The UNIX® CRONicle

July 2001

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, July 11, 2001 at 6:30 PM
Sunnen Products, 7910 Manchester
See Meeting Directions

6:30 PM Tutorial Startup Scripts by Christine Wanta
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 Genomics - Using Open Source by Robert Citek


Startup Scripts
by Christine Wanta

Christine will discuss the boot process, system startup scripts, and user startup scripts. She will talk about what happens when you turn the machine on, up to the point of system startup scripts, and then discuss some options regarding user startup scripts.

Christine Wanta works as a system specialist for Data Research Associates Inc., in St Louis. Wanta has more than 15 years experience in developing and administering networks involving a variety of OS platforms, including several flavors of Unix, Linux, NT, DOS, and Novell. She possesses expertise in several programming languages (e.g. C/C++, several shells, Perl, Java, HTML), and a number of hardware architectures (Dell, Sun, HP, Compaq, AST, NEC, IBM). Moreover, Wanta has extensive project management and team leadership skills.

Questions and ideas about this discussion are welcome; please send


Genomic Research Using Open Source
by Robert Citek

Earlier this year, both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Celera,Inc. announced that they have completed sequencing the human genome. For the first time in history we have the complete "genetic code" available for everyone to read. But reading the genome is like reading machine code with all the manual pages buried in the code itself.

In this talk Robert will address why there is so much interest in genomes, detail some of the computational problems, and describe how Open Source is being used to help analyze these genomic sequences.

Topics will include:

Robert Citek is a microbiologist and systems administrator at Washington University where he manages a group of Linux workstations and servers for a computational biology research group. When he is not dabbling in Perl or Python, often he can be found enjoying a lazy float trip with friends on one of Missouri's many rivers.

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

Next St. Louis Linux Users Group Meeting Is July 19

Presentation: Web Servers on Linux - Apache, Tomcat, and Tux
by Mike King (Mike808)

Mike will take a look at 3 of the leading web development platforms available for Linux. Apache is the most popular web server in existence today. It holds a 60% market share of all web servers. Mike will look at the current 1.3 version as well as the upcoming 2.0 release. Tomcat is a Java Servlet and JSP (Java Server Pages) engine. It is a project of the Jakarta group of the Apache Foundation. Tux is a new web server for Linux that runs in kernel space and can serve static HTTP requests extremely fast.

For more information on these web servers, check out http:://,, and

Mike King has been involved in enterprise web development since 1995. He has worked on projects ranging from e-commerce to extranets, online catalogs to object-oriented programming. He is familiar with technologies including Java, HTML, XML, SQL, and of course Perl.

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

Special of the Month

The July special will be the same discount that was given at the ITEC show:
1 - 4 books - 25% off
5 - 7 books - 30% off
8 - 9 books - 35% off
10+ books - 40% off
All Red Dot specials are 40% off.

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

July 2 (7:00pm-9:00pm) Carbondale SILUG meeting
Life Sciences III
1059 Auditorium
Carbondale, IL
July 3 (7:00pm-9:00pm) O'Fallon SILUG meeting
O'Fallon Public Library
120 Civic Plaza
O'Fallon, IL
July 3 (7:30pm) MO Open Source Linux User Group
Culpepper's Restaurant (basement)
312 South Kirkwood Road
Kirkwood, MO
July 5 (7:00pm) Perl Mongers
5 North Jackson at Forsyth
Clayton, MO
July 5 (7:00pm) St. Louis Area Computer Club
Thornhill Library
12863 Willowyk Drive (off Fee Fee)
Creve Coeur, MO
July 10 (7:00pm) Linux Users of Central Illinois
Newbie Night
Springfield, IL
July 11 (6:30pm) SLUUG General Meeting Sunnen Products
7910 Manchester (at Hanley)
St. Louis, MO
July 16 (6:30pm) SLUUG Steering Committee Daugherty Systems
One City Place (2nd floor)
Creve Coeur, MO
July 19 (7:00pm) St. Louis Linux Users Group
Indian Trails Library
8400 Delport Drive (at Midland)
St. Louis, MO
July 24 (7:00pm) Hazelwood Linux Users Group
Prarie Commons Branch Library
915 Utz Lane (between Howdershell and Dunn)
Hazelwood, MO
July 24 (7:00pm) Linux Users of Central Illinois
Springfield, IL
August 8 SLUUG General Meeting
August 13 SLUUG Steering Committee
August 16 St. Louis Linux Users Group
August 21 (7:30) 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.

Open Letter to Craig Mundie of Microsoft

by Craig Buchek

[NOTE: These are my own opinions. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SLUUG itself nor its memebers.]

[DISCLOSURE: I hold Microsoft's Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and Certified Professional (MCP) certifications.]

I have a Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Server Resource Kit. It comes with a CD that includes several GPLed GNU programs compiled to run on Windows NT: cat, chown, find, ln, mkdir, rm, sh, vi, chmod, cp, grep, ls, mv, rmdir, touch, and wc. These are clearly labeled as GNU programs, and the source code (for these and several other GNU programs) is included on the CD. Perl, another Open Source program under a different license, is also included.

If GNU software under the GPL is dangerous, why would Microsoft have used these on its CD full of handy utilities and bonus software? Surely there must have been some good reason that these tools were included.

This puts Microsoft in an interesting situation. While Microsoft is in the process of telling others not to use the GPL, it may end up being in a position of having to defend the GPL, if for some reason it were to be sued for using, modifying, and distributing this software. It also makes Microsoft look hypocritical for saying that others should not use GPL software, when it has already used GPLed software to enhance its own products.

And if, as Microsoft has stated before, the GPL requires a company to release all of its software under the GPL, when can we expect to see the source code for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office?

The fact is, the GPL license is no more "viral" than any proprietary commercial license. If I decide to use software that I buy or get for free from Microsoft, I have to abide by the licensing terms as well as copyright law. If I decide to use some of Microsoft's code in my own program, my program becomes "infected" by Microsoft code, and I then have to license my code under Microsoft's terms. (Assuming Microsoft will even let me distribute the code.) The GPL is different only in that the "payment" required is to keep the source code free for eternity, instead of money.


If somebody wants to change [my] name to "Frodo Rabbit", I wouldn't holler
 -- Linus Torvalds, LKM - June 28, 2001

Expansions of "OSDN" (Open Source Developer Network) seen on OSDN sites:
 Our Sites Down Now
 Our Staff Destroys Networks
 Our Sites Do Nothing

The GPL is not a virus, it is a vaccine, an inoculation against later abuse 
of your code by having someone, such as Microsoft, take your hard work, 
incorporate it into a proprietary product which is then extended and kept 
closed, marginalizing your project in the process.
 -- seen on Slashdot

That's a beautiful color, but I thought we used UNIX so we don't have
to see that color.
 -- Josh Medley, referring to the blank screen on the VGA projector

John Brooks has really deep pockets.
 -- Sue Hurst

If I take a letter, lock it in a safe, hide the safe somewhere in New York, 
and then tell you to read the letter, that's not security. That's obscurity. 
On the other hand, if I take a letter and lock it in a safe, and then give 
you the safe along with the design specifications of the safe and a hundred 
identical safes with their combinations so that you and the world's best 
safecrackers can study the locking mechanism--and you still can't open the 
safe and read the letter, that's security.
 -- Bruce Schneier, "Applied Cryptography"

No technology exists until Microsoft invents it.
 -- Petreley's first law of computer journalism

All *xen are alike and all *xen are not alike.
 -- Tom Parsons

Asking Microsoft to explain the GPL is a little like asking Joe Stalin 
to explain the US Constitution.
 -- Professor Eben Moglen,

Taking advice on what the GPL means from Microsoft is like taking
Stalin's word on the meaning of the US Constitution.
 -- Professor Eben Moglen,

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