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Aug. 17, 2018

main | general :: mailbag :: 6

From: David T. Date: 30/3/00

I bought your book at our local computer show, choosing it over a couple
of other firewall books because it seems much more readable.  (I'll pick
up one of the thicker, more expensive tomes for reference at the next
show -- OH, and I'll also take a look at your search engine book, too.)
I have found your book to be very informative, while at the same time
finding the issue somewhat intimidating with all the considerations that
need to be taken into account.  I really get the picture that a person
should consider keeping one machine physically separated from the
network/internet for truly private work/files which can be hand
transferred by disk whenever needed.

Right now, I'm in the midst of installing 2.6 from ftp over cable,
because Easy CD Creator 3.5c on NT4.0 doesn't seem to support writing
ISO9660 long file names (that option is shaded and unselectable) and
OpenBSD won't install from CD without the full file titles.  In the
process, I have found some things not covered in the book.  So as
suggested, I went to the companion site listed in the book which linked
me to  There I clicked the "OpenBSD Installation" link
to a page which said it contains a chapter from the book.  Now, of
course I don't need what I have in print in front of me, but I am still
somewhat disappointed that the mention of your book is the only
information on the page, the rest is blank, no chapter as promised (or
did you mean to say that the info is contained in the book), no update
info, annnnd the book link merely takes one to an order page (which
would be OK if there were any other info, but as it is, it appears to be
another of those cursed web creations, the misleading link, a pet peeve
of mine).  I was hoping to find something extra on the web in the way of
update information, as mentioned in your book.  (It's obvious that the
site is very new and being a creator and maintainer of three sites
myself, I know how these things can happen, but it's still a bit
disappointing.) :-(

Anyway, so far there are two things that I have found as different or
not mentioned in the book:

1) One big pain is that the ftp addresses suggested by the 2.6 install
program list "ftp://" (without quotes) as part of each ftp site
address.  BUT, it actually screws things up if, when an address is
called for in a subsequent step, one includes the "ftp://" (as one may
optionally do with an address in a web browser).  If it is included,
everything seems to go fine up until one approves the final download,
then it tries valiantly but coughs back a bunch of can't do statements.
However, using the address without the "ftp://" in front makes things
work like a charm, especially if one happens to know of a fast download
site [hint:  I found the fastest sites are NOT among those listed as
"suggested"]. --- You may want to update this item under the sidebar on

2) I eventually got past the download to the time zone request.  This is
an area in which I found things to be a little different than explained
in the book.  Just before asking for the time zone info, the install
program asks about installing "ssl."  However, since it said ssl can
also be installed later, I skipped it for now.  --- QUESTION:  Would I
have been better off installing ssl as offered during the original
system install (the book doesn't mention this option) ?  If so what
instructions or pointers can you give?   If there's any advantage to
doing in the first place, it would help to know, just in case I do it
again or help someone else.

As a more trivial matter, the 2.6 install didn't ask anything about
installing X as you mentioned it would in the book (I guess it now
leaves that off when no X items are picked).  Instead it came up with
some sort of makedev request.  Not wanting to do anything until checking
with your "companion site," I used a separate dial up account on another
machine to make this visit.  After typing much of this email, I checked
back with my firewall machine to find that there must have been a wait
period which timed out and everything proceeded on its own:  waiting for
me is a big congrats statement in uppercase.

BTW:  The subject of the next meeting of the Western Pennsylvania Linux
Users Group (WPLUG) just happens to be installing OpenBSD and FreeBSD.
I wonder if this has anything to do with the meeting date:  April
1,2000; could this be intended as an April Fools joke on the Linux users
who think their coming to a meeting on Linux. :-)  Ah, but the timing is
perfect for me. --- If you have any tip, yea or nay, about doing the ssl
install during the initial system install, I'll pass it along to my
fellow WPLUGers.

Now back to your book and the rest of the task at hand.

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