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Re: what's the killer app for GNU/Linux systems?

On 11/30/06, Martin McCormick <martin@dc.cis.okstate.edu> wrote:
        Linux is the killer application.  That being said, there
are lots of things I like.  Cron and the ability to do timed
automation jobs is wonderful.  I use cron, mplayer and a shell
script or two to capture on-line "radio" programs like an audio
Tivo.  For anyone interested, the concept is to use mplayer in
the dumpstream mode, sync your computer using ntpd, let mplayer
start at the prescribed time in the background with &, and then
kill $! N seconds later where N is the number of seconds to sleep
while mplayer is dumping to the file.  I can get really tight
recordings as long as the source station is also accurate in its
time and most are quite accurate.

        A Linux system makes a darn-good "tape recorder," so to
speak.  I have gotten good recordings, even at 44.1 KHZ sampling
from a 250-MHZ Dell though it doesn't take much to make it too
busy to record properly.  At lower sampling rates, it is as good
as anything.

        As I told one other person recently, if people knew how
well even 250-MHZ systems do, there would be fist fights over
them rather than people tossing out perfectly good equipment.  On
the slower stuff, more RAM usually helps and not running X if you
can help it also frees more CPU cycles for the important stuff.

        As a computer user who happens to be blind, linux has
been a life saver in my job.  If not for Linux and also FreeBSD,
I would be forced to run Microsoft Windows, deal with "Patch
Tuesdays" and hope to goodness that each new patch didn't kill
the screen reader.  Trust me.  It happens.  Under Linux, there
are several possibilities for screen-reader access, all free and
all good in their own way.  I simply feel like I am still in
control of what the system is doing and only limited by my
knowledge and imagination rather than what some suit in a far-off
office thought I needed or should have.

        I am big on automation because those of us in networking
work most efficiently when we can automate the donkey work and
concentrate on the things that humans are best at.  Cron, at and
expect are true gems and the people who wrote them and made them
available to all truly left the wood pile higher than they found it.

Martin McCormick WB5AGZ  Stillwater, OK
Systems Engineer
OSU Information Technology Department Network Operations Group

Gorgeous stuff... Shouldn't this kind of stuff be posted to some
advocacy site somewhere?

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