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Meet lex, yacc, flex, and bison
Lex and yacc are tools to automatically build C code suitable for parsing things in simple languages. These tools are most often used for parts of compilers or interpreters, or for reading configuration files. In the first of two articles, Peter Seebach explains what lex and yacc actually do and shows how to use them for simple tasks.

( Permalink: Meet lex, yacc, flex, and bison      Submitted by Anonymous Wed Aug 25, 2004 )

Defending the network
Extending and blurring the boundaries of computing brings new security challenges. Many organizations’ security is like a soft-boiled egg. The firewall provides a shell, which is supposed to protect all internal networks and data. However, once the defense is cracked, the intruder is free to access the soft, GUI centre of the organization’s data repositories.

( Permalink: Defending the network      Submitted by LogError Wed Aug 25, 2004 )

Securing Key Chain Flash Drives
"For some reason I'm hell-bent on carrying around my software registration numbers, Address Book contacts, iCal appointments, and other personal stuff. The main reason I do so is that it frees me from having to tote my PowerBook with me all the time. In my world there's usually a Mac within reach. Between storing my stuff online on my .Mac account and carrying it on my key chain, I always have access to my personal data. Fantastic! That is, unless I lose my keys. And I've done that before too. So clearly, if I'm going to insist on carrying personal stuff around on a key chain, I need to secure it."

( Permalink: Securing Key Chain Flash Drives      Submitted by Noel Tue Aug 24, 2004 )

The Cost of Linux (Sysadmin's perspective)
For those who deal with setup/maintenance/administration/upgrades of servers, the choice of using proprietary or open source software can either add to our busy schedule or make it more simplified. Kasey Speakman submitted the following editorial to osOpinion/osViews, which compares the advantages and disadvantages of Linux and Windows server systems as well as the benefits and disadvantages of proprietary and open source software.

( Permalink: The Cost of Linux (Sysadmin's perspective)      Submitted by Kelly McNeill Tue Aug 24, 2004 )

Netwox and Netwag
"The featured tool this month was sent in by Laurent Constantin, maintainer of Netwox and Netwag. Netwox is a "network toolbox" that contains a wide variety of network testing tools — as well as a few miscellaneous goodies that might come in handy. Netwag is a GUI front-end for Netwox that makes Netwox even easier to use."

( Permalink: Netwox and Netwag      Submitted by Noel Tue Aug 24, 2004 )

Red Hat: Walking the Linux tightrope
"How satisfied are you with the status quo that you've established between your open-source roots and profit-focused future?
We are making what we think are sensible decisions. We have had to evolve this business model -- it's not something anyone had done before and we made a lot of screw-ups along the way. It was a messy, ugly process. What we have today is not even the end game -- it is two-thirds of the way there. This model is far from baked."


( Permalink: Red Hat: Walking the Linux tightrope      Submitted by Noel Tue Aug 24, 2004 )

Programming for Oracle on Linux
"By far, the most common RDBMS platforms for Linux-based systems are MySQL and PostgreSQL, due to their inclusion in most major Linux distributions. Quite a few shops still run legacy databases, however, using commercial database servers such as Sybase or Oracle. Even Linux Journal gave its 2001 Editors' Choice Award for Best Database to Oracle. As such, it is not uncommon for a programmer to be asked to put together an application to interact with these legacy databases."

( Permalink: Programming for Oracle on Linux      Submitted by Noel Tue Aug 24, 2004 )

DHS Secretary Ridge Gives the Go Ahead to Linux
"Like many government contractors, the provider of ERN (Emergency Response Network) Systems maintains a low profile. When you ask the CEO, Jo Balderas, for references she politely says, "the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Homeland Security". That's quite an impressive list, and it represents only a few of the company's clients. When you ask for a technology snapshot Jo says, "currently we use an enterprise open-source software stack known as LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP)."

( Permalink: DHS Secretary Ridge Gives the Go Ahead to Linux      Submitted by Noel Tue Aug 24, 2004 )

Apple and its dual-core option
"According to an article published Wednesday in The Register, it seems that Freescale Semiconductor Inc., a subsidiary of Motorola Inc., is set to unveil a dual-core processor at Microprocessor Forum in San Jose in October. "Freescale's dual-core PowerPC is expected to sport an on-board memory controller, this one capable of supporting DDR 2 SDRAM, along with a Gigabit Ethernet controller. It is also expected to use the Rapid IO bus, according to past Motorola pronouncements, though MPX bus support is also anticipated to maintain backward compatibility… (with speeds) beyond 2GHz." "

( Permalink: Apple and its dual-core option      Submitted by Noel Mon Aug 23, 2004 )

osViews Interviews Jim White of Darwine
The Darwine project intends to port and develop Wine as well as other supporting tools that will allow Darwin and Mac OS X users to run Windows Applications. It is an open source project led by a growing number of developers including Emmanuel Maillard, Pierre d'Herbemont and Sanjay Connare. osOpinion/osViews had the privilege to speak to with the project's administrator, (Jim White) to tell us more about Darwine and where the project is headed. The following is the transcribed dialog of their conversation which is also available in an audible format on osRadio.com.

( Permalink: osViews Interviews Jim White of Darwine      Submitted by Kelly McNeill Mon Aug 23, 2004 )

CrossOver Office 3.0.1 review
"Certainly if you've just switched to GNU/Linux, your first option should be to look for a free software program that will do what you need. Probably the most requested applications I've seen on message forums are Macromedia's Dreamweaver and Flash development tools, which don't yet have free software clones or native GNU/Linux editions as of this writing. You can hand-code your HTML and CSS files through editors like Bluefish and Quanta+, but they don't offer the WYSIWYG mode that Dreamweaver is known for, and there's simply no replacement for Macromedia Flash if you want to create rich content for the Web. So you either go without, or you find a way to run these programs on your new operating system through a virtual machine, emulator, or something similar"

( Permalink: CrossOver Office 3.0.1 review      Submitted by Noel Mon Aug 23, 2004 )

PHP as a General-Purpose Language
"If PHP is your scripting language of choice when it comes to developing dynamic Web sites, you probably have grown to love its immediacy and power. An estimated ten million Web sites use at least some PHP scripting to generate their pages. Although most people use PHP primarily as a Web development scripting system, it possesses all the characteristics of a proper general-purpose language that can be useful in a variety of other environments. In this article, I illustrate how it's possible to use the command-line version of PHP to perform complex shell operations, such as manipulating data files, reading and parsing remote XML documents and scheduling important tasks through cron."

( Permalink: PHP as a General-Purpose Language      Submitted by Noel Mon Aug 23, 2004 )

Kernel debugging with Kprobes
Collecting debugging information from the Linux™ kernel using printk is a well-known method -- and with Kprobes, it can be done without the need to constantly reboot and rebuild the kernel. Kprobes, in combination with 2.6 kernels, provides a lightweight, non-disruptive, and powerful mechanism to insert printk's dynamically. Logging debug info such as the kernel stack trace, kernel data structures, and registers has never been so easy!

( Permalink: Kernel debugging with Kprobes      Submitted by Anonymous Mon Aug 23, 2004 )

Protection From the Perimeter to the Core
A decade ago, Internet security pioneer Bill Cheswick proposed a network security model that he famously characterized as a "crunchy shell around a soft, chewy center." Today, as more and more "outsiders" – remote users, business partners, customers, contractors – require access to corporate networks, enterprises are finding the idea of a "soft center" obsolete, if not downright dangerous. In such an environment, which is also increasingly beset by so-called blended threats that dynamically target the vulnerabilities of isolated security products, enterprises must adopt an integrated strategy that addresses network security at all tiers: gateway, server, and client. eBCVG Network

( Permalink: Protection From the Perimeter to the Core      Submitted by Danny Mon Aug 23, 2004 )

15-inch PowerBook G4 Battery Exchange
"The affected batteries could overheat, posing a fire hazard. Apple received four reports of these batteries overheating. No injuries have been reported. Apple urges you to stop using your battery and to order a replacement battery immediately. If you continue to use your battery, do not leave it unattended and check for signs of overheating. "

( Permalink: 15-inch PowerBook G4 Battery Exchange      Submitted by Noel Fri Aug 20, 2004 )

Featured Articles:
Unix and Linux Podcasting Guide

Expect and SSH

The Linux Enterprise Cluster

Book Review: Podcasting: Do-It-Yourself Guide

Remote Backups With Rsync

Weakness and Security

Essential CVS

Spring Into Technical Writing

Other News:
Biodiesel Resources

Older News

Finding an open source programming job
(Tue May 11, 2004)

A conversation with Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT
(Mon May 10, 2004)

A Guide to Centralized Spam and Virus Filtering
(Mon May 10, 2004)

Using the NDIS Wrapper Device Driver
(Mon May 10, 2004)

Red Hat Desktop: Semantics is part of the problem
(Mon May 10, 2004)

A Field Guide to Wireless LANs
(Mon May 10, 2004)

Regular Expressions In 10 Minutes
(Mon May 10, 2004)

Review of Sharp Zaurus SL-6000
(Sun May 9, 2004)

Programming as if Performance Mattered
(Sun May 9, 2004)

SQL Database Access with DBTags
(Sun May 9, 2004)

Linux-Based X Terminals with XDMCP
(Sun May 9, 2004)

Applying Digital Hub Concepts to the Enterprise
(Sun May 9, 2004)

Linux in action: A public library's success story
(Sun May 9, 2004)

Email for the single user in Debian
(Sat May 8, 2004)

Diskless, Low-Form-Factor OpenBSD Systems
(Sat May 8, 2004)

Open-Source Bug Tracking with Bugzilla
(Sat May 8, 2004)

Linux (Multiple) Virtual Desktops Unleashed
(Sat May 8, 2004)

I upgrade to Mandrake 10.0
(Sat May 8, 2004)

Template-Based Code Generation with Apache Velocit
(Sat May 8, 2004)

SUNET Internet2 Land Speed Record: 69.073 Pbmps
(Fri May 7, 2004)

Beyond Horse Races and Boxing Matches
(Fri May 7, 2004)

Deploy a C application as a grid service
(Fri May 7, 2004)

College Linux 2.5 Reviewed
(Fri May 7, 2004)

Changing User Information
(Fri May 7, 2004)

Using an external USB hard drive.
(Fri May 7, 2004)

Red Hat reveals desktop push
(Thu May 6, 2004)

Revealed: how Fedora and the community interact
(Thu May 6, 2004)

Free Software's new audio heir apparent
(Thu May 6, 2004)

The Next NetWare: Not Your Dad's NetWare
(Thu May 6, 2004)

How to Save Energy: Just Guess 
(Thu May 6, 2004)

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Copyright 1999-2005 Noel Davis. Noel also runs web sites about sailing and kayaking.
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