Letters to the Editor

I just read your PageSat article. We've been waiting for our system for three months. Unfortunately if you dial the main PageSat number you get another number to call, 415-493-9592—which says PageSat is history, gone, no longer in service. (It was a good article anyway.)
OpenGL Does Perl

The November 1996 issue (#31) contains a very nice article on the OpenGL libraries by Jörg-Rüdiger Hill [“Linux Goes 3D: An Introduction To Mesa/OpenGL”].

In that article it is stated, “Mesa can be called from C and Fortran routines”, which is true, but I felt obligated to let your readers know OpenGL and MesaGL are also callable from Perl 5. Stan Melax has an OpenGL module which is described at http://www.arc.ab.ca/vr/opengl/.

I have just installed it and the requisite MesaGL library and headers on a Solaris box, and I must say it is plenty impressive (the clip script is only 116 lines long—if you don't count shebang and comments, it is only 70 lines of Perl!). The examples/ directory of the OpenGL module for Perl also includes a tk_demo script that uses the Mainloop() event handler of the Tk extension to Perl (whereas the other demos do their animation with built-in Perl loops). I know Perl's Tk400.200 extension compiles on most major Linux distributions, and I am fairly certain the OpenGL module does as well.

Thanks for a great issue on graphics. Peter Prymmer pvhp@lns62.lns.cornell.edu

A timely note for our focus on Perl this issue. Thanks!

LJ to the Rescue

Last week I was int eh field, working on a piece of equipment controlled witha computer runnin iRMx, a “unix-like” Intel product from about 1980. I needed logfiles from the machine. Using all of my clues, I was unable to write on the 3.5" diskette without first using RMX to format it. I turned the equipment back over to the customer and went away witha n unreadable diskette containing data the factory needed right away. Certainly you cannot read it on a Windoze box!

Next I tried it with my lInux system (Debian 2.0.24). While Gates's garbage reads only one kind of file system, maybe RMX is readable as one of the many file systems Linux will support...Load up the modules and hack away: Sorry, no luck!

Then I remembered my LJ issue 32, which I picked up on the way to the airport. Out it came and straight I went to Sam Chessman's excellent article, “What is dd?” I ran Sam's “Example 1a” to make a disk image. Voila! I have a file? Mov e the image file to the FAT partition, kill Linux and run Windoze to e-mail it home, along with instructinos for the Unix guys at home to run Sam's “Example qb” to recreate the diskette.

They tried it but did not succeed (you know, th edd supplies with SunOS may not be as capable as ours). So I resolved to hack on the image file. As it turned out, using CTRL-K a few timmes in Emacs turned it into radable plain text log files! —D.W. Wieboldt dwiebold@Aus.etn.com

Thanks for letting us know you found the article useful (and thanks to Same Chessman for writing it in the first place). We love to hear about Linux being useful (even as frequently as it is).

Oracle Client Under Linux?

Regarding “Stop the Presses” in Linux Journal #32, December, 1996, two items:The first concerns SCO UNIX “Give-away”. I bit, paid, the 20-some bucks and got the CD. It was primarily for work; I wanted to do a demonstration of what Unix could do. The IBMers are quite leery of Linux—software with no huge corporation after thier money. They just don't know how to relate.

Anyhow, I got a PC loaner from network services and was going to load SCO up and I couldn't get to first base! Turns out, SCO doesn't seem to believe IDE hard-drives are used. The installation couldn't see I had 1.6 gigs of space—just said I didn't have a hard drive and so it couldn't proceed. Yeah, I'd be worried about that company if I wanted to see Linux thrive (giggle...).

Afterwards, I brought in Red Hat 4.0. It installed without a hitch. The only thing holding Linux back at my work site is the poor token-ring support. I just haven't been brave enough to even consider trying to develop new drivers.

The second item is a question: Have you heard of anyone running a UNIX Oracle client under LInux? Or getting access to Oracle data through ODBC or other means? Just curious.

I do appreciate your magazine. It's fun and provides a lot of useful information. Keep up the good work. —Dean Siewertdsiewert@execpc.com

Being fair, we plan to subject Free SCO OpenServer to a review in an upcoming issue of Linux Journal. It's real “UNIX” so it'll be lots better than Linux, right?

As I've done earlier in this month's letters. I refer your question regarding Oracle clients on Linux to the LJ readers.