Readers sound off.
Send A Message to Laurie

Laurie Dare's letter on the Linux Open Source Expo and Conference Program in Sydney (Letters, April 2000) struck a chord with me, and I decided to answer the letter.

First of all, I will mention that this was my third trip to Australia in the past twelve months, where I have given talks at much-lower-priced venues, such as CALU and AUUG, as well as free talks to various user groups in Australia.

The $1350 AUS price quoted by Laurie in the letter was the price for both the Linux conference and the ASPCON conference. The Linux conference by itself was $695 AUS, with a Government/Academic discount of 10% or an active LUG member being able to get in for $595 AUS. The dinner price was correct as stated at $125, but again I would like to point out for our non-Australian readers that this was $125 AUS and not 125 USD. Since USD were trading for 1.82 AUSD that day, it means the dinner really cost about 68 USD, not an unreasonable price for a dinner in Sydney.

Nevertheless, I was a bit upset to hear the dinner price was even that high, and I spoke to the organizers about it. They assured me that the dinner was a “break-even” event. I can imagine that, since the Sydney Linux User's Group tried to rent a room for a four-hour meeting in the same facility, and were charged $500 AUS (274 USD) for the privilege of having a room and chairs. This $500 AUS charge was picked up by LinuxCare, much to the relief of the SLUG.

Still not completely mollified by the explanation, I proceeded to put on five more one-hour talks over the next three days of the exhibition, at the small theaters in the Red Hat, LinuxCare and SuSE booths. These talks were free of charge, and were well received by the people who attended. Other “luminaries” such as Bob Young, Dr. Andrew Tridgell, Paul “Rusty” Russell and others talked in these theaters as well.. . . Warmest regards, —Jon “maddog” Hall, Executive Director, Linux International, maddog@valinux.com

Just an Old-Fashioned Guy

I'm happy to find a page (“Take Command”, March LJ) on the old-fashioned stuff. I love old-fashioned stuff; it saves a lot of time and typing. However, your article doesn't do justice to uuencode/uudecode. There is no need at all to save stuff on disk twice. I often just type:

tar cvzf -
  mail -s subject recpt@domain.com

which results in less typing, less waiting, less stuff to be deleted.

And the recipient doesn't need to save the mail and then uudecode file. It's easier to use the | (pipe) command of the mailer: |uudecode and the (compressed) file is output directly on disk.

—Alessandro Rubini rubini@gnu.org

Well, you are right, of course. However, the “Take Command” column is considered a newbie column, so I like to keep it short and simple. I didn't want to get into explanations of pipes or mailer options, both of which have been discussed in other articles. With mutt and other mailers, you don't even have to do the uuencode any more; just choose the attach option and it is MIME-encoded, then sent off. I was called to task by someone else for not mentioning that one —Editor

Can You Spell Linux?

“Office Wars: Applixware and StarOffice” (Jason Kroll, February 2000) was an interesting and informative article. I discovered an enlightening tidbit while using the StarOffice suite. We can only hope that Sun's commitment to the Linux community is not reflected in the fact that typing “Linux” into the StarWriter application produces a spelling error.

—Domenic R. Merenda dmerenda@geeks404.com

Whooping It Up with Apache

I was reading through issue 71 of Linux Journal when I happened across Raju Mathur's excellent little article on using the Apache proxy server to suppress banner ads. The technique is very interesting and fun to play with. I did, however, have a problem.

Setting up Apache as a proxy was a breeze. Getting mod_rewrite to work was not. It was only after some perusing of the Apache mod_rewrite documentation that I found my problem. Whether you are compiling Apache with mod_proxy and mod_rewrite, or loading them as modules, you must load mod_rewrite after mod_proxy or it will not work.

On a side note, I think it should at least be mentioned that many web sites make money (or at least try to alleviate their costs) by running the banner ads. Anyone who wishes to set this up should at least give that a thought before actually doing it.

—Stephen Carpenter sjc@delphi.com