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DAVROM CONSULTING Newsletter - Issue # 15 - Dated: Fri Dec 13 08:32:41 EST 2002
From the desk of David Clark
Christmas is almost here (a few weeks away) and already 2003 is staring
us in the face, didn't we just celebrate the turn of a new century?
Support has been quite varied lately and we have sold a few
SCO OpenServer upgrades (yes we do sell SCO as well as hardware) and
attending to some devices over-heating in the warming regional Brisbane
We will be here over the Christmas and New Years break so we are a phone
call or e-mail away - always a good time to do some upgrading and
maintenance with staff taking time off - less people, fewer screams ;-)
If I don't get the opportunity to speak to you in person, I would like
to wish all our readers a very Merry and Blessed Christmas and a Happy
and Prosperous New Year. Our sincere thanks to all our customers and
associates who have helped DAVROM continue to serve the industry
throughout the year.
I would like to thank the reader for their time in reading this newsletter.
Which Internet Gateway?
With the birth of so many Internet gateway products I am being asked
which one to choose. Should you install the age old PC gateway
(Linux based for example) or do you get an Internet gateway device
such as SnapGear or ePipe? (which we also sell and support).
Regardless of which way you go, a Linux based PC or an Internet gateway
device, you need to factor in the labour cost for someone to set it up
and install the required software, firmware downloads, setup rules and
If you simply want a device that can act as your Internet gateway,
provide firewall features and maybe support VPN (Virtual Private Networking -
allows remote office branches or home users to have a secure connection
into your network over the Internet), then the SnapGear and ePipe products
are all you need. These devices have no moving parts unlike a PC so in
theory there are less points of potential failure such as a hard drive
failing in a PC.
Internet gateway devices can be used as the front end to dedicated
e-mail and web servers. The standard ports such as 25 (SMTP), 110 (POP)
and 80 (HTTP) are simply redirected to the relevant dedicated PC server
behind the Internet gateway device.
If you would like to have a dedicated Internet PC server to handle
e-mail (Sendmail, PostFix, Procmail) and possibly host web pages
(Apache), then installing a Linux server is also an equally viable
solution. Linux servers offer more flexibility in some respects as they
have a fully programmable operating system.
Our Internet gateway at DAVROM is a 133Mhz Linux server which also hosts
our e-mail processing and web pages but I won't rule out putting in a
dedicated Internet gateway device in the future.
At the end of the day, by carefully assessing your needs relating to
your LAN/WAN connection to the Internet, you will find that both
solutions can be implemented and even combinations thereof may better
suit your business needs. We have installed and support Linux servers,
SnapGear and ePipe solutions in the role of Internet gateways so we would
be more than happy to assess your current Internet needs and help you
make the decision that is right for your network/business.
One thing I find when I visit some customers who are upgrading or
changing their equipment to better suit there current needs, is the
presence of some "good old gear" that others companies may need. One
perfect example is Wyse dumb terminals - particularly Wyse 60s.
Naturally there can't be any warranty offered with old gear but it may
help people who need a "pre-loved" piece of equipment that may just save
the day or even help fill a spare parts need somewhere.
While we do not wish to become a second-hand gear storehouse
(Step-DAVROM and Sons), if you have any equipment such as Wyse
terminals, Stallion EasyServers or tape drives, please contact us and
we may be able to put you in touch with someone who needs the older gear.
I currently have a customer who has a variety of 250MB SCSI and
Cartridge tape drives available - just as an example.
If you have anything available or are looking for anything along the
lines of UNIX topology equipment, please let us know.
Some key industry announcements
MPA Systems has announced that it is now a national distributor of
SCO Insight Connector delivers popular MS Outlook functions such as
calendaring, shared folders, global address books and meeting room
scheduling to SCO Volution Messaging Server - this now puts SCO VMS
directly in place of needing to install MS Exchange.
SCO has release its new product, SCO Linux 4.0 which is part of the
UnitedLinux product focus by several other Linux vendors to provide the next
generation enterprise class Linux operating system.
SUN has realeased the LX50 - a lower-cost hardware platform engineered to
operate on a 32-bit x86 chip, the Sun LX50 server runs your favorite
Solaris[tm] Operating Environment programs and is compatible with leading
open source Linux applications.
Stallion's Serial based products have been acquired by Lantronix and a
new company, ePipe, has been formed to continue the ePipe range of
products and support.
Yes well sell SCO and other products
Someone asked me the other day if we actually sell SCO products or do we
just sell support services. Well the answer is we do both!
Aside from SCO, Linux and Internet gateway support services, we also
SCO Products (All products - OpenServer, Volution Messaging Server, OpenUNIX8)
IBM and Acer servers
Cactus Lone-Tar products
Stallion and ePipe
Other peripherals such as SCSI tape drives and UPS
If you are looking for something that is not listed above, please
For some years now I have enjoyed using an ASCII file encryption utility
that I have had since the Xenix days. The utility allows me to store
confidential information in text files (which then turn into encrypted
data files) so the contents can only be accessed if I know the encrypted
password that I used on the specific file.
One nice feature of the Linux based "vi" text editor (Vim) and the "vi"
utility shipped with some other variations of UNIX out there, is the use of:
vi -x filename
to create an encrypted data file.
When you wish to create a text file that will in turn be encrypted with
a password, you simply type in the above command line. You are prompted to
type in a password (twice), and then you can access/create the file.
The only way to access the file is with the "vi -x" option or using one
of the command line utils such as the one I mentioned earlier.
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