Capital Area Central Texas UNIX Society
CACTUS Newsletter

Volume 19, Number 11 - November 2003


November Meeting

The November CACTUS meeting will be held at 7:00pm (6:30pm for pizza and lively, informal discussion) on Thursday, November 20th, 2003 in the auditorium of UT Applied Research Laboratories (see below for directions to the facility).

October Meeting Report

by Ron Roberts

Despite the big name presentation, attendance was only average at the October meeting. Membership and treasury reported the usual. Brian Sinclair reported that the Sun E250 at CoreNAP was up and running Solaris 9. He ported all of the accounts for to the E250. Homes are mounted from a Network Appliance fileserver with fourteen gigabytes available. The system only offers ssh 2 access: It's fast!

Ron Roberts reported that the Sparc 10 is back up and running at On Ramp: It's faster than it used to be. It now has a Ross HyperSparc processor and 128 megabytes of memory. It running Solaris 7, but it's still a Sparc 10.

President Lindsay Haisley then read the resolution about the FUD Buster committee efforts to oppose the Caldera/SCO initiative against open source platforms. The resolution passed unanimously.

Randy Zagar suggested that we design business cards for individuals who will be representing CACTUS in this effort. The membership appointed Randy to be a one man committee to do that.

Lindsay then introduced the speaker, John Quarterman. John in turn, introduced his associate, Peter Salus who provided additional details throughout the presentation. The foils John presented were from a presentation for the 31st conference of Communication, Information and Internet Policy sponsored by Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC). Why do the graphs of the Slammer Worm differ so much? When it hit on January 25, 2003, it was the fastest work ever seen. John showed the views produced by a number of different organizations such as Arbor Networks, RIPE (the European version of ARIN), ATT, MIT and others. Each offered its unique perspective and demonstrated how differently organizations can perceive the same event. John's former company produces several internet visualizations:

Next John talked about Network Monoculture: Diversity, Survivability, and the Profitability of Internet Commerce. He emphasized the effects of natural and unnatural disasters on Internet performance.

The following is a summary from (

"An economy based on one crop is fragile, because a single disease, parasite or weather anomaly, could destroy both crop and the economy it supported. The same goes for monoculture communications providers," said John Quarterman. "On September 11, the one main telephone company in New York City suffered under excessive demand. The Internet survived, with several providers, keeping people in touch by email and IM."

Quarterman describes the Internet as an ecosystem, composed of many interacting parts, ISPs, data centers, enterprises, end-users, each of them drawing sustenance from the others and from raw materials. He explains how each of them needs to make informed decisions, to create a true market.

"Diversity will enhance corporate, national and world security. Visibility enables differentiation and thus selection. Making Internet performance visible to ISPs, bandwidth traders and customers can enable evolution of the Internet ecology, and will make this market," added Quarterman.

Thanks again to John Quarterman and Peter Salus.

Letter from the President

by Lindsay Haisley

On behalf of all the membership of CACTUS, I would like to thank Core NAP of Austin for their generous contribution of a new Sparc system and collocation facilities for CACTUS at their colo site in Austin. Core NAP has inherited the space formerly occupied by JumpNet, along with some of their staff, as well as the tech-friendly attitude which drew many of us to JumpNet originally. JumpNet was bought by Allegiance Telecom which went belly-up and we're all the better for having some of these same folks now working within the Austin community and responsible to a local company again. Although the Internet is a world-wide network, it's always nice, for a lot of reasons, to do business with a local company where issues of security, hardware and access to equipment are concerned, especially one that's staffed by friends of CACTUS.

Next month I'll revive the old "Sponsor of the Month" column for the newsletter once again and we'll have an in-depth interview with the top folks at Core NAP.

October CACTUS Membership Report

by Luis Basto

We did not have any renewals or new members this month.

Got a note from Bookpool on their November sale of Sams, Que, New Riders Publishing, Peachpit Press, Adobe Press and Macromedia Press books at 45% off.

Here's a sampling:

Check out their website for other titles.


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 may also pay in person at the general meetings. Please direct any inquiries or address changes to membership [at] cactus <dot> org.

CACTUS Officers

CACTUS Sponsors

Significant Contributing Sponsors

Applied Research Laboratories/University of Texas at Austin (
(Gil Kloepfer, Computer Science Division (CSD), 835-3771, gil [at] arlut <dot> utexas <dot> edu)
CoreNAP, L.P. (
(Kenneth Smith, (512) 685-0010, kenneth [at] corenap <dot> com)
"Providing Austin and central Texas businesses and power users the best choice for server colocation and high speed Internet access."
OnRamp (
Internet service provider. (
IT operations and management solutions to small and midsized businesses.

CACTUS Sponsors

Covad/Laserlink (
(Chip Rosenthal)
Dresser Industries - Wayne Division (
(Steve Cox, steve <dot> cox [at] dresser <dot> com, (512) 338-8444)
A leading supplier of integrated retail solutions to the global petroleum and convenience store industries, including point-of-sale systems, fuel dispensers, and after-sale support services.
Journyx (
Provider of workforce management software and services
Prog Corp.
(David Mallis, prog [at] cactus <dot> org, (512) 451-7191)
Develops educational materials used for in-service training, classroom teaching, and independent study. They also provides consulting services for instructional program design, development, and implementation.
VoIPing, LLC (
A Central Texas privately owned and operated partnership specializing in IT Consulting and Services. (Email info [at] voiping <dot> com. Phone 512-698-VOIP (8647) or 512-698-8031)

Friends of CACTUS

Applied Formal Methods, Inc.
(Susan Gerhart, 794-9732, gerhart [at] cactus <dot> org)
Auspex Systems (
Fastest reliable network fileservers.
Austin Code Works
(Scott Guthery, 258-0785, info [at] acw <dot> com) (
(Steve Locke, (800) 977-3475), swl [at] cas-com <dot> net)
A top-level domain name registrar, CORE member.
(Maurine Mecer, 502-0190 [FAX 502-0287])
Professional recruiting.
EDP Contract Services
(Mark Grabenhorst, 346-1040) Professional recruiting.
Hewlett Packard (
(Bill Sumrall, 338-7221)
Hounix (
(Marilyn Harper)
Houston's Unix Users Group.
Network Appliance Corporation (
(Frank Mozina, fmozina [at] netapp <dot> com)
O'Keefe Search (
(John O'Keefe, john [at] okeefesearch <dot> com, 512-658-9224 or 888-446-2137)
Professional recuiting.
Sailaway System Design
(Chris J Johnson, 447-5243)
Schlumberger (
(Kathy O'Brien, obrien [at] asc <dot> slb <dot> com)
Technical services and products in over 100 countries.
Silicon Graphics (
(Don Williams, 346-9342)
Solid Systems
(Pete Farrell, 442-2222)
Sterling Infomation Group (
(Darrell Hanshaw, 344-1005, dhanshaw [at] sterinfo <dot> com)
Sun Microsystems (
(Rick Taylor)
Supplier of Unix client-server computing solutions.
Texas Internet Consulting (
(Smoot Carl-Mitchell, 451-6176, smoot [at] tic <dot> com)
TCP/IP networking, Unix, and open systems standards.
A Sun Authorized Training Center and a Hardware Reseller.
Unison Software
(Shelley St. John, 478-0611)
Supplier of networked systems management solutions.
UT Computer Science Department
(Patti Spencer)
UT Computation Center
(Mike Cerda, 471-3241, cerda [at] uts <dot> cc <dot> utexas <dot> edu)

CACTUS Meeting Location:
Applied Research Labs

CACTUS meets on the third Thursday of each month at the Applied Research Labs (ARL) in the JJ 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.