Letters

Readers sound off.
Setting Permissions on Open Linux

I've had the same problem with not being able to write to the Windows directory when running a dualboot of Windows 98 and Open Linux 2.4 (Best of Technical Support, September 2000). What Mr. Rubini does not mention is that Caldera sets permissions in the /etc directory as -rwxr-xr-x. This most likely was done to prevent the user from inadvertently deleting Windows files. Permissions to the fstab file need to be changed to “rwx” for the group and/or others. The fstab file can then be changed from “ro” to “rw”. If permissions are to be changed for non-root users, they should be changed to “rw,umask=000”.

—James Schoch jschoch@siscom.net

Graphic Card Follow-up

In the October 2000 issue, Matt Matthews' article, “Graphics: Pick a Card...Any Card”, states “...the 3500TV has a TV tuner that is supported under Linux”. I have been searching and can find no support...yet. Where is it?

—Al al_h@technologist.com

Matt Matthews responds: There are two projects working on the TV tuner that I am aware of, http://sourceforge.net/projects/v3tv/ and http://sourceforge.net/projects/tdfxTV/. The former looks like it has a workable solution with some bugs. It also looks like development has slowed. The latter seems to be in its infancy, having only peer review code available.

—Editor

We Love Hackers

The cover of the October issue of Linux Journal states: Make Life Difficult for Spammers & Hackers. This calls “crackers” “hackers”, which they are not and, thus, throws mud on real “hackers” who are the very ones who give so much of themselves to make Linux and all open-source software possible in the first place.

Real hackers have been struggling against the media for years to recover the name “hackers”. And while it is normal for more ignorant segments of the media to use the term incorrectly, it is very annoying to see the term so misused and on the very cover of Linux Journal!

Do you really feel that Linus is someone that you need to “make life difficult for”? You really think he is going to break into your systems? As your magazine is directly and/or indirectly about hackers and their accomplishments, it seems to me like shooting yourselves in the foot to basically insult them by giving their group name a bad meaning.

—Terry Mackintosh—a hacker terr@terrym.com

As a longtime reader (I have Issue 1, Volume 1) who also sold Linux Journal at hamfests back in the early days, I say SHAME, SHAME, SHAME! I am talking about the cover headline that says “Make Life Difficult for Spammers & Hackers” on the cover of the October 2000 issue. You people should know better. A hacker is someone like Linus or RMS. Someone who breaks into computers is a CRACKER. Are you getting too preoccupied with the suits? This it the kind of headline I would expect from Time Magazine or The Washington Post, not from Linux Journal.

—Ken Firestone ken@firestone.net

We made a mistake. Everyone who worked on the cover will have to sing “Join Us Now and Share the Software” at the next Linux conference. We are committed to running articles by hackers about hacking.

—Editor

Not a Book at All

I have just read Daniel Lazenby's review of The XML Handbook by Goldfarb and Prescod in the October issue of Linux Journal.

I must say I cannot agree with your positive appraisal of this book. First, this can hardly be called a “book”- it is essentially a collection of corporate white papers bound up with a CD-ROM of product demos. Prentice-Hall duped consumers by using Goldfarb's reputation to generate sales. Imagine the disappointment when readers discover that Goldfarb and Prescod have in fact authored only a small part of this work—the rest of the chapters were sold to vendors to hawk their wares. Prentice-Hall should steer clear of this tactic in the future, or they will be demoted to the ranks of Que, Sam's and other third-rate technical publishers.

To say this book was panned in the XML/SGML community would be an understatement—for many, this has seriously tarnished Goldfarb's and Prescod's reputations.

—Brad Clawsie bjc@yahoo.com

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