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KEYWORDS=open unix 8, seminar, gui, netscape, messenger, hp, omnibook, DAVROM CONSULTING Newsletter - Issue # 1 Dated: Tue May 29 2001
From the Desk of David Clark
Welcome to the first issue of the DAVROM CONSULTING Newsletter. As most of
you have no doubt anticipated from my previous e-mails, I will be branching
out on my own as an independent consultant and have already started to assist
some of my old contacts in a UNIX support capacity.
My wife Rose-Marie will be the administrator of DAVROM CONSULTING and we are
both looking forward to this opportunity with great excitement.
Our initial charter will be to offer SCO and Stallion support to the
reseller and end-user base, much the same as I did with MUA. We will also
be moving into the areas of Caldera, RedHat, Solaris and HP-UX.
Basically the word "UNIX" will get our attention.
I have set up an intial web site at which you can check on the
latest support rates and offerings as well as access this and subsequent
I would like to thank the reader for taking the time to read this newsletter.
On Tuesday the 19th of June, in Brisbane, SCO/Caldera will be holding a free
seminar introducing and discussing their current and future product
directions with Caldera Linux and the existing SCO offerings of OpenServer
and Open UNIX 8 (there's going to be an OpenServer 5.0.7....).
To register please go to:
From my point of view, and recently re-enforced by an observation expressed by
an industry colleague a few days ago, Australia has always been and is
very much still an SCO OpenServer install base. As I indicated in one of the
last MUA-Tech Newsletters, SCO OpenServer will be around in the install base
for many years to come and the fact there is a version 5.0.7 coming out
shows the continued comittment by SCO/Caldera to address those customers
who have based their business on this powerful and versatile version of
UNIX. Having said this, there are distinct advantages to installing Caldera
(Linux) and UnixWare7 where applicable.
Obscure Laptop Drivers
I currently use a HP OmniBook Xe2 laptop for my day-to-day UNIX support and
when I first decided to load 'UNIX' on it, I was amazed at the battle I was
Given this laptop explicitly states it is "Designed for MS Windows and NT",
I figured it was Intel so it had to support UNIX drivers as well - and then
I found myself lost in a sea of frustration.
This particular laptop uses a Silicon Motion SM8xx chipset for the video
adapter/screen and a Xircom ethernet adapter. Both of these devices worked
fine under Windows98 once I downloaded the 16MB driver file(s).
My initial attempt to install OpenServer went well but the GUI screen was
always blank and despite the failed attempts at hacking, I moved onto
UnixWare7 - strike 2, more screen display but far from ideal and no
network card drivers.
Next I tried both Caldera and RedHat which after much researching on the
Internet and being brave enough to hack into some of the X86Free configs, I
got everything going - one week of battling finally paid off. The laptop is
currently running RedHat 7.0 perfectly with full GUI and networking.
At one point I even attempted to load Solaris for Intel but this met with
the same results as SCO - Solaris has a wide range of drivers but the GUI
screen would just never work.
This article is by no means a comparison of UNIX systems but if you are
considering purchasing a laptop with the view to running UNIX on it, I
highly recommend you check out the screen and supported network cards
(PCMCIA) and spend some time on the Internet searching for any web pages of
discussions on your intended laptop model.
UNIX GUI E-mail Readers
I have recently evaluated two UNIX GUI based e-mail readers for my
UNIX environment as I use RedHat and SCO OpenServer for my e-mail interface
to the world. The best I have found so far and the most recent two I have
actively used are Kmail (part of the KDE install package) and Netscape
4.77's Messenger (which is part of Netscape Communicator).
Both of these programs store e-mail in ASCII text which suits my environment
as I have UNIX shell scripts that read and process the e-mail files
(mailboxes or mail folders). Because Kmail and Netscape Messenger store
e-mail as standard ASCII text this helps me to switch between the
GUI and non-GUI environment - (LONG LIVE ASCII TEXT!!!).
I used Kmail for some months and it is an excellent e-mail program and is
linked to the other KDE suite of utilities for web browsing and file
I am now using Netscape Messenger from Netscape Communicator 4.77 as
Netscape Navigator is my browser of choice and completely integrates with
all Netscape modules.
(Slight bug with the address book but it is easily fixed.)
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