Table of Contents
Venturing Crew 369 is starting their 5th year. Troop 369 is starting their 37th year.
(C) Sat Jan 30 22:33:27 EST 1999 Venturing Crew 369
Nothing good was ever achieved without enthusiasm!
James D. Corder
Congratulations to: Andy P. Drake, Joe Harvey, Nathaniel P. Graham, Ho-Sheng Hsiao, and Thomas R. Lowers for achieving their Red Engineering Cords!
James D. Corder
The Basic UNIX For Programmers course will conclude in April. Those that have achieved their Red Engineering Cords will be able to go onto the Intermediate UNIX for Programmers course.
We are not scheduled to take the Engineering Placement Exam again until August. I will try to get permission from the Guild to allow us to take it at the end of April. They are usually extremely kind to us.
It has been said that "True" system administrators [SA] don't program. I tend to agree with this. However, a "REAL" SAs knows how. The SA must understand how to support their programmers, and I bet 99% of the SAs out there have had to generate their own programs to support their needs. I can't tell you how many Java, JumpStart, and SH programs I have written in my life.
It is this need to know how to program that we will be going through 3 levels of UNIX for Programmers before we start UNIX System Administration.
We have visited your web site and are proud to give you the Good People's Choice Award. This award is very different because the meaning of it is to promote honest, moral and ethical good values on the Internet. When you place the Good People's Choice Award on your web page you are letting others know that you adhere to these principles. This award helps all of us to promote honesty and worthwhile content throughout the Internet.
1/29/99 Toaddie Campout
2/6/99 Court-of Honor & Sleep Over
2/7/99 Scout Sunday $7.00
2/27/99 Maple Syrup Festival
3/6/99 Airforce Museum, Dayton
3/30/99 Exploring Rappelling Money and Registration Forms due to Council
4/16/99 Exploring Recognition Dinner Registration Forms Due to Council
4/17-18/99 Exploring Rappelling Outing
4/20/99 Flower Sale Begins
5/8/99 Exploring Recognition Dinner
5/15/99 Garage Sale
5/30/99 Exploring Canoe Trip Money and Registration Forms Due to Council
6/18-20/99 Exploring Canoe Trip
6/28-7/31/99 Summer Camp
We might move to the following week-$175.00
9/13/99 First Nighter Week
9/25/99 Award Nominations Due
10/15/99 Recognition Dinner Money Due
10/23/99 Venturing Recognition Dinner
11/2/99 Election Reporting
The 1999 Calendar is still in the planning Stages.
From the security grapevine, I've found this neat little tool-kit called "Deception" at http://all.net/dtk The entire package is called DTK. According to the website, the idea is not new. Basically, the DTK fakes security vulnerabilities. Furthermore, any attacks are logged.
For example, a cracker steals the password file and runs a password cracker on it. But this is really a fake password file generated by the DTK to confuse, befuddle, and waste the cracker's time. Other deceptions found on the site include FTP, Sendmail, and portscans.
DTK discourages crackers by wasting their time and effort. Additionally, the DTK serves as a early-warning system. While the cracker trips over the DTK, security monitors receive notices, and can watch an attack in progress. With the newer security vulnerability scans floating around on the net, DTK should keep the lesser-skilled crackers dancing around. However, though I don't specialize in security, I still wonder what the crackers will respond with.
The Internet not only affected economics, it is also inducing seething changes to culture and politics.
We start with the (contemporary) classic literature such as Gibson's Neuromancer, Orwell's 1984, and Stephenson's Snow Crash. Each has, in its own way, influenced current-day tecnocrats. What is discussed are beyond the post-modern contemplation of feudalism and spiritual loss. These book embraces technology. When Hollywood portrays geeks and nerds as heroes of the day, I think it has entered the mainstream. Writers flock to write about technology-oriented books for the masses, after years of shunning technology and relegating science fiction as popular trash; you know future English professors will hold up technical literature in the classroom to the groans of students. If there are any more Professors or classrooms. There are several internationally accredited virtual colleges; Universities around the world are developing and implementing distance learning programs. Instead of studying madly for American ACT and SAT tests, students in developing nations and around the world has the slim chance to receive a diploma from say... MIT or Harvard.
Let's not forget politicians, even though some of us would like to. A third party candidate has proven an Internet-supported campaign can win. Minnesota governor-elect won against the entrenched Big Media And despite being painted as a freak and an incompetent, running a campaign under half a million dollars, he won. Much like how the ten-second media politicians replaced party-machine politicians, we shall see newer generations of Internet politicians displacing the media politicians. Except that the Internet provides an overwhelming choice of candidates, lobbying by the click of the e-mail, and constituents that are not geographically bounded. TV politicians used the ten-second shots to present through a distraction box. The Internet gives you the world. Will we see an internationally-acclaimed, internationally-influential small-town mayor? Possible. Inevitable.
There's lots of benefits to this global social and political commingling. But I'm wary of the price; tanstaafl lurks around where you don't see it. We're building our own Tower of Babel. Fine, great, awesome, so what are we going to do with it?
PHP/FI is a script language directly embeddable inside HTML. The authors took a subset of Perl's syntax, cleaned it up, added some features, and shipped it off. The current incarnation is PHP3 www.php3.org, compiled as an Apache 1.3 module or stand-alone CGI interpreter; it also include interfaces to Oracle, MySQL, mSQL, PostgreSQL, Sybase, Informix, Solid, dBase, LDAP, IMAP, SNMP, mail, dynamic loaders, images (gif, jpeg, png), gzip, and many other functions. It is also turing-complete, meaning that it is a full-fledged language.
PHP's greatest strength, though, is that it was designed to create web-based interfaces. CGI variables passed to PHP are automatically converted into variables. PHP supports quoting that allows the developer to switch between HTML code and PHP scripts. PHP has native support for cookies and MD5 hashes. When combined together with those database (and etc.) functions, PHP is an excellent application-server language.
To give people an idea of what PHP is like, I have here a short demo. I was working on a HTML version of a weekly schedule Take a look at the source HTML. I have well over 250 cells; I did not want to sit around typing all those HTML code. Rather, I used PHP to quickly develop it. Here is a commented listing. The embedded PHP code are within the <?php ?>
It took me 15 minutes to write it from scratch, 45 minutes to tweak it. I can tweak it very easily, deciding on colors or layout, or number of cells, without editing the HTML source directly. Had I done this by hand, I probably would have taken all day.
Also, like any programming language, everyone has his or her own style. I am personally tickled by how PHP can parse a file alternating between HTML and PHP. As a native speaker of both English and Manderine Chinese, its fun to be able to just switch back and forth between the two languages (or in HTML's case, markup) to something or someone who understands it.
I have also developed a PHP library that allows me to quickly write web pages. I can now concentrate on the web page's content, rather than its layout. And when I want to deal with the layout, I only need to make changes to the library scripts, rather than the output HTML. My web page here at the Crew's site, was created with this library. I'll talk more about this project in next month's publication.
Any male Venturer who has achieved the First Class rank as a Boy Scout in a Troop or Varsity Scout in a team may continue advancement toward the Star, Life, and Eagle Scouts ranks up to his 18th birthday. He must meet the requirements as prescribed in the official Boy Scout Handbook and the current Boy Scout Requirements book. The Venturer may fulfill leadership requirements by serving as president, vice president, secretary, or treasurer of his crew, or a boatswain, boatswain's mate, yeoman, purser, or storekeeper for his ship.
The Scoutmaster conference will be conducted by the Advisor or Skipper. As the Venturer meets requirements for the Star and Life ranks, a board of review will be conducted by the crew or ship committee. The Eagle board of review should follow the procedures established by the local council.
238% Growth over last year!
------------------------------------------- Host Address Hits % of total ------------------------------------------- www.proxy.aol.com 5959 5.23 jschlege.campus.vt.edu 1370 1.20 brillo.av.pa-x.dec.com 1031 0.91 taz.northernlight.com 759 0.67 rtldial1.mps.ohio-state.edu 679 0.60 d502.velocity.net 670 0.59 pm31-p172.netexp.net 574 0.50 me-dhcp-160.eng.ohio-state.edu 556 0.49 scooter.pa-x.dec.com 499 0.44 rhea.eecs.lehigh.edu 489 0.43 gmas1-p23.telepac.pt 479 0.42 p1.bankone.com 468 0.41 -------------------------------------------
------------------------- Browser Class % of total ------------------------- Netscape Nav 49.0 igator Microsoft 44.7 Internet Explorer Other 6.3 -------------------------
-------------------------------- Platforms % of total -------------------------------- Windows 95 53.7 Other 20.9 Windows NT 9.4 UNIX 9.0 Macintosh 4.4 Windows 3.1 or lower 2.5 OS/2 0.1 --------------------------------
------------------ Avg Hits/Hour 43 ------------------ Max Hits/Hour 73 Min Hits/Hour 9 Avg Hits/Day 981 ------------------
James D. Corder
From September 8, 1998 to January 1st 1999 there were 29931 accesses and 113830 hits. Each vistor viewed an average of 2.6 pages and downloaded 74.1 kilobytes. Hosts visited Venturing Crew 369's Home Page an average of 1.7 times, for a total of 11331 unique visits by 6721 unique hosts. Venturing Crew 369's Home Page served 819.5 megabytes of information during this time period. There were 4.1 visits per hour, and a sustained rate of 41.4 hits per hour.
I can imagine writing AI script can be a very difficult task, and to simplify this task you can use Fuzzy Logic. For example one of my current favorite games gran turismo, a car racing game where you race a computer, I think would be very difficult to program because you would have to write script for every single possibility and also it would have to be extremely precise. If you decided that when your car gets close you want their car to go away you have to set hard values for to items "close" and "go away" which at times can be difficult. Some people answer to this would be to simply pick arbitrary numbers that seem close to what they should be, but other people ridding the paradigm shift would use fuzzy variables and fuzzy sets so that there are very few hard set rules for game play. Regular logic would say "car A go to 4 meters away to the left when you are <4 meters form Car B" but fuzzy logic would say "if car A is around 4 meters from Car B then go farther away." They can do this part by using fuzzy sets that set certain words such as far, near, close and around approximate numeric values.
Of course not all fuzzy logic works the same way much the same way as not all types of C work the same. Fuzzy logic can cut processing time way down and can shorten programs by fast amounts by simply NOT paying to much attention to details. This is the part where most people take sides between the two logic's. In my opinion fuzzy logic and standard logic both have there applications. Standard logic will continue to be used in calculators and most basic programming whereas fuzzy logic has already been incorporated in such things as land rovers on mars where time and size matter but not being totally precise. But the best part is that you can use the two of them interchangeably and in combinations to make really remarkable programs that would be much more difficult to do if the two didn't work together.
You may know that in Japan, Fuzzy logic is the most popular item on the markets and that even there government is using it in such things as the Sendai subway and basic research centers. I believe and hope that in a few years Fuzzy Logic will no longer be feared and equally not thought of as the answer to all problems but will be excepted for what it is, a useful tool in the world AI and other related devices.
Recent changes in Exploring program, made by the National Office of the Boy Scouts of America, has renamed the Explorer Posts that conduct highadventure activities or are related to a church group as Venturing Crews, effective August 1, 1998. The program of Exploring is now for career exploration and associated with a business or school. In general, Venture Crews now specialize in of the following areas: outdoor, sports, arts/hobbies, youth ministry, or Sea Scouting.
Venturing is still a youth development program of the Boy Scouts of America for young men and women who are 14 through 20 years of age. It's purpose is to provide positive experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults.
Venture Crews can specialize in a variety of avocation or hobby interests. Venturing programs are developed around the following six experience areas of emphasis: citizenship, leadership, fitness, social, outdoor, and service.
A variety of awards are available to Venturers, including the Venturing Silver Award, the highest award within the Venturing program. The Ranger Award is a specialized outdoor award.
The National Office is still in the process of designing and printing a number of information pieces regarding the Venture program. Currently, the Venturing Leader Manual is available from the Scout Shop or your field office, as is the Ranger Guidebook. More information will be forthcoming!
Hello Mr. Corder!
Congratulations!!... Your site definitely qualifies for the "Critical Mass Award". A very nice site, excellent design, clever original graphics, great photos, and your content is informative, entertaining, presented well and easy to access. A *worthy* enterprise and a positive contribution to the Web.
Thanks for helping make the Web a more interesting, fun and attractive place to visit. I really enjoyed my visit to your site and will return again when time permits :)
Cheers,... Bill Darling
A few representatives form Venture Crews within the Council met on Thursday, November 19 ti investigate the possibility of forming a Council Venturing Committee. Comprised of volunteers interested in the Venturing program within the Simon Kenton Council, this committee would be charged with providing leadership to program planning and support for Venturing Crews within the Council. The Council will provide a professional staff advisor to support the committee.
Specific duties of the committee include:
1. First, you need to find or create a product theither has a demand or that a demand cbe created for.
2. Next, decide whgroup of people will be most apt to buy your product.
3. Then determine whis the most efficient way to make it.
4. After that, figure out how you will be advertising it.
5. Then, set a price thpeople will pay and will also give you profits.
6. Finally, you will want to produce your product, distribute it to retailers and sell it.
I was very impressed by all the hard work you have put into the site and have to congratulate you on a wonderful achievement in web site design.
I would like to extend my congratulations on producing a very informative and resource site. An excellent addition to the web, one that you should be very proud of. It really is impressive work.
Have you ever wondered how large programming teams keep track of and manage their collection of sources? This is not such an easy thing to do when you are dealing with hundreds of megabytes of sources and hundreds more to store revision information on sources. Another difficulty is merging different branches of the same source. If this was done by humans it would take a team alongside the programming team just to manage the development. This may work well for some situations, but what if the programming team is spread across the globe, there is not organizational team, or if the people who are working on the project are not always the same? There are a number of programs out there known as Revision Control Systems, or RCS, that handle all of the bookkeeping of sources that a programming team would need.
A popular revision control system is known as Concurrent Versions System, or CVS, developed by Cyclic Software. CVS is used for a number of well known development projects. Among them is Netscape's Mozilla project, and the FreeBSD project. If you are going to use CVS to manage your own project or to help work with others, you'll need to download a copy of the client from Cyclic Software's web site at http://www.cyclic.com/ and then build the executable. CVS's build and install procedures are gnu compliant so the following commands should be successful:
Setting up your CVS Server
On the server machine, you'll want to set the following environmental variable. CVSROOT = /the-dir/you-want/it-in This will tell CVS where to find it's home. After that, run the initialization command.
The command will create a sub-directory in $CVSROOT named CVSROOT. This is where all the history, log, and other administrative files reside. Now that your CVS system is set up, you'll need to get it ready for group work.
1. Add a group to /etc/group called cvs.
At this point you are finished with the basic server configuration. From this point on you should never directly work with $CVSROOT and its subdirectories. All file manipulation should be done with CVS commands; this is to ensure the integrity of the database.
Using CVS as a client
Once there is a server set up and ready for submissions you can add projects with the cvs import command. If you are in /home/httpd/vhosts/venturingbsa.com/httpdocs, your project is in /home/httpd/vhosts/venturingbsa.com/httpdocs/myproj, and you want your project to appear as $CVSROOT/proj1 in the repository execute:
If you don't supply a project description cvs will start and editor and prompt you to fill it in. The second "proj1" and the "start" have no purpose in this contex but are necessary for the import command so they must be present. Once you have at least one project under CVS's control you can start using it to its full abilities. A simple programming session may look similar to this:
This will get the most current versions of project1. To obtain an earlier version specify the -r tag.
After you are finished making changes to project1, commit it back to the repository so others can add to your work. You can specify a description of your changes with a -m option, if you decide not to CVS will start an editor and prompt you for it anyway.
Using CVS remotely
Not everyone will be local to the server machine, if they were, using CVS would not be as necessary or useful. So there are a few changes to be made in the remote client to connect to the server. CVS connects to the server machine through another remote authentication program, such as rsh, or ssh. Any protocol that does not alter the data will work fine. Microsoft Window's implementation of rsh will not work because of they way it alters carriage returns. Regardless of what form of authentication you use, set it up to allow connections from the correct user@hosts. There are two envirmental variables you need to change or set.
"ext" specifies that you are using an external protocol "user@host" is the username and host name of the system you are connecting to. The rest is the directory to $CVSROOT on the remote machine.
$CVS_RSH does not need to be set if you are using rsh (default) but if you want to use something like ssh simply make sure your ssh program is in your path.
At this point, all work with CVS works exactly as it does if you were local to the machine.
CVS is a very extensive revision control system. There are many commands available that I did not discuss. This is enough to get started and to allow enough understanding to make the actual CVS documentation an easy reference manual. CVS works wonderfully for 3-7 person projects as I am using it for at the time of this writing, all the way up to world-wide efforts such as FreeBSD, Mozilla, and others. It's not limited to programming, it can be used for drafts on english papers, technical writings, or virtually anything that is modified over time.