Hunterdon Computer Club Newsletter September 1999

Newsletter Index

Hunterdon Computer Club September 1999 Newsletter
Hunterdon Computer Club September 1999 Newsletter Banner By Joe Burger

Hunterdon Computer Club September 1999 Newsletter PDF


The regular meeting of HCC was held on Saturday, August 21, 1999, at the Hunterdon Medical Center, Flemington , NJ. President Lon Hosford called the meeting to order at 9:30 A.M. Guests welcomed included Rosemary Covert, Carol Jeharz and Gregg Andrews. Alvina Sassano joined us for her first meeting, saying she finds it a handicap not to know something about computers. Rosemary is using both a PC and a Mac. Carol wants to go even further into advanced graphics.

In the Q and A section, the September PC World magazine was quoted as saying that Windows 95 or 98 should be wiped out once a year and reinstalled. Bill Woo- dall said that’s a terrible idea, losing all your program configurations, settings , etc. He went on to say that most of the members of our club have more experience with computers than most magazine writers.

Ken Jones brought up questions about upgrading to 98. Lon suggested waiting for version 2, and then waiting for the MS ServicePack. Bill W. suggested subscrib- ing to Microsoft’s monthly disks which provide patches for all their products.

John Gbur noted that gives you free incoming FAX but you pay to send out.

There was no report from the treasurer.

The Secretary mentioned the Ken Gordon show in Edison to-day and Sun- day, and reminded people to wear hiking boots if they planned to attend. Joe Bur- ger said it was even better to wear farm clothes fresh from barn chores as this caused people to move away from you and allowed you space at tables.

In his more serious report, V.P. Joe Burger said AOL is up to version 5, and will now allow use of real names, up to 16 characters. AOL now has 18 million us- ers [ and still no local access for Hunter- don!] Microsoft wants to combine with
5 other providers to compete with AOL, and accuses AOL of being a monopoly.

Joe said there is a new virus Win32, the first to work on 95,98 and NT, which destroys the CMOS. It is allegedly set to work on Christmas Day.

AMD has a new chip with better specs than the Pentium II.

Membership chairman Don Co- lombo reported six calls and six suc- cesses with members rejoining.

Web Master Paul Glattstein reported he has put up the list of local ISP’s which offer local access numbers.

John Gbur had the best red ticket, and Doris Moore traded her orange ticket for Sierra Card s Plus. Phil Stonesifer added 3 water bottles and various souvenirs from the latest NEC conference, to the raffle supply.

Linux, by Bill Woodall

What is it? An operating system. How do you pronounce it? Accent the Lin as in Linen and sort of swallow the ux. It is an outgrowth of Unix. So what’s Unix? An operatingsystem developed by Bell Labs in the 70’s. Unable to sell it, they gave it to colleges , which are still the hotbed of Unix use. Who started Linux? A 21 year old student in Helsinki named Linus Torvalds. He still controls Linux and is- sues licenses which require users to make any use of the software freely available to everyone else. ( Ref. Wall St Journal 9/10/99 p.B1.)

Bill displayed 9 CD’s of Linux, all different, 4 of which won’t run, to demonstrate that there is no standard version. Linux can run on marginal hardware. Bill showed Dragon Linux on the big screen. It comes on 7 diskettes and has 12 pages total documentation. It has been main- tained by college kids for 20 years.

A major feature of Linux is that it is open source, meaning the code is available to anyone. If you like to write programs and get close to the inner working of your ma- chine, you will like Linux. Lon said he thought Linux might chase Microsoft out of the market. Bill said not in our life- time. Linux has no graphical user interface.

Microsoft has begun to give away some code.

Unix is imbedded in all phone equip- ment. It was for 15 years Radio Shack’s choice for sales terminals. The US gov- ernment uses it for less important areas. The Hunterdon County library system is based on Unix. The first Unix version came out in 1975, The first version for PC’s came in 1983. Networking utilities are built into it.

Asked if it’s useful in production, Bill said it is superior for e-mail and most providers have at least one machine run- ning Unix or Linux..
Pre-emptive multitasking for flawless per- Unix is a commercial operating system, formance; Multithreading for blazing costing thousands of dollars, and offering speed; good technical support. Linux is free or Graphical User Interface (X-Windows cheap, $75. For the Red Hat version, with with GNOME) with literally hundreds of minimal support.

FREE applications on special Enhanced Linux Application bonus CD, including.

The screen displays Bill showed us spreadsheets, document editors, and more! were daunting to a person seeing her C/C++ compiler and Perl installation first Linux code, but now we know what with WWW programming modules Linux is.

Thanks to Bill once more