Capital Area Central Texas UNIX Society
CACTUS Newsletter

Volume 22, Number 1 - January 2006

Next Meeting
CACTUS Elections & Storage Management in a Datacenter
GigaTrend, Inc. and StoreAge Networking Technologies
Thursday, January 19, 7:00 PM


The CACTUS Newsletter is a monthly publication, distributed to our members and other interested people. Visit the CACTUS Newsletter on the web at There you will find archives of back issues, as well as instructions on how to subscribe to the e-mail distribution. We welcome newsletter submissions by our members. Please contact newsletter [at] cactus <dot> org for more information.

January Meeting Program

It's election time again. Please try to attend the meeting this month so you can assure that you are properly represented by the CACTUS officers. Remember: Be there or be elected. :-)

This month, we have representatives from GigaTrend, Inc. and StoreAge Networking Technologies to discuss storage management in a datacenter; e.g. how you do backups in a 24x7 environment, rapid recovery, as well as mirroring and replication. Other issues like integrating different types of storage devices, and moving your data center will also be discussed.

And, yes, these guys have been informed that we're a highly technical crowd and that we're more interested in discussing issues rather than just focusing on the merits of one vendor's products.

Since we have elections this month, we're going to try to limit the discussion to 45 minutes...

Oh, and did we mention that CACTUS elections are happening at the meeting this month?

The next CACTUS meeting will be held on Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 7:00 PM (doors open at 6:30 PM for pizza and informal discussion), in the auditorium of UT Applied Research Laboratories. (See end of newsletter for directions to the facility).

December Meeting Report

by Ron Roberts

President Randy Zagar began by asking about old business. We still have no volunteer to take over for Lindsay Haisley as primary admin for The Sparc 10 is still dead. Randy noted that there is enough disk space on bubba to move the home directories. He suggested that we go ahead and move the services to bubba. Currently, the membership database is only on the original linux box.

Randy also reported that Lindsay Haisley has asked that we move the secondary off of Matt Lawrence volunteered to provide secondary DNS for cactus. There are only eight entries in our zone file, plus some secondary DNS for members. John Kingman is using the dynamic DNS that Randy set up for Lindsay has also been handling the domain registration. No one could remember what company he was dealing with--only that he was able to deal with people directly rather than computers. Gil Kloepfer pointed out that he prefers to deal with computers. [Ed. Note [Gil]: Our domain registrar, BestRegistrar, is listed in our sponsor list every month in the newsletter].

Lenny Tropiano had a curious special serial cable that Gil had manufactured for him. It attaches a camera to a telescope. Lenny also brought a box of the latest Ubuntu distribution CDROMs, which he gave to interested members.

Randy Zagar explained that was now up and running. The eight megabytes of memory originally allocated to PHP was not enough. Mail with a large attachment was crashing it. Lenny promised to send mail to Randy with an Ubuntu ISO attached for testing.

Finally, we engaged in a lengthy discussion about what to do with the two IBM boxes that John Christy was holding on to. Eventually, the organization agreed unanimously to liquidate them. We'll decide what to do with the money when we know how much it is.

Construction at UT:ARL

by Gil Kloepfer

Beginning in April, 2006, construction is scheduled to begin on an extension to a portion of the building where our CACTUS meetings are held. During the construction (which will last for at least a year), the pathway from the main ARL entrance to the north parking lot (the large lot to the right of the main entrance) will be blocked, limiting reasonable parking to the parking area in front of the entrance. Note that there will be an increase in the number of cars parked in front by ARL staff working late.

It would be prudent that the CACTUS membership consider the impact this will have on future meetings in 2006. We will not be able to host a meeting that has a large turnout as there will be insufficient parking. For normal meetings, there will typically be ample parking. However, if no parking is available, note that there is a lot across the street from ARL on Burnet Road. Please be aware, though, that this lot is for customers of the businesses in that strip center. If you decide to park there, please patronize the businesses that reside in that lot, and understand that parking there is at your own risk.

Letter From The President

by Randy Zagar

First off, I'd like to say it's been fun this year being President. As some of you know, I spent four years in college saying "Would you like fries with that?" but this is the first time I've ever delivered pizza.

Just goes to show you that the universe always gives you opportunities to learn new things. :-)

In all seriousness, though, being President has made me think about things differently. It's not very often that people in our career paths end up being in charge of a meeting.

Of course, this month we get to elect new officers. Even in an organization like ours, there's a certain amount of unavoidable administrivia involved and we need to have a few people willing to help out... Please think about how you'd like to help CACTUS in 2006.

Remember, you can't oppose being nominated if you're not at the meeting... :-)

P.S.: Oh yeah, we had problems last year getting the Officers Meeting scheduled and I don't think we met until April. Plus, our experiences at Kerby Lane had it's good points and its bad points... I'd recommend that the new Officers get closure on these issues sooner rather than later.

Two CACTUS Lists Decommissioned

by Lindsay Haisley

The CACTUS mailing lists unix-advocacy and unix-technical have been removed from our list server due to lack of use. Both the lists and the list owner's addresses were receiving far more spam than legitimate posts (I don't think we got any on either list during the past couple of months) which is generally a good indication that a list is not needed or wanted. I publicized both of these lists in several CACTUS newsletters during 2004, but they never took off.

The unix-technical list was intended to provide a broader technical Q & A forum than is provided by the several excellent Linux users group lists available, notably the CTLUG list (linux at ctlug dot org) and the Austin Linux Users Group list. The unix-advocacy list was intended to promote discussion of Open Source and Open Standards issues, legal and otherwise. This function is ably handled by Pam Jones' excellent Groklaw blog at which I highly recommend to everyone's attention.

The CACTUS jobs list continues to attract legitimate traffic, and has enough subscribers to warrant its continuation, so it remains alive.

Membership Report

by Luis Basto

We wish to thank William Hill for renewing his CACTUS membership.

Calling for a New Membership Officer

Since January is the time for election of CACTUS officers for the coming year, I would like to take this opportunity to ask the CACTUS officership and general membership to consider a new person to fill the post of Membership Officer.

The membership officer needs to be someone who is stationed in Central Texas and who can be at most CACTUS meetings. I will be out of town more than 50% of the time and will be unable to attend most meetings, thus satisfying neither of those conditions. Therefore, I would not be running for the Membership Officer position this year, and I seriously hope that someone other than James Johnson step up to this position. If someone else is elected, I would gladly work with that person to transfer the membership database and update information.

It has been a great deal of fun and learning these past years and I wish everyone the best. Will be seeing you occasionally in meetings and on the wire.

- Luis Basto

To renew your membership, please send check or money order payable to CACTUS ($30/yr for regular membership and $100/yr for corporate sponsorship):

PO BOX 9786
Austin, TX 78766-9786

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

CACTUS Officers

Randy Zagar (jrzagar [at] cactus <dot> org)
Johnny Long (longjy [at] cactus <dot> org)
Programs Chair:
John Christy (jchristy [at] cactus <dot> org)
Luis Basto (basto [at] cactus <dot> org)
Publicity & Webmaster:
Lindsay Haisley (fmouse [at] fmp <dot> com)
Gil Kloepfer (kloepfer [at] cactus <dot> org)
Ron Roberts (ronr [at] cactus <dot> org)
Members at Large:
Mark Scarborough (mscar [at] cactus <dot> org)
Donald A. Kassenbaum (dak [at] cactus <dot> org)

CACTUS Sponsors

Significant Contributing Sponsors

Applied Research Laboratories/University of Texas at Austin
(Gil Kloepfer, Computer Science Division (CSD), 835-3771, gilc [at] arlut <dot> utexas <dot> edu)
CoreNAP, L.P.
(Kenneth Smith, (512) 685-0010, kenneth [at] corenap <dot> com)
Provides server colocation and high-speed Internet access to businesses in the Austin and central Texas area
Newisys, Inc.
(Tim Wood, (512) 340-9050, tim <dot> wood [at] newisys <dot> com)
Development of enterprise-class servers
(Chad Kissinger, president, 322-9200, info [at] onr <dot> com)
Broadband Internet access, web design and colocation, Inc.
(David Maynard, dpm [at] outserv <dot> net)
e-Business Operations Service Provider


Dresser - Wayne
(Steve Cox, (512) 338-8444, steve <dot> cox [at] dresser <dot> com)
Provides instrumentation and services to the oil and energy
Flowing Circles Engineering
(Johnny Long, (512) 293-7894, longjy [at] fcei <dot> com)
Taking advantage of grid computing to solve matrix engineering and energy conversion problems.
IBM Corporation
(George Kraft IV, (512)838-2688, gk4 [at] austin <dot> ibm <dot> com)
Journyx, Inc.
(John Madollozzo, (512)833-3274, john [at] journyx <dot> com)
Web-based products to track time, expenses, and attendance, for project management and billing.
Ray Solanik, Technical Consultant
(Ray Solanik, solanik [at] cactus <dot> org)
Starflight Corp.
(Jon Roland, jon <dot> roland [at] the-spa <dot> com)
Computer consulting, management solutions, documentation, and technical writing.
TEKsystems, Inc.
(Russell Labay, (512) 249-4912, (888) 598-5877, rlabay [at] teksystems <dot> com)
A leading provider of strategic staffing and managed services for the Information Technology and Communications (IT&C) community.
Veraci Inc.
(Michael Shrivathsan, michael [at] veraci <dot> com)
VoIPing, LLC
(Lenny Tropiano, 512-698-VOIP (8647) or Brian Sinclair 512-698-8031, info [at] voiping <dot> com)
IT Consulting and Services, converged networks, Unix, and Voice over IP

Friends of CACTUS

Applied Formal Methods, Inc.
(Susan Gerhart, 794-9732, gerhart [at] cactus <dot> org)
Auspex Systems
(Paul Levine, plevine [at] auspex <dot> com)
Fastest reliable network fileservers
Austin Code Works
(Scott Guthery, 258-0785, info [at] acw <dot> com)
((800) 977-3475, registrar [at] bestregistrar <dot> com)
A top-level domain name registrar, CORE member
(Chip Rosenthal)
(Maurine Mecer, 502-0190 (FAX 502-0287))
Professional recruiting
Compaq Computer Corporation (now HP)
(Ron Boerger, 432-8000)
Provider of scalable, high availbility systems
EDP Contract Services
(Mark Grabenhorst, 346-1040)
Professional recruiting
Hewlett Packard
(Bill Sumrall, 338-7221)
(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
Rocksteady Networks, Inc.
(Eric White, 512-427-1319, ewhite [at] rocksteady <dot> com)
Sailaway System Design
(Chris J Johnson, 447-5243)
(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)
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)

Directions to Meeting Location

CACTUS meets on the third Thursday of each month at the Applied Research Laboratories (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. 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 (but you will need to inform the guard in the booth that you are attending a meeting at ARL). See map for further details.

Online maps are available at:

As always, please leave the facility as you saw it when you arrived.

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