Letters to the Editor

Readers sound off.
November Issue

I have every issue of the Linux Journal. The issues vary from good to great, which is really just another way of saying that the subject matter of some issues is of more interest to me than others. However, with the November issue, you outdid yourself. I am not sure I can complete it before the December issue arrives. Every article and column was worth a read and then a re-read. Excellent, keep up the good work.

—Richard Parry rparry@qualcomm.com

Newbie

Please allow me to describe my feelings about all of this: Linux is over my head.

I'm no slouch when it comes to computers. I'm freshly trained, and now on my own as a system administrator with a few Suns, an SGI, an Intergraph and 1 PC (Win95) on a subnet. While my knowledge base may be limited, I'm catching up rapidly. I'm also not a programmer, nor is anyone I work with—they are all just operators. So, hacking a kernel, writing code and everything else that seems to be necessary to use Linux at home is beyond my capabilities and those of most people I know.

I like the Unix environment at work and would love to have the same control at home. As long as I could do on Linux the simple stuff I enjoy on a Windows machine, I'd be happy. Things like surf the web, balance my checkbook, pay bills and e-mail my parents. I know I could if I could only code, but I can't; so, Linux doesn't seem to be for me. Until it is accessible to people like me, the vendors who support Linux will never make the money that that “other” OS does.

—Searoy@aol.com

More and more applications are being written to make Linux more accessible to the average user. E-mail can be done through your ISP using Eudora or other mail programs. Surfing the web has been available for some time. The majority of web servers are Apache servers running on Linux boxes, and there are many browsers that work with Linux—even Netscape. Applixware and StarOffice take care of word processing and other office needs. Databases abound as this issue proves. Check it all out—it may be easier than you think.

MagicFilter

I have been getting Linux Journal since the first issue, and it has always been a great resource. Although I have twenty years experience with Unix and systems work, I still have days like last Tuesday. All I wanted to do was move my printer to a new machine that had a new version of Slackware. I spent all day and never got it working. Arggghhhh! Yesterday, my new LJ [November 1997] came in, I read Bill Cunningham's article Power Printing with MagicFilter last night, came to work this morning and got the printer up and running in no time. Thanks again for the right article at the right time.

—Dennis Director dennis@is3.com

November cover

I just wanted to comment on the November 1997 cover of Linux Journal. It's by far the best one to date, really fantastic! The articles aren't bad either.

—John Wagner jwag@together.net

Kudos from India

This off-and-on LJ subscriber in faraway India feels a terrible urge to let you know that he thinks LJ #43 (November 1997) is a great issue.

I am a Linux user who has had to get things the hard way. When I started (with an SLS distribution on diskettes), Linux was unheard of here in India. As times went by, its popularity grew, but resources were hard to find—no Internet in India until 1995 was one of the main problems.

I subscribed to LJ, and bless you guys every day (I am a datacomm consultant for huge multinational corporations operating in India and Linux is my main battle axe).

In the past two years, India's #1 computer magazine (PC Quest,http://www.pcquest.com/) has distributed Linux on its cover CDs twice. This has helped the number of Linux users in India shoot up in a near vertical fashion. India has always been known as “Unix country”; since we have the world's largest pool of technically-qualified, English-speaking professionals, knowledge of any kind of Unix is a major plus point when one goes job hunting. Many kids are now playing with Linux, which gives them a huge edge when their time comes to pass out resumes.

Unfortunately, LJ is not a “stand-mag” around here, and no local subscription points is another problem (subscribing in US$ is a major pain here). It would be great if you guys could tie up with someone in India, so that more people could get the point. Here, as in many countries, a field/application/OS is treated as serious only if it has publications associated with it.

Keep up the good work. You have an excellent magazine, and your work for the Linux cause is not going unnoticed—even here in far-away India.

—Atul Chitnis achitnis@cbconsulting.com

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