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8. Miscellaneus

8.1 I guess that goes to show that many do not read the "readme" or "help" files*embarrased grin*

Yes, you are right: full embarassing because if I really like Linux this is because I like much to read Howtos, Readme, Release-notes, changelog and everythink in text form comes with an installed package. This kind of text is such ... human reading, compared with Windows help files, that seems produced with an Artificial-Intelligence tool, or by the Altavista traslator.

I have just read the two part of "PGP User Guide", by P. Zimmermann: two piece of art, at the cost of paper, for me. I like much the Zimmermann english. I'm studing him, in the purpose to ampliate my vocabulary (for grammar, I've no hope: this requires regular courses at school).

Zimmermann is a very, very clever guy: it added in pgp a routine that detect if manuals are absent from the system and refuse to work. That draconian solution!

How to add a similar feature in muLinux? Can I add some question, at random intervall, and if user can't answer, I will shutdown the machine? :-))

8.2 I really like what I see about muLinux, although I haven't been able to install it yet (but that's a story for a different post). I'm following with great interest the whole tread about the new organization of basic muLinux in three floppies and I am worrying a bit that muLinux could become a kind of "normal" distribution.

To go off the straight and narrow, was started many releases ago, with the introdution of the first addon: X11, not with the proposed (and realized) split EXT->SRV/WKS. After that, I hadn't capable to slow-down the trasmigration.

Once the first addon has been introduced, the genetic transformation is in act since long time . To late to have second thoughts. The addition of a further disk is only a drop in the ocean.

BTW, what is the muLinux that you have in mind? The first floppy, isn't true? Well, I'm with you: the first floppy in not changed! Why to scandalize if I add in muLinux mutt, smail, pgp, patch/diff, md5sum, rsh when I just added a monster like Wine in a separated addon??

I'm sure, you are worried because the names of the new addon (WKS and SRV) recall in your mind Microsof NT 4.0. If it is, do not worry! These names are only matter of convention. How to call them? EXT1 and EXT2? These names helps me to find with euristic where is a binary: I know smbd (a daemon) is in SRV, and mutt (a client) is in WKS.

Yes, I introduced the add-on idea under the users boost, but without any sort of add-on muLinux should be now a simple maniacal floppy disk.

8.3 fork() system-call and biology

Answer from: Dumas Patrice (

Yes, the mitosis image is a good one. There is a total replication of the genetic information. The new cell is exactly the same as the old as is a forked child.

In the meiosis, one half is lost. The meiosis happens only for sexual cells (gametes), and when the sexual cells having lost one half of their genetic content meet, they merge their genetic materials and the new cell (the egg cell) has a normal genetic information.

> A child-birth which doesn't involve a partner is also common > in some species of vegetals

There are 2 ways for doing a child without partner, one is auto fecondation, for species being male and female. It is common in a lot of vegetals, and some animals can do it also. I know a lot of animals being of both sexes (called hermaphrodism). A lot of marine animals can do autofecondations. (in fact they release their gametes in the see, and some times there are mechanisms so that gametes from one individual cannot merge with gametes from the same one, but sometimes not). There is another way, called parthenogenesis, where there is a meiosis but the sexual cells from the same individual merge. For example, there are some insects, I remember only the daphnies, and also some lizards that reproduce that way.

8.4 Would the list administrator allow a "digest" mode (digest of all mails of a day to be sent in once)?

mu_em(Reply from Mark Roberts (

I can understand where one might want such a feature. But several workarounds are possible, and some are interesting or even informative.

(1) if on a multiuser system, ask your system admin to create a new user. Subscribe that new user to all the mailing lists you are interested in.

(2) create or find a mailbox-parser that moves all messages from to a sepaerate folder. In MuLinux this is an exercise for lex and gcc (GCC-addon). Seeing that you, Dr. Michael, use an MS-product with a very large version number for your mail, your mail reader probably has that feature built in. How about the Mu-reader?

(3) do not subscribe to the list at all. Instead use the existing list-features to receive messages 600-650 or whatever once in the evening. Mark them with the mouse (since they are now all in a line) and drag them to another mailbox. Question is, where do you get the magic numbers 600 and 650? Answer: the first number is one more than the last message you received yesterday. The second number is simple a very large number. The list-daemon will send all it has and then stop. Note what the last message was, and remember it's number plus one for tomorrow.

(4) tell your mail-reader to sort incoming mail by sender. That way all mail from is in one place and can be marked and dragged to another mailbox. If you're lucky. If you're unlucky, it will sort by author, so the messages will be shuffled instead of sorted.

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Last update: 23 Oct 2002, Today is Sweetmorn, the 4th day of The Aftermath in the YOLD 3168
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