Well, I don't have much to report this month except the resolution of an issue at Jump.Net. We were billed for our machine hosted there, I had called and emailed our account rep asking if there was a problem or would he look into it, but never got a response.
The next month we did not receive a bill, so I thought the matter had been handled. Until I got a "past due" notice by email last week.
I called up there and pressed '0' to be transferred to an operator, and was promptly put in touch with our new account representative, who straightened everything out for us (some paperwork hadn't made it to their billing department).
I still have the pieces of our original sparc2. I expect that we will be discussing it's future at the meeting again this month, hopefully with some news from Sun (the owners) on what they want done with it.
I'm a natural procrastinator and it seems that every month I wait until the last minute to put together the Sponsor of the Month column for the CACTUS Newsletter. At the 11th hour, I started calling the sponsors listed in our newsletter and after leaving several messages and reaching several out-of-service phone numbers, I got a call back from John O'Keefe of O'Keefe Search (formerly O'Keefe & Associates) which made it all worth while. I usually do interviews from prepared questions, but having nothing specific to go on, I spent a most pleasant half an hour chatting with John about his business, discussing Austin, CACTUS, Unix and other topics of mutual interest. John is an affable person with a quick laugh, and our conversation quickly took its own course.
O'Keefe Search is a job recruitment agency, owned by John and his wife Nancy. Their specialty, and in fact their only focus in this field is jobs in the high-tech industries in Austin, which is why they call themselves "Austin's Virtual High-Tech Headhunters." John piqued my interest when, right off the bat, he mentioned the "bizarre situation at O'Keefe Search" and of course we took it from there. John and his wife are truly 21st century workers. Although they started their business in Austin in 1982, they soon realized that the nature of their work allowed them to live just about anywhere they could be reachable by phone and, later, by the Internet. In 1991 they moved to a log cabin on the Buffalo River in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas - one of the most beautiful areas of the country, and continued to operate their business very successfully - still with Austin as their only focus. They've received awards for 10 consecutive years as one of the top 10 recruiters in Texas from the Texas Association of Personnel Consultants. John has also been the president of the Pinnacle Society which is the honor society for the top 60 recruiters in the US.
A number of years ago John and his wife discovered Hawaii and moved there, leaving an assistant in Arkansas and their book keeper in Austin. John has developed his working methods so that he's extremely mobile and basically runs his company from wherever he happens to be. What a life!
John feels that his company has probably placed more people in jobs in Austin than any of his competitors, and sees the job market here as still healthy and growing. When he first started, folks would tell him "We don't need any recruitment help, we can get someone cheaply from the University." John commented with amusement that "That's a quote I haven't heard in a long time." He's keenly aware of how Austin has changed over the past 20 years. The Chamber of Commerce, John says, has noted over 300 software companies in Austin, and a lot of them are growing at a pretty rapid pace.
O'Keefe was helping with staffing for Tandem Computers in the 80s and and early 90s when they were working on their early Unix products, and he became involved with CACTUS early on as a result of this. He figures he was probably on the scene here when CACTUS was started. CACTUS used to meet at Tandem back in the mid 90s, and many of the members were doubtless working at jobs with which they'd been connected by John and his company.
John's company and mode of working looks to me like a snapshot of the way many more folks will be working in the coming years. Freed from the constraints of daily commuting in rush hour traffic, he's arranged his business so that he can work effectively from wherever in the world he may be. With the advent of the Internet, and the quality of telephone service everywhere in the US, there's no reason that many of us couldn't work as well or better in this fashion as from a central office to which we have to commute. It saves time, gas, and frustration. I'm ready for it!
You can learn more about O'Keefe Search at http://www.okeefesearch.com, or by writing John O'Keefe at john [at] okeefesearch <dot> com.
Our scheduled presenter, Cisco Systems, failed to get back with our Programs Chair and the expected presentation didn't materialize. The CACTUS membership, however, is resourceful and diverse, and given sufficient pizza and soda, something good will always come of any CACTUS meeting, no matter how bollixed the schedule. Member-at-large Gil Kloepfer saved the day (or rather the evening) by demonstrating an install of FreeBSD which was very well done and held everyone's attention. The only glitch was the inability of everyone there to deduce the correct video technology in the onboard video in the Dell box used for the presentation. We were treated to the spectacle of at least half a dozen Unix geeks all trying to get their heads over the Dell box at the same time trying to identify the mystery video controller.
Gil also discussed ARL's ban on food in our meeting room, which had us considering alternative possibilities for future meetings. As of press time, however, it appears that the ban has been rescended and we are free to bring in our traditional pizza and sodas, with the caveat that we take our trash fully out of the room at the end of our meetings. No problem there!
Ron reports that we still haven't heard from Cisco re. doing a presentation for us.
I'm glad to announce we have a program, and a good one!
The Kernel Group will speak at this week's meeting on Thursday, September 21st. Bruce Bramhall will present TKG's Bare Metal Restore.
Bare Metal Restore allows the data stored in Tivoli Storage Manager (Formally ADSM) to be used to restore a machine from the ground up in about 30 minutes. The machine will be restored exactly as it was at the time of the last incremental backup. The restore takes care of disk drive partitioning and lays down the filesystems as they were before. BMR is curently supported on AIX, Solaris, and HP, with NT not far behind.
Bruce will provide an overview of BMR, including installation and configuration, and will answer questions about BMR.
TKG is a private company that has been around since 1990. The company expects to go public in the very near future, and is currently seeking qualified Unix (and NT) professionals to be part of theirT exciting team. Sign on bonuses include stock options. TKG will have someone on hand at the meeting to answer job opportunity questions as well.
Some members have had difficulty accessing our two online systems, linux.cactus.org and sparc.cactus.org with telnet. There's a reason for this. There are inherent insecurities in the telnet protocol, including the transmission of plaintext passwords over the Internet, and shell access to both boxes requires ssh (Secure SHell). If you're not familiar with ssh, you should be, and we'll most likely present a tutorial on it at a future meeting. In order to log on to CACTUS boxes you'll need an ssh client. Unix clients can be obtained from http://www.openssh.com. For those of you who must use Windows, there's an excellent and very lightweight Windows ssh client called PuTTY available at http://humbolt.geo.uu.nl/~bjs/putty/index.html. The OpenSSH project also advertises Windows clients, although I'm not personally familiar with any of them.
If you need any utilities or services on either the Linux box or the SPARC 10 which are not already installed, please contact the system administrators at admin [at] cactus <dot> org and one of them will be glad to install the requested software for you. For utilities which might be of use to more than one member, this is much better than having everyone compile their own local versions - for obvious reasons.
No new 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):
CACTUS PO BOX 9786 AUSTIN, TX 78766-9786You can also pay in person at the general meetings. Please direct any inquiries or address changes to membership [at] cactus <dot> org.
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:
| | ^ <---- to MOPAC | | | | | | North | | | to Braker Lane ---------------+ | -+ /-----------+ | | | | | | +--------+ | | | Parking | | | | Lot | | | +----------+ | | | | +------------+ | | | | +-------+ | | | | +---+ | | | | | | | Rutland | ARL | | | | +--------- | | | | | +--------- | | | +---+ | | | +---+---+ | +------------+ | | | | | | South | | | to US 183 | | v