May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Open Software Software Chronicles

( Linux-related news were compiled mainly from the -- a very interesting site, highly recommended )




OFM and Browsers


Not So Open Desktop ;-)


Random Findings Etc

In this isssue:


Squid 1.2beta25

Squid is a high performance Web proxy cache that can be arranged hierarchically for an improvement in response times and a reduction in bandwith usage. Squid runs on all popular Unix platforms.

BUILDER.COM - Web authoring - Wysiwyg HTML editors - Editors' Choice -- they recommend Dreamweaver 1.2 For hand-coding, Dreamweaver calls up an external HTML source editor (Macromedia supplies HomeSite 3.0 and BBEdit). It integrates your changes into the Wysiwyg view automatically.

BUILDER.COM - Voices - Dan Shafer - Java servlets could save the day - 9/28/98

Written to Sun's Application Program Interface (API), Java servlets are embedded in your Web server and extend the server's capabilities much like CGI scripts. The main use is to generate dynamic content. For example The Time Warner Pathfinder site uses servlets extensively in this way to customize content for different browsers. Compared to CGI applications, servlets are:

Many of the Java Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), including IBM's VisualAge for Java and Inprise's Borland JBuilder, have built-in support for servlets. Each servlet receives two objects, ServletRequest and ServletResponse, which implement methods dealing with actions (get, post, put, and delete) and retrieving information (including parameters passed with the servlet call, and information stored on the server).  Two books to help you out are Java Servlet Programming and Java Servlets

BUILDER.COM - Web authoring - Web development for 4.0 browsers - get started with cascading style sheets


Pine 4.05

Pine® - a Program for Internet News & Email - is a tool for reading, sending, and managing electronic messages. Pine was designed by the Office of Computing & Communications at the University of Washington specifically with novice computer users in mind, but it can be tailored to accommodate the needs of "power users" as well.

pgp4pine 1.22

pgp4pine is an interactive program for using PGP with email programs, specifically Pine. It is compatible with PGP2.6.3i, PGP5.0, and GnuPG 0.4. This version introduces support for GnuPG. It uses pipes to extract your secret and public keys from PGP 2, PGP5, or GnuPG 0.4.

install-mail 0.1

install-mail 0.1 -- a perl script that will make a fairly good attempt at installing email support on your Linux box. Just answer 7 questions and it will install fetchmail, qmail, serialmail and ucspi. This is the first release and still requires some tweaking.

Open Source Operating Systems

See also The KDE Free Qt Foundation

Open Source and Freeware Tools

ProFTPD 1.1.7pre1

ProFTPD is an FTP daemon for unix and unix-like operating systems released under the GPL. It is designed to be advanced, incredibly configurable and secure.

hc-cron 1.0

hc-cron is a modified version of Paul Vixie's widely used cron daemon. Like the original program it runs specified jobs at periodic intervals. However, the original crond relies on the computer running continuously, otherwise jobs will be missed. This problem is addressed by hc-cron, that is indended for use on 'home-computers' that are typically turned off several times a day; hc-cron will remember the time when it was shut down and catch up jobs that have occurred during down time when it is started again.

Aladdin Ghostscript 5.50

VaS means Vote and Survey. It's a set of scripts which allows you to make voting pages, customize them, place votes and display surveys based on the votes.

instmon 1.1

instmon is a shell script that monitors installations and detects the files that were added or modified. It can be very helpful for packages that only come in source form. It can be used by both system administrators and users.

This version is a lot faster, as excluded directories are not searched at all. As a result, the command line has changed a bit to allow this. Other changes include the ability to only search specific filesystem types and to specify where log files are stored.

installwatch 0.5.1

OpenLDAP 1.0.2

The OpenLDAP Project is a collaborative effort to provide a robust, commercial-grade, fully featured, and open source LDAP suite of applications and development tools. The project is managed by a worldwide community of volunteers that use the Internet to communicate, plan, and develop the OpenLDAP suite and its related documentation. Version 1.0.2 contains fixes for compilation problems and Makefile bugs.

OFM and Browsers

Languages and language-related tools

JSFormatter 0.3.1

JSFormatter reformats Java source files of different styles to a specific wanted style. The JSFormatter project is based on JSBeautifier (formerly Beautifier), and was created following a mutual interest of many users of JSBeautifier to have an ability to fully reformate Java sources.

Version 0.3.3 includes another series of bugfixes that seriously improve line-breaking.

DocWiz 0.57

DocWiz allows you to easily add JavaDoc comments to your Java source code. With DocWiz, there's no need to tediously hand-format JavaDoc comments, adding tags and comment structures for each method. DocWiz provides a list of all the fields, methods, interfaces, and classes defined in a Java source file. You can click on any of these code elements to display a fill-in form for information about code elements. In addition, DocWiz shows you an icon for uncommented code segments. This release contains performance improvements when the formatted comment window is open. The @return and @version fields have also been fixed.


Bugzilla is the bugtracking system used by It is written in Perl and uses MySQL for the database backend. Bugzilla has (once again) been completely rewritten. This time, it was a port to Perl. It can now also be obtained as a tarball, CVS is no longer necessary. If you have avoided Bugzilla before because you didn't like TCL or couldn't use CVS, you may want to take another look.


PRCS is the front end to a set of tools that provide a way to deal with sets of files and directories as an entity, preserving coherent versions of the entire set. Its purpose is similar to that of SCCS, RCS, and CVS, but it is much simpler than any of those systems.

This is a maintenence release including a few patches received over the last few months. Highlights include egcs-1.1 compatibility, prcs info now reports project keywords, configure argument --disable-environment turns off compile-time environment defaults, and a greatly improved Emacs mode.


No So Open Desktop :-)

MSToNS 1.0

MsToNs will convert your Microsoft Outlook Express and Internet Mail e-mail folders to Netscape e-mail folders. Using Outlook Express you can convert Outlook 9X and other e-mail formats as well.

MSWordView 0.4.3

MSWordView is a program that understands the Microsoft Word 8 binary file format (Office97) and is able to convert Word documents into HTML, which can then be read with a browser. It requires Perl in order to operate.

Microsoft Windows NT Services for UNIX  (suggested by Stepan Stadnyk)

Microsoft Windows NT Services for UNIX Add-on Pack The Microsoft Windows NT Services for UNIX Add-on Pack will make it easier to integrate Windows NT Workstation 4.0 and Windows NT Server 4.0 into
existing UNIX environments. Windows NT Services for UNIX provides core interoperability features, including:

Hardware: Are Brands Just for Cattle ?

IBM will ship credit card size 340M harddrive for handhelds in 1999

With place of the size of the quarter coin and total size like a credit card, the drive will be cheaper than flash memory and can be used in hand-help devices. The drive would be compatible with flash memory chips and modules. Additional info is avalble at

Intel Celeron 333 is better and cheaper than Pentium 300 II, but still cannot compete in price/performance ratio with K6-2 300

On August 24, Intel added two new members of the Celeron family -- the 300A and the 333. Both have 128K of integrated L2 cache that works on full CPU speed. 333 MHz seems work with 66Mhz memory bus only, but due to high speed cache that model still makes sense.

The price of 333 is ~ $180 and the only decent competitor at this price/performance level is AMD K6-2 300. Althouth it will be generally somewhat slower it's much cheaper (~$120) and , unlike Celeron 333, K6-2 300 is capable of working with 100 MHz SDRAM chips. I do not recommend K6-2 333 or K6-2 266 because they do not work with 100Mhz bus -- speed of the chip should be exact multiple of the half of the speed of the bus. Also K6-2 350 (~$220) is probably only marginally better than K6-2 300 as performance of L2 cacheless K2-6 (it does have 64K L1 cache) does not increase as much with CPU speed as Pentium II or Celeron and that increase definitely does not worth $100 price difference.

Generally because most memory accesses are satisfied by L2 cache, faster DRAM speed is less important than the the increase in L2 cache speed and here Celeron 300A and 333 have an edge. According to ZD-labs tests due to full CPU speed cache the new 333-MHz Celeron can outperform a 300-MHz Pentium II.  New Celeron cache is built  into the processor die like L1 cache (Pentium II L2 cache chips are the same same 0.25-micron CMOS, but are separate entities mounted on the substrate on either side of the CPU and work on only one half of the CPU speed).  That lead to performance ~30% better than Pentium II/266, and ~7% better than Pentium II/300. See also Celeron Caches Up -- ZDNet Products

But K6-2 is capable of supporting 3DNow floating point operations and for speech recognition applications (for example 3DNow optimized version of ViaVoice from IBM) or game engines (Apes Rising, Incoming, Speed Boat Attack, and several others; ID software is likely to support 3DNow in future versions) it can outperform PII on the same clock speed. Based on AMD tests 3DNow lets K6-2 300 match the performance of 400Mhz Pentium II for 3DNow optimized software.

AMD promised that K6-3 family with 256K onboard full CPU speed L2 cache(like in Celeron) will be available next year. K6-3 means that it's not much sense in leaving Super7 in favor of Slot 1.

See also:

[October 1, 1998]

Chip for Handhelds and Emerging Markets

Intel has landed at least two handheld deals with the StrongARM. The first in from Compaq and the second is from  HP. Compaq Isy is a very promising PDA based on StrongARM 1100.  HP will use the StrongARM 1100 and a new companion chip called the StrongARM 1101 in its Windows CE "Jupiter"(is the latest flavor of Microsoft's Windows CE-based handheld computers). The StrongARM 1100 runs at 190 MHz, faster than the 75-MHz processors HP currently uses in its Windows CE handheld computers.

Intel acquired the rights to build the StrongARM chip, which is rooted in a basic chip design from Advanced Risc Machines. The chip was first acquired by Digital and only then come to Intel as a part of settlement with Digital. Intel has committed to new generations of the chip every two years.

StrongARM has enjoyed popularity among designers of NC. Corel for example use it in its NC computer and will port Linux to it. It also has been used in the past in the discontinued MessagePad from Apple.  Now the most popular NC based on this CPU is Acorn RiscPC. Linux was already ported to this NC. See screenshots.

StrongARM chips consume very little power and are very cheap. The StrongARM 1100 sells for $33 in volume while the StrongARM 1101 companion chip sells for $21.

For talented programmers this is a very interesting chip to try. See also:

Other news:

Random Findings



Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy


War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes


Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law


Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Hater’s Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D

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Created: May 16, 1997; Last modified: March 12, 2019