Letters

Readers sound off.
Don't Change Your Hair for Me

I have been reading your magazine for about four years and have to say that I love it. I have friends that say that there isn't enough flash to it (maybe a little glitter would help), but I say that there really isn't anything that I would change. I love the inventor/hacker spirit. There is this feeling that there is always something cool to do with Linux that no one else tried on a Mac or Wintel machine. I mean from using wireless communication in Africa to running your can opener in your house from a workstation in Borneo. Okay, maybe not the latter, but I am waiting for it or the in-dash Linux MP3 player. Now that is some rockin' good stuff. I say keep up the good work.

—Matthew James

See Don Marti's interview with Hugo Fiennes and Marc Merlin in the July/August 2001 issue of our sister publication Embedded Linux Journal for information on the Rio Car, an in-dash Linux MP3 player.

—Editor

Crash Free

A few years ago, you sent out Linux bumper stickers to some of us subscribers, for some reason, I forget why. I thought you'd like to know that my car hasn't crashed since I put Linux on it.

—Keith Blackwell

Agree with Review (Mandrake 7.2 March 2001)

I currently use Mandrake 7.2. I upgraded from a previous Mandrake version. I noticed the May 2001 letter (“Mandrake 7.2 Review”) and feel I must speak up in defense of the review.

Overall, I am pleased enough with the product (obviously, since I am still using it). However, I must admit the March 2001 LJ review's overall tone agreed with my opinion of the product.

I could go on about many things, but I'll just bring up a few. Their graphical installation is not anywhere close to robust. After I finally got the install done on my laptop, I responded in e-mail with a list of bugs, gotchas, etc., but did not get a reply. Many of the DrakConf programs have more than their share of bugs. For example, I have gotten into the habit of starting printer configuration (PrinterDrake) to do just one thing at a time. I exit the entire program before starting it up again to do another thing with it. I abandoned RpmDrake. It was very promising but simply didn't work.

I manually upgraded many RPMs in January from one of their mirror sites. Most of these upgrades were security related and didn't fix problems like these.

In short, I would prefer honest reviews over the watered-down “you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours” kind.

—Harry Rockefeller

See our review of Mandrake 8.0 on page 78.

—Editor

Searching for Meaning

I just received the June 2001 issue of the Linux Journal today. The front cover shows a small ship (looks like a cross between a steamer and a cruise ship) circling the globe. Is this a (subtle) advertisement for the Linux Lunacy Geek Cruises, or is there a deeper meaning to it?

—Vivek Bhatiavivekb@cs.ucf.edu

It's as deep as the answer to “How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?”

—Editor

Offensively Offended

I am surprised and offended that your fine publication has seen fit to sneak in religious references (Matthew 9:17) in the June 2001 Best of Technical Support, page 96. Perhaps one of your staff members has a religious agenda that he wishes to impose on others. It has no place in a technical publication.

—Noel Moss

The reference is not religious but literary. The passage alone contains nothing religious and makes a good metaphor for the question answered.

—Editor

It Wasn't Me

As the founder and project leader of the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP), I'd like to tell you how excited I was to see the LTSP article in the June 2001 issue of Linux Journal.

It seems like the project is really becoming a mainstream feature of Linux. I'd also like to point out that while I think that Jorge did a great job in writing the article, I think it may give some people the impression that we have written our own bootroms. The bootrom images that we have had on our web site are entirely the works of Etherboot Project (Etherboot.sourceforge.net), which is led by Ken Yap. We had them available for download, just as a courtesy to people who want to get started quickly. We now refer people to the ROM-o-matic.net site. Marty Connor has done an excellent job of setting up that site, where you can select options on the screen and have a bootrom image generated within seconds, which you can then download and write to a floppy disk for testing.

I've always tried to make it clear that we, at the LTSP, didn't really invent anything new here, we just pulled together several technologies that have existed for years and made it easier for the average sysadmin to deploy.

If we've been successful at that, it is only because we are standing on the shoulders of giants (to quote Isaac Newton and Linus Torvalds).

Thank you for a wonderful magazine as always.

—Jim McQuillanLinux Terminal Server Projectjam@Ltsp.org

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