On System Administrators
System administration means different things to different people. Some will tell you anyone who performs any kind of administration on a system is a system administrator. But I have a hard time calling someone who can only add users via a GUI, a system administrator. To me, a system administrator is someone who understands what goes on behind the scenes. I recently interviewed several folks for a position in my company who claimed to be network administrators. Most had no idea what a netmask was or why it was needed. Or, they knew what ARP was, but had no idea how ARP and IP interrelated. One even knew the OSI model, but where ARP, IP and TCP and UDP came in he didn't know. Understanding how things work makes troubleshooting easier and defines a true system or network administrator. Here are some tools that can help and a couple of fun programs too.
Take a dash of Perl, a little knowledge of where your configuration and logging files are, a little slicing, dicing and formatting, and you have a very useful tool for finding out about your DHCP leases via your web browser. The instructions are readable and simple. In two minutes time you can search IPs, MAC addresses, client names, get stats on the server and more. Requires: Perl, a web server and browser.
If anyone out there is using Postgres for logging Snort data (especially on a heavily trafficked site), you probably already know the importance of cleaning out your database from time to time, and vacuuming and analyzing it. If you have several of these databases, the cleanup chores can get a bit tedious. pgmaint can handle all this for you, even via cron. Requires: Perl, Perl modules DBI, Config::Simple and Getopt::Mixed.
This editor handles several formats well. Designed for either English or Arabic, it has menubar icons to change from left- to right-justified text and more. While a bit heavy on library and memory usage, anyone already running X won't particularly notice. Requires: libgtk-x11-2.0, libgdk-x11-2.0, libatk, libgdk_pixbuf-2.0, libm, libpangoxft, libpangox, libpango, libgobject-2.0, libgmodule-2.0, libdl, libglib-2.0, glibc, libX11, libXi, libXft, libXrender, libXext and libfreetype.
If you like Euchre, this is a nice version of the game. The AI players have three configurable levels of play, and the author includes instructions for those unfamiliar with the game. Play is fast and easy. Requires: libgtk, libgdk, libgmodule, libglib, libdl, libXi, libXext, libX11, libstdc++, libm and glibc.
I'd review more children's games if I could find them because my children are always looking for computer games. My wife thinks our seven-year-old daughter doesn't need to be playing Quake, but just how many hours of Barbie.com games can a child play until boredom sets in? Not quite up to gcompris, but unencumbered of the megs of GNOME libs gcompris requires, Childsplay is shaping up to be a good game for your little ones. Requires: Python and pygames.
DNS Sleuth atrey.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~mj/sleuth
This Perl script can be run either from a command line or via a web server with an included CGI script. It checks the domain name provided for compliance with the RFCs and reports errors with a reference to the appropriate RFC paragraph, so you can read what's broken and why, and hopefully fix it. Requires: Perl, Perl module Net::DNS and optionally a web server CGI. Until next month.
David A. Bandel (email@example.com) is a Linux/UNIX consultant currently living in the Republic of Panama. He is coauthor of Que Special Edition: Using Caldera OpenLinux.
- VMware's Clarity Design System
- Let's Go to Mars with Martian Lander
- Applied Expert Systems, Inc.'s CleverView for TCP/IP on Linux
- My Childhood in a Cigar Box
- Papa's Got a Brand New NAS
- Rogue Wave Software's TotalView for HPC and CodeDynamics
- Panther MPC, Inc.'s Panther Alpha
- Jetico's BestCrypt Container Encryption for Linux
- GENIVI Alliance's GENIVI Vehicle Simulator
- Smith Charts for All
Pick up any e-commerce web or mobile app today, and you’ll be holding a mashup of interconnected applications and services from a variety of different providers. For instance, when you connect to Amazon’s e-commerce app, cookies, tags and pixels that are monitored by solutions like Exact Target, BazaarVoice, Bing, Shopzilla, Liveramp and Google Tag Manager track every action you take. You’re presented with special offers and coupons based on your viewing and buying patterns. If you find something you want for your birthday, a third party manages your wish list, which you can share through multiple social- media outlets or email to a friend. When you select something to buy, you find yourself presented with similar items as kind suggestions. And when you finally check out, you’re offered the ability to pay with promo codes, gifts cards, PayPal or a variety of credit cards.Get the Guide