Davrom Consulting Pty Ltd

Established Since 2001
PO Box 1644, Sunnybank Hills, Qld, 4109
ABN: 81 096 990 804

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DAVROM CONSULTING Newsletter - Issue # 3 Dated: Fri Jul 20 2001

From the Desk of David Clark

Well the first week of full-time trading for DAVROM CONSULTING Pty Ltd has finished and it has been a busy week at that. My special thanks to those who have been using our consulting services this, our first week, and to those who have been using our services for the last few months.

One thing I have noticed is that more and more customers are asking about Linux and what it can do for them. I notice that a lot of site models consist of SCO for the enterprise based application and Linux for the internet gateway (browsing, e-mail etc) - I am using the reverse in my situation, my SCO server is my gateway and my Linux is my workstation.

There are many versions of Linux out there but the main two for Australia are Caldera and RedHat. RedHat's headquarters for Oz is right here in Brisbane. Anyone who is involved in the UNIX industry should at least be looking at Linux platforms for added features to their network if nothing else. Linux can boast the same non-stop robust reputation (seldom requires rebooting) as traditional UNIX systems.

Long live UNIX!!!

Watch this space

Our own domain should be up in the next week or so - if you can't get to it could you please let me know so I can track it down. The existing links under Contact Information will remain in place as well. The new web contacts will be:

Web Site: http://www.davrom.com
E-mail: david@davrom.com

You have a web server

One very under-utilised feature of the stock standard SCO/UNIX servers I see out in the field to date is they normally have a fully implemented web server running on their SCO/UNIX server just waiting for someone to browse them.

If you installed SCO with default options it will most likely be already running SCO FastTrack which allows your SCO server to be a completely browseable web server. To see if your installed system is running as a web server, simply open your web browser (Netscape or IE) and type in either the name of the SCO/UNIX server or its IP address (eg., - you should see an initial Welcome page for either FastTrack or Apache.

So what can you do with this web server?

1. Connect the UNIX server to the Internet and use it to host your own web pages - you will need to qualify the correct connection plan with your ISP and in most cases you will require a fixed IP address and domain name registration.

2. Store company documents or general information in HTML format on your server much the same as you would with storing documents on other central information servers.

3. If your network is already on the Internet you could use the local UNIX server to act as a central web site for common Internet links your staff need to access - this can be easier than maintaining bookmarks/favourites on individual PC's.

4. Setup scripts that build reports out of your application for ease of access via a browser.

One way I have used this web based facility is that I have written UNIX shell scripts that update central web pages on the UNIX server which show system performance and usage statistics. I can simply browse the server to see how everything is going.

While FastTrack is a great product I tend to install Apache web server from the SCO Skunkware these days to keep in line with future directions of common UNIX web server engines.

As well as Apache you can install Squid (SCO Skunkware as well) which allows you to have the SCO server act as a proxy server in your network for Internet access. No need to go out and buy a Proxy server or buy Proxy software.

As a third option of software, you can also install Samba which allows your UNIX server to be part of a Microsoft network for sharing hard disk and printer resources. You can access these resources through your normal Windows Network Neighbourhood browser.

So tell me, what can't UNIX do - and the browser/proxy software costs nothing?

Quick Tip

One tip for those with SCO based shell scripts looking at running them on Linux servers. I have been using the following code for prompts within shell scripts on SCO systems for some years:

echo "Please enter your name: \c"
read NAME

Under Linux this actually echoes the "\c" on the next line. The "\c" under SCO acts the same as the "echo -n" does on other UNIX systems. To correct this simply use:

echo -n "Please enter your name: "
read NAME

Other than this bad coding habit of mine under SCO, all my shell scripts run perfectly under Linux. The "echo -n" option was first introduced to me on SCO but I chose the "\c".

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