||*--------           At Tonight's Meeting...             ------*|| 
||*--------      Bozeman Linux User Group Meeting         ------*|| 
||*--------             March 27, 2003                    ------*|| 
||*--------                                               ------*|| 
||*--------             Ken Dyke, editor                  ------*|| 
||*--------                                               ------*|| 

Howdy folks, and welcome to another edition of "At Tonight's Meeting..."

||*--------           At Tonight's Meeting...             ------*|| 
||*--------              by Ken Dyke                      ------*||

I want to take a moment here to thank Dustin Lee for presenting to 
last month's meeting "Python: For Fun and Profit".  It was an 
excellent presentation.  Dustin conveyed his enthusiasm for Python. 
This was not an un-informed excitement but is based on his extensive 
and varied programming language experience.

For the presentation we had the largest turn out in LUG history. 
There were twenty people there for this exciting talk.

||*--------                The Meeting...                 ------*||

The snow kept most folks at home (or the thought of listening to me 
talk for an hour :-)  ).  Still there were eleven brave souls who 
showed up for the second anniversary meeting of the BozemanLUG.

Addison-Wesley sent two copies of of "Firewalls and Internet Security, 
Second Edition" by William Cheswick, Steven Bellovin, and Aviel Rubin 
to be given away.  (see my book review below)

Ken presented "A (not so) Brief History of Linux".  This is the topic 
that he presented at the first meeting.  I am pleased to say that he 
did a much better job this time and actually covered the development 
of Linux in addition to the history of time-sharing operating 
systems and the advent of Unix.

Once Ken sat down a lively discussion broke out that ranged over a 
number of topics.  Here are a couple of URLs for further reading 
related to what was covered in the open discussion period:

The Art of Unix Programming
http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/taoup/index.html

Linux ethernet bridging
http://bridge.sourceforge.net

ethernet bridge tables
http://ebtables.sourceforge.net

Limits Sought on Wireless Internet Access
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/17/technology/17WIRE.html
I have cached a copy of this article on the BozemanLUG website if 
you do not want to register with the NYTimes:
http://www.bozemanlug.org/articles/17WIRE.html

||*------                  Tool Tip                      -------*|| 
||*------                by Ken Dyke                     -------*|| 

Here is a simple pipeline for determining the number of files in a 
directory:

ls -a | wc -l

The -a option to ls counts the directory itself and its parent.

||*------                  PHP News                      -------*|| 
||*------                by Ryan Gantt                   -------*|| 

::PHP News -- Week of March 27, 2003::

PHP 5.0.0-dev/Zend 2.0-dev updates! (New feature):
http://snaps.php.net - PHP.NET subsidary that provides bi-hourly snapshots 
of the newest PHP, Pear releases. Their most popular feature is maybe the 
addition of the PHP 5-dev snapshots. These can be downloaded, yet are hardly 
as reliable as 4.2.x+.

Some highlight new features include:

//:: Access specifiers for member variables and methods ::\\

public $varPub;
private $varPriv;
protected $varPro;
static $varStat;

//:: Datatype hints for method and function parameters ::\\

public function myMethod( Foo $foo, Bar $bar ){ ... }

Note: Because PHP is not compiled, and only parsed (loosely typed), these 
are only type HINTS, they are not necessary for data types such as: int, 
double, string, char etc// and should only be used (if at all, they are 
optional) for abstract data types.

//:: Exception Handling ::\\
public class Exception
{
    public $msg;
    function __constrct( $msg )
    {
     	$this->msg = $msg;
    }
    public function resolve()
    {
        echo "There was an exception: ".$this->msg;
    }
}

try
{
    throw new Exception("this is an exception");
}
catch (Exception $error)
{
    $error->resolve();
}

Note: This is sweet.

//:: Namespaces ::\\
Namespaces can now be used in PHP to control and create scopes. ex//

namespace Class
{
    public class myClass
    {
        function __construct()
        {
            echo "Inside namespace::class()";
        }
    }
}

$thisClass = new Class::myClass();

Of course there is tons more, I mean, this is a full release
But, if I said it all, what would I have left for next month? =]

No pear news this month... Just means more for next month. =D

||*------                  Doghouse                      -------*|| 

The Bush faction for being playground bullies.

||*-----                  Book Reviews                    ------*|| 

Firewalls and Internet Securtiy, Second Edition
Repelling the Wily Hacker
by William R. Cheswick, Steven M. Bellovin, and Aviel D. Rubin
Addison-Wesley
2003
433 pages

review by Ken Dyke

The first edition appeared in May of 1994.  It went on to become a 
classic covering real world computer system security.  In the years 
since then and now the world has experienced the Dot Boom (and the 
Dot Bust).  This second edition is a major re-write and expansion 
over the first.

The book begins by laying out the philosophy and engineering culture 
that has emerged for treating system/network security.  Taken hand 
in hand with the Unix philosophy as described by esr in The Art of 
Unix Programming one is then armed with a powerful worldview for 
solving problems in a manner that ratches forward.

After laying out this approach to systems design the authors conduct 
a protocol by protocol review from a security prospective.  There is 
a healthy mix of examples taken from the real world to illustrate 
the points they wish to make.

While it is much easier reading than the actual RFCs that describe 
the protocols themselves it is still technical stuff.  I think most 
everyone would greatly benefit from reading the philosophy but one 
may want to get a little more knowledge about systems and networks 
before attempting to make sense of the rest of this book.  A good 
time might be immmediately after setting up your first LAN.

For the professional this book serves as an excellent review that WILL 
find gaps in your knowledge base.  If you are responsible for building 
or maintaining systems that are exposed to any sort of risk, do 
yourself and the organization you are with a favor and read this book.
Consider it a progress test.  Remember security is a process to 
which there is no final solution.

The Cathedral and the Bazaar:
Musings on Linux and Open Source
Revised Edition
by Eric S. Raymond
O'Reilly
2001
241 pages

review by Ken Dyke

This is a collection of a number of essays written by esr concerning 
hacker culture (traditional definition of "hacker") and the open 
source development model.

The origins of hacker culture are traced in "A Brief History of Hackerdom". 
The various threads that have woven together to become today's FOSS 
movement are described.

The Cathedral and the Bazaar describes the dynamics of the open source 
development model.  Using the author's fetchmail project as a case 
study.  It was this essay that proposed "given enough eyeballs, all bugs 
are shallow".

Homesteading the Noosphere explores the day to day customs as practiced 
by members of this culture.

The Magic Cauldron lets some air out of myths regarding software 
development.  Then proposes nine models for sustainable, stable open 
source project development.

esr then looks to the future in The Revenge of the Hackers.

Conclusion:  This is not required reading but it does provide a lot 
of background on how we got to where we are today and why it matters.

Just for Fun:
The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary
by Linus Torvalds (with David Diamond)
HarperCollins
262 pages

review by Ken Dyke

This was a fun read.  It starts out with Linus describing his idea 
of the meaning of Life.  In the beginning it is about survivial, 
then it becomes social, and finally it is just about having fun.

This is an autobiography.  Linus describes his childhood as a 
geek when geeks were not cool.  I found the section describing 
how Linux came to be quite interesting.  The rest of the book is 
biographical.

It is good to see that someone who has had such a huge impact on 
computing appears to have a happy family and is living in a 
comfortable style (thanks to various Linux-based companies that 
showed their gratitude to Linus at the time of their IPOs). 

It was a nice break from the usual fare that I read.

||*-----           Books Available for Review              -----*|| 

Due to the great response/demand for this feature I have been working
with publishers to increase the selection of books available.  I have
succeeded in establishing a couple of relationships for keeping book
reviewers busy.  The guidelines given to me by these publishers vary
somewhat but the the following outline encompasses behavior that will
avoid feelings of abuse and exploitation all around.

Please read and follow these guidelines in ordering review copies of
books. 

1) Limit one book per month. 
2) Publish a review before ordering another book. 
3) When selecting a book for review choose one that has been 
   published within the past year or so. 
4) We are a Linux User Group.  Please keep this in mind when 
   selecting titles.  (For example, Photoshop does not run on 
   Linux so it would be inappropriate to ask for "Photoshop 7: 
   The Complete Reference") 
5) If there were a fifth item it would go here. 

We have not developed a guide for the review itself so until then you
might give Slashdot's book review guide a look see: 
(slashdot.org/book.review.guidelines.shtml)

Send reviews to Ken to be published in the next issue of "At Tonight's 
Meeting...".  Please make the files ascii text only with lines wrapped
at 75 characters (to fit an 80 character wide screen).  Check out the 
fmt command.  I will use 'fmt -u foo.bar' to format files that do not 
fit an 80 character screen.  This will likely result in mangling of any 
layout you desire.  As noted in the Slashdot guideline, do not fear of 
making your review too long.  You have taken the time to read the book 
don't wimp out and write a too short a review that does not tell the rest 
of us fully what you think of the book. 

The following books are available for review: 
www.osborne.com
www.oreilly.com/catalog/prdindex.html
New Riders Press
Addison Wesley
[ken_i_m:  If there is a publisher whose books you have enjoyed for 
their quality please let me know and I will try to work out an 
arrangment with them for obtaining review copies.]

||*-----                     EOF                           -----*|| 

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