The UNIX® CRONicle

May 2001

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

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Linux® is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds

Online version:

Headline Story:

The ITEC show is May 23 and 24. See the article below for full details.

Table of Contents

Next Meeting Details

Wednesday, May 9, 2001 at 6:30 PM
Sunnen Products, 7910 Manchester
See Meeting Directions

6:30 PM Tutorial Cut and Paste Bourne Shell by Mike Knight
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 not be possible after 7:20.
7:30 PM Presentation System Monitoring with HP OpenView/VantagePoint by Ramin Pasha


Cut and Paste Bourne Shell by Mike Knight

Many common and repetitive tasks can be eased using simple Bourne Shell tools. Building blocks can provide the basis for creating solutions for remote system administration, file maintenance, and periodic monitoring. This tutorial provides some examples of building blocks that can be used to build tools without extensive programming experience.

Mike Knight has been in computing long enough to have personal experience with chads, paper tape, and real TTY's. After many years in mainframe system programming, Mike moved into Unix system administration and is now doing volunteer work supporting web sites for several non-profit groups.


System Monitoring with HP OpenView VantagePoint by Ramin Pasha
NOTE: This has been re-scheduled from last month.

HP OpenView VantagePoint Operation is a tool designed to consolidate the administration of multiple systems in an enterprise-scale environment. From a single system, you can monitor the health and performance of multiple systems including various Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, NT, and Novell systems.

Each system to be monitored runs an agent that communicates with the central management console. Syslog files and SNMP traps can also be monitored.

Reports can be generated to get a feel for the overall health of the network. "Immediate need" events can be sent to a central monitoring screen, e-mail addresses, and beeper/pager alerts, so that the administrator may respond.

Vantage Point Operations was developed by ITO and was bought by Hewlett-Packard last year. HP then integrated it into their OpenView management system.

For more information, check out HP's web site at

Ramin Pasha has experience installing and maintaining TNG UniCenter, IBM Tivoli, and other systems and network administration tools for multiple systems. He has a dozen years experience in IT. He has an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Parks College of St. Louis University. He has worked for Maritz, TactX, and SLU. He is currently a consultant on Enterprise Administration for Global Solutions Group Inc. in Fenton.

Ideas, questions and suggestions are welcome; please contact us by sending

Next St. Louis Linux Users Group Meeting Is May 17

Presentation: Linux Hardware - Choosing and Using Various Hardware by Steve Pritchard

Linux has recently gained wide acceptance in the IT community. In this presentation, Steve will explain what you should look for when selecting or building a Linux system. This will include an overview of all the pieces that go together to make a PC, discussion on which components work well, and those that don't. He will also talk about new hardware support provided by the 2.4 kernel. A full range of systems will be covered, from notebooks to desktops to large enterprise-class servers with multiple CPUs.

Steven is the new maintainer of the Linux Hardware HOWTO, a document that describes the current state of hardware compatibility in Linux. He is currently overhauling the document to include information on the Linux 2.4 kernel and recently introduced hardware. Steve has been working with several Linux User Groups for 6 years. He works for Asynchrony Solutions, and uses Linux in his day-to-day work.

Meetings of the St. Louis Linux User Group (LUG) are held from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM every THIRD THURSDAY of each month. Location: Indian Trails Branch - Saint Louis County Library. Meetings are free and open to everyone. Refer to for details and maps.

Comments, questions and ideas for the St. Louis Linux Users Group are welcome; please send

Special Promotions

Titles of the Month

The May special will be 25% off of all Sys Admin, Firewall, and Networking book titles. There will be a special 30% discount on all books marked with a red sticker and a 20% discount on all other books this month.

We will also be conducting a training session to prepare for ITEC book sales. We will need at least one cashier and 2 scribes for each shift. The training isn't very tough, but everyone who will be manning the ITEC booth needs to know what to do.

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 we feature book titles related to that month's presentation or tutorial topic. Discounts off retail prices are offered to all members and each month's featured books may be additionally discounted. Usually, all titles are discounted 10%, while special titles are discounted 25%.

Calendar of Events

May 1 (7:30pm) MO Open Source Linux User Group
Culpepper's Restaurant (basement)
312 South Kirkwood Road
Kirkwood, MO
May 3 (7:00pm) Perl Mongers
5 North Jackson at Forsyth
Clayton, MO
May 3 (7:00pm) St. Louis Area Computer Club
Thornhill Library
12863 Willowyk Drive (off Fee Fee)
Creve Coeur, MO
May 7 (7:00pm) Southern Illinois Linux Users Group
Carbondale, IL
May 8 (7:00pm) Linux Users of Central Illinois Newbie Night
Springfield, IL
May 9 (6:30pm) SLUUG General Meeting Sunnen Products
7910 Manchester (at Hanley)
St. Louis, MO
May 13 Mothers Day
May 14 (6:00pm) SLUUG Steering Committee Daugherty Systems
One City Place (2nd floor)
Creve Coeur, MO
May 15 (7:00pm) Southern Illinois Linux Users Group
331 Salem Place, Suite 200
Fairview Heights, IL
May 17 (7:00pm) St. Louis Linux Users Group
Indian Trails Library
8400 Delport Drive (at Midland)
St. Louis, MO
May 21 (7:00pm) Southern Illinois Linux Users Group
Special Speaker - Dave McAllister
Indian Trails Library
8400 Delport Drive (at Midland)
St. Louis, MO
May 22 (7:00pm) Hazelwood Linux Users Group
Prarie Commons Branch Library
915 Utz Lane (between Howdershell and Dunn)
Hazelwood, MO
May 22 (7:00pm) Linux Users of Central Illinois
Springfield , IL
May 23 ITEC Show
Bob Young presentation
America's Center
May 24 ITEC Show America's Center
May 28 Memorial Day
June 7 St. Louis Area Computer Club
June 13 SLUUG General Meeting
June 18 SLUUG Steering Committee
June 21 St. Louis Linux Users Group
June 26 Hazelwood Linux Users Group

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 Monday following the general meeting at 6:00 PM in the 2nd floor training room of Daugherty Systems, One City Place in Creve Coeur.

The St. Louis Linux Users Group meets the 3rd Thursday of every month at the Indian Trails Branch Library.

See map at


NOTE: These articles may express 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 authors 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.


by Christine Wanta

Its here! ITEC 2001 -- May 23/24 at the America's Center downtown.

Visit our general ITEC web pages at where you will find information on seminars, activities surrounding keynote speaker sponsored by SLUUG -- Robert Young, Co-Founder and Chairman of Red Hat, pre-registration information and more.

Please join our effort to promote our organizations and Open Systems/Source. There are several ways to help, volunteering your time and involvement, drawing SLUUG attendees to emphasize our community involvement, and by patronage of the event.

Be sure to use our Imark Show Code, E3400, for pre-registration. This allows you to avoid entrance lines and get onto the show floor quickly as well as promoting the strength of our membership and their community involvement. [Use the SLUUG web page to get to the ITEC registration page.]

Its not too late to help out with various pre-show activities as well as plan for show involvement. There are several projects that can use your help. For example, contact the team leaders involved in the following:

Volunteer needs, registration and schedules will be updated regularly. Visit the members' information page ( where you will find updated information on volunteer information, pre-registration, show floor activity, team leaders, and much more.

We all look forward to the best ITEC show yet and hope you can join us. We'll see you there!

ITEC Development Committee

Special SILUG Presentation

by Kara Pritchard

We've got a special speaker, Dave McAllister coming to the area the week of May 21, sponsored by SILUG, the Southern Illinois Linux Users Group (

On Monday May 21 at 7:00pm, Dave will be giving a presentation on Linux clusters at the normal meeting place of the St. Louis Linux Users Group at Indian Trails Library:

         St. Louis County Library, Indian Trails Branch
         8400 Delport Drive (at Midland)
         St. Louis, MO 63114-5904
         (314) 428-5424

You can find directions at This is a special SILUG event, not a regular LUG meeting. It has been scheduled at the St. Louis Linux Users Group's meeting location to allow members from the entire Metro St. Louis area to attend.

On Tuesday, May 22 at 7:00pm Dave will be speaking at the Linux Users of Central Illinois (LUCI) regular LUG meeting at 7:00pm in Springfield, Illinois. It is approximately 1.5 hours from Fairview Heights to the Springfield location, if you opt to travel there. For meeting location and directions, visit

On Wednesday, May 23 (probably around 8pm) I will be hosting an informal LUG social at my home in Fairview Heights, following a special dinner with our guest. With enough interest (and volunteers), we'll be having finger foods, desserts, beer and soda social, open to everyone, including those unable to attend dinner. If I can get volunteers for carry-in, that'd be extremely helpful. Please, please be rude and volunteer your spouses if nothing else ;) If you're interested in this, please let me know ASAP.

Okay, that's the general schedule for the week. If you think your company or work group would be interested in a special visit or meeting with Dave, please let me know. Dave is also meeting with large technical groups and with business people that week to discuss large data center solutions using Linux clusters and mass storage networks as well.

About Dave:

Currently Director of Strategic Technologies for Egenera, Dave McAllister is best known in Open Source circles for bringing Linux into SGI as a main product line, McAllister has presented on several Linux tours and keynotes, both in the U.S and internationally. A respected figure in the Open Source world, Dave is active in Linux International, and the Linux Professional Institute. He holds degrees in mathematics and chemistry from Old Dominion University and has done graduate work in computer science.

About the presentation:

Clustering in the Enterprise: What works, What we need.

As Linux and Open Source have taken the Internet world, several attempts to bridge high availability and clusters to the needs of commercial concerns have arisen. These attempts run the gamut from Load Balancing to Failover, and in fact may be the best way to build such systems. However, each available solution has both strengths and weaknesses; depending on your business needs, will influence your choice of a viable solution. This discussion will cover the highlights of each approach, and look at the idealized hardware concept.

Please make every attempt to make this meeting, so we can justify making more arrangements with special event speakers. I've known Dave for a few years now, and is a very interesting individual in the Linux community. Definitely worth your time! We look forward to seeing you at the events that week. :)

For more information, or to RSVP for the May 23 get-together, please email Kara Pritchard (

New LUG Chair

by Craig Buchek

At the April LUG meeting, Matthew Porter announced that he would be stepping down as Chair of the St. Louis Linux Users Group. Matthew has served as Chair for a full year, stepping up to replace Matthew Feldt when he moved away from St. Louis. Matthew will remain active in the Users Group, but wishes to focus his efforts in some of the other area non-profit groups.

We would like to thank Matthew for his efforts running the LUG. He has done a lot to improve the visibility of the Users Group. He helped to get several events started. He got the ball rolling for 2 Demo Days, where we demonstrated Linux to customers at local computer stores. He also started the InstallFests, where we invite the public to come out to get assistance installing Linux on their systems.

Over the past two Steering Committee meetings, it was decided that Craig Buchek (your editor) would be appointed to be the Linux Chair until February 2002. We will be working on an election process to allow the LUG members to elect the Chairperson at that time.

I would like to take this opportunity to ask for your help in running the Linux Users Group. We have plenty of talented individuals who have a lot to offer the group. By taking advantage of all the resources that we have available, we can lighten the load, while allowing contributions from everyone who wants to. Tony Zafiropoulos, Mike King, Kara Pritchard, Steve Pritchard, and Matthew Porter have already volunteered to help in this effort. If you would like to help in any way, please contact myself or one of the others.

For more info, contact Craig Buchek (


I've been working on what I've been working on.
 -- Tony Z, our master of the obvious at STEERCOM

There was someone trying to steal my monkey.
 -- Steve Pritchard, referring to a break-in and his Ximian stuffed monkey

I've read recently that OpenBSD has been banned from similar events.
 -- Seen on, referring to competitions where teams try
    to break into each others' systems

Can I change my answer to hers? I liked it much better.
 -- Mike808 on STEERCOM

...because one culture can't apologize for an obvious accident and 
the other culture insists that only an apology can end the crisis.
 -- John Katz on Slashdot

Ideas are more dangerous than guns.
We wouldn't let our enemies have guns, 
why should we let them have ideas?
 -- Stalin

These modern kids don't know the simple joy of saving four bytes 
of page-0 memory on a 6502 box.
 -- isomeme on Slashdot

If you plow through "Business @ the Speed of Thought" you will
quickly realize three things: 
   - Nearly everything Gates writes is obvious.
   - Nearly everything Gates writes is right.
   - Yet somehow he has missed the real story.
 -- Scott Rosenberg, Salon

More sax and violins on TV!
 -- Mr_Icon on Slashdot

How can we look to Red Hat for technical leadership when
Mandrake has already used this (7.1) version number?
 -- Sylvestre on Slashdot

It'll probably take us years to catch up with the only OS that has to 
be really stable since it already reached version 2000.0. I'm going 
to quit my job, we obviously can't get anywhere since we're that far 
 -- Bero from Red Hat, in a response on Slashdot

Theory of Programming Languages: 
   Computers are ultimately a tool for their users. As such, modern 
   programming languages should allow the users of these inherently 
   unwieldy tools means of effective and efficient control. In volume 1 
   of TAOCP, we proved that all computer uses fall into one of two 
   categories: searching for pr0n and viewing pr0n. Thus, any modern 
   computer language should have as its core requirement the shortest 
   semantic expressions for searching and viewing pr0n.
 -- matroid on Slashdot

Nothing is better than world peace.
A turkey sandwich is better than nothing.
Ergo, a turkey sandwich is better than world peace.
 -- Wog on Slashdot

In terms of technical expertise, we found that a Microsoft technician 
using Knowledge Base was about as helpful as a Psychic Friends reader 
using Tarot Cards.

Interesting Browsing






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 314-997-1104 extension 351, or contact any officer of the group.

St. Louis Linux Users Group

Visit the St. Louis Linux Users Group home page ( for the latest meeting details.
Indian Trails Library
8400 Delport Drive (at Midland)
(314) 428-5424
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 the St. Louis Linux Users Group, refer to the web page at or contact Craig Buchek (

St. Louis UNIX Users Group Steering Committee

The SLUUG Steering Committee meets the Monday 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, 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 Gary Meyer
      Corporate Sponsors Ed Wehner
      O'Reilly Book Sales Susan Hurst
Home: (314) 822-9314
Cell: (314) 486-3261
      Newsletter Editor Craig Buchek
Home: (314) 426-5780
Cell: (314) 374-5780
      Contributing Editor Stan Reichardt
Home: (314) 298-1183
      Steering Committee Info     Gary Meyer
Home: (314) 781-8644
      Secretary Tony Zafiropoulos
      Treasurer Mike Kriz
      Linux Users Group Chair Craig M. Buchek
Home: (314) 426-5780
Cell: (314) 374-5780

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 your info or complete article to The deadline for article submissions is the second last day of the month.

SLUUG Mailing Address

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