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Linux Security Capabilities

In earlier times, the standard security model for GNU/Linux and Unix operating systems gave general users a minimal set of privileges, while granting full privileges to a single user account, i.e. root, that was used to administer the system and users, install software, mount and unmount filesystems, loading kernel modules, bind a process to a privileged port and run many services. This dependence upon the root account to perform all actions requiring privilege was recognized to be somewhat dangerous in that it was all or nothing and not suited to compartmentalization of roles.  Furthermore, it increased the risk of vulnerabilities

Windows Parallel Filesystems

I recently was involved in some development work for a quasi-parallel filesystem for Microsoft Windows.  As a result of that involvement my interest was piqued and I decided to do so research on what the state of research and development is in the field of parallel filesystems designed specifically for Microsoft Windows. First a quick review of what I mean by a parallel file system.  There are any number of different types of parallel file systems available.  Some allow multiple systems and applications to share common pools of storage as in a clusered filesystem.  Some split the data across two

KSH93 Message Localization

The current version of ksh93 (93t+ 2009-05-01) supports localization of internal error messages and getopts messages but localization of user messages in shell scripts is flawed. For a project I am working on, I needed to be able to supply localized messages for a small number of shell scripts and thus found myself in the bowels of ksh93 figuring out how to make it so. First a word of warning.  For the unwary, modifying the source code for ksh93 and libast is not for the faint-hearted.  It is a fairly complex code base with many levels of abstraction in places. 

Charles Merton Richmond RIP

Yesterday my old friend and collegue Charles Merton Richmond (Charlie) died at home in Cebu PH of a massive heart attack. Charlie and I go back a long time.  We first met when Lotus Development set up a Unix porting group in Dublin, Ireland.  Charlie was Digital Equipment Corporation’s on-site go-to person for the port of Lotus 1-2-3 to DEC Ultrix.  At that time Charlie was single-handedly raising his son, Keith, and brought him with him to Dublin for the 6 month assignment. I was a principal software engineer responsible for the Ultrix, HP and SCO UNIX ports of