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Using NetBSD (part 3): Setting up printing

Author: JT Smith

In this article, Ralph Krause explores lpd, ghostscript, apsfilter and LPRng for setting up printing under NetBSD. Most of this is also directly applicable to other Unix and Unix-like systems, such as FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and Linux.


  • Unix

Mandrake security update

Author: JT Smith

Mandrake has released a security update to their distribution. Further details are available here.


  • Linux

How stupid are users?

Author: JT Smith

An article on Linuxworld takes a look at a few schools of thought regarding user interaction, and discusses some methods for teaching users without being too heavy handed.


  • Linux

LinuxWorld’s around the corner

Author: JT Smith

Upside today has a somewhat mistitled column discussing HP’s recent Linux plan changes, Sendmail Inc’s commercial growth, and hiring plans of some Linux companies, available online


  • Linux

OpenMail attracts 1 million Linux users

Author: JT Smith

By Grant Gross
Managing Editor

When Hewlett-Packard ported its OpenMail mail/messaging software to Linux in October 1999, OpenMail evangelist Richi Jennings was hoping for big things.
After all, Linux users practically begged HP to provide a Linux version when Jennings and crew, wondering whether OpenMail in Linux would sell, pitched the idea at Linux World 18 months ago.

“We had people waving credit cards at us, literally,” says Jennings, based in Pinewood, U.K. “We went away from that show saying, ‘We think our questions were answered.’ “

Even after that response, Jennings says he’s surprised at how quickly Linux users have embraced OpenMail. The cross-platform business-messaging program, which in some form has been around for a decade, has about 15 million users, but in just 10 months, it has picked up more than 1 million Linux users.

“I wasn’t sure what expectations to have,” Jennings says. “We’re pleased with all the feedback we’ve had from the Linux community. It’s been a wild ride.”

OpenMail offers a downloadable Linux version free only for evaluation, but, despite its name, the software is not free in the Free Software or Open Source sense. According to the download Web site, OpenMail for Linux is an evaluation version, so it could stop being no-cost at any time.

The company charges clients for a version that includes 24-by-365 tech support and guaranteed updates.

The software has run on a variety of servers, such as Solaris, Windows NT, and Unix. A primary selling point among large corporate users is that it offers a variety of desktops, including the popular Microsoft Outlook. OpenMail also offers Web-based email, so users can check their email anywhere with an Internet connection, wireless functionality, and privacy features.

With one mail server able handle 20,000 email-happy business users, OpenMail is represented in 60 percent of the Fortune 1000 companies, according to HP. OpenMail’s scalability cuts down on the hidden personnel costs in other messaging solutions of babysitting many servers, Jennings says.

“People are the biggest hidden cost,” he says. “You need people for the care and feeding of the boxes.”

The beauty of OpenMail on Linux, says consultant Chris Harvey, is that the little guys can run it on a $1,000 desktop machine, instead of a $15,000 server.

“I can get a very cheap machine, run Linux on it, and essentially run OpenMail for free,” says Harvey, operator of the email consulting firm HPC Consulting of Arlington, Va. “As a consultant, it gives me a platform I can run at my house, and it runs just as well on Linux as on anything else.”

Harvey also uses OpenMail because of the cross-OS compatibility it offers his customers, and because he can duck into a Web kiosk and check email while he’s on the road.

OpenMail originally decided to explore the Linux market after some R&D lab workers championed Linux to their co-workers, Jennings says. After some internal give-and-take about Linux’s potential, a team decided to go ahead and build it.

“Essentially, we did a garage job,” Jennings says. “They created this prototype, put it up on a machine, and show some people in the organization.”

Harvey, who says he was “big-time” excited when he heard OpenMail would be available for Linux, says it makes perfect business sense for HP, which had been marketing OpenMail to large corporations. “They’ve opened themselves up to the low-end market,” he says.


  • Linux

Invisible Linux

Author: JT Smith

Linuxworld has a column which discusses the usability of computers, and how Linux can be used to enchance it.


  • Linux

NewsForge Appears

Author: JT Smith

– By Robin “roblimo” Miller

Well, here it is: the first true online “newspaper” covering Open Source.

There may be no such thing as unbiased reporting, but we’ll come as close as we
can, except for our daily opinion columns, where you will see strong
opinions expressed, including some with which you may not agree.

NewsForge Reports and NewsVac Links
Our NewsForge
section, where we run original stories, and our
NewsVac Links
sections are as bias-free as we can make them. These two sections are the heart
of NewsForge. Read them daily (or more often) and you will know what’s
happening in Open Source — not just the coding part, but also what’s going on
with Open Source companies and the politics, regulations, and
international dealings that affect Open Source development and use.

We can’t really predict how many stories and links we’ll run each day. No one
has ever tried to find every online Open Source news story, press
release and announcement, and consolidate them all in one place before. We
probably won’t find every single one either, but we’ll do our best. Our
NewsVac miners currently scan over 200 URLs 12 times per day, searching for
relevant stories, and the number of sites we look at will increase steadily
over the next few months. Some of the sites we check run mulitple stories
about Open Source every day. Some may only run one every few months. So far,
we’ve seen daily story counts ranging from nearly zero (on slow weekends) to
over 100, and we expect to hit an average of nearly 200 per day within three

We also hope that you will submit any stories you see, anywhere,
that relate to Open Source in any way. Our editorial process is not like
Slashdot’s, which carefully selects a few stories calculated to spur debate and
discussion. Ours is a “fire hose” approach; if a story or link is relevant and
it’s in English, it runs. Period.

So send us your news,
your press releases, your meeting announcements yearning to be freed from
obscurity. You don’t need to write witty little introductions. All we need is
a headline and a URL, and in it goes. Obviously, if more than one person submits
the same story, the first person to submit it will get credit. But these are our
only submission rules for items to which we will link. We want as much news as
we can get. We have no set daily story limit — and *lots* of server space.

Writing for NewsForge
If you want to write an original story for us, that’s another matter. In
that case, please email your story idea, along with your phone number, to
NewsForge managing editor Grant Gross,
and discuss story content and payment terms with him before you start typing.
Please bear in mind that NewsForge Reports are “just the facts” stories, not
opinion pieces; the only place we want opinions is in the columns, and we
currently have room for only one guest column per week.

Another way to get your opinions or ideas across on NewsForge is to post them on
our Discuss Today’s
page. We’ve put it in a separate section on purpose, and decided to
let you come up with your own discussion topics instead of limiting each thread
to a specific story in order to encourage wide-ranging, thoughtful
conversations. We ask you not to post obscenities or blatantly offensive
material in NewsForge discussions. This is simply not the place for it, and
NewsForge editors have the right to remove any inappropriate posts — and are
the sole judges of what is and is not appropriate.

We do not currently require a login to post, but we may in the future.

NewsForge Logins
No, you don’t get a chance to win a free car if you sign up with NewsForge. On
the other hand, you won’t get any spam, either. You will be able to customize
your front page, same as on Slashdot, but with different NewsBoxes — and you
will be able to suggest new boxes that we’ll add if we think other readers might
also like them.

Another front page option we’ll have available shortly for logged-in member is
the ability to only see chosen subjects or topics on the front page. If
you are only interested in Unix, and want no news about Linux (or vice versa),
that’s up to you. Other options? Hmmm… We have a few ideas of our own, but if
you have better ones (which is entirely possible) please send them to
Grant for consideration.

We will soon offer *opt in* customizable e-mailed daily headlines and weekly
news wrapups to members. And if you sign up now, you also get… well, you get
the cachet of having a low user number. Who can say? Someday this site may have
42,000,000 logged-in members, and you’ll be able to bask in the knowledge that
you were there before 41,900,000 of them.

Sometimes, in the middle of all the IPO madness and software patent lawsuits and
overwork that seems to pervade too much of our lives, we need a break. Open
Source is supposed to be fun! So we have a daily cartoon and a section
below it set aside for weird and silly stuff. If you spot something that makes
you laugh, please submit it so
that others (including NewsForge editors) can see it, too.

The Complaint Department

That would be, um, me. Naturally, after all the work
we have put into
NewsForge, we expect to get nothing but praise and hozannahs, but we realize
that there are always a few grumpy souls out there who are never satisfied.
And since this whole site is an experiment, we are going to make mistakes.
Mistakes in our editorial selections, factual mistakes (once in a long, long
while) in our NewsForge Reports, possibly even a typo or spelling error every
decade or two.

When we bloop, please tell us so that we can fix it.

And more important than pointing out our mistakes (assuming *ahem* we ever
make any), is suggesting new features you’d like to see on NewsForge, and new
directions we should take with the site as it grows. You can either email your
suggestions to me, Robin “roblimo”
, post them on the “Discuss Today’s News” page or check us out on IRC
at irc.openprojects.net, #newsforge, where you’ll usually find one or more of
the NewsForge staff, and possibly a few fellow NewsForge readers who share your
interest in Open Source technology and culture.

Thanks for reading,

– Robin

U.S. officials worry about NTT buying Verio

Author: JT Smith

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., owned partially by the Japanese government, is trying to buy U.S. Web hosting service Verio. The story itself is not new, but this Washington Post article gives details about why the U.S. government may want to stop the deal, and the implications its approval or denial may have for future cross-border communications company purchases.

Verizon employees on strike

Author: JT Smith

Employees at Verizon, the company created by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, remain on strike, affecting telephone service from Maine to Virginia.


  • Open Source

IBM’s Linux watch

Author: JT Smith

IBM’s prototype PDA watch running Linux is discussed in greater detail on Thestandard.com. The piece discusses current limitations of the prototype, and IBM’s future plans for marketting the device.