Cover V09, I07



For the past several months, Sys Admin has sent a monthly e-newsletter to subscribers, and others who've provided us with their email addresses, previewing the contents of the magazine. We recently got a couple of letters from recipients who disliked the newsletter so much they're cancelling their subscriptions to the magazine (see the “New Messages” column this month for an example and a reply from our publisher). These (ex)readers said they viewed the newsletter as spam. I tend to disagree. Our intent is to provide a useful preview of the call for papers, new products, and feature articles -- it's not a “get rich quick” scheme from some company you've never heard of. However, I can sort of see their point. In conformance with our company's corporate privacy policy (which you can read on our Web site), we cannot use a dedicated line for distribution of bulk email until our mailing list has been totally cleansed -- meaning everyone on the list has officially “opted in”. Until this is the case, we are bound to the use of a dial-up account to distribute the newsletter; thus, some mailers may see our newsletter as spam. I suppose one could argue if it looks like spam, tastes like spam, etc., but I'm perfectly willing to let you be the judge of that.

In any case, if you don't wish to receive the email newsletter, feel free to unsubscribe from the list -- or write to me and your name will be removed from it. If you do find value in the newsletter, please help us cleanse our list by officially subscribing to it through the Web site (

I'm also conducting an informal poll. How many of you work in environments that were affected by that “ILOVEYOU” email virus a while back? I imagine many of you received it without incurring damage. I bring up the topic because I read several smug comments in the news about how UNIX/Linux is “immune” to it. I think this should strengthen our resolve to advocate UNIX every chance we get and to educate those IT administrators who don't quite see things the UNIX way. Pointing out the inherent strengths of UNIX and its ability to shrug off these types of email viruses may be a good place to start. I have to agree with Nicholas Petreley on this, when he said in a recent column, “I have sympathy for the Windows users, but I simply do not shed a tear over the trouble this means for the IT administrators who support them.”

Sincerely yours,
Amber Ankerholz