Best of Tech

Our experts answer your technical questions.
Bug or Security Feature?

I have Red Hat 7.1 running IMAP, POP3 and POP2 from the University of Washington. The services do not accept client access with the login root and password, but other users are okay.

—Pedro Guedes, pmg01@netc.pt

The easiest thing to do is set up an alias for root in /etc/aliases to a non-root user. Don't forget to run newaliases after updating /etc/aliases.

—Christopher Wingert, cwingert@cwingert.qualcomm.com

You definitely should not try to login to an IMAP or POP server as root, especially if you aren't using SSL. You would be sending your root password in clear text for anyone to steal.

—Marc Merlin, marc_bts@google.com

How to Mount a Floppy

I have a ThinkPad 600 with an external floppy. How do I mount the floppy drive? (I was able to mount the CD-ROM no problem.) I've tried mount /dev/floppy, mount /dev/fd0 and mount /dev/fb0, but none of those work.

—Zachary Grant Michael, zachary.michael@earthlink.net

See if your floppy drive is detected at boot time with:

dmesg | grep -i floppy

If you see a line

Floppy drive(s): fd0 is 1.44M
then your floppy is device /dev/fd0. To mount it, type
mount /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy
—Usman S. Ansari, uansari@yahoo.com

I have a ThinkPad 570 with an external floppy, and it is detected as /dev/fd0. After you mount with the above command, you might want to customize /etc/fstab with the name of your floppy device and your chosen mount point in order to simply type mount /mnt/floppy. See man 5 fstab for how to do this.

—Don Marti, dmarti@ssc.com

Database with GUI for Teaching?

I am an Australian schoolteacher, and I am looking for a database to use with our Linux network. I want a database that is similar to Microsoft Access, because it is easy to use and teach to students.

—Ken Jordan, kwjordan@cedars.nsw.edu.au

There is a tool called pgaccess (<@url>pgaccess.org) that works with PostgreSQL and very closely resembles the functionality of Microsoft Access. Another alternative is to use the OpenOffice.org database connection facilities through ODBC.

—Felipe E. Barousse Boué, fbarousse@piensa.com

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