Letters

Readers sound off.
Backups with a Beat

Your December 2001 cover promised “Blazing Backups”, but you missed an opportunity for an artistic statement. It's not too late! Here's a suitable addendum to the article (to the tune of the “Blazing Saddles” theme):

He made a blazing backup, He used a SCSI drive,So should the system crack up,His data will survive.He streamed with tar and compressed with zip,So fast the routers would shriek,He made his blazing backupAt least three times a week.

—JCool++The Dapper Rapper

Some Ultimate Advice

In your article “The Ultimate Linux Box 2001: How to Design Your Dream Machine” (unabridged web version, available at /article/5420), you wrote:

The SB Live! seemed to work with the stock emu10k1.o sound module in Red Hat 7.1, but as it turns out it can't run the earphone-out jack on the LiveDrive.

Actually, it can—it just isn't set up to do so by default. I own one of these cards, a good pair of headphones, and a cheap pair of speakers, so I had reason to look into this. Here's how I got it working. First, download the drivers from opensource.creative.com:

cvs -d ':pserver:cvsguest@opensource.
creative.com: /usr/local/cvsroot'
login [use the password 'cvsguest']
cvs -d ':pserver:cvsguest@opensource.
creative.com: /usr/local/cvsroot'
co emu10k1
Everything there is under the GPL and changes here get folded into the kernel tree, so there's no real point using this driver over the kernel one. However, there are some utilities included that let you (among other things) enable different inputs/outputs. So compile and install their emu10k1.o if you want, but there's no need. What we're after is make tools. This gives you all sorts of tools for doing fancy things with the card, most of which I don't understand. The only one you need to get the headphones working is emu-dspmgr, located in the utils/mixer directory. With it, you can pipe your choice of inputs to your choice of outputs, e.g.:
emu-dspmgr -a'Pcm L:Phones L'
emu-dspmgr -a'Pcm R:Phones R'
emu-dspmgr -a'CD-Spdif L:Phones L'
emu-dspmgr -a'CD-Spdif R:Phones R'
--Andrew Bishop

File Creation with syslogd

I've been a longtime reader; while most issues haven't gotten the attention they've deserved, I do find LJ to be a useful source. In your December 2001 issue, Mick Bauer states that syslogd will create missing files. This certainly is not true of my version of syslogd, though I admit I haven't upgraded this box in quite some time. If the box isn't accessible, security patches aren't as important. The docs of the current version suggest that syslogd can create files, but my version also makes that claim, and I've verified it won't. (Oh, and if it did, it would be considered a security hole by some, myself included.)

—Ed Grimm

Bauer replies: As it happens, I tested and verified syslogd's file-creation behavior while working on the article; it works fine on both SuSE 7.1 and Red Hat 7.0. Personally, I don't consider this a significant security risk. At worst it's a denial-of-service exposure, but that's why it's smart to give /var its own partition, i.e., in case logs fill up the filesystem, whether by accident or attack.

Great Webmin Article

I have been using Webmin for a couple years now to administer my servers. It is a wonderful and powerful tool. I was very pleased to read about it in your December 2001 issue. Mr. Elmendorf did an great job. I hope to hear more on Webmin in the future in the pages of LJ--for example, how to add modules and such. Great work!

—Jody “JoLinux” Harvey

An Invalid Car?

While reading the informative column (Geek Law, LJ, November 2001), I was amused to note the example of LeCar as an invalid trademark for a car—you see I used to drive a Renault LeCar from 1978-1983. I don't know if the name was trademarked. I expect it wasn't strictly necessary in this case, as who else would name a car LeCar except Renault?

I suppose this demonstrates the difference between branding and trademarks. Whether trademarked or not, LeCar was a Renault brand. There was no point in naming another car LeCar. On the other hand, GTO was originally a Ferrari usage (I think) but was appropriated by Pontiac later. By the way, GTO is an acronym (Gran Turismo Omologato), which according to AltaVista means “great accredited tourism”, which I suspect doesn't express the flavor of the phrase.

In most countries the LeCar was known as the Renault 5; LeCar was only used in the US as far as I know. A fun little car—I regularly beat VW Rabbits off the line—a slow-motion drag race.

It was the first new car I ever bought, just days after getting hired at Tektronix, for my first career job. It survived over 100,000 miles with only two major fixes (a blown head gasket and a bad wheel bearing), which was something of an accomplishment in those days.

—Gary Bickford

______________________

White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState