Letters

Readers sound off.
Thanks for the GRUB

Mr. Marshall,

I want to extend a gigantic thank you for the article in the May 2001 issue of Linux Journal on the GNU Boot loader, “Boot with GRUB”. It could not have arrived at a better time.

We have a Linux machine whose main (boot) hard-drive started giving us IDE bus resets and other attendant errors. It became unusable although we are pretty sure the files we need are probably still good.

I tried constructing a new system from scratch and then copying the needed files and applications to the new system. Unfortunately this didn't work.

After some effort I was able to clone the bad drive onto a similarly-sized replacement drive using Norton's Ghost program. However, the LILO booter was no longer functional.

With the use of the information in your article I was able to construct a boot floppy that would get the replacement drive booted, and then I ran LILO on it to get the boot configuration properly re-written onto the drive. It is now a booting system.

—Keith Ericson

What Do You Expect?

In the “Best of Technical Support” May 2001 a suggestion was made to use the command expect. The editor inserted a note that expect was described in an article published in the December 2000 Linux Journal but did not mention the specific article, author or page number. I relied on the Interactive Journal to find it. However, expect did not get picked up by your search engine. I ended up searching each article with my web browser's find feature and did locate the article: “Linux System Administration: A User's Guide” by Marcel Gagné. May I suggest that when referencing an earlier article that you use a fuller citation. Thanks.

—George Palma

In addition to Marcel's article, we've run two other articles on expect. One can be found in issue 54, “Automating Tasks with expect” and one in 68, “What Can You Expect?”

—Editor

History Lesson

I would be more inclined to take Tobin Maginnis' infomercial on Sair Certification, “Why be Certified”, seriously, if his grasp of PC history wasn't as shaky as his understanding of Shakespeare (LJ May 2001).

When IBM introduced the original PC, it didn't “revolutionize the technology”. The design borrowed pretty heavily from the Apple II, and for the first few years of its life, it was a fairly pathetic machine. However, it had the one magic component, those three letters on the label. That made it socially acceptable in the office, even though it was distinctly inferior to the CP/M machines of the time. (On the positive side, it brought an end to the bewildering proliferation of floppy disk formats then current.)

Ever since Novell hit on the concept of certification as an extra cash cow, and corrupted the term “engineer” in the process, it's been making life easier for ignorant personnel (aka HR) types to sort resumes into piles, and I don't suppose that's going to go away. The only question is, to which pile will this certificate direct my resume?

—Alan Rocker

Deep Pockets

I received the latest issue with the Training & Certification focus and was very disappointed to read that Red Hat's RHCE program was given essentially no print space, despite being widely recognized as the industry leader in Linux certification.

Having just completed the course, I can say that it is an accurate measure of a person's basic Linux systems administration skills, and even with 6+ years experience administering Linux, I found the class informative and the exam challenging.

I find the lack of mention of the course very disturbing, and I can only hope that this is not the beginning of a trend that will see LJ catering towards advertisers with deep pockets rather than accurately reporting on the Linux world.

—Cheyenne T. Greatorex, RHCE

Cheyenne, There certainly is no such trend. Between Sair, LCI and Red Hat I would have to say that the latter has the deepest pockets.

—Editor

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