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February 2004

MYDOOM not created by Linux folk? 
- Maybe it was and maybe it wasn't, but cheering it on like a bunch of baboons isn't the right reaction.
 
Words I like seeing 
- It's nice to see Linuxusers get some recognition from app developers (even if it is only through Java).
 
The future of personal computing 
- I wonder whether the control we have now, the freedom to tinker and play, will last.
 
SCO shows its cards 
- But it really doesn't clear up any of this nonsense, does it? Who stole what from whome isn't a great defense.
 
SCO's Letter to Congress 
- I thought Microsoft would be the one to tell Congress that Linux is 'evil', but SCO beat them to it.
 
Phishing  by Michael Desrosiers
- Phishing, also called "carding," is a high-tech scam that uses spam to deceive consumers into disclosing their credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security numbers, passwords, and other sensitive information.
 
Writing a White Paper  by Christine Taylor
- A white paper supports PR, marketing and sales because it works for all levels of decision makers. Engineers and executives may not be too impressed by brochures, but they are impressed by well-written white papers. (The same thing goes for trade journal articles - more about that in a subsequent piece.)

Good white papers sell products because they pack a lot of useful information into a clear and readable structure. Warning -- don't take any old brochure or product brief, print it on 8-1/2x11" paper and call it a white paper. Decision-makers hate that, don't let this be you! Good marketing white papers contain both technical and marketing sections in a balanced format, and then throw in some other great stuff. A good white paper may start with an executive summary - - my general rule is a 5+ page paper needs one - but it will follow the same structure as below, abbreviated to one page.

 
Replacing SCO 5.05 older machine with new server  by Leroy Janda
- Sooner or later, you will be faced with having to replace a failed SCO Unix server or updating to a newer server.
 
WinPopup  by Keith Farrar, Michal Jaegermann
- This is a perl script that sends out a SMB Message to all users via "WinPopUp", using SAMBA. I thought it would be a nice addition for the code section of the website. The authors and credits are part of the perl script.
 
Postfix: The Definitive guide 
- I have been wanting to take a peek at Postscript for some time I liked Kyle's clear writing and that he included information on multiple domains, security and spam blocking
 
speed 
- Front Side Bus Speed. Complex subject, but this has to do with being able to use different speed processors in the same motherboard. The FSB speed and a CPU multiplier are usually what you adjust to accomplish this, except more recent MB designs lock the multiplier.
 
Celeron 
- These are lower speed, smaller L2 cache Pentiums. The problem is that there isn't a lot of price differential any more, so unless you are really shopping at the very bottom, there's not much point in buying these.
 
WINS 
- A WINS server provides browsing information about machines on its network: the purpose is to provide the ability to browse across networks withoutpassing broadcast packets between them. Until fairly recently, Samba couldn't function as a WINS server, but now can.
 
phishing 
- Hijacking personal information. Some of these scams have very elaborate and quite official looking websites that mimic PayPal, eBay, or your bank.
 
CSS 
- Cascading Styple Sheets. The better way to control the look and feel of web pages. See http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/ The basic idea is that you can define different classes of html elements and assign attributes to them like font size, type, and so on.
 
LZW 
- A patented compression algorithm. Important because it was used for GIF images (among other things) and apparently originally it was assumed that LZW was public domain. It wasn't.
 
flippy 
- (old timers alert!). I was reminded of these in a conversation with a person who worked for Tandy in Fort Worth during their personal computer days. A flippy disk was recorded on both sides, but was designed to be read in a 'normal' (for the time) single side disk drive.
 
slack 
- Random data in drive sectors. This is data beyond the actual data of a file. 'Ram slack' is used to fill the unused portion of the last sector of a file, and 'drive slack' is whatever is in any unused sectors of the last cluster.
 
ramdisk 
- The idea here is that RAM is tremendously faster than hard drives, so putting heavily accessed files into a ramdisk (a disk created in ram that looks like an ordinary disk drive to the OS) will be faster. In some cases, it may be.
 
blacklist 
- Spam control. The IP addresses of known spammers are added to blacklists and blocked from sending mail. People argue about the usefulness of this because these adresses change: new folks get addresses formerly used by spammers and are then blocked.
 
zombie 
- Zombies result from errors or sloppy programming. A process forks, and execs a new process onto the fork. If that parent now dies or exits deliberately, you get a zombie.
 
steganography 
- Most dictionaries will tell you that this is just encryption, or even of hiding in plain sight, but the computer industry has narrowed the definition to mean only encryption hidden within other data.