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KEYWORDS= Davrom Consulting Newsletter - Issue # 49 - Dated: 25 Jul 2011
From the desk of David Clark
Davrom has reached its 10 year mark having started trading in June 2001.
Support life marches on into the years and I take heart to hear more
people trying out Linux on their desktop albeit in a virtual environment
using products like VirtualBox to run it on their Windows/Mac desktop.
Ubuntu is a big favourite out there but I have plugged into the Linux that
is third/fourth place in popularity, that being Fedora. As I first started
out with the free versions of RedHat many years ago moving onto
Fedora/CentOS was the easiest progression, and being modeled on RedHat
itself (which would be the largest provider of commercial grade Linux) my
desktop work environment continues as it always has without a hiccup or
change since 2000/2001.
I must also mention that the Linux operating system has now turned 20
years old and I have been watching the various industry events around the
world celebrating this milestone. Thank you Linus Torvalds for pioneering
this robust and greatly affordable version of UNIX.
I seem to have moved heavily into text to PDF forms document merging and
creation so much so I have developed a Linux solution called "davrompdf"
that is to provide a generic program that performs the document creation
magic. There have been a few requirements to take the old text print jobs
from SCO and non-SCO boxes and put them onto Linux and give the applications
new life with modern new looking forms for printing and e-mailing.
Customers of Davrom who have been receiving invoices since July 1st this
year will already be receiving our own invoices in PDF format.
Davrom has started installing Cyeberoam devices over the past few months
and I have been pleasently surprised at this alternative to SnapGear for
All in all, there is always something to do in in I.T - busy busy.
I would like to thank the reader for their time in reading this
Linux is yet another example of a robust operating system that can and will
outlive the hardware it currently runs on.
With the demise (or kiss of death) given to the SnapGear range that Davrom
has sold for many years, it was vital to find another well rounded
Internet gateway/firewall/router that we could offer customers who are
looking to do things such as connected branch offices to each other (IPSec)
and enable remote VPN access for staff.
Like the SnapGear range, the Cyberoam still requires a modem in front of
it acting in bridge mode for ADSL, or running as a DHCP connection with
the Cyberoam being the device behind the modem (ADSL/cable modem).
The base range unit, the Cyberoam CR15i is an excellent unit and sits in
the same position as the SnapGear SG300 used to.
Cyberoams require substantially more steps to setup but the configuration
is so well fine tuned (eg firewall rules and virtual hosts), it is worth
the extra effort.
Their internal diagnostics to test firewall rules is second to none and
has helped enormously to diagnose and fine tune the Cyberoams we have in
the field to date.
There is an on-line virtual setup on the Cyberoam website that lets you
become familiar with their configuration interface, just go to
http://www.cyberoam.com and click on their Live UTM Demo link.
Cyberoams are distributed here in Australia by MPA Systems.
From the Trenches
Some comic or not so comic relief from the support days gone by.
Too many UNIX people in one room.
In 1991 I attended a UNIX train-the-trainer course held in Sydney
provided by our employer to allow us to train customers in our respective
It wasn't long before yours truly and the rest of the class embarked on
network assination of each other's fully operational UNIX systems.
Random reboots and console screens changing colour to flashing magenta on
white background were the order of the day.
It was interesting to observe the different levels of UNIX skills class
members possessed as we fought a quiet battle from time to time to kill
or be killed.
Needless to say this wasn't the occupation of the entire time in the
class as we were to be assessed on our abilities - shame the ability to
hack someone else's machine wasn't an automatic pass.
Using the hashpling.
If you write shell programs it is well worth using the hashpling at the
top of your program to enforce the shell environment you wish the program
to run inside of.
For example, to ensure a shell program runs in Bourne shell, the very
first line in your script program would be:
The hashpling tells the script where to find the actual shell environment
To make sure your script executes using Perl, you would set the hashpling
or depending on your version of UNIX/Linux and location of Perl binary,
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