The UNIX® CRONicle

April 2000

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, April 12, 2000 at 6:30 PM
Sunnen Products, 7910 Manchester

6:30 PM Contest Best Local Y2K Story - Gary Meyer
6:30 PM Tutorial None this Month - Because of Early Presentation
6:40 PM Presentation Can Unix Return to the Desktop? with F. David Sacerdoti & Dr. Roland Krause
7:00 PM Announcements (Standard Introductions & Procedure )

7:05 PM Call For Help (An opportunity for you to ask technical questions of the group)

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

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

7:30 PM Presentation Continued Can Unix Return to the Desktop? with F. David Sacerdoti & Dr. Roland Krause


Best Local Y2K Story - Gary Meyer


Well, Y2K was a big disappointment. We were all disappointed that we still had to go into work after New Year's. Some of us were looking forward to a few days of mild chaos. But, then there must have been something that didn't get fixed.

So we're going to see if there are any local Y2K stories worthy of a chuckle or two. Maybe the biggest mess.

The winner gets an appropriate prize to be announced at the meeting.


Can Unix Return to the Desktop? with F. David Sacerdoti & Dr. Roland Krause


In the last years Unix has almost completely vanished as a desktop platform. The reasons for this development range from the high price tag on traditional Unix hardware to the lack of quality office applications.

This development slowed down with the spreading popularity of Linux, a Unix like system that runs on PC hardware, and the arrival of modern, integrated desktop solutions like KDE and Gnome. The many commercial products that have recently been announced for the Linux market are evidence of this trend. Moreover, respected office packages have begun to emerge for the first time on Unix platforms.

Our goal is to outline some of the tremendous opportunities these developments create for IT professionals.

In our presentation we will give a short overview of which desktop solutions are available today and what these packages provide for IT professionals. We will briefly outline the different philosophies behind these solutions and give some background information on installation and usability. We will then focus on several modern KDE and Gnome tools to assist in routine tasks of system administration. Many of these tools are well suited to manage other Unix platforms ranging from AIX, Solaris, Irix to HP-UX.

Furthermore, we will provide a preview of the upcoming KDE-2.0 release. It is widely believed that KDE-2.0 will reach a milestone in reconquering the desktop for UNIX systems. We will give a quick overview of new features of KDE-2.0 including KDE's integrated office solution, KOffice, and the integrated development environment, KDevelop.

The presentation is targeted at IT professionals of all levels.


F. David Sacerdoti runs, a St. Louis based company that provides complete Linux based IT solutions. In his spare time he enjoys rock climbing and mountain biking.

Dr. Roland Krause is a Research Associate with ESRD, a St. Louis based engineering software company. In his free time he enjoys his family.

For more info contact F. David Sacerdoti by sending or contact Dr. Roland Krause by sending

Special Promotion(s)

blue triangle right Title of the Month

The 25% discount special will be on any Linux book and Programming with QT, 10% discound on all other books.

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 Events

[St. Louis UNIX Users Group stuff]
SLUUG General Meeting April 12, 2000 at 6:30 PM
Sunnen Products
7910 Manchester (at Hanley)
St. Louis, MO

[Don't forget about this stuff]
Steering Committee April 18, 2000 at 6:00 PM
Daugherty Systems
One City Place (2nd floor)
Creve Coeur, MO

Linux SIG April 20, 2000 at 7:00 PM
( TOPIC: ) Something Really Good by Some One
Indian Trails Library
8400 Delport Drive (at Midland)
St. Louis, MO

Perl Mongers May 4, 2000

SLUUG General Meeting May 10, 2000

Steering Committee May 16, 2000

Linux SIG May 18, 2000

ITEC May 23-24, 2000

KC Linuxfest June 20-24, 2000
Overland Park, KS

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.
ITEC 2000 Volunteer Progress!
by Anonymous Lurker

ITEC (Information Technology Expositions and Conferences) Expo 2000:

This year's ITEC Expo will be at the America's Center downtown on TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY, the 23rd and 24th of May. The show runs from 10am to 4pm each day.

* Our O'Reilly & Associates books will be sold there. The ITEC show sales volume generated is one of the reasons we continue to be able to offer the ORA books at our meetings.
* Free tickets for the members should be available at our 10 May SLUUG general meeting.

Our participation at ITEC allows us to let a lot of people know of the group's existence. Every year people that have been living in St. Louis first learn about our group from the ITEC booth.

We have had considerable committee activity preparing for the ITEC show. Up to date information can be gathered best from our mailing list. Along with these efforts general SLUUG (and Linux SIG!) member volunteers are needed to step up planning and finding tutorials and presentations for the monthly general meetings that follow. That is what we must do to keep new and old members coming back month after month.

We still need our booth to te staffed by our membership. If you can come to the show, plan an hour (or more ;-) to work our booth. Even one hour will give someone in the booth a break. It can be quite an enjoyable time. But the booth is not all of where we still need help, we always need volunteers to do other things.

The ITEC Committee looks forward to hearing from you.

Members should send for details.

Refer to for general show info. If you pre-register indicate "SLUUG member" in remarks.

New Mailing List
by Gary Meyer

We have set up "e-com" as the e-commerce MAJORDOMO mailing list. The purpose of this list is discuss the "e-commerce" buzz word and how we can tie it into our presentations.

Ed Wehner is the proud owner of the list. We believe that the way the controlling e-com.config file is set up under MAJORDOMO will just advise Ed of new subscribers.

Our general discussion list is "discuss", although we had considered setting up one called "linux" for the linux SIG interests we find that the combined responses from users of other flavors of Unix provide considerable insite into all Unix-like systems. After all the Linux kernel is perhaps just two percent of what we know as a Linux distribution, the rest is very generic Unix under the GNU developed utilities and other POSIX compliant software.

Anybody can nominate anybody else to a subscription by sending
A subject line is not relivant. The body text should read as in any one of the following examples:

subscribe e-com username@mail.someplace.dom
subscribe discuss
subscribe itec
subscribe steercom

The MAJORDOMO wrapper then sends a confirmation message to that email address, telling the subscriber how to verify subscription.


Share what you know. Learn what you don't. - Mike King's email signature

SCENARIO: Two guys testing our Xyplex dialup modem lines
GARY: Those two numbers don't seem to be rolling over on the rotor.
MIKE: Wait a second, what are we dialing out on?

Sponsor of the Month

Stopka and Associates, a global information technology consulting company, is proud to be a sponsor for the St. Louis Unix User's Group. Stopka and Associates was founded in 1995, and already has established itself as one of the premier firms in the industry. We have more than 20 offices throughout the United States and Europe. At Stopka and Associates, the client and the consultant relationships come first. We are proud of our fine reputation, and we are pleased to support groups such as yours that are committed to excellence in the information technology profession.

Stopka and Associates focuses on providing our client companies with individuals with the following technologies: System Administrators, C and C++, Oracle Developers and DBA's and JAVA programmers.

For more information on Stopka and Associates, please send or call Jackie Crotzer at 314-205-2777.

Stopka & Associates

Interesting Browsing - What the Unix System Administrator Does...

(Oracle of the pointy hair): - VNU Net: Don't be scared of Linux, says Gartner - Introducing vi - The Mockery of Mattel - ZDNet: Hackers settle Cyber Patrol suit - Network World: Will Linux be a hit or miss on the corporate desktop? - The Short Life and Hard Times of a Linux Virus - ZDNet UK: Speaking Linux released - Crash-safe filesystem [JFFS] for diskless embedded devices - Wired: Getting Snooped On? Too Bad - LinuxWorld: Protest draws attention to DMCA - SF Gate: Software Licentiousness; UCITA gives new meaning to 'All Rights Reserved' - E-Commerce Times: Internet Self-Regulation Dead on Arrival - PRNewswire: VMware Signs OEM Agreement With Microsoft - Wired: Geeks Protest, Nobody Comes - DevShed: Vi 101 - Source code for Linux XFS now available! - UPDATED: Joe Pranevich -- Wonderful World of Linux 2.4 - Final Candidate - 3/30/00 (aka the "Geek Pride" Edition) - TechWeb: Win 2000 Server Contains Defect

Personal Commentary submitted by Almost Anybody

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.

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
-- George Bernard Shaw

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
  • Bradford & Galt
  • CIBER, Inc.
  • Cypress Systems, Ltd.
  • Daugherty Systems
  • Informix Corporation
  • Maryville Data Systems, Inc.
  • O'Reilly & Associates
  • Phoenix Networks
  • Phoenix Networks
  • Renaissance Worldwide, Inc.
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Stopka & Associates
  • Sunnen Products
  • Sykes Enterprises, Inc.
  • Triple-I Corporation
  • 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 Gary Meyer by


    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.


    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 Send info/ideas to
    Steering Committee
    Gary Meyer Home: (314)781-8644
    SLUUG Secretary Rich Seibel
    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