Readers sound off.

Letters

Real Blogs, Real Examples

When I saw the letter by Geraint Williams in the August 2004 issue of Linux Journal, although I was glad to see a reply defending free speech, I still was surprised that a technical article would have been illustrated by an example containing controversial political content. But, then I found that the example in question was an explanation by your author, Reuven Lerner, of why he had chosen the name Altneuland for his blog—because the United States seemed different to him after eight years of living in Israel. I'm sure the page appeared to many others as it did to me—entirely innocuous rather than dangerously controversial.


John Savard

Look Daddy, Tux!

I'm a Linux fan/geek, from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and I have been using Linux for more than eight years. I work as a Network Engineer/Consultant for Ericsson. I've been a subscriber to Linux Journal for three years. I'll renew after I go back to Buenos Aires and will wait every month for this amazing magazine that makes my day every time I receive it. Here is a picture of my small Tux fan. Now she's four years old, but at the time of the picture, she was 1 1/2. Every time she sees a penguin she says, “Look daddy, Tux is there! Tux! Tux!” That makes me laugh. Keep it up—doing this great magazine.


Francisco Puente

Busy Linux User

I couldn't resist sending a picture of my granddaughter, Savannah. I have no doubt she'll grow up on Linux and love it as much as she does my penguins. Thanks for a superb, top-quality journal.


Michal Ludvig

Penguin Fashions

Attached is a photo of my one-week-old daughter Sarka with a penguin slobber-jacket. Enjoy!


Michal Ludvig

Public Computer for Penguins

This costume is property of Linuxhelpdesk.net. We do an EU project on ease of use of Linux in Finland. See www.linuxhelpdesk.net, or contact jukka.penttinen@ncp.fi for more information.


Eero

Picking Out Hardware with Dad

Attached is a photo of young Robert and me planning baby's first computer before heading home from the hospital after his birth. How much beefier will the Ultimate Linux Box be when he has the motor control to use a keyboard or mouse?


David

Flat Is the New Up

I have been noticing an interesting trend in LJ: it's getting thicker! Congratulations. As a frequent reader of trade journals and hobby computer magazines, I know what that means to the publisher. To my dismay, some of my other trade journals are getting thinner. Some even have embraced Microsoft in order to provide content!

I agree with reader Robert W. Carter that LJ is the new Byte [see Letters, September 2004]. It is catering to my hobbyist curiosity and feeding my demand for up-to-date articles and reviews of Linux software and hardware applications. What you need now is to get Steve Ciarcia to write you a monthly column (is he still publishing Circuit Cellar?), and get Jerry Pournelle a cameo every once in a while. That will transform LJ into the nurturer of the new generation of computer hobbyist in the same way Byte did in the 1980s. Keep up the good work!


Anibal Morales

LJ hasn't gotten thicker or thinner in a while. Circuit Cellar is still around and knocks our socks off with great projects using inexpensive 8-bit processors. Check it out at circuitcellar.com.—Ed.

Bad Web Site, Bad, Bad

Why is horizontal scrolling required to read Don Marti's article “Breaking the Laptop Barrier” [www.linuxjournal.com/article/7698] posted August 3, 2004? I viewed several other LJ articles with Mozilla without any horizontal scroll issues, so I'm pretty sure it's the one article.


Scott

Someone posted a long URL in the comments, which messed up the layout. Watch our Web site for a redesign that will fix this and other issues.—Ed.

Airplane Painting Tool

I regularly buy Linux Journal in the local bookstore with foreign literature. Although I'm not in the IT business, I find a lot of articles interesting (my computers are all running either Linux or some variant of BSD). My father, who is an active radio control flyer, recently bought a new model airplane named X-Free. The decision about the painted decoration was quite easy because of the name, but The GIMP made it even easier. We took a photo of the unpainted airplane and used The GIMP to apply the finish and tweak it until we were satisfied. We then printed out the modified photo and my father copied the design to the real airplane.


Tomaz Solc

Penguin Papa's Photo

Here is a photo of my two boys wearing—back-to-front, of course—their GeekStuff Linux Tux baseball caps. I have them convinced that they are the only boys in all of Ireland with caps like these—walking open-source advertisements! This picture was taken last Easter at a small fishing village in the southeastern corner of Ireland. The water looks inviting, but don't be fooled. The air temperature was about 15°C. Brrrrrrr!


Paul

Good News on Wireless Router Code

The article “Linux on Linksys Wi-Fi Routers” in the August 2004 issue says:

Many similar wireless routers, such as the Belkin F5D7230-4, the Buffalotech WBR-G54 and the ASUS WL-300g and WL-500g, all use Linux in their firmware, and the list expands daily. Unfortunately, none of these companies has complied with GPL requirements and released the source code.

Belkin has released its source code: web.belkin.com/support/gpl.asp. Perhaps it was after the article went to press. More information on hacking the firmware can be found at www.seattlewireless.net/index.cgi/Belkin_20F5D7230_2d4.


Brian King

Photo of the Month: More Penguin Cake

My husband is a computer programmer and uses Linux a lot. He also enjoys the game Tux Racer. When he commented that I make special cakes for the kids' birthdays and not for his, I couldn't resist attempting to create a Tux cake to surprise him. After seeing the Photo of the Month winner for September 2004, he suggested I submit this photo.


Margaret Haller

Photo of the Month gets you a one-year extension to your subscription. Photos to ljeditor@linuxjournal.com. By the way, Tux Racer is now available as an arcade game. Congratulations to the tuxracer.com team.—Ed.

More Radio, Please

I, for one, would love to see more amateur radio-related articles in LJ. We are a technically oriented group. There must be scores of others out there like myself.


Richard (WB2RAR)

Weather Maps via Ham Radio

Thanks for the September 2004 issue of Linux Journal. I truly enjoyed the radio articles. Please keep them coming, especially articles like the one on PSK31. I enjoy using Linux to decode different digital modes on the HF band. With the storms of this last week, I enjoyed using the Linux program HamFax to receive Weather Faxes from NOAA—I could have gotten the images from the Internet, but where is the challenge in that?


Richard

GPS Software Suggestions

Your September 2004 article on GPS was interesting, especially some of the science behind the technology. I'd like to point out two additional software packages.

1) nmead—written by Chuck Taylor. This reads GPS from your serial port and makes it available on a network port. His site also has a Java-based sample GUI (home.hiwaay.net/~taylorc/gps/nmea-server).

2) ntpd—Network Time Protocol. I personally submitted patches that add nmead support to ntp. I think it will be in the next stable release. Until then, the patches are available at trainguy.dyn.dhs.org/~jminer/gps.html. Thanks for another month of interesting articles!


Jon Miner

Hardware for TV Projects

I noticed in the Ultimate Linux Box article, August 2004, that future issues will have projects based on HDTV cards. Are you planning on covering the Hauppauge HDTV cards as well as the pcHDTV HD-2000 card?


John R. Klaus

We'll try to make all our TV projects useful on as much hardware as possible. But, if you live in the USA and think you might want to watch HDTV someday, get an unrestricted card now before the Broadcast Flag regulation goes into effect.—Ed.

Photos of Kids Are Fine

Because of the regular appearance of photos of children in the Letters section of Linux Journal, I WILL be renewing my subscription. By the way, I also like the photos of pets very much. Does the www.linuxjournal.com Web site have an “About us” page with photos of the writers and spouses, kids and pets? I think that would be pretty great too.


Rick Deschene

A new look for the Web site is coming soon.—Ed.

Gorilla Marketing

Like most Linux users, I always am looking for ways to raise awareness and further the proliferation of Linux in industry and at home. Being an employee of a very large company, I have experienced first-hand what it is like to do battle with an 800-pound Microsoft-Certified gorilla of an IT department. To date, I have lost far more battles than I have won on this front, but I have not given up the cause. As a result of the wins we now run a few Linux servers and have a desktop machine here or there, but it still takes “an act of congress” to get approval from the gorilla to install Linux for general-purpose computing.

My most recent tactic was to purchase a subscription to Linux Journal and have it sent to an influential member of our IT department. I cannot think of how I could get more Linux-proliferating bang for my hard-earned $25. For the next 12 months, management will be presented with a wealth of information about the state of Linux. I honestly believe that if only one out of every ten LJ readers did the same thing it would go a long way to growing our very own 800-pound penguin.


J. Eric Pipas

More Radio, Please (Part II)

I really appreciate these articles [see the September 2004 issue]. I am new to Linux and was a ham way back when. I was also a “real” engineer (Electrical vs. Software Engineer now) when I started. These articles seem like a good way for me to get back into what I love and also to learn Linux. I have been playing around with Linux and see how the two will fit together well for my education in both. Thanks, and keep these articles coming.


Tom Richards

Tracing Tool Tip

I enjoyed the article on Linux hacking tools in the September 2004 issue. strace is an extremely useful utility for getting in between applications and the kernel to see what's going on. What's missing from the list is its companion program ltrace. ltrace allows the developer to monitor library calls made by dynamically linked applications, such as calls made to the C library or to GTK. This capability comes in handy when debugging or analyzing other people's code, so ltrace should fit right into any Linux developer's bag of tricks.


Ryan Underwood

Erratum

I received an e-mail from Mr Lyndon Tynes stating there was an error in one of the Best of Technical Support questions I answered in the June 2004 issue of LJ. The question relates to “Changing Desktop Environments” (page 66), and the correct reply should have been written as follows:

You can change the content of /etc/sysconfig/desktop from: DESKTOP="GNOME" to DESKTOP="KDE" or DESKTOP="WINDOWMAKER", and your X Window System will start the corresponding window manager. The file that controls which window manager starts is /etc/X11/xinit/Xclients; take a look and study it.


Felipe Barousse Boué

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