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Newsletter Section 1


Editor's Column

(Susan Small)

[sue3] It was good to meet a number of you at the Winter meeting in Edinburgh. Despite the gloomy weather we were warm and well looked after in the conference centre at Heriot Watt. The O'Reilly bookstall was doing a roaring trade – and not just with people who were attending the conference – and most of the stock was sold.

The EurOpen Governing Board have now met to decide on the future shape of the organisation and there is a full report from Mick Farmer elsewhere in this newsletter.

As usual, my regular contributors met and in some cases submitted copy well before the mid-February deadline. However, there are always items which the Council wish to include in the newsletter and this particular issue has been held to accommodate such items. Hopefully though, you should receive this March issue not very far into the month.

The next issue will be in June 1998 and the copy deadline is 19 May 1998.

My thanks must go to our Review Editor, Daf Tregear, who has again managed to persuade a lot of people to put finger to keyboard and provide us with a wide selection of book reviews.

Report from the Chair
(Mick Farmer)

[mick0001] Your Council has decided to drastically reduce the cost of individual membership of the UKUUG. This is because we want to attract more individuals and small organisations into the group. Our members are our life-blood and I think it's time that we injected new ideas and enthusiasm into our organisation. Further details on the new subscription rates are in Ivan Gleeson's column in this newsletter.

LISA '98

Æleen Frisch's tutorial on Monday, 6 April is proving very popular and we currently have more bookings than we can fit into the room. We hope to organise a repeat performance on the Tuesday for those not attending the conference. Contact your secretariat if you're still interested in attending.

Numbers for the conference on Tuesday, 7 April are looking good, so I think we should have a good time at the zoo! So far, two or three table top exhibitions have been organised, and we're looking for more – are you interested?


Last minute tweaks are being made to our Linux Developers' Conference which takes

place in Manchester on 27 June. You'll find details in Alec Clews' column in this newsletter.

INET '98

Subtitled “The Internet Summit”, the eighth Annual Conference of the Internet Society takes place this year in Geneva on 21-24 July. It looks like being extremely popular with people such as Vint Cerf, co-inventor of the TCP/IP networking protocols, being this year's plenary speaker. If you want further details then visit their web site, http://www.isoc.org/inet98/ .

Treasurer's Report

(Ivan Gleeson)

[ivan] It's a question of balance...

You could be forgiven if you perceive that little thought is given to financial control: especially given the nature and diversity of the membership!

However, for the past three years the Board have striven to maintain a balance of providing effective services whilst maintaining tight financial control.

I'm pleased to say we have now reached a position where our expenditure is in line with our income. Again, I stress this is not as easy as it would first appear, as our expectation is finely honed to want to pay less but receive more and more and more....


Some time ago, in response to feedback expressed during events and past AGM's, we promised to assess the possibility of reducing the cost of individual membership. Consequently, we have recently completed a review of all subscription rates and the Board approved the following (excluding VAT):

Student £20 (down £5)
Individual £40 (down £25)
Academic/Corporate £170 (up £5)

The criterion for this adjustment reflects the following needs: continue to support Student members; reflect the change in requirements of individual members (primarily with a Linux base!); and maintain the service expectations of academics/corporates.


You may remember that the Chair and I had a small wager set against inaugurating the system before the end of April. Sadly, being one day late I duly paid up: I hope Moet was palatable! What's important (he says wiping the tears away) is that we now have an up to date database together with a modern administration system (I won't elaborate on the software used but you know who...).


I would like to take this opportunity to thank Helen Gibbons at Owles Hall for providing us with a high standard of service at a very attractive price... we are very fortunate!

Please give me a ring (0171-601-3822) if you would like more details.

For the last four years I have been involved with UNIX and, as an IT Auditor with the Bank of England, tend to

concentrate on security. I am a member of both the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).

YALC (Yet Another Linux Column)

(Alec Clews)

[alec] A rather brief and hasty column this month, everything seems to have caught up with me at once! The big news is that the UKUUG are hoping to run a Linux Conference in Manchester the last weekend in June, plan your holidays around the event now! Details are still sketchy but:

.     Saturday will be a conference day devoted to technical presentations on Linux, we already have Stephen Tweedie coming (subject to confirmation) - just grep through the kernel source tree to see some of the things he could talk about (VM, file system etc.). Other speakers are being sought.

.     If there is enough interest then Sunday will be a tutorial and workshop day, perhaps with an Installfest . This will depend on the number of people who will commit to coming, so let us know.

More details, including costs, will be posted on the UK Linux SIG as soon as possible ( http://www.linux.ukuug.org ).

It was nice to see people at the Winter Conference, despite managing to lock myself out of my car, and I hope to meet many more at future events – including the Linux conference.

A posting on C.O.L.A spoke of a meeting of the Glasgow LUG before Christmas, but I have been unable to get further information – if you know anything please let me know. Let me also have any information for the UK Linux page at http://www.earth.demon.co.uk/ linux/uklinux.html

I have obtained a copy of Applixware to review, unfortunately not in enough time to make this deadline, but I hope to have something to say in the next issue. The installation of Red Hat 5 that came with it was very smooth and easy, perhaps the easiest Linux distribution I've used yet – however X does not work on my Thinkpad video card which seems to use system RAM rather than on-board memory – watch this space. Thanks to Genesis systems http://genesis.ukpost.com for the software.

Alec Clews is a Principal Consultant for SQL Software Ltd – a supplier of configuration management tools. In his spare time he is learning Smalltalk as part of his MSc course with the Open University and keeps muttering that the OU should be using Linux as their delivery platform rather than the “other thing”.

Another Linux Offering

(Martin Houston)

There is an exciting new Linux distribution available in the U.K. S.u.S.E. of Furth in Germany have been selling their own version of Linux for several years both as a dual German/English distribution concentrating on the German and US markets.

Recentley S.u.S.E have decided to start promoting their distribution to the UK market also with keen pricing for a quality product that includes a 387 page book (an original work, not just a printing of Linux Documentation Project volumes) called Installation Configuration & First Steps.

The title is actually very modest for the book is a mine of information about configuring and optimising a system and running network services like Samba and Apache.

Talking about Apache, the system documentation (if you choose to install it) is all available from the local web server, including search capabilities. With such a richly developed site “right under your nose” S.u.S.E. Linux makes an ideal way to build web-servers both for Intranets and the Internet itself.

If you want to find out more about S.u.S.E. Linux and the ApplxWare 4.3.7 Office Suite for Linux that runs on top of it to provide end-user WP, Spreadsheet, presentation graphics, HTML editing and e-mail (all at a very keen price!), then send me some e-mail – or see what is cooking at the web-site.

It's also possible to purchase the Suite from me – see contact details at the back of the newsletter.

Martin Houston is a UNIX Systems programmer and system administrator for 15 years and organser of the UKUUG Linux SIG since 1994.

Manchester Linux Users Group

(Ted Harding)

The Group will meet on Saturday 21 March, 1998 at 1400hrs at the Manchester Computing Building, Oxford Road, Manchester. The speaker will be Tim Shuttleworth (Manchester Computing, Networking and Operations) and the topic is FreeBSD.

FreeBSD is now being used on a number of machines at Manchester Computing to provide major services. Tim is one of the FreeBSD devotees at Manchester Computing, and also an experienced Linux user, therefore well placed to give the rest of us something to think seriously about.

I understand that a number of CD-ROMS bearing FreeBSD may be available for interested people to take away after the event.

As usual, while the starting time is well determined, the finishing time is deliberately left blank. Feel welcome to participate in the unstructured closing activities.

News from Owles Hall

(Jane Morrison)

[janem] The last issue of the Newsletter appeared way back in December 1997 and since then the User Group has been very busy.

The Winter Conference in Edinburgh went very well and was deemed a success by the Council and attendees. The Conference Dinner (which was also our 21st birthday Party) was especially enjoyed with some people staying in the bar until the wee hours!

Andrew Macpherson was chief photographer, using his new digital camera

and – if you visit our Web site – you can actually see pictures of all the attendees ...

Immediately after the Christmas and New Year break we started work on the new membership database. This is now up and running and should streamline our operations.

Your Council agreed the new subscription rates at their meeting in February and the subscription invoices have now been sent out.

Thank you to those who have already made their payments. If you have any queries regarding your membership, or if we have any details that are wrong, please advise us as soon as possible and we can update the database.

The LISA '98 event is now in place and the bookings have started to come in. This event looks set to be very popular. We have used the Zoological Society before and were quite pleased with their facilities. The restaurant where we will have lunch is actually in the Zoo grounds and delegates will have the opportunity to look around if they wish.

The next event will be the LINUX Conference day on Saturday, 27 June at UMIST Manchester Conference Centre. Full details will be sent out shortly.

Thanks to Daf Tregear, our book review co-ordinator, I am pleased to say that during the last couple of months I have been very busy with your book orders. This is obviusly a very popular service with members.

We should like to welcome Simon Earthrowl to the UKUUG Council. Simon was co-opted at the February meeting. He will then be elected as a full Council member at the AGM in June.

Writing of the AGM reminds me – we are losing our Chairman Mick Farmer and Andrew Macpherson at the next AGM. Both have had considerable input to the Group over the past six years or so and we will definitely miss their commitment to UKUUG. Is there anyone who would be interested in coming on to the Council now as a co-opted member? Please contact the Secretariat for more details.


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