The SLUUG Cronicle

April 2002

St. Louis UNIX Users Group

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Headline Story: Linux InstallFest - April 13

See the article below for full details.

Table of Contents

Calendar of Events

April 1 Monday April Fools Day
April 1 Monday SILUG - Carbondale 7:00pm - 9:00pm
April 2 Tuesday MOSLUG 7:00pm -11:00pm
April 4 Thursday SLACC 7:00pm - 9:00pm
April 4 Thursday SILUG - O'Fallon 7:00pm - 9:00pm
April 9 Tuesday LUCI - Newbie Night 7:00pm - 9:00pm
April 9 Tuesday CCSL - Dinner Meeting 5:30pm
April 10 Wednesday SLUUG - General Meeting
  Topic: Beowulf
6:30pm - 9:00pm
April 11 Thursday St. Louis Java Users Group 6:30pm - 8:00pm
April 13 Saturday Linux InstallFest 12:00pm- 5:00pm
April 15 Monday Tax Day
April 15 Monday SLUUG - Steering Committee 6:15pm - 8:30pm
April 16 Tuesday STLWEBDEV
6:30pm - 9:00pm
April 16 Tuesday XML SIG 6:00pm - 7:00pm
April 18 Thursday St. Louis Linux Users Group NO MEETING
April 22 Monday Earth Day
April 23 Tuesday Hazelwood LUG 6:30pm - 9:00pm
April 23 Tuesday LUCI 7:00pm - 9:00pm
April 23 Tuesday Wireless SIG 6:30pm - 9:00pm
April 28 Sunday CWE-LUG 1:00pm - 5:00pm
May 8 Wednesday SLUUG - General Meeting 6:30pm
May 13 Monday SLUUG - Steering Committee 6:15pm
May 16 Thursday St. Louis Linux Users Group 7:00pm
May 22 Wednesday ITEC
May 23 Thursday ITEC
May 28 Tuesday Hazelwood LUG 6:30pm

NOTE: More information on these groups, including locations and web sites, can be found in the "Meeting Locations" section below.

Next General Meeting is Wednesday, April 10, 2002

6:30 pm Tutorial SQL and the Shell by Tom Chapin
7:00 pm Announcements Standard Introductions & Procedures
7:05 pm Q & A An opportunity to ask technical questions
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 Beowulf Clusters by Michael Ogilvie and Travis Miller


SQL in KSH (Running Oracle SQL Scripts from Kornshell)
by Tom Chapin


SQL is the most common way to communicate with database servers and is supported by almost all database systems. Shell scripts make excellent wrappers for SQL queries. They are quick and easy, allow you to use shell variables to enter information into your SQL scripts, run scripts more securely than they all too often are, and even automate your scripts so they can work while you sleep.

Topics covered will include:


Tom Chapin has been hanging around Unix systems for decades, at AT&T for far too many years and as a contractor for a few. He spent eight years teaching Unix at AT&T Bell Labs. He has an inordinate fondness for shell scripting and in demonstrating its many capabilities.


Beowulf Clusters
by Michael Ogilvie and Travis Miller


Monolith: Parallel Scientific Computing with a Linux Cluster

Progress in many areas of great interest in physics research, including some in high energy particle physics, general relativity, astrophysics, and solid state physics, are limited by the computational power available. The development of Beowulf clusters -- parallel computers based on commodity hardware and free software -- gives computional physicists an inexpensive way to make great progress in their research. In parallel computing, difficult computational problems are divided up among many CPUs to solve problems too difficult to solve on a single system.

The team that built a Linux cluster using PC hardware for the Washington University Physics Department will describe its design and construction, as well as the use of the cluster for simulations of quarks and gluons, the elementary particles inside the proton and neutron.


Michael Ogilvie is Professor of Physics at Washington University. He received his Ph.D. from Brown University in 1980. A native of St. Louis, he came to Washington University after postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Maryland and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Travis Miller is a graduate student in the Physics Department of Washington University, and will receive his Ph.D. in August 2002. In September 2002 he will begin a postdoctoral fellowship at Indiana Univerisity.

Ideas, questions and suggestions are welcome; please contact Christine Wanta (

Book Sales

The O'Reilly and Associates line of books is available at each monthly general meeting as a convenience to our members. Proceeds from the book sales go toward running the organization. Most months we feature special offers on titles related to that month's presentation or tutorial topic. Discounts off retail prices are offered to all attendees.

Books that are not available at the meetings may be ordered to be picked up at the next SLUUG general meeting. Contact Sue Hurst (

April Specials:

Books with a red sticker - 70% off
Titles on SQL, Databases, or UNIX Shell Scripting - 30% off
All other books - 25% off

    There will be no St. Louis Linux Users Group (LUG / Linux SIG) meeting In April

Meeting Locations

SLUUG - St. Louis UNIX Users Group (
General Meeting

Meets the 2nd Wednesday of the month, 6:30pm to 9:00pm. Free and open to the public.
Sunnen Products
7910 Manchester (at Hanley)
St. Louis, MO
Directions: Take I-64 (US 40) to the Hanley exit south. Turn left at Manchester, then an immediate right into Sunnen driveway.


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

SLUUG - St. Louis UNIX Users Group (
Steering Committee

Meets the Monday following the 2nd Wednesday of the month, 6:15pm to 8:30pm. Open to the public. This is where we make decisions on what topics to cover and other administration of the group. If you want to get involved, this is a good place to start.
Daugherty Systems
One City Place, 2nd floor
Creve Coeur, MO 63141

St. Louis Linux Users Group (STLLUG) (

Meets the 3rd Thursday of each month, 7:00pm to 9:00pm. [NOTE: There is no meeting scheduled for April.] The room is reserved starting at 6:00pm. (Ask a librarian to let you in if it is locked.) Members are encouraged to come early to mingle and/or give informal demos or presentations. Free and open to the public. (Formerly known as the Linux SIG.)
Indian Trails Library
8400 Delport Drive (at Midland)
St. Louis, MO
Directions:   Take I-170 to Page east. Turn left at North-South. Turn left at Midland. Drive 2 blocks and turn left on Delport. The library is on your left.


Hazelwood LUG (

Generally meets the 4th Tuesday of each month, 6:30pm to 9:00pm. (NOTE: Start time is now 6:30.) Free and open to the public. This is a SIG of SLUUG, intended for Linux newbies.
Prairie Commons Library
915 Utz Lane (between Howdershell and Dunn)
Hazelwood, MO

CWE-LUG - Central West End LUG (

Generally meets on Sundays -- no set schedule yet -- check the web site. Meetings are usually at the Saint Louis Public Library - Schlafly branch, but the April meeting will be at the ACLU:
4557 Laclede (just east of Euclid)
St. Louis, MO 63108

MOSLUG - MO Open Source LUG (

Meets on the 1st Tuesday of the month, from 7:00pm to 11:00pm. Meetings are free and open to everyone. This is a Linux Users Group (LUG) for all levels, from new beginners to the more advanced users.
Culpeppers Restaurant (basement)
312 S. Kirkwood Road
Kirkwood, MO 63122

STLBSD - St. Louis BSD Users (

Does not have any official meetings, but they often gather informally at SLUUG meetings. Look for guys with little red daemons on their shirts.

SLACC - St. Louis Area Computer Club (

Meets the 1st Thursday of every month, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.
Thornhill Library
12863 Willowyk Drive (off Fee Fee)
Creve Coeur, MO

PerlMongers (

Meets the 1st Thursday of the month, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. (NOTE: They did not have a meeting in January, and their web site is not current. No word whether they are still meeting.)
5 North Jackson at Forsyth
Clayton, MO

St. Louis Java Users Group (

Meets the 2nd Thursday of every month, 6:30pm to 8:00pm.
CityPlace One Auditorium
One City Place
Creve Coeur, MO 63141

STLWEBDEV - St. Louis Web Developers (

Meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 6:30pm to 9:00pm. Meetings are free and open to everyone. This is an open group to facilitate communications between diverse professions involved in Internet/Intranet design and development. STLWEBDEV is also the St. Louis chapter of the International Webmasters Association and the HTML Writers Guild (IWA-HWG).
CityPlace One Auditorium
One City Place
Creve Coeur, MO 63141


This is a SIG of STLWEBDEV. The first meeting will be before the STLWEBDEV meeting, at the same location. It will start at 6:00pm. Meetings are free and open to everyone.

Wireless SIG (

Meets the 4th Tuesday of the month, from 6:30pm to 9:00pm. Meetings are free and open to everyone. Refreshments at 6:30, program begins at 7:00. This group is a cooperative effort of both the St. Louis Web Developers and the St. Louis Java Users Group.
CityPlace One Auditorium
One City Place
Creve Coeur, MO 63141

CCSL - Computer Consultants of St. Louis (
Monthly Dinner Meeting

Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at Cheshire Inn. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED. Cost is $20 per member, $25 per non-member. Call Susan Pope, 314-995-4652. Social hour starts at 5:30pm, meeting starts at 6:30pm.
Cheshire Inn
6306 Clayton Rd.
St. Louis, MO

SILUG - Southern Illinois LUG (
O'Fallon meeting

The SILUG O'Fallon meeting is generally on the first Thursday of the month. It runs from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.
O'Fallon Public Library
120 Civic Plaza
O'Fallon, IL

SILUG - Southern Illinois LUG (
Carbondale meeting

The SILUG Carbondale meeting is the 1st Monday of the month, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.
Life Sciences III
1059 Auditorium
Carbondale, IL

LUCI - Linux Users of Central Illinois (

All LUCI meetings are held at the same location, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. General meetings are on the 4th Tuesday of the month, and Newbie night is held on the 2nd Tuesday of the month.
Illinois State Museum Research & Collections Center
1011 East Ash St.
Springfield, IL 62703

Mizzou LUG (

The Mizzou LUG has an active web site, but does not appear to hold regular meetings. For information, check their web site.
Columbia, MO

We publish meeting schedules of groups in the St. Louis region that may be of interest to our members. If you would like to have info added about your group, please mail the newsletter editor ( or call any of the SLUUG officers.


WARNING: 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.

Linux InstallFest - April 13, 2002

Event Date: Saturday, April 13, 2002 at 12 noon to 5 PM
Event Location: Advanced Technology Center
                118 N. 2nd Street
                St. Charles, MO  63301
Admission: Free

The St. Louis Linux Users Group announces their 4th Linux 
InstallFest. At this event, experienced Linux users will assist those 
who wish to install and learn about Linux. Anyone who wants to know more
about Linux is welcome to attend. Over 40 people attended the previous
InstallFest (October 2001).

In most cases, all you will need to bring is the computer itself.  
We will provide the Super VGA monitors, PS/2 keyboards, 
and PS/2 mice. If you have older or non-standard hardware, you should 
bring it along. If you're not sure, bring everything to be safe. Free 
copies of popular Linux distributions will be provided on CD. If you 
have a specific distribution that you want to install, you can bring 
it along as well. Be sure to back up your system before you bring it 
in, as the installation process may overwrite existing data.

The InstallFest is sponsored by the Economic Development Center of 
St. Charles County. The EDC will be providing space for the installations,
food and beverages. They have a high-speed Internet connection that you
will be able to connect to if you have an Ethernet card.

Several members of the St. Louis Linux Users Group and other local groups
will be present to assist with installations and configuration.

If you would like to attend, please sign up on the web site at
(You don't have to register, but we would appreciate it.)

If you can help out in any way, please let us know:

For more information on the Linux InstallFest, see the web site or contact
Fred Smith (

ITEC 2002

The 2002 Information Technology Expo, at the America's Center, runs 
10:00am to 4:00pm, Wednesday/Thursday, May 22-23. For over a decade
we have participated in this event. Once again we are building on 
the previous year's incredible show success, and sincerely hope you 
will join us.

ITEC is our annual promotional event and we have several venues 
that will help to promote our various organizations as well as 
provide an opportunity to live up to our charter's vision of the 
promotion of Open Source/Open Systems as well as providing education 
in technologies.

Please visit for detailed information on our
participation. The site will be updated as information is finalized.

Here are some highlights of our participation this year:

   -- Booth #603, directly adjacent to the Keynote theatre.
   -- Seminar Rooms #123 and #125 (see website for details)

   -- Miguel de Icaza, Keynote theatre, Thursday, May 23, 1:30pm

   -- IT Myths, An Associations Collaboration, two separate events
       -- Association theatre, Wed., May 22, 10:30am-1:30pm
       -- Keynote theatre, Thurs., May 23, 12:30pm

There will again be in-booth demos both days, showcasing Open 
Systems and applications for the work place and home.

Spread the word to your co-workers that the O'Reilly line of books 
will be available for purchase with show special discounting.
This event allows us to maintain our status with O'Reilly and make 
available the excellent resource books at meetings.

The online registration is improving and makes it easier than ever 
to show your support. With an added search available of previous
attendance, you can simply update information instead of retyping 
it all. (Visit for details.)

Don't forget, let them know you are attending because of an invitation 
from the St. Louis Unix Users Group.

We look forward to seeing you there!

ITEC Planning Committee.

Using a USB digital camera with Linux

by Ed Howland

There are two possibilities for using USB digital cameras and Linux, either USB direct or using USB Mass Storage architecture. If your digicam supports USB Mass Storage, you are more fortunate because you will find support directly in modern kernels for this. With USB Mass Storage, your camera will appear to the computer as direct storage device, such as a floppy. CDROM or hard drive connected over USB. This month I will describe USB Mass Storage since it is quite a bit simpler. Next month I will discuss gPhoto and the Kamera software applications to talk to your camera. The camera I'll use for this discussion is a HP 315 which can be had around town for about $180 and online for about $165.

First I will assume you are using either a 2.4 kernel variety or a 2.2 that has USB support backported. For the next part I'll also assume you are running the Gnome desktop manager, but similar steps will apply to KDE. The trick to making this work is to understand that in Linux, storage things like to think they are SCSI devices even if they are not. That means we will be using one of the /dev/sdXX devices. The other piece of wisdom is that USB cameras, to appeal to the widest audience, want to pretend they are DOS disk drives.

First create a mount point to attach the camera's storage device. I like /mnt/usb/cam1 for this. Next, while the camera is powered off, attach the USB cable to the camera and an open USB port on your computer. Next power up the camera as if you were going to start taking pictures. Most cameras will indicate that they are talking to the PC via a status LCD. Finally, wait a few seconds to allow the PC and the camera to recognize each other and then mount the camera on your mount point.

For example, as root:

# mkdir /mnt/usb
# mkdir /mnt/usb/cam1

... attach camera and power it up.

# mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/usb/cam1

You might see an LED on the camera flash when the memory is being accessed. Now fire up the Nautilus file manager and type /mnt/usb/cam1 into the address bar. Drill down the directory structure until you see a bunch of JPEG images (usually numbered something like im000001.jpg, im000002.jpg etc.) In Icon mode, Nautilus will display these as thumbnails. You can then copy these to your drive. You can then use the Gimp to touch them up by editing the brightness and contrast and save them back or compress them.

If you wish to delete the images from your camera, you must be root to do this. This is because you can't change the permissions of the directories on the device.

As root with a HP 315 attached:

# rm -f /mnt/usb/cam1/dcim/100hp315/*

When you are done, unmount the camera and power it down and disconnect.

As root:

# umount /mnt/usb/cam1

You can also copy pictures back to the camera as root, but these must be in the same format the camera understands. In other words you can't copy arbitrary JPEG images to the device, even if you name them using the camera's naming conventions. They will show up in the LCD display but probably be blank or exhibit another error. However, you can treat the media card as just another disk and use it to store stuff like MP3s or documents and take it between systems. I'm pretty sure this will work in Macs, Linux and probably Windows.

Next month I describe using your camera with popular Linux software such as gPhoto and the Kamera for KDE. We will also have pictures from the InstallFest and I will describe how to paste them up to a web site.


For more information about sponsoring the St. Louis UNIX Users Group, contact Dave Mills (


Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions.
 -- Albert Einstein

When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think 
only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the 
solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
 -- Buckminster Fuller

Some places I worked in the past had Employment Contracts that gave 
the company full rights to "... any intellectual property, inventions 
or creations made during the period of employment." I often thought 
that if I really wanted to quit and didn't care about a good 
reference, I'd take my camera to the local zoo and shoot several 
rolls of, er..., animal droppings, then lay out a book of photos of 
these, er... products of nature. And, since the company has all 
IP rights, put them down as the author. It'd all be worth it when 
HR got the pre-press of the glossy coffee table book of Products, 
by Joe's Software, with the big picture of a turd on the cover.
 -- dghcasp on Slashdot

Pirating software is like stealing crack from a drug dealer and 
pretending that it makes you free from addiction.
 -- einhverfr on Slashdot [I assume he means proprietary software.]

AAAAA - American Association Against Acronym Abuse
 -- Rob Fugina

For any business which is now or might in the future be a competitor 
to Microsoft to use Windows XP or any other product requiring 
permission from Microsoft to operate is essentially malpractice.
 -- Michael Sims, WWWAC mailing list

Shortest sentence in the English language: I am.
Longest sentence in the English language: I do.

"I bribed Congress" is not speech that should be protected under
the First Amendment.
 -- Craig Buchek

Leave it to a politician to increase the amount of cash he can receive,
make it illegal to say he's a bad apple, and call it all Campaign Reform!
 -- Tim Dreste

Alas, NT and Win2K allow any program to control any other; an 
unprivileged user can thus gain control of a privileged program 
and bend it to his or her will. Safeguards against such exploits 
have long been present in UNIX and were mentioned in Microsoft's 
recent DRM patent. (Ironically, Microsoft did not implement the 
commonsense security mechanisms it "rediscovered" and managed to 
patent despite long standing prior art.) 
 -- eWeek,,3658,s=1884&a=24761,00.asp

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.


SLUUG administration is volunteer based. We're always 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 Christine Wanta (


  President Ed Wehner
  Vice-President Scott Granneman
  Secretary Buck Pyland 
  Treasurer Mike Kriz 
  Linux Users Group Chair Craig Buchek
Home: 314-426-5780
Cell: 314-374-5780
  Board of Directors Rich Seibel
Ed Wehner
Craig Buchek
Robert Citek
Stan Reichardt
  Presentations Christine Wanta
  Corporate Sponsors Dave Mills
  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
  PR Stan Reichardt
Home: 314-298-1183
  Steering Committee Info Gary Meyer
Home: 314-781-8644
  BBS Questions Gary Meyer
  Official Correspondence SLUUG Mailing Address PO Box 411302
St. Louis, MO 63141

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.

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