TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Jul 99 Online

Volume Number: 15 (1999)
Issue Number: 7
Column Tag: MacTech Online

by Jeff Clites online@mactech.com

Last month we read up on the Open Source movement, with an eye to how it relates to the Mac community. This month we are going to look at a few specific software packages. Some are open source, while some are technically not although they are being developed in the same spirit. (See last month's article for information on what it takes to qualify as open source.) Also, some of them already run under Mac OS X Server, while other are yet to be ported. But they are all useful, and present themselves as opportunities for the Macintosh community--opportunities to use tools that were previously unavailable to us, and opportunities to actively participate in their development.

But first, be sure to check out the new paper by Apple's Wilfredo Sanchez, "Open Software in a Commercial Operating System". It offers further insight into Apple's commitment to open source software, and the issues and benefits involved.

Open Software in a Commercial Operating System
http://www.mit.edu/people/wsanchez/papers/FREENIX99.html

Email Servers: Sendmail, Qmail, and Postfix

With the initial release of Mac OS X Server Apple did not include a default email server to operate alongside their easy-to-administer incarnation of the Apache web server. In future versions this will probably change, but in the short term network administrators get to fend for themselves. The obvious choice is Sendmail, which is the most widely-used mail server out there, handling an amazing 70% of the email on the internet. It is also one of the most complicated, with configuration files which are second only to ancient Mayan in their difficulty to decipher. While no one will criticize you for choosing Sendmail, there are alternatives you might want to consider. One attractive option is qmail, which was developed specifically in response to certain deficiencies of Sendmail. Its three main selling points are that it is secure (there was a $1000 reward offered for anyone who could compromise its security, and it went unclaimed), reliable (it will never lose messages due to a system failure at an inopportune time), and it doesn't require file locking (so it could be run off of file systems which don't support locking, such as NFS and HFS). It should be noted that qmail is not open source per se, as you must get the author's permission to redistribute modified copies, but is should run on Mac OS X Server without modification (since it runs under BSD), and it does have an active user community. O'Reilly and Associates have a book on qmail in the works, scheduled to be released later this year. Hopefully it will be shorter than their thousand-page Sendmail tome.

Sendmail Home Page
http://www.sendmail.org
Qmail
http://www.qmail.org/top.html
D. J. Bernstein's qmail Page
ftp://koobera.math.uic.edu/www/qmail.html
The Big qmail Picture
http://www.nrg4u.com/

Another alternative, less publicized but also popular, is Postfix. Like qmail, Postfix aims at being a Sendmail alternative, and in fact views itself as a direct (though friendly) competitor with qmail. Although it isn't completely clear from the Postfix web site, it appears to allow unrestricted redistribution, although there is no mention of whether distribution of modified versions is allowed. On the other hand, there is a binary version available for Mac OS X Server (see the Stepwise software tracking page), and Postfix is able to use the operating system's NetInfo database for certain table lookups. Although there will likely be a qmail binary available for Mac OS X Server at some point, those wishing to dive in right away may prefer to try Postfix.

The Postfix (formerly VMailer) Home Page
http://www.postfix.org
Postfix--The Big Picture
http://postfix.affinity.net/big-picture.html
Postfix Overview--Goals and Features
http://postfix.affinity.net/goals.html
Postfix Overview--Global Architecture
http://postfix.affinity.net/architecture.html
Stepwise--Mac OS X Server Software
http://www.stepwise.com/Software/index.html

Once your email arrives, you can do sophisticated things with it using procmail, a mail processing program. It allows you to do all sorts of things, such as filtering your mail (either upon receipt or later), selectively forwarding certain messages, or serving as a replacement for your local mail delivery agent. It's a single binary and can be installed by an unprivileged user for his own use, and aims to be all of the good things: small, fast, and robust (handling "every conceivable system error" and able to deliver the mail under the worst conditions). If you like to be in control of your mail, this is the way to go.

Procmail Homepage
http://www.procmail.org/
Procmail FAQ
http://www.iki.fi/era/procmail/mini-faq.html
Procmail Readme
ftp://ftp.ucsb.edu/pub/mirrors/procmail/procmail.README
Procmail Features
ftp://ftp.ucsb.edu/pub/mirrors/procmail/procmail.FEATURES

Samba

Although Apple has positioned it as a file server, Mac OS X Server shipped without any built-in way to share files with Windows-based machines. It is an unfortunate omission; realistically, in today's business environment Macs need to integrate with existing NT networks. It is especially important that it be dead-easy to do, so that organizations which have had bad experiences with their current systems can try out Apple's new servers without having to make a major commitment of time and effort. For this reason, it seems likely that in future versions of Mac OS X (Server or otherwise) will include some type of support for this. Until then, we are lucky to have Samba, an open-source package which may serve as a life-preserver to a lone Mac advocate in an all-Windows shop. (Be sure to check the Stepwise software page, mentioned above, for a link to a binary distribution for Mac OS X Server.)

So what is Samba? In short, it is a package which provides SMB server and client capabilities. So what is SMB? As you can find out from the web page of the same name, "SMB, which stands for Server Message Block, is a protocol for sharing files, printers, serial ports, and communications abstractions such as named pipes and mail slots between computers." The core of Samba is an SMB server, which allows a Unix machine to serve files (and printers) to Windows clients. (In fact, Microsoft even validates new system software releases against it.) Included in the distribution are other tools, such as an ftp-like client for accessing Windows resources from a Unix machine. Intriguingly, there is also smbfs, a currently Linux-only filesystem allowing you to mount remote Windows volumes, which in fact it is included as standard with Linux 2.0 and later. This would be a great project for the Darwin community to tackle -- bringing this capability to other flavors of Unix. With BSD's extensible filesystem underlying both Darwin and Mac OS X, this is a tailor-made opportunity for the Mac community to contribute something which would be very useful to a large community of people, and show off their technology at the same time.

If you are like me, then you like to have a book or two handy to supplement the "standard" documentation. Samba: Integrating UNIX and Windows (ISBN 1-57831-006-7), by John D. Blair of the Samba Team, used to be the only game in town. It is excellent, but becoming a bit out of date. Fortunately, the recently-published SAMS Teach Yourself Samba in 24 Hours (ISBN 0672316099), by Richard Sharpe and Gerald Carter (also of the Samba team), comes with high praise, despite its cookie-cutter title. Finally, O'Reilly and Associates are set to publish Using Samba later this year, and given their track record it is likely to become an instant classic.

SAMBA
http://www.samba.org/
What is SMB?
http://samba.org/cifs/docs/what-is-smb.html
What's Samba all about?
http://us1.samba.org/samba/about.html
Samba: An Introduction
http://us1.samba.org/samba/docs/SambaIntro.html

When you are done with these, saunter on over to the MacTech Online web pages at www.mactech.com/online/, for more links to dig your teeth into.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Google Earth 7.1.8.3036 - View and contr...
Google Earth gives you a wealth of imagery and geographic information. Explore destinations like Maui and Paris, or browse content from Wikipedia, National Geographic, and more. Google Earth combines... Read more
QuickBooks 16.1.11.1556 R12 - Financial...
QuickBooks helps you manage your business easily and efficiently. Organize your finances all in one place, track money going in and out of your business, and spot areas where you can save. Built for... Read more
Google Earth 7.1.8.3036 - View and contr...
Google Earth gives you a wealth of imagery and geographic information. Explore destinations like Maui and Paris, or browse content from Wikipedia, National Geographic, and more. Google Earth combines... Read more
QuickBooks 16.1.11.1556 R12 - Financial...
QuickBooks helps you manage your business easily and efficiently. Organize your finances all in one place, track money going in and out of your business, and spot areas where you can save. Built for... Read more
FileZilla 3.24.0 - Fast and reliable FTP...
FileZilla (ported from Windows) is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface. Version 3.24.0: New The context menu for remote file search... Read more
Bookends 12.7.8 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more
Duplicate Annihilator 5.8.3 - Find and d...
Duplicate Annihilator takes on the time-consuming task of comparing the images in your iPhoto library using effective algorithms to make sure that no duplicate escapes. Duplicate Annihilator detects... Read more
BusyContacts 1.1.6 - Fast, efficient con...
BusyContacts is a contact manager for OS X that makes creating, finding, and managing contacts faster and more efficient. It brings to contact management the same power, flexibility, and sharing... Read more
MarsEdit 3.7.10 - Quick and convenient b...
MarsEdit is a blog editor for OS X that makes editing your blog like writing email, with spell-checking, drafts, multiple windows, and even AppleScript support. It works with with most blog services... Read more
BusyCal 3.1.4 - Powerful calendar app wi...
BusyCal is an award-winning desktop calendar that combines personal productivity features for individuals with powerful calendar sharing capabilities for families and workgroups. Its unique features... Read more

Super Mario Run dashes onto Android in M...
Super Mario Run was one of the biggest mobile launches in 2016 before it was met with a lukewarm response by many. While the game itself plays a treat, it's pretty hard to swallow the steep price for the full game. With that said, Android users... | Read more »
WarFriends Beginner's Guide: How to...
Chillingo's new game, WarFriends, is finally available world wide, and so far it's a refreshing change from common mobile game trends. The game's a mix of tower defense, third person shooter, and collectible card game. There's a lot to unpack here... | Read more »
Super Gridland (Entertainment)
Super Gridland 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Entertainment Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Match. Build. Survive. "exquisitely tuned" - Rock Paper Shotgun No in-app purches, and no ads! | Read more »
Red's Kingdom (Games)
Red's Kingdom 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Mad King Mac has kidnapped your father and stolen your golden nut! Solve puzzles and battle goons as you explore and battle your... | Read more »
Turbo League Guide: How to tame the cont...
| Read more »
Fire Emblem: Heroes coming to Google Pla...
Nintendo gave us our first look at Fire Emblem: Heroes, the upcoming mobile Fire Emblem game the company hinted at last year. Revealed at the Fire Emblem Direct event held today, the game will condense the series' tactical RPG combat into bite-... | Read more »
ReSlice (Music)
ReSlice 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Audio Slice Machine Slice your audio samples with ReSlice and create flexible musical atoms which can be triggered by MIDI notes or... | Read more »
Stickman Surfer rides in with the tide t...
Stickson is back and this time he's taken up yet another extreme sport - surfing. Stickman Surfer is out this Thursday on both iOS and Android, so if you've been following the other Stickman adventures, you might be interested in picking this one... | Read more »
Z-Exemplar (Games)
Z-Exemplar 1.4 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.4 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
5 dastardly difficult roguelikes like th...
Edmund McMillen's popular roguelike creation The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth has finally crawled onto mobile devices. It's a grotesque dual-stick shooter that tosses you into an endless, procedurally generated basement as you, the pitiable Isaac,... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Twelve South Releases RelaxedLeather Cases fo...
Inspired by the laid-back luxury of burnished leather boots and crafted in rich tones of taupe, herb and marsala, RelaxedLeather cases deliver smart, easy protection for the iPhone 7. Each genuine... Read more
Week’s Best Deal: New 2016 13-inch 2.0GHz Mac...
Amazon has the new 2016 13″ 2.0GHz non-Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for a limited time for $225 off MSRP including free shipping: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro, Space Gray (MLL42LL/A): $1274.99 $225 off... Read more
Back in stock: Apple refurbished Mac minis fr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
Apple Ranked ‘Most Intimate Brand’
The top ranked ‘”intimate” brands continued to outperform the S&P and Fortune 500 indices in revenue and profit over the past 10 years, according to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2017 Report, the largest... Read more
B-Eng introduces SSD Health Check for Mac OS
Fehraltorf, Switzerland based independant Swiss company- B-Eng has announced the release and immediate availability of SSD Health Check 1.0, the company’s new hard drive utility for Mac OS X. As the... Read more
Apple’s Education discount saves up to $300 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free: -... Read more
4-core 3.7GHz Mac Pro on sale for $2290, save...
Guitar Center has the 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro (MD253LL/A) on sale for $2289.97 including free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Their price is a $710 savings over standard MSRP for... Read more
128GB Apple iPad Air 2, refurbished, availabl...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 128GB iPad Air 2s WiFis available for $419 including free shipping. That’s an $80 savings over standard MSRP for this model. A standard Apple one-year warranty is... Read more
13-inch 2.7GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2015 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina Apple MacBook Pro on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro (MF839LL/A): $... Read more
Laptop Market – Flight To Quality? – The ‘Boo...
Preliminary quarterly PC shipments data released by Gartner Inc. last week reveal an interesting disparity between sales performance of major name PC vendors as opposed to that of less well-known... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* macOS Systems Integration Administra...
…most exceptional support available in the industry. SCI is seeking an Junior Apple macOS systems integration administrator that will be responsible for providing Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Deer Pa...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Technician - nfrastructure (United S...
Let’s Work Together Apple Technician This position is based in Portland, ME Life at nfrastructure At nfrastructure, we understand that our success results from our Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**467692BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 000602-Columbia MO-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.