Public Forum in Concord MA To Discuss Patriot Act

L to R: Barbara Powell, Nancy Murray, Herbert Wilkins, Eliot Lilien, Leonard Wetherbee, Kimberly West

Peabody School, 1235 Marlboro Road, Concord [map]. Wednesday, Nov. 12, 7 p.m.

The League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle presents a Citizen Forum on the USA Patriot Act: Civil Liberties and National Security. The panel of speakers includes:

  • Herbert Wilkins, retired chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court
  • Nancy Murray, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts Bill of Rights Education Project
  • Eliot Lilien, retired history teacher, Concord-Carlisle High School
  • Barbara Powell, director of the Concord Free Public Library
  • Leonard Wetherbee, chief of the Concord Police Department and representative of the U. S, Department of Justice.

A question and answer period follows with participation by audience members and a press panel of local news media representatives

Related Info:

Macromedia Educational Institution Solutions

New education solutions to assist educators in teaching digital skills through project-based curriculum, teaching roadmaps, professional development resources, and a developer teaching solution are now available. The Macromedia curriculum and training materials for K-12 and higher education support a variety of courses, from teaching digital skills and the web design and development process, to integrating technology into curriculum. Macromedia teaching solutions are available at

Red Hat Certified Technician: Mission Accomplished !!

RedHat Certified Technician It's official! Whooo hoo! I received the test results from my RHCT exam, and passed with 100% of the first half (100% required) and 91% of the second half (70% required). I tripped up on a NIS issue which cost me a perfect score...

Well, now I'd like to set my sights on the RHCE. I am somewhat dismayed by the RedHat news today regarding the end of life for RedHat as we all know it, leaving only RedHat Enterprise Linux in its wake, but more on that later...

RedHat 133 System Administration Completed

It's been a great week!† A long one, ... but a great one.† Today I completed the 3 hour performance based exam for the RHCT (Red Hat Certified Technician), which itself capped off 4 days of solid Linux training in the†RH133.† I was definitely sweating bullets.† Just a word to the wise, when you hear through the grapevine that the exam is tough, well believe it!!† Boy, can I do a wicked install now ...†complete with RAID arrays, user quotas, network configuration, and kernel upgrades.† I highly recommend this course to anyone wishing to shore up their proficieny in Linux system administration.††

Mounting Filesystems: External USB Hard Drive and NTFS

I've never had formal training in the basics of Linux Administration, and so this week I'm finally in the RH133 Red Hat Linux System Administration course. So far the course completely lives up to my expectations based on my previous experience in the RH253 Red Hat Linux Networking and Security class.

I highly recommend RedHat training because the instructors are both very knowlegeable and capable of effective presentations; two traits that aren't always found together in IT training.

The RH133 curriculum is saturated with great tips and tricks in addition to the curriculum which itself is incredibly packed with very useful information.

Among the many things I'm learning in class that I'm finding personally useful at home is how to mount an external USB harddrive and how to mount the NTFS partition on the "flip side" of a dual boot machine. I could never figure out just what device to mount for the USB drive... I was trying things like /dev/usb or /proc/bus/usb/001, but that wasn't working. When I inquired with the instructor about this, he immediately knew it should be /dev/sda1. Well, I asked him how he knew this and he said that `lsusb` should list the proper device in the output if you search for the vendor name of the drive such as "Lexmark" or "Western Digital". But when he demonstrated the command, it turns out that the device wasn't in there, and when pressed he said that he "just knew" that it was /dev/sda1. He added that I should try mounting /dev/sdaN where the maximum value of N is the total number of USB ports on the machine. Upon trying this at home, I found that `mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/usb` worked like a charm on the first try.

To facilitate mounting this drive, I added a line to /etc/fstab with the desired options. Example:

/dev/sda1 /mnt/usb vfat noauto,rw,user 0 0

When I first installed the external hard drive from the Windows side, I formatted as FAT32 knowing that a filesystem of this type could be mounted from Linux... once I knew how to do it. FAT32 is accessible as vfat from Linux. The options "noauto,rw,user" mean that the system does not automatically mount the partition upon boot (noauto), that the filesystem should be mounted as read/write (rw), and that any user has permission to mount and umount the filesystem (user). Then when logged in as a non-priveleged user, all I have to do is issue `mount /mnt/usb` and voila! Note that I previously created the /mnt/usb directory for the purpose of mounting /dev/sda1 there. The directory /mnt is the conventional location to mount filesystems such as floppies, cds, nfs, samba and as well as others.

I also learned that although RedHat cannot automagically mount NTFS partition out of the box, it is possible to install a kernel module that will let you do it, with the only downside that the module provides read-only access not read-write. No biggie to me, but if you want rw access to an NTFS partition then you can either use samba if the disk is on another machine or recompile the kernel to mount either another NTFS machine or the NTFS side of a dual booted machine. Not knowing exactly how to recompile a kernel (yet!), I'm satisfied with just ro. By the way, the RedHat instructor said that they are discouraging the practice of rebuilding kernels due to the added complexity and difficulty of supporting "mystery kernels".

I found everything I needed to know about installing the module for NTFS support at the Linux NTFS RedHat Page. I just downloaded the appropriate rpm, ran the followup commands, and away we go. I added this line to /etc/fstab to allow any user to mount the NTFS side of the machine in read-only mode:

/dev/hda1 /mnt/windowsxp ntfs noauto,ro,user,umask=0222 0 0

One thing I've yet to figure out is that when a regular user mounts the NTFS partition why is the user-group on the directory set to root root while when the same user mounts the USB disk the user-group is the user user. Example:

[steven@dragonfly mnt]$ ls -ld usb/ windowsxp/
drwxr-xr-x 8 steven steven 32768 Oct 28 18:31 usb/
dr-xr-xr-x 1 root root 8192 Oct 26 19:02 windowsxp/

Now any user can mount/unmount the external USB hard drive and the NTFS half of the machine. The USB is available as read and write and the NTFS is read only. This makes it possible share resources between the two sides of a machine and saves the trouble of having to write to floppies or zip drives. Here are relevant lines in /etc/fstab when I was finished:

/dev/sda1 /mnt/usb vfat noauto,rw,user 0 0
/dev/hda1 /mnt/windowsxp ntfs noauto,ro,user,umask=0222 0 0

Happy Mounting!

Reply To Boston Linux and Unix User Group on Topic of Education

Someone was asking me today where they might take a fundamentals of LinuxUnix class that isn't going to break the bank. Anyone have any suggestions?? Thanks, Michael.

--- paulc wrote: So, you attended the Networking course from Red Hat (???)

Yes, RedHat Networking and Security.


Versioning of CFMX Certification Exam

I followed up with the program manager for the ColdFusion MX Developer Certification exam regarding a recent thread on CFTALK that discussed the ambiguous nature of one of the exam questions. It was confirmed that for now there is one question that may have a different correct answer depending on whether you are talking about CFMX 6.1 or CFMX 6.0.

The exam is scheduled to be updated in the very near future, according to the program manager. Until then, if in doubt, follow Ray and Sam's advice to choose the CFMX 6.0 answer.

See also: How I prepared for the ColdFusion 5 Developer Exam.

[Repost] Review of ColdFusion 5 Certification Exam

I prepared for the exam by doing all 550 questions (9 exams of about 60 questions each)in CF_BUSTER from and by doing all the questions from Ben Forta's study guide, all in one day. I had read the BF guide a few months ago.

After each CF_Buster practice exam, I reviewed in detail each item that was wrong. Same for the Ben Forta guide. Be aware that there are some questions in each of these exams which have either wrong answers or misprints... after shaking my head over them, I tested the question and confirmed that the printed answer was in fact wrong. There are very few of those, but it can be frustrating. Next day I walked in to the exam and got 57 out of 60 correct in about 25 minutes.


FuseboxMX Reborn as MACH II

I've seen a variety of discussion on Mach II recently. Mach II is formerly known as Fusebox MX. The creator of Fusebox, Hal Helms, describes Mach II as:

Mach-II is a robust, object-oriented framework built on an event-based, implicit invocation architecture. The Mach II training course is intended for students who want to quickly learn how to make the best use of object orientation in the Mach-II framework. Students need no prior knowledge of object orientation or Mach-II, but should have a basic familiarity with ColdFusion MX.


Spain! A Photographic Journey

Click for Photo Gallery of Catalonia, Spain Here you can find my photographs from Spain in 2000, 2002, and 2005. These trips were primarily to Barcelona in the northeastern province of Catalonia, and to the mountain villiage of Eresue which sits in a valley among the Pyrennees known as El Solano in the province Huesca. If you'd like large images, please email me. The photos are a portrait of life in Spain from the following regions or themes:

For photos of Madrid, Spain during the Christmas and New Year's Eve season, have a look at my trip in 1998 here:

Previous Entries / More Entries