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The Media

Samba Developer Interviewed on National TV 66

Samba developer and LinuxCare employee, Andrew Tridgell, was interviewed on Australian ABC's influential 7:30 Report national current affairs program. "All we need to do is fire up a 98 box and do a domain log-on," Tridge said. Thanks to Paul "Rusty" Russell for finding this.
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Samba Developer Interviewed on National TV

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  • Did you actually read the transcript? :)

    The story was about university graduates getting foreign jobs but are still working from Australia via the Internet, not a word was said about OpenSource, and Linux was only implied by the fact they named his employer (linuxcare).

    If we didn't know who Tridgell was, you could assume just as easily that he was working on commercial Windows software (due to the 98 box domain logon quote).
  • Opps, you mean
    + lower cost of living
    In the discussion of US vs Aus prices keep in mind that just about everything cost more in Oz. Food (2x), Petrol (1.3x), Cars (4x), Movies (2x), Computers(2x), Utilities(1.5x), Phone(10x), Electronic toys(3x), Internet Access(100?x). The only thing is Rent and Housing which can go either way.

    I figure moving from the US to Oz has cut my buying power by about 1/12.

    Of course there are still lots of great reasons to be here.
  • Actually, Tridge is mainly working on Samba and rsync right now. I know that jitterbug is on his TODO list as well, and he's done some smbfs work. It's anyone's guess what else he's cooking up here in the office...

    Best bet is to check out Tridge's diary [linuxcare.com.au]

    Rusty.
  • Did you actually read the transcript? :)



    The story was about university graduates getting foreign jobs but are still working from Australia via the Internet, not a word was said about OpenSource, and Linux was only implied by the fact they named his employer (linuxcare).



    If we didn't know who Tridgell was, you could assume just as easily that he was working on commercial Windows software (due to the 98 box domain logon quote).
  • Further to my comments about the state of .edu.au: 7:30 report: Universities face tough decisions as funds dry up [abc.net.au]

    Regarding "brain drain" I was looking for an article about the sledging Bryan Gaensler, the Young Australian of the Year, gave the govt on Science and education policy before thumbing his nose and heading for a postdoc in .edu.us. The closest I can get is this [fairfax.com.au] which gives this extract:

    Government 'has driven science to crisis'

    The Young Australian of the Year, Dr Bryan Gaensler, said yesterday he would be ``absolutely insane to come back to Australia" and work. Dr Gaensler, 25, an astronomer who is now on a scholarship in the United States, launched a scathing attack on t ...
    Sydney Morning Herald, Nov 1999 (358 words)
    but needs $2 (australian dollars) to take further. The abc.net.au search engine is broken this afternoon.

    So to any expat aussies thinking about return (as I did) the lifestyle issues would have to be overwhelming.

  • Yes, I'm hoping this is a trend that increases and increases. As a programmer myself, I would love to be able to work from home, and I really don't think their would be any productivity loss whatsoever.

    If only my company (a high tech software house) could get over the "warm body syndrome". Right now they wouldn't even contemplate allowing such a situation. I'm really wishing I could convince them otherwise someday. Maybe if I could just somehow show them how much money they would save on office space and coffee, then I could convince the suits to give it a try.

    I guess I'm only dreaming... (sigh).

  • What's an "oplock"?

    OPportunistic LOCK. It's actually not a "lock" in the standard sense of a file lock; it's a mechanism that allows an SMB client to tell an SMB server "I'd like to cache data I read from this file, but that's not safe if another machine is accessing to it; if anybody tries to open this file, please notify me, and don't let them access the file until either

    • I respond to that notification (which amounts to telling you I've finished writing back to you any unsynced data, and requesting any byte-range file locks I didn't bother telling you about because I knew no other machine would be accessing the file);
    • you time me out because I didn't respond in time."
  • With something like CVS... how much better could it get?!?!

    AussiePenguin
    Melbourne, Australia
    ICQ 19255837

  • by Anonymous Coward
    You can use plain text passwords (at least on NT4sp3+), but it requires registry editing.
    system\rdr [Add Value] EnablePlainTextPassword =1
    Or something like that. My notes are at work but its in the FAQ. Though in any medium/large NTWS deployment its gonna be a PITA (been there, done that :-().

    Craig
    cgs@baraddur.f9.co.uk

  • Brain drain is a rather emotional laden concept. However, it might be pointed out that there is no movement of people unless there is an empty position for them to shift into. The question should then be asked as to how come the US can't generate enough American talent to fufill these jobs? Given that professors at US unis get paid significant amounts of money, at least more than the average non-US uni, I would hope they give their students the skills to fufill the needs of the economy. If this is not the case and all the foreigners are taking the high paying jobs, where does that leave the average Joe? The fallacy in this type of thinking is limiting your thinking to just the US economy and assuming that to raise US standard of living, you have to depress the rest of the world. Economics is not a zero sum game.

    However, it would also help if the Fed could get their money supply and debt [the-privateer.com]under control so that salaries and purchasing power parity figures for global comparison are not distorted. Even a starting Silicon Valley income can be net negative once you factor in teh cost of living.

    LL
  • whoops - I didn't examine the original /. article too closely to notice that it was already linked. I was going to get around to submitting this myself...

    But as I said, the item seemed to indicated very little about what AT would be doing beyond working for Linuxcare [linuxcare.com] remotely and playing with a frisbee when he wasn't (there was substantial footage of him chucking the said frisbee - this does not show up on the transcript.)

  • by WNight ( 23683 ) on Saturday December 04, 1999 @01:07PM (#1479750) Homepage
    I found the article interesting. Not because of who it interviewed, or where he lived, but because of the trend it shows.

    Admittedly, I see more of the work from home because I do medium-term consulting, but the companies I've worked for have been slowly moving the technical staff home, except for network admins and other people who need to be on hand to deal with phsyical problems.

    It can help an Australian get a job in North America, and it can help a N.A. worker get a job without having to commute. It's a great situation and a great equalizer. Not only can Australian workers do this, but workers from very poor countries could too. All it would take is a reasonably priced connection and an office which just rents deskspace (and connectivity) to employees, all of whom work in different companies and countries around the world.

    This won't work for some companies who rely on having employees around for creative tasks, such as having the art staff work closely together, but for programmers working on modules of a larger program... they're probably happier never having to meet the art staff. :)

    Any company wanting to remain competetive is going to have to explore this, not only does it give them the largest selection of workers, but it also lowers costs (no office space needed, etc) but it also gives the employee an effective raise (Imagine your current salary but without transportation expenses and the cost of eating out...)
  • http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/stories/s7 0822.htm [abc.net.au]

    In case anyone is interested.

    I agree with the previous poster - didn't have much about what he was ot be doing other than "working for Linuxcare via the internet"

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I have a very rare disease in which large pieces of furniture, broken bottles, old syringes, rusted razor blades, old lead acid batteries, and Microsoft software blow out of my ass.

    I went to several doctors and they eventually had me see a physicist. His theory is that my ass is somehow linked via a wormhole to a trash dump. I wouldn't have guessed it to be a trash dump, but then the presence of Microsoft software proved that it indeed was a trash dump.

    If *anyone* knows what I can do to 'cure' this dilemma my sphincter is in please let me know. I hang out here on slashdot when my sphincter allows and I go by the name 'Anonymous Coward.'
  • Interesting. I have a 98 system and 2 linux boxes running. For hours I was fighting with samba in and out trying to get it to work. It didn't work until I tured ON encrypted passwords. Strange. But now i know the secret without having to read the Samba in 24 hours book.
  • The Australian "brain drain" is evidently a real and present problem. Consider this exchange from the interview:

    ANDREW TRIDGELL, COMPUTER SCIENTIST:
    All we need to do is fire up a 98 box and do a domain log-on.

    PHILIP WILLIAMS:
    If you understand this computer babble, you'd probably know Andrew Tridgell is hot property.


    The Australian standard for "babble" appears to be rather low.

    This undoubtedly explains the reason for the many foolish Internet-related laws coming out of Australia: almost anyone who knows anything has already left, and the few who remain are unable to make themselves understood.
  • This is interesting because it repesents a national focus on an Open Source project besides Linux. Granted Samba is one of the major "others" (esp. in terms of publicity), but I think this is a positive sign for the media - at least in Australia.

    They have stopped publishing the hype and are starting to delve into Linux - what really makes this stuff work and what does it mean?

    While the Australian and US press are not closely interelated, hopefully this will be a well watched time spot. If it is significantly viewed it could enourage the media in other countries to adopt a more informative stance on Open Source. Remember: we aren't really looking for hype; this is about looking for the best informed solutions to common problems.

    Kudos to the 7:30 report :)
  • Semi Off Topic, but I was wondering if the support for this existed in Samba. Yes, it's not too secure... but.

    95/98 allows you to put a read-only PW on a share, and a full access pw on a share... the only way I've been able to set up shares to allow a specific user with a password for the linux box to log on, but I can't allow random access with a predetermined password.

    Welcome email replies =)

    Thanks!
    Scott Ruttencutter
  • by Hobbex ( 41473 ) on Saturday December 04, 1999 @01:28PM (#1479760)

    If australia is so concerned about loosing their technology-apt youth, maybe they should interview them about what sort of laws will scare them off. Internet censorship might have an insie-tinsie little effect on peoples attitudes for example...

    Our Samba developer better hope that the code is free from any of those aweful harmful magic words that transform nice pretty kids into hateful massmurderers.

    Also, I'm not a drooling fang-toothed windows hater (I just don't use if I don't have to) but exactly are Linuxcare firing up 98 boxes for?


    -
    We cannot reason ourselves out of our basic irrationality. All we can do is learn the art of being irrational in a reasonable way.
  • I agree with the previous poster. This had nothing what so ever to do with Linux, OSS, or really any software brand at all. In fact the only reason Linux was mentioned was because it was in the name of the company!

    If the name of the company was "Bob's" software would it still have been posted on /.? A slow day or what?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    There's a similar entry for Win98 as well... let's see if I have it here..

    Ah... you want: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Servi ces\VxD\VNETSUP]
    "EnablePlainTextPassword"=dword:00000001

    Then reboot the '98 box. This works because I have it enabled right now.. (before the onslaught of "that's insecure! don't do that!" happens, let me say that there's 3 PCs on this network, and if any one of the others decides to go on a cracking spree, I can walk over there and knock 'em upside the head. :-) -- use plaintext passwords at your own risk)
  • ANDREW TRIDGELL, COMPUTER SCIENTIST:

    All we need to do is fire up a 98 box and do a domain log-on.

    What's even more frightening: a "computer scientist" who uses Win 98!

    ---

  • This was a very good piece on the problem of the huge temptation for our most highly educated and skilled people to take really high paying jobs overseas. Tridgell was an example of an Australian offered a very good high paying job, in a company he would be happy to work for, except initially he would have had to move to the USA. What opensource project he is currently working on is totally out of the scope of this story, and would be inappropriate. The problem faced by Tridgell is one faced by many australians who are highly educated people in a field of science and technology. Do I stay in my current town, take a lower paying job that can't utilise my full potential and hinder my career, so I can live in a place with a great way of life, where all my friends and family are, or do I leave everything and start again overseas. Unfortunatly most people don't have the option to have there cake and eat it like Tridgell did, and move overseas.
  • This was a very good piece on the problem of the huge temptation for our most highly educated and skilled people to take really high paying jobs overseas.

    Tridgell was an example of an Australian offered a very good high paying job, in a company he would be happy to work for, except initially he would have had to move to the USA.

    What opensource project he is currently working on is totally out of the scope of this story, and would be inappropriate.

    The problem faced by Tridgell is one faced by many australians who are highly educated people in a field of science and technology. Do I stay in my current town, take a lower paying job that can't utilise my full potential and hinder my career, so I can live in a place with a great way of life, where all my friends and family are, or do I leave everything and start again overseas.

    Unfortunatly most people don't have the option to have there cake and eat it like Tridgell did, and move overseas.
  • This won't work for some companies who rely on having employees around for creative tasks, such as having the art staff work closely together

    I disagree

    There have been plenty of succesful creative collaborations over the internet - the most obvious example I can think of is the Resrocket Network [resrocket.com]
    Their music jamming client has now been integrated into pro audio software like CubaseVST

    Of course universal broadband would make creative collaboration even better! (and more common)

  • Samba is used within Lucent, a large for-profit organization.
  • by MenTaLguY ( 5483 ) on Saturday December 04, 1999 @01:36PM (#1479770) Homepage

    As someone who is responsible for supporting Samba deployments in a Fortune 500 company, I feel somewhat qualified to speak to the issue of "enterprise readiness".

    Samba seems to have a real problem with encrypted passwords. They say that they HAVE to be used in some configs and CAN'T be used in others.

    This is an unfortunate consequence of the laws of mathematics. Both NT and Unix use irreversible hash algorithms to "encrypt" passwords, but they use different ones. There is simply no way to "convert" an NT password hash into a UNIX password hash, or vice-versa. I'm sorry, but not even Microsoft can produce code that can bypass the laws of mathematics (although some days non-deterministic behavior has you wondering...)

    In practice, this is not a serious limitation. At work, the Samba servers are members of a resource domain and authenticate against NT PDCs. It's also possible to replace them with Samba PDCs -- if you don't insist on using UNIX-hashed passwords for Samba authentication, encrypted passwords will work fine. Samba's emerging LDAP functionality also raises the possiblity of directly sharing account databases between the NT and Unix sides.

    If you insist on using a Unix-style password database for Samba authentication, then you will not be able to use encrypted passwords on the wire. That is, however, the only limitation. All other configurations can use encrypted passwords.

    The only circumstances under which you cannot use plaintext passwords are when dealing with Win98 or NT4SP3+, and that's Microsoft's doing, as they disabled negotation of plaintext passwords.

    Why is it MS products can connect to anything but Samba has problems.

    For values of "anything" that equal MS products?

    Samba also has real problems with oplocks.

    The only real limitation on oplocks in Samba deals with situations where you can have both Unix and NT users accessing the data simultaneously, if the particular Unix flavor does not itself support oplocks. Under those circumstances, you'll need to turn oplocks off to avoid potential data corruption.

    Note that this is due to an architectural limitation of certain Unix flavors, not of Samba itself. On Unices that support oplocks (i.e. IRIX), oplocks are safe because Samba uses the OS's native oplock facilities.

    They need to fix it before it is enterprise ready.

    I'd say it's enterprise-ready now, for pretty much everything but PDC/BDC functionality. Stop with the FUD.

  • by tilly ( 7530 ) on Saturday December 04, 1999 @01:39PM (#1479771)
    Andrew is the head of the Samba project, which is what allows other operating systems to play with the Microsoft file-sharing system. Therefore he really does need to have Windows up to work on Linux - because what he is working on is getting Linux to do a better job of talking to Windows.

    In particular I he might be firing up Windows 98 because Microsoft has been taking advantage of the fact that the Samba developers had been concentrating on NT to come up with some embarassing benchmarks (*cough* Mindcraft *cough*). Also 95/95 is a far faster client for NT than NT is, and I bet he wants to know what makes the difference.

    Cheers,
    Ben
  • The more serious problem lies in maintaining standards at Universities.

    Currently, the only reason why skilled personel in the IT fields would work in an Australian University, would be that they appreciated the lifestyle, which is naturally somewhat more relaxed than in the commercial sector. But $60,000+ is a lot of money to miss out on, for a lifestyle benefit. If something is not done soon, we face the very real possibility of a sudden sharp drop in educational standards.

    Naturally a similar problem arises in other fields with strong commercial interest (e.g. biochemistry.)

    Australia has had good cause to be proud of its record in higher education and research, but the actions of successive governments in the last ten years have all but demolished the foundation for such success, the consequences of which are only now beginning to become apparent.

  • umm..dude ? Samba supports PDC functionality - at least in the head branch. i run a cluster of 50 NT4 workstations which do domain logins to 1 redhat box running samba. of course a nightly mirrored rsync server is available. working flawlessly for 82 days now with no problems.
  • The emphasis wasn't so much on OSS but opportunities that the internet raises for remote employment, and how it may help the braindrain.

    The "brain drain", along with another other mentioned issue - academic salaries (an issue very dear to my heart, for some reason) - has been a been bouncing around the media here for a while.

  • I don't consider alpha code enterprise-ready, no matter how stable it is. fwiw, 2.0 (the stable branch) does have some limited PDC functionality too, but it's not that complete.

  • How much of a US$120,000 will be left after taxes?

    If we're beginning to telecommute across the globe, this issue will become crucial.

    Who is getting the proceeds of the taxes anyway, the US or Australia?

    If technology enables employees to work and collaborate from wherever, they can optimize their financial situation by commuting out from the right places. That may eventually eat so much into the revenue of national states that it will gradually spell the end of the national income and payroll tax systems that you can find around the world.

    It is obvious that the world cannot remain the same if a significant number of employees start telecommuting across national borders.
  • which is naturally somewhat more relaxed than in the commercial sector

    ... if only this were true. Being a university academic is a stressful job, especially nowadays with shrinking budgets, growing classes and a complete lack of policy direction from the university administrations, the govt higher ed. department (DETYA) and their federal minister. (The latter has resulted in review after review over the last 5-10 years, each with different priorities - the more compliant university administrations have been doing backflip after backflip to try to keep ahead of the govt.)

    Your point about the problems it is causing is valid, but the reasons for the problem are not due to an acceptance of the salaries. The total lack of wage parity with traditionally comparative occupations (teachers, public servants, politicians) has more to do with a lack of effective industrial muscle. Academics go on strike (e.g. recently across .edu.au), but who gives a shit? The students are safe on the streets, or at home, or at the beach. If school teachers strike (e.g. recently in NSW) it causes major disruption - they have the state govt over a barrel, and they usually get a much better result. It is all the short-term pain/gain equation.

  • ...that not all IT news in the land down under is necessarily bad!

    M@T
  • When you consider that the majority of any population (Austrlian or otherwise)does not have the computer savvy of the readers of this website. I think it is fair to say most people would consider "All we need to do is fire up a 98 box and do a domain log-on." to be computer babble.
  • I've been using SAMBA for all my engineering servers for 2-1/2 years, with NTWS clients. They all have encrypted passwords and run AutoCAD and office. No oplock problems, no reliability problems, uptimes measured in 100's of days, and years for some of them. While the NT servers on our network have had dozens of outages, we've never been down once. I'd say that NT is not ready for the enterprise if your criteria are availability, predictability, and remote and scheduled maintenance.
  • Then maybe you should have attended the bay area linux user's group a few months ago where he spoke about such things.
  • I thought the interview itself was boring and irrelevant.

    However, what was interesting to me was that the TV station had the transcript freely available online. No login required, no charge.

    A TV station that gets it? Will wonders never cease?

  • I think that the clayton internet censorship laws have absolutely nothing to do with it.

    It is purely money:
    + earn 3 times what you earn now
    + pay less tax
    - higher living costs
    + many more oppurtunities
    + stock options
    = at least 2 times more than what you earn now

    So why am I still here? I would much rather bring up my children he in Oz than anywhere else.
  • More to the point, A modern government funded TV station has the transcripts available online. Which means the 8 cents a day of my taxes that goes toward this TV station paid for their website so you can thank me or any other Australian for it. Mind you just because its government funded doesn't mean its the governments spokesperson. The most anti-government opinions are aired on this network.
  • Hmmm, it's so hard to get tech workers in the US, the INS is a hopeless bureaucracy. I speak from experience, I'm an Aussie living in the US.

    So, what happens next? US companies will have foreign workers telecommute, no messy forms to fill out. The taxes that would have been paid in the US are now paid outside. Congress is gonna love it!

    Having lived and working in Australia, Europe and the US, I can tell you that international taxation is a nightmare. It's primarily based on residency, you have to tell the tax office where you were for every day of the year.

    I don't see anything that would stop you living anywhere you want, even some nice tax haven.
  • Most of the things that I'm learning and have learned in my CS classes haven't exactly been cutting-edge things. Granted, it's useful to know that O(log N) is much better than O(N^2) performance, and reading about complex B-trees isn't exactly the highest on my reading list, but most of the information taught can be learned just as easily outside the classroom by people who are motivated to. 80% of what I've learned has been from online tutorials and HOWTOs, as well as reference books (I highly recommend Expert C Programming by Peter van der Linden, btw). It seems like a lot of people are doing the same sort of thing.

    People are going to end up going to where the jobs are. Australia doesn't need better colleges with higher-paid professors. They need more jobs where people can telecommute.

    -----


  • Yeah, I know what Samba is, its that thing I never got to work properly and then gave up on when I migrated my last computer to the right OS.

    But from the article, it sounded like firing up 98 and logging into the companies domain was his solution to being able to work in Australia. Which would indicate that Linuxcare uses an NT based VPN...

    -
    We cannot reason ourselves out of our basic irrationality. All we can do is learn the art of being irrational in a reasonable way.

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

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