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 Hardware Forums in Dallas, Texas

Readers in the Dallas, Texas area may be interested in two forums for purchasing hardware that may not exist in other areas. The first is the North Texas PC Users Group meeting. This monthly meeting is held at the Infomart in Dallas (I-35E at Oak Lawn). The meeting is held on one Saturday a month and opens at 8:00 AM. A number of reputable local vendors show up to sell hardware and software. (In fact, a few months ago the vendor area was moved from the basement to a larger room because they were running out of space.) Prices at the NTPCUG meeting are generally cheaper than these vendors have in their own stores, and these vendors offer warranties and support as well. Call NTPCUG at ? to find out when the next meeting is. And stop by the local Linux User's Group booth and say hi, or ask them to load Linux on your newly purchased machine for free.

The other venue is truly unique. The First Saturday Sale is a monthly flea market held (surprise) on the first Saturday of every month. It is held outdoors under the Ross Street bridge. Take the Pearl Ave. exit to get there. Hang a left on Ross and follow the crowd. Selling officially starts at 6:00 AM, but feel free to show up earlier. Again, many of the vendors own local storefronts and offer the same service and warranty their storefront customers receive.

While these markets may not be the best place for a beginner to shop, a knowledgeable buyer can walk away from either of these markets with a crate of new gear at significant discounts.

-Matthew Mucker

Bedford, Texas

 COMDEX/Spring '97

Come For
the Linux Pavilion at COMDEX/Spring '97

Linux International (LI) will be hosting a Linux Pavilion at COMDEX/Spring '97, which runs from June 2 - 5 in Atlanta, GA.

On June 7 & 8, the weekend following COMDEX/Spring '97, LI and the Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts (ALE), in cooperation with COMDEX, will be hosting the Atlanta Linux Showcase. The Atlanta Linux Showcase will feature vendors of Linux hardware, software, and services as well as conference sessions on various Linux topics. Attendees of COMDEX will be admitted to the showcase floor for free, and pre-registrants to the Atlanta Linux Showcase will receive free passes to the COMDEX trade show floor.

Some of the vendors on the showcase floor are:

The Atlanta Linux Showcase will be held at the Inforum in downtown Atlanta, GA, just a few blocks away from the Georgia World Congress Center, site of COMDEX/Spring '97. The show floor will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 7, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 8. The conference sessions will run concurrently.

The Inforum is located at 250 Williams St., Atlanta, GA.

More information on the Atlanta Linux Showcase can be found at http:www.ale.org/showcase

More informaiton on COMDEX/Spring '97 can be found at http://www.comdex.com/comdex/owa/event_home?v_event?id=26

 Announcing IT Horizon '97 Symposiom

The Fisher Center for Information Technology and Management, Walter A. Hass School of Business , UC Berkley announces:

IT Horizon '97 Symposiom, Workshop and Solutions Showcase
"From the NC to the Networked Enterprise:
Thin Clients, Robust Servers, Universal Access"
June 9-11
Red Lion Hotel, San Jose, CA

Send you submission(s) by April 4, 1997 to Deborah Murray, Director-Professional Training, UniForum Association, 2901 Tasman Drive, Suite 205, Santa Clara, CA 95054 -OR- E-mail to dmurray@uniforum.org

 Linus News

Linus Torvalds received Uniforum's "Lifetime Achievement Award" for his work on Linux.

Linus (as always) pointed out that he would accept the award, but that it really belonged to the entire Linux development community.

The award, which has been presented annually since 1983, recognizes individuals or groups whose work has significantly advanced the cause of open systems over time, or has had an immediate and positive impact on the industry with long term ramifications.

To give the idea of others who have received it, James Gosling also accepted an award at this meeting for his work on Java. Linus was in good company.

You can see pictures of him receiving the award at:


 HOWTO Update

A major update of the Linux Commercial HOWTO, a listing of commercial software products for Linux, has been published. The new release includes new categories, descriptions of more software packages than ever and updates of existing entries.

The listing can be obtained from its primary site at http://www.cyrius.com/tbm/Commercial-HOWTO and from LDP mirrors all around the world.

Software Announcements

 Announcing Decision PCCOM8

Announcing the availability of a Linux driver for the Decision PCCOM8 multiport serial card.

Signum Support, a company specialising in free software support and Linux, was approached by MYDATA Automation AB, a Swedish robotics company, to write a Linux device driver for the Decision PCCOM8 multi-port serial card. The driver and was written by Christer Weinigel (wingel@signum.se) and Mikael Cardell (mc@signum.se). Any questions regarding this driver can be sent to pccom8@signum.se

 Announcing the Shuttle Connection (EPST)

Signum Support, a company specialising in free software support and Linux, was approached by MYDATA Automation AB, a Swedish robotics company, to write a Linux device driver for a parallel port SCSI interface. This driver for the Shuttle Connection was written by Christer Weinigelwingel@signum.se at Signum Support.

This driver can be found as ftp://ftp.signum.se/pub/epst/epst-0.9.diff

The diff was made against a version 2.0.29 kernel. This driver (probably) still contains bugs and should be considered as ALPHA software.

Please note that there exists two incompatible devices, both which are called `Shuttle Connection'. To find out what model you have, take a look at the sticker on the back of the device, you ought to see either `EPSA' or `EPST' written on it.

This driver is works with the EPST model; if you own an EPSA model, take a look at http://www.torque.net/epsa.html where you'll find a device driver for that device.

Any questions regarding this driver can be sent to epst@signum.se

 New Release of mtools

Announcing a new release of mtools, a collection of utilities to access MS-DOS disks from Unix without mounting them.

Mtools-3.3 fixes a typo in mdel, which made it command unusuable.

Mtools supports Win'95 style long file names, OS/2 Xdf disks and 2m disks (store up to 1992k on a high density 3 1/2 disk). The most notable new feature (over 3.1) is FAT 32 support. There is also mpartition, a simple partitioning programing to setup Zip and Jaz media on non-PC machines (SunOs, Solaris and HP/UX).

Mtools can currently be found at the following places:

and soon at:

There is an mtools mailing list at mtools@linux.wauug.org. To subscribe to it, send a message containing 'subscribe mtools' in its body to majordomo@linux.wauug.org.

 gv 2.9.4 Announcement

gv 2.9.4 is now available. gv allows to view and navigate through PostScript and PDF documents on an X display by providing a user interface for the ghostscript interpreter. It may be obtained either from its homepage at: http://wwwthep.physic.uni-mainz.de/~plass/gv/" or via anonymous ftp from: ftp://thep.physik.uni-mainz.de/pub/gv

Please note that gv is derived from Tim Theisen's ghostview 1.5.

gv surely works on

I also got reports of happy users on

gv requires Kaleb Keithley's Xaw3d widget set. VMS users will find everything needed to install this widget set at the locations listed above.

For Unix users working on a system not equipped with this widget set the page http://wwwthep.physik.uni-mainz.de/~plass/gv/Xaw3d.html may provide some assistance when trying to install it.

 SafePassage Web Proxy

Oakland, CA -- C2Net Software, Inc., and UK Web, Ltd., announced the 1.0 release of a new product, "SafePassage Web Proxy." This product, developed entirely outside of the United States, provides full-strength, non-escrowed cryptography for users of any standard web browser.

SafePassage is an enhancement for "export" browsers, an add-on product that works with any standard web browser. Acting as an intermediary, or proxy, it intercepts weakly encrypted connections on their way out and transforms them to use full-strength cryptography. "The weak connection never leaves your PC," explains Parekh, "it gets decrypted and then re-encrypted with a full-strength cipher."

SafePassage provides secure connections using strong cryptography for any browser that supports standard SSL tunneling, a feature normally used by firewall software. It currently runs on Windows 3.1, Windows 95, and Windows NT.

Evaluation versions of SafePassage can be downloaded at no cost from UK Web's site at: http://stronghold.ukweb.com/safepassage It is currently unavailable for distribution within the US and Canada, but a domestic version will be made available in the near future. A single- user license is $49, prices for volume licensing start at $995 for fifty users.

 Announcing Turbo Vision 0.3

Turbo Vision (or TV, for short) is a library that provides an application framework. With TV you can write a beautiful object-oriented character-mode user interface in a short time.

TV is available in C++ and Pascal and is a product of Borland International. It was developed to run on MS-DOS systems, but today it is available for many other platforms (ported by independent programmers).

This port is based on the Borland 2.0 version with fixes.

Main changes from version 0.2 to 0.3

Where to download the library

If you don't want to wait the file to be moved to the destination directories, you can download a copy of it from:


 Announcing the Release of TeamWave Workplace 1.0

TeamWave Software Ltd. is pleased to announce the release of TeamWave Workplace 1.0, an Internet groupware product that lets you work together with colleagues in real-time or asynchronously, using Macintosh, Windows or Unix platforms.

Check us out at http://www.teamwave.com

 Release of Samba SMB File Server

The release of Samba SMB File Server has been announced. The server includes support for Western European Languages in filenames served by Samba, allowing Western European users of Microsoft Windows(tm) products to store native language filenames on their UNIX file servers.

Although this is a new minor version release, there have been many bugfixes and improvements from previous releases.

The new verson is available on a GNU gziped tar file from


and should be available from mirror sites throughout the world shortly. For details see the main Web site for information about Samba, at :


 Announcing UNIPEN-related Software Package


This is to announce the new release of the UNIPEN-related software package (works great on Linux, too):

This UNIX software is mainly intended for researchers in on-line handwriting recognition. It allows for a hierarchical annotation of on-line handwritten data coming from XY digitizers or pen computers. The software is _not_ intended for processing off-line (i.e., optically scanned) handwriting data. The purpose of this software is to stimulate the use of the UNIPEN file format for on-line handwriting recognition research. This is the same data format as is used within the UNIPEN recognizer benchmark project http://hwr.nici.kun.ml/unipen/

An introduction to UPTOOLS3 can be found at:


The new software is available via ftp at:


 Announcing Ghostscript System 0.2.0

The Display Ghostscript System is a free software implementation of a Display PostScript(tm) System. A Display PostScript System provides a device-independent imaging model for displaying information on a screen. The imaging model uses the PostScript language which has powerful graphics capabilities and frees the programmer from display-specific details like screen resolution and color issues.

The Display Ghostscript System is composed of a PostScript interpreter (Ghostscript), the Client library, and the pswrap translator.

The Display Ghostscript System uses a client/server architecture. Applications are linked with the Client library which communicates with the PostScript interpreter residing in the server. The application utilizes the procedures and data structures in the Client library which are independent of the actual PostScript interpreter.

The pswrap translator allows you to take custom PostScript language programs and wrap them with a C function interface thus allowing your applications to call them directly. pswrap programs are generally more efficient then performing the same PostScript program purely with the Client library procedures.

The dgs-0.2.0.tar.gz distribution file has been placed on ftp.gnustep.org/pub/gnustep

The program requires gcc or higher.

The `.tar' file is compressed with GNU gzip. Gzip can be obtained by anonymous ftp at any of the GNU archive sites.

For info about FTP via email, send email to ftpmail@decwrl.declcom with no subject line, and two-line body with line one `help' and line two `quit'.

The most recent (not necessarily tested) snapshots of the library will be placed in ftp://alpha.gnu.ai.mit.edu.gnu/gnustep

 GA Plug-In for NExS Spreadsheet Available Now

X Engineering Software Systems (XESS Corp.) announces the immediate availability of a genetic algorithm (GA) plug-in for its NExS spreadsheet. Those interested in the genetic algorithm plug-in can download the source code and a PostScript manual from www.xess.com. A free, 30-day version of the NExS spreadsheet and the new conNExions-BETA API can also be downloaded for the HP/UX, AIX, Digital UNIX, SunOS, Solaris and Linux platforms.

Genetic algorithms (GA) solve optimization problems by modeling potential solutions as chromosomes which can breed with one another to produce better solutions through the forces of natural selection.

The GA plug-in provides one new NExS function: @GENALG(...) which optimizes a fitness function that is affected by a group of 1/0 variables in the sheet. Any NExS function or combination of functions can be used to specify the fitness function.

The GA plug-in interacts with the NExS spreadsheet through the conNExions-BETA API. The source code for the plug-in is being made available for modification and customization.

 Annouunicing MkLinux DR2.1

We are pleased to announce the release of MkLinux DR2.1. DR2.1 includes support for the Power Macintosh 601/NuBus 601/PCI bus and 604/PCI bus systems: the Power Macintosh 6100, 7100, and 8100; 7200; 7500, 7600, 8200, 8500, and 9500. (Support for 603-based systems is forthcoming but is not yet available. DR2.1 does not yet support Powerbooks or most Performas at this time.)

DR2.1 is our third Developer Release of MkLinux and the first Release to be included in our Reference Release, published by Prime Time Freeware (PTF). The MkLinux Reference Release consists of a 360-page book and 2 CD-ROMs: the Apple MkLinux DR2.1 disc and PTF's Reference disc, packed with lots of interesting and useful reference material. (The two CD-ROMs are each also sold separately.)

The MkLinux Reference Release is available by mail order from PTF and other vendors, and is also available through many technical bookstores, as are the individual discs. Contact Prime Time Freeware for details at info@ptf.com or visit their Web site at www.ptf.com.

MkLinux is available both on CD-ROM and by anonymous ftp download from ftp://ftp.mklinux.apple.com and our various mirror sites. (Please be patient with the mirror sites; it may take some of them a while to get DR2.1 ready for downloading!).

With the release of DR2.1, DR2 will no longer be available or supported. We will retain the DR2 "Help and Support" information on our Web pages, but DR2 itself will be removed from our FTP server.

Check out the Web site at:http://www.mklinux.apple.com/DR2.1 for more information on this release. All Readme files from the DR2.1 Distribution, including the Release Notes (Readme First) and the Installation Guide (How to Install MkLinux) are reproduced on our Web pages.

 Metro-X 3.1.5 Now Shipping

Metro Link is now shipping Metro-X 3.1.5. This is an updated version of Metro-X 3.1.2 for Linux, which is a commercial X server replacement for use with XFree86. It contains various fixes and support for the following additional cards:

For a complete list of supported cards, see our cardlist:


For more details look at the complete product description:



New Purchase: $99

Upgrade from earlier release: $69

Metro Link, Inc. http://www.metrolink.com and sales@metrolink.com

Published in Linux Gazette Issue 16, April 1997

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Copyright © 1997 Specialized Systems Consultants, Inc.