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Next Meeting:
January 6: Social gathering
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TBD
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Nov. 18: Club officer elections
Page last updated:
2001 Aug 28 15:48

Testimonials


Linux: the Swiss Army knife of OSes

Larry Snyder, March 31, 2001

An idea planted by the recent thread on the LUGOD vox-tech list about CD-RW drives under Linux led me to make a last effort to solve an old problem.

We had the last of several operas I produced between 1989 and 1998 professionally recorded and put on three CDs. Because the first of two acts took two discs, the recording engineer began the 2nd CD with track 9 -- a continuation of the numbering from disc 1. A year later when my early (and extraordinarily versatile) component CD player suddenly died, I discovered that very few recent machines can read discs with tracks beginning with anything other than #1. When I added a CD-RW drive to the box last weekend, I of course had hoped I would be able to dupe the faulty disc with normal track numbering. But the Win98 software which came with the drive proclaimed that an illegal operation had been performed and promptly committed suicide each time I placed the disc in the machine.

So this morning, I went through the process (a bit daunting for a newcomer to Linux) of setting up recognition and a scsi emulation for the new drive and installing the still-on-trial use-at-your-own-risk XCDRoast which comes with the SuSE 7.1 distribution.

The result is that for the first time in a couple years, I can now hear our Cosi fan tutte performance again. I'm sure it's no novel concept to others on this list that unfinished Linux freeware can be so much more robust and forgiving than commercial winapps, but I will still proclaim my surprise and delight.

And if Linux is the can-opener which allowed me to open my otherwise inaccessible recording, LUGOD is the resource which helped me understand enough about Linux finally to make practical use of it. So here's to all the LUGODs who helped with this small triumph, but especially Bill, who sent me a 5-page email of basic navigational information, Pete, who tirelessly worked through the puzzle of my nameserver recognition problem, and Henry and Rusty, who were never too preoccupied with other visitors' machines at the Installfest that they couldn't answer the many questions I threw from the sidelines. This is a generous, good-natured, and genuinely helpful organization.


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