Capital Area Central Texas UNIX Society
CACTUS Newsletter

Volume 14, Number 4 - April 1998


April 16th CACTUS Meeting

About April's Presentation

Stephen Gibson is a Senior Police Officer with the Austin Police Department's High-tech Crime Unit. Mr. Gibson will be speaking about the cases he has seen, investigating tools, computer evidence recovery, and other responsibilities of his group. He has many stories to tell involving cases that the unit has investigated. This information will be especially helpful to system/network administrators or corporate security people.

March Meeting Report

by Ron Roberts

There was plenty of pizza and soda for the twenty one members who attended the March meeting. President Jack McKinney actually ordered the pizza himself! Lindsay Haisley announced the Central Texas Linux User's Group March meeting. Our program chair, Kristi Brannon, solicited ideas for future meetings and announced that she scheduled a member of the high tech crimes division of the Austin Police Department for April.

After introducing the officers, Jack McKinney introduced himself and gave a tutorial on Apache, the public domain http server. Release 1.1 and later has been modularized so you can write your own plugin modules. It's somewhat like writing a unix device driver. One popular module is called refer, which allows you to log not just hits, but where they came from. He briefly explained how to build Apache: configure, make, make install, much like gcc, et. al. Lindsay noted that you can even write modules in perl. The audience wanted to continue the Q and A, but we had to cut it short for the main program.

Jack then introduced Rick Rodriguez from Wall Data, Inc. Wall Data has been in business for fifteen years. They introduced their newest product, Cyberprise, to us. From their brochure: "Cyberprise [tm] DBApp Developer is the first integrated platform for building dynamic Web applications from existing and new databases in a simple two-step approach." Rick's associate, Jeff, explained that you can use this tool to reverse-engineer an existing database using a semantic module that will import data and generate an ODBC interface for it.

Rick also discussed their Rumba product. While everyone kept trying to compare it to Samba, the products are not similar. The crowd gave Rick a pretty hard time when he admitted that it only runs on WinNT, but he handled it with good grace. They are co-developing a version with HP for unix, however. Wall Data has a pretty impressive client list: the Texas Attorney General, Computer Sciences Corporation, and MCI for example. They are concerned about security, of course, and are in the process of hiring a [hopefully reformed] hacker. Their host module supports SSL and RSA. Complete details can be found at:

Thanks to Wall Data Corporation, Rick, and Jeff for a very informative presentation.

CACTUS.ORG System News

by Lindsay Haisley

In spite of a minor disk crash and temporary loss of DNS service, continues to forge ahead. At the last CACTUS officers' meeting we discussed ways of passing on to the membership at large the numerous job offerings that get sent to officers [at] cactus <dot> org. We decided that the best way to go about this would be to distribute them via a majordomo mailing list to which CACTUS members may subscribe.

Jack McKinney and I put our heads together and Jack suggested that we kill two birds with one stone, upgrade our mail server from sendmail to Qmail, and instead of majordomo, use the ezmlm mailing list manager which is written to integrate with Qmail. I'm pleased to report some progress on this front. Qmail has been compiled and installed on, although it's not yet operational as our mail server. That step will involve a good deal of work, not the least part of which will be bringing everyone who uses for mail up to speed on what the change means at a user configuration level.

In case you're not familiar with it, Qmail is a modern replacement for sendmail - faster, more secure and in many ways a good deal more configurable. It prevents relaying by default and can be easily patched to reference Paul Vixie's RBL anti-spam database. Members with .forward files may want to get the jump on the change by copying ~.forward to ~.qmail. More information about qmail can be found at

Membership Report

by Lindsay Haisley

Many thanks to renewing CACTUS members David Wieboldt, David Friedman and Eric Jones who renewed their memberships in March.

We currently have 124 regular members and 15 sponsorship members.


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

CACTUS Sponsors

CACTUS Meeting Location: Applied Research Labs

CACTUS meets on the third Thursday of each month at the UT 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 maps 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.

Map to the Monthly CACTUS Meeting

                                                 | |     ^
        <---- to MOPAC                           | |     |
                                                 | |     | North
                                                 | | B   | to Braker Lane
                                  ---------------+ | U
                                  -+ /-----------+ | R
                                   | |           | | N
                                   | +--------+  | | E
                                   |  Parking |  | | T
                                   |    Lot   |  | |
                                   +----------+  | | R
                                                 | | D
                          +------------+         | |
                          |            | +-------+ |
                          |            | |   +---+ |
                          |            | |   |   | | Rutland
                          |    ARL     | |   |   | +---------
                          |            | |   |   | +---------
                          |            | |   +---+ |
                          |            | +---+---+ |
                          +------------+         | |  |
                                                 | |  | South
                                                 | |  | to US 183
                                                 | |  v