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Newsletter Section 1


Editor's Column

(Susan Small)

[sue] I hope you enjoy this “Christmas-cracker” of an edition. I am most grateful to Daf Tregear, the former review editor of the Sun UK User Group newsletter, for passing on the reviews that she had previously commissioned. Thanks must also go to all those who volunteered their services and got the copy to me in good time.

I always enjoy reading Lindsay Marshall's reviews – and this issue is no exception. A large number of books are bundled under the heading “Java”. It is interesting that Lindsay has written virtually no comments about the “best”, but has instead chosen to write about the “also rans”, so that you may be forewarned!

I have a slight sense of déjá vu in saying that by the time you read this the EurOpen Governing Board will have met in London to decide what its future might be! They really are going to come to a decision soon and Mick Farmer will be there as an observer to look after the Group's interests and report back.

The Group is 21 years old and this must surely be a spur to consider its future role and direction. We are faced with the prospect of losing two members from the Council whose terms of office expire next year – who will take over the baton? Perhaps this should be a late night bar discussion at Heriot-Watt? See you there!

Report from the Chair

(Mick Farmer)

T [mick] his newsletter is being prepared in time for our Winter Conference to be held at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. This is also our 21st Birthday Party, so I hope to see many of you there. Since we're also very close to Christmas may I wish all our members a Merry Xmas and a Prosperous New Year.

Looking forward to 1998, we hope to organise more events (especially more than this year :-), starting with LISA 98 in April and a Linux Developers event during the summer. Please let me know if there is a particular theme that you'd like to see in a future event. A couple of CUGA events are planned for 1998, and I'll include details in the newsletter early next year.

We intend to bring you more regular columns in the newsletter in 1998. Among those considered are Perl, Java, JavaSript, and Tcl/Tk. More advanced topics might include CGI Programming, Web Page Design, and UNIX System Administration. Please let me, or your Secretariat, know what would interest you the most, preferably before the first of next year's issues.

Finally, I stand down as Chair of the UKUUG next year. So, if you want to experience the thrill (and occasional heartbreak :-) of running your very own user group, please let your Secretariat know well in advance!

Yet Another Linux Column

(Alec Clews)

[alec] Just to introduce myself, I joined Martin Houston on the UKUUG Council at the last AGM as a Linux enthusiast, although I use HP/UX during the day. I run Debian GNU/Linux 1.3.1 on a rather small 486 and first started using Linux at about 0.99pxx with a few files downloaded from Compuserve.

Magazine and Journal columns about Linux are often superfluous as Linux is a creature of the Internet and we tend to stay up to date far more effectively online than through quarterly publications. Still here goes anyway with some stuff that you may not have seen.

1.    John Winters has started non-profit making consortium for the purchase of cheap Linux CD's in the UK. The prices are very good so please drop in on http://www.polo.demon.co.uk/l bc.html

2.    Lasermoon seem to be going through changes at the moment and their web site is off air. Alternative vendors can be found on UK Links page (see below).

3.    I have now put up a web page with links of UK resources for Linux Users (at http://www.earth.demon.co.uk/ linux/uklinux.html ). Please let me know what you think and tell me if I missed something.

4.    The London Linux group has revived itself as the Greater London Linux User Group (GLLUG). Two very successful meetings have been held so far near London Bridge at TCA Synergo. Visitors have come from Poland and Iceland, so there is definitely wide appeal! Talks have included “X configuration”, “Shell Programming” and “Internet Security issues in Iceland”. GLLUG are looking for alternative premises in London, so please email me if you think you can help. GLLUG have a mailing list for announcements and other news at gllug-request@earth.demon.co.uk .

5.    The Essex group (ELUG) held a meeting at the beginning of October at their normal venue, Brendata in Laindon. An introductory talk was given by me on “C programming in a Linux Environment”, a copy of SUsE Linux was raffled off and the usual trip to the “Old Dog” pub was made. ELUG have a mailing list for announcements etc. at majordomo@epos.demon.co.uk and a web site at http://www.epos.demon.co.uk .

6.    The Manchester group (MANLug) have been muttering about a meeting in September according to their web site, but it does not seem to have happened yet (at the time of writing).

The UK Government has decided to wire up the educational world with some consultancy advice from our good friend Bill Gates. This would seem to be a good place for Linux to make a name for itself as a platform for routing, firewalling and all the other network functions that will be needed. Since Linux runs well on small, second hand PCs it could save our under-funded education system a lot of money on hardware and software (CISCO, the router vendor, is part of the consortium pushing the UK IT Grid, I wonder why?). I believe that the US Linux community tried using Linux in a similar role, but I do not know how successful they were, information

was available from the Linux Journal site ( http://www.scc.com/lj ).

I would like the UKUUG to assist local user groups with information and resources so please let me know if you would be prepared to speak at meetings, or can offer meeting premises so that we can maintain a list.

Martin and I hope to update the UKUUG Linux web page soon, but that may have to wait a few weeks while we get the Winter Conference underway (where I hope to meet as many members as possible).

Alec Clews is a Principal Consultant for SQL Software Ltd. He has been in IT 15 years, is a member of UKUUG Council and thinks that Linux is the coolest thing since the Magic Roundabout. He is currently learning Smalltalk as part of an MSc with the Open University and is trying to find time to put a hole in the living room ceiling for the 10base2 cable. His rather dull web page is at http://www.earth.demon.co.uk/alec .

News from Owles Hall

(Jane Morrison)

[janem] As the last issue news@UK appeared back in June quite a lot has happened since then within the UKUUG.

The Annual General Meeting was held on 26 June at the Institute of Education, London – minutes of this meeting have been circulated – please contact the Secretariat if you require a further copy.

As usual the AGM was not very well attended and, as we have said in the past, this is obviously an indication that the majority of members are quite happy!

We would like to officially welcome Alec Clews as a new Committee member (elected June AGM) – the full committee details are as follows:

Mick Farmer (Chair) (Birkbeck College)
Ivan Gleeson (Treasurer) (Bank of England)
Andrew Macpherson (Nortel)
Lindsay Marshall (University of Newcastle upon Tyne)
Martin Houston (Consultant)
Alec Clews (SQL Software Ltd)

Please note that Mick Farmer and Andrew Macpherson will both stand down from the Committee in June 1998 – neither will be eligible for re-election, having served two terms of office. If anyone is interested in being co-opted onto the Committee now – please contact the Secretariat. We would like to hear from you as soon as possible.

Thank you to all members who replied to our recent ISP questionnaire – we are currently using the information supplied to update our new membership database. With regard to the ISP question, the Committee have decided that the costs involved in this would not make for a viable project.

Winter Conference

At the time of writing the organisational side (I hope!) of the Winter Conference will
be in place. Delegate bookings are coming in at a steady rate.

This looks like being a very good event; we have managed to contact many “old-timers” who have agreed to attend. The 21st Birthday/Party dinner is especially popular!

If you haven't booked your place yet – please do!

Josette Garcia will attend, bringing with her the bookstall full of many discounted publications.

LISA 1998

Plans are underway for a LISA in 1998; the dates are 6 - 7 April 1998. There will be a Tutorial on Monday 6th by A. Frisch, followed by a conference on Tuesday 7th. The venue has not yet been confirmed, but will be in London. Further details will be available very soon.....

UKUUG Web Page

A concentrated effort will be made to keep these pages completely up to date in 1998. To help, we have purchased a copy of HotMetal Pro4 for the UKUUG PC and Andrew Macpherson is going to attempt to train me to use it!

Finally, can we (all at Owles Hall) wish you a very Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year.

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