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DAVROM CONSULTING Newsletter - Issue # 18 - Dated: Wed Apr 9 15:58:40 EST 2003

From the desk of David Clark

March seemed to be the month for all nighters and some after hours work so
that by the end of the it all, things started to seem a little surreal.
It is good to work outside hours though from the perspective of having
a clean slate to work with (most times) without impacting on the
customer's daily business.

I have included a new section in the newsletter so now I need to go
searching for a "UNIX" quote for each month - just to keep things

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


UNIX Quote

Up 200 days+, gotta be a UNIX server.


Seems like every magazine I look in lately (and even ye olde junk mail
from our business/home mailbox) features the latest ISP promos for their
ADSL services. Yes the days of charging squillions of dollars for a
connection are certainly gone - well at least it is now more reachable
to the small to medium business and home user.

We are still on 56K dialup but our time on this is limited
- ADSL is becoming just too attractive price and speed wise.
The big saving now, aside from the lower monthly connection cost, is the
lower cost ADSL modems coming out on the market with some of them
offering routing, firewall and bridging features as well. You can then
put the more robust VPN devices and your dedicated servers such as e-mail
and webservers behind the ADSL modem/router.

If you are looking at running VPN (Virtual Private Networks) between
your offices you will need to make sure that your central site (where
all the servers are) has a dedicated IP assigned to it. This allows your
'remote' sites to have a fixed IP to connect to from their remote
locations which do not need a fixed IP address. I mention this as it may
help you work out how much you need to pay for your connection(s).

If you will have no remote locations connecting into your office (ie,.
you only want to get out onto the Internet) then you will not need a
fixed IP address. Some ISPs give you fixed IP addresses anyway and
others, whom I shall not mention, still insist on charging a fortune for
a dedicated IP.

We have connected a few companies to the Internet via ADSL now so if you
need any assistance with this area of you business, please do not
hesitate to contact us.

In the News

SCOoffice Mail Server Seminar:

SCO are holding a SCOoffice Mail Server seminar here in Brisbane on May
23rd at the Mercure Hotel - please go to:


for details and registration. Please let me know if you are going to the
Brisbane seminar so I can arrange to meet you there.

RedHat 9:

Since the 31st of March this year, RedHat 9 has been available in both
Personal and Profession releases (I have just finished getting RH 8.0 on
my desktop). For more information on RedHat 9 please go to:


Tech Tip

Random numbers: One useful command that is on both SCO OpenServer
and Unixware7 is "random". I have used this command in shell scripts
since the early Xenix days and it is certainly a good utility to be
aware of when wanting to generate some random number based on some other
criteria. To use random in SCO, simply type:

random 45

This will give you random numbers from 0-45. (by itself it returns either
a 0 or 1).

Under RedHat there appears to be no command like the SCO "random"
command (if there is please let me know), but I stumbled onto this one on
the web which does the same thing:

echo $(( $RANDOM % 45 ))

This will do the same thing using the bash/ksh shell's random environment
and this works on SCOs Korn shell as well.

You can put the following into a shell script called "randnum" with the line
modified to:

echo $(( $RANDOM % $1 ))

so then you can type:

randnum 45

where the "45" is picked up with "$1" as it is the first positional
parameter after the command command.

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