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DAVROM CONSULTING Newsletter - Issue # 04 - Dated: Fri Aug 31 17:36:43 EST 2001

From the desk of David Clark

Wow, newsletter number 4 - it only seems like yesterday I was finalising
one of the fifty-something newsletters back in my MUA days.

I recall being at SCO Forum in '96 and '97 and hearing the words of Doug
Michels (CEO of SCO at the time) saying how pleased he was to see so many
people at Forum representing those still dedicated to the UNIX product.
I'd like to express to you all from this same sentiment how pleased
I am to see so many people out there still working with and installing UNIX
- be it Linux, SCO, SUN, HP-UX, AIX and so on - UNIX just keeps going.
UNIX still offers the most robust, well priced and low maintenance
systems in the world.

My personal thanks to those who have been using our services since starting

I would like to thank the reader for their time in reading this newsletter.


Print Servers

There are a wide variety of print servers on the market today and
most high end printer manufacturers provide a network interface with their
laser printers. Laser printers from HP, Lexmark and Kyocera for example
offer an internal network card to allow the printer to be printed to on
the network independent of the physical location of UNIX/non-UNIX servers.

Perhaps the two most common print servers on the Australian market
today that I have seen most widely installed for SCO/Linux systems are
the HP JetDirect for Parallel devices and Stallion ePipe/EasyServerII
for serial devices.
Naturally there many others to choose from depending on the supplier of
your solutions such as Lantronix, Intel, Axis, Planet and Emulex, and all
of these work extremely well and offer similar setup and method of printing.

For those who have not worked with parallel and serial printers over
ethernet, essentially the print server uses an assigned IP address and a
dedicated TCP/IP port number to allow access to the respective attached
printer. On the HP JetDirects for example, print jobs are passed to the
print server at TCP/IP port numbers 9100, 9101, 9102 etc. Stallion ePipes
use numbers such as 2021, 2022, 2023 etc to allow printing to their
respective serial ports. The port numbering scheme differs from one
manufacturer to another but all use the same principle. This method of
printing to the IP address and TCP/IP port number is used mainly through
the System V print spooler.

Print servers use either the direct port approach mentioned above or can
often use the traditional LPD services as found on many BSD based printing
systems (eg., Linux uses BSD whereas SCO uses System V by default but can
also use BSD).

To the UNIX server, the print server simply looks like another UNIX server
with printers attached to it. Network print servers offer great flexibilty
for physical printer location in the network/office and once set up
essentially they need no further human intervention.

UNIX On-Line Messaging

Many Internet based service and software companies such as ICQ, Yahoo, MSN
and AOL (just to name a few of the main ones) offer free On-Line Messaging
services and are keen to sign up as many Internet users as possible. Those of
you who are old UNIX users will be familiar with the 'talkd'
(eg. talk fred@servername) interface and so it isn't hard to see where the
evolution of the current On-Line Messaging products came from.
Most of the later GUI based On-Line Messaging products seem to have
followed along the original style offered by ICQ.
All offer you the ability to download some kind of client software for your
PC to then give you the ability to communicate via their service with
others on their database. Most of these vendors offer a MS Windows based
client as their primary connectivity offering - but you UNIX lovers out
there, we have alternatives.

In the early days I ran ICQJava on Unixware7 which worked quite well for
the most part. My 'buddies' out there were able to pop me little instant
messages throughout the day and it was great to communicate with people via
an alternative to e-mail in a more 'current instance' environment.

For Linux, 'licq' is the most popular and I have been running 'licq' for
quite some time now. (licq is Linux ICQ)

My good friend, John Georges, recently put me onto 'everybuddy' that handles
access to ICQ, MSN (no more MS only for this service), AIM, Yahoo, Jabber
and IRC.... all from within one single Linux client product. The product is
available for download from:

Web Site: http://Everybuddy.com

I have installed the Redhat i386 7.x binary RPM package but it is also
available in source code. I can communicate with my existing ICQ list
of people and now have MSN as well. (For MSN, I had to apply for a
'passport' on their website). If you get on-line, please drop me a message
at either:

ICQ: 16595618
MSN: davrom@hotmail.com

Tech Tip

Quick loops at the command line: Have you ever needed to run a quick
command such as a 'w' repeatedly perhaps when your are shutting down
the server and need to see a list of who is still on. Well here is one
you can just punch in at the command line:

while :
>sleep 10

The ">" are what UNIX will prompt you for so you do not type the ">" in.
You can substitute the third line for other commands such as "lpstat -o" for
Don't forget to 'sleep 10' in the fourth line - you can change the interval
of seconds but if you don't use the sleep command you risk not getting out
of the loop.
To break out of the loop you hit your interrupt key which is the DEL key on
SCO, or Control-C on most other UNIX/Linux systems. As the worst
alternative you can try a Control-\ key if all else fails.

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