Davrom Consulting Pty Ltd

Established Since 2001
PO Box 1644, Sunnybank Hills, Qld, 4109
ABN: 81 096 990 804


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DAVROM CONSULTING Newsletter - Issue # 17 - Dated: Sun Feb 23 16:42:59 EST 2003




From the desk of David Clark

If you are visiting our website you will see a few slight changes
including our logo - gotta love eagles. I am on a personal web revamp
project at the moment so come and visit every now and then.

Two new pages are:

http://www.davrom.com/scoofficemail.html
http://www.davrom.com/inmarket

In the last week we had some issues with getting e-mail through to us so
if you e-mailed us and couldn't get through, please send them through
again. (The same e-mail addresses to "@davrom.org" are fully operational
as well which weren't affected by the recent hickup.)

I would like to thank the reader for their time in reading this newsletter.

David.M.Clark


Time and Attendance System

In DAVROM Newsletter 13 we spoke of a new product that DAVROM had taken on,
The Time and Attendance System. This is a Windows based staff
workplace/attendance system that is ideal for those organisations who
need to record staff work hours in a "clocking on/off" environment. The
attendance records can then be exported to your payroll system and
provide a perfect record for the purposes of Workplace Health and
Safety.

We are now pleased to announce that a new module has been added to the
Time and Attendance System to not only include individual staff records
but Job based records as well. This feature uses an additional software
module and set of proximity cards that can be assigned to record staff
working on specific tasks. This allows employers to track not only staff
attendance but time spent on specific tasks or "works in progress".

If you would like additional information on the Time and Attendance
System you can visit our website at:

http://www.davrom.com/inmarket

or e-mail as at:

sales@davrom.com

The Time and Attendance System is a fully Australian owned and developed
product.


Instant Messaging with Linux

Something I take for granted is keeping in touch with colleagues,
customers and friends via Instant Internet Messaging. It is great to be
able to strike up a quick conversation on-line with someone you know and
even throw some tech questions around or catch up on the latest goss.

I first started out some years back with an ICQ Java software client
running on my Unixware7 CDE desktop. Despite having to re-connect a
fair bit, it certainly gave me what I wanted.

Now there are heaps of different IM clients available for the diverse IM
offerings (ICQ,MSN,AIM,Yahoo). I ran Licq (Linux-ICQ) for a time and also
tried out another ICQ based clients such as Ickle. Licq is often bundled
with your Linux installation but it has its own download site as well.
Ickle is hosted at SourceForge. Of course there are many others I haven't
touched such as Gabber and Yahoo's own client for Linux.

After some time I wanted to stay in touch with a few MSN contacts so then
I switched to Everybuddy. Everybuddy allowed me to keep in touch with
both ICQ and MSN based contacts via the one single IM client - I did
find the ICQ side played up a bit for me but it worked for the most
part.

I currently use Gaim which is my favourite as it allows me to
keep in contact with ICQ, MSN, AOL/AIM and Yahoo contacts. Gaim runs
very well on my KDE desktop and once again I can keep in touch with a
whole spectrum of contacts all via the one interface. Gaim is another
client hosted at SourceForge.

About the only annoying part now is the diverse identities for each IM
host: ICQ - 16595618, MSN - dmcrmc@hotmail.com, AOL - dmclark61,
Yahoo - davrom7.


Why not Webmail

I often speak to people who want to be able to access e-mail when they
are out of the office, on holidays, overseas, interstate or working from
home. Some have setup a remote web based e-mail accounts with providers
such as Hotmail to fulfill this function.

But if you have your own UNIX/Linux Internet Gateway - or at least a
UNIX/Linux server that can be accessed from the Internet via your
firewall - then why not look at running Webmail or Squirrelmail and keep
your e-mail confidential and completely under your own control.

There are a variety of webmail clients out there and we currently use
"NWebmail" to access our e-mail here at DAVROM via web browsers at
remote locations. We can also use Squirrelmail which is a PHP based web
mail server and functions very much the same as NWebmail.

Being Web based all you need at the remote location is a browser, your
user name and password, and you can send/receive e-mail just as if your
were sitting in your office.

So why not look at hosting your own e-mail access via the web?


Tech Tip


Controlling the number of pings - re-visited. My thanks to two of our
readers for keeping me on the "straight and narrow" with regards to my
last tech tip on ping and grep.

The previous line given was to set the variable PINGCOUNT to the number
of pings specified by the "-c 3" option. The previous line was:

PINGCOUNT=`ping -c 3 192.168.1.3 | grep icmp | grep -v grep | wc -l`

but a more precise usage would be:

PINGCOUNT=`ping -c 3 192.168.1.3 | grep -c icmp`

There was also no need for the "grep -v grep" as this is only useful if
we are trying to exclude the "grep" command from the result of a "ps"
output such as:

ps -ef | grep smb | grep -v grep

Will promise to check man pages and brain before sending you more code.



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