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KEYWORDS=rpm, php, spam, blockers, rbl, blacklist, DAVROM CONSULTING Newsletter - Issue # 27 - Dated: Sat Mar 19 08:08:12 EST 2005


From the desk of David Clark
Another busy month goes by and it is already mid-March - didn't I just
do a newsletter? I know we want all our PCs, servers and apps to go
faster but does it have to take our lifetimes along with it?

Support has been a mixed bag this year with more Linux, SnapGear, SCO
and also PHP scripting for web sites - and even some more issues with spam
blockers. I have also upgraded my RedHat 9 desktop to Fedora Core 3 -
very nice and has added some of the bits previously missing in previous
releases of Fedora (like sound card support for my old soundcard).

SCO are soon to release SCO OpenServer 6 and I have covered some of the
product highlights in this newsletter.

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

David.M.Clark


UNIX Quote

"...the number of UNIX installations has grown to 10, with more
expected..." - Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson, June 1972


Spam Blockers Re-Visited

You will recall in our newsletter number 25 I covered an issue I had
with the Internet spam blockers out there and having recently gone
through another bout of e-mail being blocked, and in the light of some
very valid feedback from readers, I have a slight change of heart.

Again I found myself and my ISPs SMTP server being blocked by a spam
blocker - and the problem was certainly rectified quickly by all parties
- but it doesn't take away the frustration of having your valid business
e-mails stopped and returned to you. After conversing at length with the
Australian tech for one of the spam blockers, I must admit that I am now
having a change of heart with regards to their role.

In the perfect world there would be no spammers and my installation of
SpamAssassin on servers would be made redundant, but the fact is spam is
increasing every month and one of my old colleagues indicated having some
70000 (yes seventy thousand) spam e-mails sent to their large
corporation every day (and I complain about my 5 or 10 that actually get
to me in my inbox). For such corporations using the RBL servers (Realtime
Blackhole List servers) would remove a lot of the wasted bandwidth
placed on them were they to try and filter everything on their own. That
being said you will always need to look at blocking spam at your own
e-mail server level as well.

Products like SpamAssassin do offer pushing e-mails back through the RBL
servers as a feature that can be turned on and should be considered if
you start to receive high volumes of spam.

I live in hope of a spam-free Internet....


PHP - a good option for web servers

Some time back a good friend and colleague in the industry pointed me in
the direction of using a web server scripting language called PHP.

PHP offers you the ability to enhance your web site without the need to
have plugins and/or extra utilities installed on the remote PC browsers.
(nothing like using my Fedora Core 3 desktop Firebird browser and have
some remote website page crash out on me because I can't run Visual
Basic locally).

All the execution and handling of accessing data is done on the web
server itself and then presents the information back to the user in
standard HTML format.

You can create secure logins to allow staff/remote users to gain
information stored on the web server. You can create file upload portals
so remote users can upload their documents, spreadsheets etc to secure
folders on the web server. PHP can interface with MySql and other
database engines to do on-line database enquiries and a whole host
more.

For those who have used and/or installed products like Squirrelmail then
you have already used a PHP based e-mail portal.

There is a heap of literature around on PHP scripting and if you already
speak HTML, then PHP isn't difficult to add to your existing web pages.

I have recently started to implement some solutions for customers based
on PHP so if you would like more information and example scenarios where
PHP could help you, please let me know.


SCO OpenServer 6 - Beta

The next upgrade in the SCO OpenServer, Openserver 6, previsously named
"Legend" has entered beta testing for partners.

This is great news for those wanting to maintain their server product
upgrade path with the reliable SCO OpenServer platform, and be able to
install it on the latest hardware with the extras like the latest
versions of the MySQL and PostgreSQL databases, Apache Web server,
Mozilla browser, Tomcat Java servlet container, Samba file and
print services and many others. In addition, SCO OpenServer customers
can use the familiar OpenServer desktop or the included KDE desktop
environment. (David loves KDE)

File size support has been increased to larger than 2GB for both disk based
and network based files. Disk based filesystems can grow as large as 1 TB
and larger network files are supported through Network File System (NFS)v3.

SCO OpenServer 6 now has Multi-Threaded application support and I am
hoping this feature will draw back the support from application houses
such as Progress. There are a large number of OpenServer systems out
there running Progress and I will keep those interested posted on any
moves by Progress to endorse OpenServer 6 as a supported platform.
The UNIX kernel is fully pre-emptive, and supports multi-threading for
C, C++, and Java applications through the POSIX interface.

SCO OpenServer 6 will maintain its product look and feel to its
traditional utilities from the earlier versions so there is little or no
learning curve for those already familiar with the workings of OpenServer.
This coupled with support for existing OpenServer applications makes
OpenServer 6 a welcome continuance to the core product that was first
realeased in 1995.

SCO is integrating Web Services technologies from the company’s SCOx Web
Services Substrate into SCO OpenServer 6 to allow customers to bring
data from legacy "green screen" applications into a Web-based
environment. The SCOx Web Services Substrate saves customers from having
to re-write applications or port their data to new applications, saving
customers valuable time and money.

We will be downloading a beta copy of the product in the next few weeks
and will let you know what we find.


Some newsworthy items

SCO annouce the imminent release of SCO OpenServer 6 and is now ready
for beta testing for partners.

The first release of Fedora Core 4 is now available from Red Hat -
Fedora Core is the continued open source community product from Red Hat.

Red Hat has announced the headlining speakers for their first-annual
Red Hat Summit. Summit 2005 will be held in New Orleans June 1-3 and
will bring together the diverse people that make up the open source
community.

Sun Microsystems have given their Java website a facelift and have a
host of java based solutions you can learn about including games:
http://www.java.com

Mozilla have released an updated version of their browser, FireFox,
which is a powerful web browser that sits nicely with ThunderBird e-mail
client if you are looking for a powerful and simple to use e-mail
client. They also have release Mozilla 1.7.5 which continues the
traditional all-in-one browser, e-mail, address book and irc:
http://www.mozilla.org


Tech Tip

Ever needed to find out what rpm package a file belongs to on a Linux
system? Here is a simple command to find out what rpm package a file
belongs to:

rpm -qf /usr/lib/libcurses.so

and it returns:

ncurses-5.4-13

so now you know that it relates to the ncurses package.

Another useful command to list what files are in a rpm package:

rpm -ql ncurses


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