Cover V10, I07



As promised, here are some results from Sys Admin magazine's most recent editorial survey. This survey is not conducted by any external, unbiased entity. We mail it and tally the results ourselves, so you may wish to heed the advice of the Slashdot pollsters -- i.e., if you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane. Please note, however, that 91% of respondents find my syslog column at least somewhat useful...

The survey results also indicate that readers find the NetAdmin and Perl Advisor columns very useful. The Q&A column, however, was rated most useful of all. Amy Rich of Oceanwave Consulting deserves recognition for her hard work and time spent answering readers' questions both in the magazine and on the Sys Admin Web site. Thank you, Amy!

One of the questions on the survey asked, "Is systems administration your foremost responsibility? If not, please specify." Nearly half (48%) responded that their foremost duty was something other than UNIX systems administration. Not surprisingly, these duties include Web development, programming, consulting, database administration, systems integration, help desk support, teaching, and management. 47% responded that they support more than 100 users (23% support more than 500). The most widely administered operating systems are (in order): Linux (all flavors), Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, Irix, BSD (all flavors), Tru64, and SCO.

Within the topic of job-related duties, we asked how often our readers program in various languages. 58% program occasionally in C/C++; 41% program in Java; 75% program in Perl; 91% program in shell; and 35% write Tcl/Tk programs. The article topics respondents found most interesting are: security, performance tuning, system monitoring, and scripting languages. Results indicated less interest in mainframe, Web-to-host, or NT connectivity issues.

The write-in suggestions requested that more Sys Admin articles be made available online. You'd also like larger issues with fewer ads and more code. I'm not sure how to make all these things happen, but I'll work on it. In the meantime, this issue offers a wide variety of articles that I hope you'll find informative. This issue includes an article by Jeffrey Rothman and John Buckman, which compares the performance of various operating systems when running a specific network application. Anthony Taylor provides an overview of WindowMaker, and Tom Podnar walks us through a network troubleshooting exercise. The Web-exclusive articles include an introduction to Coda by Brett Lymn, some tips for monitoring Usenet news usage by Bill Davidsen, and ways to make the default SNMP configuration more secure under Solaris. As always, please let me know if you have additional suggestions for improving the magazine.

Sincerely yours,

Amber Ankerholz
Editor in Chief