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KEYWORDS=putty.exe, kde, gnome, desktop, openoffice, staroffice, officemail, DAVROM CONSULTING Newsletter - Issue # 23 - Dated: Tue Mar 2 12:57:46 EST 2004


From the desk of David Clark

Welcome to issue 23.

"Well all my friends are getting cable..." - reminds me of the song by
Shirley from Skyhooks back in the 70's (All my friends are getting
married) - showing my age, I know. But the number of sites and customers
running towards the broadband/cable bandwagon has increased to frenzied
proportion of late; soon the dialup modem will be a thing of the past.
I can still remember connecting a company I worked for to the Internet
via a 2400 baud dialup connection (circa 1994) - back then we had e-mail
and ftpmail access to the world, before browsers and all the toys we use
today.

In the next few weeks we will complete our cut-over to our broadband
cable connection so our domain (davrom.com) will disappear for 12-24
hours but you can still get us at davrom.com.au. We can't get ADSL here
so we are switching to cable which does not give us a static IP address.
To get around the requirement for the permanent IP address needed for our
web/e-mail server we have registered our domains with an ISP who records
our current IP each time it changes and then routes any traffic for our
domains (davrom.com, davrom.com.au and davrom.org) to the newly assigned
IP. (ie., whenever you connect with cable your IP address is most likely
different each time you reconnect to the Internet). A client program on
our RedHat web server updates the ISP with our current IP each time we
reconnect - brilliant. So don't feel left out if you can't get a fixed IP,
there is a way around it. (Thanks to John G for pointing me in the right
direction).

Support has mainly been Internet product related of late but we have had
some fun with overheated/cooked devices from Queensland's recent heat
wave and severe electrical storms.

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

David.M.Clark


UNIX Quote

Who said UNIX/Linux isn't user friendly? - Try KDE and Gnome. Real power
to the user at no cost.

SCO Office Mail Server on OpenServer
While I have yet to install and test SCO Office Mail on OpenServer, it
has been released in beta for partner testing and this will be an awesome
product to add to the existing SCO server in your organisation.

SCO Office Mail is a fully integrated e-mail system that replaces the
need for MS Exchange offering features like shared schedules and contacts
along with allowing users to set their own away messages. (Refer to our
previous articles on SCO Office Mail Server).

We intend to test the product here in the near future running on
OpenServer so we will let you know how it goes.

The only requirement is that you need to install it on SCO OpenServer
5.0.7 so for some sites it will require an operating system upgrade.


Can I use a Linux desktop instead of MS?
Recently I have been asked by a few different people if they can install
Linux and run it in place of MS Windows on their desktop, so I thought I
would touch on a few points in this article as to whether you feel you can
make this change.

My short answer to running Linux is to setup a dual boot situation - MS
Windows in one hard disk partition and Linux in the other. This way you
can try it for a while and see how you go.

From a user desktop perspective, everything is the same as any GUI
(Graphical User Interface) screen - the menus are manipulated by using
the mouse and to start programs you simply single click or double click
to kick them off.

The desktop is normally either KDE or Gnome (and you can run the old
traditional CDE that is common to legacy UNIX systems). I run KDE because
it was the first desktop that I touched in Linux but you can normally
switch between the desktops and you can run the programs from others - I
have KDE but can run Gnome utilities such as gaim (ICQ, MSN, AOL
multi-messenger client utility) as well.

My browser of choice is Mozilla and I also use its e-mail client - I find
Mozilla excellent to use and have had a long history with Netscape so the
transition was seemless (they are essentially the same product). Other
web browsers that ship with Linux are Konqueror (KDE), Galleon and you
can download heaps of others - I run Opera as well.

For e-mail clients you can use those inside the browsers such as Mozilla
Messenger and Opera Mail, but you can also use powerful e-mail clients
like Evolution.

Given that most people circulate documents as PDF these days with regards
to Internet attachments, Linux does have PDF readers such as xpdf.

With regards to needing to create, read and send MS files such as Word
and Excel you install OpenOffice or StarOffice which gives you the same
products but without the price-tag. I have seen at some times a loss in the
formatting of the more complex Word documents sent to me but for the most
part they are "picture" perfect.

On top of needing the obvious functionality just mentioned, KDE for
example, gives you a desktop faxing utility, organiser, notebook, time
scheduler, printer and system management tools (need to know your root
password for some of these) and of course a variety of games and toys.

Media players such as Mplayer and RealPlayer 8.0 are great for any
multimedia videos and there are a variety of MP3 players.

My recommendation is to load up Linux and give it a try - you can download
RedHat 7.3, 8.0, 9.0 and Fedora, Mandrake, Debian, Suse, TurboLinux and
the list goes on.

So in a nutshell, run it up on your PC or a spare PC and see how it goes.
You don't need to be a UNIX/Linux command line lover like me and for
anyone running XClient software on MS, Linux might be your cheaper
alternative.


Some News-worthy items
As per our article, SCO have released SCO Office Mail in Beta for
OpenServer 5.0.7.
SCO have also released their update pack #2 for SCO OpenServer 5.0.7
which includes USB 2.0 support, CUPS 1.1.19, Ghostscript 7.07.1,
PostgreSQL and others.

RedHat are going on a promotional and "meet the opensource users" road
tour on March the 15th, 2004, stopping in the following cities: Tokyo,
Brisbane, Sydney, Munich, London, Toronto, and Boston.

Mandrake Linux 9.2, which is based on Linux 2.4.22 (and ready for Linux
2.6.0) offers the most advanced Linux features currently available is
now ready for downloading:
http://www.mandrakelinux.com/en-us/

Novell has implemented two programs for customers to obtain quality
technical expertise to support Novell's Linux-based solutions. Novell
launched its Certified Linux Engineer (CLE) program, including the CLE
Practicum exam, and the SUSE Certified Linux Professional certification,
which recognizes expertise on the SUSE LINUX distribution.

January 14, 2004 - CyberGuard Corporation (NASDAQ: CGFW) announced
general availability of the enhanced SnapGear SME575, a VPN/firewall
appliance with robust new intrusion detection system (IDS) features plus
advanced Web proxy cache technology that dramatically improves network
security and performance.


Tech Tip


For those looking for a good terminal emulator for MS Windows that can
work well with UNIX and Linux emulation, why not download PuTTY.exe:

http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/

PuTTY is a complete telnet program that is lightweight (a single 300MB
file) and offers a wide range options including colour manipulation.

For those who prefer to use ssh in place of VPN tunnels over the
Internet, PuTTY.exe provides a complete port 22 (SSH) access client built
into this awesome little emulator.

You can use just the straight PuTTY.exe program and then select from your
saved sessions or you can actually create a desktop shortcut to execute
the telnet/ssh saved session to go straight to the server:

c:\putty\putty.exe -load monster

where c:\putty is the directory that contains the PuTTY.exe executable
and "monster" is a previously saved session for the local UNIX/Linux server.


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