Cover V01, I01


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We ask that letters with code listings be submitted in an ASCII text file on an MS-DOS formatted disk or via email. Our net address is ("...!uunet!bdsoft!rdpub!saed").

Please, if you're going to write about the X Window System for public consumption, *remember* that it is "X" or "the X Window System". There's no such thing as "X Windows". Microsoft has a product called "Microsoft Windows", and it'd be a shame for the people of the X Consortium to be placed head-to-head with them.

Randal L. Schwartz Stonehenge Consulting Services Portland, Oregon

Oops. I hadn't noticed the distinction and we've come across the plural form in a variety of UNIX publications, but I checked the titles of several X books and found they all agree with you. I've made a note in the style book our copy editors use. Thanks for the kind correction. --rlw

Some things I'd like to see you cover in SysAdmin:

1. Rebuilding and partitioning hard disks (physical and logical configurations, commands, partition schemes vs maintainability or performance)

2. sendmail -- basics, mixed UNIX environment, debugging, sendmail config files

3. site policy and procedure (w/example excerpts, outlines, topics to cover)

4. X-Window information -- determining specific hardware and software requirements to run X, requirements for specific X applications (e.g., FrameMaker), installing and debugging, dependencies on certain system services (XDM->DNS)

5. Disaster planning

6. Printers and print spoolers (installing new hardware, configuring remote printers, remote printing with ATT print spooler)

7. Moving computer rooms -- to another room, to another building

8. Domain Name Service -- installing, usage, configuring, debugging, issues for future developments, mixed UNIX environment

9. Name Information Service (Yellow Pages) -- same issues as above

10. Backup logs -- suggested forms and format, copies of scripts in log, "README" describing how backkups done/managed for specific platform, detailed restoration instructions, security of backup logs, pros/cons for backup utilities & packages

11. Backups -- offsite storage (how to find appropriate services), incorporating total backup plan with disaster recovery plan, backing up user data vs. OS file systems, strengths and weaknesses of UNIX backup utilities and commercial products, backup tocs on disk, redundant disks or servers as backups

12. Distributed systems -- designing the physical layuout, resource loading, heterogeneous environment, quantity of users that can access a server at the same time, how lmuch traffic a subnet can handle, quantity of users allocated to a printer, how lmuch filespace a user needs, etc.

13. Hooking up modems -- PEP, PPP, SLIP, CSLIP, security, dial-in/dial-out, brands, models, configuring files, troubleshooting, types of lines (dedicated, pbx, netblazer, T1, T3, etc.), services which can make use of a modem, how to figure workloads for a modem or phoneline, hooking up to the internet, physical security of phone lines, encryption, callback security

14. Evaluating/Hiring System Administrators -- Degrees/educational background, experience applicable to the position, people skills, problem-solving capabilities, adaptability and "grace under pressure," technical capabilities, background with platforms and network design at your site, what the rest of the system administration staff thinkgs of the candidate, etc.

15. Job Search for System Administrators -- Determining target job or "wish list," evaluating a company after research and interview, researching companies you want to work for, pros/cons of employers that require beepers, working hours and stress levels, exposure to user ncommunity/amount of time required to perform direct user support vs system maintenance/augmentation, pay scales nationwide (regional/metropolitan), benefits (travel, education, work environment, perks), career paths (breaking into the field, upward mobility

Jody A. Fraser Sunland, CA

What a great list! Out of 15 topics, there are only three that I don't think we'll cover: moving computer rooms, evaluating potential employees, and job search. Why not? Because other magazines already cover these topics well. I'd like for SysAdmin to add to, rather than duplicate, the available coverage.

As for the other 12 topics, they're exactly what we're looking for. Are all you would-be authors listening? --rlw