Cover V03, I01


Publisher's Forum

This is the first issue of our third year of publication. With the New Year, we thought we'd share with you some of the things we want to celebrate.

UNIX -- If you've ever tried working with Windows, you'll know why. If not, let me remind you that UNIX is a strong, infinitely flexible system that puts its power at the disposal of the user. I can say of UNIX what someone once said of democracy; it's not perfect, it's just better than any of the alternatives.

The Internet -- okay, this is getting a bit trivialized in the press with all the hype about the Information Highway, etc., but think about it a minute (and you can learn a bit about it in this issue): this is an extraordinary tool for communication. Every day at our office we receive email from all over the world -- readers with questions, readers proposing an article, readers sharing something they've learned -- and this is only a small part of what the system offers. Readers download our code from a variety of international sites (and, yes, that sometimes gets complicated, but it always beats typing the code in by hand), and often when one has a problem, another will have solved it (see Jan Christiaan van Winkel's letter in this issue).

Our three columnists -- Bjorn Satdeva, Betty Zinkann, and Larry Reznick -- and our most frequent contributor, Chris Hare. Bjorn, Betty, and Larry came to us from root, Bruce and Karen Hunter's fine journal, and it's been a happy inheritance. Chris heard about the magazine on the networks, volunteered, and has been a steady supplier of strong, technical information. He also serves as a resource for Rebecca Thomas's Wizard's Grabbag in UNIXWorld.

Our readers and authors -- we launched Sys Admin because we felt UNIX system administrators in search of practical technical information were underserved by extant publications. Your response more than confirmed this perception -- I know of no other magazine that has been greeted with such enthusiams and all- around good will. We'll do our best to continue to earn that response.

On another subject: It's too late for Christmas, but many of you had asked how you could go about acquiring a Sys Admin t-shirt (with its all too apt motto: "System Administration -- it's a dirty job but somebody said I have to do it"). They're now available here at R&D Publications, at a cost of $11.95, plus $3.50 s&h.

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