Capital Area Central Texas UNIX Society
CACTUS Newsletter

Volume 13, Number 8 - September 1997


September 18th 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

August Meeting Report

More than twentyfive members were on hand for the Linux presentation. After announcements and discussions about future programs, our president, Jack McKinney introduced members of the Central Texas Linux Users Group [CTLUG] for a mutli-part presentation.

Scott Boland brought an intel box loaded with a recent Red Hat distribution. We were able to see the screen thanks to the overhead projector as he demonstrated the various uses of lilo, the mutliple partition/disk loader distributed with Linux. He reconfigured it a few different ways, though he was not willing to set it up to boot of the non-existent network.

Lindsey Haisley then demonstated how [and why] to build new kernels. He used menuconfig, but talked about Xconfig and makeconfig as well. Lindsey pointed out the uses of loadable module support. There's a daemon that listens for requests for modules that aren't actually part of the kernel, but can be loaded as required. This is a lot like System V Release 4 loadable modules. It keeps the kernel lean so that you can fit more onto a boot disk, and not waste memory when the support is not needed.

Jack McKinney demonstrated some neat tricks, such as "cat interrupts", which shows you which interrupts are in use. You can also cat ioports. He then explained some of the features of /proc/sys/kernel that are useful for tuning the kernel. You can change file-max or inode-max on the fly!

Finally, Lindsay brought up a wierd X11 window manager that looks like Windows '95. No word yet on the look and feel litagation sure to follow.

Thanks to Scott Boland and Lindsay Haisley for the best Linux presentation to date.

O'Reilly Book Order Status and Books for Sale

by Tom Painter

The bulk of the back orders are in and ready to be picked up. To arrange for pickup, please send mail to bookorder [at] cactus <dot> org.

I also have a few books that were shipped in error. These books are available for sale at the standard discount. At this time, the books available for purchase are:

Contact me at bookorder [at] cactus <dot> org with questions.

Membership Report

by Luis Basto

Please welcome Darrel Long, Leland Nichols, and Jason Schafer as new members of CACTUS. We also want to thank Brian Corkery, Jeffrey Janner, and Vijay Joglekar for renewing their membership.

For the past several months, the membership has been pretty stable at about 65-70 members. These include new members, renewals, and drop-offs.


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.

CACTUS Officers

Contact Information

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