Letters to the Editor

Readers sound off.

In my article “Little Devil Called tr” in issue 53, a mistake was made by the editors. In my submission I wrote:

Many UNIX editors allow some text to be processed by the shell. Take for instance vi with:

        !}tr A-Z a-z

It replaces all uppercase characters of the next paragraph to lowercase. Another example:

        !jtr a-z A-Z

This one capitalizes the current and next line (the character after the “!” is a movement character).

The editor changed this by prepending a “:” to the commands. That is definitely wrong; in that case, you would start a subshell and it would try to run }tr A-Z a-z and jtr a-z A-Z. Both of which would most likely fail. Without the “:” prepended, some lines of text (to be determined by the movement character) are piped to tr and the output is inserted back.

—Hans de Vreught hdev@kbs.twi.tudelft.nl

Author's Correction

In “Training on a Token Ring Network” (September 1998), I referred to the wrong IBM token ring card. The article should have stated the IBM token ring ISA card. I apologize for this bug in my article.

—Charles Kitsuki kitsukic@computer.org

PPP User Interface

There has been a discussion going on about PPPui (a GUI for pppd) and the ways to check a PPP connection. It is not difficult to do. There is no need for special programs or to direct syslog to Console 9 as one reader suggested. I think the easiest way is to run pppd with the -d (debug) option and chat with the -v (verbose) option and then, during the process of establishing the PPP connection, just run tail -f /var/log/messages and all the details will be output (including the assigned IP address and so on) to this file.

—Mihai Bisca mbasca@univermed-cdgm.ro

How Do You Spell Stability?

I know it may sound a bit childish, but I wanted to show this to the community:

bernward:~$ uname -a
Linux bernward 1.2.13 #2 Mon Dec 9 10:33:11 MET 1996 i486
bernward:~$ uptime
  5:32pm up 430 days, 1:55, 3 users, load average: 0.00, 0.02, 0.00

This Linux box has performed admirably since I installed it back in 1995. It is an aging 486/33 with 32MB RAM and some 2GB of SCSI disks. It serves as a primary DNS and mail relay for our whole European WAN (a few dozen sites) and handles an average of 200+ MB of e-mail a week. It also carries out other menial tasks, such as network monitoring and some form of gateway between UNIX and Netware. It has never crashed once.

That said, I know I'm not the only one. A recent poll organized on http://slashdot.org/ showed that around 10% of the participants had a Linux box with an uptime above the one year mark.

—Philippe Andersson philippe_andersson@ste.scitex.com

Article Listings

Some of the articles in your excellent magazine include program listings. I know it is possible to get these listings if I know the exact location/file name; however, if I don't remember this, I am lost. I can browse the “Table of Contents” on the web site and find the article in question, but there is no link or clue as to where the program listings might be found. How about including a link to each article's program listing from the web site TOC?

—Jan Thomas Moldung janth@x2.hd.uib.no

Good suggestion-we've put links into the TOC. All listings are located at ftp://ftp.linuxjournal.com/pub/lj/listings/issue##/, where ## is the issue in question. Inside each issue directory is a README file identifying the article to which each archive file corresponds —Editor


I have been using Linux for some time now and like to show it off to my friends. One embarrassing problem for me lately has been the need to boot from a floppy, because a hard drive was too large for my BIOS and I couldn't configure LILO properly. A recent response in the “Best of Tech Support” column supplied my answer, and now it boots fine.

The technician who installed the drive under Windows 95 had to shorten it to accommodate the BIOS and Windows 95. Linux has allowed me to reclaim the rest of the drive and ditch Windows 95.

Your magazine is my favourite Linux resource. Congratulations.

—Stephen Roach stroach@altnews.com.au