January 30, 2004

DBDesigner 4 is a visual database design system that integrates database design, modeling, creation and maintenance into a single, seamless environment.

January 28, 2004

The Linux kernel accepts certain `command line options' or `boot time parameters' at the moment it is started. In general this is used to supply the kernel with information about hardware parameters that the kernel would not be able to determine on its own, or to avoid/override the values that the kernel would otherwise detect.

Using and Customizing Knoppix

The basic idea of making a Knoppix CD is to gather what you want on the CD by simulating it on the hard drive. You should be able to edit installed software and test your creation by rebooting the machine from the hard drive, via a bootloader, instead of wasting time burning it to a CD. This development environment mimics the CD, except it's significantly faster. Remember, this is not a standard Linux installation! Even though you are booting from the hard drive, you are in fact emulating an OS that is installed on a CD. When booted, the filesystem cannot be changed; it is read-only.

January 26, 2004
Introduction to OpenVPN

For many systems administrators, choosing and managing a VPN system is often quite a headache. Inflexible clients, servers, and protocols often prevent VPN's from being smoothly integrated into an already functioning network. The fact that many VPN clients are installed on users' home computers, well out of the reach of the systems administration team, often means that troubleshooting and upgrading VPN systems is time consuming and a struggle for both admins and users.

January 25, 2004
Knoppix Remastering Howto

This is a guide that will show you how to remaster KNOPPIX

Linux Live CD scripts

Linux Live is a set of bash scripts which allows you to create own LiveCD from every Linux distribution. Just install your favourite distro, remove all unnecessary files (for example man pages and all other files which are not important for you) and then download and run these scripts.

January 21, 2004
Perl and the grid infrastructure

Whether you want to develop a standalone grid or just want to provide an interface to an existing one, Perl can help. Through its extensible architecture and support for many of the protocols and systems that make up the modern grid, Perl is an ideal candidate either during submission or calculation and computation.

January 15, 2004
Apcupsd, a daemon for controlling APC UPSes

Apcupsd can be used for power mangement and controlling most of APC's UPS models on Unix and Windows machines. Apcupsd works with most of APC's Smart-UPS models as well as most simple signalling models such a Back-UPS, and BackUPS-Office. During a power failure, apcupsd will inform the users about the power failure and that a shutdown may occur. If power is not restored, a system shutdown will follow when the battery is exhausted, a timeout (seconds) expires, or runtime expires based on internal APC calculations determined by power consumption rates. Apcupsd is licensed under the GPL version 2.

January 14, 2004
Migration from Windows to Linux saves thousands

I was going to need 300 Microsoft CALs (client access licenses) at around $35 each, times two servers. You might wonder why only times two and not times three, since we needed three servers, but not all 300 users would be accessing all three servers. The total came to about $21,000 for the Microsoft CALs for the two servers everyone would need to access. I needed 40 more CALs for corporate users on internal servers, times three for the three internal servers we needed. I couldn't completely remove all of the old servers, since the file, print, and data needs were too great to try and slim down to only three servers. That made about $4,200 for the internal users located in our corporate headquarters. The total came to $25,000 just for the users to access the servers. That's a lot of licensing just to access the servers, and I hadn't hit on the new hardware yet.

January 12, 2004
Linux gives a competitive edge

This is a trend I see a lot with medium-size businesses. A good example is the Certified General Accountants Association of British Columbia in Canada. They were committed to run ACCPAC on Windows, then decided to test ACCPAC on Linux. When their test implementation ran without any of the crashes they previously experienced working in MS-Windows, and improved the overall stability of their system, they decided to adopt the Linux deployment full time.

School District Gives Linux Security Technology High Grades

As any corporate IT administrator knows, network security is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. If your network is not secure, not only do you risk losing valuable corporate information, but you also run the risk of being liable if your network is used to disrupt other sites, as with Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. With this in mind, corporations are spending more and more on network security, even while other corporate spending is being curtailed.

The educational sector faces the same security challenges as corporations,but schools often lack the financial resources to deploy robust network security solutions. Even for those schools that do have the financial resources, most lack the technical know-how to implement and manage effective security offerings. A school district typically does not have a dedicated IT staff, and security deployed incorrectly can create as many problems as it solves.

January 09, 2004
How to Perform Mac OS 9 Clean Installation With Restore CDs

This document explains how to perform a clean installation of Mac OS 9.2.2 using the Software Restore CDs included with computers that come with Mac OS X 10.2 or 10.3 (in which Mac OS 9 is installed from Mac OS X Restore CDs and there is no separate Mac OS 9 CD included with the computer).

Running a Reverse Proxy with Apache

Last year, Nick Kew released a new module that complements Apache's mod_proxy and is essential for reverse-proxying. Since then he gets regular questions and requests for help on proxying with Apache. In this article he attempts to give a comprehensive overview of the subject, in a (doubtless futile) attempt to answer the usual questions once and for all.

January 07, 2004
Windows for Athlon 64 'highly unready'

Working with build 1069, it's fairly clear that not only are the hardware vendors having a great deal of difficulty in writing to the driver models, and that the 'WOW' 32-bit emulator is somewhat fussy about the code fed to it, but that the core OS components themselves are constantly teetering on the edge of implosion. Even very simplistic commands like requesting 'Properties' for a Broadcom Ethernet adapter can bring about a system-wide meltdown from which the only escape is the Big Red Switch.

It's interesting to compare the status of 64-bit XP to 64-bit LINUX, Gentoo with the 2.6-01 Kernel appears both stable and relatively full-featured, there is a very complete and feature-rich driver set, the system is quite fast, and the there is no apparent difficulty in running mixed 32 and 64-bit applications.

January 06, 2004
Microsoft abandons Smart Display effort

Just a year after launching its Smart Display technology, which provided access to a PC from anywhere within Wi-Fi range, Microsoft has dumped the project.

This is the real problem with using proprietary solutions. You are always at the mercy of the vendor.

Imagine having sunk a year of your company's money into this technology because it was "backed" by MicroSoft...

January 05, 2004
What You Can't Say

Let's start with a test: Do you have any opinions that you would be reluctant to express in front of a group of your peers?

If the answer is no, you might want to stop and think about that. If everything you believe is something you're supposed to believe, could that possibly be a coincidence? Odds are it isn't. Odds are you just think whatever you're told.