Letters

Readers sound off.
Sober Prediction

Regarding your 2000 Editors' Choice Award for open-source databases (see LJ December 2000), I disagreed with your pick for the year's best OS database. As per your suggestion, I had a stiff Tom Collins, followed by some White Russians and a few shooters. I became light-headed, then dizzy and finally passed out before reconciling myself to your pick. Having sobered up, I now take to my keyboard for a more formal protest; I suggest your readers contact NuSphere and evaluate their version of the MySQL database. While I realize we'll just have to live with your pick for 2000, I predict that the Editors' Choice for OS databases in 2001 will be NuSphere MySQL—hands down and bottoms up.

—Bill McGowan

We met with NuSphere at LinuxWorld this past February, keep an eye out for a formal product review in an upcoming issue.

—Editor

Oops?

Okay, was this on purpose or not? (If it was on purpose, then it was extremely funny; otherwise it was also extremely funny but in a completely different way.) I think the quote, “Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it,” should be attributed to the great Donald Knuth, not Donald Knut (LJ February 2001, page 14).

—Keir Davis

Martha Stewart Linux

I read your editorial (LJ February 2001, page 93) in which you mentioned that LJ is two-thirds the size of Martha Stewart Living with one-tenth the staff. You also mentioned that Martha doesn't have to lay out Perl code.

I wanted to let you know that we definitely do lay out Perl code here at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Don't forget, we have an e-commerce site (http://www.marthastewart.com/) that does several million dollars' worth of business each year. Also, our magazine staff puts out three regular magazines (Living, Babies and Weddings), as well as many special editions.

Presently, our web site is running on NT servers, but we are in the midst of migrating our site to Sun Solaris. And, you might be interested to know that the server that streams media to the site is running Red Hat Linux 7.0! Many of us here at Martha Stewart are open-source fans with a particular interest in Linux. I personally have been reading Linux Journal since issue number one. As a developer, I am constantly looking for ways in which we can use Linux at work. Check the header of this message, and you will see it is coming to you on a Linux machine with Pine.

I wasn't offended by your article in the least, I just wanted to let you know that even companies like Martha Stewart Living are embracing Linux.

Best regards,

—Rick NoelleInternet Applications DeveloperMartha Stewart Living Omnimedia

Need a Calendar

In reading the February 2001 issue of Linux Journal, I noticed the article “Linux and the New Internet Computer”. There is a screen shot of the NIC with some apps running on it. Strange as it may sound, I'm very interested in the calendar program running on that screen.

I've been using xcalendar for years now, and I love its simplicity. However, it seems that it's not being maintained. The calendar running on that screen shot looks similar but different. I'd like to find out if it is a different minimalist calendar program.

Thank you.

—Michael George

The X “calendar” client you see on the desktop in the screen shot, you're absolutely correct, it is “minimalist”! Here it is:

cal | xmessage -file - -title "Calendar"

a better version is with the gcal command (which highlights the current day):

gcal | xmessage -file - -title "Calendar"

If you use the tcal command, tomorrow's day will be highlighted. Of course, if you have a big display (1600 <\#215> 1200), you can put up a year's calendar with:

cal -y | xmessage -file - -title "Happy New Year"

I know that this is a brain-dead calendar—if you want something with a bit more intelligence that can launch calendars, reminders and check your mail, look at the rclock client...its man page gives all sorts of interesting applications (such as changing your desktop's hues according to the time of day—brightest at noon, fading to darkness toward evening, etc.).

—Billy Ball www.tux.org/~bball

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