Letters

Readers sound off.

Letters

Date Tip

In the Tech Tips section of the November 2007 Linux Journal, there is a tip called “Show Date or Time, Past or Future” that requires you to download and compile showdate.c.

Another way to do these date calculations is to use the GNU date command that is included in most (all?) Linux distributions. See: www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/manual/coreutils.html#Relative-items-in-date-strings.


David Blackman

Stealing

Mr Copeland's argument for stealing music boiled down to its essence is “because it's possible, it's okay” [LJ, November 2007, Letters]. It's a refreshingly candid argument.

While I certainly agree that by buying a song, I should be allowed and able to play it on any device I own (or will own), it does not follow that I now have the right to redistribute it to others, simply because I could!

The (possible) greed of the RIAA, et al., is a red herring. If you think an item is too expensive, don't buy it. If enough people feel the same way, the price will come down (or the creator will go bankrupt).

If in fact the community (including Linux Journal) does indeed condone Mr Copeland's (and other's) argument, then I have a perfectly good CD containing the latest Linux Journal archive (which I recently bought) that I will be happy to make available on my Web site for immediate free worldwide distribution. I'll just conveniently ignore that bothersome LJ “All Rights Reserved” copyright notice at the bottom.

The irony is apparent in Mr Copeland's last paragraph where he states “If you fear people or begrudge them control over their own lives....”

Musicians, artists and others who create intellectual property or content are people too, and by your own arguments, they have the right to control their own lives, and that means THEY have the right to decide what happens to their intellectual property, how it should be distributed, what rights are allowed or reserved, etc. Why shouldn't they be entitled to leverage new technology to make money for themselves? Ultimately, that's what we all do.


David Jameson

Disabling Services Revisited

Nicholas Petreley's command-line method to temporarily disable services, as described in the July 2007 Linux Journal Tech Tips section, works.

Granted, renaming the files the way he suggests is a far better alternative to simply removing them. However, there are very easy-to-use command-line utilities that properly deal with this problem:

  • chkconfig (Red Hat or alike systems).

  • update-rc.d (Debian or alike systems—consider looking into file-rc).

One more reason not to rename these files is that they will most likely be missed by the package manager when the package is removed.


Martijn

Waiting for Feedback

I read, with not inconsiderable interest, parts of the letter by Chuck Adams titled “Sold on Kubuntu”, October 2007 LJ, wherein appeared, “Now I can do a case in less than ten minutes on an AMD64.”

Well, now, that simple assertion—per se—seemed so interesting to me, for I did my M. Sc. N-Body work on an IBM System/360 Model 50 under OS/360 circa 1973, I just had to check into it a little more deeply! And, you see, my most expensive single run cost only ~ C$7,000.00, I seem to recall!

So, assuming his runs took 3.5 hours (that is, 210 minutes) on a CDC 7600 versus ten minutes on an AMD64, the time ratio is only 21—I calculated!

Therefore, while I guess that's possible—albeit somewhat seemingly [s]low—any feedback therefore from Dr Adams would be most gratefully appreciated, of course!

I now mostly employ Red Hat Linux Fedora 7, x86_64, on an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 5600+ processor-based PC built from components purchased from Fry's and assembled at home, avec quelque succes.


Joseph Roy D. North

The Audacity...

After a lapse, it's good to be receiving Linux Journal again. As a nontraditional (older) college student, money can be very tight at times. Money has been very tight over the past couple of years. Unfortunately, pleasures in life end up getting pushed aside in the name of the necessities.

I have always liked the Cooking with Linux column by Marcel Gagné. In the October 2007 issue, he wrote about audio editors. As an Audacity user, I can say Mr Gagné forgot one tiny little detail when it comes to writing out one's creations, and that is, Audacity does not come ready to write to the MP3 format. (At least this is true in SUSE.) It will write to the OGG and wav format right out of the box but not to the MP3 format. I always have had to, first, install the MP3 library file in the proper place and then tell Audacity where to find it before I could write MP3 files.


Walt L. Williams

Thanks Jack

I just wanted to say that I enjoyed Jack Xue's article on creating a Linux-based e-mail system that integrates with Active Directory in the November 2007 issue. One thing I want to correct or add to his article is that Windows Server 2003 R2 is not required for acquiring the POSIX schema modifications that are needed for authenticating UNIX clients. POSIX attributes and object classes are required, and Windows Server 2003 R2 includes those schema changes automatically; however, R1's Active Directory schema can still be modified to support POSIX accounts. It's just that the same third-party product that provides it to R2 has to be manually installed for R1: Services For Unix 3.5 (SFU). This includes the POSIX schema changes as well as other UNIX utilities and services (for example, NFS). This is useful for people who have Windows Server 2003 R1 who do not want to upgrade to R2.

I hope Jack has more articles to share with us in the future. Great article.


Brandon McCombs

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