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(C) Sat Feb 15 10:19:20 EST 1997 Explorer Post 369

Explorer Post 369

Explorer Post 369

Table of Contents

Calendar of Events:

December 17 Christmas Party

Dec. 15 Silver Beaver Nominations Due

December 21,22 St. Stevens Food Drive

December 24 No Meeting

December 31 No Meeting

January 3-12, 97 10MegaVenture

January 16 Youth Protection Training

January 18,19 EOA Ski Trip

February Award Nominations Deadline

March 17 EOA Elections

April 5 Scout Show

May 1 Recognition Dinner

May 19 EOA Meeting

July 28-Aug5 1997 BSA Jamboree

Quality Unit Awards

The Scouter

Part of rechartering includes the chance of Exploring Posts to qualify for the Quality Unit Award. It is our goal this year to recognize posts for outstanding service to youth by issuing this award. To be able to qualify for this award a post must complete the following:

Trained Leaders, Two-Deep Leadership, Elect Youth Officers, Minimum of two meetings or activities each month, Conduct and Annual Superactivity, Complete a Service Project, On time charter renewal, 4 committee meetings a year.

Active-X Holes

Karl N. Matthias

Just thought everyone might like to know about some things I read in Byte last week which concern security and Active-X (Microsoft's half-baked answer to Java). It is apparently possible to write an Active-X applet which will shut down a Win95 or WinNT workstation. Thus, you are browsing the net, and you go to X's homepage, and next thing you know your computer is no longer running. The same guy they interviewed who wrote this little applet says is able to write one which will erase hard drives, download random files (say, for instance, viruses!) etc., all from remote control across the Internet. Nice little language there Microsoft. Glad you put so much time into making sure it was secure before you blew it out across the net.

So, for those of you who have Personal Computers at home and run Internet Explorer, it may be time to switch.

The Teacher stood up in front of the class and asked "What do you want to be when you grow up?". "Root," one student replied.

Eagle Court of Honor

DJ Gregor's Eagle Court of Honor is going to be on November 30th, at 2:00pm. It will be held at the Epiphany Lutheran Church in Pickerington

The three steps to service:

When greeting people, SMILE, it cost nothing but it reaps millions.

ALWAYS deliver what you promise, and NEVER promise what you can't deliver.

People will not care how much you know until they know how much you care.

The Death of Micro$oft!

Thoughts from the East: A Journey back to Russia 3 of 5

Andy P. Drake

Of all the places to take pictures, I think a couple of little known spots were just about the best. The first was the graveyard of statues, where the James Bond film "Golden Eye" was partially filmed. The resting places for statues that no-one wants, huge busts of Lenin, Stalin, Dzerzhinsky, as well as tacky modern socialist art litter the yard where only the statues of great poets and authors used to reside. It's very strange, almost like being inside of some gigantic child's toy box, wandering around among the discards. One particularly fitting picture I had snapped was me sitting on Leonid Brezhnev, former General Secretary and Premier of the Soviet Union. Made from white marble, I understand that in his later years, people used to joke that the bust appeared more alive than he did. How appropriate!

Probably the second most memorable thing to happen was the walking "tour" of the scenes from Nikolai Bulgokov's "The Master and Margarita", a book about unearthly occurrences in Moscow during the 1930's. The book in its own right is incredibly powerful, and I read it in literature class some time ago, but nothing prepared me for the impact it had when I visited the very spots where many of the major scenes took place. Fascinating beyond belief, the feeling of the story intensified about 2000%, making me want to read it again for the third time just to make things sink in.

What I truly appreciated probably was the smallest thing to happen -- walking around Moscow with my friends at night with no particular direction in mind, simply talking and looking. It didn't even really happen on an organized level per se, it was just a beautiful night and Moscow was lit up, so why stay inside? This was perhaps what I really wanted to see the most, the view of the city and a people from a normal angle, where everything occurred because it always occurred that way, not because tourists were present.

From a purely economic standpoint, three years ago it appeared that the American dollar, a simple two sided piece of green cloth paper, reigned supreme as the defacto currency of the country. Economic policy of mid-1992 was just beginning to push the country into a controlled economic slump designed to crush inflation and return value to the rouble, the national currency. Privatization of factories, businesses, and services of all kinds was occurring quickly as the government moved to sell of huge blocks of itself that had simply become too expensive to operate in a market-style climate. Hence, everyone banked on the full faith and credit of the United States dollar, and sold pretty much everything to us in dollars, with minimal exchange in roubles. This time, the tables had turned, and I actually had to convert money into roubles! While still not completely normal, people have turned the dollar into pretty much the currency of savings, with complete banks devoted to accounts only in hard currency for the purposes of long term savings. For me, it was difficult to get used to using the rouble again, but on the street, the rouble was liquid and was used everywhere. In little kiosks, often the dollar could be used to drive a harder bargain on something, with change in roubles. Even so, the vast majority of day to day transactions now appeared in roubles, with very little fluctuation in exchange rates over the course of the period of time I was there. Has a cautious stability returned to the rouble? Maybe, as the government has targeted 16% inflation for the year, a goal that could be achieved given current figures.

On my last trip, I noticed that most of the cultural institutions of the country, including the Russian Orthodox Church, were only starting to reassert themselves after the 70 year communistic stint. Many of the cathedrals and churches were simply museums, or at the very worst, storage and record depositories for the government who still maintained the actual control over the buildings themselves. Much of this has changed I found out, as the church has reasserted its traditional influence in the politics of the country. Although the government still maintains many of the churches, famous ones like St. Basil's cathedral in Red Square are slowly being renovated and turned back into working houses of worship. St. Basils was just one of the many milder abuses -- a Kremlin storage annex for nearly 50 years, only recently was it opened for tour as a museum. Overall, the Orthodox Church has gotten into the spirit of capitalism, as Patriarch Alexei II has blessed several products, including mineral water, in an attempt to build other sources of income aside from donations, the main revenue source when I was last there.

Part One, Two, Four, Five

Aren't you glad you are a UNIX System Administrator?

Wall Street Journal

Compaq is considering changing the command "Press Any Key" to "Press Return Key" because of the flood of calls asking where the "Any" key is.

AST technical support had a caller complaining that her mouse was hard to control with the dust cover on. The cover turned out to be the plastic bag the mouse was packaged in.

Another AST customer was asked to send a copy of her defective diskettes. A few days later a letter arrived from the customer along with Xeroxed copies of the floppies.

A Dell technician advised his customer to put his troubled floppy back in the drive and close the door. The customer asked the tech to hold on, and was heard putting the phone down, getting up and crossing the room to close the door to his room.

Another Dell customer called to say he couldn't get his computer to fax anything. After 40 minutes of trouble-shooting, the technician discovered the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding it in front of the monitor screen and hitting the "send" key.

A Dell technician received a call from a customer who was enraged because his computer had told him he was "bad and an invalid". The tech explained that the computer's "bad command" and "invalid" responses shouldn't be taken personally.

An exasperated caller to Dell Computer Tech Support couldn't get her new Dell Computer to turn on. After ensuring the computer was plugged in, the technician asked her what happened when she pushed the power button. Her response, "I pushed and pushed on this foot pedal and nothing happens." The "foot pedal" turned out to be the computer's mouse.

Another customer called Compaq tech support to say her brand-new computer wouldn't work. She said she unpacked the unit, plugged it in, and sat there for 20 minutes waiting for something to happen. When asked what happened when she pressed the power switch, she asked "What power switch?"

True story from a Novell NetWire SysOp: Caller: "Hello, is this Tech Support?" Tech: "Yes, it is. How may I help you?" Caller: "The cup holder on my PC is broken and I am within my warranty period. How do I go about getting that fixed?" Tech: "I'm sorry, but did you say a cup holder?" Caller: "Yes, it's attached to the front of my computer." Tech: "Please excuse me if I seem a bit stumped, It's because I am. Did you receive this as part of a promotional, at a trade show? How did you get this cup holder? Does it have any trademark on it?" Caller: "It came with my computer, I don't know anything about a promotional. It just has `4X' on it." At this point the Tech Rep had to mute the caller, because he couldn't stand it. The caller had been using the load drawer of the CD-ROM drive as a cup holder, and snapped it off the drive!

Silver Beaver Time

The Scouter

Yes, it's that time again, time to make nominations for the Silver Beaver Award. For those of you that are new it is the highest award that a council can give an adult volunteer. Nominations forms are due into the Council Service Center by December 20.

Let's not wait until the last minute to get this done, and miss the boat!

Complete Computer Systems for Our Active Toadies

James D. Corder

Tuesday November 19, 1996 all of Explorer Post 369's active Toadies received a complete complimentary home computer system.

It has been one of the objectives of Explorer Post 369 to have all of its members computer enabled. On the 19th 369 achieved their goal!!!

What more can someone ask for?

Quote of the Month

Mother Theresa

When Mother Theresa speaks to a group she never leaves them without giving them this charge:

Spread love everywhere you go, first of all in your own house. Give love to your children to your wife or husband to your next door neighbor. Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be a living expression of God's kindness, kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile and kindness in your warm greetings. If all of us can only practises that in everything we do, I know that the world would be a better place. Do your part the power is in your hands.

Up-an-Coming Post Expenses

12/01/96 Post Charter $30.00

12/01/96 Post Insurance $85.00

Monthly ExpNews $25.00

Up-an-Coming Member Expenses

Registration 11/01/96 $15.00

Post Finances

Explorer Post 369 has -$570.00

Java Enterprise Computing

James D. Corder

On June 19, 1995 Sun Microsystems released the Java environment. This inspirational language was the first "web enabled" language on the face of the planet. It goes beyond mere HTML. It went where no language has gone before.

Java was designed to be delivered from a web server to the desktop, and then executed on the desktop system itself. This allows fully animated home pages and live programs embedded into them. For example: with your stocks in a web enabled spread sheet from your broker's home page the sheet would be automatically updated and modified while you where viewing it with the current stock prices as they come off Wall Street.

I must admit that Java was not without its problems. Such languages did pose certain security risks. It took Sun about six months to come up with solutions.

Java has become the industry standard for web enabling the Corporate IntraNet, and has begun to take over the InterNet. Netscape, since its 2.0 release, has incorporated Java as part of its web browser. Explorer Post 369's Homepage has been Java enabled since its inception a year ago.

Micro$oft's solution to Java, at first, was to ignore it. This oversight is what lost Micro$oft the lion's share of the web browser market and gave Netscape their strong lead. Not able to steal the ideas like the did in so many of their other products, they finally gave in and came up with their own Java like language, "Active-X", named perhaps in order to take off on the similarly named X Window System from MIT; which is on the open standards based system, completely the opposite of Active-X.

Too Late!

Meanwhile, Sun forged ahead, October 30, 1996 500 days after the inception of Java, Sun Microsystems came out with their new Java Station. This is truly a revolutionary system. It changes the basic fundamentals of Desk Top computing.

Speed rating in megahertz are no longer a measurement. Ram is a thing of the past. Disk space is now not the final frontier. The Java Station has no moving parts. Not a disk drive or even a fan!

The desktop that I just built myself has 256MB of Ram, 6GB of drive and a 330MHz cpu. The server I am building has 12GB of Ram, 12-440MHz cpus, and a Terabite of drive, and yet by comparison, that is slow.

With Web-Enabled Computing, the speed is now the speed of your network, not the devices on it. Understand that today, the Java Station is for the IntraNet and the ExtraNet, not the InterNet. But, that is coming in about 4 years.

With UNIX around 650MB of Operating System, and NT impossible for the lay person to install; installation of the Java Station is as simple as a phone call. You take any Personal Computer currently on a TCP/IP network, and throw it away. Merely plug your PC monitor, keyboard and mouse into the Java Station plug reattach the network cable and call your System Administrator to read the MAC address written on the bottom of your new station to the SA. Turn it on, you are on the network. With the Java Language, the Operating system is now down to 3MBs!!! If there is a new OS upgrade simply turn your system on. You've got it!

Ok so, how does it work?

The Operating System is a glorified web browser. You do not have to replace your Database engines, servers, or even your legacy systems. Most users are using some sort of SQL calls to the DataBase engine, anyway. Currently, you have to have a copy of those programs on EVERY system on your network. With a web-enabled network, you simply point and click to the icon, it downloads ONLY that task and you now have the same tools you had on your Personal Computer on your Java station. Computing power is still on the Database Engine where it has always been. The desktop will look like you are surfing the net. With the JavaStation and Java Language your desk top is now as easy as surfing the net! The Java Station ships with Island Office and Applex Spread Sheet! WOW! There are already over 400 developers with applications for the Java Station, such as Oracle and IBM 3270 terminal emulation. For those who prefer to run NT applications, there is even windows NT remote software called NTrique available to run NT apps on your JavaStation faster than a Pentium with 64mb of RAM. Sure, the true power users will still have their work stations.




Moreover, someone has to write the Java Code for your company. If you are like me with over 15,000 antiquated 386 & 486 systems and a NT System Administration and Support staff going through the roof, a Personal Computer budget still in the `80s like the technology we are using, then Java Stations is an accountant's dream.

If you can reuse your monitor and keyboard the cost is only $742.00US before discount. If you are a big enough customer of Sun's to get the entire 40% discount your cost would only be $446.00US WOW! For less cost than upgrading to Windows95 or NT on can completely revolutionize your enterprise!

The time for cost accounting has died. It is now the time for revolutionary changes. If your accountants have already pinched a penny so tight that the zits on Lincon's face have erupted, you have to stop looking back and confront the future. The corporate world has already embraced the InterNet and have simultaneously created their IntraNet. With electronic commerce firms began to build an ExtraNet based on web technology. Is it not, therefore, logical to assume that the way we compute in the 90s will drastically change?

If one can take the cost of a Desk Top from $8,000.00US a year [amortized over 5 years including training and System Administration] to under $2,500.00, what would that do for the bottom line? As I have said, already over 400 UNIX developers have ported their software to the Java Station. Companies like Eastman Kodak, FTD, CXS, and a very large Tele-Communications company have already switched!

We all know Windows is the petree dish of computers, if you want to down load a virus, use Windows. UNIX, on the other hand, has never had a virus and only two worms. While, Windows has over 1,600 virus classifications alone. The questions now is: What do you want the financial future of your corporation riding on?

Be, Inc. Part 1 of 2

Karl N. Matthias

In 1990, Jean-Louis Gassee, the former head of Apple Computer's European division, founded Be, Inc. This start-up computer company began work on a revolutionary new operating system based on a multi-processor, multi-tasking core architecture. The first versions of the OS were written using the AT&T Hobbit processor. When that project was scrapped by the industrial giant, Be embraced the new PowerPC architecture. From that point on, Be started to make serious headway.

Be has been in the news a lot lately due to the upcoming release of their operating system running on PowerMacintosh computers. But that is not where the story starts. Be has embraced many industry standards, from TCP/IP to OpenGL, Java, NFS, and the Bash shell. The operating system itself has been designed to run on Be's own BeBox hardware, a multi-processor system based on PowerPC 603e CPUs. Support for PowerMac hardware is in the works and a developer release will be available in January. The important thing to note here is that software written for the BeBox will run unchanged on a PowerMac running BeOS, and vice versa.

BeBoxes, as well as being based on the PowerPC, also embrace other industry standard components. On board SCSI and IDE controllers mean you can use your existing drives from your PC, Mac, or UNIX box, and ISA and PCI card support allow a wide range of peripherals support. Included are also 4 serial ports, 4 MIDI ports, a parallel port, and something of Be's own creation called the GeekPort. This port is made up of two 8 bit D/A channels, and allows for the attachment of vast numbers of peripherals. On top of these already generous ports and hardware support options, the BeBox also includes an infrared transceiver, allowing you to both control the BeBox by remote, and to control other devices with your BeBox (such as your tv, VCR, LaserDisc player, etc.)


Our New Classroom

James D. Corder

We have successfully presented the drawings of our second story classroom to the Church Council. They have accepted the drawings and are now waiting for the approval of the property committee. Mr. Docken has created us a material list. This room will give us a permanent 14'x20' classroom for our Exploring Endeavors. We are seeking donations for the $5,000.00 needed to purchase the materials to build our new classroom.

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