The UNIX® CRONicle

September 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
Online version:

Table of Contents

Next Meeting Details

Wednesday, September 8, 1999 at 6:30 PM
Sunnen Products, 7910 Manchester

6:30 PM Tutorial Introduction to Perl by Don Ellis
7:15 PM Call For Help (An opportunity for you to ask technical questions of the group)

7:20 PM Admittance to building may no longer be possible See Meeting Directions

7:30 PM Social, off-line conversations, & book sales

7:45 PM Presentation Perl Highlights of the O'Reilly Open Source Software Convention by Sarah Burcham


Introduction to Perl by Don Ellis

Perl is one of the hottest new UNIX utilities in years.

Perl is an interpreted language used for easily manipulating text, files, and processes. It provides a more concise and readable way to do many jobs that were formerly accomplished (with difficulty) by programming in the C language or one of the shells.

Perl combines the simplicity of shell scripting with the power of a full-fledged programming language. It is likely to be easily available at any UNIX site.

Perl has been ported to virtually every operating system and most Perl programs written on one platform will run without changes on another.

This tutorial will be given based on tutorial materail developed by Brent Michalski from MasterCard.

Don Ellis has a beard and a bunch of Apples. Sir Isac Newton started the same way. Don has more fun than Isac.

Don started with UNIX in the dark ages with a bag of seeds under the old apple tree where he was systems administrator for a very long time.

Don Ellis has worked for computer consulting firms since 1986, previously working in sales support for several prominent manufacturers. He has had assignments on Unix systems, DOS PCs, and Macintosh installations. He is currently between projects.

His last SLUUG tutorial was on "Web Scripting -- CGI & Beyond" at the December 1997 general meeting.


Perl Highlights of the O'Reilly Open Source Software Convention by Sarah Burcham

This year's O'Reilly Open Source Software convention ( 21-24 Aug) was held in Monerey, California. It combined six key technical conferences at one site with over 120 technically sophisticated presentations addressing the cutting edge of Open Source software.

The key technologies covered were Perl, Linux, Apache, Python, sendmail and Tcl/TK. Perl was the largest part of the Open Source Software convention.

Sarah went to The Perl Conference (TPC) which was held in mid August. She will give us the highlites of what new developements and directions were discusssed there.


  • Perl Today - an overview of the current versions, platforms, etc.
  • What's Coming: Perl 5.6
  • Perl Advocacy
  • Excerpts from MJD's Tricks of the Wizards (Schwartzian transform!)
  • Links to presentations, etc.
  • Who said What
  • Photo slideshow

    Sarah Burcham is a web programmer for MasterCard's Internet Development group. She's been programming Perl since her college years at Washington University where she studied -- errr... is studying CS and worked as a system admin/programmer.

    Eventually she'll have a degree, eventually she'll have enough time to bike the KATY Trail, eventually she'll begin the 1000 years of peace. But for now, she's been to TPC.

    For more info contact Sarah Burcham by sending .

    [ Editor's Notes:
    One of her favorite hangouts - -- What else??? ]

    Special Promotion(s)

    The Java in a Nutshell ref cover White Camel for Perl books
    blue triangle right Title of the Month

    The 25% discount special this month is on any Java or Perl book. Get a free Tee Shirt with any $30 purchase.

    All regularly priced titles are 10% off retail cost at the general meeting.
    (Excludes featured, or specially priced or promotional items)
    O'Reilly Logo

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

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

    Discounts off retail cost are offered to all members and each month's featured book(s) may be additionally discounted. Usually, all titles are discounted 10%, while special titles are discounted 25%.

    Upcoming Meetings

    DVD Party
  • [Not part of SLUUG]
  • Sept 2, 1999 at 5:30 PM
    ( TOPICS: ) DVD demos, gourmet snacks and drinks
    7th Floor, Taylor Building
    Corner of Tucker Bulvd. and Washington Avenue
    1129 St. Charles
    St. Louis, MO

    Perl Mongers
  • [Not part of SLUUG]
  • Sept 2, 1999 at 7:00 PM
    ( TOPICS: ) Discussing The Perl Conference with slide show,
    Object Oriented Perl (part 2 of 3), with a Q&A session
    CAIT, Training Room 024,
    5 N Jackson Ave at Forsyth Blvd,
    Clayton, MO

    [St. Louis UNIX Users Group stuff]
    SLUUG General Meeting September 8, 1999 at 6:30 PM
    Sunnen Products
    7910 Manchester
    St. Louis, MO

    COBOL Legacy Nulls September 9, 1999

    Steering Committee September 14, 1999 at 6:00 PM
    Daugherty Systems
    One City Place (2nd floor)
    Creve Coeur, MO

    Linux SIG September 16, 1999 at 7:00 PM
    ( TOPIC: ) Java Swing by Cindy Pilling, Anderson Technologies
    Indian Trails Library
    8400 Delport Drive
    (at Midland)

    Perl Mongers October 7, 1999

    SLUUG General Meeting October 13, 1999

    Atlanta October 12-16, 1999
    Register at
    Third annual Atlanta Linux Showcase
    Cobb Galleria
    Atlanta GA

    Steering Committee October 19, 1999

    Linux SIG October 21, 1999

    San Jose October 26-28, 1999
    Register at
    ISPCON Fall '99 - CLECexpo
    The Largest & Longest-Running Event for Internet Service Providers
    McEnery Convention Center
    San Jose CA

    Las Vegas November 15-19, 1999
    Register at
    Linux Business Expo Nov 15-19
    Co-located with COMDEX Fall '99
    Las Vegas Hilton
    Las Vegas NV

    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.

    See map at

    (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 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.

    See map at

    Article(s): The following article(s) express(es) personal opinions and SLUUG exerts no more editorial control over such content than does a public library, bookstore, or newsstand. Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or Content expressed herein are those of the respective author(s) and not necessarily supported by SLUUG. SLUUG does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content, nor its merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose.
    SLUUG BBS Systems are Stable by Gary Meyer

    As you may (or may not) be aware, the St. Louis UNIX Users group is currently in the process of finding a new permanent home for our BBS computer systems. Actually our systems are not a true BBS in the traditional sense; but, they are donated machines that allow us to provide user accounts with command line access using various flavors of UNIX. They provide users with electronic mail, personal file space, web pages and full Internet access,

    Yes, the two main SLUUG computer systems are still at CTItek thanks to Tony Zafiropolus.

    Yes, we are still operating with limited resources and must be careful not to over tax Tony's bandwidth.

    Yes, we hope to move within the next month or so due to a number of potential leads. Steering Committee members are in discussion with each of those promising sites.

    See last month's newsletter article at for very detailed background and some good references to alternative resources.

    Please contact Gary Meyer by sending if you need more specific information on the hardware or other aspects of these SLUUG computer systems. - Alternate SLUUG home page, if our server goes down.

    Attendance Survey Results - No Holes

    Below are results of the attendance & survey sheets collected at the...

    SLUUG General meeting on 11 August 1999:

  • 48 Actual head count.
  • 28 Attendance & survey sheets were turned in.
  • 10 attendees requested to be subsribed to our email newsletter.
  • 2 attendees requested email address changes for the newsletter.

    Results of each question on our OPTIONAL survey/questionaire:

    1. Tutoral (only at General meeting):

  • Secure Use of DSL at Home by Chad Bersche
  • Plus: A Recent DSL Installation Experience by Tom Parsons

  • 9 - Excellent
  • 10 - Good
  • 6 - Fair
  • 2 - Late, didn't see.
  • 1 - No response to question

    2. Presentation: Single-line DSL Technology by Peter Roberts, et. al.

  • 9 - - Excellent
  • 6 - - Good
  • 7 - - Fair
  • 1 - - Poor
  • 2 - - Leaving, can't wait.
  • 3 - - No response to question.


  • DSL is a very timely topic.
  • Tutorial slides were unreadable.
  • Needed more detailed Tutorial slides.
  • Some questions were rehashed over and over. Cut it off.
  • Questions afterward were pretty good though.
  • Presenation was to much sales pitch. How about something on TCL/TK with C programs, or how to install, set up paths, example scripts, how to build, uses, etc.
  • Tutorial & Presentation both excellent & I have a lot to learn.
  • Tutorial speaker was confident but wrong on some issues; too much Micro$oft bashing; let one audience member take over whole presentation. Presentation much better even if it was a sales pitch.
  • I want a copy of the presentation for next month's Mac U. G.
  • Excellent topics this month.
  • Nice people, but too much sales and circular arguments ( some of the problem being our argumentative people).

    3. Linux SIG Topic: FreeBSD

    The attendance & survey sheets got side tracked at the Linux SIG; so, only 10 responses were available. Not worth tabulating.

    However, there were 60 people including the presenter at this session. With a live FreeBSD installation, handouts that included 3 pages of notes and 2 pages of configuration files most everyone seemed to think it was either a good or excellent presentation.

    This was was a unusually large turn out (48) for the August general meeting, compared to past years.

    We may continue to forego more survey questions over the next month or so.

    Quote of the Day submitted by Mike King

    You can't spell accident without "NT".

    Interesting Browsing!

    To keep up with NET events: daily news of mostly (but not only) Linux events. news for nerds - stuff that matters! daily updates of Internet software releases. (check out the "appindex" button). Because There's More Than One Way to Compute. Linux Weekly News. Tracks when numerous WWW pages were last updated.

    Important: Linux Journal: The Coming Software Patent Crisis: Can Linux Survive? Richard Stallman -- U.S. Congress Threatens to Establish a New Kind of Monopoly

    For the Paranoid: InfoWorld: Justice department proposes system break-in rights Careful, they might hear you. - Congress, NSA butt heads over Echelon - The war over your personal privacy is over. You Lost! - Britain Tapped Communications

    Sun stuff: Sun buys maker of StarOffice Jini Connection Technology Executive Overview

    Ugly stuff: ComputerWorld: M$ Tightens Developer Testing Rules for Win2000 IT-Director: Windows 2000 Confusion May Delight Linux PC Week: Windows 2000 to provoke domain game CNN: Web site provided access to millions of Hotmail messages ZDNet: 'Christmas' virus can destroy PCs

    Other stuff: IT-Director: Developers Demand Linux Port of Delphi And Get It The Retreat: The Loss of the Portability Battle - Why Linux matters: An admiring essay ( quite long )

    For the Linux beginner: - What is Linux? Useful info and easy downloads. - ...for newbies. - Linux Administration Made Easy" (LAME) Pre-Release - The Linux Documentation Project - Unix/Linux Printing HOWTO Support Database


    The Linux Documentation Project has a new home. All the goodies you have come to expect from LDP can now be found at All of the LDP mailing lists will be moving to as well. Linux System Administration in a Large Network Environment - Linux Software Encyclopedia

    To configure a Linux machine: Specs on over 2100 monitors from 150+ manufacturers. After Monitor FAQ page follow Performance Parameters link. The monitor data base that had the one that I wanted! Knowlege base of Linux compatible modems!

    The following is a quick talk about Dual Booting, with specific steps for using the WinNT boot loader, and mounting NT file systems under Linux: - Linux and Windows on one computer ILUG: Dual-booting Windows and Linux, a tutorial for beginners LinuxForum: VMware Review - A virtual machine in Linux to run your Windows programs - Shareware, Freeware, Demos and Betas for M$-Windoze and Linux

    Personal Commentary submitted by Peter M. Roberts

    The following PERSONAL COMMENTARY expresses personal opinions and SLUUG exerts no more editorial control over such content than does a public library, bookstore, or newsstand. Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or Content expressed herein are those of the respective author and not necessarily supported by SLUUG. SLUUG does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content, nor its merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose.

    Dear Unix Gurus:

    I would like to extend Phoenix Networks thanks for allowing us to present our companies services to your organization.

    We recently updated our SDSL pricing and would like to refer you to our pricing page at . The price we refered to on the 160k Home User SDSL service was wrong, it was recently lowered to 79.95 with a $499.99 setup fee that we will waive half of from any member of your organization, please mention this email to your dedicated sales rep.

    Once again, thank you for allowing us your time.

    Peter M. Roberts, CEO
    Phoenix Networks


    Peter Munro Roberts, CEO - Phoenix Networks
    13035 Olive Blvd., Suite 103 - St. Louis, MO 63141
    36 Four Season Center, Suite 201 -Chesterfield, MO 63017 (Snail Mail)
    (877) SDSL NOW - (314) 878-3999 x100 - FAX (314) 878-9939 - (314) 308-0327
    Mobile Cell-Phone Email:
    Skytel 2way Pager or
    Corporate-wide email:
    MS Chat: - CUSeeMe Site -
    Websites: -
    InterNIC Contact# PMR29 - ICQ #10907560 - ARIN Maintainer ID #23454

    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)
    Follow 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 by

    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 by 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.


  • Analysts International
  • Andersen Consulting
  • CIBER, Inc.
  • Cypress Systems, Ltd.
  • Daugherty Systems
  • Informix Corporation
  • Maryville Data Systems, Inc.
  • O'Reilly & Associates
  • Renaissance Worldwide, Inc.
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Sunnen Products
  • Sykes Enterprises, Inc.
  • Venmar Systems, Inc.

  • The Law Offices of Rich McLennan, send

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

    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 by 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 by, 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 Stan Reichardt Home: (314)298-1183
    O'Reilly Books Dave Mills Work: (314)230-5151, extension 103
    Presentations Open Position Currently send info/ideas to
    Steering Committee
    Gary Meyer Home: (314)781-8644
    SLUUG Treasurer Mike Kriz
    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,send The deadline for article submissions is two weeks before the next general meeting.

    SLUUG PO Box

    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 411302
        Creve Coeur Post Office
        St. Louis, MO  63141-9998