The UNIX® CRONicle

January 1999

Official Publication of the STL!/unix/usr/group

UNIX® is a registered trademark of the Open Group
Linux® is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds
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Table of Contents

Next Meeting Details

Wednesday, January 13, 1999 at 6:30 PM
Sunnen Products, 7910 Manchester

6:30 PM Tutorial XML and e-commerce by G. Hussain Chinoy
Granularity Information Architecture Inc.
7:00 PM Call For Help (An opportunity for you to ask technical questions of the group)

7:15 PM Social, off-line conversations, & book sales

7:30 PM Presentation Future Technologies by Dr. Barry Flashbart
Union Pacific Technologies


Abstract: Although we often can't be very sure about where computer technology is going in the next few months, there are some surprisingly constant long-term trends that make a 10 year look not totally silly!
     This grew out of a paper prepared for internal strategic planning at Union Pacific, where a snapshot of technology trends over the next decade were desired. The presentation will deal with computer power, bandwidth, access to computing capability, collaboration, object-oriented trends, artificial intelligence ("intelligent systems," in more recent terminology), data mining, multimedia, identification of everything, storage requirements, wearable devices, voice recognition, virtual reality, internet/intranet, and, of course, mainframes. With all those topics, some part of the discussion is sure to agree with your views -- it's hoped that some significant interaction with the audience will take place!

Biography: Dr. Barry Flachsbart is Director, Emerging Technologies, for Union Pacific Technologies. He also serves as Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of Missouri-Rolla's Engineering Education Center here in St. Louis. Prior to joining Union Pacific, he was with McDonnell Douglas, in the Information Systems Group (Advanced Technologies), the Research Laboratories (the Applied Mathematics and Computer Science Laboratory, specializing in Artificial Intelligence Research), and numerous other jobs.
     Barry holds a B. S. degree from St. Louis University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University (a long time ago).


What's XML? How's it being used? Where will it be used?
XML and the future of electronic commerce is the topic at this month's St. L. UNIX Users' Group Tutorial meeting. The speaker will be G. Hussain Chinoy, Chief Information Architect at Granularity. His presentation is described as follows:

XML 210: XML and the Real World: Electronic Commerce

Hussain Chinoy of Granularity Information Architecture, Inc., an e-commerce development firm, will briefly go over what XML is and why everyone's so excited about it. Following that, if there is time, he might explore some examples of practical applications in industries that will rapidly benefit from XML (EDI, legacy systems, etc.), describe some of the standards developing around electronic commerce and XML. Hussain also attended the XML '98 Con- ference proceedings in Chicago in November.

Special Promotion(s)

blue triangle right Title of the Month
(it'll be a surprise!)

All regularly priced titles are 20% off retail cost at meeting.
Excludes specially priced items or promotional items
O'Reilly Logo

The O'Reilly and Associates line of books is available at each monthly meeting as a convenience to our members.

Each month features a book related to that month's presentation topic.

Discounts are offered to all members and each month's featured book(s)will be additionally discounted.

Upcoming Meetings

Main Meeting January 13, 1999 at 6:30 PM
Sunnen Products
7910 Manchester
St. Louis, MO

Steering Committee January 19, 1999 at 6:00 PM
Daugherty Systems
One City Place (2nd floor)
Creve Coeur, MO

Linux SIG January 21, 1999 at 7:00 PM
Indian Trails Library
8400 Delport Drive
(at Midland)

CTI SIG Currently they have moved to a webboard format.

Meeting Directions

The STL!/unix/usr/group meets the 2nd Wednesday of every month at Sunnen Products, 7910 Manchester Blvd, just east of Hanley on Manchester.

Directions From Downtown

  1. Take 40 West to the Hanley exit.
  2. Turn left (south) onto Hanley.
  3. Turn left (east) onto Manchester, then turn right ASAP into the Sunnen Products driveway.

(NOTE: A security guard from Sunnen is scheduled to be at the door from 6:20 PM to 7:20 PM to allow entry. After 7:20, the door will be unattended and attendees may not be able to enter.)

The SLUUG Steering Committee meets the Tuesday following the general 2nd Wednesday meeting at 6:00 PM in the 2nd floor training room of Daugherty Systems, One City Place in Creve Coeur.

The SLUUG Linux SIG (SLUUGLS) meets the 3rd Thursday of every month at the Indian Trails Public Library.

Elections are rapidly approaching. SLUUG holds officer elections at ourFebruary meetings. If you are interested in an officers position, or would like more information about the administrative duties for the organization,please visit our website at, or contact Chris Wanta at

All the NEWS thats fit to Print!

To keep up with NET events: news for nerds - stuff that matters! daily updates of Internet software releases.
(check out the "Appendix" button). daily news of mostly (but not only) Linuxevents. for detailed followup on the demise of BYTE.
UNIX on CBS TV's 60 Minutes
Those watching 60 Minutes on Sunday 2 January saw Leslie Stahl do a full segment on Scott McNeally and Sun MicroSystems.
     McNeally was in great form and the story definately highlited that there were real problems with depending on Microsoft. The story pointed out that most servers at ISPs were running UNIX on Suns.
     This is yet another example of the new visibility of UNIX in the "public" (i.e. non-technical) press. As mentioned in last month's news letter, U.S. News and World Report and Newsweek had articles on UNIX in October & November.

Two and Two and More
by Stan Reichardt
I think the following two magazines and two books will be of general interest to SLUUG members that are interested in Linux and security. The other two members never come to the meetings anyway.
     For our Linux SIG membership the December 1998 issue of _Network Magazine_ concentrates it's special report segments on Linux. Yes, still more on the sudden respectability of Linux.
     Robert Richardson's article is a remarkable testament to dumping 50 costly Windows NT servers in favor of free and open source Linux. Tom Yager's article was most favorable except for a somewhat disappointing opinion of device driver availability and the word processing/general office suite arena.
     For those that want more information to supplement Jon Elson's well received November 1998 SLUUG presentation on Tape & SCSI there is also an interesting article on DLT tape libraries.
     The January 1999 newsstand issue of _Sys Admin_ magazine includes a very nice "What is Linux" poster supplement. Besides a cover featuring TUX the penguin on the inside there are two Linux specific articles "Linux and the Y2K Bug" and "Living on the Edge".
     For those that want even more information to supplement Dave Dickerson's memorable December 1997 presentation on "Practical and Free Security Software Tools" the article "Freeware-Based Security" covers the same packages that he covered plus a few more.
     Two Red Hat Linux books available from the St. Louis County Library that I have read this year may be of interest to our membership. One because I thought it rather disappointing and the other because I believe it to be exceptional.
     I enjoy technical books that are well written. I collect them. I generally like the IDG "dummies" series of books and overlook the disparaging title in favor of content. In my personal library I have no less than eight IDG "dummies" books and I also have seven "Linux" books from various other publishers. A few were even purchased after I had read them for free from the public library because I thought they were excellent.
     I was most hopeful when I first saw "Linux for Dummies" by Craig Witherspoon from IDG ( ISBN: 0-7645-0275-1 STLC: 005.446/W824L ). At last (I hoped), a high visibility publication that will increase the ranks. The glaring disappointment of the book was that it glossed over installation even though this is the most likely point of failure for anyone new to Linux. It read like a first draft. Not recommended for purchase. Although still worth reading I didn't think it worth adding to my personal collection.
     In contrast "Using Linux" by Bill Ball from QUE Corporation seems to be a must have book for me ( ISBN: 0-7897-1623-2 STLC: 005.4469/B187U ). The first appendix covers installing Red Hat Linux rather well in my opinion. Everything else is up hill from there. After a general scan of the books contents and reading the first chapter I knew it was a winner and put it on my want list.
     Strangely, QUE Corporation has another book "Special Edition - Using Linux" ( ISBN: 0-7897-0742-X STLC: 005.4469/T118U ) that is already in it's second edition. The similar title may be a problem if you are look for the book by Bill Ball. It was a worthwhile read but didn't appeal to me as much as the book from Bill Ball.

Randal Schwartz Comes To ST Louis
The best-selling author on PERL, Randal Schwartz will visit St. Louis February 1-5, 1999 to conduct two exceptional workshops on PERL programming. Randl Schwartz calls PERL "the world's most useful programming language." The workshops, pricing and other details are:
Learning PERL with Randal Schwartz
Date:  February 1-3
Time:  8:30AM - 4:30 PM
Location:  CAIT Facility, 5 North Jackson, Clayton, MO
Price:	CAIT member $900 (CAIT dollars)
		CAIT member $990 (cash)
		Non-members $1,050

Packages, Objects, References, and Modules
Date:  February 4-5
Time:  8:30AM - 4:30 PM
Location:  CAIT Facility, 5 North Jackson, Clayton, MO
Price:	CAIT member $580 (CAIT dollars)
		CAIT member $640 (cash)
		Non-members $710
Attendees may register for the full week at $1280 (CAIT), $1430 (Member cash), and $1500 (non-member) per person. To find out if your company is a member of CAIT, please visit our web site;
To learn more about the content of the classes and Randal Schwartz, please visit the Stonehenge web site at:
This message posted by Bob Thomas, CAIT, Washington University. Please call me with any questions or comments at 935-5079, or email to:

Special Interest Groups (SIGS)

As our membership grows, we have had some inquiries about the possibility of having Special Interest Groups in several areas. If you are interested in starting or participating in a SIG for System Administration, Networking, C, Object Oriented Programming, a specific vendor, etc., please call Dave Mills at 230-5151, extension 103, or contact any officer of the group.

St. Louis Unix Users Group - Linux SIG (SLUUGLS)

Visit the Linux SIG home page ( for the latest meeting details.

Indian Trails Public Library
8400 Delport Drive
(at Midland)

From 170: Exit Page east to North-South Rd., go left on North-South Rd. to Midland, go left on Midland one block to Delport, the Library is on your left (see map at

For more information on SLUUGLS refer to the WWW home page for the group at or contact Matthew Feldt at

Computer Telephony Integration User's Group (SLUUG CiTI)

The CTI SIG is no longer having regular meetings and is currently using a webboard format.

The Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) Users Group is a non-profit organization open to developers, end-users, sales people, and others who share the common interest of melding the telecommunications and computing worlds.

For more information on SLUUG CiTI contact Tony Zafiropoulos at or (314)878-9855.

Digital Alpha SIG

The Digital Alpha SIG is for those interested in Digital UNIX and the DEC Alpha architecture. Visit the Digital Alpha SIG's home at for more information.

St. Louis UNIX Users Group Steering Committee

The SLUUG Steering Committee meets the Tuesday following the general 2nd Wednesday meeting at 6:00 PM in the 2nd floor training room of Daugherty Systems, One City Place in Creve Coeur. The guard can direct you to the meeting location. Anyone is welcome to attend. If you would like to become more involved in the planning of SLUUG, feel free to join us at the next Steering Committee meeting. Meetings usually last 1.5 to 2 hours.


For more information about sponsoring the St. Louis UNIX Users Group, contact Ed Wehner

SLUUG on the World Wide Web

The St. Louis UNIX Users Group maintains a WWW page at Visit us to learn more about who we are and what we do, visit other UNIX user groups' WWW pages, sign up for a SIG, or just to browse.

SLUUG Administration is volunteer based.

SLUUG is looking for volunteers to help with presentations, web page development, managing corporate sponsorships, and many other tasks. If you would like to help out, contact Chris Wanta at or visit


We publish other user group meeting schedules on a reciprocal basis. If you are a member of another non-profit group, please inform them of our policy and invite them to exchange meeting information with, or call any of the SLUUG officers.


Address Changes
and Membership
Klaus Mueller Home: +1 (573) 334-6477
331 S Spring Ave
Cape Girardeau, MO 63703
BBS Questions Jim (Knight) Ford
Corporate Sponsors Ed Wehner
Editorial team:
Publisher: Sanjiv Bhatia Home: (314)519-9272
Work: (314)516-6520
FAX: (314)516-5400
Editor: Steve Totten Home: (618)931-0037
O'Reilly Books Dave Mills Work: (314)230-5151, extension 103
Presentations Open Position
Steering Committee
Gary Meyer Home: (314)781-8644
SLUUG Treasurer Steve Pautz
Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Computer Telephony
Integration (CTI)
Tony Zafiropoulos Phone: (314)878-9855
Linux Matthew Feldt Home: (314)429-5433

Submitting Articles to the SLUUG CRONicle

If you would like to submit an article to the CRONicle of general interest to the members of the St. Louis UNIX Users Group, email it to The deadline for article submissions is two weeks before the next main meeting.


The St. Louis UNIX Users Group has a P.O. box. All official correspondence with SLUUG should now be sent to:

    St. Louis UNIX Users Group
    P.O. Box 1184
    Fenton, MO  63026-1184