May 22, 2002
How to Make a Top-Level Manila Site

When creating a new Manila site via the Control Panel, it creates the site at a URL like

But you might want one of your Manila sites to be at instead.

Here's how:


If you're not familiar with objects from other languages, some of the other Perl object documentation may be a little daunting, such as perlobj, a basic reference in using objects, and perltoot, which introduces readers to the peculiarities of Perl's object system in a tutorial way.

So, let's take a different approach, presuming no prior object experience. It helps if you know about subroutines (perlsub), references (perlref et. seq.), and packages (perlmod), so become familiar with those first if you haven't already.

dbitricks - Tricks with DBI

A variety of tricks and techniques to make DBI faster and better.

Will IE patch open new holes?

Last Wednesday, Microsoft issued a critical patch, MS02-023, which includes five different fixes for six known vulnerabilities in recent three recent releases of Internet Explorer. Got that?

However, several security experts have criticized Microsoft for not resolving the Web browser's underlying security issues, nor fully testing the patch before its release. In the end, those of you who apply the 2MB patch may find malicious users can still run scripts and perform arbitrary commands on your Internet Explorer browser.

Here's a recap of the patch's key problems.

Psst... I know your password

Retrieving the password file from one of the health care company's servers, the consulting firm put "John the Ripper," a well-known cracking program, on the case. While well-chosen passwords could take years--if not decades--of computer time to crack, it took the program only an hour to decipher 30 percent of the passwords for the nearly 10,000 accounts listed in the file.

"Just about every company that we have gone into, even large multinationals, has a high percentage of accounts with easily (cracked) passwords," said Greg Shipley, director of consulting for Neohapsis. "We have yet to see a company whose employees don't pick bad passwords."

Beyond Microsoft OS

Two Sundays ago, Pegoraro tried out OpenOffice, a open-source productivity suite that just might be the first real threat to Microsoft's Office monopoly in many years. It's hardly perfect, but--given that it's a free download--it compares quite well to Microsoft's $479 Office (which itself is a long way from perfect). It doesn't hurt that OpenOffice reads and writes Microsoft files and even looks and works a good deal like Microsoft Office.

May 21, 2002
Amateur Video Production Using Free Software and Linux

In 1999 I purchased my first DVD player. My wife and I had a small collection of VHS tapes containing videos that we wanted to view using our new purchase. Furthermore, optical media is very convenient and stable, and the idea of storing our video collection on CD-R discs was very attractive to us. What followed was a very indepth investigation that has flourished into an interesting hobby. In this article, I cover how to digitize analog video sources for storage and manipulation on a computer, tools for editing video on a computer and some options for publishing digital videos. One publishing option I present is storage in the video CD (VCD) format, which is compatible with many DVD players. All of these steps are performed using free software.

Famous Quotes

"I don't know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."

     --George Bush Senior, during a conservative fundraiser

For schools, it's Microsoft's way or the free way

M icrosoft has beaten a retreat -- albeit a rumblin', bumblin', stumblin' retreat -- from its proposed audit of the 24 largest school districts in Washington and Oregon, but the battle between the software company and Linux is only heating up.

Microsoft digs own grave of mistrust

More importantly is the issue of trust. Microsoft apparently responds differently when it's under oath than when it's not. For example, when journalists have the same questions that lawyers do. If you're not convinced, the previous example isn't the only one. In a story that explored Microsoft's and IBM's motives for not inviting Sun Microsystems to be one of the founding members of the Web Service Interoperability Organization (WS-I), officials from both companies concocted logic for the decision that was almost too easy to debunk.

Cracking CDs with magic markers

Technology buffs have cracked music publishing giant Sony Music's elaborate disc copy-protection technology with a decidedly low-tech method: scribbling around the rim of a disk with a felt-tip marker.

Email filtering: Stopping viral attachments with Exim Version 1.0

In this HOWTO, we're going to take a look at using Exim's mail filtering properties to aid you in your quest for a virus free email system. To begin, we'll take a look at some of the basic configuration options for Exim located in the main configuration file /etc/exim.conf. Then we'll show you how to configure Exim to filter attachments based on their file type. We'll also take a look at the email filter file provided for your use at the Exim Web site, and show you how to use it as a template for your network mail filter. We'll then demonstrate how to install the filter, and also show you where to look if it doesn't work properly. Finally, we'll look at keeping up with new email viruses and how to add their file extensions to your filter to keep you mail users safe.

Allchin: Disclosure May Endanger U.S.

A senior Microsoft Corp. executive told a federal court last week that sharing information with competitors could damage national security and even threaten the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan. He later acknowledged that some Microsoft code was so flawed it could not be safely disclosed.

Update: Ending Microsoft FUD: An Interview with Peruvian Congressman Villanueva

In the course of everyday business and politics, once in a while something truly significant happens. At such a time, ordinary letters become roadmaps for change, and a politician from a small mountain province in Perú can become a hero to those who believe in a cause: both amongst his countrymen and around the rest of the world.

May 17, 2002
DevShed - MySQL Administration - Introduction

So you've finally correctly installed the MySQL server. The next step is to configure the server to handle clients, in addition to making the server a secure one. Yet how does one go about the addition of clients, in addition to providing necessary privileges for the client's intended use of the server? This article will focus upon some of the most daunting (yet easy and important!) tasks of correctly administering the MySQL server, including the manipulation the privilege system, and making intelligent decisions about the capabilities (permissions) given to users.

I will make the assumption that you have at least a rough knowledge of SQL basics. For example, what is an INSERT, SELECT, or UPDATE command. Also, you should have a basic understanding of the Unix-flavored directory structure before continuing this article.

Open Source provides a better solution for schools

"We're seeing the stand alone desktop PC as a colossal failure in schools." says Paul Nelson, Technology Director for the Riverdale School District in Portland, Oregon. "After several years of installing PCs in classrooms, it is evident that schools do not have the staffing to support them and keep them running. Often infected with viruses and subjected to student abuse, these systems can quickly turn into a useless but expensive pile of junk in the back of the classroom." A traditional desktop PC environment often costs more than $1,000 per system -- and that's a price that Nelson and others say is too high.

Hoax tells people to nix Windows file

An e-mail hoax posing as a virus advisory is surfing across the Internet on a wave of PC user naivete.


"If you ever get an e-mail and it tells you to send it out to as many people as possible, that should give you pause," Ruckman said.

Securing Linux

Here we go again. I decided to write another article concerning some overall security aspects of installing and running linux. To keep it short and simple, here are some good pointers to enhancing your system's security. But remember, there's no absolute security, so keep your eyes open, subscribe yourself to a few good mailing lists, and keep your software up-to-date.

The Rules of Innovation

Bringing new technology to market is a crap shoot, right? Wrong, says innovation guru Christensen. Follow his four rules to a new science of success.

May 16, 2002
Mere Open Source

What is Open Source? It is a simple enough question, yet the answer has become so obscure that it is anything but simple. The phrase is undisputedly at the core of what drives the Linux community even while it eludes nearly everyone as to what its exact definition is.

May 15, 2002
CSS3 module: Color

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a language for describing the rendering of HTML and XML documents on screen, on paper, in speech, etc. To color elements in a document, it uses color related properties and respective values. This draft describes the properties and values that are proposed for CSS level 3. It includes and extends them from properties and values of CSS level 2.

Software Licence Headaches? Use Linux!

Cybersource agrees that it is within the rights of the software licence or copyright holder to require that its licenced software is deployed as per the End User Licence Agreements agreed upon by both vendor and customer. Further, we are not a provider of legal services. We do, however, strongly recommend to our clients, and to other organisations who use proprietary software products, that they begin looking to migrate to platforms and applications licenced under Open Source and GNU free software terms, to remove the likelihood of licence compliance costs, legal hassles, audit threats, price hikes and court fines. This recommendation is along business and control lines, and not due to technical considerations.

Scripting News

Fortune has a virtually content-free article about the non-faceoff between Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Steve Jobs is particularly clueless (assuming he actually said what he's quoted as saying, and that the context wasn't designed to make him look like an idiot). But the Hollywood guys come off even worse, and Fortune even dumber than that. I loved this quote. "So what we have here is a game of chicken. Unless somebody flinches, both sides stand to lose." Both sides? They forgot the users. If Silicon Valley could somehow give Hollywood what they want (it can't) the users would just get their technology from somewhere else. As long as we have a First Amendment in the US, they can't stop the Internet. That, by the way, allows me to close the loop on the lies Bill Gates tells in court. So far the courts have been pretty good, but not perfect, at protecting our freedoms. That Gates goes to court and lies, brazenly, says to me that he's not on the right side. With the executive and legislative branches of the US government acting so irresponsibly, the only thing keeping us from total fascism in the service of Eisner is the court system. Respect it Bill. It's good for us.

This is soooo right on!

The biggest problem I see in the arguments that the bigco's make whenever they spout off about "lost revenue" due to piracy is the hubris of thinking that their product is necessary.

Thinking that the user would use their product, even if they had to pay... is just so wrong.

There aren't many things in this world that I need.

Worse, is that they make is sound like being a thief is "just natural" and that a person can't have the integrity to really assign a value to a product.

Most people pay exactly what they think the product is worth. And that, my friends, is the reason they "pirate".

The product isn't worth paying for...

P.S. - This is not meant to imply that I actually condone the actions of others... but, I do understand them.

As for me... I just do without.

My integrity has more value, to me, than the cash in my pocket. And if the product isn't worth the cash... it sure as hell isn't worth stealling!

I got a phone call last night...

It was a telemarketer.

I asked her if she was a telemarketer (I immediately ask this question of anyone I don't know), and she replied "no, I'm an appointment setter."

New tactic, but it won't work.

I told her I wasn't interested in setting any appointments, and don't call me again.

She asked why I wasn't interested...

Simple: I didn't call you!

Linux apps are ready for primetime!

Linux has always gotten a bad rap when it comes to productivity applications. Time and time again naysayers have complained that "Linux is a fine OS but what good is it if I can't run Microsoft Office?" Well fret no more. Apps on Linux have finally arrived! There's been a slew of recent version 1.0 or higher releases of many Linux office applications.

Since I recently installed SuSE Linux 8.0, I've been neck-deep in all of them. So I felt that an IMHO column would be the perfect way to introduce some of these applications to people that might be considering giving Linux a shot on their desktops. Soon, I hope to do a formal review of these apps, but read on and you'll at least get a taste of what they have to offer.

ProFTPd behind the firewall

I have a cable internet connection through roadrunner and my network is behind a linksys BEFSR41 cable/dsl router. I have port 20 and 21 forwarded to my linux box. The problem is that only the IE browser works from outside my firewall. Netscape, Mozilla, and opera on windows or linux works fine from my local network, but they and other ftp clients will not connect from the internet. I had the exact same problem with WuFTP as well. Suggestions would be appreciated.

May 14, 2002
WWW and Web Tools

Site of the day...

Excellent list of web tools.

MS pushed for Linux attack

A Microsoft executive urged the company to quietly retaliate against supporters of the rival Linux operating system in an August 2000 memo that nine states still suing the software giant want admitted as evidence.

Marker pens, sticky tape crack music CD protection

Music disc copyright protection schemes such a Cactus Data Shield 100/200 and KeyAudio can be circumvented using tools as basic as marker pens and electrical tape, crackers have discovered.


Conducting Virtual Meetings with Linux, Part I

With the increased hassles of traveling in these times, businesses are constantly searching for alternative methods of getting their far-flung employees, partners, and clients all working together at once. Conference calls are okay, but these virtual meetings can be time-consuming and confusing, as you try to figure out who said what.

Online video conferencing is a very good way to go, except it's expensive and you need to set up hardware on several machines, since most PCs don't come equipped with cameras or microphones.

There is a middle alternative, that has the benefits of video conferencing without all of the confusion of a conference phone call. By using streaming audio broadcasts and chat/IRC technology combined, you can cheaply and easily set up your own online meetings.

The LawMeme Guide to Spider-Man and Star Wars Bootlegs

Newsbytes reports that bootleg versions of the wildly successful Spider-Man movie [Damn good in my opinion - Ed.] are already being distributed via the Internet ('Spidey' Already Being Swapped By Online Pirates). While Spider-Man was only available a day before it hit the big screens, the LA Times (reg. req.) reports that Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones has been bootlegged a week before its actual release (Latest Plot Twist for 'Star Wars': Attack of the Cloners). This is not surprising. At a minimum, within a day or two of any movie being released, bootleg videos based on camcorder recordings of showings are available on certain streets in New York City. Within a week, pirated VideoCDs pressed in Asia are available in the US. Even Seinfeld did a show with a plot thread about this bootlegging process, The Little Kicks. Should anyone be surprised that these bootlegs will subsequently be made available via the Internet? Is there any real significance to the fact that these bootlegs are being made available via the Internet?

This is a must read article for anyone interested in the piracy issue!

Targeting Early Adopters - Say No to Windows

Windows may be the right platform for applications pre-installed on end-user machines, but for revolutionary services, it's time to rethink our assumptions about which Internet population to target.

ATA100 vs. ATA133

The results may vary between drives, but the difference in performance from ATA100 and ATA133 is negligible.

In some instances the results were very close, while in others like the High-End Winmark tests mode 6 DMA took the lead.

I was also quite surprised to see that ATA133 was actually beaten in the HD Tach tests when in ATA100 mode.

ATA133 should theoretically be 33% faster than ATA100, but my results basically didn't show much of an improvement at all.

Mac OS: Cannot Eject Copy Protected Audio Disc

Apple designs its CD drives to support media that conforms to such standards.

Apple computers are not designed to support copyright protected media that do not conform to such standards.

Therefore, any attempt to use non standard discs with Apple CD drives will be considered a misapplication of the product.

Under the terms of Apple's One-Year Limited Warranty, AppleCare Protection Plan, or other AppleCare agreement any misapplication of the product is excluded from Apple's repair coverage.

Celine Dion kills iMacs!

An Apple dealer has 'confirmed' to the Campaign for Digital Rights (CDR) that attempting to play the latest Celine Dion CD in a new iMac will result in the machine having to be sent for repair.

Well, I guess I won't be buying any more Celine Dion albums.

If I want to listen to her music, my only option now is to pirate it! Since, that is the only way to listen to it on my computer...

TiVo Forum FAQ

This FAQ is for newcomers to the TiVo Forum (or even those who have been away for a few weeks) to come to catch up on the most repeated questions. Don't want to feel like you're asking "stupid" questions? Don't want to endure the moans and groans of the old-timers when they say "Not this again!", or, "That's been suggested/asked before, many times!"? Then read through this list first, and check out the threads and web sites that this FAQ links to, and you will be an instant TiVo expert!

May 10, 2002
Microsoft program meets some resistance - Tech News -

One year ago this week, Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft announced a radical change in the way that businesses buy its software: Rather than simply being able to upgrade their software when they wanted to--and when their budgets allowed--companies would need to commit to buying operating-system and application upgrades ahead of time through an annual fee.

And Microsoft doesn't understand why there is resistance...

Microsoft licensing: How does it work?

Microsoft revamped its licensing programs on May 10, 2001, and as a result, changed the way the vast majority of companies and organizations acquire Microsoft software and upgrades. Here's a primer

This is the best article I've seen yet on the subject.

Impressions from ACPE 2002

MS software in schools was seen as a logistical and financial liability when compared with GPL licensed alternatives.

Always had been... always will be.

May 09, 2002
The Human Side Of Hacking

A woman calls a company help desk and says she's forgotten her password. In a panic, she adds that if she misses the deadline on a big advertising project her boss might even fire her. The help desk worker feels sorry for her and quickly resets the password -- unwittingly giving a hacker clear entrance into the corporate network.

With friends like these...

LPI certification 101 exam prep

In this dW-exclusive tutorial, Daniel Robbins begins preparing you for the Linux Professional Institute's 101 exam. In this first of a series of four tutorials, you will learn about bash (the standard Linux shell); standard Linux commands like ls, cp, and mv; Linux's permission and ownership model; and much more. By the end of this tutorial, you'll have a solid grounding in Linux fundamentals and will even be ready to begin learning some basic Linux system administration tasks, which are covered in subsequent tutorials in this series.

developerWorks: Linux

This is IBM's Linux site.

Connecting PHP Applications to IBM DB2 Universal Database

This article describes how to combine PHP with IBM DB2® Universal Database

Sisyphus to fix all known security flaws

Sisyphus' previous punishment was to spend eternity rolling a large boulder to the top of a mountain, only to watch helplessly as it rolled down to the bottom again and again and again. Satan, Lord of the Underworld and CEO of Hell (NYSE:HELL), explained the origin of the unusual punishment in his opening remarks. "Zeus came to me with the idea," said Satan. "He wanted to get back at Sisyphus because he'd helped the river god Asopus find his daughter Aegina after Zeus carried her away. At first, I thought the idea was a hoot. After we told [Sisyphus] what to do, Zeus and I called Bacchus, the god of wine, and the three of us had a whale of a time sitting around, drinking and laughing and watching this poor sap pushing a rock. After a few thousand years, though, it's just not funny anymore."

In announcing the new assignment, Satan stressed that Zeus, Bacchus, and the Attorneys General of nine different states had approved the change. The Prince of Darkness clearly bristled when asked if the change was made to address the in-house needs of his own IT department. "Absolutely not," he said angrily, "absolutely not. I'm announcing this today because we think this new assignment is every bit as endless and pointless as [Sisyphus'] current one. If you want to look at this from a selfish perspective, I'm a Mac person, and most of my staff are Linux fanatics, so it's not like this is going to affect our lives that much anyway. If we were all sitting here with a bunch of vulnerable Windows desktops, you might have a point. The bottom line is, we're announcing this because we think it's a endless, tortuous task, in addition to being a very modern form of punishment."

Company touts crash-proof servers

Stratus' figures may be more concrete than some offered up during the course of the "five-nines" race, but there's still wiggle room. For example, Stratus' claims don't include planned downtime, and Stratus' Windows servers have to be shut down to deal with software updates to address problems such as the Code Red worm.

Quote after me...

If it ain't online, it ain't serving.

Now, go redo your math!

MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)

This document provides links to information about Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME). MIME extends the format of Internet mail to allow non-US-ASCII textual messages, non-textual messages, multipart message bodies, and non-US-ASCII information in message headers.

Internet RFC/FYI/STD/BCP Archives

If you are looking for an RFC, then this is a good place to start.

Web Page Backward Compatibility Viewer

This is a *really* cool resource!

Perl Reference Page

Nice little page full of Perl programming resources.

Suspect planned smiley face bomb pattern

Accused mailbox bomber Lucas Helder told authorities he was planting pipe bombs in a pattern to show a happy face during his five-state weekend cross-country spree.

Nothing like a little humor while scaring the hell out of people... almost wish he had finished.


Messenger users vulnerable to hackers

Users of the latest versions of Microsoft's popular MSN Messenger program are vulnerable to computer hackers, the company warned Wednesday.

Everybody that is suprised, please raise your hand.

OK... here is some food for thought:

- Microsoft recently "shut down" for a month to train and instill in their programmers the ideas and concepts of security.

- They state that security is now their number one priority.

- They have the source code.

- The company that found the problem doesn't.

Hey Microsoft... how does somebody else find the problem faster than you, without the code, when YOU said it was YOUR highest priority? Aren't your programmers as competent as theirs?

Oh yeah... even though somebody could (and did!) discover this problem without actually having access to the code... and even though it is apparently a "critical" problem... they didn't tell anyone for a month!

After all, there isn't a chance in hell they'd want you to use somebody else's product while they tried to fix theirs.

Trust them... they only have your best interest in mind. (Like the interest they'll earn from the money they get from you.)

Preparing for the Sair 202 Apache Exam

In last month's column, I began a detailed examination of the Sair Linux and GNU Level II (Engineer) certification (abbreviated as LCE). I looked at the Core Practices and Concepts (exam number 3X0-201), which is a mandatory part of the LCE certification. In addition to that exam, you must also pass three electives, only two of which are currently available: Apache/Webservers (exam number 3X0-202) and SAMBA/Resource Sharing (exam number 3X0-203). The Apache exam is the subject of this article.

FTP Attack Case Study Part I: The Analysis

This article presents a case study of a company network server compromise. The attack and other intruder's actions are analyzed. Computer forensics investigation is undertaken and results are presented. The article provides an opportunity to follow the trail of incident response for the real case.

Here is a good article on security analysis.

FTP is probably one of the most frequently compromised protocols in the industry (if we don't include all of Microsoft). At work, I have FTP disabled. That stops a lot of virii from obtaining and launching their secondary payloads...

And, it means I don't have to keep up with the latest security issues on my own servers. I could, if I had the time, but the district really doesn't want me spending my time on something we already have.

The entire concept of maintenance, while understood, is not very palatible to most organizations.

A Visual Rather Than Verbal Future

With all due respect to fellow computing gurus around the world, the University of Maryland's Ben Shneiderman doesn't think speech will ever become the main way people communicate with computers. He's convinced our eyes will do better than our voices at helping us control the digital machinery of the 21st century.

There are several teachers at work that question the time spent teaching kids to type. They argue that in the future, speech will be the major way to interface with computers.

I think that is *way* off.

Here is an article that talks a little about one possible future interface... and, it isn't speech.

Online News Stories that Change Behind Your Back

Major news Web sites routinely rewrite stories after they are published, sometimes so heavily that they only bear a glancing resemblance what was posted earlier. This CNN/Money article about the penalty phase of the Microsoft trial is a prime example. What you see at the other end of the link is quite different from the story that first appeared at that URL. Even the headline and byline have changed. But CNN/Money managing editor Allen Wastler says there is nothing wrong with this practice, even though there is no indication on the site that the article was heavily modified after it first appeared.

SlashDot is currently running this story that says a lot about what is currently bothering me.

I set up this system two days ago, and I'm using it more as a glorified bookmark system than anything else.

Now, I want to remember these articles/stories... and I'd like others to be able to see some of the things that are interesting to me... but that doesn't really say what I think about the subject.

Here are a couple of thoughts right off the top of my head:

  • The stories change, after I've read them AND linked others to them... so when a visitor of mine (?) views the story, it isn't what I originally linked to.

  • The links move. This one bugs me a lot...

  • The stories just go away. Poof. Gone. Not even Google can find them.

Well... I've put the snippet in the "Excerpt" box... let's see how it looks.

God Re-Floods Middle East

In what theological and meteorological authorities are calling "a wrathful display of Old Testament proportions," the Lord Almighty re-flooded the Middle East Tuesday, making good on last week's threat to wipe the region clean if there was not an immediate halt to the bloodshed between Arabs and Jews.

The Lord made the decision to go ahead with His second Great Flood after last-ditch U.S.-Saudi peace initiatives were rejected Monday night.

supporting older browsers

I agree with Brent Ashley on not supporting older browsers, particularly Netscape 4.x.

I propose a new rule: if you’re using standard-compliant HTML, and it doesn’t work with a given browser released last century, then you don’t have to care—unless the person paying you tells you you have to care.

May 08, 2002
A First Look at 1.0

We are in the midst of a revolution. Companies have realized that the recent rumblings of Linux moving into the business world are real and that it is quickly becoming a desirable OS for production business use. Programs needed in a business productivity suite include a word processor, spreadsheet, drawing and presentation tools. The business world revolves around these tools, although some would argue about the value of email, scheduling software and a Web browser. I've used StarOffice in the past and have been pretty happy with it. Alternative business productivity packages, under Linux, include Koffice, Applix and others. MS Office leads the charge in a Windows environment. The goal of this article is to evaluate the Linux suite on its own merits, point out some common features that will help your business process and bring attention to areas that might initially cause you problems.



Yesterday, while setting up this site, I created a private directory and used the control panel offered by the hosting company to password protect it.

I'm sure it was just a coincidence... but the server died immediately afterwards.

Today, I went back to double check and make sure the directory was protected... It wasn't.

Good thing I checked!

How Free Software Pays my Bills

I've been playing with computers since I was in High School 35 years ago. And in those 35 years, I've done it all: a Computer Science Ph.D. and a host of jobs including systems administrator, researcher, professor, author, entrepreneur, and most of all, programmer. What I like most about computers is that I can build useful programs for other people. The idea of free software has always made sense to me.

And now free software is my business. A program that I wrote nearly 20 years ago ("Electric") is a GNU offering, and I work on it full-time. For the past 3 years, I've earned more than ever before by consulting, training, and selling products related to this system. I'm so busy that the "dot bomb" didn't even touch me. And everyone who I consult for (Sun, Intel, etc.) agrees that I may take the improvements - that they pay for - and give it out to the GNU community.

How did this come about? Here is my story.

Microsoft winds up on both ends of software piracy stick

Did you know Microsoft was convicted of software piracy last year by a French court? Not many people do. The Commercial Court of Nanterre fined Microsoft 3 million francs because it illegally included another company's proprietary source code in SoftImage 3D, a top-of-the-line animation package.


Yes, the corporation that created the term "software piracy" was actually found guilty of committing that crime. Using the facts in our reference article at PCWorldMalta, we put together a basic timeline of the events leading up to the court decision...

It's the technology, stupid

This all raises the larger question: Should companies still invest in retaining existing staffers when it is easy to replace them with new employees who are more qualified and less expensive to employ?

The answer is an unqualified "yes!"

Firestarter: 5 minutes to a Linux firewall

In a recent article, we looked at manually creating a firewall using iptables, the packet-filtering program built into the Linux 2.4 kernel. Now, we’re going to look at a front-end graphical user interface (GUI) you can use not only for iptables but for ipchains as well.

P2P Programs on K-12 Networks?

"I am a system administrator for a small K-12 public school district. I am taking over after a bunch of goofballs have really messed things up, the technology department is in utter disarray. I have near infinite problems, but the hairiest are with people sucking up what little bandwidth we have, introducing virii, downloading warez, and generally causing problems with P2P file sharing programs. I don't generally have a problem with these programs, but they are not an appropriate use of the limited bandwidth of a K-12 institution as they provide little in the way of an educational resource, not to mention the legal liability they potentially introduce. The rub lies in that these people are teachers, and I have virtually no policy to back me up if I come down on them, but shutting them down is neccesary to maintain harmony (and legality) on the network. I don't have the authority to pen new policies myself, and my supervisor cannot to be counted on to do it either. Have any of you been in this position before? How would you approach solving it without totally alienating your users? How do you broach the subject of introducing new policies with supervisors?"

MS judge wants 'modular' Windows demo

The federal judge overseeing the Microsoft antitrust case said on Tuesday that she wants to see a version of the Windows operating system that has removable features.


[T]he judge said it was important to hear from someone who had actually "sat down and tried" to create a version of Windows that could be customized.

"I'm going to allow Mr. Bach's testimony primarily for the reason that I think the information should be presented to the court," Kollar-Kotelly said. "I should have it."

Moveable Type Search

MT-Search is a plug-and-play search module that works with Moveable Type.

I need search functionality... and I may have found it.

Found this site this morning while looking for some info... must remember to go back and read it some more.

He has a lot of good info on web development...

You Deserve A Month Off

I have a message. I have a revelation.

It is mild and harmless and wildly common-sensical and terribly obvious on a hundred different levels and yet also revolutionary, and still we ignore it and deny it and make a point to reject it, trammel it with our macho American work boots and proudly jammed timecards and 12-hour workdays and our bleary eyes and struggling relationships and rampant heart attacks.

We all need more time off.

That's it. That's the revelation. Of course you agree. Of course you love the idea. But of course, like any good American, you've had the noxious Puritan work ethic pounded into your soul since you were knee-high to a fetus, when your mother ordered you to quit lounging and get busy and, you know, clean up your womb.


Why You Shouldn't be Double-clicking in a <textarea>

As the designer on the project, I failed in my role. I didn't consider the implications of her request and I just built what she asked for. Though in a million years I wouldn't dream of making suggestions regarding her business rules, I allowed her to make critical design decisions related to my interface. I allowed her to usurp the design process, without even realizing it.

This article hits home with me.

Not because I've done what the author did... but because I've been fighting tooth and nail *not* to do so.

And my boss hates me for that...

May 07, 2002
A letter from Joe Enduser to Microsoft

Dear Microsoft,

I'm the classic definition of a 'Regular Joe'. I root for my favorite football teams ("Go Colts!"), I go to night classes after work, I relax and watch TV. I have a computer at home. I play games on it, surf the web, write letters and term papers on it. I've even made my own horridly designed website to put my thoughts and ideas up for all to see, just like the rest of America. I've used Windows for nine years, MS-DOS for two years before that.

I hardly see myself as a brilliant computer scientist, basically.

It is people like me that make up one of the largest demographics for your sales. "The Enduser", you call us, with commercials and promises of the next closest thing to Nirvana right on your PC. Yet I write you to tell you that I cannot support you any longer. I have changed, and for the better, and I am not the only one.

If this were a petition... I'd sign it.

Three years ago.

When I formally switched to *nix as my main OS...

Compulsory Windows: for Macs, and people without PCs?

Microsoft has come up with another novel way to make its software compulsory - an annual subscription licensing system for schools where you have to pay for all of the computers you're using, even if you don't want them to run the Microsoft software you're licensing. This includes Macs, and although the Ts & Cs of the agreement don't make it entirely clear what you're supposed to do with the Windows upgrades you end up buying for these machines, we bet putting them on eBay isn't a recommended option.

States Call Microsoft Out on Music

A Microsoft official acknowledged Tuesday that the company uses a new feature in its Internet Explorer Web browser to play digital music files even if the user has already chosen a different music player.

In the customer's best interest, of course.

You don't think we pay to decide for ourselves... right?

Linux Enables Safe Computer Donations to Schools

"Using Linux, and other Open Source software, a school or charity can safely accept almost any donated computer," he said. "Simply wipe it and replace the software with Linux[1] and Open Source applications[2], then use the computer as a powerful workstation or server. It's an excellent idea to erase the existing operating system anyway - this also erases viruses and trojan horses, protects the donor's privacy, and complies with the typical EULA[3] - so why not upgrade to Linux while you're there?"


Well, my previous hosting provider couldn't run the software that I wanted to run. So, while trolling around the Internet somebody mentioned dreamhost.

After a bit of research, I went ahead and got myself a year subscription.