(?) The Answer Gang (!)

By Jim Dennis, Ben Okopnik, Dan Wilder, Breen, Chris, and... (meet the Gang) ... the Editors of Linux Gazette... and You!
Send questions (or interesting answers) to The Answer Gang for possible publication (but read the guidelines first)


¶: Greetings From Heather Stern
(?)How to Investigate a System Lockup
(?)How to send email without a DNS server?
(!)Starting many X sessions
(?)Playing CD Music Digital Output
(?)Mandrake 8.1 fd0 unknown device, and downloading pictures from a digital camera
(?)How to optimize space usage for multiple files on multiple CDs
(?)/dev/scd0 is not a valid block device?

(¶) Greetings from Heather Stern

The Answer Gang's Editor Gal

Hello all, and welcome once more to the lively world of The Answer Gang. I'd like to hand out a special thank you to all the readers who definitely read the posting guidelines before asking the Gang their question. It's helped my work a lot.
Almost the only spam that escapes Dan's traps anymore are those dratted conman scams telling me about how their late uncle / business partner / revered general or whatever left them a quadzillion dollars / francs or whatever and they can't get at any of it unless you as a friend / distant relative / confidant / conveniently uninvolved sucker open your bank account to help them launder it. Whereupon I presume they take you to the laundry, raid all your spare quarters and leave you in the giant tumble-dryer with no socks. So that's the Peeve of the month. Although I suppose I should mention that the useless use of HTML attachments fought really hard for second place. The Klez worm gets a distant third since infected people usually figure it out and fix themselves.
So I didn't get very far in my personal project of the month this time. After a foray into the space for some clients of mine, I'm starting to seriously look into decent IMAP setups. UW IMAP is easy to install, sort of like saying a tricycle is easy to drive. Any kid can do it but it just was never designed for anything beyond being the reference implementation for IMAP as far as I can tell. Beyond that it's somewhat well known for being full of bugs, and their attitude towards client side problems in the FAQ feels laced with a lot of "your client sucks, use pine." Cyrus I glanced at and it seems sturdy enough, I guess. But the clients asked after Courier-IMAP. Hmmm, nice. :) About ten times as fast as UW. Just don't use the MTA that comes with it. Ugh, whatta mess. Maybe in a year or two you'll be reading this and it will have grown up. We went back to sendmail. If there are any other IMAP daemons to speak of I couldn't find them all that quickly. Courier is sufficiently cool and maildir delivery makes people happy for other reasons.
Did I remember to say IMAP is cool? As I've been going to more conferences with less techie features available, the idea of having my mail on the server be willing to deal with two workstations and a laptop carrying the same mail around doesn't sound half bad at all. And most people can't take the other tactic that I've done, which is to get involved with setting up internet lounge space :)
Which reminds me, the ConJosé, the 60th World Science Fiction Convention is coming up at the end of August, in my area, and I expect it'll be a lot of fun. I can tell you there's gonna be some Linux around. ;P
Linux World Expo will be in my area in August also. WIth any luck I'll get to meet some more members of the Answer Gang. Group photo, anyone?
Anyways, back to IMAP. It turns out there are email specific appliances out there running Linux and Cyrus under the hood. Not only nice but I don't have to tinker? Oboy! To be fair I'm good friends with the folks over at IMAP Partners and the people who make the appliances they use host the system for my local sysadmins group, BayLISA.
But I didn't get as far along as I wanted in my great project to determine which IMAP clients suck the least. Our loyal readers may recall that I have a rather cynical opinion about the usefulness of so-called "productivity' software and and regardless of my deep dependence on email, MUAs (mail user agents) are no exception. So I will probably have an article about that next month. Contributions welcome, of course.
With that, it's time for a picnic. This year's Independence Day issue is full of some juicy bits just waiting for you to throw some CDs on the roaster. Me, I'll be spending a happy 4th of July hanging out with my family down in L.A.

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Published in issue 80 of Linux Gazette July 2002
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