Letters to the Editor

Readers sound off.
Redirecting to Console 9

In my previous letter you published in the “Letters to the Editor” column, I referred offhand to “redirecting output to Console 9, as described in a previous issue of Linux Journal”. I have received quite a few inquiries as to which issue that was in and how to do it.

The issue was #31, the column was “Novice to Novice: Keyboards, Consoles and VT Cruising” by John M. Fisk and the page was 17, the section heading “Putting that Unused VT to Work”. However, you don't have to look up that issue, as it is quite simple. Just add the following line to /etc/syslog.conf:

*.*        /dev/tty9

and all your syslog messages are sent to console 9 as well.

Thanks, Linux Journal, for publishing that tip back in November 1996. It has made a lot of system administration tasks easier. —Cynthia Higginbotham cyhiggin@pipeline.com

Intel and Red Hat

I have been using Linux since 1992 and have built up a successful business providing offices with an effective cheap alternative to expensive Microsoft servers and products. Up until the beginning of this year, it did not matter which distribution you used; everything worked just fine. Okay, each distribution worked slightly different, but they all used the same libraries and kernel. When I read in the computing press that the big software houses were starting to support Linux, I knew that before long, Linux would rival MS on the same level for both back end and desktop.

However, within a few weeks of Intel buying a stake in Red Hat, I read that some products will work only with the Red Hat version of Linux. We must stop this now, or in two years we will have a situation of Intel-Hat becoming the next Microsoft with an 85% stake in the Linux market. Last week I installed a mail, Samba and web proxy server into an office in London. I was asked, “Is this Red Hat you are installing?” I said “No, it is Linux.”

I believe we must push for a common standard. Any product released for Linux must work on all distributions. Please don't let Intel-Hat muscle their way in or we will be in the same position in two to three years as we are with Microsoft now. —Robert Weeks robert.weeks@csfp.co.uk

Review of Applixware vs. StarOffice

I read LJ here in Germany and have often read good reviews in your magazine. Anyway, this special review “Applix vs. StarOffice” by Fred Butzen in the October issue is somewhat incorrect.

StarDivision released StarOffice 4.0 some time ago, and three service packs have already reached the users. Since 4.0, they are no longer using Motif but their own StarView GUI which has a Windows look and feel. Speed, features and reliability have all been improved greatly since the 3.0 version. By now, the Linux StarOffice 4.5 preview release is out and can be tested. This preview got released even before the other 4.5 preview releases had been shipped. You can even buy an official version of StarOffice 4.5 including the handbook and a sheet with notes about the differences between the Windows and Linux versions. They are actually selling the 4.0sp3 version now, with the guarantee of sending you the new 4.5 CD-ROM as soon as it is no longer a preview/beta version. —Holger Lehmann lehman_h@informatik.fh-hamburg.de