Readers sound off.
Thanks for the Samba

Your article on Samba in the August 2000 issue of Linux Journal motivated me to get my Samba tuned up and running right.

I also use NT 4.0 so there were some differences, and I ended up using a web article: www-4.ibm.com/software/developer/library/samba, by Daniel Robbins.

I realize you were describing your experiences with Red Hat 5.2. Your article did not describe what version of Samba you were discussing. I upgraded to 2.0.7 (RH wtmp).

One of the areas with which I had trouble was that Samba seems to take the first, or perhaps a random stab, at the interface on which it will run. The first try used my external DSL interface—not what I wanted. I found, in the Robbins article discussed above, that you could specify a global of interface = eth1 and that solved problem. Your article did not hint at the possible problem.

Robbins also recommended the use of “guest” rather than “nobody”, and that too solved a problem of the explorer not being able to see shares, even though net use/view could. PS: not many of the references discuss Internet use as did your article.

Thanks for getting me motivated.

—Paul Campbell seapwc@halcyon.com

Artists' Guide to Linux Desktop

I enjoyed Michael Hammel's Forum series, “The Artists' Guide to the Linux Desktop”. Having explored window managers in much the same way as Hammel, I was pleased to discover that someone else on planet Earth had reached similar conclusions about their various merits and defaults.

I would, though, like to point out an inaccuracy in Hammel's discussion of FVWM2. I imagine he'll thank me for it. FVWM2 does not, as he states, require the user to restart the window manager whenever a menu is changed. FVWM's “Read” command will reread and install the altered version of a menu file without requiring a window manager restart. The “Read” command, like all FVWM commands, can be bound to a menu, pop-up, key press, or mouse click. It can also be embedded in a function. The only thing to beware of is that the menu file should begin by destroying itself and any submenus (“DestroyMenu <name>”). Otherwise, the “Read” command will concatenate the new version with the old.

—Peter Schaffter df191@ncf.ca

Ads and Content

This is a reply to the letter from Tirath in the August issue. I think he is off base to complain about advertising in LJ. The rise of advertising has not harmed the editorial content as far as I can tell. In fact, it seems to me there is more editorial content than ever.

Far from being “junk”, as he call them, the ads let us know what companies, products and services are available to get things done in a Linux environment. In addition to the high information value of these ads, they also highlight the growing support for the Linux community and for LJ in particular. These companies are helping LJ to grow by the money they spend on advertising. Furthermore, by releasing products and services, they are helping Linux to grow. In my opinion, LJ is a perfect venue to make known such products and services. We ought to do business with these companies whenever possible.

—Bryan S. Tyson bryantyson@earthlink.net

Overseas Subscription Price Increase

As an international subscriber to LJ, I was shocked to see the international subscription price in the August issue. It appears to have risen from $37 to $62 per year. I understand that distribution costs are involved, however this seems a large increase, considering the cover price remains the same. I would appreciate your comments.

—Brian Galbraith brian.galbraith@bigfoot.com

Ever increasing postage rates and increased paper and production costs have forced us to raise our international subscription prices in order to keep offering them. Over the past few years, Linux Journal has lost a substantial amount of money on these subscriptions and, therefore, had to make a decision to increase rates to bring us close to a break-even point. We sincerely wish we did not have to pass this cost along to our international subscribers, but it was the only way we could continue to offer these subscriptions.


(Not So) WordPerfect Office 2000 Review

I have some disagreements with Jon Valesh's review of WordPerfect Office 2000. Nearly the first page and a half was devoted to the politics of office suite development for Linux. I'm not a big Microsoft fan either, but I buy software based on whether it effectively solves an existing need. I'm frustrated by having to reboot to Windows to deal with spreadsheets and documents that I have to use for my job...the question is whether Corel can help me solve this problem.

Mr. Valesh had very few installation problems. My experience was the opposite. Installation under SuSE 6.3 was a nightmare. I'll omit the details in the interest of time, but even after installation, the software regularly crashed or froze. I noticed that Corel's latest ad in your magazine mentions compatibility with “major” Linux distributions, but no longer specifically mentions SuSE. (On the software packaging, SuSE is mentioned as a compatible distribution.) This actually reminds me of my past experiences with Microsoft—get the product out now, whether it works or not, and then fix it later. And no, I certainly don't expect reviewers to try software on each Linux distribution, but it might not be a bad idea for the software developers.

I've switched to Linux-Mandrake 7.1, and I tried WP Office 2000 again with better results. However, there are still some major annoyances. For example, when I hit “File/Open”, the dialog box opens behind the document window. Mr. Valesh calls these problems “idiosyncrasies”. I call them annoying bugs. I wish the review had focused more on how the software works, and less on installation and philosophy. Then, people could make an informed decision on whether to purchase the product.

Meanwhile, I'm hoping that Corel offers some kind of an upgrade deal to registered users when they finally get the “idiosyncrasies” fixed. —Jim Mueller jmueller@advancenet.net