Cover V02, I03


Publisher's Forum

Welcome to our one-year anniversary issue. No, there's no boisterous banner on the cover, and no million-dollar contest to celebrate, but we're excited about it anyway.

This magazine has been lots of fun. It's fun because we're meeting a genuine need -- both for our readers and advertisers. It's fun because every issue is still a new challenge. (For one thing, we never dreamed we'd be printing over 100 pages before the end of the first year.) Finally, its fun because I'm getting to learn more about my favorite operating system.

Recently our staff sat down to review our first year. We looked afresh at what we actually did, and at what we wrote a year ago as our mission. Finally, we asked if the original statement of mission had been on target. With a few exceptions, we concluded that we had done what we set out to do and that we should keep doing more of the same.

The most significant exceptions were our coverage of network and distributed computing and platform specific coverage. We'd like more stories that address the really thorny issues involved in administering large networks, and we'd like more stories that are specific to the Sun and AIX platforms.

So, if you are knowledgeable about any of those subjects, write something. We'd like to improve our balance in those areas. If you don't want to write about those areas, write something. Our best stories come from our readers -- from working administrators.

Thank you for reading, subscribing, advertising, writing, and for being supportive and encouraging. Thanks.

Now, on to a different subject . . .

I have just returned from my first UniForum. (I finally have a good rationalization for spending the money!) UniForum is large -- the trade show filled two large exhibit halls. And, in part because it is large and well-established, many of the booths are more showmanship than useful information. (Anymore, the same is true at all large, well-established shows.) Even so, I found it quite interesting.

First, several vendors were exhibiting various file-system enhancements for release 4.2. These products let you add transparent file compression, file system hardening (no fsck), volume management, and other, more specialized features to UNIX. Many of these (especially volume management) can really make an administrator's life much easier.

Unfortunately, we can't take advantage of these neat products because we aren't running a release 4.2 product -- even though, I'm embarrassed to say, I thought we were. We recently installed SCO UNIX ver. 4.2. Without doing any real research, I just assumed the "ver. 4.2" meant that it was based on release 4.2. Not true! The SCO release is still based on release 3. Arrgh! I can't say that I'm pleased with SCO's version numbering strategy. You can bet that if we can find a release 4.2 UNIX that will let us salvage our key applications at a reasonable cost, we'll be changing OS vendors.

Finally, I was pleased to see not one, but several vendors exhibiting Alphaterminal products -- both terminals and supporting software. In fact, we bought a bunch of alphaterminals. I sure hope they arrive soon.

Sincerely yours,
Robert Ward (". . . ! uunet!rdpub!saletter")