January 18, 2005

Site review: Snazzy zazzybob.com

Author: Tina Gasperson

What's a zazzybob? I don't know, but zazzybob.com is a Linux site that has a "particular lean" toward scripting, with a full repository of Linux and Unix scripts free for the taking under the terms of the GNU GPL. The scripts perform all sort of useful and automatic functions, like adding a user, clearing the screen, opening a bash xterm, or converting a decimal number to hex (or vice versa).Site owner Kevin Waldron has done a good job with zazzybob.com, both with content and design. Each section is named after a typical Unix or Linux directory, like /home, /etc/motd, /bin (that's where the script repository is), /etc (tips, tricks, and articles), /var (links), /sbin (links to full program downloads, likes ZsysInfo, HASTE, and Waldron's own Java Web Shell), and /usr/bin/find (the search page).

Drilling down to the Tips and Tricks section, you'll find a small but recent and growing collection of tips written by Waldron and other site contributors that will show you how to mount ISO images or copy directory trees with tar, among other things.

The Java Web Shell is an interactive Web-based shell-like interface, writes Waldron, which will retain a lot of Bourne-shell type syntax. The shell doesn't have full functionality yet but is a work in progress, and Waldron includes full, verbose documentation in .html and .pdf formats. There's a demo of the applet right there on the site, and you can play around with changing directories and executing simple commands.

At the members section, registration is simple and fast, and gets you access to a simple message board that houses 20 posts at a time and then scrolls them off, apparently permanently. The posts that are there hold some great, useful information, so I wonder why Waldron wouldn't want to archive them so future visitors can learn from the abundance of knowledge.

Also in the members area is an HTML-based chat room, which refreshes every five seconds. That might be a bit too quick -- I had to leave because I was getting motion sickness. There wasn't anyone there anyway; it just kept refreshing some old chat entries over and over again.

Though the members' area leaves a lot to be desired, the rest of the site more than makes up for it. With fresh and frequent updates plus an abundance of original content, zazzybob.com is pretty snazzy.

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