Netherthong Technical Page

This page added15/6/99, Last Updated 2/4/2006

Currently running SuSE 9.3 with the kid's machine on 10.0

Here are the details of my technique for ensuring the data on a redundant hard disk will be difficult to recover.
Kids got into Linux very quickly as I installed the full kit - virtually everything from the 7 CD pack. More games and stuff to play with than you can shake a stick at. Advantage for me is I can also lock them out of the computer for bad behaviour by changing their password. They knew how to bypass the windows login, of course, but cannot defeat this system so easily. They can only have controlled access to the internet as I have to let them on via my network connection (the 2 machines are connected via a simple ethernet hub).

Until now there have been few fancy graphics here as I used to have a 14.4 modem and hated having to wait for some text which could probably have been left alone and convey the same information. I have since bought a new 33.6 modem (installed 11/4/98) which made a big speed difference. Tip :- external modems are excellent - mine needs to be switched off and back on again occasionally (very occasionally) to reset itself - much better than a re-boot. I am still looking forward to an affordable ADSL which is expected to reach this part of the UK sometime in 2010 (possibly).
I started out on-line on Compuserve, one of my main reasons was the availability of the AutoCAD forums, giving me access to help and upgrades, but I especially liked the Unix forum - I wanted to know more about linux and used to run SuSE 5.2 on the old machine which came free on a magazine cover disc (PC Plus).
I got to kernel 2.0.34 or 2.2.2 - trying to learn how to build a new kernel that works !. I did not got any decent office apps running , but kept learning all the time. I liked the KDE desktop but had difficulty getting this system to give me more than 640 * 480 and virtual 800 * 600 - even though the graphics card and monitor were very standard SVGA.
Since I started with Linux, I also had available RedHat 5.1, 5.2 and Caldera 1.3 - also free from magazine cover discs or came with books, but only briefly tried.
I discovered that my old system was set up a bit wrong - I had allocated 100MB to swap and another 100MB to /home. This was a waste of my precious disc resource (Total 500MB) and I had to re-partition (Ok it was a lot wrong).

Linux Books I have used :-
Linux Installation and getting started guide - Matt Walsh - Version 2.2.1 1994 - ISBN 0-916151-78-6
This book was on loan from Richard who toyed with Linux many moons before I did!
S.u.S.E. Linux 9.2 (The Manuals).
Excellent reference as you would expect.
Special Edition Using Linux - Que - 4th Edition - Jack Tacket, jr and Steve Burnett - ISBN 0-7897-1746-8
Surprisingly easy to read for such a huge book - it is over 50mm thick.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Linux - Que - Manuel Alberto Ricart - ISBN 0-7897-1826-X
This is what I should have started with. Very easy to read, but does tend to go a bit fast - you need to follow things very carefully in some cases. Also tried the Caldera 1.3 which came with it as I needed to do a re-partition on the old machine.
Linux and Unix Shell Programming - Addison-Wesley - David Tansley - ISBN 0-201-67472-6
This book arrived on 23/2/00 after being ordered on-line, via Amazon, using Netscape/Linux!!. This may be old hat to most but seemed like a big achievement to me at the time. Very easy to read, great source of reference and containing lots of practical advice.
Beginning Linux Programming - Wrox Press Ltd - Neil Mathew & Richard Stones - ISBN 1-861002-97-1
Another one 50mm thick and containing 950 pages but again easy to read.  My "Hello World"  'c' program, as descibed in the book, worked first time. Highly recommended.
Another great book:- The Mythical Man Month - Frederick P. Brooks.  I first read this during my re-visit to college to do an HNC in 1995/6. Much of what he says is applicable to fields other than computer software projects, but it is great reading anyway. For a few choice quotes and summaries from this book (and much, much more!) see  (Thanks Lane). If you want a copy for yourself the latest version (with extra chapters added) is available at

Anyone interested in the Open Source movement and origins of Linux should read Eric Raymonds The Cathedral and the Bazaar
As you see I now have these pages on Freeserve - compared to Compuserve everything was a lot easier to set up and use, especially the mail and news reader.
I also have this website at  which is hosted by Zen Internet.
I also registered the domain as the school published this as their web address on letterheads etc, but failed to register it!!. I have passed on the details to them and ownership of the domain but wait with baited breath for them to do something with it (they are a specialist maths and computing school). In the meantime I still have access.
I have been running the client app. for - now running RC5-72 and OGR-25 24hrs a day.
Check out my current OGR rate of cracking :-  Here

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