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Comment Start with Fundamentals, not the deep stuff (Score 1) 467

I've taught an intro course to UNIX and systems administration to MIS students years ago. The concepts are the same for Linux. And I've got a pretty good background in instructional design. If your students are starting off, teaching them complex sed/awk stuff, packages, pipes, and the GUI is going to start already leaving them behind. And there are so many people who work on that stuff, but don't understand the basics.

In the course I taught, I started with things that many of them, even the Linux users among them, never knew about their systems. Such as the fundamental that *everything* in UNIX/Linux is a file. Directories are really files. The keyboard is a file. So is the display. And the network card. That is an important concept to understand later why redirection, pipes and the like work as well as they do.

I also taught things like symbolic vs. hard links. And how that all relates to inodes. Therefore, how you can move or copy files and create symbolic links that can change the one or the other. True of just about every file system.

Then you can get into how processes work. And how all of them spawn from one root process (initd). Children, zombies and the rest come into play, and the kill command, and how to use a tool like top to see how they all work. And how to reset them when they run amok. I used Mark Sobell's book on UNIX, but he has newer ones out on Ubuntu and Linux and such as well.

You can then continue with a basic editor like vi, which is a good one simply because it's likely going to be on just about any system they'll come across. Emacs is not as ubiquitous, so I won't get into a war over which is better. If you like emacs, you can install that too, but some systems won't have it and you may need basic vi or even ed skills to get the box going enough to get emacs installed. The same is true for shell programming. I would use bash, simply because the context and syntax carries across most systems well, regardless of the type (Linux, BSD, Mac OS X).

Once they get all that you can get them into pipes and redirects and how they can be used to create wonderful things by coupling lots of simple tools together.

And all of that even without a GUI!

Comment Re:Apple was not first user of name 'App Store' (Score 2) 425

The Android App Store?? Since when? I've never heard it called that, at least officially, in any trade press, IT journals, etc. Android calls it (and always has) the Android Market. The Microsoft Zune has the Zune Marketplace. So I'm sorry but I don't see why Apple can't use App Store, especially when Microsoft gets to hold separate trademarks for Office, Word, Windows (note, the Microsoft and the other word each are separate trademarks).


Submission + - New Evasion Threat Junks IPSs (

HeraldMage writes: Seems NetworkWorld and some other sites are discussing a new type of evasion technique by researchers at Stonesoft, a Finnish network security company. Some are skeptical ( Others not so ( And I guess some are middle of the road (’-role-stonesoft-discovered-advanced-evasion-techniques). What will be interesting is if vendors will take this seriously and finally fix the ability to turn an IPS into Swiss-cheese, even based on evasions that were published five or more years ago.

Comment Legal fees vs. piracy revenue (Score 1) 232

I can't help but wonder that the cost of "800 actions in 16 countries" isn't somehow costing Nintendo more in attorney's fees and court costs than they ever likely originally lost in the piracy in the first place. From all the cases I've read about in piracy proceedings, the person the company goes after never has the kind of cash the company would need to pay back the lawyers. If they wouldn't charge so much for the games (movies/TV/etc.) in the first place, people would probably be more inclined to purchase legitimately. Apple's about to break the 10 billion mark in the ITMS, so clearly there's a willingness to pay for content.

Comment What about other mobile device distractions? (Score 1) 408

Virginia made texting illegal as well. So I can't text on my iPhone while driving, but I can still update my location with Loopt, send Tweets on whatever comes to mind, update my Facebook status and check on my friends, check the weather, look at, etc. In other words, specific laws aren't going to solve the problem. And what about all the drivers on the Beltway and surrounding roads in the DC area, for example, who are also applying makeup, reading the newspaper, etc.? If you're going to make a law, you should probably get it right...

Comment Stonesoft solution (Score 1) 298

If high availability is your concern, then you need redundancy from end-to-end, not just in the servers. A cost-effective way to do that is use Stonesoft's firewall/VPN solution. It can load balance DSL, cable modem and other Internet connections, clusters the devices themselves, and perform back end server load balancing of your Web servers. The centralized management is very powerful as well. 30 day evaluations available off their Web site.

[full disclosure: I own no monkeys, but I do work for Stonesoft]

Comment All carrriers/phones suck. So there. (Score 1) 322

OK, my first cellphone was a Nokia 210 or something. Ancient brick from around 1993 or so. The only exciting thing about it was that it was like the one Mulder first used on the X-Files. Then a Motorola Startac. Pretty much the first flip phone.

I've had many since then and they all suck in various ways, including many a Nokia (though the 6310i was a damn good phone for basic phone stuff).

Honestly, having the iPhone and now the iPhone 3G I can say that the phone and AT&T are pretty good. I live in the DC area and have my dead spots, but so does every carrier. I had the same thing with T-Mobile and a Nokia E61. The 3G seems (subjectively) no worse for me in DC or Atlanta, or Cleveland (places I've been with it so far) than the original iPhone.

As for the signal bars fluctuating, that's a given. They do that all the time and here on /. they had a post not too long ago about the signal-to-noise ratio issue. The bars tell you how strong the signal is from the towers to you, not the other way around, and don't factor in the noise that can mess it up.

As Marcus Ranum recently said in a SANS NewsBites about people complaining about the iPhone app kill-switch, if you don't like it, "So use another phone" !!

Besides, the games and apps are so much fun and so cool, who cares about phone calls?? :-P

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