ on virgin Windows installations each time. To no avail. Sorry, but it's just broken, or at least seems to be.

Might start working next time I install Windows, I'm planning on trying out Windows 2000, once I work out how to install it without screwing up the MBR (i.e., overwriting GRUB with Windows' bootloader) and partitions. And making sure I can use my CDRW.


 
You people are hilarious... (none / 0) (#146)
by RCTParRoThEaD on Tue May 21st, 2002 at 08:07:11 PM PST
I can't believe you motherfuckers. Linux is the best and any Micro$haft Winblow$ user is an idiot. Windoze uses 16&32-bit libs which makes it very unstable. Linux uses all 32-bit libs so it is very stable and never gives you illegal operation shit. I can't believe you people like to pay $300+ dollars for an intangable object. What a bunch of stupid motherfuckers. Oh, & PS: I'M FUCKING 13! I COULD KICK YOUR COMPUTER'S ASS! GO LINUX!!! You see, many calculator zealots go to ticalc.org . And I'm a proud member. We fucking hacked into the fucking TI-82's, 85's, & 92's for assembly support, and we WON! w00t! I hope you all die. Go /. Linux is the best! Bill gates should die!


Yes he should (none / 0) (#147)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jun 21st, 2002 at 04:24:19 PM PST
Bill Gates should die. Yes he should die when his dad is screwing him in the ass. He should be burried with every legal and illegal copy of all of the software he has created in his coffin. But then that rich bastard would still have 1 square mile of space left in his coffin. So shove all of his gay porn in there. But you would run out of room before you were finished with that though. So oh well.


 

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