Letters to the Editor

Readers sound off.
Fan Mail

Just wanted to let you know that Linux Journal continues to be startlingly good. I'd say that 70% of your articles are of immediate interest to me each month, and the other 30% get re-discovered as useful knowledge when I go through my back issues. It's like you guys can read my mind! Keep up the amazing work. —Manni Wood mwood@sig.bsh.com

From the Publisher

I got a chuckle out of your “From The Publisher” article on page 10 of Linux Journal, Issue 43 (Nov 97). It sounds as if IBM is relegated to the past. We have three IBM AS/400s (64 bit RISC) and 600 users, mostly on Windows 95 clients. IBM has passed Intel and Microsoft in both hardware and software terms (stop by http://www.as400.ibm.com/). OS/400 (V3R2 and later) has everything a company needs to do relational database Intranet/Internet applications. I'm using Net.Data (which is available on many platforms; see http://www.as400.ibm.com/netdata/) to do Provider lookups, map engine address lookups, etc. The inclusion of Java in V4R2 and IBM's business class libraries makes the AS/400 a very reliable database platform for the future. We have one table with over 28 million records, and I'm not quite ready to trust the MS SQL server to handle it.

How do you get Linux to be more mainstream? You have hackers like me who are established in the corporate world. I'm installing Linux to test JBuilder Java applets at home. (I want applications to run on AS/400, NT and Linux without modification.) I have a small network with NT server 4, NT workstation 4, Windows 98 beta and a P150 class laptop with NT workstation. I'm dumping my Windows 98 machine (486/66) to load Slackware Linux. I'm hoping for much better performance. —Steven P. Goldsmith fcci@cirs.com

SAMBA

I was disappointed with the article “Using SAMBA to Mount Windows95” in the November issue. It gets a number of basic facts wrong.

For a start, SAMBA does not do what the article claims it does. The author is actually talking about a kernel-based SMB file system called smbfs written and maintained by Volker Lendecke (among others). Volker is a member of the SAMBA Team, but smbfs is definitely not a part of SAMBA. SAMBA is an SMB file server portable to all Unices, whereas smbfs is currently for Linux only.

The article also says that “SAMBA is a program that allows Linux to talk to computers running Windows for Workgroups, Windows 95, Windows NT, Mac OS and Novell Netware.” The bit about the various Microsoft operating systems is partly right (although he actually meant smbfs) but the part about Mac OS and Novell Netware is totally wrong. For those he is probably referring to MARS_NWE, ncpfs and Netatalk, which are totally separate packages that talk totally different protocols. Perhaps if you are publishing articles on a topic which Linux Journal editors are not very familiar with (there is a lot to know about Linux), you should send a copy to someone who is familiar with the topic so they can do a quick check and point out any obvious errors. —Andrew Tridgell andrew.tridgell@anu.edu.au

Well, you caught me—I don't know everything about Linux. However, to make up for this, I do send articles to copy editors who have given me their areas of expertise. The copy editor who worked on this article was a networking expert. I'll keep you in mind for the next SAMBA article that comes in. —Editor

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