Capital Area Central Texas UNIX Society
CACTUS Newsletter

Volume 13, Number 7 - July 1997


July 17th CACTUS Meeting

CACTUS Meeting Location: Applied Research Labs

CACTUS meets on the third Thursday of each month at the Applied Research Labs (ARL) in the JJ Jake Pickle Research Campus (JJ PRC). We'll meet in the main auditorium located directly behind the guard's desk and main lobby.

Please do not show up earlier than 6:20 pm on the specified day. Enter through the main entrance at 10000 Burnet Road for ARL:UT. Tell the guard that you are here for the CACTUS meeting. You will be required to sign a log book, but not required to wear a badge. The guards will direct you to the auditorium entrance. Limited parking in the front of the building is available, but more extensive parking is available in the large parking lot just north of the ARL building. After 6:30 pm, all entrances to JJ PRC, except for the Burnet Road entrance, are closed and locked. You can still enter the parking lot in front of the ARL building. No parking tags are necessary after 6:00 pm. See map for further details.

Online maps are available at:

As always, please leave the facility as you saw it when you arrived. So let's clean up all pizza and soda items before we leave. Thanks and hope to see all of you there.

Location for the Monthly CACTUS Meeting
Applied Research Laboratory

                                                     | |     ^
           <---- to MOPAC                            | |     |
                                                     | |     | North
                                                     | |     | to Braker Lane
                                      ---------------+ |
                                      -+ /-----------+ |
                                       | |           | |
                                       | +--------+  | |
                                       |  Parking |  | |
                                       |    Lot   |  | |
                                       +----------+  | |
                                                     | |
                              +------------+         | |
                              |            | +-------+ |
                              |            | |   +---+ |
                              |            | |   |   | | Rutland
                              |    ARL     | |   |   | +---------
                              |            | |   |   | +---------
                              |            | |   +---+ |
                              |            | +---+---+ |
                              +------------+         | |  |
                                                     | |  | South
                                                     | |  | to US 183
						     | |  v

June Meeting Report

Thirtyeight people attended the June meeting featuring Mike Stanford of SCO. President McKinnley began the meeting by soliciting membership renewals. He anounced the CyberCity Summer Social, which took place on Friday, July 11th. Membership agreed to endorse this effort communicated by Gene Crick on behalf of a number of local organizations. Tom Painter announced a brief extension of the O'Reilly Book Order, and the unqualified sucess of the already closd order. A fifty per cent discount is nothing to sniff at. Speaking of which, Jack McKinnley also announced an offer made by Lynn Bender of Desert Books. Lynn used to manage the University of Texas Coop book store and others since then. He wants to be involved in bleeding edge technology, so he's offered a forty to fortyfive per cent discount to all CACTUS members for computer related books. They don't carry many of them, but they can order most any of them.

The tutorial was, as usual, by President McKinnley. Jack climbed up on his pulpit and announced that QMAIL is a complete rewrite of sendmail that is more proficient, runs from inetd, and is more secure [what isn't]. After the meeting, during the officer's meeting he stood behind his pontification by agreeing to support QMAIL at for five years. He'll be installing it soon. At Lenny Tropiano's special request, we won't publish the current version of sendmail at

Following the tutorial, Jack made more announcements. The attending officers were introduced. Luis Basto [membership] had showed up by then. No hardcopy of the newsletter was delivered for June [alas]. Chris Nystrom announced that a tour of SmartNAP would begin immediately after the meeting as previously promised by Signet.

Dale Chatham was then introduced as a representative of SAGE, the System Administration Guild SIG of USENIX. He explained that at current, it's little more than a mailing list, but they're interested in coordinating events. When asked, "What does the E stand for [in SAGE]?", Dale responded that you wouldn't want to wear a T-shirt that said "SAG." It's a majordomo mailing list. Mail to majordomo [at] chatham <dot> org, with a body that says, "subscribe sage".

Mike Stanford from SCO then ascended the podium to tell us about Gemini, the merger of Open Server [SCO UNIX] with UnixWare [formerly of Novel origin]. Sandy Welch from SCO accompanied him and helped pass out copies of both UnixWare and Open Server. SCO provides installation media and freely obtainable licenses for noncommercial private or educational use. For the cost of the media and mailing, they'll send anyone a copy of the distribution. They brought a bunch of copies to the CACTUS meeting. They ran out, but Sandy collected business cards from members who wanted one or both of the distributions. [And they actually delivered!]

Gemini is the code name for the merge of SCO Unix and Novell UnixWare. Mike had to admit up front that MicroSoft owns 12-24 per cent of SCO, but insisted that M$ representatives on the SCO board of directors leave the room anytime a conflict of interest arrises. Needless to say, this was a response to a question from the CACTUS membership.

SCO has sold 2.4 million licenses. One half of their revenue is from outside the US. They recently acquired XIX VisionWare and the UNIX source [from Novell].

SCO is working closely with INTEL on the Merced [or P7] project, 64 bit processor with dual mode CISC/RISC. HP is codesigning this chip for RISC mode to replace their PA-RISC for HPUX.

Gemini includes some familar goals: autoconfig on IPL, Remote Control Management, Scalablitly, Mutiprocessing, RAID, and server fallover. [Not to mention NetWare interoperablity.] It includes a internet concentric WEBTop. You can administer a server from a browser. Mike then put up a slide that showed SCO and a ComPac server as first and second in price performance. The membership lit into him wanting to know who did it and what benchmarks were used. Lenny Tropiano suggested that Mike remove his tie so we wouldn't be so hostile. Turns out they were using the Transaction Processing Benchmark [TPC] from an independent lab.

Mike then explained plans for a Network Client with a builtin browser. When asked about LVM [logical volume manager] and the ability to expand filesystems on the fly, Mike explained that SCO offers an add on for about $ 995 from Veritas. He took off his tie.

Genmini promises even greater internet integration, including Fast-track Netscape bundled, mutlink PPP, SSL [secure socket layer], Java based administration, JDK on all platfoms, JIT [just in time compiler for Java] and much more.

After a gentile grilling, [they'd brought free software], and a brief officers meeting, much of the membership went to the SmartNAP facility. Former newsletter editor Chris Nystrom had the keys. It's a long narrow warehouse containing a bunch of racks, UPSs, and cables. Mike Cheshelski sat down at the only available console and proceeded to enhance someone's SCSI configuration. One of Signet's boxes featured a lonely Dilbert doll atop some top of the line Cisco box. One of the clowns in the group, blew up a Dogbert animal balloon to sit beside him. Though the cabinet was locked, a quick walk around the entire bank of cabinets revealed that the back door was not. When we left, Dilbert was being tormented by his smarter canine.

Thanks to Mike Stanford of SCO, Jack McKinney of Realtime, and Chris Nystrom of Signet for a wonderful evening.

Membership Report

by Luis Basto

Please welcome Dawn Bryant as a new member of CACTUS and thanks to Paul McKinley for renewing his membership. We'd like to thank Signet Partners in particular for renewing their sponsorship. They have been very supportive of CACTUS activities and participated in our internet discussions.

Signet Partners, Inc. is an Internet systems integrator that specializes in ISP (Internet Service Provider) systems and services. Signet offers ADSL, ISDN, and modem Internet access in Austin and San Antonio, and supplies Internet systems and services to a growing number of telephone companies in Texas.

The contact person is Bob Izenberg at 306-0700 or bei [at] sig <dot> net.


To renew your membership, please send check or money order payable to CACTUS ($25/yr for regular membership and $96/yr for corporate sponsorship):

PO BOX 9786
AUSTIN, TX 78766-9786

You can also pay in person at the general meetings. The date on the upper right hand of the newsletter mailing label indicates when your membership expires. Please direct any inquiries or address changes to membership [at] cactus <dot> org.

Calendar of CACTUS Programs

CACTUS Officers

Contact Information

CACTUS Sponsors