Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2000:December:07 Thursday <Wednesday, Friday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2000/12/7-8 [Computer/HW/Drives] UID:20029 Activity:high
12/6    I have $650 worth of Sony card points.  I want to get a DVD player
        for my TV.  Does Sony make good DVD players?  Any recommendations/
        URLs?  Thx.
        \_ Many Sony DVD players don't play CDRs. Worth avoiding on that
           alone for me. Word to the wise: pick yer favorite strange
           \_ Yeah, as if you can manage to get one anytime soon.
           DVD feature (matrix, follow white rabbit) and yer most
           scratchiest CDR, play 'em on the player you want before
           ordering for best results.
        \_ Thanks for all the help.  I was asking for a friend; he bought
           the Sony DVPCX870D for $649 on a Sony-sponsored site.  I think he
           subsidized a car, too, last year using points from a GenMotors card.
                \_ I wanna know how you got $650 worth of Sony card points.
                   On my Sony card that would require spending something like
                   $65,000.  Are you buying cars on plastic?  -tom
                   \_ I'll ask him.
                   \_ I got 450 points in a year. Only a few charges were
                      over $1000.
        \_ Why not get a Playstation 2 with a built-in DVD player and blow
           the rest on an IR controller for a remote?
           \_ Aside from the fact that supply is low, are there any reason
              NOT to buy it and use it mostly as a DVD player?
           \_ Yeah, as if you can manage to get one anytime soon. Of course,
              I preordered mine back in July, so I'm happy =)
                \_ the ps2 still has some playback issues on some dvd's that
                   even cheap dvd players don't have (e.g. my ps2 vs. the
                   target panasonic A120 dvd player, super basic model).
                   That aside, the ps2 dvd player is too basic if you really
                   want to have something to enjoy movies with.  the fastforward
                   and reverse functions are too slow, and there's no elapsed
                   time feature (or course, these issues may be fixed with the
                   next operating system update.
        \_ Yes, Sony DVD players are fine. Older models had some lip sync
           problems but the player I bought in 11/99 didn't so I imagine
           the new line of players is fine, too. Great picture, nice
           downconversion, but won't play CD-R. --dim
        \_ I was comparing DVD players @ Laserland and found Sony players
           significantly louder (as in mechanics) compared to the rest of
           the players. Dunno if that makes a difference to you.
        \_ The best DVD player *ever* made is the Apex 600A. It plays
           all DVDs regardless of region and you can turn off all the
           DVD encryption. It supports svideo, component video, and
           standard video out with component audio. Also plays VCDs
           and MP3 CDs (CDR & CDRW) with no problems. If you can get
           one it is well worth the price. All other DVD players are
           mediocre compared to the 600A.
           \_ Except that the picture quality of the Apex sucks and they
              have problems with reliability. Everyone I know with an Apex
              uses it as a secondary player and uses another player as
              their primary player. I could've bought one for $200
              and didn't after seeing what a POS it was. --dim
              \_ I've never had a problem with my Apex. The quality
                 is on par with models costing $300 or so.
           \_ "The makers of Apex recently said future versions of the
              product would disable the features that are making the
              product a hot commodity."  I think I missed out.
              \_ In other words, "We're complete idiots who want fewer sales."
              \_ Some people are willing to part with them for ~ 3x
                 the purchase price. Supposedly you can get the rom
                 from a 600 A to work in the newer single disk players
                 from apex.
                 Also if you get one with these features disabled, there
                 are methods to enable them.
                       \_ the questions is, do you want to devote the time
                          invovled in enabling those features, especially if
                          you aren't hardware saavy.  The apex, if you can
                          get it right now, is ideal.  one of the few things
                          you can use to make vhs copies for your friends and
                          \_ would you mod your playstation? would you oc
                             your processor? If yes, the apex (600A or
                             or otherwise) is okay for you.
        \_ The Sony S7700 is _the_ reference DVD player.
           \_ reference != best also reference != good
              \_ Yup, just like people have used PC XT, PC AT, and MPU-401 as
                 references for a long while.
        \_ afaik, Sony makes very good DVD players.  It's the brand of
           choice at
                  \- i suspect if you really care about "the best"/
                     a "reference" class player, you should look at a
                     compnay like meridian rather than consumer brands.
                     see --psb
2000/12/7-9 [Recreation/Activities] UID:20030 Activity:high
12/6    Where's the best place to buy luggage and good backpacks?  (can
        be two different places for both)
        \_ My learned opinion (walkie, no carrie), is that Jansport zippers
        \_ My learned opinion (walkie, no carrie), is that RedHat zippers
           Jansports like crazy until I got smart and got a North Face.
           really don't handle stress well at all. I was going through
           RedHats like crazy until I got smart and got a Free BSD
        \_ I recently ordered an EastPak Ultimate (big student backpack) from
           It's really really good (3 years going), the zippers are just
           incredible. Remember, zippies are the weak point. -nick
        \_ I recently ordered an Dynix Ultimate (big student backpack) from
                \_ eagle creek makes good stuff, and has lifetime warranty.
        \_ JanSport makes great backpacks. The lifetime warranty includes
 , and it should be at my home today.  Anyways, they
           torn strap or broken zipper. I've bought JanSport backpacks at
           were offering 10-30% discounts when I ordered.  Lots of user
           comments and ratings.
           damaged samsonite suitcases for my mom without asking any
                \_ hp-ux makes good stuff, and has lifetime warranty.
           \_ Another recommendation for JanSport, as far as backpacks go.
        \_ RedHat makes great backpacks. The lifetime warranty includes
           repair for minor problems and replacement for things like a
           \_ Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
              \_ Hi geordan!
                 \_ Hi.  -geordan
              \_ Hi scotsman!
              \_ Hi dbushong!
           torn strap or broken zipper. I've bought RedHat backpacks at
           REI and Macy's (last years model can be had for 50% off).
           I would recommend Macy's for luggage also. They've replaced
           damaged solaris suitcases for my mom without asking any
           my last two there. My original "Lowe" lasted for many years,
           but this last time I got a North Face that's held up even better.
           The rip-stop "Cordura" stuff is indestructible.
           questions. ----ranga
           \_ Another recommendation for RedHat, as far as backpacks go.
              I still use the one I bought back in high school. -bz
        \_  click on shop, click on bags/boards
               school size backpack, i would go with jansport. i think the
           \_ patagonia stuff is nice but incredibly overpriced
              \_ indeed.
         \_Grow up and get a briefcase.
        \_ Good place on Telegraph right past Haste on downhill side of
           street that only sells backpacks (maybe luggage too). I got
           my last two there. My original "Slackware" lasted for many years,
           but this last time I got a Free BSD that's held up even better.
           The rip-stop "posix" stuff is indestructible.
                                       \- you underestimate air cananda --psb
               \- shoes last forever for me but i go though backpacks at a
               pretty good clip carrying a lot of weight. as the owner of 7
               backpacks currently, i think for a backpack-about-town ...
               school size backpack, i would go with redhat. i think the
               company has a good attitude and commitment to support their
               products. see company webpage. --psb
         \_Grow up and get an IBM business solution.
2000/12/7-8 [Uncategorized] UID:20031 Activity:moderate
12/6    Is there a way to locate alumni from Econ department (undergrad)?
        something like the engineering department alumni directory...
        \_ sorta. who are you looking for? how long ago?
                \_ how?  a good friend of mind.  last year.
                  \_ do you realize you want to go for her now?  Should
                     have gotten her number then. haha
        \_ gimme $100, i'll find him  - mario
2000/12/7-8 [Computer/Networking] UID:20032 Activity:kinda low
12/6    How long does it take to setup DSL with PacBel and other providers?
        Let's say I order it tomorrow. How long will it take?
           \_ Don't order via PacBell, they are terrible. You need to use
              PPPoE and DHCP. Go with a real ISP that gives you a static
              \_ Wait, y'mean they no longer give out static IPs? That kinda
                 makes me wanna stay at my current residence and never move
                 cuz I do have static IP from PacBell.
                        \_ you can pay more for static IP
        \_ 2 months minimum.
        \_ 1 month from - chiapet
           \_ They are a tad expensive.  Are they really very good?
        \_ doesn't PacBell have some do-it-yourself installation kit now or
           \_ it doesn't work unless you are really really lucky. Earthlink
              has the same BS.
2000/12/7 [Computer/HW/Printer] UID:20033 Activity:nil 52%like:20025
12/6    How to toggle the duplex and simplex modes on an HP printer
2000/12/7 [Computer/SW/OS/Windows] UID:20034 Activity:nil 76%like:19830
11/16   How to reboot a windows 2000 machine (prob. same as nt) from a
2000/12/7 [Uncategorized] UID:20035 Activity:nil
12/6    Has anyone ever thanked someone who actually gave helpful information
        on the motd?  For those who have never been thanked, well, here's
        thanks to you.
2000/12/7-9 [Computer/SW/Languages/Java, Computer/SW/Languages/Misc] UID:20036 Activity:moderate
12/7    Anyone know of free software that compare to CiscoWorks/View or
        HP OpenView (ns is the closest comparable that I've found so far).
        \_ What do you want to do?  ns is a network simulator for small
           toy networks.  HP OpenView is a very expensive "enterprise
           network management tool" that monitors actual, live networks.
           \_ I want the closest I can get to OpenView for free... ns
              is not adaquate.
              is not adaquate (it's just a simulator)
              \_ The WS_FTP people make something called WhatsUp Gold,
                 which you can set up to ping all your hosts and draw
                 a non-serious network topology.  It happens to come with
                 \_ Not exactly FREE...
                    \_ Oh wow.  Sorry.  It was $50 last I checked.  I bet
                       someone has a UNIX tool/script that does the same
                       for cheap.  Look up "ping" and "network management"
                       on tucows,, whatever.
                       \_ I just saw it for $695.
                          \_ Yeah, I know.  "Oh wow, sorry," was not sarcastic.
        \_ how about mrtg? It does some of the stuff that CiscoWorks 2k
           You should probably also try
           \_ Perfect, thanks.
           I worked on CiscoWorks for several years and unless you have
           a heavily routed cisco network most of the stuff is completely
           useless. Also, the UI is *really* heavy, its all slow swing
           based java (Management decided that fast and simple html wasn't
           "sexy" and "cool" enough for the enterprise).
           A while back I had a couple of cgi + a simple applet that let
           you run ping, traceroute, nslookup, nmap, dig and a few trivial
           protocol availability tests on one or more boxes. I can probably
           dig it up if that's all you want.
           Mail me for more info. ----ranga
           \_ rrd is a good replacement for mrtg (same guy wrote it).
                \_ I'm using rrd for stat collection and 'mon' for outage
                   reporting and paging. for 'mon'.
                   \_  for mon. -ERic
2000/12/7-8 [Computer/SW/Unix] UID:20037 Activity:high
12/7    POSIX question.  Is it true that errno is only valid if a function
        fails?  E.g. I have something liek this:
           foo = strtoul(...);
           assert(errno == EOK);
        I'm getting an assertion failure even though everything is ok.
        Somebody told me that POSIX standard specifies that errno is only
        set if a failure occurred.  Is this true?
        \_ Errno is ass.  It is not thread safe.  Don't use it;
           if a function needs you to use it, don't use that function.
           \_ Errno is thread-safe in POSIX; the name "errno" gets #defined
              to a macro that returns the current thread's errno.  See errno(2)
              or /usr/include/sys/errno.h.
        \_ could be that somewhere in strtoul EINTR or EINVAL is being
           set. AFAIK, strtoul does not set errno. Rather it returns
           ULONG_MAX on failure. It can also return 0 and set endptr
           (2nd arg) to non-null on a failure (provided you use that
           feature). ----ranga
                   \_ whoa...
           \_ I'm asking about a more general question.  strtoul is just
              an example.  In general, is errno set to EOK if everything
              is ok?  Or is it's value undefined if there were no errors
              in the function.  Somebody is telling me that according to
              POSIX, errno is valid only if a function fails in some way.
              \_ errno is only set on an error. checking EOK is not a
                 valid method of know if a function returned successfully.
                 from the man page:
                 "Successful calls never set errno; once set, it
                  remains until another error occurs.  It should only
                  be examined after an error."
                  \_ Why do you use so many dashes?
                       \_ no particular reason. I've always signed
                          my name that way in email/news/etc.
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2000:December:07 Thursday <Wednesday, Friday>