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Mail 156 June 4 - 10, 2001

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This week:



Monday  June 4, 2001

We begin with mail regarding the current column at :


First off, I have been reading your "Chaos Manor" column for quite some time now and I find it to be both entertaining and informative. Thank you! Regarding Distributed Net Computing; if you look on the computer in question for a file named "dnetc.ini" you may be able to determine just who sent you the "virus". If you find this file and open it you will see a line at the top that says "id=someone's email address". The address listed is the address that receives credit for work done by the Distributed Net client running on the host machine. So, if you have the address, perhaps you can find out who sent you the virus. I hope this helps.


Richard Atkinson

Likely enough, but I didn't do it. Oh well.


I thought I'd offer a counterpoint to your firewall discussion, as I actually moved in the opposite direction. My original DSL firewall was an old Compaq with two ethernet cards, which provided firewalling, NAT, and minimal web serving abilities. With a total cost of about $90, it was considerably cheaper than the $150 Linksys box which replaced it.

It took a fair amount of reading for someone who was already Unix-literate to figure out how to set up firewalling and NAT, and I'm not sure if the box was ever truely secure. I replaced it with the Linksys box mainly due to ease of administration and a certain gnawing fear about security holes.

One advantage of the Linksys box over a s/w firewall/NAT solution is latency. On a DSL line the software NAT added noticable latency; after switching to the Linksys box, it appears that software NAT was responsible for about 60% of my apparent latency (caveat: the machine doing the NAT was a 75 Mhz Pentium, although it didn't do anything else).

As far as ease of configuration goes, Linksys has done a very good job. I talked a fairly novice user through setting up port forwarding while in Tribes2's built-in IRC. On my own network, I have set up a web server, DNS, and mail service, simply opening additional ports as their needed.

- Guy 

Thanks. Now regarding those popup windows in Explorer:

Dear Dr. Pournelle:

I have been using a small applet called "PopUp Killer." It does a fair job of killing any window smaller than a certain size. This can be a pain when you want to see the window, but the app can be temporarily disabled. It has some other bells and whistles I have ot yet tried out, I just made it a part of my startup group and roll to glory.

Here is the URL if you are interested: 

Very respectfully,

David G.D. Hecht

I will have to try that. Thank you.

And from Roland, 

Subject: "Linux is a cancer." Steve Ballmer


and then read -all- of 

Which should be enlightening...

What we have here is a fundamental disagreement over intellectual property. I doubt it will be resolved. But as Roland says, read all of it...






This week:



Tuesday, June 5, 2001

Column Time -










This week:



Wednesday, June 6, 2001   D-DAY

I am working on the column but I will get some mail posted some time today.


AAAARRRRGGGHHHH! The Paste Special Command which was the most useful one in Front Page, is GONE in FP 2002.

I can't use this and I will have to uninstall it fast. Ye gods!!


Actually, you can choose which connection you would want to use for

particular traffic by using the ROUTE command.

Typically, when you make a dial-up connection, the default gateway

(default path for IP packets, barring more specific instructions given

by ROUTE) is set to the dial-up connection. If a person is

interested-enough, and has the detailed knowledge of their IP

addresses/subnets, they could set up routes so that some traffic goes

via the LAN, while other goes via the dial-up.

So, it's both a feature (not having to putz around with routes for the

dial-up connection, just letting everything go blazing out) and a

nightmare (if you've got one of the tricky cases!)

Brian Pickering

Redmond Tier 1 Technical Lead

MSBPN/Raid Helpdesk

The contents of this email may contain my own opinion, and do not

represent the opinions of Microsoft or Volt Technical Services.

So that is how mail is going to look now. This is HORRIBLE!!!

Alas I have no idea how to do the ROUTE command, but I'll try to learn. Regarding the appearance of this mail, my apologies, the Front Page 2002 clipboard formatting is ghastly in the extreme. The old "paste special" command that used to strip line ends is gone.

Continuing with the subject:

Regarding your words on Outlook's "feature". As someonde who uses a modem as

a fax and answering machine, while I use a DSL interface for internet access

on my LAN. I find it very disturbing that win2000 would make costs using my

modem for tasks that can be done for free over my LAN. I sure hope Microsoft

fixes this. This doesn't constitute a feature, because it is not a good

thing. Not even for you, the first method you tried should be the correct

one. Thing is to investigate the problems that solution gave you. If you

cant force Outlook to use the LAN rather than a modem, how can you keep a

modem on standby for the fax and voice functions?

Kind regards,

Anne Bokma

Stichting IR-IS


Understand that it only does that if the modem is ON and CONNECTED; it won't cause it to dial. Not many are going to have a local modem on and connected as well as have connections through a LAN. In our case it's a feature until we have a high speed connection after which we will turn the modem off except when needed for certain tasks that have to dial to a particular number.

I really hate the new Mail Formatting Features of Front Page 2000.

Some of what was missing is now in "edit" in an obscure manner, but the old "paste special" that stripped line endings is gone. Apparently they "fixed" it...

I see that the Office XP Suite is now offered for sale at Fry's on a special. I haven't yet seen any great reason to go to it, and this development in Front Page 2002 is a good reason not to. So far the major "feature" I have found is that now I have Clippy. A really BIG deal, given that Clippy is about as much help as he ever was, which is to say, almost none when you really need help.

There are some cosmetic enhancements, but in general I like Front Page 2002 considerably less than I did Front Page 2000. Now I agree, at one time I had the same view of 2000 over FP 98, and changed my opinion; but FP 2000 added the feature that has now gone away in FP 2002.  Ridiculous!

Fascinating: there is a "Macro" option in Tools. Clippy, bless his little heart, can't find one word of help about how to use it or to create a Macro. Why should he?  Ye flipping gods.







This week:


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Thursday, June 7, 2001


The experiences of this guy and several people like
him would seem to contradict your conclusions about
the difficulty of moving from MS-Windows to GNU/Linux:

He is no more 'technically' adept than you. If he has
no trouble, why do you? Are you spending too much time

trying to get around MS problems instead of having
time for real writing? Are you too stiff-necked to
even try? I notice that you went ahead with Slackware
(knowing that any of your readers would have a real
adventure) and a not-so-great version of RedHat. Why
are you avoiding Mandrake? Is it because your bubble
will be burst when you have to admit that GNU/Linux is

NOT as hard as you've made it out to be? I know
hate having to eat crow. But it only tastes bad for
the first few bytes.


The difficulty with getting a Linux system to run for people like me and most BYTE readers (as opposed to Aunt Minnie) has not been the operating system itself, but the applications. For good or ill, Microsoft Office has become pretty important to getting our work done, and the various alternatives like the Word Perfect Suite -- which I have made valient efforts to like -- just do not have the same capabilities. In my case it's worse since if I use something I have to teach it to Niven, whose level of technosophistication makes Aunt Minnie a power user...

What I don't understand is the accusation that I am 'avoiding' anything. Of course Linux users feel about each other as they all feel about Microsoft, and in that Union there is not much strength...








This week:



Friday, June 8, 2001 

As you can see, paste special is broken in FrontPage 2002 and until I can uninstall 2002 and reinstall 2000 mail is going to look goofy.

And Dr. David Goodman sounds an alarm:

Dear Jerry:

Another aspect of me is as an investigative reporter. Check: or .  Scroll down the columns to Soy. Since you have

children, the article may give you the willies.


David Goodman

I haven't seen that one yet. I'll have to look. There is a comment below.






This week:



Saturday, June 9, 2001

I will try to catch up on mail today.


Has your "paste special" command disappeared entirely from FP 2002? It

exists in my copy, and it appears to be possible to "Paste as HTML,"

which gives the results I think you are seeking.


This is how straight paste does it. Note there are line endings everywhere.

Jerry, Has your "paste special" command disappeared entirely from FP 2002? It exists in my copy, and it appears to be possible to "Paste as HTML," which gives the results I think you are seeking. Jeff

That is your letter with paste special treat as html. Note that there are no line endings at all, so it comes out as one single long line.


Has your "paste special" command disappeared entirely from FP 2002? It exists in my copy, and it appears to be possible to "Paste as HTML," which gives the results I think you are seeking.


Above is how I WANT it to be, and the way the FrontPage 2002 did "paste special", "normal paragraphs". I got the above by hand-removing the line ends from each line but leaving them at the salutation and the signature. Next is how paste special normal paragraphs does it now:


Has your "paste special" command disappeared entirely from FP 2002? It

exists in my copy, and it appears to be possible to "Paste as HTML,"

which gives the results I think you are seeking.


This is of course useless.  It is no longer on the right click menu: it's at edit, click, pastes special, click, normal paragraphs, click, which takes longer than the old right click and still comes out useless. Note that I chose the "normal paragraphs. Next I will chose the normal paragraphs with line ends:


Has your "paste special" command disappeared entirely from FP 2002? It

exists in my copy, and it appears to be possible to "Paste as HTML,"

which gives the results I think you are seeking.


Which produces an even less useful result: now it puts in double spaces at each line end.  Note what has happened: they have gone to the trouble to remove ONE line end where there are two in the "normal paragraphs" but whereas in FrontPage 2000 they also removed the line ends from the end of each line, in this egregious FrontPage 2002 they no longer do that.

Next another "paste special"



Has your "paste special" command disappeared entirely from FP 2002?  It
exists in my copy, and it appears to be possible to "Paste as HTML,"
which gives the results I think you are seeking.


 This is "one formatted paragraph" .  Note that the line endings are there, but now they are "shift-return" lines. Now I insert a line because the next result is interesting:


Has your "paste special" command disappeared entirely from FP 2002? It
exists in my copy, and it appears to be possible to "Paste as HTML,"
which gives the results I think you are seeking.


 And that is the "keep text only" option: note that it uses the background font and color, and has line ends. It's also useless for what I want. What I want is an option out of this endless maze of stupid options that: removes the line ends; but leaves a line end when it encountered double line ends. Now I expect I can make a macro to do that, and perhaps apply it only to selected text, but  that's work, and second, there is absolutely nothing in the documentation that I can find about macros: how to make them and how to use them. NOTHING in the index that I can find. I have Clippy in FrontPage 2002 although I did not ask for him (he wasn't in FrontPage 2000) -- hmm. Last time I asked Clippy to look for the word macro. He found nothing. To be fair I have just asked "How do I make a macro?" and by gollies he found it, and the instructions are pretty good.  OK, let's do that:

Never mind. It drops me into Visual Basic and doesn't seem to have a way to RECORD a macro. I can write one in VB if I can remember the syntax and all; since the one I want exists in some of my installations of WORD 2000 (I wrote it) I suppose I could go find it, and jigger that code into this; but in fact why would I want to do that when I already have what I want in FrontPage 2000, and I have yet to see anything in FrontPage 2002 that I think I need.

There is nothing for it: I have to uninstall FrontPage 2002 and reinstall FP 2000. If any of you find a good reason to try FP 2002 again (or Office XP since it will be built into that) please let me know. What I find is that they have been too clever by half yet one more time.

I usually upgrade Office and I usually find I am glad to have done so despite some initial grumbling; but this time I think they have managed to be too clever by half, breaking useful features while not adding much new utility. I can be persuaded otherwise, but it's going to take persuasion.

1735: I have uninstalled FrontPage 2002 and reinstalled FP 2000. The only problem I had was that after it was over I had to reinstall the Office Assistant in order to have him in Outlook 2000. Not that I need Clippy a lot, but it was interesting: when you remove FP 2002 which has Clippy and reinstall FP 2000 that doesn't, Clippy is clobbered for the rest of Office -- even though one of the "features" of Office XP AKA Office 2002 is that Clippy is off by default, only in FP 2002 he is ON by default, and beedee beedee beedee....

It was with interest that I read  and noticed 7 of the top 100 reader's choices were Robert Heinlein's books. An extraordinary number for someone who is ignored on "the board's list". Having read most of the novels on both lists, it is gratifying to see that people read what they want, not always what experts say is the best. I am eagerly awaiting your next novel, myself.

Dwight Dodds

It is interesting. Thanks for the information. Science fiction is important and Heinlein is important to science fiction even though the academics ignore both...

Now for something different:

Subject: Linux and Big Lies

I'll admit, I'm a bit confused, but asking a Microsoft employee, especially a top level executive such as Steve Ballmer, anything about Linux, will and should cause them to spew corporate nonsense. Anybody know how much Ballmer is paid by MS? I don't, but I can guess, and will probably be too low at that. He better toe the corporate line or be disciplined severally for it. Expecting anything other is naive.

Now I have read all of Mr. Raymond's rebuttal, and it begs the question... If Windows is still the holder of 91% of the market, and Mac's are holding their own at 8%, why hasn't Linux taken a bigger bite? If my math is still good, 91% + 8% leaves a whopping 1% of the market. Which, if I remember right, is about what it was in 1998! Or has the Apple fallen to say 6%, which would give the Linux community 3% of the share? Now 3% is 300 percent more than 1%, but gee, it is still a tiny number!

Big lies, but from whom?

One day, and I'm not ready yet, or Linux isn't ready for me, I'll try one of the many Linuxes (or all!) just to see what it is like. Just like I've tried DOS, Amiga, Apple, Mac, OS2, Win 3.11, 95, 98, ME &; 2000 (and XP when a few more users have tested it!), and BeOS. I currently can boot into 98SE, ME, 2000 and BeOS, though I'll be scrubbing off BeOS soon as there is just no way to connect to the internet using cable, and there isn't any decent software for it, sad really, it had such hope.

Funny, but all the people I know that use Linux, they invariably play with it, or have it set up as a firewall , which strikes me as more of an appliance, than an OS. They all use Windows or Mac's to work on, and most use MS Office to make documents, presentations or spreadsheets, even the diehard Macheads.

Best wishes!

Bill Grigg

It is a matter of record that Steve Ballmer was Bill Gates's roomate or hallmate at Harvard, has always worked for Gates, and is worth over $1 billion as a result. Regarding Linux: it is getting more stable. It is not ready for Aunt Minnie or even Good Old Uncle Bill. You have to want to use it and you have to want to understand it and you have to be prepared either to run Windows as well as Linux or be satisfied with office applications that are most charitably described as "getting there but no first rate yet."

Linux is UNIX and UNIX is user hostile and was always intended to be; it is the guru full employment act, and it was designed to make sure that casual users would be utterly confused and have to call for help. Thus it was and for the most part thus it is: if you don't want to grep you had better have access to someone who does.  Given that, it can be rewarding. It is fast, and it is stable, and while it is unforgiving of operator mistakes -- you can still reformat the whole hard drive with one command and no warning -- it is much more forgiving of application errors: ie it generally doesn't crash and generally doesn't bring down everything else if it does crash.

Linux is getting there and I encourage those who like speed and efficiency and don't mind mucking about under the hood to learn about it, but if all you want is to do email and write books and screen plays and do spreadsheets and speeches and briefings, you will do better to stay with Mac or Windows; while if what you want to do is develop applications particularly in a vertical market,  BEOS may be a better development environment.

So it goes.


Dear Dr. Pournelle:

I am faced with the task of networking four computers. Normally, this would not be a problem but the rub here is that the computers run either DOS 4 or 5 (one runs DOS 6). They each run with 4 megs of RAM. I don't have a clue as to where I can find DOS networking software. Everyone is VERY HAPPY with their machines but would like to share printers, files, etc. Since one of the happy campers is my wife, I have little choice but to at least try. So, if at all possible, I would be very grateful if you would post this to see if any suggestions are out there.

Thank You,

Rick Cartwright

LanTastic is what you need, but I do not know where you can get it: Artisoft is still in business but the original partners are long gone and it isn't in the Ethernet business any longer.  Otherwise I don't know. I recall vaguely that there was some LAN support in the last versions of DOS in the days of Windows 3.11 (which was itself a DOS application with peer to peer LAN capability) but I don't know where to get those, or even where to get Windows 3.11, or what I would do with them if I had them.

My advice is to byte the bullette and do some serious upgrading. Memory is CHEAP now as is disk space. Other readers may have a better solution.

AND ONE DOES, see below.

Dr. Pournelle,

So your aboriginal people in general, and your native Americans in particular, are supposed to have lived this morally superior and ecologically balanced lifestyle before the Europeans came along and ruined everything? Man, those noble savages hunted down and ate everything that moved, and to such an extent that they forced extinction on all the large mammals, birds and reptiles around. If you were born after 1970, everything you learned in public school is politically correct balderdash. Here's the link: 

Don McArthur ******************** "A skittish motor-bike with a touch of blood in it is better than all the riding animals on earth." T.E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia, died in a motorcycle accident in 1935) ********************

Actually Aircraftsman Shaw died in a motorcycle accident, T. E. Lawrence having resigned his commission and enlisted under a false name. And they aren't "my" aboriginals: they were good enough to drive my Viking ancestors out of their first new world colony. On the other hand the American Indians ate all the horses and some of their defenders now claim that if they had only had horses for centuries before the Spanish came then they wouldn't have been conquered.  Which goes to show that if you eat things instead of taming and domesticating them you won't have them when you need them and you'll have to wait for someone a little less prodigal to come along...

The 'noble savage' idea is dealt with quite well in Barzun's wonderful FROM DAWN TO DECADENCE.  James Warner Bellah in THUNDER OF DRUMS has Captain Brittles say "The highest deeds and noblest feats in the history of the Apache nation are described in the English words arson, murder, mayhem, pillage, plunder, theft, and rapine." Certainly they ate everything that moved and they weren't all that kind to the environment, but the schools will tell you different now.

Jerry: Been a big fan since the old Byte days (truth be told: only subscribed to Byte for the Chaos Manor columns. The bulk was - at the time - over my head). In any case, just saw this piece by another of my favorite authors, Spider Robinson. It speaks concisely and precisely to the current eco-terrorist fad. Good stuff. Have a great weekend!

(link: )

Henry Stern Dayton, OH

Thanks! Haven't seen Spider in a while. Guess I ought to go to a WorldCon or two just to get together with old friends while I can.

Subject: Win2K backups

I just ran across this article I thought you might be interested in. 

Gregory W. Brewer Flow-Cal, Inc. Energy Software Solutions


And from Frank Gasperik to Niven and me:

Hi Larry;

These are interesting and perhaps an answer to a few things.

Frank G

Here are the 2 URLS.


Abstract: Intensity of the cosmic background radiation due to the Cherenkov effect from faster-than-light virtual photons created in a ZPF background is estimated herein. The calculated result shows that spectrum and the mass density of energy due to the Cherenkov radiation almost coincides the cosmic background radiation observed.


Abstract: Maxwell’s equations are shown to have a second consequence beyond the electromagnetic (EM) wave: the source -free static magnetic field structure of finite extent in empty space. This has possible relevance to many current research areas such as field theory and plasma theory. When the result of the present paper is combined with a previous result (that a static magnetic field constitutes a mass), this relevance extends to a number of other fields: particle theory; string theory; dark matter; unified field theory; the ultimate nature of mass and matter; gravitation; cosmology etc. Additionally, the source-free structure may have implications for future technology.

They are in .pdf (Acrobat reader) Format.

Frank G.

Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to look at either one.

And here we have:


For Rick Cartwright, DR-DOS is still around. It comes with drivers for most major network cards. A 5-pack is $150 from Lineo (formerly the embedded systems division of Caldera--after Microsoft settled and Caldera split in two, Lineo ended up with DR-DOS).

As far as I can tell, it comes with "Personal NetWare" which is a peer-to-peer networking based on Novell's IPX, and should do everything Rick needs. TCP/IP is an extra cost item. Before buying, though, Rick should do his own poking around the support forums for DR-DOS to make sure it will do what he needs.

It appears to have trouble with anything newer than an original Pentium. Anything prior to that, however, should do just fine.

Steve Setzer

Wow. That was quick. Thanks!

We also have:

Re Lantastic:

Go to  . The product apparently remains available although no longer sold by Artisoft. When I was networking DOS computers, it was a wonderful product.

Howard E. Abrams E-mail:

There was an unusually good article by John Derbyshire in National Review. He's always worth reading, but this one was even better than usual, and I asked him if there were a URL for the article.

Thank you very much, Jerry. Yes; I post everything on my personal web site, unless I forget to. This one is at: 

Note that this is the pre-edited version (i.e. before the NR editors got their hands on it) and contains a few extra sci-fi references down towards the end, that will mean more to you (I am guessing) than they did to NR.

Very best wishes,

John Derbyshire

His article, or essay, concerns the concept of normality, which lies at the heart of most civilizations; and what has happened to that quaint notion in the modern era. Very much worth your time.

He also notes:

Being a socially clueless nerd is apparently a recognized psychiatric condition... 

John Derbyshire

which needs no other comment. While Dr. Ed Hume observes:


More on the Empire vs. Republic metaphor: When I was young people still talked of the US being a melting pot, where people from all the earth came to become Americans. Now they talk about "tossed salad", where people leave their countries to come to America and remain nationals of their home countries, complete with their old languages. No assimilation (remember that word) expected.

Republics tend to be each a single nation. Empires, on the other hand, are an amalgamation of a number of nations.


It was once remarked that America was perhaps unique in that you could study to be an American, and if you learned how and did it right, you were one. That I think is no longer the case and we have lost much. Amalgamated societies always need strong government and usually an Emperor. He may not have that title of course.

And leads to increasingly imperial actions:

Dr. Pournelle,

Here is something to ruin your day. I am at a loss to describe my feelings regarding this issue. It wouldn't be believable if you where to put it in one of your stories, yet it is being played out in the real world. I'm not sure where one can even begins to bring reason back into a system that not just allows but condones this action. The principal's comment "We just need to get it through kids' heads that there are certain things you don't say and there are certain things you don't draw" relating to this leaves me aghast. These are the people that are helping to mold the future.

Dean Sanchez

And on the general subject,

"Certainly unrestricted bottom line capitalism is far more efficient than the old semi-feudal arrangements that corporations inherited from the days when a firm had an owner, who might be a Scrooge but might not be. If efficient employment of capital is the goal, we are moving toward achieving it."

I understand that you are probably simply pressing a point home, but I am not at all certain that this is a true statement: that our current way of doing business has resulted in better "efficiency" than the old ways. If your goal is only making sure that the next quarter impresses the stockholders, maybe you're right. On the other hand, if your goal is making sure your company is still in business and producing product competitively twenty years down the road, it may be another story. The term "efficiency" needs some elaboration. Living here in Silicon Valley, I don't see a lot of company loyalty either way, but on the other hand, I don't see a lot of companies that are still around after five years either.

Putting it another way, I never saw a company that suffered competitively by treating its employees like they were an important part of the enterprise. I also don't see that this attitude necessarily conflicts with the ideal of capitalism.

Tom Brosz

When I was at Boeing there was considerable employee loyalty in both directions; but that was the old days, and I have seen little of that since. Even Universities don't seem to operate that way any longer.  We may have gained some economic efficiency and we may not. I am sure we have lost something valuable that will probably never be regained.

And finally a very long announcement from the Libertarians. I won an award, which is my justification for posting this:

For immediate release: June, 2001

Libertarian Futurist Society announces Prometheus Hall of Fame winner
First Special Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Poul Anderson
Best Novel award to be presented at Philly Worldcon during Libertarian SF
LFScon hailed as major success

The Libertarian Futurist Society is pleased to announce that Poul
Anderson has received the first Special Prometheus Award for Lifetime
Achievement, and that “The Survival of Freedom,’’ an sf anthology edited by
Jerry Pournelle and John Carr, has won the 2001 Prometheus Hall of Fame award
for Best Classic Fiction.

Both Prometheus awards were presented before an audience of more than
1,000 people during LFScon, the Libertarian Futurist Society’s first national
conference and 20th anniversary celebration, held May 25-27 during Marcon 36
in Columbus, Ohio. LFScon was a great success, with our Prometheus
awardwinning guests of honor helping Marcon to attract a record attendance of
more than 3,000 people.

Karen Anderson, Poul’s wife and a guest of honor, accepted for Anderson,
whose illness had prevented him from attending LFScon as Marcon's Grand
Master guest of honor. Anderson, widely respected as a Grand Master of s.f.,
already had been recognized by the LFS three times over the past two decades,
having won the Prometheus Hall of Fame twice for “The Star Fox’’ and
“Trader to the Stars” and the Best Novel award for “The Stars Are Also
Fire’’ (1995).

F. Paul Wilson, who contributed a short story “Lipidlegging’’ to “The
Survival of Freedom,’’ accepted for Pournelle. Wilson praised Pournelle for
his uphill battle to bring out such a specialized-theme anthology at a time
when publishers weren’t that interested in such anthologies.

In an emailed acceptance speech, Pournelle said: “I am very pleased to
accept this award and I regret that I cannot be there to do it in person.
Between writing commitments and keeping Niven functioning after his injuries
I seem to have a career in Southern California.
Of course the real credit goes to the Contributors. It is perhaps time to
bring this book out again with new prefaces, and some additional material. I
am sure I can find a publisher. And I note that (Wilson’s) “Lipidlegging” is
no longer science fiction at all. Alas, some of the other stories aren't
fiction either. But then we always knew that eternal vigilance is the price
of liberty - and that even if it is paid the tax consumers don't always
deliver what they promised. Thank you all.”

Other former Prometheus Awardwinners who were honored and introduced
onstage during the LFScon/Marcon awards ceremony at Marcon’s Masquerade: F.
Paul Wilson, L. Neil Smith, James Hogan, J. Neil Schulman, Victor Milan,
Vernor Vinge and Brad Linaweaver. The awards were presented by LFS Assistant
Director Amy Rule and Lynn Maners, chair of the Hall of Fame finalist judging
committee. Smith announced the award to Anderson.

All LFS members voted for the awards. Anderson’s Lifetime Achievement
Award was approved unanimously-- a first in the history of the Prometheus

LFS members chose “The Survival of Freedom’’ as this year’s Hall of
Fame winner after a Hall of Fame finalist judging committee whittled down two
dozen nominations to five finalists. The other finalists were Poul Anderson’s
“Orion Shall Rise;” Sinclair Lewis’ “It Can't Happen Here;” L. Neil
Smith’s “The Wardove;” and Melinda Snodgrass’ The Measure of a Man (Star
Trek: Next Generation episode). Snodgrass’ script was the first TV episode to
become a finalist in the Hall of Fame, which recently was opened up in
eligibility to include dramatic presentations (film or TV), plays, poems,
anthologies, novels, novellas and short stories.

Meanwhile, LFS members are reading the finalists and voting on the Best
Novel award, which will be presented in an awards ceremony over the Labor Day
weekend at the Philadelphia Worldcon. The award ceremony is tentatively
scheduled at 5 p.m. Sunday Sept. 2, just before a Worldcon panel discussion
on “Beyond Ayn Rand and Robert Heinlein: Libertarian SF.’’

The LFS’ Best Novel Finalist judging committee has chosen five novels
published in 2000 for the 2001 award:
* Lodestar, by Michael Flynn (TOR Books)
* The Sky Road, by Ken MacLeod (TOR Books)
* The Truth, by Terry Pratchett (HarperCollins)
* Forge of the Elders, by L. Neil Smith (Baen Books)
* Eagle Against the Stars, by Steve White (Baen Books)

This year’s Best Novel winner will receive a plaque and a one-ounce gold
coin, double the size of previous years.

This is the first time that Pratchett and White have been honored as
Prometheus Award finalists. Three of the five finalist authors are previous
Prometheus Award winners: MacLeod won most recently in 1998 for “The Stone
Canal’’ and in 1996 for “The Star Fraction.’’ Smith won in 1994 for
“Pallas’’ and in 1982 for “The Probability Broach.’’ Flynn won in 1991 for
“In the Country of the Blind’’ and in 1992 for “Fallen Angels’’
(co-authored by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle);

Twelve novels were nominated by LFS members for this year’s awards. The
other nominees were Candle, by John Barnes (TOR Books); The Legend That Was
Earth, by James Hogan (Baen Books); Outlaw School, by Rebecca Ore
(HarperCollins/EOS); Chimera, by Will Shetterly (TOR Books); Vampire Nation,
by Thomas Sipos (; Conspiracies, by F. Paul Wilson
(Forge Books); and All the Rage, by F. Paul Wilson (FORGE Books)

The Prometheus awards for Best Novel, Best Classic Fiction (Hall of Fame)
and (occasional) Special awards honor outstanding science fiction/fantasy
that explores the possibilities of a free future, champions human rights
(including personal and economic liberty), dramatizes the perennial conflict
between individuals and coercive governments, or critiques the tragic
consequences of abuse of power-- especially by the State.

The Prometheus Award, sponsored by the Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS),
was established in 1979, making it one of the most enduring awards after the
Nebula and Hugo awards, and one of the oldest fan-based awards currently in
sf. Presented annually since 1982 at the World Science Fiction Convention,
the Prometheus Awards include a gold coin and plaque for the winners.

The Hall of Fame, established in 1983, focuses on older classic fiction,
including novels, novellas, short stories, poems and plays.Past Hall of Fame
awardwinners range from Robert Heinlein and Ayn Rand to Ray Bradbury and
Ursula LeGuin.

Last year’s Prometheus Award winner for Best Book was Vernor Vinge’s “A
Deepness in the Sky’’ (TOR Books). Last year’s Prometheus Award Hall of
Fame winner for Classic Fiction was Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s
New Clothes.’’

Publishers who wish to submit 2001 novels for consideration should
contact Michael Grossberg (614-236-5040,, 3164 Plymouth
Place, Columbus OH 43213), Chair of the LFS Prometheus Awards Best Novel
Finalist judging committee.

Prometheus Award and Hall of Fame winners

Founded in 1982, the Libertarian Futurist Society sponsors the annual
Prometheus Award and Prometheus Hall of Fame; publishes reviews, news and
columns in the quarterly “Prometheus;” arranges annual awards ceremonies at
the Worldcon, debates libertarian futurist issues (such as private space
exploration); and provides fun and fellowship for libertarian-SF fans.
Here are the past winners of the Prometheus Awards and Hall of Fame:
Prometheus Award winners*
Wheels Within Wheels, by F. Paul Wilson (1979)
The Probability Broach, by L. Neil Smith (1982)
Voyage From Yesteryear, by James Hogan (1983)
The Rainbow Cadenza , by J. Neil Schulman (1984)
Cybernetic Samurai, by Victor Milan (1986)
Marooned in Real Time, Vernor Vinge (1987)
The Jehovah Contract by Victor Koman (1988)
Moon of Ice, by Brad Linaweaver (1989)
Soloman’s Knife, by Victor Koman (1990
In the Country of the Blind, by Michael Flynn (1991)
Fallen Angels, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (1992)
The Multiplex Man by James Hogan (1993)
Pallas by L. Neil Smith (1994)
The Stars Are Also Fire, by Poul Anderson (1995)
The Star Fraction, by Ken MacLeod (1996)
Kings of the High Frontier, by Victor Koman (1997)
The Stone Canal, by Ken MacLeod (1998)
The Golden Globe, by John Varley (Berkley/Ace) (1999)
A Deepness in the Sky, by Vernor Vinge (TOR Books) (2000)
* None of the Above” won in 1985, and no awards were given in 1980 and 1981.

Prometheus Hall of Fame winners
Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1983)
Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (1983)
George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)
Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (1984)
Poul Anderson’s Trader to the Stars (1985)
Eric Frank Russell’s The Great Explosion (1985)
C.M. Kornbluth’s The Syndic, (1986)
Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminatus trilogy. (1986)
Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land (1987)
Ayn Rand’s Anthem (1987)
Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination (1988)
J. Neil Schulman’s Alongside Night (1989)
F. Paul Wilson’s Healer (1990)
F. Paul Wilson’s An Enemy of the State (1991)
Ira Levin’s This Perfect Day (1992)
Ursula LeGuin’s The Dispossessed (1993)
Yevgeni Zamiatin’s We (1994)
Poul Anderson’s The Star Fox (1995)
Robert Heinlein’s The Red Planet (1996)
Robert Heinlein’s Methuselah’s Children (1997)
Robert Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love ·(1998)
H. Beam Piper and John McGuire’s A Planet for Texans (“Lone Star Planet’’)
Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes (2000)
The Survival of Freedom, edited by Jerry Pournelle and John F. Carr (2001)








This week:


read book now


Sunday, June 10, 2001

In Mail for Friday past, you included this: > Dear Jerry: > Another aspect of me is as an investigative reporter. Check: > Scroll down the columns to Soy. Since you have > children, the article may give you the willies. > Sincerely, > David Goodman

1. The hyperlink for at  is incorrect; it sent me to  and the typo will cause folks to get lost. Instead, may I suggest linking to: 

2. An MD whose advice I respect, Char Glen in Beaverton OR, also is wary of soy. She cited other studies of heavy adult users of soy who suffer from disproportionate early loss of mental function. 

3. At  you also link to Spider Robinson's column at  Sadly, that is another broken link, and 15 minutes of search at  have been fruitless.

[Sorry but I have no better link.] And from Spider:

Sorry--I know less than nothing about the online GLOBE AND MAIL. At 28.8 I'm not liable to learn anytime soon, either. (I live on an island.) But my daughter told me once that my columns appear at  only on the day they actually run in the newspaper, and are not archived thereafter unless you pay them some money. Good hunting. Maybe someday a publisher will bite on the book-sized collection I have ready to go....



4. The folks wanting to network antique PCs with 4MB of RAM can use Microsoft or Novell DOS clients to link to a Microsoft or Novell server. Any decent sysadmin can generate a boot floppy which will connect any DOS machine via Ethernet to either kind of server. Peer-to-peer would require Windows for Workgroups, but 4MB was too small for WfWg, so if they want peer-to-peer networking, they must bite the bullet and upgrade.

[That was my initial reaction. I recall there were some third party systems that could link DOS machines.]

-- John Bartley, PC syadmin, USBC/DO, Portland OR Views expressed herein are mine own. "Religious factions will go on imposing their will on others unless the decent people connected to them recognize that religion has no place in public policy. They must learn to make their views known without trying to make their views the only alternative." Barry Goldwater






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